Category Archives: Life

Ben + Hannah: Week Three

We’re at the beginning of our third week as parents of two! We are all really adjusting to our new normal – Alex is back at work now and Ben seems to be recognizing all of the changes going on around him. I’m used to the cute little chipmunk noises that wake me up in the middle of the night with a polite request for some milk please. All in all, we’re really settling in to this new life of ours.

Everyone keeps asking how Ben is doing, so I’ll start there. Ben really couldn’t be any sweeter with Hannah – he asks to see her in the morning when he wakes up and wants to be sure to say goodnight to her before bed or nap. It is precious. He gives her hugs and kisses and loves checking in on his baby sister.

In the last few days we’ve had to up the ante on toddler discipline. I’m guessing it’s part due to toddlerhood, part due to all of the changes that have taken place recently. I have a few friends who have kids the exact same age as Ben who have mentioned that there has been a recent increase in whining and the need for more discipline and they don’t have new babies at home. Seems like Ben is just really starting to push the boundaries more and more, which is just a part of being a two-year old!

Last week Ben had another big change – we converted his crib into a toddler bed! He is so excited about the change. He loves getting into his bed and getting cozy with his stuffed animals. So far bedtimes and nap times have been totally normal – he gets into his bed and falls asleep right away. Wake ups have been a little different if he wakes up before his light turns green {signaling it’s ok to be awake}. We told him he can get out of his bed and play quietly with his toys while he waits for the light to turn green.

Smarty pants knows how to turn the light green, soooooo on Sunday morning after I had him go back in his room to wait for the light to turn green, he went back in his room and changed it to green. Naturally. He’s actually been sleeping in a little bit later so we haven’t had too many days yet where he’s woken up before the green light comes on. Stay tuned…

Ben is turning into such a big kid. His agility for a young two-year old is extremely impressive. It is so cool {and terrifying!!} to watch him climb ladders and ropes at the park. He’s been loving riding his bicycle and he’s really getting the hang of it. We have a balance bike for him in lieu of training wheels – he pushes the two-wheeled bicycle with his feet and ultimately it will help teach him how to balance on the two wheels. This is supposed to make the transition to a “two-wheeler” a bit easier. And maybe happen earlier? Not sure on that one…

We’ve been getting out a ton over the last two weeks. It was so fun having Alex home for our first two weeks and now we’re easing into having him be back at work.

{Highly anticipated trip to Bottlehouse for a glass of rose on the patio!!!}

{Alex took Jackson and Ben with him on a run over the weekend – I can’t wait to get back into running, especially after hearing how much Ben loved it!}

{Thursday evenings mean concerts in the park! We brought our own little picnic and enjoyed Ben’s first concert. He was the star of the evening and absolutely loved dancing to the live music. Ben LOVES music!}

{Baby’s first trip to a brewery! We brought Hannah out for a pseudo rehearsal dinner/social hour to celebrate our friends’ wedding.}

{Alex represented the two of us at the actual wedding and I stayed home with the kids – he had a blast catching up with our friends, literally from around the world.}

{Alex pulled the bike trailer out of storage and he and Ben biked down to the beach. This was undoubtedly a highlight of Alex’s 2 weeks off.}

{Ben loved the bike ride too!}

{Beach time!}

{Ben and I had a low-key morning together and baked a fruit crisp! It was so fun getting him involved in baking. Sometimes I forget just how capable he is and how able he is at doing things. We’ve been trying to incorporate him more and more into our daily tasks and giving him responsibilities. He loves being a helper and being involved.}

{Hannah and I have gotten out on some really nice long walks together. It is so wonderful to be able to get back into light exercise.}

So far, our experience with Hannah has been completely incomparable to our first two weeks with Ben. We didn’t have Ben home until he was four weeks old, so that’s a stark contrast. We never experienced the brand new baby things like those initial middle-of-the-night feeds, breastfeeding¬†at all, dealing with the stinky umbilical cord stump, all of the doctors appointments in the first few weeks and just the general experience of having a super newborn baby.

It has been so fun to go through the brand new baby phase with Hannah. She is such a dream. She is eating so well and that has been such a joy for me to experience. She bounced back up and surpassed her birth weight in about 10 days – last Thursday she was 9 ounces over her birth weight already!

Hannah loves being cozy and wrapped up in a snuggly swaddle, though she’s quick to pop her arms out; she seems to enjoy going for walks and loves being in the wrap carrier, which I’ve had her in quite a bit so far. We’ve only given her a few baths so far and she seems to really enjoy them. She’s not a big fan of getting her diaper changed or being in the car when it stops moving.

