Babywearing Adventures | Solly Baby | Weekend Farmers Market

Getting out of the house with two kids can be quite the production.  We have to get two kids in the car, make sure the diaper bag is fully stocked (95% of the time it isn’t) and then, when we finally make it to our destination (usually at least 10 minutes later than planned), we have to figure out who is going to walk, ride or be worn.

Solly Baby Wrap

We are still slowly getting out of the house beyond the grocery store and Target and this weekend we took a break from unpacking to head to the market. I honestly was not feeling the trip to the market at all. We had headed out right when it usually starts to get busy and it was hot and nap time was slowly sneaking up on us, but, we did it. When we arrived I noticed we only had the Solly Baby Wrap in the car so right away that meant I was on baby duty.  Neil can wrap but it usually takes a little talking through and help so it was just easier for me to do it and for him to be on tot duty.

I wrapped Alder up snuggly on the Solly Baby Wrap and he fussed for just a moment before falling asleep. We walked over to the market and I had my hands free to carry market bags and hold one of Edith’s hands.Solly Baby Wrap Alder

We headed straight to my favorite farm stand to pick up our produce for the week. I was so excited by all the beautiful produce that I started to fill our bags and then realized that we had no cash. Neil said he would run to the ATM, which was luckily not too far away, while I continued to shop – the catch though was that Edith had to stay with me. If Alder had been in the stroller or in my arms there would have been no way that I could have held the half filled bags of produce and chased a very curious toddler around but thanks to babywearing we made it work.

Solly Baby Wrap & Edith

After finally purchasing our produce we walked around the remainder of the market, picking up a drink and a treat on our way out. We stopped over by the beautiful water fountain to enjoy our drink and snack before heading back to the car. The best part? Alder was still sleeping. Also we had no toddler tantrums, I was able to purchase 90% of the produce I had on my shopping list and we got to enjoy the market and sunshine as as family. The worst part? I dropped my shopping list so I had to go home and rewrite it and head out again to pick up our grocery items.

solly baby family

Alder’s Home Birth Story | A Dad’s Perspective

Having come ten days early, we were caught by surprise by Edith’s birth. After a nice afternoon walk around the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, VT, Edith started the final part of her journey to join us. Not so much with Alder. They say that if your first child came early then your second probably will as well. We were both convinced of this and started to prepare and expect Alder to join us about two weeks before his expected due date.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.26.54 AM

Some treats I picked up for the end of pregnancy and start of the postpartum for Lindsay

We started to nest around the house, I started to warn everyone at work that I may be out on paternity leave any given day, and Lindsay started to prepare for the birthing process by getting massages, acupuncture and going for daily and nightly walks to help to relax and maybe speed up the process a bit.

Lindsay's back after her first acupuncture and cupping therapy treatment.

Lindsay’s back after her first acupuncture and cupping therapy treatment.

The only thing was that we were going through a lot of other transitions in life that made it hard to be comfortable and hard to relax in anticipation of our new baby joining us. I had just started a new job across the river and over the hills (with the possibility of an hour+ commute home), we were preparing to move to our new apartment in the middle of August, and our landlord was scheduling showings of the apartment at all hours of the day throughout the week. It seemed like there would never be a “convenient” time for this home birth to happen. Even so, on July 22nd (8 days before the due date), Lindsay started to feel what we thought was the beginning of early labor and had me work from home for the next two days.

Heading in to our second to last prenatal appointment, Lindsay started to feel even stronger contractions and both she and our midwife were both convinced that this baby would be joining us at any time now. However, that was just the beginning of another long week of anticipation. Another week came and went, with Lindsay having occasional contractions, back pain and nausea but being cautious about having me come home from work early for support (she was convinced that people would view her as the wife who called wolf). However, things surrounding the major stressor in our life at this point started to fall into place.

39w2d and one of our last family of three trips to feed the ducks

39w2d and one of our last family of three trips to feed the ducks

Tuesday night, our landlord showed the apartment to a woman who seemed really interested and on Wednesday as we were about to head to what would be our final pre-natal appointment we were told that she put in an application for the apartment. We started to feel the stress dwindle and our spirits start to lift. That Wednesday, Alder’s expected due date, we went in for our final appointment and our midwife scheduled an acupuncture appointment for that afternoon for Lindsay with another doctor/midwife who shared the same office and had a pretty great success rate of inducing delivery within 24 hours through acupuncture.

