Tag Archives: infants

And then there were four…

Well, mamas, I’ve got an announcement: I’m pregnant again!

My husband and I are officially expecting our second child, due on March 3rd. No news yet on the baby’s sex, but we should be able to find out during our ultrasound in October. Since I love a) spoilers and b) planning ahead as much as possible, you can bet that I am counting down the days!

I am so excited to be able to share this news with you. It has been incredibly hard over the past couple of months to not be able to write about the ups and downs of the first trimester – especially when I know how great a resource of support we have in this village.

Being pregnant this second time has been a lot harder than with my first. The exhaustion and the nausea have been much worse than I experienced with my son. At one point a few weeks ago, I asked a good friend of mine, “When was the last time you were nauseous every day for months?” It wasn’t until I said it out loud and saw his eyes widen that it hit me what a physical toll being pregnant can take a body, even from the very beginning. And I know that many, many women have it worse than me.

Here’s what they don’t tell you about being pregnant when you already have one or more small children, (though it should be pretty obvious): toddlers don’t care that you’re pregnant. My son doesn’t understand that I feel sick and need extra rest. He’s busy being two and experiencing all the intensity of his brain developing at an incredible rate. He needs me to be the best, most patient mom I can be, day in and day out – even when all I want to do is find a comfortable position to lie in while I figure out what I might be able to stomach for dinner.

For all you mamas out there with older children, I know this doesn’t stop at toddlerhood. I distinctly remember, as a teenager, chasing my poor pregnant mother around the house making waterfall noises when I knew she had to pee. (I am SO sorry, Mom. That was totally a dick move.)

But the thing is, even with all its challenges, it’s the joy I find in being a parent to my son that makes me even more excited to meet our new little babe. Last week at my midwife appointment, I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, and it was just as thrilling as when I heard my son’s tiny heart thumping away – long before I had any real sense of how much my life was about to change.

I’m so glad this cat’s finally out of the bag! I am looking forward to sharing these next few months with all of you mamas out there, and to hear about your experiences in this crazy world of second-time motherhood.

 

pregnancy-announcement

Advertisements

The Mom Guilt Catch-22: Crazy If You Do, Lazy If You Don’t

Recently, I had an awesome day with my infant son. At 11 weeks into my mat leave, our day while my husband was at work included:

  1. Put the baby down for his first nap.
  2. Have a shower.
  3. Take care of some overdue mat-leave-related admin with my employer.
  4. Walk to the cafe for a caffeine fix.
  5. Host a date with other moms and their babes in the backyard, chatting and playing.
  6. Have lunch.
  7. Take a walk with another soon-to-be-mama friend, then sit on her porch sipping sparkling water with coconut.
  8. Stop to grab a few groceries on the way home.

Idyllic, no?

Of course, this day also included feedings and naps, diaper changes, songs and tummy time interaction, but these all turned out to be pretty convenient to what I wanted to do anyway – NOT always the case!

On the surface, I could take this as an achieved life goal – as you may know, I’ve been trying to take more of a paternity leave this time around. And this day seemed to fit the bill. I seem to recall that when my husband was on parental leave, the story he would often tell me about his day included a lot of playing and socializing, and not a lot of stress, chores, disappointment or guilt.

So on one hand, I feel I should be proud of myself. I’m successfully avoiding the isolated, lonely difficulty that befalls so many women on mat leave, right?

On the other hand, I felt guilty in the back of my mind for the entirety of that day. Continue reading

Time to Press the Reset Button… Sigh.

Sometimes, I talk such a good game that I fool even myself.

I’ve written on this blog about all sorts of ways that I make myself feel better in times of stress. I’ve written about setting my feelings down beside me and leaving them alone, about allowing things to be #goodenough, and about giving myself a break when I take on unreasonable expectations.

Particularly, I recently wrote about allowing myself to enjoy the infant pace of life that I find myself consigned to with a newborn baby at home. And this has been working, for the most part. I’ve really been enjoying my mat leave.

But last night, Continue reading

Fingers Crossed! Little Things Seem Big

It continually amazes me how much parenting puts at stake, even in things that seem – objectively – very small.

