Saturday, June 29, 2013

Berlin's Nursery

This room used to be my craft room.  We moved my sewing machines and shelves of fabric and paper into alcove in the loft, and lo and behold!  A room for Berlin!  It's a pretty teeny room, which is fine because she is a pretty teeny girl.  I didn't do too much to it, I love white and wanted to keep things simple so I could change the decor in the future if I wanted.  I found a greyish crib at Ikea that I LOVED and then saw the dresser on the way down to 'self serve' :)  I got the branch from our back yard, sewed the hearts and hung them from it, and used embroidery hoops for matching fabric and paper.  The dress on the wall will be Berlin's blessing dress.  Both of my girls' blessing dresses are from Gap.  The shelving unit and cubes are just from Walmart, and the frames from Hobby Lobby.

My sister Brittain made this darling banner for our girl

The quote says "Twinkle, Twinkle little star, you'll never know how loved you are."  This has significance because I always call Olivia my sunshine.  She just shines so brightly that she lights up whatever room she is in.  I knew, somehow, that Berlin would be my little Star.  Just a calm, beautiful, twinkling little light, but a star in her own right.  As steady as North.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Berlin's Birth Story

Here is how our baby girl made her way into the world.  It's a little wordy, click at the bottom to read the rest if you are still interested at that point ;)

I had been 2cm dilated and around 50-75% effaced for about three weeks.  The doctor had predicted that I would have the baby by the 30th of May, since she had turned and dropped when I was 36 weeks and Olivia was born at 37 weeks.  By the 3rd of June, I had felt for a couple of days that my body was really close.  The night of the 2nd I had contractions, but nothing too consistent.  Plus a couple of other tell-tale signs that I won’t gross you out with.   The night of the 3rd I put Olivia to bed at 7, Jack went and got CafĂ© Rio to bring home, and we watched The Office and ate.  I felt super uncomfortable because the baby was so low and I was getting contractions off and on.  I had debated on whether or not I should try the induction shake and see if my body really was ready and it could get things moving more quickly.  I didn’t want to rush things though if the baby really wasn’t ready (I’ve posted before about my feelings on inductions), so I texted my sister-in-law about it.  She’s the one who gave me the shake recipe and knows dozens of women who have tried it, she included.  She assured me that if the baby wasn’t close anyway, the shake wouldn’t do anything.  With one of her babies, she had drunk it and nothing happened, so she tried it a week later that’s when it made things happen.  I felt better about this, so I mixed me up a chocolate shake.

I went to bed around 11 and then woke up at 2 to a pretty long contraction.  I timed a couple of them: about 7 minutes apart.  I laid back down to rest, but they kept coming and I couldn’t go back to sleep.  Not because they were painful, but because I couldn’t help but get a little excited.  I sat up in bed, drank some juice, browsed online, made a hospital playlist, and wrote in my journal.  By 5:30 they were consistently 5 minutes apart and a little more intense, but still not painful.  I decided to wake Jack up.  I went upstairs and crept into the guest room, where I roused him and told him I thought maybe we should go to the hospital.  It took him a minute to wake up fully and decipher what that meant.  “Really?” he asked, “tell me about it.”  He knows how much I’m afraid to go in and be sent home for false labor.  I gave him the rundown and he agreed that I should stick to my gut.  I told him to take his time and get his things together.  We had a bag already packed, but there were last-minute things we needed to put in it.  I then went downstairs and made sure my bag had everything I needed.  The contractions got stronger.  I went back upstairs and informed him that maybe he shouldn’t take his time after all.  He called his sister Amanda to come over and stay with Olivia we got in the car, passing Amanda on Pioneer Crossing.  In the car the contractions lessened and I stressed about false labor.  Jack reminded me to trust my instincts.

