Sunday, January 29, 2017

Noah's Birth Story

It doesn't seem that long ago that I typed up Evan's long, dramatic birth story. It was as much about processing as about documenting, and is an account I treasure. So, while Noah's birth was by all accounts relatively uneventful, it's still something I want to preserve. 

This birth story starts closer to when I was 36 weeks pregnant. I was at my physical therapy appointment where I was still in a good amount of pain. It was hard to walk and excruciating to turn from one side to another. While I was laying there, facing away from my PT, I asked the question to which I didn't want the answer. Did she think it was a good idea for me to try for a VBAC. And, she answered exactly how I'd feared - given my inability to walk or move positions, plus the likelihood I'd have a large baby, plus the fact that I wouldn't be able to push my knees very far apart during labor, and she thought the risk of injury for me was too high to risk it. She knew my ultimate goal was to be able to be active again as soon as possible, after almost 5 months of no physical activity, and she said that c-section recovery would be far shorter than recovering from a pelvic injury. With that knowledge, I changed my midwife appointment to an OB/GYN and scheduled our c-section for January 16th (which was later changed to the 18th). 

(looking every inch of 39 weeks)

The few days leading up to our hospital date were busy with checking final things off of our to do list, plus having a handyman finish a last minute bathroom renovation. We soaked in the last days with Evan as our only child, made sure the house was very clean, and tried to get in as many naps as possible. We also welcomed my parents' arrival and had a lovely family meal with them and my sister. I was excitedly nervous going to bed the night before, and we didn't get to sleep until about midnight. 

Since I was cut off from eating at 4am, I woke up a little after 3 and made myself one last filling meal - an egg quesadilla - and then got back to sleep until Evan got us up around 7. We got him ready for school and Ed took him while I called the hospital to find out if we were still on. We were, so it was go time!


We arrived at the hospital at 10, checked in, and got settled in our waiting room. 


It was a little anti-climactic to have so much energy going into this, and then to be sitting and watching tv while we waited. They prepped me with my IV, monitors, etc. and then we waited some more as we got bumped for an emergency c-section. Finally, at 12:45, it was time for us to get on our surgical gear and head to the operating room. 

They had Ed wait in a side room while they got me set up. The hardest part of the surgery was surprisingly putting in the spinal - there were a lot of failed attempts, but finally it was set and then it was go time. The nurses joked that with the heavy rain outside, Noah was the perfect name for this little boy as they finished the prep, put up that blue screen, and brought in Ed. 

And, in less than 10 minutes, this happened.


This was both the best and hardest part of the delivery. I could hear our sweet boy's primal cry, but I couldn't see him. And, since the baby warming area was towards my feet, I had to stay in the dark about our little boy while they checked him out. Thank goodness he kept crying and I could hear his sweet voice. 


Thankfully, Ed got to be there to cut the cord, watch the exam, and bring him to me after an excruciatingly long 10 minutes. 


But then, I got to see our sweet 9lb 9oz boy, all 21 inches of him, and we had the most beautiful skin to skin while they finished the surgery. I even got to nurse him while they were finishing the surgery. It was so surreal to have our new little boy in my arms and enjoy this special family time. 


Once they were done, it was time to head to recovery. I couldn't get over how much better I felt than after Evan's delivery and I was so eager for our recovery room stay to end. 


Thankfully, by 4pm we were settled in our room and ready to begin our life with our new little boy. 

While it wasn't exciting, we definitely preferred this low stress birth. Our boy was all 9s, with scores of 9 and 9 on his Apgar and weighing 9lbs 9oz. Noah and I had zero health issues in the hospital and got to come home almost exactly 48 hours after we arrived. We feel so thankful that this was the birth story we both chose and received - it was definitely the right choice and brought us our sweet Noah. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy One Week, Noah!



We have had this little guy home for just under a week, and we couldn't be more happy with life as a family of four. It certainly helps that my parents are still here helping and that Ed isn't working, but we have been so pleasantly surprised and how great this transition has gone.

