I was kind of joking when, before Gatsby was born, I said he was a mama’s boy and didn’t want to leave me and that’s why he hadn’t come out yet. Turns out that may not be too far from the case.
Little man always wants to be held. Like, all the time. Like, hates every infant seat and swing. Like, barely tolerates his bassinet.
If I could snuggle him all day and night, I would. But he has a rambunctious older sister. But I have a house to manage (ha.ha.). But I have to pee sometimes. So I have to put him down and let him cry.
Now that his neck is a little stronger, I can put him in the Boba Carrier to free up my hands a bit. He usually fusses at first and then he falls asleep into a hot little ball of fire on my chest… for a bit. It’s never a cure-all.
I was carrying him in the Moby Wrap but the damn thing is so complicated to wrap and it never felt entirely supportive. I found myself still using a hand to support him, so that was a little counterproductive.
I’m rereading all the stuff about how you can’t spoil your newborn and it’s… comforting. Though in some ways, I do want to spoil the little guy. He’s already getting shafted by his attention-sucking big sister… and just the fact that he’s the second-born.
I wish I could snuggle him more. Maybe not at 4am, but, you know.
So it finally happened: Holden has crawled out of her crib. I opened the door to my bedroom this morning and there she was, standing in the hallway. There had been no thud; no crying. Just Holdy and her bedhead, ready to shake up the status quo I had been enjoying for so long.
I’ve been dreading this day since I first took notice of Holden’s athletic prowess as a 7-month-old. I was hoping we’d be able to skip this stage and I’d be able to just transition her to the toddler bed when we were both ready… but it looks like that’s not going to happen.
Here’s my dilemma: My plan was to keep Gatsby in a bassinet in my room for the first three months, which would bring us about to Holdy’s second birthday. At that point, I was going to transition Holdy across the hall to her big girl room and toddler bed (which has a twin-size mattress, but is low to the ground and has side rails). The room is already quasi-set up and Holdy likes to play in the room, but she hasn’t napped or slept there yet.
Today, after the escape, I wanted to see if Holdy would nap in her big girl room. She said she wanted to and seemed excited about it, but when the time actually came, she wanted to go back to the nursery for her nap.
So what do I do?
I did put a baby gate up at her nursery door now so she can’t just go traipsing about the house. The nursery is baby-proofed and I have a video monitor in there.
Should I move the toddler bed over to the nursery for a few months to make the transition one step at a time? Go for it all at once? This may be a good time to remind you that I have a 3-week-old and am already not getting much sleep myself, haha. Don’t even get me started on the fact that she’s ready to potty train and I’m not…
I don’t know if Gatsby is just a really good baby, if I’m that beaten down by motherhood, or if Holdy is just that crazy but he’s really been a breeze so far. He gets a little gassy sometimes, but that’s pretty much the extent of his distemper at this point. I’m even handling the up-every-hour-and-a-half nights during his current growth spurt pretty well. I’m sure I just jinxed myself horribly with this paragraph.
Also: I got a few packs of Luvs as gifts, so I’m going to give them a shot and see if they can persuade me to give up the Pampers (I love the Pampers Rewards, lol: I use them to buy Shutterfly stuff…)
You may congratulate yourself the morning after that first night with your new baby—even with the nurses in and out of your room all night, you’re still kind of running on adrenaline so the sleeplessness doesn’t bother you too much. You may think, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad. I totally got this.” But… you don’t know. You. don’t. know what awaits.
When I had Holden, a lactation consultant visited my room specifically to warn me about Night #2. There was even a special page dedicated to Night #2 in the “Your Newborn for Dummies (aka You)” manual the hospital gives you. Do not brush off these warnings; be prepared because Night #2 is coming.
This time, I don’t know if I was blocking out my memories of that night in a survivor/PTSD-type situation, or if I was thrown off by the nurse telling me that my little boy would be really sleepy after his circumcision (it’s a trap! Don’t believe it!) but once again, I found myself unprepared for Night #2.