I know we’re only just over 2 weeks into Hannah’s life, so it’s a little early to tell, but so far she seems suuuuuper chill. She is becoming more and more alert and spending more time awake during the day, which has been so fun. I love seeing her little dark blue eyes open more and more each day. Her appearance has really changed since she was born too – she still has all of her dark hair and the same deep blue eyes and pink skin tone, but I think her face shape is changing and I don’t see as much resemblance to Ben as I did when she first arrived. I’m not really sure who she looks like at this point!

 

Life is definitely different now that Hannah is here. We’re so happy that she arrived when she did and we’re loving our new family dynamic.

 

Hannah’s Birth Story

Our sweet girl is here! She arrived on a beautiful, hot, sunny Seattle day – two and a half weeks early at 5:11 p.m. on Sunday July 22nd, 2018 after eight hours of labor. We are so loving our first days as a family of four and I’m excited to share and document the story of her arrival.

Just after I laid down to go to bed on Saturday night I felt a really strong contraction and then my water broke! Earlier that day I had a really upset stomach and had an extremely strong nesting urge and just had an inkling she was coming soon. Alex was out at a bachelor party when my water broke so he hurried home – thankfully I had warned him earlier in the day that I wasn’t feeling well and to puhlease take it easy! Not really wanting to go to the hospital quite yet since I wasn’t having consistent contractions we decided to wait it out at home, get some rest and hopefully be able to see Ben in the morning.

By about 8 that morning my contractions had tapered off and we decided to head to the hospital since nothing was really happening on its own. Of course they admitted me, agreed that nothing was happening on its own {I was only dilated to 1 cm} and told me they were going to start me on a low dose of Pitocin to augment labor.

I was in grave denial at this point that a) this baby was going to be born really soon and b) that I was getting Pitocin. So far in my pregnancy every doctor has told me that Pitocint was off the table because I was doing a trial of labor after cesarean {TOLAC – also known as VBAC}. I had to completely change my mindset, and thankfully my doctor helped explain it in a very understandable way why she was putting me on Pitocin, and wrap my head around the idea that Hannah was on her way out. Nothing was happening naturally, so it was either Pitocin or c-section. I opted for Pitocin. We quickly called our doula, Mercedes, to come meet us at the hospital and she was there by 9:30.

I quickly got “settled” into a birthing suite and hooked up to an extremely low dose of Pitocin at 9:00. The doctor told me that at the most I’d go up to 14 on the Pitocin scale and that a low-risk pregnancy would go up to 30. The Pitocin definitely kicked things off almost immediately and the contractions started becoming more regular.

Just after our doula arrived at 9:30 baby girl’s heart rate plummeted – something we had all too much experience with during my time in the hospital when I was pregnant with Ben. A bunch of nurses rushed in, I got put on oxygen and a minute or two later she recovered. Needless to say, my hopes of a VBAC were quickly waning if she had a decel that quickly into the Pitocin. They backed off for 30 minutes and then hooked me back up at 10.

I was in early labor for a couple hours. I had a fine time coping with the labor pains, didn’t much enjoy throwing up a¬†lot, but was able to get through it ok. Around 11 or 12 the doctor came in to check my cervix and I was 3 centimeters dilated. She said that baby’s head was very, very low but my cervix was not in the right position yet. I had a long ways to go.

Baby ended up having another big heart deceleration and the doctor made me change into a hospital gown. I knew she was preparing for an emergency c-section. Also, the whole labor I wasn’t allowed in the birthing tub because of the heightened risk that I was under.

The next couple hours are hazy and the details get foggy. I did lay down in bed to try to get some rest since I never really went to sleep the night before. Once I woke up the contractions were stronger and stronger. I did a lot of supported swaying on Alex and the birth ball and found distraction in deep breaths and just tried to relax as much as I could.

I think around 2:30 or 3 or so the doctor came in and confirmed I was still only at 3-4 centimeters. After a series of more very intense contractions I announced I was having trouble coping with the idea of being in this much pain for so much longer since I had so much farther to go. I made the decision to get an epidural to help manage the pain. I was feeling really defeated – normally I have such a high pain tolerance and I couldn’t believe I was throwing in the towel after only making it to 4 centimeters, but if it was this agonizing now, I couldn’t imagine hours and hours more.

