Baby on Board

You know those little caution signs you hang in your car’s back window to let everyone know there’s a baby inside? Baby on Board! We don’t have one, I don’t know why, I guess I never felt like spending the money and also saw one for sale at the same time in the same place. But, I’ve heard people complaining about them lately. “You think your baby is so much more special than everyone else on the road, you gotta put a sign in the window that says, hey, look at me, I had a baby! I’m special!” Or something to that effect.

But, I’m here today to tell you it doesn’t mean that at all. Here’s a few things a Baby on Board sign does mean:

–Warning: Distracted Driver. Babies and kids might be a distraction for the driver. Nay, babies and kids ARE ALWAYS a distraction for the driver. Pretty much the entire time they are in the car. Something is amiss–they’re hungry, they’re thirsty, it’s too sunny, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, they have to pee, the straps of their carseat are digging into their shoulders, because they just grew another inch since getting in–whatever it is, they’ve got to YELL and SCREAM about it. And sometimes things are thrown. It’s hard to drive like this. Is it unreasonable to expect the other drivers to deal with that? Totally. But, you’ve been warned.

–Don’t Drive Like a Shit Around Me. Don’t tailgate. Don’t drive 20 miles over the speed limit. Don’t weave in and out of traffic like it’s a damn NASCAR race. I have CHILDREN in my car. Know how much fun it is to rear end someone? Well, guess how much fun it is to rear end someone with kids in their car. Someone who is a grown up, responsible adult (ok, haha, just kidding) that the police are going to side with.

–Save Your Sanity: Don’t Go Where I’m Going. Don’t. Just don’t.

Five Months

My dearest Fer-Bear,

You’re 5 months old!

Mama knows you’re only 5 months old, but the rest of the world swears you look, and act, at least 7 months. Overachiever already.

Unfortunately, though, you’re not a great sleeper. I think you get that from me. I’ve been taking all the advice my bloggy friends have passed on, and you still take tiny, easily-woken-from cat naps all day, and wake up 2-3 times a night to nurse. Let’s forget for a moment that your big brother was fully sleeping through the night by your age. If you could just drop your routine to…one feeding a night, I’d be a happy mama. Oh, and if you could take a regular daytime nap too. Yeah, that’d be great. The only routine thing about your day right now, any day, is that you go to bed between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and sleep until about midnight. I wish I could push that back, even just a half hour, but it’s a routine, so I’ll take it. For now.

You roll over! I’ve usually got you in some seat or swing contraption, or your cosleeper bed which is quickly becoming way too small for you, so you don’t get a lot of chances to practice, but I’ve seen you roll tummy to back and back to tummy once each. That counts, right? You’re also having a love affair with your right foot. Just the right foot. You constantly tug off your right sock, and gnaw on your right foot for hours.

You’re not doing awesome with solid foods. Mama bragged to the Internetz about how you were “sooo ready” to start solids, and it turns out? Not so much. Big brother took to rice cereal like flies to poo, so this came as a big surprise to me. I think you like how it tastes, but you haven’t exactly figured out how to swallow it, and there’s some gagging involved. And half the time you’re still doing that pushing-it-out-of-your-mouth thing, so most of it ends up on the bib instead of in your belly. We still try every couple of days. You’ll get it eventually.

Also, we probably should have named you Smiley. You smile All. The. Time. Even when you are crying, we can get you to smile between wails. It’s adorable. And you don’t just smile, you SMILE. Your eyes light up, your cheeks get those amazing dimples, and you laugh. Such a happy guy. I hope you’re that smiley forever. There’s far too little smiling in this world, you will make it brighter.

And you ADORE your big brother.

You are always looking at him and smiling, and watching him play. Studying him closely, taking notes on how to be a big boy. It’s amazing to see you watch him with such admiration in your eyes, and to see him give you big hugs and kisses. Yay for brothers!

Happy 5 months, little dude! Keep smiling, keep growing, keep learning all there is to learn about your little world. I’m so excited to see all the exciting changes you make this month!

Love,

Mama

4 Months

Four months. FOUR MONTHS!

This is going by WAY TOO FAST.

