30 April 2012

Boys in Suits

Whoever says that boys are not fun to dress obviously just needs to find a neck tie the size of my thumb, match it with a pink argyle dress shirt and put it on their two week old.

Honestly, I could not have handsomer boys.  They are darling.  I didn't, however, get to hear anyone ooh and aah over the baby at church, because Jared kept stealing him from me!

26 April 2012

What I did with my Placenta

The placenta is a truly amazing organ.  For nine months it homes and nourishes our babies in a way that no man has ever been able to replicate. It is formed from the same sperm and egg that babies develop from. It grows perfectly with the baby, providing exactly what the baby needs at the different stages of pregnancy.

After my first two births I have no idea to what end my placentas came to.  In surgical births you don't really get a chance to admire that first home of your newborn baby.  They just clean it up with the rest of the "mess" and cart it away.  Well, in a home birth, it's up to you to dispose or do otherwise with your own placenta.  I've always had plans of burying my placenta's in the "Pet Cemetery" at the farm where I keep my horses.

But then, several months before I got pregnant, I learned about placentophagy, the act of eating your placenta after childbirth. 

Let me stop right there and tell you that when Jared and I got married, he would never have imagined that 7 1/2 years later I'd be birthing our third child in our living room and eating my own placenta.  I had an inkling about the home birth, but never would have dreamed of ingesting placenta.

Yet, here I am, two weeks and two days postpartum, and I am ready to become the poster child for the practice!

While I have never suffered from postpartum depression or had issues with milk supply, the two most sought after benefits of consuming ones placenta, I have felt the "baby blues" in the days after birth, and was very curious to see what other advantages I might gain from it.  So, in the minutes after birth I made sure my placenta was saved and properly stored and called my friend Susan from Pure Birth Services to come pick it up and do her magic!  While the placenta capsules are often prepared using the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of steaming the placenta with healing herbs prior to dehydrating and encapsulating it, I asked Susan to prepare mine raw.

There is lots of information online about why you might consume your own placenta, including:
- balancing your hormones after childbirth
- replenishing your lost iron supply (most moms loose 1/10th to 1/8th of their body's iron during childbirth)
- giving you more energy
- shortening postpartum bleeding time
- increasing milk supply
- reducing the chance of postpartum depression
- quickening the involution of the uterus to pre-pregnancy state
- it can even be helpful during menopause, if you save the pills until then

On the second morning after I had the baby Susan brought me back my placenta, now encapsulated into well over 100 capsules, for me to take over the coming weeks and months.

I immediately took two pills, and continued to do so over the course of the day.  That night my milk "came in", something that doesn't usually happen that quickly after childbirth.  And, while it may be just because this little one is my third baby, my milk supply also settled very quickly, by day four.  With both Eli and Silas I battled over-supply for weeks.  I recall sitting on the toilet after Eli was born with milk dripping from my very swollen breasts, in such pain, sobbing and sobbing.  I felt none of that this time.

In fact, I have not felt a moment of the very typical "baby blues."  I haven't had a weepy day. I haven't felt overly tired.  I have felt so good I've had to force myself to take it easy for these past two weeks.

At my appointment this week Carol, my midwife, said that my uterus has shrunk to where most women's are at 12 weeks.  I have almost completely stopped bleeding, at two weeks, which didn't happen until 6 weeks postpartum with my past births. 

Perhaps it's all in my head, perhaps it's just a placebo, but it's working, and that's fantastic!  I will definitely encapsulate my placenta again, and am excited to see what other benefits I will discover still.

Unfortunately it hasn't helped me pick a name for this baby: He Who Must Not Be Named.

25 April 2012

Madly in Love!

I just thought you'd like to know that I'm deeply, madly, entirely in love. 

This little man has won my heart over:

No, he doesn't have a name yet, but that doesn't stop us from thinking he's just about perfect.  Silas covers him with kisses every chance he gets, and Eli insists on holding him whenever he can.

