3 Month Update (Ivor Alan)

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This sleepy guy is 3 months old today! What a handsome, happy boy he is. Here’s what’s new:

*Well, this was new last month actually I just forgot to mention it, but he sleeps through the night! I hesitated to even mention it now though because I know how rare it is and how lucky we are. Someone in Whole Foods told me last year, when I shared that Gwen was sleeping through the night around 3 months, that I should never tell any other mom that, ever, lest they all hate me. But…she asked first! What was I going to do, lie? I’m not a liar. Sorry. You want to know how we’re all sleeping? (Let’s be honest, the topic almost always comes up after you have a baby). Well, if you ask I’m going to tell you the truth. It’s not my fault if you can’t handle it. That is all. (and for the record, we still went through some rough patches with Gwen throughout the first year, it wasn’t all happy sleepy time all the time). Anyway, I share it here so I remember (this is basically my online baby book for the kids), not to rub it in anyone’s face. I’m also well aware of possible “sleep regression” in the coming months, but for now… I am enjoying the sleep!

Moving on.

*He is so very smiley! He does have his moments- like when he’s in a particularly clingy mood and I dare leave the room without him, you’d think I just abandoned him on the street or something the way he screams and looks at me like I just betrayed him. BUT, most of the time he’s a very happy boy, giving the biggest, sweetest smiles ever. Especially when I’m changing his diaper or getting him dressed. He thinks it’s so funny when I put his shirt over head 🙂

*He loves bath time. It puts him in such a peaceful mood. He especially loves when I pour water over his head and scrub behind his ears.

*He’s becoming a lot more vocal and “talks” to the hanging toys on his swing, bouncer and play mat.

*He still won’t take a pacifier. This baffles me. I’ve tried different styles, but he isn’t interested in any of them. Either he acts like I’m trying to gag him when I stick it in his mouth, or he spits it out after a few seconds.

*Gwen is starting to “play” with him a bit more now. She makes all of her stuffed animals give him kisses (and provides kissing sound effects to go with it lol). It’s kind of adorable. And of course, he thinks it’s hilarious. It makes me sooooo look forward to when he’s a little older and really can play with her more. I was told that it will make my heart bust seeing the two of them play together, and I believe it! When Gwen walks over to him and uses her sweet higher pitched voice to talk baby talk to him and he smiles back at her……ugh. I can’t even handle that.

*He’s growing right out of his 3-month clothing already. I still haven’t put away his newborn clothes yet. I just can’t. Partly because I haven’t found the time, partly because I’m in denial that he’s not a newborn anymore.

That is all for now. Happy 3 months little dude 🙂

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1-Month Update (little Ivor)

I blinked and he’s a month old now. Seems like just yesterday I was going for walks every day trying to induce labor, thinking I’d be pregnant forever. Never mind that I didn’t even make it to my due date. For women who go past your due date, I don’t know how you stay sane! Anyway, here we are now with 4 weeks and change under our belt (and I’ve only gone for 1 walk…meh, I’ll get my groove back eventually).

I’m happy to report that we’re finally getting more sleep at night. Week 2 to 3 was by far the hardest- the worst sleeping nights of my life. He was “cluster feeding” for hours. Only taking 5-10 min breaks. I’d nurse him, he’d appear to have fallen asleep, so I’d put him down and then 5-10 mins later….”waaaaaaaaaaaa FEED ME AGAIN NOW!!”. It was not a good time. I envied my toddler who sleeps 12 hours a night. I wanted to crawl into her crib and hide. But thankfully things have been much better this past week. Only waking once or twice throughout the night. Hooray! Here’s hoping this is the new normal.

He’s growing well and gaining weight (9lbs 10oz, 22inches long at his checkup on Monday). He’s starting to be a tad more interactive- looking at us and smirking/smiling. Making a few other sounds, other than crying. He’s quite the little snuggler- loves burying his face on me whenever I’m holding him.

I’m still learning how to manage our home while caring for 2 kiddos. It will be much easier once the little man has a more consistent schedule. For now I’m just winging it and taking advantage of nap times/quiet playtime to get stuff done. Sometime soon I’d like to add “getting out of the house more often” to our routine. I’m determined to actually attend a playgroup on a somewhat regular basis. I want the kids to have friends. (And it couldn’t hurt to have more of them myself). Adult conversation, with people other than my husband. Necessary.