The big news is, we started solids. A full 10 days before his 4 month birthday (the HORROR!) He has a love-hate relationship with it. Most of the time, he kind of rolls it around in his mouth, swallowing some of it, dribbling out the rest. Sometimes he VORACIOUSLY eats it up, and gets pissed when it’s gone. And sometimes, he turns his face away from it like it’s prison gruel. I can’t get a good read on this kid. What I DO know is that his system is fine with it, and I’ve added some applesauce and bananas to the mix as well, all well tolerated.

I also know for sure that it’s not helping the night feeding situation, as I had hoped. He started sleeping through the night at 3 months, just like his brother, but unlike brother, he started waking up twice a night to nurse again after just a couple of weeks of blissful full nights of rest.  Though, last night he slept all the way through again, so we’ll see.

And, I think he nurses for comfort a hell of a lot more than his brother did. Remember when I was complaining that he was nursing up to 15 times a day? Well, I went to a six-hour writing workshop last Saturday, and he drank like 6 oz. of milk and had some cereal. THE WHOLE TIME. Obviously he thinks if mama is around, he can just nurse to his heart’s content. If not? Ok, fine, what else is there?

At his 4 month check up, he weighed in at 16 pounds, 5 ounces. And he’s over two feet tall now. He’s almost exactly the same size as Bowie was at this age, though both the pediatrician and I could have sworn Ferris was bigger. He just seems…sturdier. And rounder. She kept saying how round Ferris looks.

He’s a super smiley kid, showing off those dimples for anyone who looks at him. And in the last few days he has really started making sounds. He imitates the sounds we make, and answers us in his little voice when we talk to him. And if you tickle his tummy just right during a diaper change, you’ll get a real, honest-to-goodness laugh. We’ve tried filming it, but he gets distracted by the camera and stops laughing.

He hates to be left alone. Not that I’m leaving my baby alone all the time, but if I have to put him in his swing or his bed so that I have two hands for folding laundry or cooking dinner or PEEING (for God’s sakes), then he gets really mad at me. And sad. He cries real tears, and they roll down his sad little face. Mommy guilt central. I can’t snuggle him to death the way I could with Bowie, and it’s killing me. And he really, really wants me to, so much more than Bowie ever did. Some days he won’t nap at all (an infant that won’t nap? I know.) unless I hold him in my arms, or carry him around in the Ergo.

And you guys, he looks EXACTLY like Bowie did at this age. EXACTLY. It’s trippin’ us out. We’re going to have to be very careful to label pictures, because I could totally see us looking back in 10 years or so and being all, “Which one is this?” He gets referred to a lot as “Bowie Junior” or “Bowie’s Clone”, which I hope won’t give him some kind of complex.

Enjoying every second with this little bug, as much as I can. It’s going by SOOO FAST.

Starting Solid Food

When Bowie turned 4 months old, I started him on solid food mostly because I was an eager new mom, and was excited to start. I mean, he was nursing slightly more than the average kid, and he certainly met the weight criteria, but he was happily sleeping through the night, and he didn’t seem all that interested in food, and he was thriving, and I’m sure I could have held off until his 6 month birthday. But, I got the go-ahead from our pediatrician and I started him on cereals at 4 months anyway, and fruits and veggies shortly after. And he did great.

Ferris is much more eager to get started on solid foods, and he’s made that perfectly clear, even though he’s not officially 4 months old until next Thursday. But, like big brother, he’s at the right weight (double his birth weight) and he’s had basic head and neck strength since like, 6 weeks. (My guys like to look around and see the world, I guess.)

Unlike big brother, he’s eating A LOT more than the average kiddo, with up to 15 feedings per day (most articles recommend starting if the baby still seems hungry after 8 to 10 feedings). He’s also interested in what we’re eating. REALLY interested. Not only does he watch in fascination as we eat, and screech in protest when we don’t share, but around New Year’s, I was eating a clementine with him in my lap, and he grabbed himself a slice and started shoving it into his mouth! And to top it all off, I’m pretty sure he’s going to sprout a tooth any second. Dude is ready. 

