Monday, March 30, 2015

Jane Lily is Here!


Jane Lily is here!

The birth went great.

It was so similar yet so different from Alice's birth.

The timeline was identical, even the day of the week.

For both births, it went like this:

I started having mild, 15 min apart contractions Wednesday night.

They continued all day Thursday.

At 11pm they got stronger and closer together.

At 4:01am (Alice), 4:07am (Jane), baby was born.

Crazy right?

So with this birth, we decided to go to the birth center around midnight.

A wonderful lady from a church came to our house to stay with Alice.

I felt amazing when we got to the birth center.  Like too good.

I was afraid it wasn't the real thing.

I had so much energy and was kinda hyper and talking and laughing between contractions.

I calmed down as time went on but overall the pain of the contractions was really manageable.

At the birth center it was me, Stephen, our midwife Sheri and our doula Rene.

Sheri and Rene were great and helped when we needed it but mostly stood back and gave us our space.

Stephen was awesome.


Somewhere around 3 or 3:30, when the contractions were getting more intense, I got in the tub.


It's amazing how much the water helps, everyone should do a water birth.

Hospitals that don't allow water birth are just cruel.

It really cuts down on the pain.

After being in the tub for a little while I felt the urge to push and in about 6ish pushes, Jane was out!

(That is compared to an hour and half of pushing with Alice!  And no tearing this time.)



She nursed right away with no problems.

She was born March 20th, 7lbs, 4oz and 20 inches long. (Alice was 6lbs 11oz, 19in)


We stayed and rested at the birth center till 11am and then went home.

Alice ran out to the car and said "Baby Jane!  Hold her!"




 Alice keeps saying "Big sister now!"


She seems to be adjusting really well to Jane and hasn't had any jealousy issues yet.




Jane is doing great, eating and sleeping well and has barely cried at all.

It's been a really easy recovery for me.

I did a mini photo shoot of her when she was 4 days old.

Newborn photos are harder than they seem, but I think I got some good ones :)


















Sunday, March 15, 2015

40 Weeks: Watermelon



Today is my due date!

Didn't think I would make it to 40 weeks, I didn't with Alice.

Unfortunately its been a really rough week for me.

I got a cold that turned into my first ever sinus infection (great timing right?).

The worst part of it has been the sinus toothache, something I never knew existed.

Thankfully, the toothache has been gone the last 2 days so hopefully that's a sign the infection is going away.

I don't think I have ever blown my nose this much in my life.

I really don't want to be sick and in labor, or sick with a newborn and recovering from labor so I don't mind that Jane is taking her time.

Alice seems pretty excited about Jane coming soon.

She keeps asking "Jane out?"

I tell her that God decides when Jane will come out but that it will be soon.

Ran an errand yesterday and had some people ask me when I am due.

Loved the looks on their faces when I said "Tomorrow".

Two people asked me if I was scheduled to be induced.

Thought that was really sad that that is the assumption these days.

I told them "No, she has two weeks to come before we have to worry about that."

Another lady's reply to me saying I was due tomorrow was "And you are out shopping?!"

Thought that was funny, as if I should be sitting on the couch just waiting for the contractions or something.

Well one thing is for sure, the next pictures you will see wont be of a fruit (what's bigger than a watermelon anyways?) it will be of Jane!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Alice, Me and Jane-in-the-belly


38 weeks now and Jane could come any day so I figured we had better get some pictures.

I really wanted some pictures of Alice with me and my pregnant belly since that has been our life for the past few months.

I always thought it looked uncomfortable to hold a child on top of a pregnant belly, but I am really going to miss it.

It really does make a nice "shelf" for Alice.



I asked Alice for a kiss and was rejected!


She was more than happy to give Jane a kiss though.



Comparing bellies.  I've had to explain to her a few times that she doesn't have a baby in her belly.





Finally got my kiss!



Monday, February 23, 2015

36 Weeks: Honeydew


Ok, I don't quite get the whole "your baby is the size of.." thing for this week.

If you ask me, a pineapple (last month's fruit) is bigger than a honeydew.

Whatever.

I am for sure getting bigger.

My inability to fit into my maternity pants anymore is proof of that.

As well as my "I'm large and uncomfortable" attitude that has been more common as of late.

I am hoping this will be my last belly picture and that Jane will come before I make it to 40 weeks, we'll see.

I think my hips have decided to secede from the rest of my body, at least that is what it feels like sometimes.

My midwife keeps saying that she thinks my labor will be really fast.

I just hope it's not so fast that I don't make it to the birth center on time!

That and having to pack a bag to bring are some of the downsides of not doing a homebirth this time around.

But then again I get to labor and give birth in this room,

Or maybe this one:


Beautiful right?!

Looking forward to having the tub this time around too.

Been nesting for sure lately, but it can be frustrating when your energy level is not up to the "to do" list in your head.

Other than making some more freezer meals, I feel pretty ready for Jane to arrive.

It's amazing to me that even now, in the 21st century, there is like a 4 week "full-term" window in which your baby could be born and it really can't be better predicted than that.

I hate when people get hung up on the exact due date as if that is actually the day the baby is going to come.

