Saturday, January 28, 2017

New Moon, Chinese New Year

Happy weekend y'all! Its been a LONG week, hard to believe all that has happened (especially in the white house) in just one week's time, but now we are home as a family and decompressing together with NO plans but to spend time together and do what we want! Woo hoo. Last night Jason came home after drinking an especially strong cold brew coffee with his lunch and so was ready to kick his boots around the house going nest-crazy with me. He installed Jackson's new carseat in my car, next to Joss's, brought down the changing table to be where we had it with Joss. Made/changed Joss's bed after I had washed everything including her mattress cover, and ordered us some Indian food delivery from the restaurant we love by our house, Madra's so I had a night off from cooking.

I gave the back seats of my car a good scrubbing while the seats were being moved/installed, sorted through all the cloth diapers we have and separated out the smalls from mediums, from larges and stored the bigger ones in my closet for later. Don't they look so pretty! Haha, I love being a cloth mama.

All of the smalls are now organized in the changing table drawers (downstairs) and in the new diaper caddy by our new changing pad by the side of my bed for late night/morning changes. Goodness I love getting organized. Joss was a great helper too, in between helping her dad with the carseat, and watching her My Little Ponies on Netflix (she now knows how to control the remotes herself, so was really proud to play her shows on her own). During the day I also went hog-wild and cleaned all of upstairs (which is appropriate preparation for the Chinese New Year superstitions to let in good luck for the year ahead). Vacuumed all rooms and bathrooms, set up Jocelyn's new bookcase (ahhh so much neater! And easy now to see all her books - She was so happy to come home from school to see that surprise in her room, yay books!), Cleaned the kitchen, did dishes, and laundry, took out trash and recycling, and rearranged our bedroom a little bit for less clutter. I love waking up to a clean, fresh, reorganized room and house.

This morning I was up early and made Joss cinnamon rolls, and she slept in late so I ate some oatmeal with my tea and watched the start of the documentary The Beginning of Life on Netflix about how raising babies/young children around the world will shape our future society. Heading to yoga soon, and will mail the thank-yous I wrote this morning for my California aunties who sent some beautiful labor necklace charms and gifts for Jax. Less than a week until Grandma is here! I just need to change the sheets on her bed in the guest room, and dust the bookshelves, and its all ready for her arrival. I'll do that this weekend.

Last centering session is coming up on Tuesday, I hope that Jenny and Annie join us and bring their lil babies! <3 I wonder who will be next. I hope we all stay in touch and continue to get together for playdates. Yay mamas!

Friday, January 27, 2017

23 more days and counting...

I went to the birth center yesterday for my first weekly checkup. Because I had already had a baby, and without any complications, I didn't need to do the full vaginal exam, but I did my own swab test for Strep. I have lost a few pounds over the course of the last couple weeks, which I think is because I have been in super nesting mode and more active than usual. Baby's still right on track as far as growth, so that's all good. Plus, like with my first, I am right on the same track as I was with Joss as far as weight gain (I gained 50 pounds with her), right now I'm just under 40lbs weight gain and still have about another month +/- so that's just the norm for my body.

Not many discomforts, didn't have any questions this time, just a regular belly check. I did get the reassuring comfort that if baby is the same size as Joss (9lbs 9oz) or small, he will basically just fall right out since my body has already done all the hard work to pave the way for an easy delivery. It sure was a lot of work with her, but I did it! And I'm ready to birth again with the new bub. Feeling good and confident. My mom arrives a week from today eeeep!! We are so excited. Not really any more worries about Jax arriving too soon, and I've contacted our babysitter/house/dog-sitter and she is available for on-call child care if it comes to that in this next week, which I feel pretty sure will not need to happen.

I received two sweet pieces of baby mail today, from two of my aunties back in Mendocino, with birthing necklace contributions/beads and sweet gifts for Jax, including his first handmade item, a beautiful emerald knitted green baby blankie. I feel so much love from back home, even though I live so far away and miss being around family, they are always there for me and my Texas family when we need their love. Writing and sending thank yous to send their way soon. <3

Last night Jason brought home a bookcase that a co-worker was getting rid of (yay!) So Jocelyn's room has a bookcase now, rather than all her books thrown into two big cloth cube cubbies. I spent the morning rearranging her room, and putting all the books in her new bookcase, with all the baby/board books on the bottom shelf for little brother. Feeling really good about having everything set up for his arrival. A few big things that Jason will help me with, putting his carseat into my car, next to Joss's, moving his changing table downstairs, and organizing all our cloth diapers. The drawers I cleared out in my dresser for Jax I need to put his swaddles/receiving blankets in, and we'll need to wait until after he's born to see what size clothes he'll start wearing first (Joss wasn't able to wear any of the newborn things we had for her and went straight to 0-3 month clothes - 8-15lbs). I also cleared out some of the large wicker storage baskets downstairs that we keep our extra sofa pillows in for Jax.

