0

Two Months

My head tells me that Teddy was just born yesterday but my eyes are telling me something completely different. It’s so hard to believe how fast he is growing!

Teddy is two months old today but doesn’t go to the pediatrician until next week so I don’t have any fun growth stats for you yet (I’ll update when I do). I haven’t even gone for my postpartum follow-up appointment yet. The doctor who delivered Teddy is probably the busiest OB at the practice so it was hard to reschedule my appointment and I will, no doubt, have to wait quite a while to be seen. I’m feeling pretty good except for the complete lack of weight loss but that’s another post entirely.

Teddy started out longer than Ben so it shouldn’t surprise me that he is wearing 3 month clothes earlier but I’m still sad about it. My tiny baby is a beast! He’s wearing all 3 month clothes except for pants. He’s pretty slim still, even though he has very kissable rolls and dimples, so pants slide right off. We’re using size one disposable diapers at night and have already packed away all the small prefold diapers in favor of the 5 fitted diapers + covers and 7 BumGenius all-in-one diapers in the stash. I’m still wrapping my head around how I want to split the stash of BumGenius pocket diapers between the two boys but that will happen soon since Teddy is well within the size range.

Teddy consistently wakes up to eat only once during the night, usually between 5 and 7, depending on when we go to bed. He eats, burps, and goes back to sleep with little fuss or effort on my part. We haven’t used a shield for a few weeks (YAY!) so those are packed away now. We’re starting to loosely implement a 7:30 bedtime to get him used to having set sleep hours but success is hit and miss at this point. I feed him and B changes his diaper, puts on PJs, and swaddles him and we put him down in his Rock n Play (highly recommended, especially for a second kid).

Teddy is a smiler. He loves to smile; smiling is his favorite. He has a hard time not smiling so he can eat or keep his pacifier in his mouth. He smiles at all three of us but it’s especially heart-melting to see him smile at Ben. Ben loves to help Teddy play in the gym (Teddy is not as big of a fan, however), throw clothes down the clothes shoot, bring Teddy pacifiers, toys, books, or other things Teddy doesn’t play with yet. I’m looking forward to how things change as Teddy grows up and becomes more of a playmate than a novelty. Ben is really a fantastic big brother and a great helper most days. His molars are taking their sweet time coming in so some days are horrible (looking at you, yesterday, with your 20 minute nap) but the times that Ben throws his arms around my neck and asks for kisses and hugs that make up for the rough stuff.

That’s all I can think of for now. Any questions?

EDIT
Teddy weighed in at 11 lbs 14.5 oz (half pound heavier than Ben at 2 months but Teddy was weighed at 2 months and 9 days) which is 28th %. He was 23 inches long (33rd%) and his head, similar to Ben’s, was 16 inches (82nd%). My babies have big heads! He didn’t react too well to the vaccines and was whiney, clingy, and feverish for the rest of the day. He slept well at night, however, and the fever was gone the next morning.

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TV watching buddy and lap warmer

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Lion child

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Teddy’s new quilt (and Ben testing it out) from B’s aunt

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Video games with Daddy

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Hiding

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Tummy time

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You mean that these sweet toys are for BABIES?!

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The family red sweatsuit

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❤ Love them!

 

1

One Month

Happy One Month, Theodore John!

We’re a little in shock that it has only been a month since Teddy was born. He fills out our family so well it’s like he has always been here.

I feel like I’ve healed pretty well. I’ve only lost about 20 of the 50 (I know!) pounds that I gained with Teddy, which is a bit frustrating to me, but I’ll make it there eventually. I can wear the jeans I bought just before Ben was a month old and have started pulling out my regular clothes again. Most of the weight is stored in my lower half so pants will be a struggle for a while but getting out my old shirts is like seeing old friends after a long absence! I’ve stopped bleeding already (it took 6 full weeks with Ben) and don’t feel the stitches anymore.

