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Eeek!

Dare I say my hormones are a bit more in check than the last time I posted?  I feel as though the black cloud of this pregnancy has lifted and I am finally getting excited to give birth again and to bring a new baby into our family.

Mr. E is absorbing the information about the baby and becoming a big brother.  He’ll casually bring up concepts from the books we’re reading about babies, pregnancy, and becoming a big brother.  He is very proud to show me his belly, and tell me, there’s a baby growing in here.  He points to my expanding belly and tells me, the baby is still growing, then points to my breasts and informs me, there’s the milk.  He dresses and undresses, and changes his baby doll’s diaper.  He points to every baby we see and says, baby came out of mommy’s belly. He tells me he’s excited to meet his sister.  

I don’t think we’ll ever really be ready, it seems a lot harder to set up the baby’s stuff with a curious two year old around to get into everything, but really what do itty bitty babies, needs but love and snuggles and some clothes? It’ll all happen one way or another.

We have noticed some struggles with Mr. E, mostly around sleep.  He’s been amazing at going to bed on his own pretty much from day one.  But in the last few weeks he’s started to get out of bed as soon as we tuck him in.  The first time it happened I assumed he was having insomnia and let him get up.  He hung out for a bit and when he started to show signs of tiredness I put him to bed.  Same thing the next night…

Now I am not one to get into regular power struggles with a two year old.  I pick my battles and if getting out of bed is what he really needs, then so be it, but not every night.  We seem to be getting this under control, but it usually involves me going into his room after A has put him to bed (because he’s gotten up), and laying down the law, so to speak.  So far it’s worked and he stays in bed and goes to sleep.

Today, for the first time ever he refused to nap.  We tried and tried and tried to get him to go down and it was not happening. So, in picking our battles we conceded and gave up the precious nap, knowing he’d need to go to bed earlier than usual.  I can’t even think about him dropping his nap, not now, not with the baby’s arrival a mere two months away.  But I also refuse to fight him day after day.  He had “quiet time” instead of a nap today and that at least gave us a little down time.

I mentioned to A that maybe some of this sleep control stuff has to do with the arrival of his sister?  Maybe this is how his feelings are playing out?  I don’t know…but it’s all very strange behavior for him.  Any insight from those of you who’ve gone before us, is gratefully accepted.

I am reduced to bullets:

  • Hormones are worse this pregnancy.
  • Already having a child makes bringing another child home so much harder.
  • I am worried about leaving Mr. E while we are at the hospital.
  • I wish we could afford a home birth.
  • A might not spend the nights at the hospital with me.
  • He may need her at home more than I’ll need her there.
  • His needs precede mine.
  • We want what’s best for him, but it’s hard to think about being  there alone.
  • The “H1N1 no children visitors ban” has been lifted, so Mr. E will be able to visit.
  • I am terrified that when he comes to visit he’ll freak out seeing me in the medical setting (currently he becomes hysterical when my midwife takes my blood pressure).
  • I am scared he will have a hard time when it’s time to leave and I won’t be going with him.
  • I feel like I am screwing up his world.
  • I am tired and weepy all the time.
  • Oh, and emotional.

I compose so many posts in my head.  In the space between showering and laundry, wiping runny noses and cooking, between brushing my teeth and laying my head to rest at night.  There is so much I want to write.  But for some reason, the thought of logging in here and putting fingers to keys seems like too much work.

At twenty-two weeks I am feeling a bit down.  Somewhere around 20 weeks the morning sickness subsided.  Still sometimes I over do it and get knocked down.  I almost got a pregnancy pick me up last week when I start to feel movement.  With an anterior placenta, I have waited longer this time to feel anything.  And even now it’s rare.

Mostly, though, bringing this baby into the world is so preoccupied with the daily care of a two year old, that we often forget that she’s coming in 3 and a half months.  I have yet to take a belly shot, buy anything, or even start to look through what we’ve already got.  We’re blessed, of course to have another baby.  But last time around, well it was just so very different and exciting.  And I feel we’re already treating this one as “the second child.”  I am the second child in my family, I know how crummy it is not to have a baby book, far fewer photographs, and so on.  I swore I wouldn’t be that parent.

With three and a half months, we have yet to decide if we’ll hire a doula this time.  I’ve sort of got one that I’ve verbally asked, but we’re trying to decide if we need her.  My midwife will be with us for the entire labor and will offer labor support.  And has assured me she supports my birth plans.  Paying extra is not really in our budget.  Yet, my doula was my savior last time.  I am certain I would have ended up with a very different birth, full of interventions I did not want, had I not had a doula.

