Will- 6 Months

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Baby Will! You’re half a year old!

In some ways these 6 months have gone by slowly…You seemed to be in the “infant” stage a lot longer than Jackson was–Not sleeping thru the night, exclusively nursing, and still approaching play and gross motor skills timidly. On the other hand, the past 6 months have flown by! I can’t believe you’re half way to being a year old!

However, I can sense that you are transitioning out of said “infant stage.” The past few weeks you have become increasing louder! You love to yell to let people know you’re there! You have also become mobile: rolling, scooting, spinning your body around to get a full 360 view of the room. Sometimes I lay you down and next thing I know you are a few feet across the room! We are also working on sitting up—you can sit unassisted for a moment, but mostly still need support of a bumbo or boppy. You love toys- The exersaucer, my teething necklace, small stuffed animals, the big loopy ball, and Jackson’s cars are some of your favorite!

The past few nights you have slept 9:30pm-8am which has been an AMAZING blessing! I don’t know if this trend will continue, but I’ve been loving it! You really struggled to stay asleep once we started laying you on your back, but now that you can roll over, we have found you a few mornings on your belly- and I am totally fine with that! We are still working on helping you fall back asleep on your own when you wake up at night or in the middle of nap. Currently you take 3 naps a day (10:30, 1:30, and 6) and they are between 45minutes- 2 hours long. The length of nap all depends if you can transition between sleep cycles and if you fall asleep on your belly or back. Sleep training is a struggle. You fight sleep really hard, and a lot of times I submit and just rock you- which I am also totally fine with.

This whole month we have been doing a bowl of rice cereal before bed. You are such a big boy and I just felt like you were needing more. Now we will start to add more purees and finish out the container of rice cereal. I’m going to wait a few more weeks for BLW. I just feel like you’re not ready like Jackson was.

I am really enjoying this stage of life with you, Will! I am excited to see you keep growing more and more adventurous and become a playmate for Jackson, but I am also enjoying all the cuddles you still give me. Love you, baby!

Love, Mama

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William Timothy Martin: A Birth Story

williamtimothy010214 010(This post was 5 months in the making!!)

Baby Will, due January 21st, surprised us 3 weeks early. On New Year’s Eve I was nesting like crazy. No party for us– I was full speed cleaning and freezer meal making. I must have known he was coming soon….

New Year’s day I had lunch with friends and spent some time with Kevin and Jackson. That night when we were laying down to go to bed, I sneezed and peed a little….typical. I got up to go to the bathroom and realized that I just wouldn’t stop peeing. I tapped Kevin on the arm (who is already asleep) and whisper, “I think my water broke but I’m not sure…” (During my last birth, my water didn’t break until I was pushing so I was unaware of what the feeling was supposed to be)

After an understandably long night tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep, we wake up early for my already scheduled midwife appointment. My friend Jenny watched Jack so Kevin and I could be prepared for whatever the doctor would tell us. Beth, one of my midwives, was skeptical at first, but after the exam said with 100% confidence, “Well, looks like we’re having a baby today!”

What?! I wasn’t even having contractions! I knew from my birth classes that your water could only be broken for 24 hours without the risk of infection, so if your water broke prematurely and contractions weren’t starting on their own, you may need to get induced or have a c-section if things weren’t progressing. Either way, if you’re water breaks, you’re having a baby.

She sent me home to “get labor started.” Determined to have the birth I wanted without interventions but knowing its extremely hard to get labor started out of thin air, I laid in bed and watched a few shows on Netflix and used the breast pump. Luckily by 1 pm I was having a few light contractions! Kevin and Jackson picked up Penn Station and then Jackson took a nap. I took a nap, pumped some more, and got the house in order for my parents who were on their way. We had to go to the hospital by 6 to get the antibiotic IV so Casey and Brady came over to watch Jackson until my parents arrived. By that point, my contractions were picking up and making me quite uncomfortable, but I still wished I could have stayed home a little longer.

williamtimothy010214 037We checked in and were immediately escorted to our room. The L&D floor wasn’t busy and I felt like everyone was waiting for my arrival! Jenny came shortly after and dimmed the lights, turned on my iPod playlist, and got Serenity defusing in the room while I got my IV. Once it was done, we started walking. I ate a popcicle. I sat on the birth ball awhile. Kevin was making jokes. The atmosphere was very peaceful and calm.

