Thursday, April 16, 2015

30 days

A month from today is our due date. 30 days, give or take a few, are all that's left between us and this brand new soul who will change our world in ways we don't even know yet. I find that I'm filled with a jumble of emotions this second time around.

There's a lot of excitement. I'm excited to meet this new love of my life. I'm excited to hold and snuggle someone who fits in those remarkably small-looking size 0-3 onesies. Excitement surrounds the idea that I will have another sweet baby to nurse and share that profound breastfeeding bond with.  There's also the excitement of seeing Henry meet his new brother or sister for the first time.

There's a little anxiety. When I was pregnant with Henry, it was hard for me to not be anxious about birth. It was a big, scary question mark. This time around, I think that the birthing process itself is the one thing I'm least anxious about. Instead, I've found that I'm most anxious about Henry and how the transition of going from "only child" to "big brother" will affect him. This time around, that is the big, scary question mark. 

With only a few weeks left, my nesting instinct has kicked into overdrive. I've noticed it for a couple of weeks now. I think I first realized I was settling into nesting mode when I found myself planted cross-legged in front of my stove cleaning every seam and crevice with toothpicks. The other day I experienced the very strong urge to vigorously scrub my bathroom tile grout with a toothbrush. When I was pregnant with Henry, my urge to nest was suppressed by the fact that our entire upstairs was under construction and us and all our possessions were crammed into our living room.  There was no nursery to decorate until about a week  before I was due. It's a nice change to be able to organize and clean to my hearts content. 

I've also been working on putting away a supply of freezer meals to keep us full and happy during the first couple weeks of being home with the new baby. I waited until the day before I went in to labor to start making freezer meals last time and I'd like to say that I've learned my lesson. Don't procrastinate! So far, I've stock piled 7 meals. My goal is to have at least 2 weeks worth of dinners put away by the time baby arrives. We'll see if this nice burst of energy I've been having lately can hold out until then. 

These final few weeks will be filled with washing and folding little gender neutral onesies, stocking up on diapers , wipes, and baby lotion, and spending as much one-on-one time with Henry as I can. I still cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has sped by for me. I wish I could pause time and fast forward it all at once.

Friday, April 10, 2015

At This Moment // Henry

Time is speeding by these days, or at least it seems like it is. It may have something to do with the fact that this second pregnancy is winding down to its final weeks (crazy, crazy). That lovely 3rd trimester fatigue is setting in and keeping me from accomplishing much of anything I set out to do. I haven't had much time to reflect on where Henry is in his development lately. So, I'm taking advantage of the rare occasion of Henry sleeping in past 7:00am to jot down a few things I don't want to forget.

Whenever someone new comes into the room, Henry will make sure everyone is introduced and politely greeted. For example, when Chris's dad walks into our kitchen in the morning, Henry will greet him with "Hi Papa! Papa Joey, this mama and this daddy. Say hi to 'em. Mama, Daddy, Papa Joey here."

He's very in tune to my emotions. I was sitting in our living room daydreaming about something the other day, and the look on my face must have looked concerned or sad. Henry, who was playing contently across the room, looked up at me and came walking across the room. He cupped my cheeks in his soft little hands and said "Its okay, mama." Anytime I look sad or stressed he does this. Its the sweetest little thing.

I've noticed that he's been more into snuggling me over the past few months than is typical for him. If I'm sitting on the couch, he'll come right up next to me and nestle into the crook of my shoulder or lay his head on my belly to watch a movie or to read a book. Not that this didn't happen every so often before my pregnant belly appeared, but I've noticed it a lot more lately. I wonder if he can sense the change that's going to be happening in 5 short weeks. I like to think that he somehow understands that mama's going to be sharing her time with both he and the baby and so he's, in a way, stocking up on all the mama cuddles he can get before that happens. Either way, I'll take it.