Anyway, happy 1-month to the little dude! I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring 🙂

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And coming soon, my daughter is getting older and cuter and smarter every day. I can’t seem to slow down time and keep her my tiny baby anymore. Waaaa 🙁

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Embracing the Crazy

Today was the doctor’s appointment. Gwen’s 15-month checkup and Ivor’s 1-month. Big Ivor was at work. So I was on my own with both kids. It started off well:

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Look at her, sitting there all happy and content eating her snack during her brother’s part of the visit.

I wish I could say she stayed this happy the whole time.

Once the doc left the room after Ivor’s exam and I started getting his clothes back on, Gwen decided to hop off the chair and start exploring the office.

Sigh.

Then when the doc came back in for Gwen’s portion of the visit, little Ivor started screaming his head off. So first I tried rocking his carseat with my foot, while trying to hold Gwen still and keep her from opening drawers, pulling things off shelves, etc. all while attempting to listen to what the doc was saying. He still screamed. She still squirmed. So then I decided to pick him up and hold him while the doctor examined Gwen. She was less than cooperative for most of her exam. Swatting away the doctor’s hand, thrashing her body all around, screaming. Especially when she got her shots.  I had switched out little Ivor for Gwen at that point, so he was back in his carseat screaming, and she was in my arms screaming, while the nurse poked her with a needle.

Then I got them both strapped into the double stroller and out we rolled through the lobby, with every eye on us. Thankfully it’s a pediatric doctor’s office, so everyone there was a parent and “got it”. Still couldn’t help but feel like quite the spectacle though lol.

All that to say, it didn’t upset me or stress me out (surprisingly). Was it fun? No. Would I want to do it again? No. But we survived. And I don’t have unrealistic expectations of a toddler and a newborn in a doctor’s office getting poked and prodded.

The scene in that office is my life now. Sure, it’s a little crazy. But instead of fighting it or letting it ruin my day, I’m embracing it! We have lots of great moments (yesterday’s church outing, for example, couldn’t have gone smoother!) Right now they’re both content and quiet, allowing me to write this post.

Gwen has started *attempting* to say “I love you” (after you say it first). And little Ivor has started smiling at us.

As someone recently said in a comment on a friend’s facebook page about having kids, “yes, my hands are full, but my heart is fuller.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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2 Weeks, No Sleep

I had forgotten certain things about having a newborn/baby. Yes, Gwen is still my baby…but she’s more of a toddler now. And her toddler activities and the whole pregnancy thing made the last year a blur. So as I’ve been spending the past few nights awake with a tiny human feeding off of me ALL NIGHT, wondering what in the world was going on…it became clear and I remembered those pesky things called…growth spurts. Brief periods of time during a baby’s first year that they act like they’re STARVING and need to eat 24/7. Growing is a good thing. Meeting milestones is a good thing. I get that this needs to happen and the result is good. But for a nursing mama it’s kind of an exhausting process. As my toddler and my husband snooze away at 3am, I’m awake…sitting up in bed with a baby on my boob. Hoping that maybe THIS time when I lay him back down he’ll actually sleep for longer than 1 hour. A solid hour is all I ask for at 3am. Is it too much to ask?

Sigh.

It goes by quickly. It goes by quickly.

Fortunately at his 2-week check up this morning it was confirmed that he has indeed grown. He’s up to 8 1/2 lbs now and 21 1/4 inches long. His head is bigger too. Always reassuring. I’ll be taking BOTH kids in for a check-up in about 2 weeks. It will be Gwen’s 15-month and Ivor’s 1-month. It will likely be the first time taking them somewhere by myself too as that day is also (big) Ivor’s first day back to work. Waa. Pray for me.

Aside from the lack of sleep, we are doing well. He’s such a sweet, handsome little guy. He loves to cuddle and poop in clean diapers 2.5 seconds after I put them on him. When he’s awake, he’s very alert and looks all around and studies faces and objects. He makes lots of funny faces and noises (grunts and squeaks). He doesn’t seem to be phased at all by his sister’s loudness. Speaking of, Gwen has started giving him kisses! I melt.