(Celebrating Noah's "birth day" with cupcakes made by Evan and Grandma)


The biggest reason for that, of course, is the fact that Noah is, so far, a dream baby. He is so easygoing - he only ever cries when his diaper is being changed. Even when he is hungry, he will just start making funny faces and opening his mouth, or maybe even a silent crying face. But, it's easy to start nursing before he ever makes a real cry. He mostly just sleeps, and is fine going up to 4 hours between a feed if he's really tired.

(our sleepy boy)


Plus, if he's hungry but I'm not ready/able to nurse him, he's pretty content just sucking on a finger for a while. The first week of nursing was very painful, but now he seems to have the hang of it and it's so much better. I think he's much better at eating than Evan, which is partly why he doesn't get crazy hungry like his brother. Ed and I are starting to realize what a big affect the torticollis likely had on Evan - it just wasn't comfortable for him to nurse, especially on the right side, so he just ate slowly and much less, meaning he had to nurse at least every 2 hours that first year and a half.

(sleeping on daddy)

Sleep has been equally miraculous! In the hospital, Noah actually was pretty content to hang out and sleep in the bassinet, which was so odd to us. We felt sort of guilty not holding him all the time, but he was happy and it allowed us to get some rest. We even let him go to the nursery for 1.5 hours since they needed to redo the hearing test and we needed some sleep. When we brought him home, he would only sleep on us the first two nights. But, the third night I tried him in the bassinet part of the pack in play on whim and he slept 2 hours! So we put that next to the bed and he's been consistently sleeping wonderfully there in 2-3 hour stretches. Then, last night we added a blanket under his velcro swaddler, and he slept for 6 hours straight! And then another 3! I haven't gotten that much sleep with only one interruption in many years! We'll see if it lasts, but for now it's amazing and I am enjoying it. As an added bonus, Evan has been sleeping better too, either one wake up or sleeping through the night.

Like his brother, Noah isn't wild about devices so far. The only one we've been able to use a little is the swing, but without turning it on, funnily enough. He slept great laying in it, but didn't like when we turned on the swing or the vibrations. He spends all his time sleeping or laying on some adult, which is lovely for everyone. He even likes tummy time and isn't fussy at all laying on his stomach on the ground. He has amazing neck strength and even in the hospital was lifting and turning his head in both directions.

(fun with grandma)


Yesterday, he was the most awake of his life, for over an hour! Of course, this was when we were trying to take newborn pictures and needed him sleepy :). Thankfully, he crashed hard eventually and I'm hoping the photographer got some great shots - Noah certainly looked cute in all those poses. When he's awake, he has such a curious inquisitive expression with a little knitted brow. He has deep blue eyes and loves looking towards the light.

(One of his rare awake moments right before we headed home from the hospital)

Evan has handled this transition amazingly. He loves "Baby Noah" and is a great helper with diaper changes and patting him to help burp him after eating. He's continued his good sleeping and great success with potty training, which has been fantastic. He went back to daycare this week, which was great. Last night at dinner he told us, "I loved seeing my friends!" I am so glad we kept him in part time - he is continuing to thrive there and definitely starts going a bit stir crazy after 4 days at home. I'm trying to build in Mommy/Evan solo time at least every few days (and hopefully more like every day now that I'm feeling better) so that he still feels like an important part of this family.

(our very proud almost 3 year old)


Like everyone said, he seems so much bigger and older now that we have a little baby at home. The biggest difference is how huge he feels when I give him hugs or sit with him. I can't believe how much he as grown (and am tearing up a little bit as I write this). He is going to be 3 in less than 3 months and is an amazing little person to have in our family. I am so proud of him and can't wait to be 100% recovered to get back to going out on family adventures.


(soaking in my favorite type of cuddles)

I am finally starting to feel more like myself, which is amazing after such a limiting pregnancy, and am looking forward to starting to get out more. It is amazing how much more quickly you recover with the second baby and I am so thankful to not dealing with additional health issues like after my first pregnancy. Still, I'm trying not to rush it and enjoy taking it easy.

For now, I'm really soaking in all the newborn cuddles and counting my many blessings.











Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Letter to Evan

(written 1-17-2017)

Today is a day of lasts. It's the last full day that Evan will be an only child, the last full day I'll feel Noah kicking and rolling inside of me, the last full day of this season of life. It's funny - totally true what they say about 2nd time parents. There is so much less stress with the logistics of bringing a newborn home. Ed and I both remember pretty well what it was like with Evan and (perhaps unwisely) don't feel too worried about that. The bigger concern is just how this transition will go, especially for Evan.