The anesthesiologist was extremely prompt and came in within about 10 minutes {maybe around 3:45?}, placed the epidural and then the doctor came in to check me again. She was flabbergasted when she realized I had dilated to 10 centimeters – it was almost time to start pushing! At 4:00 the doctor made the call to have me labor down {basically sit and wait and let the baby drop down the birth canal} for 30 minutes and then start pushing.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard the doctor say I was at 10 cm – no wonder I was in so much agony – I made it through active labor and transition in about an hour. I learned in our birthing class that typically the faster your labor progresses the more intense it is. Also, because my water had already broken, I didn’t have any cushion to help take the contractions. I was elated to hear the news and it made me feel much stronger that I had fully dilated on my own, which is something I had hopes of being able to do. Our “birth plan” was to have an outcome of a healthy baby and a healthy mama – the rest was up to the baby and the doctor. I had come into the hospital being open to the idea of an epidural depending on how things went; I didn’t have terribly strong feelings either way, but I did want to get through as much of an unmedicated labor as I could.

My 30 minutes of laboring down turned into 45 when the nurse and the fellow had a miscommunication. Though I had an epidural I still was having enormous pressure and the feeling that I needed to push. I’m not sure when they turned off the epidural, but they definitely did pretty quickly. So, this 45 minutes was absolutely, positively not a complete walk in the park. I will say, I am very glad I got the epidural and it really helped carry me through the finish line.

At about 4:45 the doctor came in and was surprised I hadn’t started pushing. She got everything set up and around 4:50 or 4:55 I started pushing. The baby’s head was extremely low and after three rounds of pushing the doctor was wondering why she wasn’t out yet, come to find out that I had a very full bladder that was blocking the baby’s exit. After that got taken care of, all it took was one more round of pushing and out she came! Our baby girl was born at 5:11 p.m. on Sunday July 22nd.

She went straight to my chest and and was screaming her little lungs out. I knew she was strong and fierce in utero and she proved it right away when she arrived. Her apgar scores were 9, 9 and 9. We were able to delay clamping the umbilical cord and I was able to see the placenta, which was so incredible. She weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches long.

The “golden hour” with our sweet girl really was golden. I got to hold her for a full hour before the nurse did any measurements or cleaned her up. It was sheer bliss. She opened her little blue eyes just after she calmed down and stared right at me. I loved those first few moments snuggling with her and then the experience of being able to nurse her. She’s pretty much a natural – she got it right away. I think she and I are going to be a pretty good team.

Right when she arrived we knew she was a Hannah Maxine. Alex picked her name – Maxine, her middle name, is after his paternal grandmother. Maxine was sharp as a tack, extremely strong and didn’t take anything from anybody. Hannah is really just a name Alex liked {I like it too :)} and thought it fit well with Ben’s name and pictured our little Hannah with pigtails hanging out of her ski helmet charging down the mountain and thought it was a perfectly fitting name for our girl.

Hannah weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches at birth.

Hannah’s arrival was smooth and steady and so very emotional for us. We are so, so very grateful to have been able to have a “normal” experience with my pregnancy and Hannah’s birth. We are over-the-moon with our sweet little girl and are so delighted to be a family of four.

 

Our First Week as a Foursome

Baby Hannah is officially a week old! We have been loving our time together this past week. These are the days I wish I could freeze time – or at least have a camera crew follow us around recording this special time for our new family of four.

After Hannah was born our hospital stay was very short-lived. We got discharged about 27 hours after she arrived. Our initial day in the hospital was crazy. Alex got up with the sun, ran home to take Jackson to the park and play ball and be back home before Ben woke up so they could go through Ben’s morning routine together and Alex could explain that his baby sister was born.

Then! Alex brought Ben to the hospital to meet his baby sister. Throughout my whole pregnancy, and especially near the end, what I was most excited for was seeing Ben as a big brother. He has such a sweet, loving and caring personality and I figured he’d nail it. So far, I was right. Ben knew just what to do and it completely melted my heart.

It was really emotional for me leaving Ben when I headed into the hospital because I knew that was the last time I’d see him as an only child. Then when I saw him for the first time in his “World’s Best Big Brother” t-shirt the next morning he looked like a giant. I swear he grew up overnight. He must have been preparing to become a big brother.

Hospitals are no place for super active two-year olds, so Ben’s visit was pretty short. Alex brought him back home to spend the day with Stacey, our au pair, and then came right back to the hospital, just in time for the revolving door of our room to start moving. I swear we had someone in our room every 15 minutes. It was impossible to get a nap in or have a moment to enjoy some cuddles with Hannah.