So, I mentioned something on the old Twitters about how he was SO SO READY, and did I actually have to wait until he was fully 4 months old to start?

I got a few responses informing me that “the recommendation is actually 6 months.” Which yes, is the tail end of what most consider to be the recommendation of 4 to 6 months, as long as baby shows signs of readiness. In fact, one article I ran across recommended starting sometime before 6 months, because after 6 months, the texture might be a turn off for them, and you’ll have a harder time getting them to start. I’m not saying you need to start before then even if you and baby aren’t ready, but I just found that little bit of info interesting.

Ferris will start very soon. As soon as I get a second to grab a box of Earth’s Best from Target (I plan to make all of his food like I did for Bowie, including my own rice cereal, but before 6 months it’s recommended they start on iron-fortified cereal). I figure since you start out only feeding a tablespoon or two a day, it’s ok to start a week early.

I had big babies who like to eat. What else is a mama to do?

When did you start your babies on solids? What signs of readiness did they show?

Three Months

Somewhere in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and amid sickness and problems with Big Brother, and a grandparent relocation to our neck of the woods, my little bug turned three months old.

Can you believe that? Three months!

He’s a very happy baby, laughing and giggling about everything. He’s getting very social, and lights up when he sees familiar faces (especially Big Brother’s face!).

He’s also got a flair for the dramatic. When he’s sitting in his swing or in his bed and he wants me to pick him up, he does this little half cry half whimper, which I’ve learned to tell apart from a real cry. If I don’t come get him, he starts to yell. He really is yelling! It’s hilarious. And of course, it gets him what he wants.

He’s super eager to move, I can tell. He isn’t rolling over quite yet, but when placed on his back, he often turns his body 180 degrees, and moves a full foot in one direction. And also while on his back, he tries like hell to sit up. While sitting up assisted, he’s pretty steady. He’ll be high-chair-ready in no time!

Which is pretty crazy. I started Bowie on solids at 4 months because I thought he was a big eater. But, Ferris is a BIG EATER. So, I may start him around the same time. Which is only four weeks away! How did that happen?!

He’s so curious about the world around him. If he’s fussy, all I really have to do is let him look at something he’s never seen before. Today at Big Brother’s swimming lesson, I had Ferris in the Ergo, and he was super fussy, even though I was sure he wasn’t hungry, and he’s usually pretty comfy in there. So, when I found my seat on the bench, I got him out, and he was silent for the rest of the lesson, looking around and everything and turning to hear noises.

It is amazing watching him learn and grow and develop so differently from Bowie, yet at the same time so much the same as Bowie. I’m trying, trying, trying to “enjoy every moment”, but how are you supposed to do that when things are moving so fast? Every morning when I pick him up out of his bed, he’s like a new baby, with new likes and dislikes and wants and needs. I spend my day learning to meet all of that for him, instead of spending it just playing with him.

The past three months have been an exhausting blur, but also some of the best of my life. Love you, baby Ferris!

Two Months

Ferris is officially two months old today!

Aside from the still-waking-up-three-times-a-night thing, two months is pretty fun. He’s getting chubby cheeks and chunky thighs, and he’s SMILING, oh does this kid SMILE! Exhibit A:

He’s also laughing? I think? Do they laugh at two months? In any case, it’s some very serious smiling. And the cooing. MY GOD, the cooing. I die.

He weighed in at the doc yesterday at a whopping 12 lbs. 12 oz. So, we’re already moving up to 3 month clothes and size 2 dipes.

He is still refusing the pacifier on most occasions. He typically only takes it for some calming action mid-day if we’re out and about. I have, however, had to train myself in the fine art of realizing when he’s gagging even if he’s in the Moby and I can’t see his face. Because he spit up approximately a gallon of milk all over himself and me and the floor of the elementary school library while we were on a Kindergarten tour, from gagging on the pacifier. But thankfully we were surrounded by other parents who, you know, get it. The soothie pacifier was suggested by someone. Also, rubbing it on myself? I suppose so it tastes like he’s nursing, but, weird. For now he’s just sucking on my finger if he needs something, and he’s still trying like hell to get his thumb in his mouth. Which I am still heavily discouraging, but if we end up with a thumb sucker, meh. Things could be worse.

