Monday, July 30, 2012

Birth, Part 2

We've put a lot of thought into how we want our birth experience with Baby 2.

It's not that our birth with Cole was bad or anything.  We just feel it could be better.  So this time we are so excited to be using a midwife at a waterbirth center (Trillium Waterbirth Center) and here's why:

1. Last time, I used a midwifery that had four midwives - and any of those midwives could be the one who delivered Cole, depending on who was on call at the time.  So it was in our best interest to meet with each one in rotation, to get familiar with each one - however, it made it hard to have consistent communication.  I would tell one midwife about an issue, and it wouldn't get translated to the next one at the next appointment. 

I love that I will have one single midwife (who has given me her private cell number that I can call at any time!) who will foster some great communication.

2. Our appointments at the last midwifery always felt rushed.  A nurse would come in and take my blood pressure and other stats, type it into the chart, and then the midwife would come in for a 15 minute appointment, most of which was spent typing and reading the chart, with little eye contact with me.  I know this is normal, but it just felt rather impersonal.

At the birth center, the midwife takes a full hour for every single appointment.  The midwife takes all the stats - we were told that during the birth, the midwife keeps track of the baby's heart rate and knows instantly if anything's wrong with it, because she's the one who has been listening to the heart rate the whole pregnancy.  She is the only one who writes in the chart.  She has a real connection with my baby and me.

3.  At Trillium, Cole is welcome at every single appointment.  They have a play area set up in each examine room, so I don't have to stress about finding someone to watch him.  Plus, I love how he can be a part of the pregnancy process (although he will NOT be present for the birth).  He's a part of our family too, and I believe it will ease some of the stress of transition if he is a part of the process the whole way.

4. When I gave birth at the hospital, it was wonderful.  The nurses were wonderful, I felt we received exceptional care - but I think we can have a birth experience that is a little more tailored to "us" at the birth center.  One of my strongest memories of Cole's birth is pushing him out (obviously), but I clearly remember a huge crowd of medical personnel (Cole had some minor heart rate issues and they wanted to be prepared) standing at the foot of the bed, yawning, gossiping, and reading "People" magazine.  I was like, hello?!  Most important moment of my life here and you guys are staring at my hoo-ha and reading gossip magazines?!  I'm looking forward to a birth that is a little more peaceful and respectful, not as much "a day at work". 

5. Waterbirth option.  Need I say more??  I've heard so much about how much better a waterbirth is (giving birth in a tub full of warm water, instead of on a bed).  I'm not sure if it's something I'm going to want or not, but it's nice to have the option.

6. I spend a lot of time thinking about how traumatic a birth is for the wee little baby.  One minute, he/she is in the warm, soft, comfortable, dark womb...then the most stressful thing happens and suddenly, he/she is in this loud, bright, crazy scary place!  Obviously, there's not much to make that better - but I want to do anything I can do to make it a little more peaceful - lowered lights, quiet peaceful voices, and as much time to hold our little baby in our arms as possible after the birth. 

Well, that's it in a nutshell.  Experienced mamas out there, any opinions?  I'd love to hear all about it!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


A few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and bought tickets for Cole and me to go back to Pennsylvania for my cousin's wedding in September.  I am REALLY REALLY excited - to get there, that is.  Not so much excited about the plane ride.  From Oregon to Pennsylvania is a LONG ride in a plane, with multiple stops each way. 

And did I mention Chris isn't coming?  Yup, just me and Cole!  Fortunately, we managed to get on the same flight as Gram and Pap from Denver to PA, so for a little bit of the trip we will have some extra hands!

The thing I'm most worried about is how Cole will do on the plane.  He's been on flights several times before, but as a two year old who is VERY shy and VERY nervous about any new situation (like my first visit to the midwife, in which he screamed and cried bloody murder because I had to lie down on the bed - doesn't like anything new!), I want to make this stressful trip as fun and easy for him as possible.

I've noticed before that Cole does much better in any new situation if he feels prepared ahead of time, if he knows what to expect.  So, I thought I'd make a little book for him (like the "Cole's Family" book I made for him last year), with pictures of each step from going through security to getting on the plane:

I just googled images that I wanted included and printed them from a template. 

And you guys?  He LOVES this book.  We've read it at least five times a day since I made it.  We'll see if it makes him more confident during the trip or not, but if nothing else it's a fun new book for him to read!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Who needs stuffed animals?

Some kids have stuffed animals they can't sleep without.  They might have piles and piles of stuffed animals.

Some kids have blankets and pillows.

My child?  Has books.  Six or seven (hardcover!) books that he reads while falling asleep or in the middle of the night when he wakes up.  Occasionally I'll hear him reading when he wakes up in the morning.  If he happens to awake during the night and a book or two has fallen off the bed, Cole will climb off his bed and retrieve it, stacking it carefully with the others on his pillow next to his head.  Then he'll fall asleep with one arm snuggling them close.

My little bookworm.  And I must admit, there's nothing that makes me more proud!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cole has some big news he'd like to share with everyone:
Needless to say, we are all thrilled! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Just Be

This morning, I asked Cole what he wanted to do today.