By 8:15 my doula, Angela arrived. She got a rice sock for my back and I leaned against Kevin. Next I transitioned to my hands and knees. Beth mentioned that the baby was posterior so I wanted to work thru the Miles Circuit to get him in a good position and help my pelvis open.

At 9:06 Angela encouraged me to sit on the toilet for a while. This brings on really strong contractions. I ate ice chips to cope with the pain and tried to release tension in my shoulders. Around 9:30 we went on a short walk, however I was too nauseous and uncomfortable to continue. Contractions were very frequent.williamtimothy010214 031williamtimothy010214 039 My midwife, Damara arrived at 9:45.

At 10, We went back to the room and I laid on the bed on my side for what seemed like a very long time. I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. I was starting to get weepy and sad and VERY thirsty. I drank some Gatorade and regained some of my energy. I was definitely going thru transition!

At 10:40 Angela encouraged me to sit on the toilet again since that is where I made the most significant progress earlier. Kevin sat in front of me so I could lean on him. I only made it a few contractions when I start to get very serious and ask if I could start pushing soon. I was ready to be done! They ask me to try 3 more contractions and by 10:55 the delivery team was helping me move into the bed to push. They ask me what position I want to be in, and I ask for the squat bar, but shortly after decide to sit in a semi-reclined position.

I remember “Holy” by The City Harmonic playing. I begin to feel panicky. I knew my body was bearing down to push Will out, but my emotions were very fearful and anxious about pushing. I was having a hard time focusing to hold my knees back and push. Luckily, it didn’t last long and after only a few pushes, at 11:02 pm Baby Will was born! He weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and was 21 inches long.

me and will black and white

They laid him on my chest and I held on to him so tightly because I was still a little bit in shock from the pushing. I didn’t want anyone touching me or poking at me. He was very sweet and cuddly and started nursing right away!

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This birth experience was so different from Jackson’s birth. Instead of just “surviving” through each contraction, I felt like I was able to focus and work through each one. During the hardest points of labor I tried to relax, vocalize all the pain out of my body, and remember that Jesus was with me, bringing an end to my pain for good. I am so thankful for a great birth team who helped me achieve the birth I wanted, despite the circumstances.

Kevin and I love our sweet, calm, second baby boy. Welcome to the world, Baby Will! Life is great!

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Will- 5 months

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Happy 5 month mark, Will! You are such a sweet, happy baby! You are growing so big (probably close to 19 pounds if I could guess) and you are wearing all 6-12 month things. Some of the 12 month onesies are even getting tight! You love playing with toys, especially if they have a little light, rattle, or music. And you LOVE bath time. It reminds me of how Jackson was at your age…You kick and splash and smile so much!

Since I was nursing and laying you down when you were already asleep, I figured it was time to begin teaching you a little self-soothing. I decided to teach you to sleep on your back (since you would just slobber all over your sheet on your tummy). I let you cry for about 3-5 minutes and then go in, check your paci, and rock the pack n’ play until you calm down. Luckily you are catching on and I only have to go in once or twice before you are asleep. I know these changes are good, but having you sleep on your back has yielded much a lot shorter naps and inconsistent nighttime sleep. You still startle and wake yourself up easily and I am not sure how to help you fall back asleep without nursing you. I am hoping now that we have you on a more consistent schedule you will begin to sleep deeply again. Currently you are sleeping around 10pm-4/5 am without waking to eat. You also take two 1-hr naps at 10, 1:30, and a catnap at 6pm.

