When Audrey was born three weeks ago, we were a bit stunned when we saw her face and realized how much she looks like her sister. Almost exactly at times, and if our photos weren't dated, I think we might struggle to figure out which girl was which. Here are some photos of the two girls in the first two weeks of their lives - can you tell which baby is Clara, and which is Audrey? Brian said even he couldn't do this...
Just a note: there are 5 each of Clara and Audrey, and I chose photos that were deliberately similar so in #1 and #2, one is Clara and one is Audrey and in #3 and #4, there is one of each also, and so on...
10.Can you tell?
This list began as a blog post, and I realized that it was the kind of thing I would like to continue to build on. This is for me to keep track of my favourite things when it comes to 'stuff' I use for my daughters, as well as a list for me to keep in mind when buying baby gifts for friends, etc.
I came across an article today that discussed reasons why someone might choose to either stop after one baby, or wait after one baby for at least two years before conceiving again. The article included this quote:
" When you just have one child, you can still preserve a lot of your pre-baby lifestyle... Going out to dinner or on vacation isn't that hard." says Edward Christopherson, PhD. A Psychologist and and professor of pediatrics in Kansas City.
My response to this was utter and complete terror.
"What??? It isn't hard..??? Who does this guy think he is????"
And then it hit me - what if he's right? What if one child is a piece of cake, and I'm just a big whiny baby and having two at a time - especially when the oldest is less than two years older - will be terror?
I'm admittedly afraid.
And here are my main reasons why:
Chaos. I get flustered easily. I can't remember where I put my keys - ever. I still haven't found my camera (see post from last week). I find that the simple task of getting ready to go to work in the morning (just myself, never mind a baby) requires me to repeatedly go over my mental checklist. I'm probably the biggest flake imaginable, and I'm going to be responsible for TWO other people??
Sleep. I like sleeping. My Dad would get up with the sun (or without it, because in winter here the sun is lazy and doesn't show itself until 9am) at 5am. He was a morning person. I would have loved to inherit this particular trait - but I didn't. I can sleep in with the best of them - when the best of them were 13 years old. I haven't grown out of my ability to sleep until 2pm when left to my own devices (which granted, now only happens when I'm at home sick), and as I near 30, I sort of wonder if I will ever grow out of this. When we had Clara, everyone recommended I 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. When the realization hit me that with a toddler running around, I will no longer be able to do this - I pretty much panicked...
What if this baby is the same as Clara was? Going along with that last point about sleeping - Clara was 'colicky' for the first six weeks of her life. She started crying at about 7pm every evening and didn't stop until about 4am. It was awful. Everyone we asked for advice hadn't experienced anything quite so extreme, so no one could really offer any advice or consolation. It was hell.
What if this baby is nothing like Clara? Although Clara's first 6 weeks were hell, she quickly began sleeping straight through the night - up to 10 hours at a time - almost immediately after the 'colick' ended. Despite the insanity of those first six weeks, at least we were then able to finally rest! What if this baby doesn't sleep through the night - like, ever!?!? It crossed my mind sometimes that I was way to selfish a person to be a mom, because some days, when Clara started crying in the night, I tried for a long time to pretend I didn't hear her... Can I do that all over again - especially if this one is worse?
Pictures. This may not seem like a really big deal, but it kind of stresses me out. What if I don't take enough pictures? I find myself not taking enough pictures now (even when I know where my camera is) - what if I'm being driven crazy by two little ones and it just doesn't cross my mind to pull out a camera? This poor little girl will grow up with no baby pictures of herself! Taking pictures is just another thing on my 'to do' list. Another thing I have to remind myself to do. And that list of things seems endless and difficult some days...
I'm sure if I gave myself a week to think about this, I could come up with at least a dozen more reasons why baby #2 is kind of freaking me out... but I can't be alone in this. I ran across a blog post last month that was basically expressing the same fear - so I know I'm not the only one.
What were/are your fears going into the next baby? Were you right, or had you totally overreacted? (Please say there's nothing to be afraid of!!!)
I love that we cloth diaper! However, there are some things about it that make life a bit more difficult – especially in the early stages...