From my side of things, I think I’ve finally hit my stride as a mama of two. We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Bowie’s neediness and regression (though our presence has been requested in the preschool director’s office on Monday, womp). He’s been such a handful, and I’m doing my absolute best, but newborns are pretty darn needy little things too, so things have not been going super awesomely well. I’ve just been trying to give in whenever I can. For example, he’s been wanting to make this “flying kitty” costume for days now, so yesterday I found a Michael’s gift card in my wallet and went crazy. We got stuff to make the flying kitty costume, but I got a ton of other stuff too, to keep him busy and to keep mama from flicking on the TV whenever she needs a moment of peace.

I find now that I am both busting out of my depression and getting enough sleep to function during the day that I am excited to do stuff too, like crafting, baking, reading, WRITING. I signed up for my girl Alice Bradley’s writing-prompt-a-day for December, and I plan to write my shrinking booty off. It’s been a long, long, LONG time, way too long, since I’ve worked on anything creative aside from the blog. But, don’t get my wrong, I love doing the blog. It’s just…I need to work those writing muscles more.

Ok, this post is supposed to be about Ferris, how did it become about Bowie and me?

So, anyway, he got his two month vaccinations yesterday, which were just as hard to take with the second baby as they were with the first. For some reason I thought it might get easier to watch Ferris get poked with needles, but turns out, NOPE. TOTALLY NOT. And guess what? While we were there, Bowie also got his flu shot, and that was GUT-WRENCHING as well. So, if you have two kids, you are not desensitized to the second one getting hurt, you have merely doubled your incredible sensitivity to watching your kid get hurt. You know, your heart walking around outside of your body and all of that.

I think Ferris may also have adopted a lovey already. I’ve been trying out some different toys lately, letting him practice his grip and feel the textures and all of that great developmental stuff. I had gotten one of these Taggies blankets in our Citrus Lane shipment one month when I was still pregnant, and I thought that might be interesting, because he’s always grabbing the edges of blankets and shirts and stuff. Turns out, he LOVES the thing, and it seems to help soothe him to sleep when he needs it. I am never without it, which I think means it’s officially moved into lovey territory.

All in all, like I said, two months is pretty fun. I’d say, “Let’s freeze time!”, but I would like to be sleeping through the night, and I would like Bowie’s behavior to get back up to snuff. We’ll see where we are next month. So, whoever’s working on that whole Keeping them Babies Forever project, if you could like, finish up with that, okay?

Typical Night

1 a.m. Feeding:

Oh, hi baby Ferris! Are you a hungry boy? Yes you are, aren’t you? Let’s just change that diaper quickly. Oh, don’t cry, it’s ok. Just changing your diaper. There, there little guy, it’s ok. 

Ok, let’s see, I remember, we’re on the left this time. Here you go buddy! Wow, nursing is such a magical! special! experience. I’m so happy I’ve been able to do this with my boys. How wonderful. So good for me, so good for them, yay breastfeeding!

Let’s just check my email while you eat, and see if it’s my turn on Words with Friends. 

All done now? Ok. Let’s swaddle you up nice and tight, lay you down…there you go buddy, love you! Do you need the paci? Here you go. You silly boy, you dropped the paci, here you go again.

3 a.m. Feeding:

Let’s see…Ferris, is it? Hungry again? Ok, I’m up. Let’s check your diaper. Don’t cry, it’s ok. Did I even manage to get all the poo off of you? Oh well, we’ll see in the morning. 

Ok, which side are we on? Thank goodness for this iPad app. Ok, here you go. If you need me, I’ll be playing this mindless game.

Done, finally. Ok, let me just half-assed swaddle you up here. There you go, goodnight. Oh, right, the paci. Here you go. Did you drop it? zzzzzzz……

5 a.m. Feeding:

What? Where am I? Is that…a baby crying? Oh right, I had another baby. Sounds like he’s hungry. Can I get away with not changing him? Can I get Brien to change him? Bah, I’ll just do it. 

