Sleeping Alone Sucks

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The other night, Lil woke up and stumbled into our room, climbed up onto my monster of a bed, and fell asleep on Sean’s pillow. She mumbled something about not wanting to sleep alone.

I didn’t have the heart to put her back in her own bed, so I let her be for a while.

I can’t blame her for not wanting to sleep alone. I don’t like sleeping alone. Most nights, I stay awake much later than I should simply because I do not like falling asleep by myself. And I’m thirty-….something. I should be ok with this, but I’m not.

Last year, Sean worked overnights for 6 months. It was awful. I barely slept, I was restless, I was anxious. I actually bought an essential oil blend called Anxiety Ease because I was lying in bed listening for any little noise, convinced we were going to be robbed. I would get heart palpitations if our neighbors bumped the wall. I played soothing music on Spotify in an attempt to lull myself to sleep.

It was not easy.

Yet we expect a four year old to go to sleep by herself every night and sleep soundly and be ok with that while we have each other’s company just down the hall. Oh, and we’re grown ups. We should be ok with sleeping alone.

So if I’m not, why should I expect her to be?

So I let her curl up. I rub her back and comb her hair with my fingers. I snuggle up to her and we keep each other warm and cozy. And although it breaks my heart (and almost breaks my back because she’s pushing 40lb), I lift her sleepy, heavy body onto my shoulder and bring her back to her room, tuck her in, give her soft cheeks a kiss and tell her I love her and will see her when the sun comes up. I pray that she’ll sleep soundly and peacefully, and climb into bed, anxiously awaiting Sean to come home from work so I can finally fall asleep.

Andrew :: Two Months

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My poor, sweet Andrew. Total second child syndrome. He is nearly three months old, but nevertheless, here’s a two month update. 😛

As of his two month checkup on May 9, he was 9lb 3 oz, 22 inches long. At birth he was 6lb 8oz and 19.5 inches long.

He started really smiling! His personality is exploding every day and he’s so incredibly sweet and silly. He loves having his diaper changed, watching his Sissy dance and sing, and teasing mommy that maybe he is ready to go to sleep for the night. He has a smirk that rivals Han Solo’s.

Sleep is hit or miss. Some days he naps a lot, other days I wonder if he’s actually napped at all. Nights are still spent in 3-4 hour chunks, which is better than being up all night. He is sleeping in the pack and play in our room until at least sometime this summer, when we decide he’s sleeping well enough to transfer him to his crib in his and Lil’s room. No need to disturb her sleep if we don’t need to.

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We are nursing as much as possible, and supplementing with formula as needed. Some days it’s not at all, other days it’s one or two bottles. I’m trying to keep my supply up, but also trying not to stress or drive myself crazy like I did with Lily.

His neck strength is getting really good, and tummy time is becoming less tragic. He looooves to kick his right foot. Maybe he’ll be a drummer and kick that bass drum like a champ?

We went to a friend’s wedding as a family of four and made it through almost to the end of the night. Lily danced with anyone and everyone, non-stop. Andrew made his dance floor debut in my arms and charmed everyone to bits.

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Mother’s Day was truly glorious. Sean did a great job making me feel special and loved and relaxed. I got Dunkin Donuts coffee and a sandwich in bed and did not get out of bed until close to noon. We just hung out all morning in our pjs in our new king sized bed (!!!) and ate and watched The Office and Elena of Avalor. We got sushi for lunch and pizza for supper, and spent the day lounging and napping and watching movies. Like I said, glorious.

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We’re enjoying getting to know his personality as it emerges. Sean says (and I agree) that he is definitely a mama’s boy. He loves snuggling in my arms and he just prefers me. I chalk it up to being his main food source, but I ain’t complaining! I will take all the snuggles I can get every day of my life. Same still goes for Lil. Someday they won’t want to snuggle and give me hugs and be close, so I’ll take it as much as I can get it.

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The best thing is watching his and Lily’s relationship grow and develop. She is just crazy about him and the sun rises and sets on her as far as he is concerned. I’m so blessed to witness it all. 

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Introducing Andrew Joseph :: Birth Story

Andrew Joseph Birth Story Newborn Photographer Shannon Sorensen Photography

Two weeks ago, I didn’t feel very good. Lily and I spent Sunday the 5th in the car, driving up to Central Massachusetts for my cousin’s baby shower. When we got home that night, I was crampy and achy, and I chalked it up to spending a lot of the day driving along bumpy country roads. But the next morning, I didn’t feel much better. I dropped Lily off at school, and every step out to the car, my belly felt heavy and low, like he’d fall out at any moment.

I told Sean it was probably going to happen that week. He got serious very quickly and we went to my doctor to get checked out. After a delightful cervix check (can you sense my sarcasm?), I was told there was no progress and to go home and rest. I had another appointment scheduled two days from then, so I figured maybe by then I’d see some progress towards labor.

We got home and called Sean’s mom to see if she could come down for the night. Sean is usually home on Mondays, but he was scheduled for overtime that night. She came right down to help with Lily so I could rest. We did some quick power cleaning and vacuuming and made sure our ducks were in a row, and I think at that point, we both knew any day could be the day.