They change so quickly, and I can't stand it.  He's already gained 2 lbs, at 2 weeks.  He's a champ nurser, a fantastic sleeper, a cuddling master, and I just love him!!!  I'm not a big fan of the whole "good baby" concept, as I don't think sleeping for long stretches and not crying makes a baby better than one who doesn't sleep for long and has colic, but honestly, this little man is such a good baby! He gets his ability to sleep from me: he can do it anywhere and at anytime.  Okay, he's only 2 weeks old, it's likely to change, but I'll revel in it while I can.

Oh ya, and he molted.  That's right, check out his face.  It started at his chin, and spread like wild fire.  But, now that that layer of skin has come off, he's quite handsome, if I do say so myself. I just hope he's not like a snake and molts every time he grows. 

 I do wish that he'd find those fingers more often.  They sure keep him happy!

This was his first car seat ride, when he was a week old.  It was strange not having some random nurse tighten and fit the car seat for me, but somehow I managed.  He sure isn't a big fan of being buckled in, but since he's only ever awake for a few minutes at a time, as long as I nurse him before, he is usually out pretty quickly.

I haven't caught it on film (or memory card, if you will) yet, but I swear, this boy is already smiling.  And not just gas smiles, but looking straight at us and grinning.  He did it first at 9 days.  He especially loves Eli and will smile wholeheartedly at him.  I love it.  When he's not smiling, he's usually quite pensive.   

Silas is a firm believer in co-sleeping.  When I a need him to, Silas will sleep with his "Baby Bra-der" quite happily.  Seriously, aren't they adorable!

And, this is a weird one, but I'm planning on taking a picture of him every week for his first year just to document how he grows.  Check him out!

Don't worry, I will tell you all just as soon as we pick a name.  I think we're getting closer... maybe.  Eli's voting for Thunder and Crossbow, and Silas insists on Baby Bra-der - Jared and I are less sure. Soon, I promise. 

19 April 2012


...our newest bundle of joy!!!

We are officially a family of boys!  This little one was born on April 11, 2012, at 9:23 am, at home, in the water.  It was a quick, peaceful labour.  The midwife barely made it (because I didn't call her until I was pushing), showing up just 19 minutes before baby was born.  It was such an empowering experience, and very healing. Baby weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 oz and measures 21 inches long.   He does not have a name yet, but when he does I will update with his name and birth story.  We are all doing amazingly well - in fact, I've never felt better!

10 April 2012

I'm torn

After a wildly busy weekend, with Easter hunts, Zoo dates, learning to ride a big boy bike, long naps with my boys, and visits to the farm, I sit in my home now with a knitting project in my hands, watching my boys play so nicely together, and I realize that I need to cherish every minute of this.

In the final days of my pregnancy I swing wildly back and forth between feeling like 'I NEED this baby out NOW' and, 'I'm feeling good, I've got it good, and baby can just cook as long as he or she needs'.  Every time my belly tightens around my little one, and I wonder if it's the beginning of my birthing time, I get excited. But at the same time I wonder how things will change once it's all over.  The moment Silas was born everything changed between me and Eli.  Not that it was bad, it was just different.  He was no longer my only little buddy, my constant companion, my best friend.  He suddenly had to share all that.  For some reason I think the transition will be easier this time. After all, Eli and Silas have each other - and they are used to sharing me.  Still, things will be different.  Silas will not be my baby any more.  He will be a big boy, just like his brother.  Eli will likely have more responsibilities, and I know he will take them on beautifully.  He is always so glad to help.  But, having a new baby in our home will make him seem so much older.

So, for now, I'm going to enjoy the fleeting moments of the life I have with just Eli and Silas. I am going to let them play Lego a little longer, when I think things should be cleaned up.  I am going to try to be patient when they need to hug each other for at least two minutes before they go to bed at night. I am going to stare just a minute more when I check on them at night and they are draped over each other, sleeping so soundly.  I am going to pray that as the years go on, and my attention gets more and more divided, that my love for these boys multiplies just as much.  I don't know if we are adding another brother, or a little sister, to the mix, but whatever it is, I hope Eli and Silas will always know just how lucky they have it, having each other, and just how much their mommy is going to miss them, when it was just them.

