Finley’s Birth Story!

For those who hadn’t heard, my sweet lady made her appearance two weeks early! She arrived July 18 at 9:20 in the morning. We named her Finley Jeanne. She weighed a mere 6lbs 10oz, compared to her brothers at nearly 9 pounds. And she’s 19 3/4 inches. Tall and skinny.

Her birth story is mostly boring with a few interesting tidbits, but here it is for those of you who love a good birth story:

On Monday morning (July 17), I ate a bowl of cereal and then for the rest of the day, I felt sick. Like I had eaten something bad, or had gotten the stomach flu or something. Not a lot of vomiting, but a terrible stomach ache and no desire to eat. I wasn’t having any contractions. This is quite similar to the way my labor with Bowie started, but his started with a bang. Violent vomiting and the trots, heavy contractions.

In the evening, things got a little worse and a little worse until I was having contractions. Still very mild, but enough to make me wonder if things were getting started. I called Labor and Delivery, and because of my history of being dilated well before my due date, they wanted to see me.

While getting admitted, I had to jet off and do some major damage to a hospital bathroom, and though there was still no bleeding, I was pretty sure this was it.

Once hooked up to the monitor, they could see I was indeed having regular contractions, albeit mild. I was at 3cm and held there for a very long time. Pretty much all night. I walked around the halls of the hospital, I bounced around on a birthing ball, but not much happened. I went to bed and tried to sleep, it was about midnight at the point. I had a few contractions strong enough to wake me up, but still nothing to really write home about.

in the hospital

After I got up in the morning, I turned a corner. The contractions got really uncomfortable, and finally some blood showed up to the party. Then suddenly, after hours of seeing no one, a nurse came in and said some really antsy OB wanted to put me on Pitocin (though I don’t know what the rush was, given that they had no recovery rooms available for hours after I gave birth). I not so politely declined, saying I was having strong contractions, and no one had checked my cervix for hours, and I had never needed it in the past and certainly wasn’t going to be put on it for no reason. (Kind of a breakthrough moment for me really, I have a very hard time questioning anyone in the field of medicine. I digress.)

I was only at 6cm, but things were moving quickly. I was in a lot of pain, and seemed to be going nowhere, so I asked for an epidural. They had seriously asked me every 5 minutes since my arrival if I wanted an epidural. But suddenly the dude was nowhere to be found. In the 45 minutes that it took for the anesthesiologist to show up and hook me up to the magic juice, I had dilated from 6cm to 10cm and my water broke and it was time to deliver her. My feet and lower legs were numb, but I could feel everything else. All the contractions, the ring of fire, all of it.

I felt so damn foolish for asking for it! I did without one with Ferris, after all. But the rate at which I was dilating made the pain unbearable. I thought, if I’m only at 6cm, and this is what the contractions are like, I don’t think I can handle this anymore.  I just had no idea that I was dilating at the speed of light.

Just as the OB suggested they break my water for me, my water broke on its own. And exactly like my labor with Ferris, I immediately felt the insatiable need to push. I think about 5 pushes later, she was out. They kept saying, I see her head! Her head is out! Here come her shoulders! But I wasn’t believing a word they said. It felt like I was pushing and pushing and getting nowhere. Then, they dropped that dirty, bloody, beautiful baby girl onto my belly. One of the most surreal moments of my life. From beginning to end, this pregnancy did not seem real. Did not seem possible. And then suddenly, there she was.

We did skin-to-skin for hours, and it was glorious. She nursed within 10 minutes of being born, and I hardly even had to help her latch. Total natural. (And now she never! stops! eating!) I was not in a lot of pain afterward, but I had to sit around and wait for that stupid, worthless epidural to wear off.

And then there were the blood clots. Apparently, I had a lot of large clots in my uterus, which can sometimes mean trouble. So, they had to “massage” my uterus about every 15 minutes to get out what they could, and make sure there was no placenta left. And by “massage”, I basically mean “jackhammer.” It was extremely painful, and would cause me to have more contractions every time. And blood got everywhere. But hey, better safe than sorry.

After hours and hours of waiting for a recovery room (see earlier where I mention no need to make my labor go faster), and having visitors, and already having the billing department tell us we needed to drop $2000 before leaving (story for another time), I finally got moved to a recovery room, with a much nicer, softer bed.

