We’ve been enjoying the warm weather over here. I wish F would make friends with the car seat, so I could take M to more fun places! At least we have a huge yard and a little kiddie pool here.
Everything is going well, so far. F is growing like a weed, if weeds became delightfully pudgy, and M is still cute and funny. The baby chicks are growing up — last night was their first one without Rita, who wanted to stay with the other hens at bedtime. I hope the chicks were okay! And Aster is sitting on guinea eggs (for the neighbors), which should hatch in early July.
Thank you for all the kind congratulations! I like what Anna said about hearing mundane birth stories (it seems like everybody has a traumatic story these days, which is unfortunate) — aside from the drama of the timing, F’s birth really was run-of-the-mill, just what I was hoping for. When I had visualized my “perfect” birth, I imagined contractions starting early in the morning (I was so worried about things kicking off in the middle of the night) and then comfortably laboring at home, arriving at the hospital further along than the nurses were expecting. Which was exactly what happened!
To answer Melissa’s question, I didn’t have any pain meds. I didn’t when M was born, either — just Pitocin for her induction — and when the intensity of labor came rushing back to me this time (in the car, on the way to the hospital), I thought, “Nope! No need to be a hero — I’m getting an epidural this time!” I told the nurses that when I got there, and they kindly informed me that it was a LITTLE late for that option! Being able to move around definitely helped in pushing out a 10lbs+ baby, so it was for the best.
Everything is going so well this time around. I sort of “missed” M’s first weeks because she was in the hospital, and we couldn’t snuggle and bond. So I’m double-enjoying how sweet and simple a brand-new baby is now. I was always so eager for M to hit milestones in her first year, but I wish I could just slow everything down this time around. I guess that’s the gift of a second baby — being able to savor all the best moments, knowing how quickly they pass by.
She’s here! Baby F made her entrance two days ago, on the afternoon of June 2nd. I woke up that morning with mild but distinct contractions, and when I called L&D, they said to wait until contractions were a minute long before heading in. So I did, but once things got going, they REALLY got going. The hospital is usually an hour away, but Rob drove like a superhero and got me there in record time. I was trying not to push as they wheeled me up to L&D, and the midwife had to sprint over from the clinic.
I was really looking forward to one of those “three pushes, and the baby was out!” type second deliveries, but I wound up pushing for about an hour and a quarter (still nothing compared to how long it took to push out M!). Afterward, the midwife said she was surprised/confused that I wasn’t doing a better job pushing the baby down, considering this was my second labor. But when the baby finally started to come out, she thought, “WHOA!” and understood — Baby F was 10lbs3oz! With a 15″ head! I had figured Baby Sister would be bigger than M, but I thought maybe 8lbs, perhaps 8lbs8oz — I would have been surprised by 9lbs. So I was REALLY surprised that she was over three pounds heavier! Same length (21.5″), though.
She’s perfectly healthy, and we were able to come home after 24hrs, thankfully. M says that Baby Sister is “sooo cute” and has been very gentle so far. We’ve got a long transition in front of us, but it’s off to a great start!
(Like with M, I won’t be writing out F’s name here or on Instagram, and I won’t be sharing more photos of her face here. But I know some of you have been waiting to meet her!)
Still no baby, in case you were wondering.
Still waiting on the baby, so here are some more chick photos! Rita wound up hatching two chicks — she started with eight eggs, and one broke early on, so really only seven. The first was born Monday afternoon/evening and the second came along on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she moved her nest into the corner and left two eggs in the middle of the coop (they were cold when I found them, and one was sloshy — definitely no good). Yesterday morning, I took the other three eggs out from under Rita, and I was surprised to find that they were also cold (and all sloshy). Makes it seem all the more amazing that two healthy chicks managed to hatch, with so many duds!
Two is actually exactly as many as I was hoping for — we don’t actually NEED any more chickens until the hens slow down egg production in a year or two. I just hope they’re not both roosters! They’re very curious and friendly, and both they and Rita have let me pick them up to show M, who is smitten. It’s quite a different experience having a hen raising chicks vs. hand-raising them indoors. Don’t have to worry about keeping them warm — Rita does that! She’s doing her job well, so far. I put some scratch grains out in the run (she and the chicks are living in the coop; the other chickens are all living in the barn at night), and she was very happy to stretch her legs and dig in the dirt. The chicks just stayed in the little pop door area, quiet and content, but not adventurous enough to join her outside yet. When I check a minute later, Rita was back inside with them, back to work.