07 April 2012

Edith with golden hair

When my Grandma Jackson was born, her parents had a certain, unknown, name picked out for her.  In our church, early in a baby's life, a priesthood holder, usually the baby's father, gives the child a priesthood blessing, where they offer the baby's name for the records of the church.  In 1912, in the southern Alberta Mormon community of Hillspring, that occasion was more than official enough to be the finite naming ceremony of any child.  In any case, on the morning that my Grandma was to be named the name that her parents had picked, my great-grandfather sat in the church pew between his two older sons, waiting for the moment in the service where he would go up and name his youngest daughter and give her a priesthood blessing.  Those two boys had decided that they knew better what their baby sister should be named, and while the other orders of business were being conducted in the meeting, they sat, reciting over and over the words to a Longfellow poem, "The Children's Hour" into their father's ears. When their father got up to give the blessing, and proceeded to state the name of his newborn daughter, he could not remember the name that he and his wife had picked, and could only remember the words of the poem:

"From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair."

And, with only the names from the poem in his head, he gave my grandma the name Edythe Allegra instead.  Grandma was always so proud of her name, and loved the story of how her brothers had named her.  If the little one inside me is a SHE, she will be named after her great-grandma.  She will be Edythe.  

And so, when I designed my first knit sweater, I just had to name it after my grandma.  I've shown a few pictures of the sweater, and here it is, in all it's finality!  I have learned a whole lot knitting this sweater, and writing up the pattern.  I had twelve amazing women who tested my pattern and helped me through the process. Doing the test was so much fun, and my testers so willing to help.  Who knew that knitting could be such an international experience: of the twelve there were one each from Belgium, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, the Ukraine, England, and from Canada, two from Norway, and three from the US.  That's crazy!  You can check out their incredible work by going to the pattern page on Ravelry, then clicking on the projects on the right hand side of the page.  I can't thank these women enough.

I am currently NOT knitting anything new before the baby arrives, but I do have several other designs in my head, seeing as how this one was so much fun!

If you are interested in the pattern, it can be on Ravelry, or on Craftsy, as a PDF download, which will magically arrive in your inbox just as soon as you buy it. You can also just click here:   You will love it, I promise!

Happy Easter Bunny Day

Easter is so much fun!  Not nearly as much stress as Christmas, but almost as much excitement for my littles.  We asked the Easter Bunny to come on this morning (Saturday), instead of Easter Sunday, so that we could focus on the Saviour on Sunday morning instead of candy.  So, last night before we went to bed we set out a plate of bunny goodies, left a thank you note, and hoped for the best.

This morning Eli was up with the sun begging to go out and see if the Easter Bunny came.  We made him wait until Silas woke and Jared took the dogs out (we are watching Renee's puppy for her this week.)  Finally we opened the flood gates bedroom door and let him go wild.  The Easter Bunny was more brilliant than I would have been, and instead of leaving loads of candy scattered throughout the house (although there was a bit of candy...) he hid Lego and Duplo!  I'll tell you what, it did not disappoint one bit.  Eli quickly figured out that the Lego was for him and the Duplo for Silas, and off they went.  And, for the last hour, creativity has been at it's max in our living room!

My favourite thing about our new Lego obsession: Jared is just as into it as the boys.  Seriously.  I don't know the rules of conduct surrounding Lego, but Jared is quick to inform me.  Apparently the different sets need to be separated, with instructions kept, and played with carefully.  Who knew?

I must say, despite my lack of Lego-ing knowledge, I do appreciate just how captivating and creative it is.  I can't think of many other things that can keep Eli's attention for quite as long, and in such a great way.  I will admit it, I love the Easter Bunny, and I love Lego!

And, the most wonderful thing about "Easter Bunny Day" being today, is that tomorrow we will be able to focus on Easter and what it really means: celebrating Christ, his atonement and resurrection, and our devotion to him. 