Thursday Lindsay started to feel more cramps, contractions, nausea and back pain. I left work early that afternoon to beat traffic to be sure I wouldn’t miss anything. As we headed out to run some last minute errands that afternoon, we ran into our landlord outside our apartment and she let us know that the application for the new tenant was approved and the showings would end. We went to bed that night with that weight finally off our shoulders. And, I truly believe that was the last barrier for us to feel at ease with the birth happening at home.

Friday morning we headed out for a family walk to our favorite local coffee shop and after chatting with the baristas moved on to get some breakfast at the neighborhood bakery. We sat and enjoyed our coffee and chatted while we ate our breakfast before beginning the long (for Lindsay) walk home. With Edith yelling “Faster!” from the stroller, we were stopping every couple minutes on the 5 block walk home as the contractions started to become more frequent and more overwhelming.

We made it home, and going by my memories of Edith’s birth, I thought we had lots of time. I stopped in the downstairs office to send an e-mail to work saying I wouldn’t be in and poked around the internet a bit while Edith played on the floor next to me. When we made our way upstairs, I found Lindsay on the exercise ball hanging on the edge of the couch timing her contractions.

AlderBirth-Laboring2

It was an entirely different experience than I remembered with Edith where I was laying on the bed with Lindsay, smart phone in hand, trying to figure out exactly what the beginning and end of her contractions were. I called our midwife only to get her answering machine and then called our backup midwife (technically our backup’s backup as our primary midwife was out of town) and spoke with her and updated her on Lindsay’s status. Both of our midwives lived in our neighborhood and headed right over after making arrangements for their children. I spent the next 20-30 minutes actually keeping Edith busy while Lindsay continued to time her contractions. It was a huge difference from the jokes, back rubs and romantic 75 mile drive at 3 in the morning for Edith’s birth. Even still, it felt right in a way.

IMG_0116

As our family grows, the dynamics are going to always be shifting. Where I used to be able to give her 100% of my focus and attention, we need to learn to shift and adapt that to serve our whole family as best we can.

Dr. Amanda (our midwife and primary care physician) arrived around 9 am with Kayla (their midwifery student) and Dr. Liz (backup midwife) arriving shortly thereafter. Lindsay was continuing to progress through labor with her contractions getting stronger and more frequent. Edith was happy to show off for all of the familiar faces in the room, giving me some time to support Lindsay as best I could – rubbing her back, applying pressure and getting her whatever she needed. I started to inflate the birth pool and attached the hose to the faucet, preparing the fill the pool. While I waited for direction, I put Edith in the empty pool and she had a blast bouncing around and peering over the side.

AlderBirth-EdithPool

We started the process of filling the pool and waited anxiously. One of our midwives was considering heading home for a while until she checked Lindsay and realized how far along she was. At this point we really started to get things into gear. I took out some new Mega-Bloks and books we had gotten Edith for the birth. While she showed those off to Dr. Liz and Kayla, I helped Dr. Amanda by boiling water in every pot we had available and filling the tub with water from the bathroom so we could make sure Lindsay had the opportunity to labor in the pool.

IMG_0136

Once we had the pool filled high enough, Lindsay began to labor in the pool while Kayla checked for the heartbeat and took Lindsay’s “vitals”. I took time where I could to support Lindsay as best I could. Reminding her how strong I thought she was and how confident in her I was.

IMG_0143 IMG_0144

While a lot of things were different than what I had expected and what we had experienced with Edith, I was filled with just as much or more amazement and awe and how strong and inspiring she was during the birth process. Lindsay let Dr. Amanda know she was ready to push and with that came the same low noises, chants of “Ouuuuuuut” and “horse lips” that I remembered from Edith’s birth. Dr. Amanada let us know that Lindsay’s water had not broken yet and that it was helping to maintain the progress Alder was making.

As Lindsay pushed, Edith stood next to me and watched in what seemed to amazement, joy and fear (as Lindsay let out a scream of pain). Dr. Amanda asked if I wanted to catch Alder and, what seemed like only a few minutes later, asked if I wanted to feel his head. I jumped at both opportunities. I got to feel his head and with just one or two more pushes saw his face and his lips coming out and then got to catch our beautiful baby. As we worked to untangle his cord, I passed him to Lindsay and she was the first to announce we had had a baby boy. Dr. Amanda rushed to take pictures as Lindsay, Edith and I took in the newest member of our family.