M officially turned two and half last month. And earlier this month, we took a last-minute trip up to Duluth to enjoy the warm weather while we’re still a mom-and-ONE-kid family. It really felt like a vacation, even though we were gone for only one night. We walked all around, ate at restaurants, went swimming in the hotel pool, and found a great playground. I’m always amazed by the way M can grow and change her opinions on things with no intervening experience — when we went to Florida, she was quite nervous about the pool. But this time, I had to constantly remind her to stay back from the pool and not go in without me. She loved jumping into the water / my arms from the edge of the pool!
She’s also obsessed with playgrounds at the moment. I’ve actually ordered her her very own playset, and I made the mistake of showing her a picture, even though it was originally scheduled for delivery in two weeks. She spent a few days talking about how the “big, big playground” was coming to the house. I’d get her out of bed in the morning, and the first thing she’d say to me would be, “My playground will be here soon!” (Luckily, the delivery company called yesterday, and now it’ll be arriving THIS Friday instead of next — so she doesn’t have to wait quite as long.)
M would spend all day outside, if I’d let her. Which is better than the alternative: endlessly watching Paw Patrol indoors (which she’s done some days, thanks to my being really quite pregnant!). Although she recently discovered jigsaw puzzles, and she spent what felt like hours putting them together yesterday evening. The concentration! As eager as I am to get the show on the road, baby-wise, I’m really enjoying the simplicity of these last days/weeks of having one kid. It’s going to change very soon, but right now, it’s still all about M!
We have chicks! I really wasn’t sure if the eggs were going to wind up being fertile, and whether Rita had done a good job incubating them. But one hatched yesterday afternoon, and as of this evening, there’s at least one more (I didn’t want to lift Rita off the nest to check the other eggs). They’re very cute!
I realized I never shared the little vest I knitted for Baby Sister — and I even sewed the buttons on it (and M’s chicken sweater)! I get so lazy when it comes to buttons, for some reason. M still loves her chicken sweater, and I was glad to use up most of a little collection of DK odds and ends on the vest. We’ll have to wait and see if it actually fits Baby Sister; my knitting was a bit smaller than the gauge, for some reason, but I don’t think I’d have had enough yarn if I corrected it. So it’ll either be a very-newborn vest or, possibly, just a doll’s vest. I used this pattern and added the colorwork myself.
I recently saw somebody on-line ask about the difference between a “young two” (ie, a kid who’s just turned two years old) and an “old two” (one who’s nearing three years old) — and, of course, it’s huge. I mean, M is right in the middle, but it’s incredible how much she’s changed over the last six months. She took so long to start talking; I didn’t write down a list of her vocabulary when she turned two, but when she was 21mos, the only words she said spontaneously were “yeah”, “socks”, and a version of “no”. THAT sure has changed! (Parents of late talkers take heart!)
She’s discovering the magic of letters and words right now — I was surprised to find out a couple of months ago that she knew how to spell her name. (We hadn’t worked on it, but I guess she’d heard me spell it out loud enough times that it’d stuck.) She’s added a couple of words to her spelling repertoire (“Mommy” and “baby”) and is working on the pet names. It’s mostly an exercise in memorization at this point, but as you can see, she knows that the letters have shapes as well as names. I scrambled up the letters of her name this morning, and she quickly put them in the correct order. (Top to bottom, because that’s “like Chicka Boom Boom tree”.)
When I was scooping the cats’ litter boxes last night, M came out to get me and said she was playing “at the doctor” and asked me to play too. She has a Playmobil hospital set that doesn’t get a LOT of use, but every now and then she really enjoys it. I didn’t realize until we’d been playing for a while that she was using the play as a way to work through her recent medical procedure (nothing too dramatic, thankfully). I was the doctor and the nurse, and each of her Paw Patrol pups had to have a check up. It was really interesting to see how focused she was as I did each “check up”, waiting to hear whether each pup was healthy (they all were). I’d read about the importance of role-play games like that in helping kids process events/emotions, but I was surprised that M initiated it. She’s growing up so fast!
There may or may not be new chicks in another two-ish weeks! I’m letting broody Rita sit on some eggs she’s claimed — we’ll see what happens!