Brien went home that night to be with the boys, and it was very overwhelming being all alone with this brand new baby who I knew nothing about. She would nurse for a few minutes and fall asleep. I’d put her in the bassinet and she’d wake up 10 minutes later, wanting to eat again. She wanted to nurse constantly, which, after several hours of this, I finally figured out meant she needed a pacifier. And I was just so worried, being all sleep deprived and having hormones coursing through me. I barely slept at all that first night. And there’d be many sleepless or very-little-sleep nights to come. The hospital didn’t have a nursery (!!!) or I’d definitely have taken advantage.

We arrived at home very late the next night. I kept waking up (when I would be able to snooze) and wondering when the nurse was going to come in. I was completely delusional. But, I had Brien there to help, which was a huge relief. As was learning she likes the pacifier. Total game changer.

We are a family of five now, and I still can’t believe it. It’s amazing how this perfect little something comes from basically nothing, and it’s all yours to love and cherish forever. That’s the hormones talking. We will revisit in a year, when she’s tearing through the house and making me crazy.

finley day 1

Party of Five

I have managed to carve out a few minutes to write a little blurb about how I’m doing. If you hadn’t heard, I gave birth to my baby daughter, Finley, July 18th. In an unexpected twist of events, she decided to come early, and she decided to prolong her entrance into this world much more than big brother Ferris. I will gather up a full birth story post soon.

Right now, I’m hanging in there. Like the cat on the motivational poster, I’m grabbing onto that branch for dear life, hoping I can get a leg up real soon.

I’m not getting a ton of sleep. Some, but not enough. Finley has yet to carve out her own little schedule, which is a new one for me. Both boys came out sleeping two 4-hour stretches over night, which made things very easy. Finley has a new plan every night, usually involving one initial 3- to 4-hour stretch, followed by anything from no more sleep to hourly feedings to sleeping on and off until morning, needing to be cuddled for most of that time.

Breastfeeding is just now beginning to hurt a little less each time. She knew what she was doing right away, so that wasn’t an issue at all. But I was dumb and didn’t use the cream and had cracked and bloody nipples and it was…unpleasant to nurse her. But I feel like I’ve mostly crossed the bridge to nursing champ.

Healing took longer than anticipated. As with Ferris, there was little to no damage to my undercarriage, so I was up and moving around pretty freely less than a day later. But, I decided kind of last minute to have a tubal ligation, and the surgery was hard to recover from. The spinal block messed up my insides for days, and the incision was very tender, and she basically lays right on top of it to eat. I was afraid it would get infected, or I’d pop a stitch coughing or sneezing. But, other than the fact that they tried to create a weird new belly button looking thing for me, it looks and feels fine now.

What I do know about her after two weeks of getting to know her: she LOVES to suckle. Took me a few nights of being used as her pacifier before I figured that one out. She’s going to be a pacifier kid. Which is fine. So was her big brother Bowie. And guess what. He’s a moderately well-adjusted nine year old that does not use a binky anymore. Also, she loves to be warm. Like, really warm. What I am sometimes afraid is too warm. It’s a struggle here, keeping her warm in air conditioning and cool outside, it’s a difficult balance. But she generally likes to be super warm. (Like her mama.) She hates having her diaper changed. Even when it’s fast. Feeling that draft on her bum is cause for a major protest, according to her.

The pediatrician says she’s not gaining weight fast enough. And I don’t understand that at all. Girlfriend nurses every hour, almost like clockwork. But, between her 2 day check up, jaundice check, goopy eye and regular two week check up, they have weighed her roughly 4 times in 2 weeks, so maybe she just needs some time. Her weight is holding steady, not dropping. But, you know, post partum hormones and all…I’m all anxious about it.

And mentally, I just keep bouncing back and forth between

a. I have another baby. Living in my home. Needing my attention all the time.

b. I have a baby at age 38. All the other moms with kids the same age as mine are 10 years younger than me. How am I going to relate to any of them?

c. I have a daughter. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I have to raise a daughter in our bro culture, rape culture, President Trump, sexist joke of an era. I hope I can do this justice. I hope I can send her the right messages and raise her to be the independent, intelligent badass I know she can be.

d. I’ve created a middle child. Poor Ferris is going to get lost in the folds of this family. Between having a special needs older brother and a very young sister, he’ll be lucky to get any attention. I vow to be mindful of what he needs as much as the other two, but it won’t be easy.

e. I have three kids. THREE. KIDS. I know it’s not five or six or anything, but when you have more kids than parents, all bets are off. We will find a balance, but it will likely take a few years. Lord help us.

