Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

The Magic Number? Deciding to Have Two or Three Children- May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I came across another woman with kids the same age as mine. She proudly posed with her newborn as well. Her third baby. Then I saw another friend pregnant with her third. Last week I got the same question two days in a row from friends, “So, are you done? Or are you going to have more kids?”

Oh, wow. I really don’t know, ya’ll.

mother of two or three

I ask myself that everyday. I look at my kids’ faces and think, “We make the most adorable babies. We already have two, why not have another?!” I love babies. I love being a mother. I soak up the sweetness of my children and wonder how a third child would change our dynamic.

I’ve read the articles about how families with three kids are the most stressed and heard how miserable and awful middle children are. I don’t believe any of that! First of all, I’m not buying that “middle child” garbage. I know some amazing middle children. My husband Greyson is an amazing, well adjusted middle child who grew up to be a successful business leader in his company after following his dream of becoming a sportscaster. He’s a loving husband, father and provider. My Aunt Wanda is a middle child and is the glue that holds our family together. She raised twins, welcomed another child into her home to raise, had a career as an educator and has been married to my uncle for more than 30 years. I pray my children, no matter their birth order, are like these middle children. Recent studies show middle children are pretty much as well-adjusted as the rest of the family and “Middle Child Syndrome” is totally exaggerated.

Glasses-Oh-mom-glasses

Courtesy: pixshark.com

Some people have told me that they assume we’re done having babies because we have a girl and a boy. I see friends with two of the same sex who may try for another. I get that. But, the friends I’ve seen lately are just like me. They already have one of each. Of course there is always the friend who…surprise! Just gets pregnant with baby #3.

But, I want to know. How do you/did you come to the decision to have, or not have, a third child? We’re not ruling it out, it’s just not as obvious as having two kids, you know? There was no question we would have at least two. SO MUCH goes into deciding about the third. Our ages, money, obstetrical health, parenting, careers and sibling relationships are just some of the things we weigh when thinking about this. Please, don’t think I don’t realize how freaking lucky we are that we COULD have a third. I know the struggles of infertility stop many parents from having more than one or two kids. We’re very blessed to have two healthy children. I have to imagine the impact of caring for sick children or kids with special needs may alter some parents’ decisions on family planning as well.

If we don’t have a third, I don’t think I’ll feel incomplete or anything. Life will still be great and our family will be fine. Again, we’re so blessed. Do we want to add another little blessing?

Last week in the car Charlotte asked from the back seat, “Mommy, are we going to have any more babies in our family?” I gave the answer I give everyone, “I don’t know.” I returned her question, “Do you want another baby in our family?” She said, “Yes! I want it to be a girl and I want to name her Starlight!”

Then she said, “How do you get a baby in your belly, anyway?” Oh, yikes. Maybe I’m not ready for another. Then my husband says, “Well, if we have three, we have to have four kids. You know…balance.”

Sure. Starlight and Fourthkid. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I will say, if we have a little Starlight, no one is allowed to buy him/her anything. We have everything. Starlight will live in hand-me-downs. That’s just part of being the youngest. (Says the oldest child with a smirk, as she writes this blog post.)

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Mommi 3-in-1 Giveaway- May 16, 2014

Friday, May 16th, 2014

I want to drink milkshakes for breakfast and eat ice cream for dinner. Truly. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine. But alas, I want to live a long life.  So, I’ll eat lean protein and fruit for breakfast instead. Oh, and I’m influencing the lives and healthful eating habits of the two little humans I’m raising, so Neapolitan for dinner is out.

I also want to support mom-owned businesses while being healthy. So when Erin from Mommi sent me some samples of the Mommi 3-in-1 shakes I was psyched. Erin likes being healthy too. (Please note the adorableness of her daughter.) She loved protein shakes for breakfast. She got pregnant and noticed none were recommended for the pregnant and breastfeeding ladies.

mommi

That’s when she invented Mommi 3-in-1, vanilla and chocolate daily supplement shakes that you mix with milk. Each has 15 grams of whey protein, 100% of the daily recommended prenatal vitamins and 200 mg of DHA in every serving. So, pretty much your prenatal vitamin with DHA with protein in a shake so you get your sweet fix. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. Dude. The Apple Pie a la Mode? I told ya’ll I love ice cream.

My OB/GYN insists I still take my prenatal vitamins with DHA as a breastfeeding mother. I’ve been drinking shakes before my workouts, so this was perfect for me! Please excuse these photos of me with no makeup. I drank the chocolate for an evening chocolate fix. I blended the vanilla with a banana for a yummy pre-workout breakfast.