It starts in the evening as visiting hours are winding down and you find yourself alone with your new baby (and possibly your partner if you’ve decided to enlist their support for the night). You feed your bebe one last time before a few hours of sleep… or so you think. But no: this is Night #2, aka New Mom Hazing Night, aka The Cluster Feeding Night aka Nurse All NightNight.
There will be no sleep. There will only be nursing. Every time you take the kid off your nip, he will cry and the only thing that will soothe him will be more nip. Forget about him sleeping in the tupperware hospital bassinet; he will only sleep on your chest with your nip in his mouth… therefore you will not sleep, as the nurses make damn well sure you don’t fall asleep in bed with the baby. You will still fall asleep with the baby in bed with you at least once this night, against your best efforts. This sleep will be fleeting. Your partner will be useless. You will cry. Your nipples will hurt. All the nursing will require frequent changing of your pad sandwich. Your baby will cry while you’re in the bathroom and you will shout, “Okay! Okay! Yes, Mommy will be right there!” out the bathroom door. You may try to make it through the night by watching TV, or reading Twitter on your phone, or ordering little flowered headbands on Etsy at 3am.
You will doubt yourself. But don’t let that baby break you.
Because soon it will be 5am, then 6am, and you’ve survived. They’ll be bringing your shriveled scrambled eggs and blueberry Yoplait soon. You’ll probably be going home today. Your kid is worn out from hazing you and there’s most likely a nap in your future… unless your nesting instinct waits until the day you get home from the hospital to kick in, like mine does. But that’s a different story.
And that, my new-mom friends, is Night #2.
I highly recommend that you check out “Baby’s Second Night” on KellyMom.com for the legit info on why Night #2 is a thing (spoiler alert: it’s because the baby is out of their coming-through-the-birth-canal fog and is all like “WTF?!?” and needs some comfort; and also because cluster feeding helps to build your milk supply) and for some helpful suggestions on how to get through it with your dignity (somewhat) intact. I’m pretty sure that information is what was shared in my hospital manual.
The good news is that it gets better (…and then it usually gets worse for a while, but it’ll get better again. Maybe. Hopefully. Definitely). You got this.
Bottle-feeding moms: how do you get through the terror that is Night #2?
Yesterday was my first day home alone with two kids under the age of two. Here was my day:
7:30am: got a shower while G screamed at me from his infant seat. Guess I’m not shaving today.
(Technically I guess I could mention 12am, 1:30am, 4:00am, 6:30am: nursed G)
8am: G back to sleep after pretending to nurse for a bit. I slap on some face, dry my bangs (if I don’t, my hair will look ridiculous for the next two days) and go downstairs to gulp down some coffee before…
8:45am: The Holdy Monster wakes up. To my relief, she’s pleasant. We change her diaper, brush her teeth, go downstairs for milk and a “manana,” eat some waffles, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba, all before G Man wakes up.
9:45am: Gatsby is awake. We go upstairs and I change his diaper and clothes while Holdy throws every washcloth, bib and blanket in the drawer of the changing table onto the floor.
We go downstairs so G can nurse while Holdy watches Dora the Explorer… and poops, which means I can now safely give her a bath to wash off last night’s blue birthday cake icing from my Dad’s birthday dinner without fear of a bathtub surprise… which I definitely experienced two weeks ago.
10:30am: Holdy gets a bath while Gatsby hangs out in an infant seat. Basically I have some sort of infant seat in every room. After the bath, G hangs out in the infant seat in Holdy’s nursery while we get her dressed.
Head downstairs; tummy time while Holden grabs every single shoe out of her shoe basket and displays them in a line.
11:30am: Begin to prep for a walk which requires nursing G, changing his diaper, finding two shoes that match for Holdy, chasing her around the house to put her jacket and hat on, bundling up G.
11:50am: Head out for a walk in our new double stroller, the Joovy Caboose. We’re very lucky to live in a neighborhood that adjoins an amazing park with a really great playground. Unfortunately, despite the 50-something degree weather, that playground is still covered with remnants of last night’s freak snowstorm. Holdy falls down four times before I decide to pull the plug on the playground venture.
Holdy cries the whole walk home, while also saying, “nap,” which I take as a good sign. G has been sleeping the entire walk.