That's why when people ask me when I am due, I always say "March", since my due date is March 15th, Jane could come anytime in March and it be perfectly healthy, normal time.

So here's to the month of March!

And being able to hold Jane in my arms!

And to wearing non-stretchy clothes!



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chickens


This post is long overdue.

But here it is, how we ended up with chickens:

In June, I went to Walmart to get a few things and noticed a chicken coop they had for sale that was nice but cheap.

When I got home I casually mentioned it to Stephen which led to us getting chickens that weekend.

Because that is what we do.

It wasn't as impulsive as it sounds, we have been talking about getting chickens for years but have never lived in one place long enough for it to be worth while.

We decided after some research that we wanted to get Rhode Island Red chickens since they are good layers (about 5 eggs a week) and they are a very docile breed.

So we found someone selling Rhode Island Red chicks an hour from us so on a Saturday we went to pick up 4.

In the city limits of Baton Rouge you are allowed to have 3 hens and no roosters.

We decided to get 4 in case one died and because you can't tell the sex until they are older, so in case one was a rooster.

But when we got there there were only 5 chicks left so he just gave us the extra one for free.

I think in all they cost $5 or so.

All the way home Alice was saying "peep, peep" like the chicks.

She was really good with being gentle with them.




One chick that seemed sickly from the beginning died a day or two later.

When they got enough feathers to keep them warm, we started letting them go outside in a little chicken run we made.

Unfortunately, one evening the dogs broke into it and killed 2 of the chicks.

Never seen Stephen so mad!  He wouldn't talk to or touch the dogs for days.

So then we were left with just 2 chicks.

So I went back on craigslist and found someone selling Rhode Island Red hens that were the same age as ours so I went and got 3, just in case.

When Stephen started building the chicken coop we got at Walmart, we discovered quite a few pieces missing, like entire walls.

So we returned it but they didn't have any more.

So Stephen had to build a coop from scratch.

I decided to paint it blue but it didn't turn out the blue I was hoping for.

It's more of a bright, masking tape blue, which was not what I was going for but oh well.


We were surprised at how hard it was to tell if the chickens were hens or roosters as they got older.

Finally after some googling we realized that the 2 chickens left for our original 5 were roosters!

We put the roosters on craigslist and gave them away for free.

Stephen asked the guy (a very redneck looking, heavy accented guy) who took one of the roosters what he was going to do with it, he said "My wife likes to watch the roosters in the yard when she is drinking her coffee in the morning".  Um...ok.

So now we have our 3 hens.

We would name them, but we cant tell them apart.

Alice really likes them and they are really docile and have never pecked us or anything.




They spend the day "free range" in our yard eating bugs and such.

Stephen likes to joke that eggs are just processed bugs...I try not to think about it.

Thankfully the dogs leave them alone, well, other than a little chase every once in a while.

Which always makes us laugh because the chickens make a loud "bock, bock" noise and sound like their dignity has been offended.

But we don't have to worry about the dogs hurting them, not sure if that's because the chickens are big now or because Stephen made very clear our disapproval of them going after the chickens.

Or maybe it's because they like the chicken droppings...I try not to think about it.

We feed them lots of kitchen scraps and I make their feed from whole grains that I order in bulk and mix together.

They started laying eggs in November and now we get about 2-3 eggs a day.


Whether or not we are actually saving any money is questionable but overall it's been a good experience for all of us.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Christmas in Brentwood


So in our 2 weeks in California we had 5, yes 5, "Christmases".

Christmas #1, with my family and extended family a few days before Christmas day.

Christmas #2, Christmas day morning at Stephen's grandma's house with his mom's family.

Then we headed to Brentwood, not to be confused with the Brentwood in Southern California, this one is only about an hour from Napa.

Brentwood is where Stephen's dad and step-mom, and Stephen's mom and step-dad live.

They are only a few blocks away from each other so it makes it really easy.

Alice got the grandparents all to herself for a couple days.

We went to the Oakland zoo where Alice was very excited to get to ride the little train.


And play with some goats.




Another day we went to a fun park nearby.





Then Stephen's sister with her husband and 4 kids came and the party really got started.

The grandmas especially had fun with all the little ones.



Alice especially likes Avila (age 6).  They are both girly-girls who love ballet and dresses and such.



Then Christmas #3 at Stephen's grandma's again but this time with all the grandkids.



Aw, aren't they such a cute family?  Hey wait!  That's my child!


Seriously though, Alice fit in so well with her cousins.  It made me glad that she's getting a little sister soon.

Next day was Christmas #4 at Nana Nancy and Papa Grande's house with Stephen's step-brother's 3 boys.

Stephen's dad came over dressed up as Santa.


Alice had been very excited about "San-nut" when she would see decorations with him on it but she was a little less sure of the real thing.


She wouldn't let me put her down.


The girls playing after opening presents.


Cousins!


That evening was Christmas #5 at Papa Wolfe and Grandma Patti's house.


Alice "reading" her new Dr Seuss book to Walker, in the Elsa dress she refused to take off all day.


This boy has some eyes!


Overall it was a busy, crazy, fun time!