So, here we are, a family of five. Learning a brand new dynamic. They tell you that the baby will “just fit into your life.” But the truth is, your life completely changes. You must readjust everything, find a new “normal”, move on as new and different people.

But oh, how full my heart is. I remember reading some quote about your heart making room for all of your kids, but I can’t for the life of me track down the actual quote. It’s like this for me though: whenever you’re pregnant, even with the first child, you have these moments where you wonder, how could I possibly have enough love to go around? How can I have enough room in my heart for all of this? And then the baby comes, and your heart splits wide open all over again, and you realize you’ve had that love all along, you just needed somebody to give it to. You can’t possibly use up your love reserves. There’s always more. There’s always plenty to go around.

If you’re reading this and you’re pregnant for the first time, just know that life’s going to be hectic and tiring and weird for a while, but you will figure your new family out. You will figure it all out. And you will be so happy. If you’re pregnant with your second or later, just remember that you can and will survive the early days. And then you get to know each other, and your family will feel like it’s been that way all along.

For all the worrying I did about having an unplanned third baby, it all seems to be going well. Yes, we have hospital bills to contend with. Yes, it’s hard to be on a newborn’s schedule at back-to-school time. Yes I am still running on 4 hours sleep (tops) per night. But life is humming along. Because it just does. You have no choice but to keep going. And it will be easier than you thought it would be.

Ok, with that, much love to all of you. Mothers, not mothers, new mothers, experienced mothers, pregnant or not pregnant, all of you. And, as I said, birth story is coming!

finley day 1

Unpredictable

Life can be so weird sometimes. And often, when we get to a place of comfort and normalcy, something drops in our laps. Something we never saw coming. Something we never even imagined might happen.

Thanksgiving week, I found myself fainting while I did yard work. And peeing constantly. And the official nail in the coffin: not getting my period.

I took a home pregnancy test and got a very faint positive. I took another test: another faint positive. I started wondering if any of my medications might cause a false positive, but Dr. Google seriously let me down. As you can imagine, there was very conflicting information, and nothing regarding my specific medications. So anyway, the next day I took 4 more tests (just to be sure) and got 4 positives. Four.

And I commenced to freak the hell out. And then I had the unbridled pleasure of making my husband freak the hell out right along with me.

I was on the birth control pill. No one saw this coming. Not me, not him, not my gynecologist. We had two boys. We were done. This was it. This was our family, this was our future.

I mean, we had certainly discussed the possibility of adding one more little one to the mix. But, with all the struggles I had been through, and then with the move to a new city and purchase of a new home, we just decided that it wasn’t a good time, and that by the time it was a “good” time, it would probably be on the later side to be contemplating such a thing. So, no more kiddos.

And suddenly: baby.

I’m going to be a mother again. I’m going to go through 9 months of pregnancy. Again. I’m going to have to go through labor and delivery. Again. I’m going to be changing diapers. Again. And when I’m 40! Unless this is a super genius baby who will by potty trained by then. Finger crossed.

I wasn’t thrilled when I found out, but I also wasn’t disappointed in any way. It was a shock, and shock takes some time to wear off. I went through all the stages of grief (grief for my no-diaper, big-kid mom life) and ended up here, at 15 weeks, feeling…ok. Just ok. Which in turn makes me feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be over the moon about this? Babies are a blessing, and all of that? What’s wrong with me?

And the fretting, oh my word the fretting. I was a basket case when I was pregnant with Ferris, because he was my post-miscarriage baby. My rainbow baby. I was a nervous wreck with him. But this time, it’s so much worse. I am going to be 38 in a few weeks. That’s oooollllldddd according to the OBGYN. And everything that can normally go wrong, can really go wrong. There’s Down’s syndrome and zika and heart defects and my lord, a million other things I can’t even think of. We didn’t plan for this baby, and the prospect of something being wrong is too much to bear. I’ve been plenty reassured that the odds are in our favor. And our chromosomal testing came back totally and completely normal. But, that still doesn’t calm an anxious mind.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that we don’t have any stuff. We have NO. STUFF. No crib, no changing table, no carseat, no stroller, no high chair, no swings, no carriers, no bibs, no blankets, no clothes, nada. We were done. We gave it all away. Which I had heard is a surefire way to get yourself a surprise baby, but I just chuckled at it. Let me be a PSA for you here, don’t get rid of the baby stuff until you go through menopause. Just to be sure. Thankfully, what we do have are plenty of friends and family with small children who have lots of goodies to pass along to us. I’m so grateful for the kindness of our “village” right now.