Also, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has brought a meal to us. We appreciate it SO much! I especially love when these meals include cookies…and wine. Seriously, it’s the best ever. THANK YOU 🙂

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Boy, That Escalated Quickly- a birth story :)

The much anticipated birth story of our 2nd blessing- Ivor Alan Griffiths.

It began on Sunday, June 1st, when I woke up and started getting ready for church. Super mild braxton hicks contractions started happening. It wasn’t anything different than what I had been feeling for the past 2 months or so. Noticeable “practice contractions” as they’re described. Not the least bit painful, just noticeable. The only difference this time was the frequency. Up until then I had only felt about 2-3 each day. But now they were coming about 2-3 every hour. So I just began keeping track of them to see how long they lasted and how frequently they were coming. About 10-15 mins apart, lasting about 1 min each. But they weren’t getting any stronger or lasting longer so I just went about my day as usual. We went to the grocery store after church, ate lunch, watched some TV, took Gwen for a walk, cooked dinner, etc.

And right around dinner time is when I noticed a difference in the strength of these “practice” contractions. They were definitely stronger than before. They got my attention and made me have to close my eyes and breathe through most of them. Still easily managed, but just required some focus. From about 6pm-10pm I kept track of them. They were coming a little more frequently now, about 7-10 mins apart. Still lasting about 1-1:30 mins each. Since this had been going on all day, and there was a noticeable change in strength, we decided it was probably time to call my doctor. The call was made around 10pm I believe. She said to give it another hour and if the contractions remained the same, or started coming more frequently, to go ahead and get to the hospital. She knew that I wanted to do as much of the laboring on my own as possible, without any meds, so she was comfortable having me wait a bit longer and labor more at home. If I definitely planned on getting an epidural, she would’ve had me come in right then.

So we double-checked the hospital bag, threw in some last minute things. Ivor decided to shave, only to have his razor die about 10 seconds in, so he looked fantastic 😉 We were both kind of giddy at this point, realizing this was probably it. Part of me still didn’t want to get my hopes up though because I didn’t want to get sent home for “false labor”. Not sure why it takes me awhile to believe I’m actually in labor. Even with Gwen, when my WATER BROKE to start labor, I wasn’t convinced until we got to the hospital and they told me “yes, you’re in real labor”. Anyway, Ivor charged his razor and was able to finish his shave. Meanwhile I kept track of the contractions. They started out great- the same frequency and strength as before (which would mean we were going to the hospital). But then toward the end of that hour window we were given, they started to vary, getting farther apart. Sigh. It was almost midnight at this point and I was sleepy. Ivor had already started drifting off. I figured if I was to get any rest at all, I should try then. See if I could sleep through these contractions. And I did sleep…for about 2 hours. Until the contractions woke me up. Another increase in strength. Definitely could not ignore these! I woke Ivor up and told him we needed to leave right away. And off we went.

We checked in at the hospital at 3:20am on 6/2. I got set up for “labor evaluation” and my nurse checked me. I was 5-6cm dilated and completely effaced. She felt the “bulging water bag” and predicted it would break soon. Labor evaluation complete: this was the real thing. That’s when Ivor sent out the initial messages to family and close friends that the little man was on his way!

I was still managing contractions well on my own and the baby was doing great. So we did some walking around the halls, which definitely helped move things along…as the contractions came way more frequently whenever I did so. My OB arrived to check on me around 6:30am. She asked if I wanted her to break my water bag, since it hadn’t yet broken on its own, to help speed things up…but she warned me that contractions would get more intense and there might not be time for an epidural (or I’d have very little time to make a decision on that). I decided to just let her do it.  “The sooner this is all over, the better. I want this little guy out,” I thought. So she checked me and I was now 7-8cm dilated. I was so happy! We were almost there. She said she’d check back in with me in an hour and that there would be a good chance I’d be ready to push then.

In the meantime, they wanted to monitor the baby so I was sitting in bed and didn’t really notice the contractions getting “way more intense” like I was told they would. So when my doctor came back in and I said things still kinda felt the same, she told me to get up and move around, which I apparently could’ve been doing anyway because the cords I was hooked up to for monitoring stretch pretty far. Wish I would’ve noticed that.

