Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Six Things For The Second Baby

February 5, 2014

6 Things For Second Baby

When you have a second baby, you will receive the following questions:

Is this one a good baby?
(Yes. But I guess we’ll go ahead and keep the first one too.)

When will you have another one?
(Should we let my perineum heal first?)

You probably don’t need anything, right? 

Well, no. Babies don’t need anything besides blankets and boobs, but for some reason pregnancy turns women into over-prepared, binky hoarding, nesters who find themselves ordering 26 dollar bottles off of Amazon at 2am. It is part of the process.

To be fair, there are a few things that make the whole baby experience easier. Here are six things we either bought, borrowed, or were given for the second baby that we missed the first time around. They are all, without a doubt, wonderful and used with love on a daily basis.

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Ergo Baby Carrier

Ergo

See it on Amazon.

When I was pregnant with the first kid, I thought for sure I needed a Moby wrap. I thought this because I a) didn’t have kids yet and b) didn’t realize how long it would take to wrap 40 feet of fabric around myself while my colicky baby screamed like a hyena. Everyone has opinions about baby carriers and this is mine: Go Ergo or go home. It is simply the best.

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Nose Frida

Nose Frida

See it on Amazon.

Did you know you’re not actually supposed to use those blue bulbs to suck out baby snot? We didn’t. So we used it on poor ol’ baby #1 during a journey I like to call “The Great Experiment.” (Good news: he’s still alive). Finally a friend recommended what looks super gross, but ended up being a baby snot miracle: The Nose Frida. This thing sucks out boogs safely and efficiently. It is also easy to clean if you’re one of those people who like to let their pots and pans “soak” for a few days instead of actually cleaning them (just let it soak in some soapy water for easy cleaning). A must-have for winter babies exposed to germ predators otherwise known as “relatives.”

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Velcro Swaddlers

Swaddlers

See it on Amazon.

Have you tried swaddling a baby in a normal baby blanket? Their little hands and feet pop out faster than you can say, “Crap, it’s your turn to try.” We didn’t have any velcro swaddlers with baby numero uno, but we did with numero dos and they are a lifesaver. Easy, cozy, and available in summer and winter fabrics (although I like the thin, summer fabric year round). And who doesn’t love a milk breath bambino?

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Como Tomo Bottles

Como Tomo Bottle

See it on Amazon.

First baby didn’t take bottles. I don’t want to talk about it. This time around, we make sure the baby has a bottle at least twice a week to remind her how to eat from something other than ol’ mom. Full discretion, I did a lot of research on bottles. I read forums. I poured over reviews. I basically went to Internet hell and back to find these “breastfeeding friendly,” slow flow, easy to clean, gas reducing, and frankly adorable bottles. They are on the expensive side but worth it when your body gets a break from being a 24 hour milk buffet. They are also shaped to look and feel like a boob so that everything is less confusing for bebe. Win!

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Skip Hop Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Diaper Bag

See it on Amazon.

I have a long and boring history with diaper bags. With Waylon I chose cloth bags, beautiful bags, bags with open tops and no pockets. I was going for the trendy look. The shabby chic look. The mom-who-doesn’t-know-what-the-hell-she’s-doing look. Those bags were beautiful, but are now covered in stains and the tears of a mom who just spilled diapers, wipes, a sippy cup, and three tampons in the parking lot because her bag doesn’t zip shut. I’m going to be straight with you: I don’t love how this bag looks. I do love how practical it is. Cross body, wipeable fabric, stroller clips, multiple pockets inside and out, and plenty of room for all the things I wish I wasn’t carrying around. There is a reason this bag has the highest reviews on Amazon.

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Rock n play

Rock N Play

See it on Amazon.

My first baby didn’t like being put down. Again, I don’t want to talk about it. This time, however, I have a baby who tolerates being set down for a bit and the rock n’ play is a great place to put her. Admittedly it’s a stupid name (how is my newborn “playing” in this?), but she does fall asleep in there with some gentle rocking. She sleeps in a co-sleeper at night, but I know of some babies who sleep in a rock n play all day and all night. Simple, collapsible, transportable, and easy to use. It saves me every day. Sold.