Mommi shake

Now Mommi is offering a Somebody’s Parent’s reader two weeks worth of shakes and a shaker to drink them up! A random winner will be picked next week! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Getting Hairy- February 20, 2014

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Ron Burgundy would have been jealous of my son’s head of hair when he came out of the womb 3.5 months ago. But, it was short lived. Poor kid. We got a glimpse of what Henry will look like in his early forties if male pattern baldness sets in. It has grown back. His extremely round noggin is a little more covered these days. Here’s a visual timeline of the loss and regrowth:

 Henry hair

I didn’t realize I would be able to relate to my son in his hair loss plight. I disgusted my dear Instagram and Twitter followers a few weeks ago with this:

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Granted, I have a lot of hair. It’s fine, but I have a lot of it. I’ve always liked my hair. It’s straight, shiny and looks good long or short. A tried and true brunette, the color is deep and not the grayish “mousy brown” many women bleach out and then call “blond.” With both pregnancies, my hair was thicker and shinier. It held curl better. I loved it.

pregnant hair

Like clockwork, he hit 2.5 months or so and my hair started falling out as I remember it did after Charlotte was born, but this time it is WAY worse. When he turned three months it began coming out  in clumps. It has clogged the drain. It became a nest in the corner of the shower that could have comfortably housed a colony of some small amphibious animal. My husband accused me of using his sink. I tried to explain the uncontrollable migration of the shedding female mane. He looked at me today and said, “Should we be concerned? I mean. Should you talk to the doctor?”

It’s all over my children. It’s stuck in their clothes and on Charlotte’s plate. Since I nurse Henry all day and night and wear him around in a carrier, he gets the worst of it. When I had him at the pediatrician for a follow-up this week I confessed the grossest part of my hair loss. One of my hairs was wedged between his butt cheeks when I changed his diaper the other day. That’s when the doctor assured me that he likely had not ingested the hair, but that it fell out when I was changing him. She did, however, warn me of the dangers of hair tourniquets. Yeah, that’s when you could unknowingly tie off a tiny toe or a tiny penis with your hair. Ugh.

I read up on postpartum hair loss and it sounds like I’ll be okay by the time he’s one. I’m definitely getting a haircut soon. I think that will help. My hair is really long right now. I’m not to the Rogaine point yet, but I’ve considered changing shampoos or doing the shampooless-shampoo thing. I’ve ditched the comb for now and try to use my brush with wide bristles. I would love to hear any other hair loss stories and advice here.

My son’s hair returning gives me hope. Who knew I’d long for a pregnancy side-effect? To my pregnant friends: Hold on to those hair hormones!

 

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A Maternal New Year- January 3, 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The calendar turning to 2014 means my younger sister is due with her first baby any time. I have several other pregnant friends. My friend from college became a first-time mom on New Year’s Eve.

Julie and Kevin babyJulie, Kevin and “baby”

It’s the year of my second child’s infancy. These past eight weeks with my newborn son has rekindled all of those new mom feelings, but with a new confidence that comes with experience. I look at my sister and my pregnant friends and want to tell them so many things. I look at their round bellies and glowing faces and think, “Don’t you know will never be the same again? Ever.”  No, they don’t know. I didn’t.

One of my favorite quotes is this:

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

I want to tell them how exhausted and nervous they will be. I want to tell them breastfeeding will be hard and frustrating but it’s okay and you and your baby will figure it out. You will second guess yourself and every choice you make. Everything will take longer than you think it will. You will never look at your husband the same way, again. You will forever see your child’s face in his.

Sometimes it will feel like you’re trying to keep your head above water. You will try to be all things to everyone, a great mom, a great wife and a good employee. Sometimes you will fail and that’s okay.

You will cry. Sometimes you will cry a lot.

I want to tell you going back to work is really, really hard. It’s like leaving a piece of your heart with someone else for ten hours a day and it can be torture. You will look at your smiling coworkers who are exactly the same as when you left and you will want to shout, “Don’t you understand that I am different now?!!” But, it gets better and eventually you figure out what it means to be a working mom.

With all of that, you have to know that this is the coolest thing you will ever do. You could stare at your baby all day long. You will make plans for his future as you rock him and your worries will run the gamut from wondering if he is getting enough nutrition as an infant, to if he’ll struggle at fractions in math class, to if he’ll marry the right person. Then again, if you can make your newborn smile, you can die a happy woman with no worries in the world.