So, here’s where Ron Burgundy comes in.

When I got out of bed and started moving around the room, things got out of hand quickly. The contractions quadrupled in intensity and I started to feel nauseated, and overheated, like I might pass out. Transition. After about 4-5 of them I made Ivor get the nurse back in the room. She tried talking to me to see how I wanted to get through this final stage, not knowing how quickly this stage was going to go. Do you want to go in the shower and sit on the birthing ball, take Fentanyl (the pain med that “takes the edge off”), etc? But the epidural was for sure out of the question at this point. No time. And as she was trying to talk to me, we kept getting interrupted by contractions coming one right after the other. At some point I said “get me the fentanyl now”. 

And probably a minute later, “I need to push”. So much for the fentanyl idea. No time for that either.

Then everyone was suddenly in the room rushing for delivery, getting me into a better pushing position.

And I’m screaming in agony, feeling as though death were imminent.

I remember them telling me to grab my legs, tuck my chin and push with the next contraction. But in that moment, that was a ridiculous request and I couldn’t imagine being able to do such a thing. Doing anything other than lying there screaming in pain was impossible.

But then the impossible happened. I listened and did what they said. And in about 2 pushes, in 2 mins, he was out and in my arms at 7:55am.

The total time from “I need to push” to “look at your baby!”….5 mins tops?

That’s basically how everyone in the room felt lol. We all just looked around at each other like “well that just happened!”. By the way, my poor nurse had just started her shift when I was transitioning. Our introduction was basically “I’ll take that fentanyl now—wait, I need to push”, aaaaand “here’s your baby!”

I couldn’t believe that happened. I still can’t. Giving birth without any pain meds was something I always wished I could do, but never thought possible.  I always knew I’d give in at some point. I’m a pansy. And I did give in…remember when I asked for the Fentanyl about 1 min before saying I need to push? Yeah. And I certainly didn’t expect to push him out so quickly either. Birth is a crazy thing. So unpredictable. But I am so thankful for such a positive experience with a great support team- my doctor and the nurses were amazing, as was my husband. He’s just as vocal, if not more-so, than the nurses lol. Hearing his voice the whole time and his encouragement meant so much to me and helped me get through that. When I said “I can’t”, he said “yes you can”. And I believed him. He’s an amazing husband.

And the result of this crazy, beautiful, whirlwind of a story…our baby boy:

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He is so precious and we are so in love with him already. He’s soft and warm and cuddly. I had missed having a little newborn 🙂 I didn’t miss the being up all night thing. No, not so much. But I know how quickly time passes and before I know it, he’ll be a toddler causing trouble with his big sister.

I can’t believe we’re a family of 4. We are so blessed. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us and wished us well and encouraged us. Please don’t stop doing that! We’ll need it now more than ever as life with “2 under 2” begins. I’m sure it will make for very entertaining blog posts, so stay tuned 🙂

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Stroller Peekers

One of the things I’ve discovered since becoming a mom, is that you can’t go out in public with your little one without complete strangers striking up a conversation with you, simply because you’re pushing a stroller. I certainly don’t mind it, but I wasn’t expecting it. Especially the “stroller peekers”. The ones who walk right up to you, unannounced and uninvited, peek into your stroller and comment on your child. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always a happy encounter with lots of “awww’s” and “omg’s” and “congrats!” It just takes me by surprise. Such boldness lol. They always ask the same opening questions, “how old?” and “how are you and the little one sleeping?”. My favorite though was outside of an ice cream shop last week- a man, about my Dad’s age, looked over at us and smiled (so I knew it was coming)….”Whatcha got in there??”. Well, sir, that would be my daughter. He then proceeded to tell us that his “baby” is 30 years old and they’re anxiously awaiting grandbabies. I hope he gets one soon 🙂

So because of this new development, I’ve decided to get this onesie for Gwen to wear whenever she goes out with daddy alone:

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Hehe 🙂

Anyway- I’m hoping all these “stroller peeking” encounters remain positive instead of turning into advice-giving encounters. I’m sure some veteran mommys out there have stories they could tell of such encounters lol.

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