But, we feel ready. This pregnancy has been so hard, between being in pain so much of the time and the fact that I haven't been able to be active for almost 5 months, I actually feel like I'll be able to be more available with Evan once I heal from the delivery than I've been able to be lately. We can do family hikes again, I can take him places by myself for adventures, we can just be a family again, the way we used to, just with another very special person.

Still, I'm anxious. Mostly about having this c-section, and whether I'm making the right choice. My biggest worry is just making Noah come out before he's ready. I keep reassuring myself that Evan was born at 38.5, and Noah will be born at 39.2, so I should feel okay, but I just want to make sure he has enough time to finish growing. That said, if he's anything like his brother, size won't be an issue :). Somehow, I don't think he'll quite hit the 9lb13oz of Evan, but I think he'll still be plenty big. And the primary reason I'm having the c-section is because it seems like the healthiest/safest way for both Noah and me. So I'll just keep reminding myself of that!

I've been pretty spotty with the blog this time around, but I still want to have these kinds of records for the future to look back on, so here is a letter to Evan on the eve of our big day.

First, to my "Big Brother" Evan,

My sweet, amazing first born son. From the very beginning, you have been the perfect fit in our lives. Your dad and I always knew that you would be amazing, and you have continued to make us smile with joy and surprise us since your very first day. Each month, we would turn and say to each other, "wow....this is the best age yet!" and that feeling just keeps happening.

Right now, you are so much fun and growing up so fast. You love to sing - you sing or hum while you play, either made up songs or nursery rhymes from school, and you love to have us sing with you. During the holidays, "Jingle Bells" was your favorite, and you would put a ring of bells on your wrist and run around singing it. You love to have us sing parts too, and say "yay" and clap for yourself when you finish a particularly good song.

Trains are the love of your life. You started liking them about a year ago, but they have turned into a passion/obsession the last 6 months. We started letting you watch some screen time, and you have been in love with videos of live action steam trains and model trains. You are learning so much - all the different names of the cars, your favorite "double headers," The different jobs on the train, etc. One of your favorite books is a 70+ page one called Locomotive that is about the transcontinental railroad. For Christmas, Santa brought you a huge train table, and you love having that, plus multiple train tracks that you build on the floor, and even a train set made of duplo lego blocks.

It has been amazing to see your development with play. You have started being able to pretend now, and are so great at playing independently. My favorite new development is your love of building with blocks. The duplos were my favorite toy as a child, and making new creations with you makes me so happy. I hope you continue to feel the same love of building and creating that I had. You also love putting together puzzles, especially your Thomas the Train one. You are so methodical about it - "I will do the cowcatcher first, then the cab, etc." You use logic to help you and are so proud of yourself when you get a piece in the right place.

Your room has officially transformed into a big boy room. You started sleeping in a twin bed back in the spring, in a hope to help you sleep better, and it has been a great choice. We finally got rid of the rocking chair in your room, now that we can do stories together in your bed, and you have shelves next to your bed that let you control your light and your sound machine. You finally have a good bedtime routine that your dad and I really enjoy. We say "love you to the moon and back" and "see you when the sun comes up" as we say goodnight. You are such a better sleeper - you only need a quick morning snack around 5 maybe 1-2 nights a week and otherwise more or less sleep through the night. Sometimes you do come in to our room early and like to cuddle with your daddy, but having you finally wake up happy is something we've been waiting for for years and has been such a blessing.

We have also been so fortunate with your eating. From the beginning, you have loved your fruits and vegetables and have been such a happy, healthy eater. The biggest change (and what I think has really helped with your sleeping) is that you are finally so much more willing to eat proteins/meats. It happened right after you finished getting all your molars in, so I think it may have just been too hard for you to chew them before. But now you eat so much more, and such more filling foods, especially at dinner. People are always impressed by how you eat the same foods as us. You love sauces, especially balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, just like me.