We haven’t done any solids yet, although we may try some cereal in the evenings to help you sleep a little longer stretch at night. I was going to try BLW with you at 6 months like Jackson, although I can’t imagine you being ready yet… which is fine with me! (Less mess!)

We are still working on rolling over even though we do SO much tummy time. You have rolled both ways a few times, but still need help sometimes. You can sit in a bumbo and in your jumper, but you don’t seem anywhere near unassisted sitting. I am OK taking our time with milestones–you are my calm, content baby and I LOVE YOU!

 

Will- 4 months

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(Written last week before our vacation)

Hello baby Will! This has been a relaxing month with you. You are such a calm baby. You love to nurse or sit in the rock n’ play or swing and watch mommy or Jackson. You are happy to lay on your mat or have tummy time and you have even started rolling a few times. You are starting to show more of an interest in grabbing at toys, but overall you aren’t as energetic as I remember Jackson being at this age. At the doctor, they were so surprised that you were neither fussy nor overly active– you just “laid there” the nurse reported to our pediatrician. She examined you for low tone (which is crazy because you can bear all your weight on your legs) and told me to keep an eye on your movements, but after being paranoid and closely watching you the past few days, you definitely have moments where you wiggle, roll, kick, and grab toys, and then other moments where you just sit and smile and watch. I am enjoying your peaceful demeanor.

You weigh almost 17 lbs and are 25 ½ inches long. You are wearing mostly all 6-12 month things.

You are still a belly sleeper much to my distress. You sleep from 11pm-7:30am and we are working on bringing that bedtime down. During the day you usually take a morning nap, afternoon nap, and an evening cat nap. In a few months we will start to lay you down on your back and let you pick your own sleeping position and “cry it out” a bit. At that point you should be able to roll around as much as you please, but right now I have to lay you down asleep or you wake up and try to do tummy time!

We tried some rice cereal the other day, just to see if it would help extend your bedtime a little longer. You really didn’t like the rice cereal at all. You also hated the taste of the formula I mixed it with. Praying my milk supply continues to produce enough for you.

You also were just diagnosed with your first ear infection. It’s crazy because you had zero symptoms, even though the doctor said it was really bad. You were happy and sleeping well, so I had no clue! Hoping that you are not going down the road to needing tubes like Jack!

A few other little notes:
– You take a paci sometimes, but don’t keep it in very long. You have found your thumb a few times….
– You’re gums are super hard and you drool and crew on your hands all the time—will you be an early teether?
– You love your bunny rattle and linking rings a lot right now. You also like looking at the toys that dangle on your play mat.

Will, I love your little smiles and coos. You are beginning to make a variety of sounds and giggles. I love watching Jackson try and take care of you, hold you, and give you kisses. You think he’s really cool too. I am excited for this upcoming stage of sitting and discovering toys. And I am also hoping to have my room back here soon once I can be sure you won’t wake Jackson up!

Love, Your mamabird

Will- 3 months

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Hey 3 month old baby! I have enjoyed this month with you, Will! You are becoming more playful and less timid! Now you enjoy playing under your play mat for a while and splashing in the big tub during bath. You smile and coo. You like it when Jackson looks at you and talks to you.

However, you still cry a lot and want to be held. You like to be close to mommy and you nurse all the time. We have been putting you more on a sleep schedule, but I still feed on demand, probably 8-9 times a day. You take 3 naps a day: around 10am, 2pm, and 7pm. I put you to bed around 11 or midnight, when I go to bed. That way you will sleep your long stretch when I do! (I realize I need to start moving that bedtime back at some point though!) You usually sleep around 5 or 6 hours straight at night. And yes, you are a stomach sleeper. I tried everything: swaddling, sleep sacks, putting you to bed in a rock n’ play, laying you on your side…nothing kept you asleep. Since you napped on your belly a lot, I decided to give it a try at bed time. That night you slept 5 hours straight. After watching you nap in that position for so many weeks, I felt confident in your ability to turn your head in your sleep, however I still pray for God to continue to grant you sleep and protection at night.