I don’t take Teddy back to the pediatrician until he is two months old but I know that he is growing! He is out of newborn disposables and is starting to outgrow his newborn clothes. Many of the 0-3 month outfits are too big yet so we’re mixing and matching until he grows a bit more. We made the move to cloth diapers during the day last week so we aren’t flying through disposables anymore. He seems to be tolerating the change pretty well with no significant rashes to speak of. We weighed Teddy before his bath on Saturday and he clocked in at 9.6 lbs and has the chin rolls and dimples in his knees to prove it. I’m proud of how much he has grown!

We’ve fallen into a good rhythm with breastfeeding. He eats every 3-4 hours during the day and then a 4-5 hour stretch before our first night wake up and then 3 more hours. That’s typically a bed time feeding between 10 and 11, one feeding from 3-4, and a wake up feeding between 7 and 8. His schedule is a lot more fluid than Ben’s internal clock so stupid Daylight Saving Time has thrown us off a little. Ben is now ready to get up before Teddy eats but we’ll eventually get back to Teddy naturally wanting to wake and eat about 30 minutes before Ben is ready.

I think I am FINALLY past the mastitis and clogged duct problems that pestered me the entire time B was in San Francisco and I was solo parenting. I finished my antibiotics yesterday and started taking lecithin (food extract that acts like an emulsifier, sticking to fat in my milk to keep it from sticking together) and haven’t had any super painful clogs since I wrote my last desperate blog post. Astonishingly, Teddy started latching without a nipple shield after I wrote that post too so thank you for those prayers! It was wonderfully encouraging to have something start going right after 7+ days of frustration. We regularly go without the shield and only use it for the one to two night feedings, depending on how tired Teddy is. He has a lot more trouble latching when he is half asleep and when it has been 5 hours since he ate and I’m more engorged than normal. He can be quite stubborn about latching anyway and has spent up to 5 minutes sniffing and licking my nipple instead of latching but we haven’t given up yet. I was a little worried that the mastitis and duct issues caused a dip in supply but since Teddy’s diapers are always soaked and he poops all the flippin time, he is still getting enough to eat.

B is currently back in San Francisco for a second conference in less than two weeks. I dropped him off at the airport yesterday morning and he gets back Wednesday evening so this one is much shorter than the last one. He commented on how much bigger Teddy was when he got home last Thursday. That’s what you get for going away for a week when your son is only 3 weeks old! I feel much more confident about solo parenting for this second stretch even though all three of us have caught colds. I’ve figured out some coping mechanisms and experience coordinating both boys schedules. We’ve watched more tv than I’d like during the last week but I’ll be able to wean us off that once we get more settled. We watch youtube music videos and have dance parties (great for using up toddler energy!), Baby Einstein, and, of course, Toy Story. I’ve gotten really good at playing dishes with Ben with only one hand and figuring out how to shower each day. Baby wearing is more of a necessity this time around and I am so glad I bought the baby k’tan to use instead of the Moby wrap!

Ben has impressed me with his flexibility, maturity (at times), his helpfulness, and his love of his “baby broller Teddy.” I’ve learned that if we talk about what to expect from him during a situation, everything goes much smoother. For example, when we get home from the store, I tell Ben that I’m going to take Teddy out of the car and put him in the house and then I’ll come back for him. He knows I haven’t left for good and he gets attention too. We have started working some of the basic love and logic parenting methods into our daily routines with some positive results. We regularly “take turns” changing diapers and we give him the option to go first or second. He can choose between different shirts every day and chooses from several options for lunch or snacks. We’re working building up his self-confidence by giving him the chance to choose his own path from a carefully constructed set of options. All choice is a good choice because we only give good options but it works! We still spend our fair share of time in the time out chair because he “didn’t use good listening” but I’ve seen impressive improvement in the last month.

Ben is very helpful with Teddy too, in spite of liking to steal Teddy’s boppy and burp cloth all the time. He likes to give hugs and kisses, is very concerned if he thinks Teddy isn’t going to go somewhere with us, shares toys (Teddy doesn’t care but its adorable just the same), and is tolerant of the time Teddy spends with me nursing.

I’d be remiss if I don’t mention that it has been a year since we lost Baby 2. Time changes the feeling of emptiness that comes with losing a baby but it doesn’t go away, even after the birth of a child since then. We love and miss you, Baby Girl!

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4 day old baby snuggles!