Later in the day we found out that Hannah’s and my blood types were different – I have a negative blood type and she’s positive – and that they found some of my antibodies in her cord blood. Without going into the nitty gritty of it – this can be a prime setup for jaundice, so we had to stay a couple extra hours to do some blood work and check her bilirubin levels. Poor girl had to get her heel pricked twice because the samples on the first prick clotted. We were getting so nervous that she’d have to stay in the hospital for a few extra days and do photo therapy. Thankfully, per the whole Hannah experience, her levels were totally fine and we got discharged around 9:30 that night. We were waiting on pins and needles for about 5 hours awaiting that news!

Our first night at home with Hannah was so sweet. She was awake a ton – she was cluster feeding a lot in the middle of the night for the first four nights, so we got to have a lot of sweet cuddles and bonding time. I think the cluster feeding helped my milk come in really quickly, too, which is great. Now, nine days in, she mostly eats every 2-3 hours with a good 4-hour stretch overnight.

It was the sweetest thing when we all woke up on Tuesday morning at home together as a family of four. Ben was so excited to see his baby sister at home and wanted nothing but to sit with her and give her hugs and kisses. He was so sweet with her.

Alex is home for two weeks while we adjust to having Hannah and we decided we wanted Ben’s weekdays to be as normal as possible, so Stacey is still on with Ben mostly full-time. We are giving her a break at some point every day to have some one-on-one time with Ben while Hannah is asleep so that he knows he’s still special. I had so much fun playing in our backyard water park one day with him and Alex took him on a super fun outing to REI another day, which he won’t stop talking about!

We spent every morning last week in the doctor’s office checking in on Hannah’s {non-existent} jaundice. The doctors wanted to keep a very close eye on her skin and eye color and her weight. I keep saying I think Hannah looks like a little peach – her skin is such a beautiful pink and she’s got little baby fuzz all over still. No sign of jaundice! Hannah only lost 6% of her body weight, which is great, and by Friday of last week {five days after birth} she was back up to 6 pounds 8 ounces {her birth weight was 6 pounds 11 ounces}. She got the all-clear on Friday and we were discharged into the world! We’ll be back at the doctor at the end of this week for Hannah’s 2-week checkup.

Last week I swear Ben’s growth and maturity skyrocketed. He looks gigantic, feels super heavy and is becoming such a big kid. He started wearing underwear, singing the days of the week and he climbed out of his crib and opened the door to his room. It was a big week for him! Needless to say, a big boy bed is on its way. He’s been nailing it with potty training – a lot of people warned us about regression, but he’s actually made very noticeable progressions in the last week. We are so proud of that little boy!

Hannah is an absolute dream – she is so calm and content. It’s been fun the last few days to see her little eyes be open more and more throughout the day. Her umbilical cord stump came off over the weekend so now we can start tummy time. I think it will be really neat for Ben to be able to interact with her while she’s hanging out on her belly. Hannah is eating and sleeping really well and loves being all cozily swaddled or snuggled up in someone’s arms.

Alex and I have been commenting on an almost daily basis how different the experience with Hannah has been from our experience with Ben. The delivery was completely different {birth story coming soon!} and bringing home a one-day old baby, versus a 26-day old baby was so, so different. We missed out on the initial first few weeks with Ben and are so enjoying the experience with Hannah. The middle-of-the-night cluster feeds, frequent trips to the doctor and all of the cuddles and love have been so meaningful for us and we’re so grateful to have our sweet girl at home with us.

My recovery has been a breeze. Right after Hannah came out I instantly felt like a normal person again. No heartburn {!!!!!!!!!!!} and I just felt not pregnant. Really, it was instant. I was bed-bound for a few hours waiting for the epidural to wear off and be able to feel my legs again, but otherwise, it’s been a walk in the park, especially compared to a c-section. I’ve been choosing my chairs wisely, as it’s been uncomfortable to sit on hard chairs, but thankfully by day four that’s been really manageable. We’ve been getting out for long walks pretty much every day and it’s just the best!

So far our time as a family of four has been filled with joy and an abundance of love for our new dynamic and our new addition. Hannah has provided a calming presence and our hearts are just overflowing when we see how much Ben loves his baby sister already. We are so, so happy.

Baby Hannah is Here!

Our sweet girl, Hannah Maxine, arrived yesterday on July 22nd. She was so ready to be born she arrived two and a half weeks early. She’s absolutely perfect and we’re smitten. We are adjusting to life at home with two kiddos and I think we’re going to love being a family of four!

I’ll post Hannah’s birth story shortly!

New Storage Shed!