And the real kicker: it’s a girl. A GIRL. No more Boy Mom Dot Com here. I mean, a girl is wonderful. So exciting. I’m happy about it. But, with boys, I knew what I was doing. I have no idea how to raise a girl. Especially in these crazy times we live in. Thank goodness for the big, wide Internet parenting community.

But anyway, it’s happening. I have definitely felt pregnant. Mega morning sickness, the worst of all my pregnancies. I was showing by 8 weeks, so fun when you’re not ready to tell people yet. You just look like you’ve been hitting the chocolate Hostess Donettes too hard. Which I had. So, fair enough. I have also been so tired, I nearly nod off at red lights. And gassy. GOOD. LORD. I have made a lifestyle out of crop dusting entire aisles at Target.

Cravings have been coming and going. Previously when I’ve been pregnant, I’ve avoided lunchmeats and fish totally grossed me out. This time? Give me all the sliced turkey and fish you’ve got. I know, I know. But I’ve been craving protein like mad. And turkey sandwiches were all I could stomach for several weeks. Cravings for sweets come and go. With Bowie and Ferris, I couldn’t stop with the sweets. It was all I wanted. This time, meh. Food turn offs include anything lemon flavored (but oddly not lemons themselves) and French fries (I KNOW!).

So, I’m 15 weeks and doing fine. Except for the occasional freak out about doing this all over again. And having more kids than parents in our house. Stick around, because it’s about to get very exciting over here!

 

 

 

Two Point Five

It’s handy that Ferris’ half birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day, because it makes it so easy to remember. And I want to document it all, because at this age, they change so much and so quickly, you might as well give an update every hour.

I’ve noticed so many things about him lately. I think this year, between ages 2 and 3, is one of the most exciting times to watch your child grow. They come out of the baby phase and learn to really communicate and socialize, and they become a real “kid.”

The thing that’s really striking to me, and just interesting, is that Ferris seems to be the kind of kid that can pick up an activity, pretty much any activity, and instantly be good at it. He’s not very self-conscious, so he’s willing to try just about anything. He’s not afraid to admit when he’s scared and he wants to give something up. And he’s not very clumsy, compared to some kids. (Including his big brother, who was very clumsy, awkward, shy and unwilling to try anything new without some major encouragement.)

He’s so proud of his accomplishments too. When he succeeds at a new task, like climbing a steep ladder to a slide for instance, he jumps and dances around and says, “I did it!!!!” over and over again. And he’ll make sure everyone in earshot knows he did it.

He’s making friends in preschool, real friends, and he’s turning out to be pretty loyal. He asks about his friends when they aren’t at school. And he can recall events from his day at school, and even from days before. He’s getting more articulate and starting to use whole sentences, so he will recount his day for me on the way home, and it’s crazy cute.

He shows empathy and concern really well for his age. When another child is crying, he wants to investigate, and he asks, “Aw, what’s wrong?” When he sees a crack in the street or  some damage to a car or a house, he gasps and says very dramatically, “Broken.” And he wants to fix it. The other day, my husband was home sick from work and had a depressing (but good) documentary on. Ferris had no idea what the subject matter of the movie was, nor could he fully understand what was being said, but he got enough of a vibe from people’s expressions to know it was sad, and every couple of minutes he’d say, “Awwww.”

He’s not really a big fan of sweets. Of course, he likes sweet things, like any other kid, but he doesn’t like to have a lot of it in one sitting. And he usually won’t eat anything cakey or cookie-like. Even his tolerance for sweet cereal is limited. We give the boys Honey Nut Cheerios for general daily breakfast, but we have some goodies on hand like Cocoa Krispies, Apple Jacks, etc. that we allow on the weekends or the occasional after-school snack. But, he will choose the Cheerios over those almost every time. I think he’s like his mama this way.