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Our first walk with the double stroller (Joovy Caboose Ultralight)

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Momming

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Ben got a haircut and didn’t act like it was the end of the world!

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The many faces of TJ

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Our first outing without B

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Ben asked for a photo with his chicken nuggets to send to Daddy

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We had one amazingly warm (78) day to play in the leaves before it got cold and rainy

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Ben is a huge fan of leaf piles

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Teddy’s face is priceless

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Baby’s first WP shirt!

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Dressed like Daddy

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Ben refused to nap on Halloween and kept putting his monster socks on his hands like puppets

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The cutest Woody ever

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Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!

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Selfies while building towers

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Ben was sharing toys with Teddy (Woody hat, Mr. Potato Head, Daddy’s glove, and Ben’s burp cloth)

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This boy is full of energy and joy!

 

4

Two Weeks

Teddy turned two weeks old last Friday. I was thinking about his birth at the exact time he was born at 1:13 AM since we were up for a feeding. I wanted to wait until today to write up a two week post because he didn’t see the pediatrician until this morning.

One of the biggest markers of progress at the two week appointment is to see if baby has regained and reached his birth weight. An exclusively breastfed baby can be expected to lose as much as 7-10% of his birth weight before starting to regain after mom’s milk comes in. Teddy’s lowest weight was 7 lb 7 oz, a loss of only about 4%. He continued eating really well and was 8 lb 4.5 oz this morning! That’s a 13 oz gain in two weeks. Go Teddy! Now that we have an idea of his ability to put on weight, the pediatrician encouraged me to let Teddy choose when he wants to eat, even overnight. He has the fat storage and good metabolism necessary to go up to 6 hours between feedings. We’ll see what he decides to do and how quickly I feel like I may explode as the time between feedings lengthens. I feel like I might be developing clogged ducts or double mastitis so I’m keeping an eye on my own boob health. I drink around 100 oz of water, lowfat milk, or 100% juice daily so my supply has been keeping up with the little man’s demands.

We’re still working on teaching Teddy the difference between days and night. He tends to give me a hard time every other night and refuses to go back to sleep after he eats. He may doze through an entire feeding but his eyes will pop open as soon as I wrap him in his swaddle blanket! There have been a few times where all he wants is contact with me so I’ll tuck him along my side by his bed and he immediately quiets down. We sleep like that until I wake up again and put him back in his own bed. I’m not entirely comfortable with cosleeping with a baby this small so I’m trying to do everything I can to avoid it.

Teddy’s umbilical cord stump fell off when B was getting him ready for bed on his one week birthday. It smelled awful so we were thrilled to have it gone! He got to have his first tub bath the next day and, surprisingly, didn’t hate the whole process, just the part where he had to get washed. We’ve learned since Ben was tiny that the temperature sensing bath toy we used to test the water temp for Ben’s first bath likes water colder than any sensible human does. This time, we simply filled the tub a little cooler than what Ben had for his bath, tossed in the new infant bath pillow we bought to replace the plastic bathtub (much better control of the baby!), and Teddy was content to sit in the warm water. He screamed his head off when I took him out but since that’s my least favorite part of taking a bath, I don’t blame him one bit!

Teddy is still wearing newborn clothes and newborn diapers. The Gerber onesies are getting a little tight so I’m guessing we’ll need to switch to 0-3 month onesies once we start using cloth diapers. I can’t decide if I’m excited to use cloth. I love the cost savings and their reliability but we haven’t had the leaking problems with Teddy that we had with Ben so it doesn’t seem as necessary. We’re almost out of newborn disposable diapers though and I’d like to reserve those for nights and the diaper bag so switch we will. Like Ben, he poops in pretty much every diaper so we will need to keep a look out for diaper rash. We’ve already dipped into his tub of Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm and the rash we did see cleared up quickly. That stuff is incredible (and cloth diaper safe)!

I’ve been waiting for B to have free time to take Teddy’s newborn photos but that miracle hasn’t occurred yet. I realized today that I’m capable with a camera and can at least take the photos for B to edit when he has time. Editing is not as time sensitive as the photos themselves. I’ve set up a little photo station in Teddy’s crib and will be taking a few photos at a time when he is sleeping cutely.