The other big accomplishment lately is that you are (mostly) potty trained! Given our troubles with sleep, it has been such a gift that this was an almost seamless transition. I expected it to be so challenging, given everything I read, but you were more than ready, with all the practice you had been doing as school. We had one weekend without pants, and you had maybe 4 or 5 accidents those first 3 days, and have been fantastic after that. Now, a month later, our biggest struggle is that you are wanting to be night trained, too, and wake up to use the potty, but still want our help. But, I am so proud of you for being such a big boy and I know we'll get there!

You are so excited about becoming a big brother. You love talking about Baby Noah and how you will share with him and help take care of him. Your dad and I have talked to you so much about how much we love you and how that will never change. We know you will be a wonderful big brother and you and Noah will have such a special relationship. You have been able to soak in so much great Daddy time since I haven't been able to be as active, and I am looking forward to being home from work and getting to spend more time with you, too.

No matter what, I hope you always feel that you and your brother are equally loved and valued in our family. And that you both bring a specialness to this family that is uniquely your own. I love every part of you, the happy fun parts and the parts that can feel hard sometimes. They are all you, which means they are something to celebrate. I am so looking forward to seeing you enter into your new role as brother - I know it is one in which you will thrive.

You are my sweet, amazing, wonderful Evan and I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

32 Weeks



So, didn't remotely keep up with these this time! But, I'd like to try to do at least a few more if I can so I have them to look back on. 

How Far Along?  32 weeks! This feels like a big milestone since it's only 6 weeks until when Evan was born and I'm now less than 2 months from the due date

Size of the Baby? A squash - around 4 pounds and 16 inches long.

Sleep? So many fewer insomnia issues thanks to a toddler that keeps us up all the time and wears me out. When I do have the chance to sleep, I generally sleep very soundly. Getting up at least twice to use the bathroom, and it's a good night if those line up with Evan wake ups. 

Eating? Mostly okay. Probably a few more treats than I should have, especially with being in the throes of a holiday season. 

Exercise: This is the hardest thing for me this pregnancy. It's not just that I can't exercise, but I have to avoid stairs when I can, avoid walking when I can, and even avoid standing. It's definitely affected my mood (and my eating), and is one of the main reasons I am not too sad that this is likely my last pregnancy. 

What I Miss? Walking whenever and wherever I want. I am fantasizing about all the hiking I'll be able to do after the baby is born. 

Best Moment? Thanksgiving - it was so wonderful having almost all of our family here to celebrate and see Evan play with his cousins. 

Milestones: Entering the last stretch of teaching for the year. It's so bittersweet - this has been an amazing class and I will be very sad to leave them. But it's also going to be a crazy busy stretch and I know I will be so glad to take a "break"

Mommy Update: Tired and hurting most of the time. I am doing so much better than a couple weeks ago when I literally could barely walk. I'm now doing physical therapy exercises every day and wearing a special support belt that is making a world of difference and letting me get through the teaching day with a manageable amount of pain. I'm loving all the baby movements just as much as last time. 

Big Brother Update: Evan has been growing so much in everything. He is loving the start of the Christmas season - he loves the lights and tree and has me read him "The Night Before Christmas" every night. Sleep continues to be hit or miss, like always, but the rest of the time Evan is generally such a fun and loving little boy to be around. In the mornings, he usually comes downstairs and cuddles with me on the couch while I have breakfast - it's such a special time. He's also finally doing so much better going to bed - we can do stories and say goodbye and he will usually go to sleep without a problem. It's such a treat to be getting our evenings back and have Evan back to a 7:30/8 bedtime. 

Baby Update:
Plenty of growing and moving! Baby nursery is mostly set up and looking so pretty - I'm hoping to finish most of the rest this weekend and maybe even start some baby laundry. Can't wait to meet this little boy. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

18 Weeks!

How Far Along?  18 weeks - whoops! Poor second child syndrome. But really, I got home and straight into getting ready for the new school year and sort of forgot about these updates. Plus, since I didn't want to post on here until after the school year begins, it's been harder to remember. But, that should all change as of tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get back on track!

Size of the Baby? An artichoke - crazy! I guess that's what happens when you stop updating weekly; that seems huge now. Baby is 5.5 inches long and 6.7 ounces. 