12:30pm: Holdy lies down for a nap. G is still asleep.
1-3pm: I clean up the toy carnage from this morning, which takes all of 3 minutes. I heat up a piece of pizza. G wakes up. My mom shows up to drop off leftover sushi from last night’s birthday dinner. She holds G for about 10 minutes before she has to leave. I nurse him again, then lay him on the Boppy around my waist while I type a blog post, seated in an armchair with my laptop on a TV tray. Grey’s Anatomy reruns play in the background on Lifetime.
I try, unsuccessfully, to nap with G on the couch.
3:15pm: Holdy is up. Diaper change, milk, PBJ sandwich. Grandma comes to take H to her house for a few hours.
4pm: I nurse Gatsby and then put him in the Moby wrap and we go for a walk in the park.
5-7pm: Harry Potter on ABC Family. Gats and I nurse and then chill on the couch. I fall asleep for about 20 minutes (sorry, Harry).
7:30pm: Holdy is home. I get her ready for bed while grandma sits with Gatsby.
8pm: How I Met Your Mother finale. While Gatsby sleeps in the living room bassinet, I laugh. I cry. I scream. I eat leftover sushi. I drink a beer.
9pm-12am: Upstairs to bed with G, cuddling and nursing on and off, while I play around on my phone.
“The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
Anything to do with your nipples
Evening Primrose Oil
Jumping off the bottom step
Squats and lunges
Walking miles and miles
What Does Work to Induce Labor: Having a baby that’s ready.
Gatsby’s Birth Story
On his due date, March 23, I woke up to some really mild contractions around 7am, while I was lying in bed. I didn’t think too much of it because I had literally been having contractions for about three weeks at this point. I kept an eye on the clock—they were about 8 minutes apart. As an hour ticked by and the contractions got a bit stronger, I began to realize that this might be it, but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up.
Side note: Having to rely on your own assessment of your discomfort to make that call to the doctor really sucks, especially when you’re a stubborn mule like me who likes to think she’s tough. Having your water break—like mine did with Holden—is at least a clear sign of labor, although, boy, does that make your contractions so much more intense.
Around 8am, I got up and took a shower (I had this weird thing with both pregnancies where I wanted to get myself “ready” to go to the hospital). My contractions were lasting about a minute, were 3-6 minutes apart and were still relatively mild. I called my doctor’s office at 8:36am and my parents at 8:42am. My mom took me to the hospital while my husband stayed at the house with still-sleeping Holden.
We got to the hospital around 9:45am. I wanted to make the walk to Labor & Delivery rather than take a wheelchair, and I could feel my contractions intensifying and coming faster. My OB met me in L&D for my exam: I was 5 cm dilated and still kinda thick by that point, so she wanted to put me on the monitor to see how I progressed before deciding if they would “keep” me… which pissed me off because 1) I knew this was it and 2) the contractions were getting stronger and being strapped to a bed (without meds) is pretty much the last thing you want when you’re in labor.
I was only on the monitor for about 20-30 minutes before they came back to admit me and take me to a room—I guess my moans of pain and the huge peaks of my contractions on the monitor told them this was the real thing. My OB told me then I was a bit too smiley when I first came in and that’s why she didn’t admit me right away… so if there’s a next time, I’ll keep that in mind.
Like my labor with Holden, the time from being admitted until receiving the epidural was a blur of pain. Contractions were coming every minute or so and, while they weren’t at the same excruciating level of my first pregnancy (when my water broke), they still felt like I was being eviscerated with a rusty bread knife every 60 seconds. I was still strapped to a bed, receiving IV fluid before they would give me the epidural and still on the monitor. So no walking or ball-bouncing. Just me alone with my pain.
Around 11am (so after about an hour), the doctor gave me the painkiller, Stadol, which doesn’t stop the pain of the contractions but “takes the edge off”—which means makes you kind of high so you can’t focus on the pain as much. It made things a bit better, but the real joy came when my anesthesiologist entered the room around 11:15am.