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“Hold hands, Mommy!”

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Teddy loves his lion boppy

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B has his hands full with two boys and a cat but loves every minute of it

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Two weeks postpartum and a new haircut! I have more of a belly than I’d like but keep reminding myself that I was very, very pregnant a little over two weeks ago

1

My Boys

I can hardly describe what it felt like for my two babies to meet each other. My heart was overflowing and there definitely were some mom tears creeping up in my eyes.

Ben was super excited to meet Baby Brover Teddy and knew exactly who Teddy was as soon he walked in the door.

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Ben was super excited to find out that Teddy had gotten him a surprise to unwrap (a farm animal puzzle that makes animal sounds and Sesame Street stickers)

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He was grinning pretty big when he got to hold Teddy. He waved and said, “Hi Teddy!”

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One of our tactics for when we were separated and Ben was staying at my parents house was to pack a small gift for Ben to play with at the hospital for each day he would visit. Today he got to read the Baby Lit version of The Jungle Book. If you haven’t checked out the Baby Lit books yet, we highly recommend them! Ben can “read” the three we have (Dracula, Jungle Book, Moby Dick) on his own and is very proud of that.

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3

40+4 and Introduction

Ben slept over at my parents house last night so B and I lazed around in bed until 9:30. It felt like the best short vacation ever!

I nearly forgot that Ben had his well-child check up this morning but still managed to shower and make it to the pediatrician’s office on time. Ben is just about 26 lbs (22%) and 2 ft 9.5 inches (31%) and a healthy little guy. He met all the developmental markers they checked too so we are happy parents.

B and I took off for my OB appointment a little after 1 and (par for the course), waited nearly an hour before the doc came in to see me. I’m still dilated 4-5 cm but am 80% effaced at this point. My OB consulted the two other docs in the office (who happened to be the ones on tonight and over the weekend) and collectively they gave me the option to go to L&D and have my water broken to (hopefully) trigger labor contractions tonight or Saturday night. Um, tonight would be good!

It is an odd experience to drive yourself to the hospital feeling totally fine only to know that you will not be leaving without birthing a baby before going home again.

We spent lots of time getting admitted and paperwork completed since there was no rush. The resident doctor broke my water at about 4:40 pm and we’re waiting to see how my uterus reacts and how baby fairs through this process. I’m definitely more uncomfortable 20 minutes after having my water broken than I was before so hopefully that means good things.

I’m working on making some progress. In the 2.5 hours since having my water broken, I have gone from no contractions to definite, strong contractions with a clear peak and ebb.

I got up and walked for a while and my contractions seemed to slow down afterward. Not exactly what you’d expect but hopefully things will pick up again. I send B off to pick up the few things we intentionally left at home and make sure the house was locked up. I ordered a take out salad from one of our favorite restaurants close to the hospital that I can keep in the patient fridge here until after delivery. If timing works out well, he should be back right around my next cervical check (3 hours since the last). I pray I’ve made progress but I’m thinking that if I made any, it isn’t much.

I literally made no progress on my own in the last three hours so I’m going to be started on a low dose of pitocin and stadol, an IV pain drug, along with getting an internal contraction monitor. I learn that stadol affects me like a punch to the face and I cannot open my eyes because the entire world is swirling around me. The pit contractions aren’t terrible yet so I’m content to let the drugs wear off and go pain med free for a while. If I can figure out how to roll to a side instead of laying on my back, I think I’d be a lot more comfortable.

I finally got a chance for an epidural at 12:30 am. The contractions were piling up on top of each other so it was hard to sit as still as they wanted. Please start working!

Nope, no chance for that epi to work. Baby is coming now! 12:57 am and time to push. I have never been in this much pain in my life. Dang that slow moving epidural!

1:12 am with the biggest rush, sunny-side up baby brother Theodore John (Teddy) joined his parents after about 9 hours of induction and active labor. Praise God!