05 April 2012

What we did for General Conference

Every 6 months our church holds a General Conference for the world wide membership.  The most recent was held last weekend.  It is broadcast from Salt Lake City, and members the world round can sit and watch the Prophet and other leaders of our church for two whole days.  I love General Conference.  I love "sitting" at the prophet's feet, listening to the word of God.  I love gathering with family to do so.  And, I'm beginning to love helping my boys enjoy it as well. This time, for the first time, I did a pretty good job of preparing for General Conference, so that my boys would be occupied enough to make the occasion pleasant for us all.  I know asking a 4 and 2 year old to sit quietly and watch church talks on the TV for 8 hours is a little much, but I really wanted them to be in the room, quietly playing and doing meaningful things, so that even if they didn't hear or understand the words that were spoken, they would feel the spirit of God that always is there during Conference. 

So, I spent a whole day driving through the city buying things to keep the boys busy.  It was fun to think of things for each 2 hour session, plus all the meals.  This is what our General Conference looked like:

 I finished a baby quilt I started 2 years ago.  Yeah!
 Mom quilted, too.

For the kids we bought these baskets, and before each session we filled them with a treat, a juice box, a craft and a toy.  The kids were allowed to play with what was in their baskets, but they were expected to do so quietly and in the room with us. Even Mari and Silas were overjoyed!
  The boys made Lego temples.  They were so creative!  This activity was the most fun, because it meant that we could take a trip to the Lego store to pick a whole box of white Lego in the "pick your brick" section. I'm not a big Lego fan, but this was FUN!
 Lego really needs to come up with an Angel Moroni mini-fig!

 I think this was the bus that brought the people to Andy and Eli's temple.

And, in between sessions of Conference, the mass of kids blew off all their excess energy outside. 

And while they did that, we spent the time inside thinking about food.  Here's an example of a bit of the raw food deliciousness we enjoyed!

Keeping myself busy

I hate "due dates."  Seriously. Technically I have a due date for when this baby is expected to arrive, but did you know that only 4% of babies are born on their due date?  So, really, it's silly for me to even mention my actual due date (which I won't, don't worry.) But, for the sake of my midwives, and my ability to have a homebirth, I do, in fact, have a due date.  That being said, even though I'm not there yet, I'd really like to meet this little one sooner than later. Eli came at 35 weeks and 5 days, and Silas made his triumphant arrival at 40 weeks and 1 day.  I have nothing to go on to hope that this one will come soon, but I'm hoping, let me tell you.  On the other hand, I know that babies come on their birthdays, not on their due dates, not when doctors, or mothers, or midwives think they should.  I know that my body knows how to birth babies at the right time.  I just need to be patient and wait, wait, wait!

And what do I do while I wait?  Well, I get my toes painted:

 Won't it be nice to look down at my feet while in labour and see them painted so nicely? Honestly, if I had exuberant amounts of money, I would get monthly pedicures.  I love pedicures.  At this point, however, I have justified a pedicure before I have babies, and that's it.  This time I didn't even have to justify anything, because my dear friend Mindy treated me to my pre-baby pedi! 

I've also gone horseback riding... or horseback sitting. Let's be honest, with a belly as big as mine, galloping along would not be very smart.  Maybe in a week...

I've also done every errand I can think of - returning things that need returning, buying anything I think I might need in the next two months, walking around the mall thinking of things I might need when I don't have the energy or the money for any of it. 

Last night Jared and I set up the birth pool.  We put the cover on our mattress and the "puddle pad" under my side.  I was hoping having all this ready would assure the baby that he or she could come any time!  Don't tell the boys, but the pool is presently blown up and hiding in a corner down stairs, ready to be brought up at a moments notice. 

And now I've run out of things to do.  My house is actually relatively clean, my laundry is inexplicably caught up, baby clothes and diapers are washed, and all I need is a baby in my arms (and a name... if anyone has any suggestions on that...)  Don't worry, I'll keep you all posted, but, don't hold your breath - I'm surely not.
Related Posts with Thumbnails