I endured one more painful contraction before the sweet, sweet nectar of anesthesia washed through my body and I began the blissful, zen-like ride of no feeling—like, I literally couldn’t even feel my legs. Also, I was still kind of high.
So now that I was feeling good, it was time to let my friends know where I was and to start…
In case you don’t feel like scrolling through all the pages, here is the “highly popular” video of me dancing to “Push It,” like I did last time:
Around 1:50pm (so after about 2.5 hours), the doc came in and said I was about 9.5 cm dilated and we’d start pushing within the hour… which came as news to me because I had no idea I had progressed that quickly. I was still feeling nothing. Like, my leg looked and felt like a huge hamhock lying in bed with me.
She came back around 2:20pm and said it was time. So even though I couldn’t feel what I was doing, I was going to push this baby out. They wheeled over the mirror—always a surreal experience—and I watched as, with three pushes that I couldn’t feel, the baby slipped on out. The process took less than four minutes. No drama, no tearing (thank god—guess those padsicles weren’t really necessary).
They put my beautiful baby boy on my chest and I was still in shock that it had all happened so quickly. But here he was, right on time.
Gatsby William Born March 23, 2014 7 lbs., 9.3 ounces 20 inches
Mom and baby are doing well. I’ll post all the fun details on his birth story and what finally got him out (right on his due date!) soon, but I also wanted to share that we’re celebrating another “birth day” today:
It’s my blogiversary! One year ago today I made my first post… which I obviously just made to have something to post, lol. Oh well—look how far we’ve come!
Thank you to all 13 of you who’ve read my posts over this year and to those of you who helped me get this thing started. Based on the past 24 hours since we’ve arrived home, I’m going to have a lot more stories to share in the future!
So, ask any pregnant woman: the last few weeks of pregnancy suck. You’re the biggest you’re going to be, you’re probably swollen, you feel so full of baby you could burst, you feel ugly pretty much all the time, you don’t really have an appetite, people are literally asking you several times a day whether you’ve gone into labor yet (spoiler alert: no). There’s the disappointment of getting up to pee three times in the middle of the night and not having your water break any of those times, haha. For me, I’ve also been having pretty real-feeling contractions for three weeks and this kid’s head is already so far down in my junk, I swear I feel like I’m sitting on him.
So here’s where I am:
How Pregnant: 39 weeks, 5 days Due Date: March 23 (I know, I know, but Holden was born at 39 weeks, so sue me for seeking the same release.) Cm Dilated: Three (3), as of yesterday Cervical Status: “Thick” Doc Says:
She stripped my membranes yesterday, which is where she uses her finger to separate the amniotic sac from the bottom of the uterus (feels just as good as it sounds), in the hopes of stirring up hormones to help the cervix progress.
She said his head is “right there”—uh yeah, I know it is.
My cervix is not yet effacing so she told me to walk and bounce to move it along.
I have another OB appointment on Monday, where I will have a Non-Stress Test (NST) and a check of my amniotic fluid levels. From there we’ll figure out what happens next.
I’m not one of those women who glows during her pregnancy or feels like a gorgeous earth goddess. I’m not nesting. My house is like Crazy Town—Holden’s terrible twos have decided to come early and Sally (the dog) is so protective of me that she sits guard in front of me while I pee. So yeah, I’ve been doing stuff to try to get this kid moving and get us out of Pre-Baby Purgatory.
“The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
Anything to do with your nipples
Evening Primrose Oil
Jumping off the bottom step
Squats and lunges
Walking miles and miles
I’ve been told eating Eggplant Parmesan works and a friend gave me a recipe for meatloaf that she swears induced both of her labors, so maybe I’ll give those a shot. But otherwise, I guess I’m going to put a fork in these ridiculous experiments. I’ll still continue to walk and bounce on that damn ball, though.
I’ve felt all along that this baby is going to be a sweetie, so maybe he’s just that content to hang out inside me until his time comes. Maybe he’s a little mama’s boy in the making. Maybe he’ll be that chill in real life? (Doubtful, I’m sure.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy being part of a terrible twosome, even if this little miss has been driving me a bit batty these past few weeks.