Ok, I didn’t get all the poo off last time, let me try again this time. And your butt is all red now, let me just put on some of this…damn, I got ointment all over the place! Ok, let me just wipe this off of your knee. And your elbow. And your face. And my face. Let me get a diaper out. Oh, I already got a diaper out, never mind, I’ll just fasten this one on you. Ugh, why are these diaper tabs giving me such a hard time?! Stop crying buddy, or you’ll wake your brother up and we’ll all be miserable. Ok, screw buttoning up the onesie, I’ll take care of it while you eat. Gotta get you to stop crying. 

What side were we on? They’re both super full and sore. Well, whatever the app says, I guess. Here you go.

Nursing is so HARD. Why does it HURT so much?! How long is it like this? How long was it with Bowie? I can’t remember. I can’t even remember what day it is today. What day is it today? Do we have to be up? No, we can sleep. Should I play some totally mindless game while I wait? Nah, I can’t even keep my eyes open. I’ll just close them a little, I won’t fall asleep…zzzzzzzz…GAH, I just almost fell over falling asleep. Ok, eyes open, EYES OPEN.

Ok, done. Now let me attempt a swaddle here. Only one arm is out, good enough. There you go. Wait, I forgot to button the onesie. Second attempt at a swaddle. Both arms out. Whatever.

Please go back to sleep. Please, please please. If you sleep, I can sleep. For just another hour, ok buddy? Ok? Please? Please?

 

One Month

Ferris is a month old already!

At his two week checkup, he weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces, still down a bit from his birth weight. And he was still at 21 inches long. This week at his one month check up, he was 9 pounds 6 ounces and 22 inches long! After just two weeks! So, all of my worrying about “I have to limit his feeding to help with the spitting up, but is he getting enough?” is just silly. Clearly he’s getting enough.

This also reminded me I still needed to get a baby book. Because, the milestones! They’re happening already! In addition to growing so fast we can practically see it happening before our very eyes, he’s also starting to smile and coo, and he can track an object close to his face. (Which means he’s a genius, obviously.)

The past month has gone by so fast! And I was warned about this. They say it goes fast with your first, and even faster with your second. You blink and they’re going off to gradeschool. And why is it so much faster with the second? Because you’re too flipping busy to stop and savor the moments.

If you need me, I’ll be over there smelling the roses.

P.S. I weighed in at 138 at the doctor yesterday. BOOYAH.

He’s Different, That’s For Sure

I have to go back and revisit this post from a few months ago, where I was having a panic attack about having a baby that was different from Bowie. But at the same time having a panic attack about having a baby that was the same as Bowie.

It is, I’m sure, no surprise at all to other parents of two or more to hear that Ferris is different from Bowie in a lot of ways. Like, VERY different. Most of these details won’t interest anyone but me, I’m sure. But I’m just marveling at how VERY different they are from each other, and I want a record of it.

So, to revisit:

1. Bowie never spit up. Ferris spits up. FERRIS SPITS UP A LOT. All the jokes about being the mom who always has spit up in her hair: I GET THEM NOW. In the hospital, I was letting Ferris nurse himself to sleep, just like I did with Bowie. But, he was way overfeeding himself, and this one time he erupted like a damn geyser. We had to change all the bedding in his little hospital bassinet, and the nurse saw the soiled blankets and got this “OMG what happened here?!” look on her face. She couldn’t believe the amount he spit up. The maternity ward nurse. So, yeah. I started limiting his feedings to 10 minutes, and it’s better, but he still spits up. And seemingly always when I’ve forgotten the burp cloth, of course. Also, the other night he spit up with the pacifier in his mouth, so it all shot straight into his nose. That was a fun hour following that, let me tell you what.

2. Bowie took to breastfeeding right away. Like a boss. Thankfully, so did Ferris. So glad we didn’t have to worry about that at all. Thanks, boys!

