When little Damien was 12 days over, Sarah of SarahJane Photography, came over to our house for a newborn photo session (and Nicole of Mary Kay came to do my make-up!). I’d actually won a shoot with another photographer, but decided to pass on it since we were so happy with our family portraits while I was pregnant. By the time Aiden was a dozen days old, we had set up several home photoshoots; the reality of two kids is that there are fewer opportunities to take photos. With that in mind, we wanted to make Damien’s memories just as special as Aiden’s. In this case, Damien won out – with the help of a pro, we have some truly amazing photos!
It took Damien about 2 hours to fall asleep, even though he’d been awake for an hour by the time Sarah arrived. Bit of a fail there. Since Damien was diaper free, you can imagine just how many accidents there were during this time period (and they mostly landed on me – gross). Anyway, once Damien was finally asleep, we captured some beautiful moments. He was amazingly pliable once he fell asleep and had a massive nap after the shoot finished.
We bribed Aiden with a bag of candy to participate in a few of the photos (he really didn’t want to participate). Mexx should pay us for this photo of him:
Since he was born, Damien has shown a distinct preference for sleeping on his back. Thanks in part to this, and to the ‘easy’ newborn period, we’ve been trying to teach him to fall asleep on his own. Generally speaking, if we keep his awake window short and put him down swaddled with white noise, he’ll fall asleep on his own.
Usually I give him a quick ‘bonus’ nurse if he seems fussy before he goes down, but I try at least once to put him down awake before scrapping the plan and moving to plan B, ‘nurse to sleep’.
I took the above video as Damien was falling asleep last night. At night, he is a little more fussy, so I employed the bassinet to help rock him to sleep. Downstairs, he sleeps in a pack & play and doesn’t use rocking (though I jiggle it for nap extensions).
Since Aiden was colicky and not a great sleeper, we ended up sleep training him when he was four months. He’s had many regressions since then; it’s just his personality. As a result, we know a lot about sleep and are trying to employ some of our knowledge (and patience) to slowly teaching Damien the basics. Since he is so young, we don’t push it, but wherever possible we work on falling asleep unassisted and on extending his naps if they’ve been less than 1 hour (it works most of the time).
Despite how awesome this all is, currently none of our little tricks work once Damien starts waking up at night. He hasn’t yet mastered the ‘going back to sleep’ skill at night and I don’t anticipate he will for many more weeks. Since night time there aren’t ‘awake times’ to get Damien tired again, we often are stuck with one big night chunk where he’s awake (day/night confusion) and the rest are easier to get him back down after a feed.
He will sleep in his bassinet if he’s having a good night, but most nights are not so good. His best chunks of sleep are snuggled very close to, or being semi-held in the lying down position by, either Mommy or Daddy ;)
I’m 35.5 weeks pregnant at this point, though I’m measuring close to 40 weeks. Yes, we’re having a big baby! We’ve had an ultrasound to confirm that baby is quite large already, though of course that data can be off by quite a bit. Still, I feel as big now as I did at 40 weeks with Aiden, so there’s that.
As I shared previously, it hasn’t been an easy pregnancy. I have pains in my pelvis, my back, and my legs to go along with my regular issues with my neck, shoulder and arm. As I approach my due date, my Braxton Hicks contractions have become quite strong – tricking me sometimes into wondering if labour is near. They are way stronger than they were with Aiden. Since I didn’t go into labour on my own with Aiden, I am always left wondering if “this is it”, even this early on. I spend at least an hour a day in the bath trying to calm down all the parts of me that get sore!
The midwives are currently in disagreement about when to induce me early, if at all. Nobody really wants me going past 40 weeks, but some advocate for an even earlier delivery. It’s likely I’ll be referred to an obstetrician, though I haven’t been called with an appointment yet. My blood pressure is also rising, so we’ll need to keep an eye on that.
I feel pretty useless most of the time, not being able to stand or walk very much at all anymore. It makes it difficult to be a mom to Aiden, which is the hardest part. I know he’s found it frustrating that I can’t play with him on the floor or run after him or actively engage in physical play with him. I miss it too.