It was barely light when we got to the hospital, we took the elevator up to Labor and Delivery and got checked in.  I was escorted to a room and changed into a hospital gown, then hooked up to monitors.  It was 6:30am. They asked me about my pain levels and contractions and I felt sheepish giving them a pain level of 3.  The nurse checked me and told me that I was already dilated to a 5 (which was the same as when I got to the hospital in labor with Olivia!)  She assured me that I was, indeed, in active labor and our baby would be there that day.  Whew!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This morning I was trying to get Berlin to sleep, but Olivia kept pounding on the door and crying so I put her in her room alone for the first time and shut the door, hoping she would just play and read her books. About ten minutes later Daryl looked at the video monitor downstairs and shouted "hurry in there, I think she's eating something!" I went in to find her sitting in her big leather chair, brushing her teeth. Instead of toothpaste? A big jar of Vaseline. Yummy.  ...also I googled how to clean it off the chair and discovered that Vaseline makes an excellent leather conditioner. Nice one Liv.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I snapped a few photos of Berlin when she was 4 days old so I could quickly make up her birth announcement, and I can across one of her winking that reminded me so much of one I took of Olivia at 4 days old.  I dug through Liv's files and found it, then laughed out loud at how similar the expressions are!  These two are definitely siblings, they just came in different colors.  Look at their identical noses!   (Liv is the top photo, Berlin is the bottom).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week two with BerlinBaby

Berlin is a magical baby :)  She is so sweet and calm and snuggly.  I love rubbing my face against her soft hair and breathing in her new baby smell.  This week I kept on with the feeding schedule- every three hours, with a couple of cluster feedings in the evening to keep her extra full for bed.  I took extra care to make sure she stayed awake for a full feeding every time.  She still struggled with going down by herself, and I have had to comfort her several times before she would either fall asleep or we'd abandon the nap altogether and wait until after the next feeding.  I wasn't too aggressive with the schedule though, and just focused on good feedings and making sure she felt secure and didn't cry too long.  At this point, if she does need to be rocked or fed to sleep I don't stress about it.  She has already fallen nicely into a good day/night pattern, and will go to bed at 9, sleep for 5 hours (I always set my alarm to make sure she doesn't go more than 5 hours without eating at night), eats at 1:30am (which is 5 hours from the 8:30pm feeding), and sleeps for another 3 hours before her next feeding.  Sometimes I break my rule and keep her in bed after the second feeding so that I can wake up and see her face next to mine :)  I'll make sure not to make this a habit though so that she doesn't feel like she needs to be next to me to fall asleep.  She had her 2-week appointment today and weighed 8lbs 5oz, which is 55% and is 21inches, which is 77%

Olivia is still so great with her.  She loves to hold her and will go put Berlin's paci back in her mouth when she is in her swing and starts to cry.  She likes to include Berlin in her play, and will ask to have her in the tub with her or outside when she is playing in the yard.  As soon as Olivia comes downstairs in the morning, she will look around and ask "baby?" she likes to always know where she is.

We've had to start implementing a form of 'time outs' this week with Liv.  The terrible twos have made their debut.  I don't think it has so much to do with the new baby as just that Olivia is getting older and more headstrong.  When she does something naughty right after I have specifically asked her not to, I will sit her on a stool and explain to her that we don't do those things and ask her to please not do it again.  She has been very good to sit and listen and says "Okay.  Okay mom" (which melts my heart) and, most of the time, will not do it again (for a while at least).  She is such a sweetheart, she just has a lot of energy and knows what she wants and doesn't want.  I have tried to, at least once a day, sit down and hold her and sing with her, or read books, just tell her how important she is.  I think it is helping her not get so impatient with Berlin's endless feedings that take my time away from her.

Also, I know Liv is more than ready to potty train.  When I have a little more time and leeway to keep a sharp eye on her, we'll bring out the little potty.  Honestly, I think she is more ready than I am to be done with diapers.  Not that I enjoy changing her, but she absolutely hates getting her diaper changed. She hates having to hold still that long.  She had her 2-year appointment this morning and is weighing in at 31lbs and is 35.5 inches tall, tall, tall!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

to the guy who makes our world go round. I'm so happy he chose us.

 We celebrated by dropping the girls off at my mom's and having brunch at Sundance

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Week One

Today was Berlin's due date, and she is 9 days old.  Our first week together was great.  We had a fantastic hospital experience and were able to escape from the world for two days to get to know our new little family member.  I rocked and kissed my new girl endlessly, ordered room service from the hospital several times a day, and fed my obsession for 90s romantic comedies.