Now that he’s big enough to defend himself, we’ve reached the era of Brother Fist Fights. It would be hilarious if not for that whole getting hurt thing. I’m breaking up no less than a dozen fights a day. Do girls fight this way? So physical and rough? Anyone got any great tips on getting it to stop? Or will they still be giving each other noogies at Thanksgiving dinner in 20 years?

Favorite things: Gogurt, milk, hummus, gum, “Blankie” and “Monkey”, Thomas, Caillou, Bob the Builder, running, jumping, going on walks outside the stroller, the beach, the park, anything and everything that Big Brother is doing, eating, saying, wearing or feeling.

Least favorite things: Holding hands to cross the street, being stuck in a stroller, someone helping him go up/down stairs or opening/closing doors or getting in/out of the car, not being allowed to fully subsist on Gogurt and milk alone, the post-school pre-brother-gets-home early-afternoon slump where he’s tired enough to nap, but refuses to actually nap.

Why oh why do they have to grow up so much and so quickly?

Here’s an action “I did it!” shot. Remember this play structure? He tackled it. Like a boss.

 

i did it

One.

One year, you guys! ONE YEAR! How has it been an entire YEAR already?

One minute, you’re fumbling with putting a newborn into a carseat, and the next minute you’re picking out a big, chocolatey cupcake for them to tear into.

In some ways, I CAN’T believe that an entire year has slipped by. It has gone so fast! But, then I look back at the many things our little family has been through this past year and ok, it really HAS been a year. Much to this mama’s chagrin. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Kindergarten, and then the baby has to go and turn one. Good grief.

So yeah, Ferris. One. Already. From snuggly little ball of baby love to dimply big boy toddler. So fast!

Likes: kitchen drawers, swimming class, brother, brother’s room, milk, graham crackers, baths, sitting in shopping carts, music, pooping in his sleep in the middle of the night, books, cars, trucks and kitty’s water bowl.

Dislikes: diaper changes, wipeouts, leaving brother’s room, people who eat in front of him and don’t share, sippy cups, washcloths, hats, the safety straps on shopping carts and me going to the bathroom before getting him from his crib in the morning.

He is starting to talk a lot, mostly just using his favorite phrases, “What’s this?” and “What’s that?” But he says mama and dada, and knows how to ask for a baba. He’s learning to say brother and Bowie. When you hand him a Matchbox car, he says vroom. And he has a sign that he makes, where he points with his right index finger at his open left palm. I never taught my boys to sign, so I’m not sure what it means. And it probably doesn’t mean whatever it’s supposed to mean. At first I thought it meant “more”, because he’s usually doing it in his high chair. But, I’m not so sure. Time will tell, I suppose.

He’s been “walking” for a while now. He likes to take a few steps, and then just crawl the rest of the way because it’s faster. But, but, BUT, it’s like he knew his birthday was coming or something because yesterday, after his afternoon nap, he was walking all over the house, hardly crawling at all. And this morning he was (literally) doing laps around the living room. He is READY to be on the MOVE. (Gulp.)

Dear Ferris,

I’d like to tell you that I hope the next few years of your life go much slower than this one did, but I know from experience that just isn’t possible. So instead I will just tell you to have fun now that you’re a not a baby anymore.

You’re a toddler. You’re a KID. Still snuggly and soft like a baby, but a little less so with each passing day. You’re toddling around the house like Frankenstein today, but tomorrow, you’ll take off running into the big wide world.

The past year has been an exciting one for our whole family, and you were along for the ride, no complaints, like a little trooper. Thank goodness for baby carriers and helpful family members.

Now that brother is in school all day, we get to spend lots of one-on-one time together. For one year, until you start preschool. So, I want to enjoy it as much as I can. I look back on that time with Bowie so fondly, I can’t wait to see what adventures we go on.

This time (press time, noon-ish) last year, I wasn’t even in labor yet, but little did I know I’d be cuddling you by 9 p.m. And then the real adventure began, because your arrival made me a Mom of Two. Uff-da.

Love you baby, ahem, big boy,

Mama

 

Eleven Months

Ferris is eleven months old today! I can’t believe it. Here’s a few shots of him at eleven months:

Yes, he’s full-on standing now. Not walking quite yet, but standing for LONG periods of time, with impeccable balance, and trying to take steps here and there.

