It’s not really guacamole.
Amélie had her first bite of solid food last weekend – really, my kids need to stop growing up already – and we went the slightly less-traditional route. Skipping over rice cereal, we went straight for the green goodness that is avocado. I’m not sure how much she actually got and I think we’re going to wait a little longer before we give her another try. Not that she didn’t like it, but I don’t think she got the whole keeping the food in the mouth and not thrusting it out with her tongue thing.
Sometimes I wonder if you’ll look back at pictures of your infancy and think your mother is weird. Are you going to look at them and say, “Wow. My mom was a dirty hippie.”
Or…are the things I’m doing now going to be the norm when you are a mom yourself? I hope that’s true. I hope it’s not going to be weird to cloth diaper your kids and breastfeed them until they are ready to wean themselves and wear them as much as they want to be worn – even on your back!
You should know, that I didn’t expect to be this mom. When I was pregnant with your sister, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to be like and, for the most part, I failed. With you. Well, with you, I knew what I was getting myself into. So, I toss you over my shoulder and walk around the zoo in 100 degree heat, you sleeping happily against my neck.
I hope you don’t think I’m weird.
Love you always,
Your (dirty hippie) mother
- Likes: Chewing on Sophie (and your dinosaur and your hands and whatever else you can get a hold of), snuggling before bedtime
- Dislikes: Bedtime
- New Skills: Rolling over (back to belly), scooting yourself around in a circle
- Weight: 14 pounds, 1 ounce
- Height/Length: 25 inches
My favorite time of day is the early morning (usually around 5 am). Not because I want to be awake – because I don’t – but because that is when you are often waking up for the first time. The sun is thinking about coming up and the light in our bedroom is a bluish gray. Everything is washed in that color. I wish I could take a picture of that light in such a way that it would do it justice. I love that light. I love it because you want to snuggle with me. After your early morning nursing session, still drowsy from milk and a trickle of it running across your cheek, I let you lay in the crook of my arm, your head resting on my bicep. You smile in your sleep and your hands flutter and grab at my skin.
I want to freeze time. I want to live in those moments before you are fully awake and revel in your babyhood. My second little girl. The days are flying by. Since I last wrote, you’ve attended a wedding:
Started to smile:
Played with your sister:
Slept through trips to the zoo (yes, that’s you snuggled in there)
And the Magic House.
While your first two months were easy – really, I lucked out and got the easiest newborn ever with you – the last month has been a struggle. But we’ve survived. We survived your first nursing strike. (You are making it known that you are not your sister, throwing me for a loop with something she never did.) Your awake more now which is good and bad. Good because I get to see your smiles and hear your giggles. Bad because that means I need to adjust again and learn how to split my time between you and your sister. I still haven’t gotten it right.
I promise it will get better. I thought a family of three was perfect but now I’m really digging being four.
Love you forever and ever,
A Few Vital Stats:
- Likes: When Lorelei and I sing “Mahna Mahna,” people blowing gently on your face, watching baseball on the television, chewing on your dinosaur rattle (when Lorelei lets you have it)
- Dislikes: Napping, being held in the cradle position (especially when you are most definitely NOT hungry), carseats
- New Skills: So, so, so very close to rolling over, sitting in the Bumbo for 5 minutes before you start to tip over)
- Weight: 12 pounds, 14 ounces (as of 5/30/12)
More than a month has already flown by. I remember when your sister was born, time seemed to drag. Days were endless and difficult. Not with you. You are easy. A happy little nugget, content most of the time no matter where you are – unless you are hungry and then all bets are off.
Your favorite thing to do right now (other than eat and sleep) is to lie on your playmat on the porch. A combination of sunlight and a gentle breeze can calm you. For some reason, it must be outside on the porch. You could be doing the same thing inside and start to get fussy, but the slight change of scenery seems to perk your right back up.
It’s still strange to find us as a family of four but there are definitely days when it seems that you’ve always been here. Your sister loves you but she is reluctant to share her toys – even her old baby toys which she has barely touched in a year. But when you cry she says, “It’s alright, Amélie.” She will even pat you gently on the arm. You are lucky to have such a great big sister and she is very luck to have you as a little sister.
We are all very lucky and we love you lots and lots.