In answer, he patted the rocking chair in the corner of his room. "MAMA!" he said, gesturing for me to sit.

"Ok, buddy, just let me put one more load of laundry in."

Half an hour later, Cole had played quietly on his own while I finished up various chores.  I peeked in his room at him, smiling to see him sitting on his little upholstered chair and reading a book.

He heard me and jumped up to hold my hand. "HAND!" he said.  Pulling me over the chair, he patted the seat again and commanded, "MAMA!"

I sat while he piled various pillows and blankets on my lap, then turned around and raised his arms expectantly, waiting for me to pull him onto my lap.

After a couple minutes spent arranging the blankets and pillows just right, Cole leaned his head back onto my chest and held my hand. 

We rocked and rocked.

We didn't read, or play with any toys, or even talk very much.  Several times, I thought about reaching for my book to read a few pages, or to grab my phone to check for texts...but something made me stop.  It was so peaceful, so wonderful to just sit there with my toddler and just BE.  Not DO anything, but just to enjoy his warm little body snuggled next to mine.  Not multi-tasking, not hurrying, doing only what Cole requested - uninterrupted, undistracted, quality TIME together.

So often Cole reminds me that in the midst of so much to do, with so many distractions (TV, computer, Facebook, cell phones, pictures, chores), that sometimes the best thing to do is...nothing.  Sometimes the best way to show someone your love is not to entertain or distract them, but to just BE with them.

I'm so proud that my son can show me exactly what he needs from me.  I'm so glad that I stay home so I can take the time whenever he needs it to be with him.

We sat and rocked under the mountain of pillows and blankets, holding hands, for forty minutes.  And even though we didn't DO anything, I think it was my favorite forty minutes of the day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Fair!

Honestly, I'm not much of a fair lover - so expensive! overpriced, unhealthy food!  crappy, cheap prizes! rides that cost $5 for a 30 second ride!

But our local fair is in town, and Chris and I decided to take Cole for his first fair experience.  While he's still pretty young to be into rides and stuff, we thought he'd love the animals and all the sights.

He was fascinated watching all the rides - but the one he was most excited about was the carousel ride!

Then we checked out the 4H animals - cows, pigs, and sheep.  Cole thought they were amazing - my little animal lover!  He especially liked the baby pigs:

Then we saw a sign for pony rides!  Since Cole is OBSESSED with horses, we thought this would be THRILLING for him:

However, while he was pretty excited about seeing the miniature ponies, he wasn't too sure about actually riding one:

That's ok.  Even though he didn't ride it, he still talked about the "NEIGH! NEIGH! HAND!" the whole way home!

Monday, July 16, 2012

5 Adorable Random Things

1. Recently, for the first time in VERY long time, I wore some earrings.  Cole was fascinated.  He just could not figure out these random things in my ears!  He kept touching them and saying "EA-INGS! EA-INGS!" And then he had check out everyone else's ears to see if they were wearing earrings too.  It was hysterical!

2. Cole and I eat breakfast together every single morning.  Some mornings, I am lazy and just feed us cereal instead of making something healthy (please tell me you do that too!).  Cole has a habit of paying attention to my cereal bowl, and if I happen to have a piece of cereal that is stuck to the side of the bowl instead of in the milk, he points to it and says, "UH-OH! UH-OH! UH-OH!" until I fix it.  He's only slightly OCD.

3.  Somewhere, he picked up the idea that you "toast" your glasses and say "Cheers!". So he requests a "TOE" for almost every meal - and insists that his plate, bowl, and cup be "toasted" with every single one of my dishes too. 

4.  The other day at the splash park, Cole fell down and got a small scrape on his leg.  "UH-OH! UH-OH!" he said.  "Oh, what's wrong, buddy?  Did you get an owie?"  "IETCH! IETCH! (ouch)" he said.  "What should we do?"   So he plopped down right in the middle of the sidewalk, lifted his leg, and gave himself a smacking kiss on his owie, hopped up, and was ready to go.  So glad he knows how to help himself feel better!

5. One day last week we were leaving to do some errands.  Cole's job is to put the dogs into their beds and give them a biscuit.  We were on our way out the door when Cole started telling me "UH-OH! UH-OH!" and a word I didn't recognize.  Since he was pointing vehemently upstairs, we went back upstairs so he could show me what he was talking about.  He ran into the bedroom and closed Chloe's kennel door!  I was so impressed that he had remembered a step he had forgotten!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pacific Ocean Part 2

After grabbing some lunch, we did some exploring and found a small cove with shallow water and a nice sandy beach for Cole to run around:

 Loving the water:

 sandy toes:

 Monkey see, monkey do:

 Favorite part? Chasing after the birds! 
 "I got so close that time, Mama! I almost got 'em!"
 I love the look on Cole's face in this one...
 Whew...getting tired after so much running around!

 And of course, what's a first trip to the ocean without a first sandcastle:
Hands down, one of my favorite parts of being a parent is being a part of all these special "firsts".  I love showing Cole the world!
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