We were sure that because he had crawled so much earlier than Bowie that he’d be walking by now, but he’s not. It’s not far off though, he did take one step forward unassisted a few days ago. And we keep meeting other babies his age who are full-on walking. So, I know it’s coming. I’m bracing myself. He’s already basically into EVERYTHING.

Also, it used to be, I threw one kid’s birthday party, at the beginning of each summer, and then I was done. Now, I have to throw another one at the end of every summer. I did NOT take this into account when I decided to have another child. So, let the party planning begin! (Blergh.)

Dear Ferris,

You are turning 11 months old today. The last of the “months” birthdays before you are a full year, and we just start keeping track of age in years. And you’re doing this two days before your brother starts Kindergarten. What are you guys trying to do to me?!

I’m trying to just take heart in the fact that most of the time, people assume you’re much older than one. But you’re not yet. You’re still my little guy, still an “infant”. (Though barely.) You still take bottles, you still crawl, you still eat purees most of the time. You can’t talk yet, you still take a bunch of naps all day. Still a baby.

But, you’re also so much not a baby anymore in so many ways. You’re pointing, waving, clapping and giving high-fives. You’re taking tiny little steps. You’re feeding yourself all kinds of foods that are not pureed. You laugh at farts. You grab candy off the shelves at the grocery store. You’re a little boy now.

I welcome your first birthday though. With your brother in school all day, I’ll be able to go out and do all the museums and story times and playgroups like I got to do with your brother. We’ll have a good year of mama and Ferris time. I’m really looking forward to it.

Not much else to say, hon. You’re a bit different from last month, a little different than you’ll be next month, I’m sure. But these days you’re not changing so much. You’re just who you are: Ferris. Ferris who likes peas and salmon and pinto beans and chicken and corn and turkey but won’t touch strawberries with a ten-foot pole. Ferris who likes to drink his bottles all alone, with no one around, no matter how much mama tries to cuddle with him and bond with him while he eats. Ferris who would much rather crawl back to Bowie’s room and play with all those awesome big boy toys than play with those silly baby toys.

My sweet baby. For now.

Love you,

Mama

On Diapers. And the Environment.

What seems like a million billion years ago now, I was pregnant and mulling over having to cover another baby bum. I was also lamenting that we had used thousands (no exaggeration on that one) of Pampers for Bowie. We try to be as green as we can in our every day lives, but we had just let this one slip. I was on the hunt for a greener solution the second time around.

After a little digging, I came across the newly founded The Honest Co. which really is a great company all-around, and the diapers are better for baby and earth than conventional ones, but still getting tossed in the trash, all 5000 of them. Was there something else? Or was I being too optimistic?

Then, I mentioned The Honest Co. in a post, just in passing, and I was approached by the EarthBaby company recently to try their diapers, which are not only fully compostable, but a delivery person comes once a week, every week, to drop off diapers and wipes and take your old diapers away with them.

I was a little skeptical at first about the whole process. I can’t remember why now, it’s all been going so smoothly. I think first and foremost I wondered if I could keep a bag of stinky diapers around my house for a whole week without it getting to me. Answer: a week goes a lot faster than you think. (Duh.) We’ve yet to encounter an odor problem.

I also wondered about the quality of the diapers. They’re meant to be composted, after all, so how sturdy could they possibly be? And to be truthful, they are slightly more delicate than the average disposable diaper. A few times, I had the tabs come off when I was struggling to fasten them to a squirmy little baby. But, once they are on, they stay on, and we haven’t had one rip while actually on the baby.

I also wondered how well they’d hold in the…stuff. If they’re made to be fully compostable, the absorbent materials must be sub-standard, right? Well, so far, not so. We haven’t had a single leak. In fact, we’ve even had issues with Ferris peeing through diapers overnight (the Honest diapers) so we got a box of conventional branded diapers made especially for overnight. The other night I forgot to put an overnight one on, and he wore an Earth Baby diaper all night, no issues, no leaks. Color me impressed.

I also didn’t want the hassles of a delivery service. Having to deal with a stranger and coordinating drop off and pick up times and blah blah blah. But with EarthBaby, you leave your diapers on your stoop the morning of your delivery day, they come by and take them and leave the new diapers and wipes. No appointments, no doorbells, nothing. And if you forget to leave your dirty ones out, you’ll still get your new ones, you just leave the dirty ones the next week.