You are growing a ton, and I’m excited to see how much you weigh next month! You pretty much skipped over 3-6 month clothes and are wearing all of Jackson’s old 6-9 month stuff! It needs to keep warming up because most of it is short sleeve! Its fun to put you in Jack’s old clothes, but you are definitely starting to look less and less like your bro!

I love you, baby Will!

Jack- 18 months

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Dear Jackson,

You are a year and a half old! I can’t even believe how grown up you have become. I am so enjoying this stage! It is trying at times, but I love helping you discover your world, understand your emotions, and enjoy life! God has given you LIFE and I want to help you live it fully and passionately!

Here are some highlights from the past 6 months:

-Weight: 28 lb. 8 oz. (93%), Height: 33.5 in. (85%)

-You are still an AWESOME sleeper. You sleep 8pm-8am and nap from 1pm-4pm. We tired transitioning you to your big boy bed, but you slept on the floor. We decided to keep you in your crib a little longer. You love it!

-You are a pretty good eater, although you are picky– matter-a-factly saying “no” when you don’t want to try something…(almost in the tone of “why would you even ask, mom?”) You are, however, more apt to try anything if it is on a fork or a spoon. Sometimes you need us to load the fork/spoon for you, but the past few weeks you have pretty much mastered using utensils! You have been enjoying this new way of feeding yourself! Your favorite foods are: apple cinnamon oatmeal, pancakes, blueberries, mashed sweet potatoes, chicken with honey to dip it in, cut up cheese, spaghetti, chicken and rice soup, and mandarin oranges. Your favorite snacks are: Mini chips ahoy cookies, vanilla wafers, raisins, Lara bars, cheese crackers, and applesauce pouches. We have cut back significantly on juice and only really drink it watered down or when sick. You love milk, and have also been enjoying water more and more.

-In terms of gross motor development, you can run, climb, dance, spin, bounce on your mattress, walk down one step without holding the wall, and go down slides. And when I say you can climb, I’m talking about scaling up the side of a barstool and flipping light switches. Ah!

-Your play has also changed a bit! You like to drive cars on the track, instead of just banging the cars around. You also love to build with your big legos. You love magnets, coloring, books, and cars!! We usually watch one t.v. show a day and you love Curious George and Sesame Street.

-You have added a few more words to your vocabulary: Mama, Dada, juice, more, no, baby, hi, bye bye, moo (cow), this, book, uh oh, all done, shoes. We still are working on saying “down,” “up,” and “help.” However, you respond to most commands I give, which amazes me! For example, when I say, “are you thirsty?” you run to the fridge. When I say, “throw that in the trash…” you run and throw the item away. When I say, “Oh no, where is the baby?” you run to the living room to find Will. It is so fun to be able to communicate with you and I look forward to having less one-sided conversations in the months to come.

-We have also been working on learning animal sounds, body parts, and letters. You like to sing the tune of the “ABC’s” and daddy says you can identify a handful of letters during bedtime while reading “Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom,” your favorite book. You also love to read “Snuggle Puppy,” “All of Baby, Nose to Toes,” and any of your books that make noise or have lift-a-flap.

-Socially, you love interacting with Will and “playing” with him…Rocking the car seat, giving him his paci or a toy, etc. You also give kisses on demand now!! I love it! I’ve been waiting months for a snotty, crusty-faced kiss on the lips! I’m a happy Mama! You like playing with friends, but still struggle to interact with others in a group setting. You tend to parallel play when we go to brunch club or the Mama’s Hip playgroup.

-We have entered full-blown toddler tantrum stage now. Lots of crying, falling to the ground in anger, screaming at mama or a friend when a toy is taken away or play is disrupted with a diaper change. We also are seeing a little “stranger danger” shyness or clingy-ness when new people talk to you or when we drop you off at the church nursery.