Warning: I’m going to be talking about birth in this post. I will try to keep it relatively clean, but birth is messy. If you are squeamish, or you just don’t want to know this stuff about me, I would skip the words and just look at the pictures (those are safe, promise).
March 2, Friday night, just around midnight, I was startled awake. Was that my water breaking? I’m no stranger to peeing myself a little bit in the middle of the night. It was a fairly regular occurrence during my entire pregnancy – second pregnancies are even more glamourous than the first! – and not something that ever really bothered me. This was…different. Since I had my water broken at the hospital with Lorelei, I wasn’t sure what to expect so after using the bathroom I went back to bed, thinking I would just wait and see. A few minutes later, I was up again. No. That was definitely not just me peeing myself. I stood in the bathroom as a small puddle of pinkish liquid formed on the floor. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.
I cleaned up. Brian went to work, calling our friends over to watch Lorelei, changing the sheets. I pulled on some clothes and got out a ratty old gray towel to sit on while we waited. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat once I checked into the hospital, I shoved handfuls of pecans into my mouth while we waited.
I waddled back into Pregnancy Assessment – having spent the night before there for contractions that lasted all day but then mysteriously went away – and hoped that I wasn’t wrong about it as they checked me in again. Then I waited. I wasn’t having any strong contractions, so it was actually kind of nice to just sit there and joke around with Brian (poop is hilarious until it happens to you). The nurse couldn’t get a good sample to actually see if my water had broken so I had to wait for the on call doctor to come by and check me with a speculum. Not fun. While I waited for her to return, my water really, really broke. There was the huge gush of liquid that the movies make you think you’re going to have.
Still no real contractions.
I was checked in and sent down the hall to Labor and Delivery. I was on the clock. I was given two hours for my contractions to show up and some progress to be made. If nothing had happened at the end of those two hours, my labor was going to be augmented with Pitocin. Two hours went by. Still nothing. So, Pitocin it was.
It took awhile for it to kick in. They started me off and a very low dose of it and upped it every twenty minutes. Brian and I watched Dr Who. I was starting to finally feel something by the time Brian went off to get himself a little breakfast but I was optimistic enough to ask the nurse if maybe we could go for a walk when he got back. That never happened. It was shift change and we got a new nurse. By the time Brian had returned from his breakfast excursion, she was getting everything set up and I was starting to be in a lot of pain. I went from Oh that’s kinda uncomfortable to Holy shit that fucking hurts.
Let me pause and say here that I went into this hoping for a drug free birth. Or at least, one where I didn’t have an epidural. I was delivering in a hospital and I know that they have rules once your water breaks, so I was prepared for the possibility of Pitocin much as I didn’t want it.
So…Sometime that morning. Six o’clock? Seven? Things really got going. I was having lots of contractions and they were extremely strong and extremely painful (thanks Pitocin!) At this point, details get a little fuzzy. I sat up in bed, my legs crossed for awhile. That got uncomfortable so I sat on the birthing ball next to the bed for awhile. That got uncomfortable so it was back to sitting in bed. I was trying but I started to feel like I had hit a wall. My tolerance for pain had been reached. I kept telling Brian, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” Around 9:30, I got an epidural. Do you know what is worse than contractions? Trying to sit still through them while someone sticks a needle in your back.
Much like with Lorelei, shortly after they had finished administering the epidural, I was ready to push. Unlike with Lorelei, however, I only pushed a few times. None of this two hours of pushing nonsense this time. At 10:36, little Amélie Sophia came into the world. All of seven pounds, fourteen ounces. And then we were a family of four.
It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t what I wanted. There were things working against me. But, look what I got. In the end it doesn’t matter.
I asked Brian this morning if we could have more babies. I got a pretty enthusiastic “YES!” from him.
There are just some moments that are so completely perfect that I can easily forget all the moments that have been bad. I can forget my frustration with Lorelei’s tantrums and refusal to eat. I can forget the several hour long nursing sessions with Amélie in the middle of the night.
The weather has been particularly nice the last few days and we took advantage of the warmer temperatures to sit on our porch in the late afternoon sun.
We’re still trying to find our rhythm, adjusting to life as a family of four. I overdid it the last few days so while Brian takes Lorelei to the zoo (without us!), the littlest one and I will be here. Sleeping and cuddling and watching bad television. I may even read while she naps on my chest. It’s good. Very good.