Cloth diapering involves a significant overhead – typically anywhere from $100 (if you find a great deal or use second-hand diapers) to $600 or even more if you're like me and get excited and buy all of the pretty colours you can get your hands on!
The problem with this, is that you have to buy the diapers in order to try them out – and you need anywhere from 12-36 to get started. My 'getting started' set consisted of:
4 Blueberry snaps one-size pocket diapers
4 Kawaii Baby aplix (velcro) one-size pocket diapers
1 Rumparooz aplix one-size pocket diaper
1 Rumparooz snaps one-size pocket diaper
12 second-hand size small pocket diapers with no brand identification
2 Blueberry wet bags – 1 small size to carry in the diaper bag, and 1 large size to use at home
2 sets of 12 bamboo wipes
4 sets of 6 generic baby wipes that I got at showers, etc.
We also ended up buying a few kinds of covers and pre-fold diapers, which worked ok too although covers advertize that you won't have to change them every change – you just need to change the pre-fold or insert – and we found that the covers got dirty between every change also, so we always needed more of them.
For the first month, we diapered with disposables because we wanted to make sure the meconium was out of Clara's system so we wouldn't destroy our cloth diapers.
When we started with cloth, I was so glad we had the second-hand diapers to fill out our stash, but I knew these small diapers wouldn't last us very long and we would have to get more of the one-size or a larger size of diaper. We had one consistent struggle with all of these diapers (except the second-hand ones, oddly enough) – they all leaked in the leg. I tried all sorts of cleaning regimens, but I finally decided that the biggest reason was because Clara's legs were just too tiny for these one-size diapers.
Then I learned about Charlie Banana's adjustable leg elastic, and bought a couple of those to try out. They worked incredibly well! Even at only a few months old, the elastic was able to tighten around her leg to fit perfectly without any leaks! There was even some elastic around the back waist band, which held in any leaks from the top too!
Over the next few months, I bought 14 Charlie Banana one-size snaps diapers and they have been wonderful! We still use our other pocket diapers occasionally, and now that she's older they fit her much better also.
*just a note that since I have lost my camera, none of these photos are of our own diapers, and some of the styles and colours are different from what we have.
With baby #2 on the way, and Clara not yet potty trained, we will need to buy a few more diapers to be able to keep them both covered! This time, I'm hoping to buy some newborn and small sized diapers since our biggest issue with Clara was diapers being too big. I'm thinking of getting a set of small covers and using some of the extra inserts we have accumulated, since that will be cheaper than buying all-in-ones or pocket diapers. If anyone has any great ideas about newborn diapers - I would love to hear about it!
I always love buying new diapers! So many colours and patterns to choose from!
When I discovered I was pregnant with Clara, I quickly ran out to buy 'baby's first gift' - a white onesie from the Gap with navy blue whales all over it. It was the outfit she wore home from the hospital.
This baby didn't get a gift right away - and it wasn't until this blanket showed up on sale at Indigo (I'd been eyeing it up for months...) that I finally had the perfect 'first gift' for my second daughter.
Okay, so despite all the craziness caused by my Dad's situation, we still had exciting news to share over the weekend. It didn't turn out quite as well as we'd planned, but now that may Dad is back to 'normal', I'll try to pretend things with us are too.
You probably read the first part of this story, here where we had these cupcakes ordered with either pink or blue inside. I didn't really think when I picked the cupcakes, but I liked the look of the orange one, Brian is a big fan of their Banana Monkey cupcake, or whatever it's called... the yellow one... and the pink fluffy one with a cherry on top just looked like the one Clara would probably pick if she were choosing.
I let her choose between the three, even still.
Obviously she picked the fluffy pink one! I just want to comment here that the huge mound of pink icing on TOP of the cupcake has absolutely no bearing on what is INSIDE the cupcake, since we chose the cupcakes separately. I probably should have ordered some non pink or blue cupcakes just for clarity, but it is what it is.
I love the look on her face here, and she somehow looks really grown up too. Mesmerized by cupcake... mmmm....
I started to unwrap her cupcake for her, but thought I started seeing a bit of icing poking through the side of the cupcake - just wanna say here it looked a little bit blue - and I got nervous and realized I wanted Clara to give away the surprise, so I put the cupcake back on her plate, half-way unwrapped.