AlderBirth-ItsABoy

It was amazing to see something that built up so slowly culminate in such a quick, fast delivery. I joked to Lindsay before Alder was born about how this would probably be a sign of his personality, as I really think Edith’s birth is a reflection of hers. As Dr. Liz and Dr. Amanda tended to Lindsay and Alder – taking measurements and sewing stitches (only 3) – I spent time with Edith as she showed me her new toys and then bringing her in to meet her new baby brother and settling into the idea of our new family of four.

IMG_0162

Even though we can’t always provide each other with the same direct forms of support that we once did, we will continue to show our love in support in so many different ways both direct and indirect.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.42.36 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.42.44 AM

Family of Four | Our First Week

I can’t believe a week has already passed since Alder was born. We have had a crazy busy week and have really had our ups and downs. Luckily we have had a lot more ups than downs but let me tell you the start of our week as a family of four was a real struggle.

IMG_0174

Friday (8.1.14) was a pretty crazy day considering we started our morning off as a family of three and by 11am we were a family of four. The midwives had cleaned, done their check ups and were gone by 12:50pm.  We were all a little tired out from our whirlwind morning and Edith went down for a three hour nap (!!!) around 1:15pm.  Then it was just Neil, Alder and myself hanging out on the couch, which in itself was a really weird and amazing thing. That night we had BBQ and just hung out as a family. I don’t really remember what we did besides sit on the couch and Edith held Alder for awhile.

Saturday and Sunday (8.2.14 & 8.3.14) were two more difficult days for us. Neil and Edith spent a lot of time together going for bike rides, to the park, to the market and just playing together at home.  While Edith seemed to enjoy these activities and we kept her normal routine we were facing a new challenge, a rebelling child. Edith is generally a pretty mild mannered child who has her feisty side as well but generally she is a pretty happy, relaxed kid but last weekend she was the complete opposite. While we knew that this was just her way of dealing with the life changing event that had just occurred we were just not prepared at all to handle her acting out.

Monday (8.4.14) this was easily the hardest day of them all. Edith was miserable and doing everything and anything to push our buttons. At one point Neil and Edith were heading out go somewhere (maybe the park? I can’t remember) anyways Neil asked her to say goodbye and I love you to me and she looked at me and said goodbye and then gave me a look and said I love you Alder, which was nice for Alder but in the moment was a stab at me (it’s really hard to put this whole event into words). Anyways that broke my heart and I just broke down.  That day she also skipped her nap and Neil had scheduled a hair appointment during her naptime so I was home with her and Alder for a few hours by myself. By the end of the day Edith’s acting out had exhausted all of us and Neil and I were so happy for bedtime.  We spent two or so hours post bedtime routine just talking about the past few days and trying to prepare ourselves for more acting out and discussed ways we could take a more positive and relaxed approach.

Tuesday (8.5.14) I swear we woke up with our old toddler.  Edith seems to be (knock on wood) back to more of her normal self with a side of sassy two year old. We had our first outing as a family this day to the pediatricians office for Alder’s appointment and Edith and I stopped in the craft store to pick up an afternoon art project.  Our appointment went well and despite it happening in the middle of Edith’s naptime we did make it home in time for her to take a nap.

EdithUpsideDownWednesday (8.6.14) Edith and Neil spent the morning at Oaks Amusement Park for their preschool morning.  She had an absolute blast and I hope we can maybe make it once more before the close for the season and I’d like to go down as well.  In the afternoon we had our first non-doctors appointment outing to the farmers market.  I have to say that I did a little too much walking this day and was feeling it by the end of the night but it sure felt good to get out.

Thursday (8.7.14) We didn’t do too much on Thursday morning but after Edith’s nap we headed out to Target to pick up some things that we were out of and some clothes for Alder. Again too much walking for me but it was great to get out.  We then decided to stop at Native Foods for dinner since it was getting late and we had a nice family meal out on their patio.

Friday (8.8.14) We had our normal Friday morning play group at our house despite everyone thinking I was crazy. It actually ended up being great for all of us. Edith and her two girlfriends played while us moms had time to chat and since Neil was home too he entertained the little girls for awhile. While Edith napped Neil and I ate BBQ because we had an oven mishap that resulted in needing to do the 3 hour auto clean and lots of fans and open windows. After Edith’s nap Neil took her for a bike ride while I rested with Alder. The day ended with Neil and me on the couch with Steven’s cold brew cinnamon vegan ice cream <–AMAZING.