Olivia took to Berlin extremely well.  She wanted to hold her right away and kept saying "mine!" because I told her that it was my baby, and dad's baby, and Livi's baby.  She loves to hold and kiss her, and likes to put Baby Berlin's paci in her mouth when she cries.

I knew that I wanted to implement a sleeping/feeding schedule with Berlin, but mostly took the first week to just settle in with her.  I did start with the feedings though and made sure she ate every 2 1/2- 3 hours.  She was a very sleepy girl, but for some reason would be awake for 2 1/2 hours during the night!  Usually between the hours of 2 and 6.  I studied Babywise  more fully and realized that, because she was so sleepy, she probably wasn't getting full meals every time; which, since I am breastfeeding, means 15-20 minutes on each side.  She would usually fall asleep and I would just let her nap.  So then I worked on keeping her awake for full feedings.  Last night she was able to sleep for 5 hours, wake up to get a full feeding, and then went back to sleep for another three.  I'm hoping she keeps this pattern.

The next problem, which started this week, (week two), is that Berlin doesn't like to go down for naps while she is still awake (she takes naps in her crib in her room and sleeps at night in a bassinet in my room).  She likes to be fed to sleep.  I'm trying to get a cycle going of feed/awake time/naptime so that she learns to self-soothe and be able to go down for naps and bed independently, without help of feeding.  I don't believe in crying it out while she is so young, so I'll rock her, swaddle her, then lay her down (sometimes with a binky), but end up having to go in and comfort her multiple times and sometimes she never ends up taking her nap before the next feeding!  Which is crazy for how sleepy she was previously.  It just shows how badly she hates not being fed/rocked to sleep.  Luckily we are starting early though and hopefully she can get into some good habits easily and sleep well.  I have also been reading The Baby Whisperer and am getting good tips there too.  If you have any advice that could help me in making her more comfortable taking naps and going down for bed by herself, send them my way!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our Baby Girl

Oakley Berlin Austin was born last Tuesday morning. She arrived only two hours after we got to the hospital, with a full head of dark hair and dark, slate grey eyes.  Momma, Daddy, and Olivia are head over heels for her.

Friday, June 7, 2013

shared from FB

"We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

Monday, June 3, 2013

the journey.

Having a child is one of those rare things where the end result actually is better than the journey.  The journey sucks.  The last part of the journey is one of the worst parts.  No matter how often you hear that you are "almost there," you do not feel better.  You want to be there now.  The light at the end of the tunnel comes at a very high and tiring price.  You get texts 20 times a day saying "Any baby yet?" and strangers in stores say "you look like you are ready to pop!" and "looks like any day now!"  Everyone is kind, and other mothers commiserate, but it doesn't change the fact that you feel like there's a feral hormone-leopard in you, hiding too close to the surface, wanting to latch onto the face of anyone who dares mention the fact that you are still, in fact, pregnant.

I know I sound ridiculous because I'm still only two days shy of 39 weeks, but when your first child is 19 days early, and your doctor says you'll have the baby by the 30th of May and it is now the 3rd of June, things go downhill real fast.  Expectations can be extremely hard to let go of.  It's like waiting for Christmas and then having it get pushed ahead a week at a time....  and if Christmas made you feel like your pelvis was broken in 3 places.

Also, my doctor is going out of town on Wednesday until Sunday.  If I knew that she wasn't going to come while he was gone I could relax a little, but now I'm worried I'll have to use a different doctor again!  He was out of town when Olivia was born and it was fine, we liked the on-call doctor, but I would really like my own doctor this time because I might be switching up the birth plan a little.

That's all.  That's my rant for today.  I'm going to go try accessing a Zen place for a few minutes and focusing on positive things and how none of this will matter when she's in my arms.

in the meantime, please enjoy this photo of Olivia channeling Adolf Hitler after she found a tube of my mascara.  Is that offensive?  If so, pretend I said Charlie Chaplin to begin with.

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