She started poking at it. Messing with the icing a little bit.
Then she realized her fingers were all goopy, so she needed to wipe her hands off. She's really kind of prissy, I have no idea where that comes from...
After poking around for a few minutes - Mommy was starting to go completely insane with anticipation - we asked her if she would rather have a fork to eat the cupcake with.
After that she really tied into it!
Soon she had the entire bottom of the cupcake ripped completely off. And the secret was revealed!
I was surprised that it wasn't actually icing inside, but a different colour of cake batter. I'm amazed at how they were able to do this without any colour leaking through the side of the chocolate batter.
So, there it is, people! Our next baby is a...
It's official! We can throw out half of the baby names we have picked.
But I'm not going to give it away that easily, I want to tell the story first.
We had our ultrasound on Tuesday, and instead of asking the ultrasound tech to tell us what the baby was, we gave him a nice little note card (cute enough to keep!) and asked him to write it down and put it in the envelope without telling us what it was.
I, of course, was watching the ultrasound like a hawk trying to figure out what the baby was on my own. My husband can verify that I did guess correctly, but I'm aware that I may have been looking at entirely the wrong thing and it may have been just that - a guess.
Anyway, the ultrasound tech didn't give anything away including the moment at which he made his discovery so we really had nothing to go by.
Then, we took our little card and brought it to a cupcake shop downtown and asked them to look at the card and make us three cupcakes filled with either pink or blue (as appropriate, obviously). Because their baking was completed for the day, we weren't able to get the cupcakes immediately and had to wait until the next day to find out!
It occurred to me after dropping off the card that two people - the ultrasound tech and the girl at the cupcake shop - now knew what my baby was. And I DIDN'T!!! The most difficult part was that we held on to the card - because we wanted to keep it - and I had it in my possession for an entire day. And I wasn't supposed to peek! Hardest day ever!
Anyway, I had to wait an entire day, so you can too!
Any guesses? What is this baby? A boy or a girl?
Awhile back I explained a favourite method of involving friends and family in the 'name choosing' process without giving away your official name choice. I used hypothetical names, but since I have 'outed' my first daughters' real name, I can finally share my REAL name choices with you...
So, here they are:
I would love to hear what everything thinks of these names, but I do have a few things I'd like people to realize - I LIKE all of these names, they are all potential runner-ups, so please respect that. ONE of each of these names is already on the top of my list - not that this is a guarantee, however, since we changed Clara's name at the last minute from 'Gwyneth Elena' to 'Clara Faith' which was radically different, but both names were on our list.
The type of information I would like to hear from people is stuff like 'Charles makes me think of the Royal Family' or 'Charlotte makes me think of a spider' and stuff like that. I know about the royal family, and I know about 'Charlotte's Web' but it's possible I don't know about some pop culture references that might come to mind when you see these names - that is what I'd love to hear. Also, our last name starts with 'L'. We are NOT sports people. We don't watch sports on tv, and we don't play any kind of sports. Everyone knows this about us.
I had shown our name lists around to many people and had NEVER had anyone mention that Clara Faith L gave her the initials 'CFL' which around here, means 'Canadian Football League' (I think...). Anyway, on the day she was born and we announced her name, about three people walked into the hospital room saying 'Did you know her initials are CFL?'. WHAT? This was why we showed you the list! Anyway, I probably wouldn't have changed her name even still, but it would have been nice to know beforehand...
We do have a few possible 'rules' for naming this second child that I'm not entirely certain we will stick to.
1. I would prefer to not use 'C' as a first initial. Although it's possible we will only have two kids, I would worry about having a third and either leaving him/her out of the 'name pattern' or desperately trying to find another 'C' name that I really like at the time.
2. I would prefer the name not to rhyme with Clara. 'Sophia' is a bit close to rhyming, but I really like it, so it landed on the list anyway.
Given my list of names, does anyone have any other suggestions for me that you think I might really like? I feel much less confident on my naming choices with this baby than I ever did with Clara.
Last night, I started watching a documentary called 'The Business of Being Born' which is an American commentary on their maternity healthcare system as well as the controversial topic of midwives and homebirths.