Some things to look forward too:

-We started “school.” Everyday during Will’s first nap we have learning time. The teacher in me can’t waste that 80 k education on nothing! We have short plan for each day, mostly taking a week to learn one letter, practice some skills thru centers, and work thru the catechism. I’m looking to helping you extend your attention span and spending intentional time introducing you to a few new concepts. We are mostly starting with simple concepts of letter identification, colors, sorting, matching, fine motor, and one-to-one correspondence counting. And there will definitely be some fun art along the way! It has brought me joy to create some age appropriate activities to start with you. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.

-I have also been trying to take you on more outings lately. Play groups like brunch club and mama’s hip have been good for teaching you to share and be kind to others. It’s also good for Mama to learn how to speak to you and discipline you in public. I love taking you to gym class, however it’s expensive. Hopefully every 6 months or so we can do a class. You are so active so I love having a outlet to focus your energy in a positive way!

-We are looking forward to lots of walks, playing at the park and splash parks, trips to the zoo, and playing with others!

-We will also probably transition you to your bed in the fall and give up the paci!

Jackson, you are still my baby. I love holding you and loving on you and hearing you laugh. You are passionate and determined and will be a fantastic leader someday. I am learning more about you everyday…You need “time outs” (not for punishment) to cool off and be removed from the situation that is causing you to feel intense and frustrated…You need me to empathize with you and understand the confusing emotions you feel when you disobey…You need me to communicate to you why you are being disciplined. I am learning to slow down and have lots of opportunities everyday to say, “Yes!” to you. I love seeing your personality emerge and watching you learn new things. It’s so fun being your mom!

Love, Mama

Will- 2 months

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Happy 2 months, sweet boy! I’ve enjoyed watching you transform from a “newborn” to a “baby” this month! You are smiling all the time now, and are awake much more during the day! You love to watch me or your brother and get sad if you are not included in what we’re doing. I sense that you are going to be much more sensitive than Jack. You love to be held as much as possible and you hate too much stimulation. The light-up cat that Jackson LOVED, stresses you out. You shriek at gas pains or when I change your diaper. And unlike Jack, you hate kicking your legs the big bathtub–you prefer the small sink. I know some of that will change as you become more curious and comfortable with your world, but right now I am enjoying my timid, cuddly baby…I already have a toddler, I don’t need two of them quite yet!

Recently you have started sleeping stretches, rather than all the time. You take 3-4 naps a day, and sleep pretty well at night. Usually you wake up around 3 or 4am to eat, and then again around 7am. We are still trying to figure out the best sleeping set-up for you. You prefer to sleep next to mommy, although I don’t give in unless its 4 am and you’re fighting going back to sleep! Sometimes cluster feeding in the early hours are the only way to keep you asleep til 8! You were sleeping pretty well in your rock n’ play– I was getting about 4-5 hours straight–but we are trying out the pack and play again. Eventually you will have to sleep on a flat surface, and I’d rather transition sooner than later! We’ll see how it goes!

You are also still eating every 2-3 hours! You are always hungry and when I got you weighed this month I can see why: You gained 3 lbs in a month! All the growing would make me hungry too! You quickly passed by the 0-3 month size clothes, and now are wearing mostly 3-6 month things.

We took our first ride in the stroller the other day and I am so excited for more of those over the next few weeks. Jackson and I love spending our days with you and he loves being your brother. He cares so much for you and hates to see you cry. I can’t wait to watch you two become friends over the summer as you interact more…Until then, I will try to keep him from poking you in the eye with your pacifier or trying to pick you up by your belly! Hehe!

Love, Your Mamabird

Will- 1 month

1897764_2605325059153_1484675871_nWill! I am so happy to celebrate you, little bear! You have been such a sweet spot in my life. I forgot how nice a slow-paced, cuddly life with a newborn is. Between you and your brother, I am getting the best of both fun worlds! Having two babies has proved challenging around meal times or while out running errands, but we are making it work!