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The last post.

December 5, 2013

Photo Edited

This will be the last post before I give birth to another human. Please pray for my perineum. If you’re wondering if I’ve had the baby yet, you can always check this site or check social media. You know how to use the internet.

It’s been really nice having you guys around to care about my fetus and talk about things like will I actually like another baby as much as the first one?

I cannot fathom her, but I am excited to meet her.

There’s no rush. I am not so uncomfortable I could die (see: last pregnancy) and like all second time mothers, I know the reality of newborn care which is that it’s actually a lot easier when they are in your womb.

The truth is I’m treasuring these last few days with Waylon when I can eat nachos without guilt and sleep until 8am.

She’ll be here soon.

Everything is mostly ready, which really just means I dusted off a few baby things and weirdly scrubbed the pantry. Newborns don’t need much; blankets and boobs.

Austin is ready. He loves babies and is hoping to deliver this one having practiced on a few unsuspecting women during his OBGYN rotation. My mom response is, “we’ll see.”

Waylon is also blissfully ready, but we all know his big Christmas present this year will be less attention so I’m not holding my breath.

My bag is not packed, but the house has been cleaned and organized and I have semi edible things in the freezer. Unfortunately I continue to nest much to everyone’s annoyance. The other day I had Austin cleaning off the tops of all the ceiling fans and my mom scrubbing bathroom walls. Sorry not sorry.

We also installed the infant carseat, which actually doesn’t fit safely in our tiny car as the passenger seat will be crammed up to the windshield. At first we were panicked, then we both slid into denial/are hoping I sprout shorter legs in 2014.

New motto: choose joy.

Thank you for excusing these uterus posts and fist bumping me these past 39+ weeks.

See you on the other side.

December is finally here.

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The Fourth Trimester or How To Make Everyone Fear You

November 21, 2013

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Some call labor and delivery the fourth trimester.

Some call the postpartum newborn haze the fourth trimester.

I like to call the last three to four weeks of pregnancy the fourth trimester because it is so unlike the rest of the third that it deserves its own era. Its own milestone to commemorate growing a fully developed human/not being able to digest anything other than banana flavored chalk.

The last time around, I hit full term and was so miserable that Stalin would have been a better conversation partner. It was a hot and abnormally humid June. Some days the heat index reached 104 degrees, causing my feet to swell up like overstuffed sausages.

The whole thing was unpleasant, especially after I insisted on “One Last Beach Trip!” and got so severely sunburnt that I couldn’t walk for a week.

This sad and frankly horrifying photo pretty much sums up the fourth trimester with Waylon.

Sorry if you were about to eat breakfast.

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This time around, my body is much less swollen and uncomfortable. My feet and ankles look human and I can still get in and out of the car without swears.

I’ve been asked for my secret to this relatively easier end and I wish I knew. I’m going to go ahead and guess it isn’t all the carbs and American cheese.

I should also point out that the fourth trimester is never easy. At the risk of sounding like a complainer, it’s still hard. The last few weeks is simply standing on the edge of a cliff, waiting to fall off. You’re fine, you’re carrying your 30 pound toddler and 30 pound gut up and down the stairs, you’re still making hot meals a few times a week, until one of the following things happens:

+ You watch too many emotional montages of babies/ducks/Alzheimer’s patients.

+ Your toddler breaks a glass/throws up/tries to murder you.

+ You develop a head cold.

Then it’s all over. You’ve been pushed off the cliff. Irrational despair takes over and you are unable to move off the couch until you are forced to bathe or answer the front door.

Luckily this isn’t Austin’s first rodeo, so his reactions to my overreactions are mild and cautiously supportive.

Me: (side eye) I’m not cooking or cleaning for the rest of the week.

Austin: Okay.

Me: (glaring) Or maybe the rest of this pregnancy. So you should just prepare for that.

Austin: Okay.

