Today marks 20 weeks of this pregnancy and now that I'm through the first trimester, things seem to be moving much quicker. I've battled through the really tough initial parts and have finally made it to the other side. A quick look at where I am these days:
I'm no longer sick. Or, at least, not so often. This baby is taking it easier on me than Henry did and the second trimester has really been treating me much better. I still can't eat much and some smells really get to me (like the peppermint oil B sprayed all around the house over the weekend to get rid of spiders - I actually had to leave the house in order to feel better). But, at least I'm not spending as much time feeling nauseous as I was. I'll take it!
I've gained about three pounds. That's definitely less than what I gained with Henry at this point. Again, I don't eat much so I'm sure that's a large portion of the problem, but my doctor doesn't seem concerned so I'll just keep doing my best to make sure baby is healthy.
My eyelashes are insane, my face is (mostly) clear, and I feel more confident. This is probably the biggest change for me this time around. Maybe it's because I've been through this before and saw what is waiting for me on the other side, but this time around, I'm really embracing this little bump I have going. Instead of trying to hide it, I'm okay with it being the star of the show. Also, my face has stayed mostly clear (something that definitely didn't happen with Henry), and my eyelashes have gotten SO long. Thanks, baby!
I am still incredibly exhausted. With Henry, I eventually got to a point where I didn't feel the need to nap every single day, but not so with this one. Of course, with Henry I didn't have a toddler running around and I wasn't also running a side business while working full-time. I got to just go home from my day job and rest. This time around, what's rest?
I'm feeling more optimistic about the newborn stage. Probably also because I've been there, done that, but having a built in community this time has made me feel so much more relaxed. When we had Henry, we had no one to help us except when we had visitors come from out of town. This time, we have friends right down the road who are willing to help us in any way they can. HUGE sigh of relief. It does truly take a village and we finally have one.
I'm relishing the time as a party of three. I know that our days are numbered and I'll be honest, it's the thing that's freaking me out the most. I have no doubt I'll love this baby like I love Henry, but I'm really nervous about losing this rhythm that we have between the three of us. By the time the baby gets here, we'll have been a threesome for almost exactly four years (baby is due 3 days before Henry's 4th birthday). That's a long time to settle into our routine. But I can only hope that the baby will change it in the best way possible.
Henry has been extra clingy to me. While I love all of the extra snuggles and "I love you's" I'm getting, I can't help wondering if the sight of my growing belly isn't the cause. He knows there is a baby in there, he calls it his baby, and he talks to the baby on occasion, but how much can he really GET at three years old?
I'm trying to plan for the future. But each time I do, I just start laughing. How can I possibly plan for how this shift is going to affect us? I've always heard that going from 1 baby to 2 is harder than anything else. So I should probably just give up and go with the flow.
All in all, things are feeling good these days. I could do with a little more sleep, but who couldn't? 20 weeks left, little one. We're so excited for you to turn our world upside down.
This was a month of first’s. You got your first two teeth (on the bottom). You said Mama for the first time (I will forever be glad that at least one of my two kids said Mama first). You are THISCLOSE to crawling but somehow still manage to get yourself around a room - I suspect a bit of scooting when no one is looking. You also got your first flu shot - and I didn’t even realize she had given it to you because you didn’t make a peep. I think it’s possibly those massive thighs of yours - couldn’t even feel it.
It’s been a great month.
Over the past eight months, you have often had to play second fiddle to your brother. At first, it was the newness of it all as your dad and I tried (often unsuccessfully) to juggle this gigantic shift in our lives where we now had two kids to take care of.
After that, and for quite a few months in a row, it was that Harrison was a HARD baby. He didn’t sleep, he cried a lot, and we were beyond exhausted. We snapped at you a lot in that time, and we often didn’t mean to. But we were frustrated, angry, sad, and sometimes just miserable. And we took it out on you. When you asked us a question, or needed help with something, or got upset like any other four-year-old does, we snapped because we couldn’t take ONE MORE THING.
The breeze is blowing through my hair as I push the purple double swing. I'm watching both boys, and they're both grinning, holding tightly to the metal chains. Henry leans back and forth, trying to propel them higher in between my pushes. It's quiet aside from the squeak of the chains and the babble between two brothers.