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0

40+3

A Day in the Life: Uncomfortably Overdue Edition

1:00 am: Ben had woken up at 11 pm and couldn’t fall back asleep without flipping out at B so we tucked him into bed with me and both of us passed out until B came to bed at 1. Ben didn’t want to be moved but it was over quickly. B told me later that Ben was talking in his sleep and tried to climb on top of me to avoid getting picked up.

4:12 am: Wake up to pee, am slightly excited about the 3 hour stretch of sleep until I got back to bed and couldn’t fall back asleep again. It takes at least 30 minutes.

6:20 am: I wake up from a crazy dream to B snoring. I hear noises from Ben’s room already but decide to leave him because maybe he’ll sleep some more?

6:47 am: Ben is definitely awake when I wake back up and check the monitor. Oh well, guess I didn’t need any more sleep either? I lay in bed and check my email and read a few blogs before attempting to sleep for a few more minutes. B is snoring and I’m annoyed. Baby keeps kicking internal organs and I’m uncomfortable.

7:34 am: I must have managed to sleep a little because I wake up to Ben creating chaos in his room. Decide to blog instead of get out of bed. Am too tired to function still.

7:50 am: I can’t tell what Ben has been doing in his room in the monitor so it’s time for me to intervene before his entire dresser is emptied into the floor. Maybe I’ll make us a big breakfast?

8:00 am: Ben had stashed some of his play dishes somewhere in his room and found them this morning. He’s never done that before so that’s why the sounds were so unfamiliar. Ben chatters constantly while I change his diaper and tell him that we’re going to have eggs and toast for breakfast. Eggs and toast are his favorite things to make in his kitchen so he runs into the living room to grab his supplies. He mimics a lot of what I do while making breakfast, right down to “cracking” his wood eggs on the counter.

8:15 am: Ben is settled in his chair with breakfast so I head down the hall to wake up B. He had forgotten we have a family chiro appointment this morning and needs to get up.

8:30 am: After a struggle and bribing Ben with more toast, I’ve successfully gotten Ben to eat most of his eggs. Last week, several other wives of WordPress developers and I started a chat group like our husbands have. There’s no reason why they should get to hang out during the day and we can’t! Two other wives are up while we eat breakfast, one with a 3 month old and one who is slightly less pregnant than I am, so I have adult company. B is finally up and I decide I have enough time to drink a cup of tea before leaving for the appointment.

9:00 am: I jump in the shower as B finishes his. Ben is watching a Baby Einstein show on my laptop from his room so B has enough time to eat breakfast and get Ben changed and dressed while I shower.

9:30 am: We leave for the chiropractor as we’re supposed to be there. Ah well. I’m hugely pregnant and it doesn’t really matter with the way our office runs.

10:00 am: Our whole family is done with adjustments and stretches. The chiro office is in the same parking lot as our local library and Ben has requested we stop. We have time so Ben and B walk to the library to use up some of that inextinguishable toddler energy while I answer a few text messages (friend’s wife wasn’t in labor yesterday, just a false alarm, and a few check-ins from my mom and good friend). Ben goes crazy in the library around so many books so it’s always nice to have B with me when we go. Ben picked out 4 new books (How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday, Little Pookie, My Dad is the Best Playground, and My First Baby Signs). We drive home with a very happy boy in the back seat.

10:30 am: Time to read books and play with the train station and garage. Since Ben is playing fairly independently, I pull out my computer to get some work done on tasks for the rental house. Of course, as soon as the computer shows up, Ben wants my undivided attention. I need to get this work taken care of today because our tenants lease is officially over so we turn on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh on Netflix in the living room while B continues his work in the family room. Ben splits his attention between the movie and his play dishes. I have a few moderately strong contractions while working on my computer but nothing monumental.

11:45 am: I start thinking about lunch. Ben has been napping poorly for the last few days so we’re trying to bump the beginning of nap forward about 15 minutes to give him more time to wind down and still sleep for 2 hours before waking at 3.

12:15 pm: Ben’s lunch of raisins and a two-slice-of-bread PB&J is ready so he starts eating and I clean up the kitchen a little. B moves to the kitchen table to be close by and I run downstairs to start a load of laundry. This is my last one before I’m completely caught up. Now baby can come, right?

