Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween y'all! We enjoyed the day with our princess Snow White and little cupcake!

Every year we celebrate Halloween with our neighbors. We have a pretty social neighborhood, so we do know many of our neighbors. Even still, it's one of the only nights of the year that everyone comes out of their houses and that you can go ring a total stranger's doorbell. And for the past two years we hosted the neighborhood Halloween party as a way to bless our neighbors and really invest in those relationships. This year I gladly passed the baton, given that we have a newborn. And our fellow neighbors did an awesome job with the party by the way! There was even a parade!

Tonight was Lilleigh's first night trick-or-treating. We only went to four houses, but Lilleigh loved it!  Before the first house we went to - Lil's very first house ever to trick-or-treat at - I explained to Lilleigh that on Halloween we can go up to people's doors, and people will hand out candy or some sort of treat. She couldn't believe that and was so excited at the thought. We rehearsed that she needed to say "trick-or-treat." Then we walked up to the door. Our neighbor came to the door, with a bowl of candy in one hand and his laptop in the other, the screen facing us and three members of his Brazilian family crowded together watching us. They wanted to know how Halloween worked. It was hilarious. Lil's very first experience trick-or-treating. She was so confused! But she got her candy and was a happy girl. Our next door neighbor gave her like 10 lollipops too... of which Mom and Dad later hid 7. Lil's quote of the night that pretty much sums up her thoughts on Halloween, "I finally get to have candy!" Deprived child. Glad you got your lollipop because it's raisins and cheddar bunnies for the next 364 days.

We ended the night with s'mores with some of our neighbors a street over. Yum! It was really the perfect weather for it too. Clear sky and cool enough for a light jacket.

And here's another cute Halloween pic from the arboretum pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago. We have to mix up the costumes! Lilleigh wanted to dress as a bumble bee just like her little sissy! Love that!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Adeline is 2 months!

Pardon the photo overload. I limited myself to favorites... but there are just so many!

Adeline is two months! Some highlights of this month...
  • Adeline is 10 lbs 14 oz and 22-1/2 inches long. Her hair has been falling out (just like Lil's did...) and it looks to me like the hair coming in is light brown. We shall see! She may not be the blondie that Lilleigh is. Too soon to say though.
  • Between 5 and 6 weeks, Adeline turned over a new leaf in sleeping. She slept 6 hours one night and progressed to 10 (!!) by the end of the week! It was insane. And totally amazing. Sure, she's had a few nights of regression, but for the most part, she consistently sleeps 8-10 hours. It's unbelievable. Lilleigh slept 7 hours at 7-1/2 weeks, and I thought that was amazing. Oh my word. Pretty sure Adeline is what the Baby Whisperer calls "angel baby." Love.
  • That said, we have had to sleep train. I prayed a lot about how to best sleep train this child, and it's been so interesting for me to see that God has really led me in a different direction with Adeline than Lilleigh. They are different babies, and God has made that so apparent. Both are/were happy babies, and I'm super thankful! Ever since sleep training, Adeline has been sleeping extremely well!  
  • On the topic of sleep, Adeline loooves to sleep on her tummy - and in our closet! She sleeps so very well there. I was really kinda worried about how the guest bedroom/ nursery situation would work out because our parents come up all the time. But Adeline has adjusted really well (thus far) to switching from her crib to her Moses basket in our closet. The closet is insulated, so she can't hear anything, which is why I have moved her there for naps as well. Lilleigh doesn't wake her up when she's in there!
  • Sweet girl gave Momma her first smile on her 7 week birthday! Oh it was the greatest thing ever! I love her sweet smile! It is fun to see her interact!
  • She loves to coo and drool! I'm guessing she may teeth on the earlier side, like her big sis.
  • She did lose a lot of her hair, but she doesn't look as bald as blondie Lil because Adeline's hair that's coming in is darker... light brown, possibly? I'm also predicting blue eyes. We get told she looks like Momma!
  • She bats at the toys hanging from her activity mat.
  • Lilleigh loooves to hold Adeline! And the photo collage below pretty much sums up each of the girls' feelings on this.
  • Some friends also threw us a sip n see. It was sweet and perfect! We loved getting to celebrate with close friends.

Adeline set herself on a pretty solid schedule. Here's what it roughly looks like...
6 AM Wake up to feed. Go right back to sleep.
8:45-9:15 AM Wake up sometime in here. Eat. Play briefly.
9:45-11:45/ Noon Nap
Noon Eat, play for a bit.
1:15-4 PM Nap
4 PM Eat, play
5-6 PM Nap
6 PM Wake up, socialize
6:15 PM Eat (cluster feed #1), play
7:30 PM Eat (cluster feed #2)
8 PM Bed!
It has been sooo much easier this time around, and I really think a lot of it is because I know the sleep patterns and cues to look for in helping her set her schedule. I also am more confident and carefree. She won't nap in her crib? Ergo, it is. Not big deal. She's been great about her crib, but having her sleep on me is great too because she is flexible and can be brought along for outings. Plus, there's time to get her to sleep in her crib.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Adeline's Birth Story, Part 2

Part one here

I woke up Brendon at 5:30 AM, knowing I was in labor. The cramping was enough that I needed to get out of bed because I couldn't rest any longer. The contractions actually seemed stronger laying down. We both began packing a bag for the birth center and a bag for Lilleigh for the day.