Amidst the chaos somehow Alex managed to find time to build a new storage shed for our backyard. We have been dreaming of the day when we could start storing more things outside, both from a get-stuff-out-of-the-house standpoint, but also for ease of use of some outdoor items we use frequently.

This was a multi-weekend/weeknight project that started with building a foundation, next came an unexpected trip to rent a trailer to remove the dirt {our soil is horrible – the dirt Alex dug up was filled with rusty nails and broken glass!} and finally, the partially assembled pieces arrived, so Alex stained them and then constructed the shed.

Now that it’s done we can’t believe it took us so long to figure out that we actually had room for a shed in our backyard. It has freed up so much space in our storage room, as well as on our patio. It feels so much more open by our patio table and gives us a lot more room to move around. Not surprisingly, the shed is already full!

 

Our First Family Camping Trip

I’m not sure if we were crazy or just really optimistic when we booked our camping trip six months ago. In any case, we gave it a shot!

We’ve been to Lake Wenatchee State Park several times and camped here once before. It’s a very family-friendly campground and we chose it in part because of the flushable toilets, running water, showers, proximity to a beach and playground and a few other fun amenities. So, it’s car camping at its finest…

Not long after we got our tent set up the sky opened up and it started to rain. We were not the slightest bit prepared for rain, since there was zero chance of it in the forecast. We quickly huddled under the little overhang of the tent to stay dry and get attacked by mosquitoes! Thankfully the rain didn’t last long and we were able to get a fire and some s’mores going.

Mid-storm my brother and his girlfriend, Becky, arrived! Ben hasn’t seen Uncle John or Becky in nearly a year but seemed to remember them right away and made several requests for Uncle John to pick him up. He really enjoyed spending time with Uncle John and Becky. They were great sports to have spent 24 hours with a toddler.

It turns out it can be rather difficult to get a 2-year old to settle down and go to sleep when there are kids running around, car alarms going off, it’s extremely light out, adults are partying and talking loudly and really when you’re in a new setting. So! Ben fell asleep at about 10:00 p.m., despite our best efforts to get him to cuddle up with us in front of the fire and fall asleep. Once he fell asleep, though, he passed out until 7:15 in the morning, so that was great!

Despite Ben sleeping well {once he fell asleep} neither Alex or I got much sleep. I forgot how uncomfortable air mattresses can be, and it turns out it wasn’t just the preggo who was miserable – Alex had similar complaints. Given the lack of sleep we decided we’d head home a night early. Needless to say, the coffee tasted extra, extra good on Saturday morning.

Side note: how cool are these coffee mugs?! They were a favor at a beautiful wedding we attended last fall.

Milk + camp chair + campfire + super cool Patagonia fleece = happy Ben!

Ben seemed to love all of the time we spent outside on our camping trip. He is such a little explorer and entertainer. We had fun playing in the tent, walking down to the water and playing at the playground. I think we have ourselves a beach baby!

By mid-afternoon on Saturday our campsite was packed up and Ben was snoozing in my lap by the fire {at least we had one success with getting him to fall asleep!}. We decided to run into “town” and grab some coffee from Plain Hardware then go and have a little picnic at our house before going into Leavenworth to show John and Becky around.

Ben was mostly over the idea of sitting still by the time we got out of the car when we arrived in Leavenworth. We managed to have a little time to sit at Cured, our favorite sausage haus, to enjoy a pretzel, bratwurst and beer before we appeased the toddler and went swimming!

Swimming with Ben, in particular at this perfect-for-tots pool, was one of the highlights of my weekend. The pool had a zero-depth entry and a huge section that was 2 feet deep or less. It had a little toddler water slide that was made just for Ben. Ben was wading around in the pool, paddling his arms and jumping up and down – I think he was watching other people swim and trying to figure out how to do it himself! It was so fun to watch.

Before we made the drive home we stopped at the Heidlberger Drive In for some great cheeseburgers and fries. Alex and I love a good diner and this one didn’t disappoint.

All in all, we had a wonderful time on our camping trip. We’re not going to be in a hurry to sleep in a tent again for a few years, I don’t think, but it was such a fun experience to provide for Ben. We are very, very glad we came home after one night, for a number of reasons, but most importantly, Ben ended up coming down with a nasty case of croup on Saturday night/Sunday and we spent the afternoon in urgent care. Poor kiddo was miserable! Hopefully we’re done with the summer illnesses after this one.