Edith Kisses on Alder's Nose

Now it’s Saturday and we are getting into a new version of our old routine. We are preparing ourselves for next week which includes moving and Neil going back to work. One plus is that Neil will be working from home which means a little extra help before I am fully on my own.

Check out more photos from our week on our Instagram accounts: here, here and here.

It’s A Boy! | Alder Grey’s Home Birth Story | Part 2

If you missed Part 1 read here first. AlderBirth-Laboring Contractions started to intensify and I labored on the exercise ball, walked around a bit, and did some side lunges/rocking while Neil worked with the midwives to get the birthing pool set up. AlderBirth-NeilPool
AlderBirth-GettingReady AlderBirth-LaborEdith Around 10am one the midwives checked me and found I was at 7cm and I don’t no how effaced actually but I must have been getting close to 100%. She said she expected me to enter transition at anytime now. I labored through around 5 more contractions before getting into the birthing pool. Soon after that contractions picked up and started to become more and more intense. I kept going back to Edith’s birth and tried to remember to make low sounds and keep my mouth loose. AlderBirth-Labor AlderBirth-BirthPoolLabor As contractions intensified I suddenly felt the urge to push and I said I needed to and was told to go ahead! At this point my water still hadn’t broken and it wasn’t until I started pushing that it finally did break. I had 3 rounds of contractions, 9 big pushes, 1 time of unnecessary (and unhelpful) screaming and then a loud roar when I felt the “ring of fire” aka Alder’s head being born and then finally his body and a surge of relief once I felt his body being born. At 10:59am Alder was born. AlderBirth-Welcometotheworld I birthed Alder on my hands and knees in the birth pool which was a position that I just couldn’t get comfortable in with Edith and Neil ended up catching him behind me. It was about a minute (which felt like forever) before I actually got to see this little baby that I just birthed but finally I turned around and got to hold him and reveal that we had a baby boy.
AlderBirth-BornI held Alder while he had a quick check and then Neil cut his cord. Shortly after that my placenta was out and I was laying in bed with a new baby boy on my chest. I ended up with a small tear and had to have 3 stitches but so far things haven’t been so bad down there compared to when I had Edith. AlderBirth-Checkup AlderBirth-Weigh While Alder and I were getting checked the other midwives were cleaning up everything and by the time they had left, which was around 1pm, it didn’t even look like a birth had occurred. Seriously it was amazing. neil alder Side note Alder didn’t have a name until around 3pm and his name actually wasn’t even on our list of first names. Alder was a name that I had liked as a middle name and Grey was a middle name that we both liked and in the end we waffled between a few names that stuck out to us but then Neil said something about having Alder be the first name and it just felt right so that’s what we went with. Prior to this we had about 10-15 girls and boys names picked out and nothing even close to standing out as a front runner. How/where was Edith during the birth? Edith was in attendance! She “helped” Neil inflate the birthing pool at first and then we brought out a special new toy for her to play with incase the birth was during the day.  This new toy (Mega Blocks) was as huge hit and kept her happy and distracted for amount of time. She spent her time checking in on me, playing with toys and the midwives helped to distract her at times as well. While I was in the birthing pool/giving birth I was told she was curious, interested, excited and a little confused as to what was going on and she had a few moments of concern when I was having some of my louder moments. She watched her brother being born and was super excited when Neil caught him.I’ll blog more about transitioning to being a big sister another day. Alder & Edith birth Neil also plans to blog about his experience of the birth so that will be interesting to read! Lastly I hope to do a quick meet the family YouTube video in the next week or so!

It’s A Boy! | Alder Grey’s Home Birth Story | Part 1

Alder day 1

Alder Grey born at home 8/1/14 at 10:59am. 8lbs7oz 20″

and just like that we had a baby. 