I was also concerned about cost. I was getting this bundle deal from The Honest Co. and when I priced it all out, it seemed marginally more expensive than conventional diapers, but cheaper than most other delivery services. So I punched the numbers again for this post, and the difference was a couple of dollars per month. The two services are essentially the same price, and one service takes my dirty diapers and composts them. I think we know who comes out ahead here.

And I know some of you are thinking, well why can’t I just toss them into my green bin? The answer to that is right on their FAQ page:

Human waste composting is a very different process than curbside composting for kitchen scraps, lawn trimmings and cardboard. Please do not put soiled diapers in your city composting bin as it contaminates their composting stream.

And for the truly green among us who are composting in their backyard:

Reaching the high temperatures required to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens found in human waste is difficult and inconsistent when using common home composting techniques. To ensure that the soil produced when our products are composted is 100% safe, we only offer our diapers and wipes as part of our inclusive service whereby the products are composted in our regulated industrial composting facility.

So, there it is folks. EarthBaby in a nutshell. Great product, convenient process, friendly customer service. Unfortunately, however, they currently only deliver to homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. But that’s where many of my readers are! So I just had to spread the good word anyway.

The company has offered my readers one month of service, one pack of diapers and one pack of wipes FREE with this coupon code: VERYBLOGGY13 If you live in the Bay Area, please take advantage!

If you’re on the hunt for a great diapering solution, I highly recommend EarthBaby!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Earth Baby with product for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Ten Months

Dear Ferris,

I JUST started getting used to saying that you were 9 months old, and now you’ve gone and turned 10 months old already! That last month went lickety split.

We are in the home stretch now, the first birthday is just 2 months away. TWO MONTHS. That’s only 8 weeks. EIGHT WEEKS. Then you can try all the things, my adventurous little eater. Milk! Nuts! Honey! Eggs! Berries! (Wait, you’ve been eating eggs and berries for a while now, WHOOPS.)

Socially, you are blossoming. You like to “talk” to other babies. Like, A LOT. Social butterfly already. You’re a little wary of grown ups you don’t know super well, and you hide your head in mama’s shoulder. You LOVE to snuggle with mama, and you give such great baby hugs and kisses. THE BEST.

You’re not walking yet, but you’re darn close. You’re cruising furniture like a boss, and you like to pull stunts like this:

And you can climb stuff now, so when I turn my back you’re pulling stunts like this:

You want to do everything big brother Bowie can do! And you’re not afraid to try! Just ask the half dozen bruises you have on your big noggin at any given moment. Good thing you are a second kid, and not a first kid, or they’d have to put me in a padded room.

You’re way ahead of where Bowie was at your age with the crawling and walking and climbing stuff. But on other stuff, you’re doing things a lot differently. You’re taller than Bowie was at your age, but roughly the same weight. Which has made pants shopping a bit of a challenge. ALREADY. Man, just wait until those teen years! Also, Bowie was waking up with dry diapers by 11 months old, and you’re filling up diapers made especially for overnight like you’re testing the integrity of the product (p.s. Pampers, he leaked through one last night.)

It’s funny, I feel like the last month zipped by, but I can also see how far you’ve come in just one month. Growing and changing and becoming a little man right before our very eyes.

Love you, sweetness! Here’s to another great month!

Love,

Mama

 

 

 

Eight Months

Ferris is eight months old now people. EIGHT. MONTHS. I can’t believe it! Two-thirds of the way through is first year already. Insane!

As for how breastfeeding is going…it’s complicated. Just three hours after I hit publish on my last post, he refused to nurse, and I haven’t been able to get him to nurse since. Which is gut-wrenching. He’s only 8 months old. I really wanted to go for much longer.

And while I think I still will be able to provide breast milk for him to drink, I don’t think I can provide enough for him to subsist on just that, at least for the next few months, so I’m trying slowly to work formula back into the equation. It’s difficult to pump and keep up with his appetite, but I’m trying a bunch of stuff suggested by my lactation consultant friends, and I hope to up the supply just a bit. I’m not sure how this will all shake out, but my end goal is to offer a mix of breast milk and formula and hope he gets what he needs out of it. I never envisioned pumping to be THIS huge of an ordeal. Nor did I ever expect him to fully and completely reject nursing. Or would seriously have just put up with all the biting. I’m frustrated and sad and mom-guilting myself to death.