The Start of Summer

Here in Seattle we had a nice summery tease back in May. June usually is one of the more annoying months to live in Seattle, though, because the temperature drops back down and the gray skies and drear come back. We usually say that summer in Seattle starts on July 5th, and unsurprisingly, looking at the forecast it looks like that’s going to be the case this year.

Nevertheless, it’s still technically summer! My coffees are iced, I’m sort of in the habit of watering my plants, Ben is stocked up on outdoor toys and shorts, I overbought on sunscreen, our windows are clean, and we’ve got a beach bag constantly packed and ready to go.

We really weren’t sure what this summer would look like, as I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, so we didn’t want to make too many plans. Normally summer weekends would be filled with regional trips, hiking and lounging at the beach.

We’ve got a bit of that sprinkled into our summer agenda, but let’s just say it’s a good thing we have a great backyard setup for Ben right now.

Ben has been loving touring different playgrounds nearby, having picnics, playing in his “house” in the backyard, swimming in his little pool or splash pad, visiting the zoo and the Bellevue Children’s Museum, and chasing Jackson or dada around the yard.

We are looking forward to our upcoming camping trip, hopefully going to the beach if it ever warms back up, exploring some of the splash parks around the area and taking family bike rides down by the lake.

One of my favorite pastimes during the summer months is sitting on our porch or patio with a nice glass of rose. Wellllll that’s not happening for a while for me. My new drink of choice is a cherry Italian soda! It’s no rose, but it’ll do the trick for now.

Happy summer!!

Potty Training: 2+ Weeks In!

We’ve all survived potty training for two weeks and we haven’t given up! Three cheers for Ben!

Things are going very well with teaching Ben how to use the potty. It’s been waayyyyy less stressful than I expected. The first day was definitely the hardest, but then after the first week we all really got into a good rhythm. Until the end of the day on Friday {so, exactly two weeks in basically} Ben was being prompted to “go” 100% of the time, but at the very end of the day, right before bed, he told me he needed to use the potty.

This is a huge, huge milestone in potty training and I was overjoyed that he let me know. It continued to happen throughout the weekend and into the start of this week, which tells us things are “clicking” for him and we’ll soon be able to trust him to let us know. It’s going to be so nice to not have to tell him to go use the potty every 45 minutes or so! {I know that’ll be a while, but still…. something to look forward to!}

And for the record, we’re only doing daytime potty training right now since Ben still naps and sleeps in a crib. I think we’re getting closer and closer to a big kid bed, though, so, there’s that to also look forward to.

In any event, we are thrilled with how well it’s going. It has been so fun to see how excited and proud of himself Ben has been with the whole process. It’s so cool watching him learn a new life skill like this.

34 Weeks and Counting!

Since I only made it to 33 weeks and 2 days during my pregnancy with Ben it feels a little surreal to have actually made it to 34 weeks with baby girl. We’re officially in uncharted territory!

{33w3d – one day farther than I got with Ben!}

Last weekend Alex and I took a one-day labor and delivery class since we never made it to that point with Ben and ultimately knew it would end with a c-section. This time around I’m hoping I’ll be able to spontaneously go into labor and avoid a repeat cesarean. Fingers crossed!

We’re a lot more prepared with the labor and delivery basics, as well as what happens after a low-risk delivery. I was surprised to find myself getting emotional thinking about how differently Ben arrived from how the arrival of a new baby was portrayed in the class. Our experience with his arrival was a stark contrast to a “regular” delivery. We missed out on so much and are hoping to have a very different delivery this time around. In any case, though, we know it’s completely out of our hands.

Another preparation we’re working on right now is hiring a birth and postpartum doula to support us through the labor and delivery process, as well as offer lactation and postpartum support once we are home with baby girl.

{32w6d}

We still have a few basic things to do to get ready for her arrival – we’ve got to pull out the infant car seat, wash bottles and pumping parts, buy and set up the pack & play in our room {closet?}, do some freezer cooking/meal prep and finish the “kids” closet in Ben’s room. There’s probably a thousand other little things we’ll realize we forgot we need to do this time around…

Otherwise, all is well here with preggo me and growing baby girl. She’s getting big, therefore I am too! I’m shocked to report that I’m still feeling really, really well these last few weeks – better than the first 30 weeks of my pregnancy. I could do without the heartburn and middle-of-the-night leg cramps, but I’d happily take that over the back pain I had earlier on. In all honesty, all that matters is this baby girl stays healthy and content on the inside for several more weeks and continues to grow and develop. We’re very, very excited to meet her and introduce her to her older brother, but we’re happy to hold off for a little while longer.