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This is what a baby does to me 

I’m writing this post at 5:26am. Not necessarily a godforsaken hour to all of you, but to me it’s just another hour in the day. Right now there are no boundaries between night and day, no hours that are kept untouched from my presence being needed. And in sixteen days, I’ve become totally accustomed to it. Right now, this is my best thinking time.

Three newborns later, I love having a newborn in the house. It slows me down to a glacial pace, when I am otherwise a multitasking maniac, desperate to accomplish it all. I’ve been able to savor this pace because it comes with the mindset that if only lasts for a minuscule season. Plus, I spent months preparing for it. Some of the things I set in place run like clockwork without me intervening, others get ignored for this season, and then the remaining tasks get job shared by willing friends and family. And for once I feel totally pleased to accept their help. This is what a baby does to me. 

Other things on my mind at this hour: 

Bea has a cold right now with a wicked cough that I desperately hope the rest of us don’t catch, mostly for the sake of the baby. So far it has been a few days without anyone else succumbing, no small miracle considering the drink sharing that goes on around here. 

It is really humbling to accept a meal from a friend. But, oh, what a gift. The time it took to plan it, shop for it, prepare it, and deliver it just as the dinner bell is ringing…this is not something that goes under appreciated. So far we’ve dined on soft corn tortillas filled with brothy, Mexican spiced chicken , baked chicken on a bed of sticky rice with tender broccoli and cauliflower, and campfire style hamburgers with sides of roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. This week we’ve been delivered thick pork chops with sweet potatoes and apples in a cinnamon infused glaze and an updated Shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes and green peppers in place of their traditional cousins. I want to write all of these ideas down so I can add them to my often rut deepening repertoire.  

One thing I find myself itching for each day is a creative outlet. I’ve lost myself to the baby, with bliss, but I find myself spending nap time online window shopping for new fabric and dreaming up a project list for when my time isn’t as sparse. Thankfully this blog allows me some measure of a creative outlet, and one that is easy to do whilst holding a snoring baby to your chest.  

I also need to get out of the house once a day. An evening walk or an afternoon in the sun is an easy fix for this and ices the cake for an all around enjoyable maternity leave.  

-smk

Sweet Sibs 

One week ago, on May 23, 2016, our third born daughter entered the world at 3:56pm.

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Much to our surprise (after the routine ultrasound the week prior that measured her at 6lbs, 13ozs), she tipped the scales at 9lbs, 2os, and 21″ long.  She is our biggest baby by almost 1/2 a pound but considering that I believed her to be 11 days late, I was expecting her to be over 9 pounds (well up until that ultrasound!)

For the first time ever, my mom was in town for the birth and was able to keep the girls for us while we were in the hospital.  The moment they heard she was born, they hopped in the car and headed our way.  That is one good thing about having your baby in the afternoon vs. the middle of the night (my other two).  We were able to see all of our family the same day she was born and then go to bed!  

The girls were quiet and wide-eyed when they came in.  They wanted to know her name (MG still thinks it’s a little silly), and wanted to hold her right away.  When Sibs started crying, Bea wasn’t sure what to think and covered her ears saying the baby was hurting them.  Such a sweet moment to witness as a mom, when everything comes full circle.

While Mom and N went to get dinner from the cafeteria, MG stayed back with me and watched them put Sibs’s first diaper on and give her a shot.  She never took her eyes off the baby and had a ton of questions.

The girls have really adjusted well to having her home (no doubt it helps that we’ve had family around until today so they’ve had lots of extra attention!).  MG is still very intrigued by her and motherly towards her.  She will lay by Sib and watch her for thirty minutes or more.  She also asks to hold her often and is a very good helper with just about anything I need.

Bea is less intrigued by her but also not negatively affected by her presence.  She keeps me informed when Sib is crying (I think it still hurts her ears).  She also randomly runs over and tries to tickle her, but that is about the extent.  I had a feeling Bea would be a wonderful middle child.  She is so even-keeled that the newest upset to the family dynamics barely registers on her radar.

This week with our newest member has been sweet and blissful.  Sib has been an angel newborn so far and there is not a thing I think could be better.  She reminds me so much of Bea in her mannerisms and shares her looks with both girls in this first week but I know she will soon develop her own character traits (and hopefully I will stop calling her Bea!)

Tomorrow is my first day flying solo with the girls and I don’t dread it at all.  Having my family in town really set us up with a clean house, good meals, and lots of entertainment for the girls.  The house got cleaned again today and we have hot meals coming for the next few weeks.

 

(I’m pretty sure this is exactly how she was posed in utero)

I’m not calculating how much (or little) sleep I’m getting at night and just enjoying my only time to be alone with her.  I count it a win that she sleeps some in her bassinet (and the rest in my arms).

