Tag Archives: baby

Where the Magic Is

I’ve thought a lot about this baby’s story.

It starts by surprise. We were adamantly not trying to get pregnant. I couldn’t understand having more than two kids because my boys were filling life up so completely: My cup was running over into its saucer and onto the tablecloth and dripping onto the floor.

Now that the Fairy Pig is on her way (it’s a girl baby!), we don’t feel any need to hide the surprise in the story. In fact, the surprise is the best part. It’s the magic. Suddenly poof! Out of nowhere there’s this little piggie. She’s a gift from God.

There aren’t many decisions we make in our lives that aren’t carefully considered, or at least somewhat considered. But here we are in a passing dream. Honey, I dreamt last night that we were having another baby. I was really pregnant. It was crazy. This is the dream path. The path we might imagine but then easily let go of.

There were so many things we were about to do on the real path, the carefully considered one.

I had a pitch email drafted, proposing how I wanted to cover Women’s World Cup this summer in Canada. We were going to drive up the West Coast, doing some of Lewis and Clark’s route in Oregon and Washington, then heading to Vancouver British Columbia for games. I had taken photos of our house to list on one of those vacation home swap sites.

I’d started horseback riding again. Horses are better than the densest sourdough bread, the crackliest pizza crust, the lightest macaroon, the most caramel-drenched sundae. I recently went up and rode with our family friend in Hood River at her barn next to their family’s apple orchard. It had been nine years since I’d been in a saddle, but my muscles remembered. Then I was invited to work with an experienced horsewoman from church who lives close by, and to ride her horse through the winter.

But I had this dream about being pregnant. Honey, last night I had this dream. I went to the doctor and she showed me a picture of a little fairy baby wrapped in a great cloud of unknowing. It was crazy.

The baby is due during Women’s World Cup. I’m prohibited from horseback riding. Plans of launching into the real life are dashed.

Instead we’re given new life. And I’m reminded that I am not in charge. The circumstances of my life are here by grace, and I need to learn to let go. The letting go has been surprisingly more peaceful than I’d imagined. I like who I am working on growing into now—after five months of emotional and spiritual exercise and physical changes—more than I like the person whom I saw myself becoming.

And we have this magical story to tell.

At first I was worried, Will this child feel unwanted because we were done growing our family before her? Should we talk about the fact that there is no greater surprise in our lives than this baby? But we realized that the magic is the surprise. God gave her to us with a fierce soul that wouldn’t be deterred by any of our plans, and now she’s working on making us better.

That Moment Just Before Baby Poops in the Tub (Wordless Wednesday)

Things were going so well.

It's About to Get Real. MomsicleBlog

A Birth Story (No Drugs, No Furbies)

Having a baby is unpredictable, which is pretty cool, if not totally nerve-racking.

There aren’t too many things in our lives that are truly unpredictable. No matter what, there’s mystery in childbirth: How much will the baby weigh? What will she look like? Will he be healthy?

Not to mention the labor. I’ve found that no matter how “prepared” you are, it still seems impossible that you will come out of delivery with a little human being. It’s more likely you’ll leave with a monkey or a bag or marbles or four little mechanized stuffed animals.

But then there he is: Baby Woww!*

*K-Pants can’t say the baby’s name so he calls him Baby WOWWWWW, and I think we’ll stick with that, though I was personally torn between L-Socks, Lil’ Fuss, and Le Milkshake.

I delivered Baby Woww with no drugs, which was a totally awesome experience (the oxytocin-fueled amnesia is already kicking in). With K-Pants I got an epidural at eight centimeters–my overall calm had just left on a motorcycle and I was about to eat off my husband’s shoulder.

But K-Pants’s delivery left me with doubts: Could I have gone all the way?

I wanted to see.

My first labor was less than twelve hours so I knew I had a fighting chance with number two: likelihood was low that it would be long. And I was serious about getting ready: reading, prayer, tons of exercise and stretching, and envisioning the experience.

A week before labor started I was at three centimeters, and by the time labor started in earnest, I was at five. With that head start it took just under five hours to get Baby Woww into the world.

Now if you talk to Jessica Alba or Gisele Bündchen, you’ll hear that drug-free childbirth is very zen, pretty much like yoga. I think they did more preparation than me. Also, they are famous. But I try not to beat myself up–I mean you are pushing a baby out, so it’s hard for that to feel like yoga the whole time.