Welcome to this beautifully imperfect sisterhood, where every woman whether a mother for just a few months, or fifty years will peek in your stroller and understand everything you’re feeling. They may give you a knowing smile. Consider it an induction in to the motherhood sorority.

To Julie, Stephanie, Anjelica and all the 2014 new mothers, we’re glad you’re here. You may never be the same again, but you wouldn’t change it for anything. It is wonderful. Happy New Year.

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Our Birth Story- December 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Wait

It was the first week of November again. It was finally getting cold and we had once again hidden from the world, munched on Halloween candy and waited in anticipation for any signs of another baby joining our family. I told my friends, “My babies are born in November. They just are.”  Both were due in October and November 6, 2013 marked 41 weeks of pregnancy with Baby #2.

We still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. We surprised ourselves by getting pregnant the first month we tried. We spent the day before our scheduled induction finalizing name choices. This baby was our little mystery, keeping us in great anticipation until the very end.

We waited for the call to go into the hospital. At 7:30 am the phone rang and it was the nurse. Greyson watched my face fall as I listened to the news that the labor and delivery ward was slammed and we would have to wait. More waiting. I took a deep breath and tried to hold it together until I could call back and check-in midday. I kissed Charlotte goodbye as Greyson took her to school to join the rest of the 3-year-old class. I dressed her in her “Big Sister” t-shirt, praying it wasn’t in vain and we would in-fact have our baby today.

We watched TV. We watched the clock.

I said, “Let’s get out of here.” I wanted to get out, but I didn’t want to get too far from the hospital. The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh is right across the street from the hospital. We went there to walk around and kill time. I wanted to hold Greyson’s hand and be distracted. A Porsche exhibit was there. Okay cars. Let’s look at cars.

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The pic is a little blurry, but this is us a the exhibit. I’m wearing the same holey old college t-shirt I wore the day Charlotte was born. I think it’s good luck.

 We walked through the history of Porsches from decades ago, to today. I learned a little . I didn’t realize Steve McQueen loved Porshes so much. It dawned on me they named Lightning McQueen from Cars after Steve McQueen. I wondered if this baby would like Cars as much as his/her sister. I looked up from a photo of the actor looking rugged on the set of a 1970’s racing flick and asked Greyson the same question we had been asking each other for nine months. “Boy or girl?” “Girl,” he said. “Me too,” I replied. We smiled

Yep. Probably a baby sister. Not that it mattered. We just wanted to meet this kid.  We walked some more.

One of the racing Porsches had the names of drivers on the side who had the privledge of racing that pristine machine. I pointed out one name printed on the side of the car. “H. Haywood” was next to an American flag on the car. My eyes grew large and grabbed Greyson’s arm. We looked at each other with our mouths open. “Henry Haywood” was our name for a boy. We grabbed our phones and took pictures. Was it a sign? Was this a baby brother? Maybe.

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I bought a toy car at the gift shop to give to our baby. I figure we’ll tell the baby the story of Mama and Daddy with the Porsches before he/she was born.

We ate at the museum restaurant. I gobbled up my risotto, hoping it would be my last meal and give me energy for labor. We drove home and I called the charge nurse to see if we could get in. I think she heard the desperation in my voice when I asked if she was sure I would be able to get in that day. She gave me no guarantee, which sent me in to the kind of tearful, hormonal fit I had become accustomed to in the last week. Apparently every baby in the county was being born at our hospital today.

I tried to relax and take a nap when we got the call asking if we could be there by 3:oopm. We would be there before that. Make no mistake. If I had a Porsche to get me there faster, I would have driven it but, no infant car seat would fit in there.

The Push

We sat and waited in the lobby, filled out paperwork and waited for the nurse to come and get us. We were finally there and when I got a little irritable at the even longer wait Greyson put on his sarcastic sypathetic face and said, “Hey, I’m here.  Don’t worry. I’m your Baby Buddy.” I fell out laughing. My Baby Buddy. He is indeed the only person on earth I’d want to be with me during labor and delivery. I took my buddy’s hand and went to the room where we would meet our second child.

By this time it was 4:00 pm or 4:30pm. I took my last pregnant photos and put on the gown. It did cross my mind that these may be the last few hours of my life that I would ever be pregnant. Part of me was sad. Part of me did not care and was ready to have this kid. Plus, the bag of Pitocin was by the bed. There was no turning back now.