Sleep? Still struggling between Evan wake ups (especially this week as he adjusted to having me back at work) and having to use the bathroom. Plus a couple work related bouts of insomnia and getting up early for work and I've been pretty darn tired. Hopefully things will calm down soon though. 


Eating? Nausea is basically gone now, so eating is mostly determined by what I feel like. We've been trying to do healthy meals, and I'm still loving a smoothie every morning. I still need to eat frequently, so that's been something I have to remember with working more. 

Exercise: This week has been a bit hit or miss since I've been working such long days and practically falling asleep when I get home. I did go on one walk with Evan and am hoping once I settle into regular teaching hours I'll do better. I did sign up for a 10k in October, so my "official" walking training is starting next Monday. Hopefully that'll keep me motivated!

 What I Miss? I miss Evan time. It's been hard getting ready for the school year with all the time demand that includes, and then being so tired when I get home that I'm not up for doing fun things with Evan. Ed has been great helping out, but I'll be glad when things settle down a little bit. 

Best Moment? Telling work! I shared at our group staff meeting on Tuesday about the pregnancy, and it was so fun to be fully public with the news. Everyone is so supportive and excited for me, which is lovely. 

Milestones: Going back to work, officially. Even though I've been working off and on since the beginning of August, I'm actually getting paid for it now :). 

Mommy Update: Tired! I've been happy that while I'm at work, I generally feel like I have normal energy. But, when I get home, I just crash. I've put a ton of work into the set up for this year, though, with the hope that after the first week, I can really settle into no work on the weekends and leaving right after the school so that I can soak in more family time and not tire myself out so much. 

Big Brother Update: Evan is just the best. He's been saying "Oh dear, Oh my gosh, Oh my goodness" a lot, when he does something silly. We took him on the Golden Gate Bridge last weekend which is his favorite thing in the world, so that was super fun. When we went in the gift store, he must have said "Mighty Golden Gate Bridge!" about 50 times, pointing to all the posters, books, etc. The people working there got a kick out of it and even gave him his own sticker with the bridge on it. He's also convinced that the baby (which he calls "baby tiger")  is actually a tiger, not a baby :). But the best is all the "I love you mommys and I love you daddys Evan randomly says throughout the day, and all the sweet kisses. He is such a loving little boy and we are so lucky we get to be his parents. 

Baby Update:
Baby continues to be great. It seems like it must be growing since I've been hungrier lately and I am certainly looking bigger. I can't believe we get to find out the sex next week - I'm still learning towards a girl since this has seemed like a much different pregnancy, but we'll see! Both options seem so wonderful :). 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

14 Weeks

How Far Along?  14 weeks (and 1 day)! I just saw a thing that says I'm in the 4th month, which feels much further along (and makes me feel a little better about this big bump I have). 

Size of the Baby? A lemon! Our baby is growing so much. It's officially 3 days ahead on growth, so I'm pretty sure it's going to be big like its brother. Average right now is 3.5 inches and 1.5 ounces. It's turning into a real baby :). 

Sleep? Eh. I can't seem to get the timing right here, between having to get up to use the bathroom and Evan waking up, the sleep is pretty chopping from 4 hours in, onward. I'm hoping it'll get better at some point, but I'm not holding my breath. 

Eating? I've been doing a pretty good job getting my eating back on track and I've been feeling less sick, except when I forget to eat an afternoon snack. So long as I eat every 3 hours, though, I'm pretty good :). I've been hungrier lately, so I'm thinking baby might have been going through a growth spurt. 

Exercise: Great! I've been trying to go on walks most days, plus I tried out my first local prenatal yoga. It was really lovely to do yoga in a class again. It was small, just 3 of us, and didn't have quite the baby/birth focus of the Arizona class, but it was incredibly relaxing and I'm still sore two days later. I'm looking forward to making this a weekly event!

 What I Miss? I still miss my energy. I've been really tired this week, and it's been hard to balance just wanting to sit on the couch and soaking in my last real week of summer with Evan. 

Best Moment? Seeing our baby! Technically this happened in the next week, since I'm a little over 14 weeks, but since it was this morning I'm putting it here. Ed and Evan came along and it was amazing to see how much our baby has grown in the last 7 weeks. It looked like a real baby, and we even got to hear the heart rate. Of course, Evan was petrified of the heartbeat and afterwards kept saying, "Evan all ready to go!" It really is starting to soak in that we are actually having a baby. 