However, I did maintain quite a bit of calm with the help of my support team (I’m not sure how long the calm lasted because labor is a time warp–it could have been twelve minutes or four hours).

There was one point toward the end when my mind tried to bail on my body. Here’s how that went down:

Mind: Hey! Body! Can we be done now? I’ve definitely had enough.
Mind: I said, we’re done. That’s enough. I tried.
Body: That’s nice, but YOU ARE ALONG. FOR. THE. RIDE.
Mind: No. I make the decisions! And I might get the anesthesiol…
Mind: Are you sure it’s maybe not Furbies…?

By this point my course was already charted: this baby was coming. From my vantage point three weeks later, it’s nice to know that sometimes things just have to get done, and your mind will move aside.

The biggest difference this time around when the baby came was the sheer fact he was here. I was afraid that the last stage of labor would go on…and on…and on. But no! Eventually something has to give. A real baby arrived. And he started nursing right away.

Welcome to the world Baby Woww!

Furbies courtesy of Tumblr.

Advice on Welcoming a Second Child

Here we go barreling toward the due date for baby number two. There’s no time for denial: This thing is happening. Life will change…again. So it’s time to sit back, get dramatic, and look for a place for the baby to sleep.

I know there will be tears—baby tears, toddler tears, mom tears. My husband won’t melt down, but he’ll probably come close trying to put out all the fires burning around him. Beyond these facts, I’m not sure what to expect.

So I decided to get proactive and go to *my* Real Housewives of New Jersey (Donna and Kim) for some advice from the Garden State on how to handle the day when the second turtle finally arrives.

Donna is a dear friend who just had her third baby, so she can spout out tips for the second as easily as she can make chicken nuggets, drop kids off at swim class, and change a diaper all at once.

Kim is an awesome mom-of-two and blogger over at Let Me Start By Saying… who always has sage advice and humor to offer. I particularly enjoy the humor, but right now I need the advice more.

I know a number of moms who are pregnant or due with their second, or just thinking about a second some time in the future. This one’s for you, ladies! …and dads, too, because this is good advice for all involved.

Here’s what Kim has to say…

  1. Line up help, but set guidelines.  Decide how many people can be in your home and for how long.  Room for one guest or three?  Allow your sister to come but not her kids?  Want your mom to come stay at your home but your mother-in-law to stay close by and only visit during the day? Figure it out, be honest about your needs, and stick to them. Help should be actually helpful, not stressful.
  2. Have your help lined up to do these things:
    1. Feed you.
    2. Take care of kid #1.
    3. Watch kid #2 when you need to shower.
    4. Run errands for you.
    5. Clean up the house around you.
  3. Look at your partner’s schedule and then whomever is offering help. Make sure the days are covered for a solid month, if not more. If that means signing kid #1 up for camp or classes or daycare for a couple hours a day, just do it.
  4. Help kid #1 with the transition. He got all the attention for a long time, and a new baby will take most of that away.  Carve out some special “You & Me” time with him every day—whether it’s bath time, watching a movie, reading a book, going to lunch…anything.
  5. Give kid #1 “important” jobs. For example:
    1. Bringing you the diaper/wipes/changing pad.
    2. Holding the bottle to feed baby.
    3. Selecting a special toy for the crib/car seat/playpen.
    4. Getting you water to drink when you’re nursing.
    5. Singing songs or reading books to help baby go to sleep.
    6. Making “artwork” to hang in baby’s room.
  6. Keep the diaper bag prepared. Out and about is much trickier with two kids. Don’t leave the house without something to entertain #1 (book, crayons, snacks, water, etc.) when #2 needs you (changing, nursing, feeding, crying, etc.). Always have at least 2 diapers on you, even when going to the corner store. The Rule is that the less prepared you are, the bigger poop disaster there will be.
  7. Remember that you are human, too, and have needs. Having two kids, especially if both are little, is very draining. You need to eat, drink, sleep, rest, and have some YOU thing each day. A recorded TV show, your favorite food, a girlfriend to come over and chat about something other than cracked nipples, a glass of really good wine, a trashy magazine to read while nursing…make it happen!

Stay tuned for Donna’s advice later this week…