3. Bowie never had to go to the ER. And of course, Ferris still has not had to. However, Ferris did get a little overheated one night this week. The thermometer was reading about 99 degrees consistently (I took his temperature NO LESS than 10 times). I grabbed my trusty newborn how-to guide off the bookshelf, and it said 99 was a “fever”, and the doc should be called posthaste. So naturally I lost my ever loving mind. But, it was 6 p.m., and I hate calling people if it’s not really important, so I did a little Internet research and for once Dr. Google didn’t scare the crap out of me. The general consensus was to get his temp down with a bath or something, but not really to worry until 101 degrees. But, we had a little health scare. At 3 weeks old. Pretty certain I lost 5 years of my life there.

4. Bowie was a great sleeper. Ferris is…an okay sleeper. Bowie would give me 3 or 4 hour stretches at night. Which Ferris also does on occasion, but typically it is more like 1 1/2 or 2 hours at a time. And somewhere around 3 a.m. he usually decides he doesn’t want to sleep in his bed anymore, your arms would be much better thank you very much. I suspect this has something to do with his gas issues (which I will touch on momentarily).

5. Bowie self-soothed with a paci. Ferris has also taken a paci like a champ. But, he’s also very fond of his right thumb. We’re trying to discourage this, so that we’re not later trying to break a stubborn 4 year old of a thumb sucking habit. But, this may yet become a trend. Meanwhile, here’s the binky Ferris. You want the binky, don’t you? Yes you do!

The rest of my original list is totally irrelevant, because Ferris isn’t even a month old yet. I’m sure as the months and years go on, you’ll get the full story on loveys and toddler beds and potty training, but for now that’s all in the future for him.

But there have also been some other new surprises thrown in for good measure:

6. Ferris does this thing where he doesn’t pee for 4 or 5 hours, and then he UNLOADS. So, he’s often peeing out of diapers, even though they fit fine, and he’s really not peeing all that much as far as a normal daily amount goes. What this means: I’ll be catching up on laundry until I die.

7. Ferris is gassy. SO GASSY. He’s not a great burper. After a feeding, it’s kind of a challenge to get a good, solid burp out of him. And if we do, it’s usually not pretty (see #1). So, most of the time, he gets a lot of gas trapped in his system, and it comes out as farts. Big, loud farts. And he spends a lot of time before these farts squirming uncomfortably and getting red-faced.

8. Ferris has a very reliable Fussy Time every late afternoon. He has a full belly, and he’s getting cuddled but he still cries, and squirms, and seems inconsolable. I don’t think it’s colic, it’s not that bad, and usually doesn’t last more than an hour or so. But it falls during the time of picking Bowie up from school and cooking dinner. Not so convenient. I’m doing a lot of things with him in the Moby wrap.

But, you know what? I was so worried about having another newborn and thinking I wouldn’t know what to do. I was forgetting that as a parent, you might not know what to do, but you will figure it out. You just do somehow. I don’t know what I was so worried about. Just three weeks in, and I already know all of this stuff about my new son.

I got this.

Ferris’ Birth Story. If you’re into that kind of thing. The word ‘placenta’ makes an appearance.

My birth story with Ferris begins with an unofficial Monday visit for a quick exam on the labor and delivery floor of the hospital. The midwife I had seen the Friday before couldn’t get me a regular appointment at the clinic, so she said, “I’m working in labor and delivery on Monday, just stop by and I’ll fit you in.”

So, Monday, I waddle in, and she’s totally busy, which is what I expected. I kept myself busy in the waiting room for 45 minutes (thank God for smart phones) and she finally emerged, fresh from her second delivery of twins in 24 hours, and says there’s not much space for an exam, and would I walk back over to the clinic with her for the exam.

Finally at the clinic, she sneaks me into an unused room, and does the exam. I was expecting to be at least a centimeter or two dilated, given the number of Braxton Hicks I’d been having over the past week. And that maybe we could do a membrane sweep and get things moving.

I could tell by the way her eyes widened that she had better news for me. “You’re at FIVE CENTIMETERS.”

For anyone reading this who’s never had a baby, I will explain to you that 5cm is basically halfway done with labor. And I hadn’t felt a thing. It also means, baby is coming at any second.

