Will- 11 months

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Hello, sweet 11-month old! I’m starting to get a little emotional now that we arrive at the dawn of your 1st year of life…1. I can’t believe how fast time has gone! Is this how it just “is” with each subsequent child? I can’t even fathom how you are almost walking, when yesterday you were barely able to sit up on your own! And 2. I can’t believe I made it. There were many breakdowns, but many many moments of God’s grace giving me supernatural mama strength to get thru each day. This year has been super challenging to my idol of order and control–and for that I praise God and thank YOU for helping me die to myself and live more in freedom with God. You have truly blessed my life. But…before we get ahead of ourselves and become all sappy, let’s live in the moment! You are 11 months old! Hooray!

This month you have become more confident standing, and have started walking! You can walk across the room if you are steady enough! I can’t wait to see you and Jackson walking around and playing together! You also love climbing. Today you climbed thru the window of the cozy coupe and up onto the kids table to get to some cars you had your eye on!

You are still eating everything in sight and starting to nurse less. I have tired most types of food with you and you do a great job chewing and swallowing! You have 8 teeth with more on the way, so that definitely helps! You specifically love applesauce pouches and cheese right now. We have also started trying sips of regular milk–which you love. I plan to wean you when we go to Florida after Christmas since there will be less opportunities to nurse anyway.

You sleep 8:30-8 pretty consistently and nap twice a day (10:30-11:30am, 2-4:30pm).

Your first word was definitely “da-da,” but since you learned “ma-ma” you say it non-stop. Definitely a mama’s boy and a SNUGGLER. Still love being held, nursing, and being in the same room as me at all times.

You love Jackson and would follow him anywhere. You want to do exactly what he is doing, especially playing with his trains or eating his snacks. Unfortunately, Jackson bosses you around and pushes you down A LOT. I can’t wait for you to be a little bigger and able to stand your ground a bit more. But other than the normal brotherly squabbles, you guys really love eachother. Jackson tries to teach you new things, like what things are “no-nos,” and how to drink from the water cup in the bath, and you guys laugh at each other a lot.

Can’t wait to celebrate you this month as you enter into your second year of life. You are such a sweet sweet boy and I adore you!

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Will- 10 months!

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And just like THAT you turned 10 months! What? I mean, when Jackson was 10 months I was already printing birthday party invitations…but you!? You still seem like my little baby!!

But you growing so fast! Not sure weight and height this month, but you are wearing (and slightly growing out of) 12-18 month clothes. You are beginning to stand independently and walk behind anything you can push (the ride-on car, grocery cart toy, a trash can…) You are also cruising FAST and can get to Jackson’s toy or snack in no time. Needless to say, Jackson has become very territorial and often pushes you over or screams, “No, Will!” when he sees you making your move. You love Jackson so much regardless and want to do EXACTLY what he is doing.

You have a hard time going to bed with him in the same room. You will lean over the crib and entice him to be disobedient and climb into your crib. You laugh, he gets your paci, its a win for everyone except mommy and daddy. Some nights we have to put you to sleep in the pack n’ play until Jackson is asleep and we can transfer you back into your room. Otherwise you have been sleeping great: Most nights 9pm-8am. You still wake up in the middle of the night or early on occasion, but those nights are becoming farther and fewer between. You also take two naps, 10:30-11:30am and 2-4 or 5pm.

You are eating SO much this month! Last night we went to Chipotle and you literally ate a whole side of corn, side of white rice, and side of black beans. You still love baby food pouches and some solid food favorites are pancakes, carrots, roasted sweet potato chunks, pb&j’s, cheerios, blueberries, macaroni & cheese, meatballs, and Chick-fil-a nuggets/waffle fries! You also surprised me with your ability to drink out of a straw cup, and you try to steal sips of Jackson’s milk often! Now you have your own water cup.

You actually had to drink you breast milk from a straw cup all last week! You weren’t nursing and I wasn’t sure why. You wouldn’t take a bottle either. I thought it could be weaning or teething. Two days later we saw what seemed to be a large scab on the roof of your mouth. Upon further inspection and with a lot of freaking out, we discovered a perfectly-sized googly eye wedged up into your palate. We had to use tweezers to pry it out. It was super traumatic. But luckily you are happily back to nursing and have probably forgotten all about it. And I have been on a mad search to figure out where that googly eye came from…

We love you, Will! You are aware, curious, strong, and happy! You love being around people, especially mommy. It’s a sweet time being your mama, little man!

Will- 9 months (a little late)

1621750_2906871837634_7131904158446790886_nWill! You are changing so much and growing into a very loud and mobile little boy! Its still hard for me to believe you are 3 months away from being ONE. Now you are cruising along furniture and eating most anything I put on your tray. You also have 7 teeth! You are very eager to be like Jackson and are only interested in all the toys he is playing with. Currently, your favorite toy is the balloon we got Jack for his birthday. You love to drag it around by its string and yank it around. We went on lots of wagon rides and trips to the park this month. You love swinging! We also transitioned you out of your infant seat and into your convertible seat since you are so long! Clothes are tricky- most of what fits you are toddler-esque shirts and pants. You still move around more easily in onesies, but its hard to find them in the 12-18m size!

You are sleeping 9pm-7am or so. You take a short morning nap and a 2-3 hr afternoon nap. You haven’t been fighting bedtime as much as you were last month and usually you fall asleep without much crying. You are still nursing 6-7 times a day, but also eat 3 meals a day with the rest of us! You love baby food pouches, peas, blueberries, cheerios, cut up pasta, sweet potatoes, apple slices, and muffins. You definitely take after Jackson with having a “snack radar!” Whenever someone is eating, you want some too!

I am excited to see you begin to stand on your own this month, I think you’re so close! I love you, sweet Will!

Will- 8 months

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I can’t believe you are 8 months old! Time is flying by! Now you are crawling, pulling up to stand, and even trying to climb on things! You love playing with all sorts of toys and you are always laughing at/with Jackson. You don’t like to be ignored, and you are VERY vocal when you want our attention. I can tell you are wanting to catch up to Jack so badly! You guys are going to be awesome friends.

You are sleeping 9ish to 7ish. Sometimes though, you wake up at 8 or 8:30 when Jackson does. I love mornings like that because I wake up to the sound of you laughing and squealing across the room at each other! So fun! You also take 2 naps: one is 45 minutes, the other is 2-3 hours. Since it has taken us so long to get you sleeping through the night well, I get anxious if we don’t do parts of your routine. Every night you get a bath, lavender oil, rice cereal, and nurse. I stress out about whether you are too hot or cold and check on you a few times before bed to make sure you’re not up against the wall of the crib or in an uncomfortable position. I know all that sounds crazy, but because you are a lighter sleeper, I am always worried something will wake you up. Hopefully as the months go by you will become a more consistent sleeper and I will be able to relax! Room sharing has been fine, but you still take your afternoon nap in my room in the pack n’ play.

You have been getting really good at eating/picking up puffs and yogurt melts. You also like to eat soft breads like pancakes, steamed carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, and any kind of cookie/gram cracker. You love the majority of squeeze pouch flavors. I would like to try more foods with you this month, but you still struggle with chewing and gagging. We still nurse 6-8 times a day with no signs of my supply dropping or you losing interest. You are growing like a weed though!…Already wearing 12-18 month clothes! Very long and heavy!

Teething has been hard. We borrowed an amber necklace which seems to help a bit, but you still seem so uncomfortable lately which is sad. Currently you have your two top and bottom front teeth.

However, despite the occasional grumpy day, you really are such a happy, content baby! You are so sweet and I love being your mama! I can’t wait to see you continue to grow and change this month!

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

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.

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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!

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