Anyway.

Dear Ferris,

You are growing and changing so fast right now! Outgrowing clothes, crawling like a machine and eating real solid food by your very own self.

Last month, you were crawling backwards, and rolling and scooting your way around the house, but just a few short weeks after I wrote that post, you were not only crawling forward, but also starting to pull yourself to stand with furniture. And not only are you pulling yourself to stand, but also getting brave and letting go and trying to take steps. Slow down kid! You’re only 8 months old! You’ll be tearing around this house in no time, I’m sure. Grandma told me that your uncle was walking by 10 months, which I never knew before, so I guess it’s in your blood to get up and get moving. Now, if we could just avoid all your little wipeouts, so when I take you out in public I’m not so embarrassed by the bruises all over your head!

You have four teeth now, and I’m pretty sure you’re about to get two more. Which is what got us in all the trouble with nursing to begin with. You want to bite. You LOVE to BITE. I have to be careful what I let you get your hands on, because you will bite the ever-loving crap out of anything that gets near you. I hope that soon, you will start to teeth a little more gracefully. So we can all just get some SLEEP.

More and more of your personality is shining through each day. I can tell by the foods you like and the foods you reject, the toys you spend more time with and the toys that stay at the bottom of the basket, and the things you watch us do and the things you ignore, just what kind of little man you’ll become soon. But, also in a lot of other ways, you’re a blank slate. This first year is the most amazing time to be a parent, everything is shifting and changing and developing so fast. It’s like being able to watch a flower bloom in real time.

We have had a hard week, you and me, figuring out where we both stand with one another when it comes to nursing and bottle feeding. But, I think we may have found a balance finally. I’m so sorry I couldn’t nurse you as long as I wanted, or even as long as I nursed your brother. But, I feel like I really am doing what is best for the both of us. Which is all that really matters in the end.

I love you my sweet bug.

Mama

 

Six Months

The big six month milestone has arrived! Happy six month birthday to the littlest dude!

The dimples. They go on forever. AMIRITE?

Ferris,

This is one of my favorite ages. Every day is a new and exciting adventure. You’re growing and changing so much! It feels like one minute to the next, you’ve added a zillion new abilities, and you’re attempting a zillion more.

At the doctor, you weighed in at 18 pounds 10 ounces, and you gained a whopping three inches in height just since your 4 month check up in January! The doctor measured you three times, and double checked her records, just to be sure. I bet it’s not every day she sees a big guy like you come in!

I don’t know why I was so excited that you were rolling over. Once you learned it, you didn’t look back. You’re rolling all over the place, and I can’t set you down unattended for 5 seconds! Wow, am I in for it when you start crawling! Which is going to happen soon. You mean business. You are already getting yourself up off the ground with your arms, almost getting up on your knees, and you are scooting backwards. Your brother was a lot older than you when all of this started. Slow down, bug!

At first I didn’t think you liked solid foods, but on a lark I bought you some Baby Mum Mum crackers, and you ate them like they were going out of style. So, it eventually dawned on me that you didn’t want to be spoon fed, you wanted to feed yourself. I didn’t even know this was a thing (but it is, many people have since told me their kiddos were the same way), and I totally went with my mom gut on that one. So, I got you some mesh feeders, and you were on your way. Avocado is tops in your book, followed closely by bananas.

Something I learned about you the same weekend that I cracked the food code, was that you prefer to sleep on your tummy. It’s a little panic inducing for an American mama in 2013 to allow her baby to sleep on his stomach. But, you slept better in one afternoon on your stomach than you did in all of your six months since leaving the hospital. I can’t explain it, I don’t like it, but you are a tummy sleeper.

No teeth yet, but they just have to be coming soon. Sometimes you’re SO fussy, and we have NO idea why, and I just know in my gut that it’s teething related. I hope those suckers make their appearance soon, I’m sure you will be in a better mood. And, bonus, it will open up a whole new world of foods you can feed to yourself.

I was pretty preoccupied this past month, and I feel like it slipped right by me. I hope now that things have slowed down for our family that I can pay more attention, be more in the moment with you. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and happy six months.

Love,

Mama