My little Mr. E gets that there’s a baby sister in my belly and that she will some day come out just like he did.  We’ve shown him pictures while pregnant with him and also the pictures of his birth.  He will gently touch my belly, and say “hi sister.”  This is all very new, as just a couple of weeks ago talk of the impending baby brought silence or tears.  He talks about how the baby will have Mommy’s milk, just like he did.  Another huge milestone!

He has no idea how his world is about to crumble around him, and I have no idea how to really prepare him, and I feel pretty rotten about the whole thing. He is, he will always be, very needy, I’ve decided.  He’s gained lots of independence in recent months, but sharing his Mommy and Mama, is still not something that comes easy.

I know our challenge is not new.  I know we’ll all come out on the other side, and we’ll have an amazing family, but in these days of pregnancy, these last months of having one child receiving my undivided attention, it’s hard to imagine how we’ll all change.  And truthfully, I am not just worried about him; I am terrified to be a stay at home mother to two children.  One seems like a piece of cake when I think about adding another.

I’ve got so much more swirling in my head, most of which I don’t want to write about, I am hoping it’s pregnancy hormones and once my body returns to normal, my thoughts will too.

I know, I know.  I’ve had a good amount of back and fourth regarding the start of our next TTC journey.  We had decided to use a new practice in our new home.  It was a decision based on logic and not feeling, which never really sits well with me.  As chance would have it, my cycles became wacky — pretty typical of when I get stressed.  I finally faced my fear and decided there is no way in hell I’m starting over with a new practice.  I will deal with the inconvenience of travel & of not knowing what I’ll do with Mr. E while getting knocked up in order to return to my old midwife, the one who helped us get Mr. E.

And like that, the old body started ovulating on schedule. And I felt at peace with TTC. One phone call to my old MW to see if she’d work with us – long distance, one Clomid prescription later, and the game is on for early September!

The timing feels right to me in so many ways.  First, Mr. E, while still nursing, mostly comfort nurses and seemingly gets very little milk.  I was concerned about how the Clomid would affect my supply (it will dry me up for the five days I am on it).  I am not ready to wean him, so the thought of doing something to make it stop brought terrible guilt, but he’s cut way back, thus the milk has declined, and he is content just to suck.  So taking Clomid is no longer a huge concern of mine.

Second, since hitting 18 months, he’s turned a kid, not a baby (although he is still very very very clingy). I can carry on conversations with him, we laugh and play, and everyday with him is better than the one before.  His shift into toddler/kid seems like a natural progression into us moving forward with growing our family.

I am doing my best to stay in the head space needed to start this process again.  The first time we did it,  I believed, somewhat foolishly that I would get pregnant on the first try.  I was full of hope and optimism.  And two and a half years later, when I DID get pregnant, I began the cycle high on faith.  I believe in the power of positive thinking and I believe in Clomid.  We have five shots at making a full biological sibling for Mr. E, and I don’t have any negativity to waste.

Summer is flying by…  And we’ve mostly been rained out, which is a huge bummer since we waited all winter long, grey day after grey day, for days of summer. Long days spent on the beach, sand between our toes, sea salt on our sun kissed skin. Not so much this year. The weather did perk up in time for our annual neighborhood Independence Day party. This year we hosted 70 neighbors and friends for a BBQ and fun as we celebrated our Country’s birthday:

Fire truck

We went to the county fair with one of Mr. E’s closest friends. It was by far the hottest, most humid day we’ve had so far…which made for a somewhat crabby Mr. E. Highlights of the fair, photo style:

DSCN1501E and his bestest friend, F

DSCN1518E and Mommy

We had a fun filled visit with Mr. E’s half siblings. The three kiddos had such a great time and it was so wonderful to spend such quality time together.

DSCN1533Second hottest day of the summer…trekking around P-Town.

DSCN1546Bath time is much more fun with friends!

DSCN1553At least the kids liked the rain!

DSCN1560Who needs sun when you’ve got mud puddles?

DSCN1568And we got to have a play date with Jen & Cait, N, & T!

DSCN1572Many meals shared over the green table.

We miss the P-M family now that they’ve left and can’t wait to see them again soon!!!

We’ve got a couple of weeks off from visitors and then we kick it back into gear through August.