Our two-month old has been sleeping pretty well, better than we could have expected, so of course we decided it was time to mess with that. We decided last night to try having him sleep in a different place – just eight feet away from his usual spot, and still in his same baby bed. We did the same bedtime routine, and put him down at the same time. So why did this seem like such a big deal? Well, because moving him eight feet meant putting him in his brother’s room. Yep: we’re trying to get 2 under 2 to share at night.

Continue reading

Less is More: Baby Sleep

I’ve been avoiding writing anything about this for the past few weeks, in fear of mocking the baby sleep gods with my own hubris and being struck down with a plague of wakeful nights. But I’m going to risk it.

My. Baby. SLEEPS! He sleeps during the day, and he sleeps almost through the night. He started needing only one feed each night (meaning after went to bed) at about 3 weeks old. By six weeks he was consistently giving me 6-7 hour stretches of nighttime sleep when he went to bed at around 8 or 9pm. Today, he’s two months old, and last night he slept for a fabulous 9h 22m straight (thanks, tracking app!)

My first kiddo did not do this. The existence of a four-month sleep “regression” shocked me as I read about it in my Baby Center email. What did they mean, going back to night wakings??? We’d never left that party. By the time he was over a year old, little Arlo still woke up crying for bottles sometimes, and we went through long ‘stages’ where John would somehow end up sleeping with him in the basement guest bed halfway through most nights.

So I’m sure you can understand my elation at the good fortune I’ve had with Mr. Remi. Sometimes I’m sure it’s nothing but a stroke of luck, and I’m just riding the train out, waiting for that other shoe to drop. But sometimes, sometimes, I think I know why he sleeps better than my first – and I think it’s… my doing. I know, I know – I’m waiting for the lightning bolt from the angry gods above for even thinking such blasphemy, let alone writing it down. But here it is:

Continue reading

6 Things My Husband Taught Me About Mat Leave

There’s a lot of bad stereotypes about men caring for children. The Bumbling Dad is its own pop culture trope, and a quick image search for “when dad is left alone with kids” finds:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 13.06.33.png

The caregiving bar is set pretty low for dads. They’re expected by society at large to be lazy, reckless, selfish, and to just generally not take the job seriously. With our first child, my husband and I shared parental leave. And on the surface, it might have looked like he fulfilled some of those stereotypes:

  • Frequently left lunch dishes on the table until they had to be cleared away to make room for our dinner? Check.
  • Enjoy whole days where nary a chore or task seemed to cross his mind? Check
  • Take more naps than I did when I was on leave? Check.
  • Feed our son more fries and Goldfish crackers than I would have been okay with? Check.
  • Take silly, sometimes scary photos/videos to show me at the end of a workday (like the time his friend captured a shot of my 10-month old being thrown so high in the air that Dad’s hands were entirely absent from the picture)? Check.

Yet, despite these things, I’m trying to take more of a ‘paternity’ leave myself with baby #2.  Because more important than any of those tangible differences are the bigger picture, truly invaluable things I learned from watching my husband on parental leave:

Continue reading

Alternate Lullabies?

For a fun post today, thought I’d offer a list of some songs I like to sing to my wee guy; I wanted to expand our repertoire beyond rock-a-bye-baby and you-are-my-sunshine pretty quickly. Some of these I just love for the melody that lulls him to a drowsy state, and others because the words of certain love songs almost seem like they should  have been written about the love of a parent for their child, rather than romantic love.

(Please note songs are listed in no particular order with the source of the version I have in my head when I sing them, not necessarily by the original artist or songwriter.)

“At Last,” Etta James
“The Book of Love,” Magnetic Fields
“The Nearness of You,” Norah Jones
“To Meet You,” Teitur
“At Last I See the Light,” from the movie Tangled
“Asleep at Last,” the Wailin’ Jennys
“Absence of Fear,” Jewel
“Love,” from the movie Robin Hood (Disney)
“Feelin’ Good,” Michael Buble

I’d love more suggestions for tunes I could add to the mental library, so let me know what you sing to your wee one in the comments!

~ Lindsay

%d bloggers like this: