Welcome to Damien Grayson

We waited a long time to meet him, but on May 20 at 8:20am, we welcomed little Damien Grayson Schweber to this world. He was born at 8lb 14oz and 53cm long (yes, bigger than Aiden).

So far, Damien is a really laid back little fellow. He sleeps better than Aiden did (provided his tummy is full) and is very low-key. He can put himself to sleep when he is put down at his preferred bedtime and is in his bassinet for most of the night (all but the last stretch, which he’s very restless for). He prefers to nap at home rather than on the go, but can nap on the go if he’s fed right before. He is rarely awake except to eat. 

The majority of my baby blues have dissipated, though sometimes I get sad or frustrated when breastfeeding isn’t going as well as I had hoped. I’ve had great support thus far, though, and am settling into being a mom of 2. 

Aiden is adapting to being a big brother, though it’s been slow. We’ve had many temper tantrums, but he is warming up to the idea of being a big brother. Though he hasn’t wanted to hold Damien, he has allowed me to take some photos of the two of them close together, so it’s a start! 

Some day those photos will be downloaded off the camera – until then, thank goodness for iPhone photos! 

35 Weeks Pregnant and Impatient

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.

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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!

Pregnancy at 29 Weeks

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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!

Dealing with Gender Disappointment

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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.

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Meet Baby Schweber #2

We had our 3D ultrasound on Saturday to get to know our little baby. Just like with Aiden, this little baby didn’t want to share gender at our 20 week ultrasound, so we were excited to find out on Saturday. Aiden is having a little brother!

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The best part of the ultrasound was getting to know our new little man. Our previous ultrasound didn’t show us face or profile, so we felt a little disconnected from him. Seeing his face and his personality during the 30-minute session really helped us connect with the baby as an individual. In just 30 minutes, we found out a lot about our little man:

  • He lies transverse in my tummy, an unusual position. My uterus must be more like a football than a soccer ball at this point.
  • He enjoys having his legs folded, feet at his head. Since there’s so much room (relatively) at this point, it’s obviously a preference
  • He will suck on anything. Foot, arm, leg, umbilical cord.
  • He spends most of his time trying to get something in his mouth. He would reach for, grab or otherwise manoeuvre himself to get the umbilical cord back in his mouth.

The pregnancy has been very different from that with Aiden, filling out our picture of the baby so far. All this information is definitely helping us get closer to choosing a name!

See all photos from the ultrasound here. For comparison, here are the photos from Aiden’s 3D ultrasound – his features were a little more clear – not continuously sucking on the umbilical cord probably helped. ;)