In the mean time, our little Mr. E has become quite the talker and has full-on entered toddler hood. If I never hear No! it will be too soon. He seems to say at least three new words a day, is starting to string some words together and can sign a full sentence.

18 months seems to have been a huge milestone for us. E has become so very communicative and for the first time I can actually picture another child in the picture. So we are hoping to get back on our game…in September!

Ciao for now!

Hey remember me?  The person who spent oodles of time writing here not that long ago?  I think of you every so often, I start to compose posts in my head, and from time to time I actually log in type a few lines and then decide I am too scattered to focus.  But you know what I miss you.  A lot.  And I miss the blog community that was so supportive of us as we were trying, through pregnancy, and up until I left you.

Life has been hectic and busy and full. To say the least.

Mr. E turned 18 months yesterday.  He’s at a very fun and entertaining stage.  His words are developing so quickly and his learning just blows me away sometimes. He is still a very clingy boy. Thankfully I have a friend IRL who has a two year old who was (is…) much like Mr. E.  It’s incredibly supportive to be able to commiserate about just how hard it is to have a child who it literally attached to you all.day.long.

Mr. E is still very much in love with my boobs, and I have reached my second breast feeding goal -18 months.  No more goals.  Yesterday was the first time I really felt like if this kid did not stop sucking on me I was going to lose it.  Thankfully be obliged me and took a yogurt drink instead.  (Just saying the word “yogurt drink” bring him to such excitement and he utters “ooooooooooh” in the cutest voice.  I’m not saying that I am going to wean him, just sayin’ sometimes it’s hard.

Mr. E also has not figured out the sleeping through the night thing.  I’d take four hours, but it’s more like two.  I feel like I have a newborn most days.  He does, thankfully love his nap and goes down religiously from 12-3 everyday.

Life in general is flying by us.  A is in the midst of a job search, with one mediocre offer on the table and a very good chance of another, better one.  While exciting, this is causing us a great deal of stress as we wait and pray to the employment goddesses to tip in our favor.

We’re growing vegetable in our back yard and particpating in a local farm CSA, which makes me ridiculously happy.  I also seem to be forever hanging diapers in our back yard and wondering, when can we potty train?

Summer brings with it lots of visitors and that is always fun and exciting.  Living in a touristy area, we have also been taking great advantage of all the vacation-y things to do.  Sunday night music in the park, beach, etc.  If we can’t afford to go on vacation, we’ll just pretend!

We are gearing up to start trying…but still trying to figure my post partum, breastfeeding body and how it ovulates. Soon, I hope. I think if I get too far from this exhausted state, I won’t ever want to do it again with a second baby.

If you are still reading along, thanks!  I hope to be back again soon.

Yeah so I had this whinny post all typed up about how we finally did Mr. E’s allergy testing and so far we know he is allergic to peanuts and dogs and not coconuts. More testing to come on all nuts. And then I went on about how there isn’t a dermatologist within a 50 mile radius who is A) accepting new patients or B) accepting new patients and works with children under the age of two. And given that Mr. E’s pedi wants him to see a dermatologist for some weird bump things on his scalp, I was left with no other option but to try to get him into Child.ren’s Hospita.l in B.oston. So that process has been started. I am starting to feel like a full-time case-manager. It’s been an overwhelming day to say the least.

But, you know, a peanut allergy, although potentially very scary is not the end of the World. We know about. We are armed with EpiPens. We are taking action to protect our son. And as for the dermatologist situation, I am actually secretly relived that we’ll be going to the best hospital in the World and hopefully we can also get some guidance on his eczema while we are there…

But instead of wallowing in my own self pity over all this, I am delighted. You see, I have been a co-sleeping fan since our second night home from the hospital. A, not such a fan. But, we’ve been doing it nonetheless. Today, she became a convert. Our sweet little E woke up this morning, crawled over me and onto A. She told him she had to get up to take a shower, he fussed and hugged her tighter. She cuddled him.

Tonight she gushed, I guess it is really great to wake up with him right there and to snuggle. Yes my friends, she thinks co-sleeping is great!

We are in molar hell. Due to the onset of the 12 month molars, my poor sweet baby boy has had is just-starting-to-regulate-his-sleep-pattern turned up side down.