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After some more paperwork, vital signs and fetal monitors, they started the Pitocin and the other bag of fluid they give you for whatever reason. Soon after, contractions started, exactly as they had with Charlotte’s birth when being induced. Happily, my water broke on it’s own and I didn’t need the creepy glove with the tiny hook up there like the doctor used last time to break my water. The worst pain was very localized. Always low on my right side. In the last three years since giving birth the first time, whenever I have the slightest menstrual cramp, it is in my lower right side. That’s when I instantly have labor flashbacks. The pain was exactly as I remembered it.

Seeing Greyson’s face as I grimaced was awful. You could tell he felt helpless. The epidural was welcome. Once again, I can’t remember what the anesthsiologist said, or what he looked like. I just know the prick of the needle in my back was nothing but a tiny sting compared to the pain of my contracting belly. The first epidural attempt was futile. The left side of my body was a little numb, but my hot spot for labor pain remained on fire. Even with heavier doses of the numbing medicine I could still feel serious pain. I knew they were going to have to take it out and do it again like they did for Charlotte’s birth. With her birth, the anesthesiologist blamed it on new catheters but, this same scenario with a second child led this anesthesiologist to believe he needed to administer the epidural again in a different spot. It worked. Thank God. This time, fortunately, I could mostly feel my feet and my legs, unlike with Charlotte’s birth when I was nothing but a torso. Greyson said they should have tattooed my back with the proper place to put in the epidural.

Henry 11-12-13 002 edited

Similar to Charlotte’s birth, it was just another hour and I was ready to push. I couldn’t feel the pain of the contractions, but serious pressure. I was so numb with Charlotte that I didn’t feel the type of pressure I felt this time. When I explained this to the nurse, she checked me and called the doctor immediately. She said, “It’s gonna be like, two pushes and this baby is gonna be out.” I liked her positive thinking, but she was wrong.  The doctor gave the nurse orders not to let me push until she got there. We had a few minutes to sit through the pressure.

The doctor and the nurses in the room were excited to have a delivery where the parents didn’t know the sex of the baby. They told us births like this were fun. I looked at Greyson, “Last guesses, boy or a girl?” “Boy, I think,” he replied. I disagreed, “No, I think it’s a baby sister.” We smiled at each other, knowing we didn’t really care.

I followed the doctor’s instructions to push as the contractions came. I didn’t need instructions. I could feel when to push. Greyson was an excellent Baby Buddy as he dutifully brought me ice water to sip between pushes. I asked for handles to pull on, instead of pulling against my legs. I had better leverage that way. It was about 45 minutes of bearing down and catching my breath, bearing down and catching my breath.

The Arrival

The last push brought our baby out and the doctor held him up for me. Him. I heard the words leave my mouth, quiet and breathless, but with true astonishment “Oh my God! It’s a boy!” Greyson and I looked at each other with open mouths. The waiting was done. The mystery was solved. The name on the Porsche was a sign. He was here. Our son.

I greeted him as I greeted his sister three years prior, “Hi! Happy Birthday! I’m Amy, I’m your mama. This is Greyson, he’s your daddy.”

The doctor put the scissors in Greyson’s hand to cut the cord. He didn’t do this with Charlotte. He always said about fathers cutting the cord, “Um. The pilot flew the plane. I’m not going to help him with the  landing.” The doctor didn’t give Greyson a choice. I watched my nervous Baby Buddy land the plane by clamping down on the scissors and officially separating our son from my body.

He didn’t make much noise until they took him over to the heater. That’s when we took a few minutes to laugh and marvel that we had a son. They asked us what his name is. I said, “Henry Haywood.”

He was 8 lbs. and 1.9 ozs. “8 lbs. 2 oz.” the nurse rounded up when she announced his weight. He was 20 1/2 inches long.

The nurse brought Henry to me, swaddled and sweet. His hair was black and wavy. He smelled so good, so brand new and lovely. He started rooting around and I knew he needed to be fed immediately. My sweet boy latched right away and ate for awhile.

Henry 11-12-13 020 edited

I looked at him, listened to him suckle and felt his warm weight in my arms instead of my belly and suddenly my life felt bigger, our family more complete and I was somehow more whole.

I couldn’t wait to introduce him to his sister and make this little one part of our family. Like mothers do, I wondered what type of boy my baby would turn in to and what type of man we were capable of raising. That’s when I stopped my brain from going too far into the future and I froze time in that hospital room for a moment. A moment when a new member of our family arrived. It was another November in which life got a little better.

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