12:30 pm: Ben has either eaten his sandwich or thrown the rest on the floor (B wasn’t watching too closely) so he’s officially done-done with lunch. I take him out and take him for a diaper change before nap. He still hasn’t pooped today so I’m anticipating a short nap due to a dirty diaper. I hate it when that happens!

12:45 pm: After reading through his library books and snuggling for a few minutes, Ben is in bed and fairly quiet. B started making our lunch while I was in with Ben so I get to sit down with a book.

1:00 pm: I can’t see Ben on the monitor so I go to check on him. Crap, he filled his diaper. Back to Baby Brother’s room for another diaper change. At least he did it before nap actually started? It takes about 15 more minutes and some fatherly discipline to get Ben to sleep but he does. Hooray!

1:30 pm: I fold and stuff clean diapers and decide it’s time to try some nipple stimulation to induce contractions. My OB told me that it’s one of the few ways to naturally induce labor (along with sex) that are scientifically based and have proven to work (at least, it works when your body is ready). I spend an hour with Netflix on my computer and using my breast pump one side at a time. I do get some strong contractions but they fizzle out after I stop pumping. I know it has done some good though because I tried for an hour before bed yesterday and I lost more mucus overnight. Even if I don’t go into labor, the contractions are making some progress.

3:00 pm: B is done with the meeting he had with our campus minister in the basement office so we catch up about what is going to happen later today. My mom called and offered to keep Ben overnight after my little sister K’s birthday party that we committed to attending so I could get more sleep tonight than last since there is a chance this will be my last night without a newborn. Three cheers for Grammy! I have no problem taking her up on that offer and while folding the (now dry) clean laundry, I set aside PJs and clothes for Ben.

4:30 pm: We decided to let Ben sleep as long as he wanted this afternoon but since we need to leave in 15 minutes or less, it is time to get him up. I also need to finish packing his overnight bag and gathering the rest of our essentials just in case I go into labor while we’re at the birthday party.

5:15 – 9:00 pm: Partying with my family! All but one of my siblings are here (she has a 6-9 pm college class) and we’re finally old enough to enjoy time together without fighting. Ben has fun playing with the special toys he only has at Grammy and Papa’s house. He eats close to nothing for dinner but mom reassures me that we all went through a phase around the same age where we didn’t want to eat anything and encourages me to stick with the basic rules like “no dessert if you don’t eat dinner” and “mom is not a short order cook.” B gives Ben a bath and we put him to bed, eat cake, and go home sans child. I’ve had a few contractions throughout the evening but no labor yet.

9:30 pm: Home again and I take care of the rest of Ben’s clean laundry, get ready for bed, noodle around on my phone for a while. I decide I’m too tired to try using the breast pump again today so I put it off until tomorrow morning.

10:30 pm: B has come in to pray, we coordinate schedule for tomorrow, and I turn off the lights. Goodnight! Hopefully I’ll sleep like a rock tonight.

1

40+2

Another revelation at my OB appointment yesterday was that they’ve always considered my due date to be September 28, not 29, so by the time I walked into their office, I was already overdue. I’m thinking that date came from an early ultrasound but I stuck with the 29th because I know better than they when this baby was conceived. It is only to my advantage that they think I’m farther along than I do because they’re more likely to act earlier.

I’m still frustrated and ready to be done with this pregnancy. I have had to pull away from Facebook because I only get anxious when I see women who were due after me having their babies yet mine is stubbornly staying on the inside. I can’t even check the pregnancy forums anymore because its too depressing.

I spent some time explaining to a friend (without children) the different factors that affect when a woman goes into labor. It’s not just the dilation that the doctor is keeping an eye on but also how thinned, shortened, and softened the cervix is at the time of the exam. I may be dilated more than most women are by the time they hit active labor but for some reason, the rest of those factors aren’t falling into place. I’m hoping that this means that once I get to laboring, it will be short. I must be close and has some fantastic contractions last night but today everything has been pretty quiet. We keep praying and hoping but it isn’t easy.

UPDATE
I experienced significant cramping and (TMI) diarrhea this evening, just in time to miss Ben’s bedtime. Now I’m laying in bed and baby is bouncing all over the place. What are you doing in there, Son?!