Night weaning was huge success. That was about six weeks ago. I’ve spent the last three nights up from 1:30-3:30 trying to comfort him (And multiple night waking began about 2 weeks ago). I’ve done everything I could thing of to help him get back to sleep. After hours without results, I caved on two of the three nights and nursed him. He immediately entered the land of nod.

Last night after losing the two hour struggle, I offered him my breast, while I began to cry. I felt defeated. I worried how nursing would impact the next night and the next night and… I am so desperate for sleep.

A very graciously got up with him at 6AM. Apparently I was unresponsive the first time she tried to wake me so she could get ready for work. In all she gave me an hour of sleep. It was blissful. I had planned to attend a social group today but it was canceled due to illness so I decided to go to a breast feeding support group. [And I was surprised to arrive and learn today is actually Wednesday and the BF support group is on Tuesdays…see I am so tired I can’t tell what day it is.]

I had a chance to talk to a Lactation Consultant. I explain our entire situation- and she very calmly listened and echoed what I already knew: E is teething. Molars are really effing painful. But what I didn’t know is that breast milk actually has a pain relieving effect, so this is likely why all he wants when his teeth hurt is to nurse. It also explains why he recently started nursing up to 10 times a day. He is constantly signing for milk, he is not always nursing long enough to bring a let down, but he is comforted just by sucking.

So I am some what reluctantly returning to night nursing. If this is the one thing that will help relieve his pain, then how can I deny it? I just really hope we don’t end up back on the nursing every-hour-over-night-schedule. That was awful for all of us.

Forgive me if this post is sloppy – I am running on empty.

Sometime after Mr. E turned 1 I started trying peanut products in small doses.  A bite of my peanut granola bar or a PB&J. He did not react. My worst allergy nightmare was averted. Or so I thought. Now I know that it can take several encounters for an allergy to present.

Last night Mr. E ate raw peanuts. Clarification, A and I were eating massaman curry topped with peanuts – our dinner appealed to him much more than his dinner. So we indulged him. Two hours later he woke from his slumber and vomited, which sadly is not all that uncommon for him. He went back to sleep until around 12:30AM when he woke A and I -he was snuggled between us – as he began to vomit, again. A changed the sheets as I cleaned him up. This is when I noticed he was red and blotchy. No, he was one huge hive – head to toe and itching like a madman. He was sad, whiny and crying. I was a nervous mess of a mum.

A and I packed him up and headed to the ER. He was a super star in the ER.We made it out of there in record time with an Rx for Benedryl (not sure why, cause it was the same dose as OTC), a suspected peanut allergy, and instructions to follow up with his pedi for allergy testing. Mr. E was knocked out by the Benedryl fell asleep on the way home as we stopped at the 24 hour pharmacy to fill the non-prescription prescription (at which time we also learned his insurance does not cover liquid Rxs…WTF?).

I followed up with his pedi today. She is the most anti-medicine doctor I’ve ever encountered and she’s starting to grow on me (previously I did not fancy her, but I can really appreciate her not-overly medical approach). She prescribed Epi Pens and made a referral for allergy testing, while letting me know she “does not know how effective the testing is.”

I feel bad. I can’t help ask why my son? But I know the answer is why not? I feel very lucky that his first allergic reaction was not life threatening and we now have the medication needed should he become very sick. For now, his pedi has said no more peanut products for either of us until we complete the testing. I know there are worse things to have wrong with your child, but I’d be lying if I said I was not terrified — I know how sever this can be.  And how hard it is to limit peanut exposure.

Perhaps all you IVP mamas can help me out.

I really do believe if awards were given to babies my son would get the most clingy designation. Even at 15 months he is a cling monster. He is a shy guy, he does well at home, or when surrounded by a handful of people – especially people he knows. In larger social settings he tends to become irritated and wears out easily.

When home alone with him, he tends to cling to me– all.the.time. There are moments when he will suddenly pick up a book and intently turn the pages, or otherwise enjoy independent play. And I start to feel guilty for walking away and leaving him to play. Just now I took him upstairs to our bedroom to change my clothes. As usual I put him in the pack and play, fully stocked with book and toys, while I changed. He began playing and when I asked if he wanted to go down stairs with mum, he kept playing. He’s up there, playing away, I am down here blogging. And I feel so guilty.

When he’s clingy I get annoyed that he is on me all the time, but when I leave him alone to play I feel like I am abandoning him. If I am being rational, I know that a balance of play with others and independent play is ideal, but since the scale is so often tipped in one way, I just don’t know how to relax and enjoy the latter.

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