I can't stop thinking about how different of a baby you are these days. From the first 5 or so months of your life to now, it's like we have a completely different baby living with us. And let me tell you, we're all so much happier these days - you included. You're a HAPPY baby now. We even have strangers stop us, you give them that incredible grin you have, and they remark about what a happy baby you are. And finally, I'm able to say "yes, he is". Plus, we just have a lot of people stopping us to tell you how beautiful you are. It's those big blue eyes man, so much like your brothers. Between the two of you, you guys are always turning heads when we're out.
I remember the moment that Henry met Harrison. It was one of the best and also scariest moments of my life. Leading up to Harrison's birth, we talked to Henry about how life was going to change and tried to make him understand (as best a 3 year old could) that things would be different. But still, I worried. So on that day when he walked into the hospital room, my heart was racing.
There was a time, not long ago, where I felt in control of my life. Every day I got up and I knew what would happen, I could guess how I would feel, and I counted on that. I can pinpoint when that changed.
It was January 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm.
That is the exact moment that a beautiful little boy (who I was so convinced was a girl) came screaming into my life. We named him Harrison. And since then, over these last six months, I've felt anything but in control.
Oh sweet buddy, this last month was SO MUCH BETTER. It's like you're a new baby. Like we're a new family. We're all so much happier because... YOU SLEEP NOW! Granted, you still aren't sleeping through the night, but sometimes we get six or seven hour stretches and it's like I don't even know what to do with myself.
I knew I was supposed to put him down. We're sleep training him after all, and I'm supposed to put him down while he's still sleepy. But for some reason it just hit me. Harrison is my last baby. I'll never have another baby of mine at 5 months and 24 days old. Tomorrow he'll already be another day older. I felt the tears prick my eyes.
It's just you and I sitting in the squeaky, hand-me down rocking chair, the same way it's been approximately seven thousand times since you were born five months ago. It's just you and I. The house is still and quiet. We're rocking back and forth, back and forth while you gulp down a 6 ounce bottle as if you haven't eaten in days.
Well, this wasn't quite as good a month as we had hoped. Towards the end of the month we FINALLY got your belly issues resolved after having been on medicine most of the month. But we're still working through an issue with your legs while you're sleeping.
I am an introvert through and through. Though I may not have had the name for it early on, I always knew that I felt physically drained from being around people for long stretches of time. Groups of people intimidate me. Having to make small talk makes me want to hide in a corner. And I need time away from everyone in order to feel like myself again. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me, so I just kept pushing myself to be more "normal".
It's been nearly two months since I left my corporate job to stay at home with my boys and run the magazine from the comfort of my bedroom. I don't know if it's because I only went back to work for two weeks following my maternity leave, or if that's just how life goes when you stay at home, but it feels like I've been gone from the corporate world a lot longer.
I know you aren’t supposed to wish away time in your baby’s life because it all goes so quickly - but I think we can all agree that we’d be okay with forgetting this past month ever happened. It was another rough one. Really rough. There were a lot of tears throughout the month and they weren’t all from you.
When the word fear comes to mind, I tend to think "I'm not scared of much, really". But then as I sit with the question and analyze it all a bit more, I realize that isn't true. I'm fearful, terrified really, of one big thing that affects different parts of my life in many ways. Failure.
He’s heavy in my arms, physically and mentally. He only wants me and the unrelenting need is exhausting. I’m permanently carrying around a 14 pound weight and I wonder how much longer I can keep going.
Today you have been in our lives for three months but it feels like a lifetime. I won't lie, this has been another really hard month BUT things seem to be slowly improving. Or, at least we can hope. We may have finally figured out your belly issues and you're slowly starting to sleep more and more.
Today is the close of one chapter and the beginning of another.
Ever since I was old enough, I have worked full-time. Throughout college I worked while going to school, with a new job ready for me as soon as I graduated. The longest absence I’ve taken from the working world was for the maternity leave I had with both of my sons.
Well, today I’m leaving behind the corporate world as I step into a new chapter of my life.
His cries pierce the deepest sleep I've had all night. I look at the clock.
Damn, it's only been 45 minutes this time. It's the fourth time I've been up with him since we went to bed a few hours ago.
My feet hit the floor with a thud. I run into the door frame with my shoulder. I stumble down the hall. I'm in a fog, moving strictly on autopilot.