Sean went to pick Lil up from school and I rested a bit. They got home, and his mother arrived shortly after. He left for work around 5, and I started making some dinner – chicken tikka masala in the InstantPot. I was just about done cooking around 6 and went to sit down on the couch while the rice finished cooking. I felt a little gush of what I thought was pee, and rushed to the bathroom, because when you’re 37 weeks pregnant, these things happen and no one wants to pee on their couch. I had some spotting and when I stood up to wash my hands, I had another gush of fluid. Nope, that wasn’t pee.

I called Sean and told him to come home – my water broke.

Things were a bit of a blur for the next hour. I sat in the bathroom so I wouldn’t leak all over the house. When your water breaks, the fluid comes out in gushes ranging from a dribble to a hearty gush, and it’s a weird feeling, because unlike pee, you can’t hold it back. Sean’s mom made sure Lily was eating dinner and happy, and she helped me gather some things. I called my mom to let her know plans changed and the baby was coming that night. Once Sean was home, he packed a bag and got everything out to the car. Then it was time to go!

I’ll be forever grateful Sean took this picture of me and my baby. I felt alllll the emotions hugging her goodbye, knowing all our lives were changing that night. She was so sweet and excited. Leaving her was incredibly hard.

At the hospital, we were brought up to labor and delivery. Sean wheeled me up as contractions were coming on faster and stronger. We got all checked in and prep for a cesarean began. I was reminded several times how difficult my veins were trying to get an IV in place. I was glad I had shaved my legs that morning. Sean let me squeeze the heck out of his hand with each contraction. Our nurse was an angel.

Around 10, we walked to the OR, which was conveniently about 20 steps from our room. Sean had to wait outside and I was given a spinal anesthesia. I kept laughing and cracking terrible jokes because I’ve discovered that’s how I deal with nerves. I’m so thankful that everyone in the OR was nice and kind and friendly, because nothing is more awkward than lying naked on an operating table under blindingly bright lights while the lower 2/3s of your body gets numb.

The next 15 minutes or so involved Sean coming in, both of us nervously waiting as surgery began, I could ever so slightly see my guts above me in the reflection of the lighting equipment, and after some rather strong pushing of my uterus, he came out and blessed our ears with the healthiest cry I’ve ever heard. The boy has LUNGS.

Andrew Joseph was born at 10:31pm on March 6, weighing 6lb 8oz and measuring 19 inches long.

He is a sweet, snuggly boy. He is happiest when cuddled up on someone’s chest. He has zero tolerance for wet or dirty diapers. The slightest mess and he wants to be fresh and clean. He is a nursing champ, which I am grateful for. So much of our first two weeks with him has been different from when Lily was born. Going into surgery not exhausted, and actually getting some sleep that night between feedings, put me in a good place to get up and walk the next day. I physically felt so much better after this surgery.

Having that first night to ourselves before any visitors came was worth it’s weight in gold. We had plenty of bonding time, and there was no pressure to let anyone in to meet him. Our moms arrived with Lily in the morning, allowing us to be rested and ready.

Getting to witness Lily meeting Andrew was the highlight of that first day. She held him, kissed him, sang to him and doted on him. She is an incredible big sister. The past two weeks have bee a big learning experience for all of us, but overall, she is doing great and I am so proud of her.

I am sitting here thinking today should have been the day we met him, and instead, we’ve already enjoyed him for two weeks. What a blessing. My heart is full. I’m the luckiest lady in the world to have the family I have.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the past two weeks.

36 Week Update :: Beached Whale Mode

Happy March!

It’s officially THE MONTH OF BABY. Yes, the time is fast approaching. I have told Sean several times in the past few days that yes, any day could be The Day now. He looks at me wide eyed and turns on a video game or a Youtube video on building computers submerged in oil. I get it. I have had a hard time facing reality these days as well. I can’t even handle the fact that I finished the original Gilmore Girls series and am now watching Year in the Life.

I’ve hit full-on crazy mode.

With just a couple weeks to go, I have been equal parts wanting to clean like a crazy person and also lie down on the couch for extended periods of time and think about everything I need to do.

I have not finished cutting out fabric for his quilt. Instead, I started knitting a completely separate baby blanket. I’m about 1/3 done with it. I will finish it before we are discharged from the hospital.

I decided my bedroom looks like a dumping zone so I started a new Pinterest board to redecorate and further avoid reality.

I should be focusing on actual house cleaning, like dishes and laundry and making sure the bathrooms aren’t disgusting, and instead I have been staring at things that need to be cleaned, and then going and doing something else.

Rolling out of bed three times a night to pee is an Olympic sporting event.

I’m officially feeling huge. Physically, I have only gained a couple pounds (thanks, Gestational Diabetes), but my back aches, every move I make is accompanied with a grunt or groan, and I’m walking like That Pregnant Lady with the waddle while holding her back with one hand and rubbing her belly with the other.

All joking aside, I had a lovely maternity photo session last week where I felt beautiful and like a goddess who can do anything because I’m creating life and what is more big and amazing than that?!

Photography by Megan at Perspectives Photography.