I have a small box of all the contributions for my labor/birthing necklace and will start putting it together maybe when my mom is here since we used to bead together a lot when I was growing up. It sounds fun and sentimental to me to include her with that. I also need to get Jax a baby book, so we can have his footprints on his birthday at the birth center like we did for Joss. I did some shopping to start making food to stock up our secondary freezer with postpartum easy meals. We'll start that this weekend. Also trying to practice as much self care as possible. I took a long bath yesterday with a face mask and caught up on all my reading for my two book clubs- one of which is a parenting bookclub, and we are meeting next weekend to start discussing the first couple chapters of Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids. A lot of great insight to stay calm and grounded through the 3 year old meltdowns, and a reminder to look inward, rather than project outward any frustrations I feel in parenting.

There is a lot of crazy happening out in the world, in this country, right now, but I'm keeping my house and home a place of serenity and peace, and so grateful to have the space we do to call our own and welcome our new baby boy in the weeks to come. Always a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Third trimester pregnant life is haaaaard! Hard to breathe, hard to walk (waddle), hard to sleep, hard to stay centered and calm, hard to have patience, hard to get up after you sit down. Haha, its really incredible that so many working moms are still giving it their all at this point, 50 hour work weeks, all day 5 days a week up and about. I did that with Joss, and honestly, now that I'm home I have no idea how I pulled it off. You just have to do what you have to do, and its amazing what our bodies and minds are capable of. This time around managing our house, doing all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking our cars in to get serviced, taxes, finances, bills, packing lunches for school and leftovers for Jason's lunch, taking care of our animals, its a lot on its own. And last time I did this while also working 50 hours a week, with an hour commute each way. Mom powers are strong, and so much love out to the working pregnant moms still going strong into this last third of pregnancy.

This week I start my weekly exams, I go in on Thursday. So far no signs of early labor which is great! Mom flies in a week from Friday, so baby seems to understand that he has to hold out at least until then. So far he's playing along, good boy Jax! We pretty much have everything we need for his arrival, I've been working this last week on super-nesting mode getting our room situated to welcome him, and re-vamping Jocelyn's room to give her more space in there, and separate out the baby toys/books from her big-girl toys/books. Also been doing a lot of goodwill donations clearing out clothes that joss has outgrown that we won't keep for Jackson, and straightening up our guest room for Grandma Jill's arrival. We still need a few pieces of furniture for the baby, but otherwise all ready for Jax to arrive and share mom and dad's room for the first year or so.

We got a great deal for a 4-in-one carseat at Costco for him, that will grow with him (10 years), like the one Joss has, but its Graco instead of Diono. We just need to put that in the Subaru and we are ready to go. This is better than converting Joss's Diono back for a newborn, and moving the seat out of Dad's truck, because now Joss can go with Papa if needed, or he can pick her up from school/drop her off, and I can have my car if I need to take Jax to the Dr. or have other plans. Eventually we might get a fourth for Dad's truck, so we are both equipped to take both, but for now its just fine.

This weekend, I didn't attend the women's march in Austin physically, but I was there in spirit. The idea of putting myself in a large crowd, with horrible parking, and chasing Joss seemed like a recipe for potential unplanned birth of my son in front of the capital. Which the idea of giving birth at a women's march, is a badass way to introduce my son to feminism, surrounded by strong women, but I didn't want to take my chances, and am still hoping for the private, serene water birth like his sister had. I did however go to yoga which felt so great to stretch and strengthen. Since our previous teacher has been on maternity leave, we have had a rotation of other yoga teachers come lead our class and I've really enjoyed the variety and different styles each week. After yoga, I went to the AABC clothing swap and picked up a bunch of items that we had been needing, including some more cloth diaper covers, postpartum care supplies, children's books, a bumbo seat, some receiving blankets, and maternity clothes. I love these swaps, so happy that they are still going on, and its really nice to not organize, but just show up and leave/take a bunch of stuff. Oh! and we also got a play mat for Jax too that Joss picked out. We're set!