Around 6 AM, I got into the bath tub, knowing it would help me to progress. I stayed there for around 30 minutes, after which time I contacted my doula, Jen, to tell her, "Awesome timing I know, but I'm in labor!" She was just pulling out of her garage to go meet her other client at the hospital for the induction. Jen called her back-up doula for the other client, since I was the one actually progressing, and arrived at our house around 7:30.

Between my bath and Jen's arrival, I walked laps around our house. I really wanted to take Sammy on a walk, but it was pouring down rain. I settled for walking indoors. It was fortunate too because at this point I was having to physically stop during contractions and brace myself on a chair, wall, whatever was around. They were beginning to need my full concentration.

Jen arrived at our house at the same time Lilleigh woke up. Brendon told her the big news, that today would be the day, and he got her breakfast ready and let her watch a show. It was amazing how Lilleigh waking up and Jen arriving indeed slowed down my contractions. Totally normal when new people come on the scene. Jen predicted that when Lilleigh left, they would pick back up, and guess what - they did.

Brendon took her over to our neighbor Holly's house around 8:30. Sure enough, it only took about 10 minutes for the contractions to pick back up. It was during this time that I first thought, "I don't even know how we would do this without a doula." It was so nice to have someone to be able to focus on me, while at the same time allowing Brendon to focus on Lilleigh, keeping her calm and happy, as he got her ready for a fun day at a friend's house. Having a doula was instrumental for many reasons, more than just allowing for Brendon to care for Lilleigh, have a bathroom break, talk to the midwife (later), etc. She really knew the best techniques to use to help my particular labor, and she could be the clear mind when Brendon (and me...) could not be. I could go on and on, but from now on, I will always have a doula.

I continued to labor at home a bit longer. For the most part, I was either standing, leaning forward on the dresser or Brendon, or I was on all fours. Jen had long rice packs that she would heat in the microwave and place on back to ease the pain. Since she had two, they were constantly in rotation. Brendon massaged my lower back continuously.

I also used doTerra essential oils while I was at home. I had a labor blend that I had made with 1 tsp. of fractionated coconut oil, 10-15 drops of Lavender (for pain and calming), 10-15 drops of Frankincense (for the pain, stronger than the lavender), and 10-15 drops of Clary Sage (to help me progress and make my contractions more productive). I applied this to my stomach and also held up the Clary Sage some just to smell, since it is effective that way as well. At one point, I did use Peppermint for nausea, by just putting some drops in my hands, lifting them to my nose to smell/ breathe in, and then rubbed my hands on the back of my neck. Lastly, I also used Black Pepper oil on my back. In case you haven't already picked up on it, I did indeed have back labor. Again. Pretty sure I always will. Anyway, I asked Brendon to put some Black Pepper on my back. He did, and immediately the pain was gone. It was amazing. But suddenly I felt the contractions intensely in my stomach, which I had not before because the back pain was overpowering that. I had no idea how to cope with this new pain, so I never asked for that oil again. Brendon actually had no idea it had worked at all until we talked later. That Black Pepper. Powerful stuff.

I labored at home until 9:30, when I called my midwife and we drove to the birth center. We arrived there around 10 AM, and I could tell transition was coming, though not there yet. (A big improvement from last time with Lilleigh when I transitioned at home and was then fighting the urge to push in the car!)

My midwife filled up the birth tub, as my contractions got more intense.

Thankfully after not too long, the tub was full enough for me to labor in... really it was probably close to 45 minutes or so, but I was in too much pain to notice the time. When I got in, oh my word, it was so hot... definitely more like a hot tub than a bath tub. I didn't mind because it helped the pain. A lot. But wow, really hot. I labored in there for about 45 minutes. Brendon got in there too and massaged my back. I began feeling the urge to push and was ready to get out. I totally was down for a water birth, but I just could not last in the heat one more second.

When I got out, my water broke. I pushed on the bed for about 15 minutes in a side crunch position. This part seemed much more painful that I had remembered, mainly because my legs were aching terribly. The back labor with Lilleigh diminished once she changed positions during transition. Adeline clearly had not finished rotating though. Thankfully it took 15 minutes (as opposed to an hour 45 minutes with Lil) to push her out! I had asked my midwife to use Frankincense on me as the baby was crowning, and I am pretty sure she poured like the entire 5 ml bottle on me. But let me just say, I did not feel the ring of fire! Did it hurt? Sure. But no fire. So worth the money for that costly oil! I am also pretty sure this is why when Adeline came out (on her side! ...hence back labor), she only let out one small cry. No crying. I have no doubt all that Frankincense helped her little head not to hurt. If I could recommend one oil for birth, Frankincense is it.

Finally labor was over, and we got to meet our precious gem! Adeline Elise was born right at noon. 7 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches long. We are so in love!