As much as I wanted this baby to come earlier, it is clear to me that she is easier for the wait.  Her size helps her sleep and eat well and be all around good-natured.  The timing worked out really well with my mom being in town, celebrating Bea’s birthdayMG’s preschool graduation/dance recital (I didn’t have to miss any of them!), and of course N going into the summer which means a much more relaxed schedule and finally being done with his coursework.

My recovery has been, once again, as easy as can be expected (thanks, in part, to the huge load lifted by my family and N!).  I rejoiced when all of the swelling finally went down this week and I think you will understand my pregnancy woes when I tell you that one week post-partum and I’m down 30lbs (I think half of that was water!).  Part of the huge amount of fluid goes into her birth story which I hope to share soon, as well as her name blog.

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But right now, I’ve got three hungry girls waiting to be fed!

-smk

Baby Name Game, Clue #10: the final cards

Clue #9

Okay no matter what, this will be the final baby name clue until the big reveal!  I promise I will also do a follow-up post to explain the meaning behind her name and these clues.  If you are confused by them, don’t worry!  They were intentionally written that way for a reason.  That being said, a few of you have submitted some REALLY good guesses so I am ready to finally be able to talk about it.

Clue #10: Both parts of our name have a lot of nickname potential and we chose one that is very uncommon

Bonus hint: None of our names are place names (that I’m aware of), there are countless book characters with these names (but not the two of them together, I don’t think), and a portion of our name would pass the test for royal baby names.

Nine Months

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Well today is officially my due date and I honestly never thought I’d make it to this point (especially since I calculated my due date to be more like a week ago!).  Everyone says the third child is a wildcard and I’m definitely buying into that.

Truthfully I’m glad she didn’t come today or yesterday so that I can be present for Bea’s birthday.  And…the further away from this date we go, the easier it will be to celebrate both girls in the future, I’m sure.  I had a long appointment yesterday with my doctor and the whole workup (ultrasound, NST, etc). I’ve mentioned before that I’ve carried some anxiety with me throughout this pregnancy and it was nice to get some good feedback. Ever since then, I’ve been feeling more positive and peaceful than I’ve felt this entire month.  Not only has this month been tough physically (you should see my bed-rolling-over-skills :)), but also mentally (being ready to go at any moment and yet having to wait for an unknown length of time).

My parents have both been here and my mom is staying for the duration.  It certainly relieves some stress knowing we can leave at a moment’s notice without having to arrange childcare for the girls.  Bonus: we’ve been eating like kings and my house has never been cleaner.  Plus the girls are doing well with all of the extra attention they’ve been receiving.  It is tempting to just live like this for a while!

After seeing the doc yesterday, it made it all the more clear that the end is in sight and I should just enjoy this time I have left with the girls and N before things change…permanently.

We did get some good answers at the appointment for why my body seems prepped for labor but it hasn’t happened yet (i.e. tons of Braxton Hicks and other early labor symptoms).  The baby is floating around and high in a lot of fluid (on the higher end of average).  She is presenting posterior, so not exactly favorable for engaging and starting the process.  The best we can hope for is for her to turn face down before my water breaks and then it should go (hopefully) pretty quickly after.  I’ve been given some good tips on how to get her to turn so I’ll be working on that as much as possible in the upcoming days!

It was fun to see her on the big screen again, although she was too big to get any good shots of her face.  When the tech first pulled her up, she commented on what a big baby she was based on her chubby cheeks and arms (this is totally expected since my other two were upper 8’s!), but then when she did the measurements, she came more in the 6-7lb range.  I know these late ultrasounds can be very off size wise but I was still surprised to hear that and I am certain it is at least somewhat inaccurate.  The best part of the ultrasound was when she said, “it looks like she has a ton of hair!” and then pointed out some hair waving around on the back of her head.  I never know if I’m going to get one with hair or not so this was especially comforting to hear-ha!

Any day now and sometime in the next two weeks I guess all of these mysteries will be revealed!  I’m starting to find some fun in the anticipation of it and I think it helps knowing there is a definite end in sight.

(Final name clue to come tomorrow)

-smk

Third

Happy Birthday, Bea!!!

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(picture credit: Kimmy Howard Photography)

Three years ago we were shocked and excited to meet you on your due date.  Now we are anticipating a new little family member to be joining us soon and bumping you up the ranks of Big Sister (secretly, I’m glad you didn’t get a little sister for your birthday ;))

This year we have seen some HUGE changes in you.  You were barely talking one year ago on your second birthday, and now you are speaking in sentences and adding new vocabulary every day.  As your communication has gotten better, so has your relationship with MG.  The two of you have become fast friends and you often go to her first for comfort (over Daddy or me).  She is very accommodating of you (most of the time) and is happy to act as a mother figure to you whenever you allow it.