Oh what a month it has been. Things have been rough this month. Really rough. You seem to hate sleeping and don't do it often which has lead to a very tired household for us all, and of course, a lot of frustration. (And apparently your brother also went through this at the same age.) It seems you're often two babies - the one who is very sweet and starting to coo and smile, and then the one who fights sleep at every turn and because of that gets overly tired and fussy.
I know it's been four years so I've probably blocked out a majority of the hard times with Henry, but I honestly don't remember it being this hard. Harrison isn't a kid that likes to sleep, and until recently, he spent the majority of the day being cranky. Now, thankfully, it's just the end of the night. But still... HE DOESN'T SLEEP. Did Henry sleep? I swear he did.
Four weeks ago you leisurely entered our lives. You were screaming, red, and perfect. And now, a month later, not much has changed. I won't lie, it's been quite the month of adjustment for all of us. In general, you're a very calm, contented baby. But in the last week or two you've run into some digestive issues that has you a bit fussier than normal and has Daddy and I more exhausted than normal. Plus, no one likes to see their baby in pain, especially when you can't tell us what hurts and we can't tell you how we'll fix it.
Three weeks ago my life was flipped upside down again in the best way when we welcomed our second baby boy into the world. Though you may have already seen pictures of this beautiful little boy on my Instagram or Facebook page, today I wanted to share how he came into the world - in a completely different labor than the one I had with Henry.
Today you are four. I can hardly believe that you have been in our lives for four whole years. But at the same time, I can't remember life before you, and I don't want to. You have been such a bright light in our life and I'm thankful every day that I get to be your Mama.
You're going to be a big brother any day now and it's taken me a long time to realize just how much its affecting me that you'll no longer be the only baby in my life. I have spent the last nine months preparing you for welcoming a new little person into our lives, but I haven't spent much time preparing myself.
36 weeks down. 4 (or less) to go. I had Henry at 37 weeks, so I wouldn't be mad to introduce this teeny one into our family next week. I'm miserably uncomfortable at this point. With Henry I was on bed rest starting at 34 weeks and I'm now seeing how much better that was physically for my body. I get exhausted walking around at work. Hell, I get exhausted getting off the couch.
At 30 weeks pregnant, I can barely remember the nausea of the first twenty weeks. Maybe this is what people mean when they say you forget all of the hardships of pregnancy and it makes you more willing to do it again. (Note to Grandmas: We're done after this one, don't get your hopes up.) When I was pregnant with Henry, I was sick right up until the very end so I never got enjoy this honeymoon period. But this baby is taking it a lot easier on me.
Life has felt overwhelming lately. In both the best ways, and some really tough ways. I sit down to write and nothing comes out. I don't know where to start with all of these thoughts swirling around in my head. Some of them I'm not able to say out loud yet, others just sound repetitive. So instead I walk away. I take a break. And somehow I find myself back here three weeks later feeling the same. So instead, here's a run-down of things in my head...
As he grows, I'm constantly questioning if we're doing the right things. It's a typical parenting feeling, I'd assume, but I hope that we're teaching him well and loving him even better. I want to pour into him the things that I've learned in my 34 years of life, but I want to give him the space to mix up his own thoughts and feelings and emotions. He's a part of me, but separate from me. He's his own individual and sometimes it takes me a second to remember that. So I give him bits and pieces, I help to guide him, but I also step back and watch.
It's early. The sun is still hiding, but our house is awake and moving. It's 6:57 am and we're ready to hit the road to head to work/daycare/work. Henry is on my lap while I'm putting socks, pants, and then shoes on. He's pushing against my growing belly and as I reach down to put the left sock on, I realize just how long his legs have gotten. The drape down over my own. They're long and skinny and sprouting the lightest blond hair. He has to bend his knee for me to reach his foot. Will I still be able to have him sit on my lap in a few months when my belly is an eight month belly?
Seeing me with a camera in my hand is a pretty standard sight in our house. I'm always capturing little moments of our days - some that seem pretty important (like when we announced Baby 2), others seem fairly boring (like many of the photos below). But still, I keep clicking. I was asked recently why I like taking photos and the answer is simple - there is beauty in the mundane and I want to capture it.