When you were born, I had a lot of anxiety about sharing my love and attention between you and Jack. I feel guilty that I can not hold you as much as I did with Jackson as a baby. I try to put you in my sling when you’re awake and I’m doing chores or fixing Jack’s lunch. I also try to get lots of nursing and snuggling time in after Jack goes to bed. I feel like our bond is growing more and more everyday! Jackson is also warming up to having a brother…When he wakes up in the morning, he calls for you, “baby, baby!” and he has even started kissing you!! It is rare for even mama to steal a kiss from Jack, so he must realllly like his bro!

You are a great eater! When thinking about how we spend our days, I realized its mostly nursing and sleeping! You have definitely gone thru a huge growth spurt–gaining over 2 pounds and 2 inches since birth! Times when you are not eating or sleeping, I try to give you lots to tummy time and play time kicking on the mat! You can follow a rattle with your eyes and today you grabbed your O’ball that was dangling down. You also like to look in the mirror during tummy time. I am still waiting on a few coo’s and smiles, though!

Even though everyone loves your sweet, sleepy cuddles, I wish you would be awake a little more during the day, and sleep longer at night! We are currently trying lots of strategies to help you sleep longer stretches at night, but you are still waking every 2 hours or so. I try to remember you are technically only 1 or 2 weeks old, if you go by your due date, but it is wearing on me! Hopefully this extra weight you’ve gained will help you sleep better in the coming weeks.

Will, I am looking forward to walks at the park with you and Jack, seeing you smile for the first time, and watching your personality emerge! You are such a sweet boy. I am so thankful for you in my life!

Love, your Mamabird

helping my family yearn for the true bread that gives life.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

-Titus 2

Titus 2:3-5 is commonly used to describe how women ought to live and why: “so the word of God is not reviled.” Verses 11-14 expand on the why.

I often feel the works I preform throughout my day are meaningless…diapers, dinner, discipline, picking up the same toys every hour….Scripture tells me to preform my duties as a wife and mother with ZEAL! I am called to live out my days doing these things in love for my family and for my Lord, with my hope rooted in the appearing of Jesus and His glory. This means joyfully pardoning my husband (and holding my tongue) when he leaves his clothes scattered around, remembering how the Lord has greatly pardoned me. It means digging deep into the well of God’s patience during those nighttime feedings. It looks like having a conversation with my husband or playing with Jackson even though the dishes are still dirty, because my rest and peace comes from God, not from how controlled my surroundings are.

As I live this way to make the gospel beautiful and delight in Christ, my family will notice. Hopefully they will be drawn to adore and yearn for Christ! Thus, I get to join in God’s mission of creating a people for His own possession! Lord willing, I am ushering in the kingdom in my tiny apartment! What a high calling! I love how Gloria Furman puts in: “Feast your soul on the bread of life and do whatever you need to do in order to help people yearn for the true bread that gives life!” (Give them Grace).

a meditation for labor pain

With Jack (and Lord willing with Will!), I chose a natural, unmedicated birth. I chose to attempt this type of birth for completely nonspiritual reasons. A baby coming into the world is a personal and beautiful experience, however they come out! I believe that every woman should have the right to be informed and choose the birth that is right for her and baby. However, regardless of vaginal or c-section, epidural or pitocin, childbirth is painful! Because of the fall, God promises that it will be–even with the graces of modern medicine! Here is a helpful thought I wrote, read, meditated on, and told my husband to continue reminding me of during labor:

Jesus endured pain on the cross that was one million times the pain that I am enduring, in order to put an end to the sin that caused the pain of childbirth in the first place! And not only did He endure it, He conquered it and was glorified at the right hand of the throne of God. The pain I am enduring is such a tiny glimpse of the pain my sin caused Him, but as I experience my pain I REJOICE in the fact that I am not condemned to this pain for eternity. Through every contraction, I can visualize Jesus on the cross and how He is exulted and glorified over my pain. What can this pain do to me? Even if I die, I will live for eternity with Christ. Where is thy sting death?

What beautiful, Christ exulting truths! If you are having a baby soon, I hope that you can find relief in these words as I have.