32 Week Update :: Gestational Diabetes, Sleep Deprivation and Hating Pants

This is going to be a fun one.

The title makes it sound like I’m miserable, huh? The truth is, I am not. I have been hustling into this new year, making changes for my businesses, planning, learning, and when I can manage it, taking power naps so I am not run ragged.

But yo, this pregnancy has been tough. I will not complain. I am grateful, I am blessed, I am mostly healthy and doing well. But I am also really tired. And sore. And feeling pressure “down there” and walking like an old lady on a bad hip.

I’m ready for March, friends. So ready to meet this little guy and call him by his name. We kept Lily’s name a secret, which was much easier because at home we could still talk about her and use her name. Now we have a walking 4 year old parrot who will tell eeeeeeeeveryone her brother’s name if she knows. So she has been coming up with her own names and telling people weekly that he’ll be called:

Prince James, Eugene, Eric, Harold, Sam, Max, Junior, and Flop. Basically, whatever show, movie or book she has recently enjoyed, you can be sure the male character is her baby brother’s name.

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Gestational Diabetes

A month ago, I was officially diagnosed, and it has been eye opening, to say the least. I have completely adjusted my diet to a mostly Paleo set of meals and snacks, I’m walking 20-30 minutes a day, and checking my blood sugars four times a day.

Everyone keeps saying it’ll be ok and that once the baby is here, it’ll go away, but I am trying to keep the mindset that this is actually a really good lifestyle change for me. I realized very quickly how much garbage I ate daily without a thought. Eating veggies, fruits and protein dense foods? Not a bad change to make.

It hasn’t been difficult finding good things to eat, and my energy has been better since the holidays. I’m not as weary and sore as I was, and I don’t feel as hefty as I was feeling around Christmas. I still have a big bump, but don’t feel as large and bulky, if that makes sense. I feel like I actually have some semblance of a figure. Crazy, right?

All in all, this will be a good change for our family and I hope to keep it up. We are both predisposed to diabetic complications, so now is the time to get our butts in gear and take care of ourselves the way we should!

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep happens in small chunks, sprinkled with weird dreams and hobbling to the bathroom twice a night. I am thanking my lucky stars that Lily is a fantastic sleeper and will sleep a solid 12 hours. My biggest struggle right now is making myself go to bed, since Sean is now working nights. I don’t like going to bed alone, but for the next year, this will be our routine, so I better get used to it!

I got one of those giant pregnancy pillows and used it for about a week. It was kind of comfortable, but kind of not. They’re weird. And it took up so much room in our tiny bed. I can make do with a throw pillow between my knees or tucked under my belly. I don’t need a giant croissant pillow pushing Sean and I to the edges.

Hating Pants

The subtitle here is “Disliking Winter Pregnancy” but hating pants sounded more truthful. I loved being pregnant in the summer with Lil. I could throw on a maxi dress or skirt, flip flops, and be done. And comfortable. Currently, I’m rotating between 3 pairs of leggings and one pair of jeans, attempting to layer my tops to be cold inside, hot inside, cold outside, and overdressed outside to resemble the little brother in A Christmas Story who can’t put his arms down.

Call me stubborn, but I’m not buying a giant winter coat to cover my belly button for the next 7 weeks, so I’m trying to make due, and praying we don’t get a ton of snow and ice. As I type this it’s snowing out. Blah!

But Shannon – you work from home! At least you don’t need to buy a new corporate maternity wardrobe! YES. Thank goodness for that. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I really can’t complain. But, I still miss maxi dresses and flip flops.

32 Weeks – 7 Weeks to Go

I made a to-do list of things I want/need to accomplish before Baby Boy appears, and, um, I need to get my butt in gear! I have been so otherwise occupied by Lily and getting work done that this poor kiddo hasn’t gotten a fraction of the pregnancy attention that I gave Lil. But I have been enjoying the thumps and alien movements, rubbing and poking my belly, wondering who this little person will be. He is super active and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms and smell his skin and dream about who he’ll grow into. And I really can’t wait to see if he’s a mini-Lily/Sean or a mini-me!

TO DO:

  • Pack a hospital bag – for me, for baby, for Sean. Knowing it’s a c-section, we’ll be prepared for a longer stay. I have had a couple contractions that are reminding me to get this done this week.
  • Install the infant carseat – first I need to deep clean the back seat of Cheerios and fruit snacks.
  • Donate the piles of Lily’s old clothes – this one hurts. I loved so many of her clothes!
  • Research and make some freezer meals – Any InstantPot users out there with good recs?
  • Wash and put away baby clothes, bottles, cloth diapers
  • Make his quilt
  • Hang up art over crib
  • Clean out and vacuum the car
  • Give the house a good top to bottom deep clean
  • Attempt some maternity self portraits
  • Find and purchase a baby book for him – check out Ruby Love books on Etsy
  • Figure out if I’m forgetting anything big

That’s all for now! The days are going quickly. It went from feeling SO far away to feeling like it’ll be any day now. I do feel like we’re in a good place of readiness, but pray he stays put as long as he should. The best I can hope for is a healthy baby carried to term!

Till next time!