Me: I can’t be pregnant and have a terrible cold and take care of a toddler and try to get anything else done. I just can’t do it. You need to know this.

Austin: Okay.

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It’s all a waiting game until d-day. A fragile balance of excitement and crazy eyes. A time when Google serves as nothing more than a vehicle for “more gas + sign of labor?” A time of ugly cries and happy cries and scrubbing the bathroom floor with an old sock because you lack the necessary tools but NEED TO CLEAN.

A time to take deep breaths and remember: it won’t be long now.

Cheers.

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I hope I remember.

November 18, 2013

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I hope I remember these days.

I hope I remember because I know he won’t.

He won’t remember these two years before his sister was born. When we rocked and played and held onto each other. When we took long baths and wandered to the park, holding hands. When we woke up slowly and had first snows, first summers, first toes in the ocean. When we became each others.

I hope I remember these days, this family of three. Not to mourn its loss, but to treasure what it was. Three warm bodies in a soft bed. Newborn coos, toddler cries, clammy hands around my neck. The sweet breath of a boy who has always wanted to be close by. One hand on his daddy’s arm, the other on my chest.

We anticipate this Christmas baby with blind hope. The only thing I know for sure is what I gain. Another heavy weight on my heart. Another human to breathe in. It is a gift and a burden to love so deeply.

The first baby is a giant experiment. They guide us into parenthood. We become mothers and fathers with their midnight screaming and morning smiles. We stretch until it seems we will break. It is beautiful and messy. It is loud and so startling quiet.

I hope I remember the weight of it all.

It is something to be remembered.

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Winter Skin

November 5, 2013

kate and w

I don’t have many good sentences in me these days. I know they’re floating around there somewhere, but even when I find one, it’s broken into fragments and full of misspellings and the wrong you’re. The other day I sat down to write and ended up with a paragraph full of literallys, which was horrifying because if there’s one girl I never want to be, it’s the girl who overuses literally.

Some might call this typical writer’s block, but I know it’s more than that. The baby has taken over all my physical and mental space. She sits heavy on my pelvis and even though I randomly have a thought about why women shouldn’t bully each other into wearing uncomfortable shoes, I cannot translate it into anything worth reading because the rest of my brain is thinking about if I sneeze, I may have to change my underpants.

The end of pregnancy is consuming. The more I try not to write or talk about it, the more it seeps out of my pores and turns into a lot of complaining about not fitting in doorways. I know this can be frustrating for everyone else.

They say you should write what you know, and even though I know life beyond pregnancy–I cannot fathom it now. All I can do today is listen to emotionally draining Christmas music and quietly sob thinking about fresh babies and my son’s face and perineal tearing. This is my unavoidable truth. Sorry old self, maybe I’ll see you again in a few months when I come out of a coma and remember some jeans have buttons.

In the meantime I’ll be listening to Lo, How A Rose Ere Blooming and feeling all the feelings.

To be clear, Austin doesn’t believe in Christmas music this early and normally I don’t either–but this year is different. My winter skin is growing around a baby who is arriving in the middle of jingle bells and batman smells and the hauntingly beautiful works of Sufjan Stevens.  I cannot look away. I cannot stop listening. I press all the sore spots just to feel it all.

Last December, a very sad boy took the lives of many children and a few teachers in the second deadliest shooting by a single person in American history. I think of these babies as we approach Christmas. I think of those mamas and daddys who aren’t buying presents and who don’t want to look at Christmas trees or decorate cookies. I think of them and am ashamed by my insignificant grief. Their loss so far surpasses anything I’ve ever known, and yet I can’t help from weeping.

The joy Christmas brings is so often mixed with sorrow. Under all the twinkle lights, there is a deep and raw emotion. It is unavoidable. We await the highs with so much anticipation, but for all those highs there are also lows. The all consuming feeling of being human.

And so we take deep breaths as we grow our winter skins and winter babies.

December will find us quickly, and my prayer is that in all her beauty, we also let ourselves feel the grief.

There is no other month when we feel so alive.

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