Time for me to head over to subaru now, to fix our check engine light that keeps popping on and off. Then I'm going to organize Jackson's cloth diapers, because that sounds like a lot of fun to me. HAHA super-nesting mode is a go! people! over and out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baby Shower/Birthday Party, Center Session #9, 35 Weeks

Hard to believe I am already at the point in my pregnancy and centering, where I have scheduled my weekly individual appointments! I had my 9th centering session yesterday (of 10), and we forgot to take a group shot, but excitingly two of our moms have already delivered! *Jenny and Annie, the two ladies in the front row of last Session #8's photo). Both complication-free, natural birth center births. Congrats mamas! They were in our February group, but both had January due dates. Annie said she is going to join us with her new little one for our final centering meeting, and I hope that Jenny also does. We are getting closer y'all!

Session 9 was all about breast feeding, and "the magic hour" after birth, and importance of skin to skin with mama and baby. My belly check was all good, and growth right on track - fundal height, my weight and blood pressure, all good. After centering I headed down with the midwife to get a quick ultrasound and check position of baby, and he's head down doing what he should be doing for a complication-free delivery. Way to go Jax! I got to see his head, heart, spine, and his pulsing umbilical cord, and my vegan placenta making it all happen. So magical to see him in there even in the grainy, black and white, pictures. He didn't want to show his face, but he will soon enough. I took a video to share with Joss, and Jason.

Next week I go in for a full check-up at week 36, full term! Then the following week is our last centering. A few days later my mom flies out, so I'm feeling good, and no signs of an early delivery, but hoping he holds out until at least after my mom's here, or later. Will be a lot of help with Joss when time does come to head to the birth tub.

We had a few friends over this weekend to celebrate my birthday and baby Jackson and it was a lot of fun! We played a few baby shower type games, and I bought a bunch of little succulents to hand out as party favors. My favorite florist gives me a free bouquet of a dozen roses every year for my birthday, and when I went to pick them up they had a half-off sale on all plants, and so I scooped up a bunch of really cute ones to give to our guests. It was a great group of people, we decorated a bunch of onesies, and a bunch of kids were there too to run around and play with Joss. She had a blast. We only remembered to take a couple pictures of our cakes, but Joss's kid's camera was a big hit with the kids so they ran around taking some party photos, which turned out pretty good for a 3 year old and her friends running around at full speed.

It was a lot of work to set up and host our party, but that's how I like to do it, and it was a lot of fun to have everyone over. I have to admit though my feet were pretty tired by the end of the night. Luckily, my wonderful husband helped out a LOT and he also had given me a gift certificate for xmas/my birthday at Spa Reveil for a full on prenatal treatment package that included prenatal massage (my first one, it was heaven!), a facial (my skin feels awesome), mani and pedi. I was there all day on Monday, the day after the party, and took advantage of their Hammam (Turkish steam room) before treatments. Now my toes and fingernails are pretty and bright red, my body is less achy and my skin is glowing even without much sleep.

Its been cold and rainy the last couple of days which I absolutely love. Who knows how long it will last, so I'm enjoying it while its here. My mom arrives in 16 days, so Jackson you hear that? Stay comfy cozy in the cubby wubby womb room for at least another 2 weeks and 3 days. If he's like Joss he will stay there longer than 40 weeks, but we'll see when he's ready. I sure am getting big!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Centering Session #8

Today I had my centering group, and we reviewed some newborn care, practiced swaddling, and burping (they forgot to review diapering - oh well, maybe I'll bring Joss's baby doll back next time so we can all practice). We talked about post partum depression, and warning signs, and the different things that are normal for newborns within the first 24 hours+

My belly check was great, little Jackson is happily kickin around in there, still head down, and next session in two weeks I go down to see him on the ultrasound with the midwives to do a quick check on his positioning. So far so good, really happy to be getting so close! Baby shower is coming up so soon, less than 2 weeks away, it will be a fun low key party at our house, small group of friends with partners and kids welcome to join. I should probably order a Cap City Cheese cake and figure out what kind of food I should make, or just pick up some veggies and hummus. I want it to be low key, low stress, and a chance to do some crafty crafts to celebrate Jackson and make some keepsakes.

Glad to be through the holidays, it was a lot of fun, and a lot of time spent sick, but feeling almost back to my 100% self, still no sense of smell or taste, but other than that everything else feels great (no congestion). My mom flies out in a month, and I can't wait to see her! Joss is back to school today, her first day back since winter break, and we had a lot of fun together too. She was excited to see her friends again, and I'm looking forward to picking her up later and hearing all about her day.

In the meantime, I'm going to try and rest a little bit, and enjoy the silence of my house to myself with the animals. Here's my centering group pic from today! Look how big all our bellies are getting! So close to the finish line! Only two more sessions left in our series, then we all transition to more regular individuals check ups until we each deliver. Love out to each of them, and their upcoming births. <3 <3 <3 So grateful for this new mom community, and my birth center AABC.