I am Canadian, and although we are similar to the US in many ways, our healthcare system is quite different so much of the documentary wasn't really relevant to my situation and didn't warrant too much energy on my part - that is, I didn't feel the need to fact check because it didn't apply to me anyway.
Before our daughter was born, I had met a few people who had either had home births with midwives, or had gotten a doula involved in the birth of their child and found the idea rather interesting. My husband and I come from different backgrounds and views here; my parents were slightly older than my husband's parents and more influenced by the 'Hippy' era of the 60's. My husband's family is much more conservative, and when my husband uses the word 'Hippy', I find it a little offensive. My husband's response to home births was that he didn't want to be stuck at home with 'some hippy' if something really serious were to go wrong. I had no strong beliefs about it at the time, and in Canada it is completely free to go into the hospital to have a baby while it would cost us hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get a midwife, so I didn't even bother with discussing it. Our healthcare system seemed fine, I really liked our OBGYN, and we certainly didn't need to be spending a ton of money on something unneccessary.
After having my daughter in the hospital, however, my thoughts are a bit different. Firstly, our OBGYN - who I love - was not on call the day we were brought in to the hospital, so it was another doctor who helped birth our daughter and I wasn't entirely confident I liked the way she handled things. I would have loved to have had an entirely natural birth - except for maybe the epidural :) - but I was quickly induced for reasons that may or may not have been necessary. Because I am not an educated medical professional, and have almost always trusted healthcare providers implicitly, I felt that I had no choice but to go along with the choices the doctor was making. I may not have wanted to choose differently in the end - but because I wasn't given the option, I felt very out of control and confused.
If I knew for certain that a home birth was just as safe as a hospital birth, I can't get over how much more comfortable it would be to be in my own home - with my own music, with my daughter able to be there. My husband is certain the risks would be too great, and maybe they are. I have been following the 'Free Range Kids' blog lately, and am a believer that it is better for my kids to take the 0.002% chance that something terrible could happen to them if they are at the park unsupervised for half an hour than to take the 50% chance that they will not learn how to be confident and independent adults if I shelter them too much. I feel like my husband's argument about 'what if something happens' is similar to over-panicking about that 0.002% chance. Yes, there is a small chance that something serious could happen and if we're not at the hospital my life, or the life of the baby could be lost. But there is also the chance that something could go wrong in the hospital. And, I know from experience that there is a much greater percent chance that I will have an uncomfortable and forced labour and birth - again - if I go to the hospital and put myself at the mercy of the doctors.
I have certainly not made a decision on this. I have promised my husband that I will not do anything that he is truly uncomfortable with, and I have begged him to consider the same for me. I also don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision, and fear that every study and statistic that supports either side of the argument is manipulated to do so.
My husband wants hard facts and numbers, and ultimately I want something we can both be happy and comfortable with. Is there an answer to this dilemma?
I just read a forum thread that kind of put my mind at ease - one woman commented on how during her third pregnancy, she didn't feel the baby move as soon as she had with her first two. I remember hearing that you would likely start feeling the baby move between 18 and 20 weeks, and with Clara, I started feeling movement around 17 weeks.
It was so reassuring to feel her moving. Up until that point, only doctor's appointments and ultrasounds could convince me that everything was 'ok' with her, and I'm still in that stage with this one.
It's been almost 18 weeks, and I may have felt a few small movements here and there - but nothing that I can be certain of, and not enough to convince me beyond all doubt that this baby is alive and kicking! Why do I have to be plagued with so much worry!??!
Anyway, I was reminded again that when the online pregnancy calculators say 'your baby is now 6 inches long', they mean from 'crown to rump'. Which, if you think about it, is pretty big already!
My eating has gotten somewhat better, although I still have a much smaller appetite at most times of the day than I'd like. Last night I ate almost nothing of our stir-fry supper and then was craving a McDonald's cheeseburger at 9pm, which my wonderful husband willingly went out to get me. I felt a little gross after, but I ate the whole thing...
It was three hours before I reminded myself that I needed to eat this morning. It seems I am finally able to drink coffee again - yay!
I'm looking forward to my next appointment, on June 16th - hopefully that will be the day we find out 'what' this little bugger is!
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