A dear friend bought him the book "I'm a New Big Brother" by Nora Gaydos for his birthday. When I read it to him, I like to change the words to incorporate his name into it. I emphasize Henry's part in helping us take care of the new baby. At the end of the book, there's an illustration of the mother, father, son, & new baby and every time we get to that page, Henry points at each of them and then points at us and himself explaining who everyone is. It makes me tear up. I'm going to be a big, blubbering mess when we introduce Henry to the baby. I know it will be one of those moments I rank in the top 5 best of my life.

He knows all of his colors and shapes and is very proud of this fact. A lot of times, we will be watching a movie or looking through a book and he will stop and exclaim "Look at all the pretty colors, mama! Red, Blue, Purple,...". He loves telling me when to go or stop while sitting at stoplights. "Green means GO, mama!" His little voice saying the word "octagon" is the funniest things to me.

He can count to 13 aloud, because that happens to be the number of stairs we count every morning on our way down. He hardly starts at 1, which I think is a cute quirk.

He gets on kicks with certain foods from time to time. Right now, is oatmeal's moment to shine. He requests oatmeal almost every morning. I make him old-fashioned oats with milk, usually adding a little pizzaz with some pure maple syrup and raisins or sometimes I cut up a red delicious apple and mix it in with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. We started out sharing an adult-sized serving, but the growing boy has decided that he can knock it out all by himself now. I'm just happy he has a good appetite!

He's started to memorize the words to a few of his favorite books. I'll read the first couple words on a page, then pause, and he will finish them for me. He gets so excited about knowing the words that he'll often go into super-speed when saying them which makes it hilarious to listen to.

He loves construction equipment of all kinds. A lot of his favorite books are about heavy machinery and feature a lot of flaps and interactive components. He LOVES to read which, as an avid reader myself, makes my soul happy.

Chris takes him up to bed as he has every night since we weaned. I'll sit downstairs listening to those two singing and giggling, wishing I was up there, too. But it's daddy & Henry's special bonding time and I'm grateful they have that. Henry commands Chris to sing various lullabies and when Chris finishes them, Henry will sing them back to him at warp speed. It's pretty cute. 

I'm going to try and soak up as much of this special Henry & Mama alone that I can.  It's a precious and rare time that's fading fast and it's turning me into a big ball of emotions. I've really treasured my time at home, getting to see every little milestone first hand over the past two years. I thank God every day that I've had the opportunity to be this little one's mama. It's been the greatest, most rewarding experience of my life. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

once more, its new

I wrote this back in January and never got around to posting:
A couple weeks ago, I spent the better part of a Tuesday morning laying on cushioned pad with my shirt pulled up to my bra line. A chipper, blonde ultrasound technician slid her wand around my abdomen as I craned my neck to the right, trying to get a clearer view of screen in front of her. It was my 22 week ultrasound appointment, happening at 23 weeks & 3 days due to our quick trip to Denver late last week. Our second baby is due to arrive in May. I watched as she documented all 4 chambers of the heart, performing their synchronized routine. I watched as the baby gave us a glimpse of his or her perfectly pouty and plumped lips, flashing us a smile. Those same lips that already grace my son Henry's little face.. I was in love.
Something I've noticed this second time around, the pregnancy hasn't quite had the luster that it did the first time around. Don't get me wrong, we are beyond thrilled to be pregnant again after many many months of trying and, so far, this pregnancy has been very kind to me. I think I've felt this way because I've already gone through all of these things once before. The mystery of not knowing what comes next has faded a tad. And maybe its because I'm busier in life this time around, being a good mama to Henry. Regardless, I've felt a smidge guilty about it. Then our ultrasound happened. Seeing that baby's face, and hands and feet and that tiny beating heart made something awaken within me again. The realness of that baby really hit me. He or she is their own person, their own being... someone I've not met before.  This someone is not Henry, they are a new adventure completely their own that we get to be a part of.  This is new. Its all going to be new again.  Somebody pinch me, please.