I focus on just getting through each day right now. I’m so glad that Ianiv is currently working from home!
I’m just over 29 weeks pregnant now, finally getting close to the ‘finish line’, so to speak. I’ve entered the third trimester of the pregnancy and, though I still have to wait 11ish weeks (+/-) to meet our new baby boy, I’m quite ready to be done with the pregnancy!
My first trimester of pregnancy was very different with this baby. Though we vacationed during both of our early pregnancy days (a cruise while pregnant with Aiden, Hawaii while pregnant now), I struggled more with fatigue this pregnancy. And morning sickness. In fact, my morning sickness only just went away about a month ago. I was able to wean off the medication I was taking for morning sickness at about 15 weeks pregnant, though I would still get nauseous a few times a week, sometimes throwing up until around 22 weeks pregnant. Prior to that, the morning sickness was incapacitating me (not good when taking care of a toddler!) and aggravating my neck pain (nausea triggers my neck issues, just as neck pain makes me nauseous).
I put my back out in December, but thankfully have had no further back issues. I had very serious hip pain with Aiden, but all of that has been great with this pregnancy – I credit my year or so of training with Monika in helping rehabilitate my body from all my past (or recent) injuries, pregnancy included! I also have foam rollers at home to help work out kinks in my hips.
Unfortunately, I have had pain of another kind with this pregnancy. I’ve developed symphis pubis dysfunction (SPD), probably due to a mis-alignment of the interior of my pelvis. There’s not much I can do about it, though I’m seeing a physio this week to get some new exercises. It basically feels like I’ve been kicked repeatedly in the lady parts – not fun. The pain is made worse by standing or doing activities like walking (particularly uphill or stairs) or bearing weight (holding a toddler!). I usually end up having to lie down and/or take a bath to relieve the pain at some point during the day. Rest is the only way to minimize the pain – I’ve learned (and confirmed today with my doctor) that ‘pushing past’ the pain isn’t a good thing – it’s not just a muscle that needs stretching or strengthening! The last few weeks, I’ve had to cut more and more exercises from my fitness routine, which has been really disappointing after finally getting back some of my strength after my last car accident (phew).
Anyway, it’s been a frustrating situation. I can’t sit on the floor and play with Aiden anymore without severe discomfort. I can’t chase him around or do much with him. By the afternoon, I’m in so much pain that I don’t want to do anything. I feel like I say ‘No’ a lot and Aiden is definitely asking my when I will stop hurting. He misses playtime.
The next few weeks can’t go fast enough. Wish me luck!
Gender disappointment. It’s a bit of a taboo topic, despite a great deal more media attention in the past few years. And I’m going to admit that I fell victim to it.
When we were pregnant with Aiden, I was most definitely hoping for a girl. When we learned we were having a boy, I had a brief disappointment that I quickly dispelled with an “Oh well, maybe next time.”
I was actually a bit hopeful that we were having a girl this time – we tried to increase our chances and I convinced myself that my crazy pregnancy symptoms increased our “girl odds.” Well, “next time” has come and gone now, and we’re having another boy.
When faced with the news, I had to face what I was feeling: gender disappointment.
Let me make this clear: gender disappointment is not baby disappointment. I am going to love this new little boy ferociously. I will not wish that he is a girl – he will be simply perfect just the way he is.
For me, gender disappointment is about giving up a dream that I’ve admittedly always had. I have assumed, since I was a little girl, that I would have a little girl of my own “one day.” I didn’t even question it. I saved my most precious baby mementos to pass on to her. I saved favourite dolls and books and pink blankets. I dreamed of dressing up my little girl in purples and blues and leggings and sweater dresses. I dreamed of braiding her hair. I always knew that her middle name would be Elizabeth – for my Oma, a middle name I also share.
When faced with the ultrasound, I had to face my own assumptions. I’d prepared myself as best I could, but I was still hit by the reality: I would never have a little girl. That dream was gone; time to put it away. It took me a few days of being sad and doing a bit of self-examination about why a girl was important to me. I learned some things about myself, most definitely. I put away some issues that had bothered me my whole life. I tried to take it as a learning experience.