At that point she figured she should do a full exam, to make sure things were ok. So, she took my blood pressure moments later, which was understandably incredibly high. She took it a few more times, and it was normal, but then I also had a wee bit of protein in my urine. So, we walked back over to labor and delivery so I could be monitored. She joked that my water could break just from that short walk, I was THISCLOSE to being in labor.

They got me a bed, hooked me up to a blood pressure monitor, and a fetal monitor. I had normal blood pressure. And regular contractions. Very regular. And because it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get from our house to the hospital, in good traffic, they were very hesitant to let me go.

Which is about when I started actually feeling the contractions. They theorized that the exam was enough to trigger the beginning of real labor, and that this was it. Baby was a-comin’. I called my husband, who was home taking care of Bowie, who some of you may remember had conveniently woken up that very morning running a fever of 101. I had my husband finish packing up my hospital bag, and pack up a bag for Bowie and deliver him to my sister-in-law’s house, whose schedule had so thankfully been wide open for her to take my sick kiddo so I wouldn’t have to unleash that on one of the preschool families, or anyone in the hospital.

My labor was pretty manageable for the next few hours. But, I could tell things were moving quickly. I don’t recall the exact time, but a few hours before Ferris was actually born, the labor hit me suddenly, like three tons of bricks. I had been walking the halls to keep things moving steadily, and I no longer felt like I could stand during a contraction. I spent some time on the birthing ball (a big yoga ball), but eventually was so uncomfortable, all I wanted to do was lay on the bed in the fetal position (no pun intended, but fitting, yes?).

Eventually, I felt the way I did when my labor with Bowie first began–loose bowels, vomiting, the shakes, and very powerful contractions. And I remembered that during that labor, I went from 0 to 4cm in a matter of hours, and I was feeling hopeful that things had really progressed and it was almost time to push. I was in a lot of pain, and was even starting to think epidural, which I have mentioned on here before that I really wanted to do without. Brien managed to talk me out of it. But a quick exam revealed that I was “7cm, but I can stretch you to 9” and I was devastated, thinking it would be another zillion years, and more of these intense contractions than I could possibly handle.

But then, I started to feel pressure. The pressure they talk about in all the books that I never felt with Bowie because I’d had the epidural. Out of the blue, and with a giant gush, my water broke, and MY GOD, THE PRESSURE. I think I was even yelling “so much pressure! so much pressure! so much pressure!” in between my obscenities. I got scared, because she had told me I was only 7cm, that they would tell me I couldn’t push yet. Because my BODY was pushing. I couldn’t help it! My body was doing so much of the work of getting my baby out for me.

I said, “I have to push! I can’t help it!” and, she said the best words I’d heard all day, “Go ahead. Just go with it.”

Like I said, my body was doing so much of the work. But, I pushed as hard as I could, both because that made it feel a hell of a lot better, and because it’s time to push! My sweet baby boy will be here any second!

At one point, after 2 or 3 pushes, it felt to me like maybe his head was halfway out. But, shortly after that the midwife announced, “He’s out!”

I looked down, completely in shock, “He IS?!”

And there he was. A mere 6 hours after the initial exam.

The best part: I was so aware for that moment. I wasn’t groggy from lack of sleep, I wasn’t exhausted from 18 hours of labor, I wasn’t nauseous and shaking from an epidural. I was awake, aware and fully there. So. much. better.

Also, best part: no tears. Which meant no stitches. Which meant, I felt amazing just minutes after delivering. I took pain medication in the hospital for uterine cramping, not for my patched up undercarriage. This also made things so much smoother for getting up and down on my own in the hospital, and getting to go home quickly, and of course taking care of things at home. Only a week after delivery, I was dropping Bowie off at preschool, and everyone was amazed to see me there. But, I just felt so good.

I never wrote down my Bowie birth story. I wasn’t blogging yet back then, so maybe I didn’t see the point. I’d love to write it up now, but I don’t remember much of it. I remember the highlights, but so many of those 18 hours are a complete blur. I’m ever-grateful to have Ferris’ birth story fresh in my mind, and to have had a positive experience to share as well.

This picture of me was taken minutes after delivery. I hadn’t even delivered the placenta yet. What a difference from my first labor.