You have also accomplished two other huge milestones: giving up your paci and potty training.  Both of these things you surprised me with how easy-going you were and remained for the duration.  I don’t know if I’ve ever met such a good-natured child as yourself and it’s something I thank God for often.

You love princesses (I’m not sure where this love was first sparked ;)), pajamas, books, singing, and imitating MG.  You would rather leave the house than stay home all day, and you’re a bit fickle with some foods but you will never turn down chocolate.

Beatrice means “bringer of joy”.  I love this name for many reasons but I was happy to incorporate it into our family because our family verse is “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY”  Psalm 126:3   I’m happy to say you have lived up to this meaning in a very literal way.  You have brought so much joy to our family; both by your gentle presence but also by your intentional efforts to do so.  My mental image of you is one with shiny eyes and a big smile on your face, scanning the room to see if everyone has heard the joke you just told.

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Year four will bring the beginning of knowledge (preschool/Bea school), transitioning away from naps, and seeing you blossom more into the roles God gave you in our family: daughter & sister (both little and big).

You have brought so much delight to my heart and I am happy to call you mine!

XO,

smk

Baby Name Game, Clue #9: Iambic Pentameter

Clue #8

Here we are, one day before my calculated due date, and no sign of baby!  I honestly didn’t think we would go this distance with this one, but it looks like we are well on our way to the 18th of May or beyond.  Today I detailed the house, went for a morning walk with friends (and plan to go again with the fam tonight), will have spicy chicken enchiladas for dinner, and I’m bouncing on my ball all the live long day.

With all of the Braxton Hicks I’m having, I’ve been told that it’s a sign my body is ready but the baby is not.  I don’t think she’s engaged yet, so that makes sense.  But….I’m really hoping to get this show on the road soon and avoid induction if at all possible.  (Part of me thinks she may just be holding out for my parents to arrive—Friday).  Third baby and already proving to be our wildcard.

But on to the clue…as I’ve mentioned in just about every clue, we are going to give this baby a nickname.  Names that lend themselves well to nicknames tend to be mouthfuls, and this one is no exception.

Clue #9: this baby’s full name will be a complete10 syllables long (not including our last name)

MG got “blessed” with 9, Bea with 10, and this baby is following in their footsteps

Bonus hint: Just like our other two girls, this baby will be mostly called by a TWO-SYLLABLE nickname.

Clue #10

Baby Name Game, Clue #8: In the name of tradition

Clue #7

Name spelling is a hotly debated topic in the baby name enthusiasts world.  Most of the enthusiasts agree that tradition trumps phonetics.

We have one daughter that has a more phonetically spelled nickname (MG) and the other has the traditional.  Both still occasionally run into problems (that darn ‘e’, is it long or short?)

Research would tell you that two of our chosen names for Mayby have various spellings, while the other one has a pretty traditional, common spelling.

Clue #8: with all three of our names, we have chosen the most traditional spelling

Bonus Hint: often feminine names have a male counterpart…i.e. Stephanie to Stephan or Danielle to Daniel.  None of our names have a masculine form (at least that I am aware of)

Clue #9

Tick Tock

Thirty eight weeks and I’ve hit my wall.  After all that “excitement” of pre-term labor symptoms a few weeks back, now it looks like she’s in no hurry to come.  So we wait, indefinitely.  And yet, we have to be prepared to go at any minute.  It’s a weird dichotomy and one I don’t thrive in.

I wish I was more patient, I wish I did pregnancy better, I wish I didn’t feel so miserable and could actually get some stuff done with all of this free time I have.  But each good idea produces another dilemma: I could take a nap, but then I won’t sleep well tonight.  I could create a sewing project to do, but then I would mess up my (for once) very clean sewing room.  I could do some extra cleaning but that just feels counterproductive right now and my patience is too thin to watch it unfold in front of me, knowing that I don’t live in this house alone. I could paint my nails, read those books on my nightstand, bake something, or any of a hundred other leisure activities that will be calling for me when my time with a newborn is short…but I can also excuse those away one by one for various, unimportant reasons.

So I pace and watch the clock, and wait.

It’s raining and chilly here in Indiana and we have a rare moment in the spotlight today.  I can’t help but wonder if we will be a disappointment to those who are watching us.  It seems we are all waiting for the weather to turn, the race to be over, the baby to come.

And those things aren’t ready yet, so we will wait…

-smk

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