Milestones: Hitting the 4th month! No question that I'm in the 2nd trimester, and no question that I'm pregnant by looking at me (at least from my opinion). I'm excited to share the news with coworkers next week.

Mommy Update: Good! I'm enjoying all my Evan time the last two weeks and glad to be a bit healthier and more active. 

Big Brother Update: Evan has been super cute lately. He's says "no, no, that's okay," whenever he doesn't want to listen/do something. For instance, when we tell him he needs his diaper changed or when we give him food that is too hot to eat. Also, super proud parent moment, we've been reading this butterfly book that he picked out and he's totally figured out the concept of the chrysalis. He can identify it in the book and when we were out for a walk and saw a butterfly, he said it came out of a chrysalis. Such a fun age with so much learning going on!

Baby Update:
Baby continues to be wonderful. I'm still feeling those little baby movement sensations and I'm going to believe they are the real deal until proven otherwise :). 

Friday, July 22, 2016

How Far Along?  13 weeks (technically 13 weeks 4 days - I've been a slacker this week :) ). 

Size of the Baby? A jalapeño. Baby is 3 inches long and weighs almost an ounce! 

Sleep? Well, it was a rough week for sleep, but because we were on a trip and Evan got sick. This meant 4 nights of bedsharing with a restless toddler and no solid sleep for me. Luckily since we've been home, Evan has either slept through the night or only woken up once, so it's been much better.

Eating? I definitely wasn't feeling great at Tahoe, mostly because I was altitude, which generally bothers me a little. That plus not sleeping meant it wasn't surprising I didn't feel great. Still, I'm able to eat pretty normally, and am looking forward to focusing on healthier eating once all of our traveling is done this next week. 

Exercise:  I've definitely been a little more active than last time around, with hiking at least a few times a week. I got to hike twice at Tahoe, which was beautiful. My goal is to get out walking or hiking most every day, and I am planning to sign up to walk a 10k in October. I always wanted to do a race while I was pregnant with Evan and never did, so I don't want to miss my chance this time around. 

 What I Miss? Well, I took sushi off that list because after some additional research, I decided to indulge. Other reputable countries (like the UK) have no issues with women eating raw fish, and the risk of getting sick is only 1 in 2 million, versus 1 in 250,000 eating chicken. It was lovely, but of course ended up not sitting great (see still having morning sickness). Still probably won't indulge that often, and will probably stick with simpler dishes, but it was tasty. I did miss getting to indulge in wine on vacation, and of course feeling rested. 

Best Moment? Sharing Tahoe with Evan for the first time, and, just like at Yosemite, thinking about future trips as a family of 4. 

Milestones: Reaching 2nd Trimester! Today is the "official" day that I am over 1/3 done, as long as this little one doesn't go late. I'm definitely showing, even in loose fitting clothes, and am ready to tell coworkers when I see them in a couple weeks. Non pregnancy milestone is that we are done traveling for the summer! I am thrilled to be just enjoying being home with my boy, especially since this is the last dedicated time I'll have just with Evan for a very long time. I have my NT scan on Tuesday and am nervous/excited so see our baby. 

Mommy Update: I'm generally feeling pretty good! I was definitely feeling exhausted from all the trips (I was only home 9 days in the past 6 weeks!) but it was a great summer. I'm still more tired than not, but hopefully as I keep getting further in the pregnancy and Evan keeps sleeping better, that will change. Now I'm just trying to get back into the swing of work things and getting everything Evan will need to start his new daycare in less than a month!

Baby Update:
I'm sure Baby Lyly is doing great. Just like last time, I sometimes I imagine I can feel it moving around in there. I'm sure I'm just feeling muscle spasms or something, but it's fun to pretend. Of course, last time I didn't feel anything until 23 weeks, so I'm not holding my breath :). Baby can now start sucking it's thumb, which is incredibly cute. Also cute, it can now make facial expressions, including frowns, grimaces, and squinting. More organs are working, including the kidneys, and it's getting lugano (fine, soft hair) over its body to keep warm. Keep growing little one!