This birth experience was a completely different experience than I had with Edith and it was much faster (for the most part). Let’s get down to the chain of events …

Wednesday July 30th - Alder’s due date. Now unlike Edith who had two due date options Alder’s due date was more of a sure thing based on the circumstances of this pregnancy. Since the previous Thursday I had been experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks Contractions and some cramping and low back pain but nothing too crazy. I had my 40 week appointment in the morning and at this point discussed with my doctor what the options for moving things along were because I was just so ready to get this baby out especially since we are moving August 16th. She suggested trying another round of acupuncture this time with one of the doctors in her office and so I immediately said yes and we set up an appointment for that afternoon. I went in for my acupuncture at 2pm and also had a cervical check and found out I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced. I had my treatment and started to feel some light cramping by the end of my treatment.  I spent the remainder of the day resting in hoping that the acupuncture would work.

Thursday July 31st.  I had some light cramping through the night but woke up Thursday morning still pregnant but by 8am I started to really feel lots of low cramping and back pain. I let Neil know but told him there wasn’t a rush to come home and that I would keep him up to date on things.  Finally around 2:30pm I asked him to come home after his last meeting of the day because I was really starting to feel some more intense cramping and inconsistent contractions (side note Neil’s work commute right now is about 30-90 minutes depending on traffic so that is why I wanted him to head home). I kept having contractions and cramping and by 8:30pm decided to call the midwife to give her a heads up. I then went straight to bed. Cramping and contractions continued all night intensified a bit but were still farther apart.

Friday August 1st. Since I was still having contractions and cramping I asked Neil if he would want to walk down to get coffee and stop for some breakfast. We headed out at 7am (we are earlier risers here) and by the time we were walking home I was having to stop during contractions which were now 3-4 minutes apart.  We went straight home and I started timing contractions and after about 8 contractions found that I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart lasting for 1 minute or so in duration. We called the midwives and they were all (we had 2 midwives and a student midwife) here by around 9am.

To be continued…

 

Pregnancy | The Waiting Game Ramblings

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 5.52.37 AM

As I write this post I am currently 40w1d pregnant. That is only 1 day past my due date but it honestly feels like forever, especially when Edith was 10 days early. I’ve had a feeling all along though that despite it being common for women to go into labor earlier with their second, third, fourth, ect that I was just not going to be that person. I also had a feeling that our midwife, Dr. J,  would not be able to make it to our birth and that we would have to go with a backup.

The funny thing is Dr. J who has been my care provider since around 12 weeks WAS my backup because my primary care doctor, Dr. A,  who is also a midwife was not taking births for July and August so per her recommendation we went with Dr. J who I have really come to love as well. So at this point we are onto a third midwife for the birth unless of course this baby decides they are so comfortable that they want to stay in until August 4th when Dr. A is back to work and would be able to attend; and while I would love her to be there I am really hoping we have a baby before the 4th.

Another interesting thing is that from the start I had a feeling that Dr. J would not be at the birth and when she told us she was going to be out of town July 14-22nd I figured I would probably have this baby during that time period although I also was still feeling like this baby would not be born early.  Well that time came and went and Thursday July 24th I went in for my 39 week appointment still pregnant but having contractions so I thought maybe today is the day. At that appointment Dr. J told us that she had to go out of town the following Thursday (today) for an unexpected family thing.

At this point I was hopeful that the contractions were going to be the real deal and since they continued for a few hours after our appointment I was sure we were going to have the baby that night or over the weekend. Well that obviously didn’t happen and Tuesday rolled around and I was feeling pretty down about the entire situation. I knew that unless I went into active labor in the next 24 hours that Dr. J would not be at our birth, that our baby would not arrive on their due date (FYI most babies don’t and I know that) and that we would be having another midwife, who I really like as well, at our birth.

In hopes of getting things going I had acupuncture yesterday afternoon and spent the remainder of the day (with the exception of a short trip to the market) relaxing and resting in hopes that contractions would start up. While I have had a little cramping and contractions since the acupuncture they haven’t been consistent.  That’s not to say the acupuncture hasn’t worked it just hasn’t worked fast enough or in time for Dr. J to attend the birth.

So now here we are waiting and hoping that this baby will make their arrival sooner than later. One thing that is helpful is that we have no showings of our home (we are renting and the landlord is looking for a new tenant because or lease is up 8/31) scheduled until Sunday and they are tentative due to someone putting in an application to rent the house.  This is a huge relief because seriously who wants to go into labor when there are potentially strange people that are going to be walking through your home?

Anyways these are my crazy waiting game ramblings. Trying to keep myself distracted, relaxed and positive because I know everything will workout and this baby will come when it’s ready (however I hope it’s ready soon!).

Anyone have any fun distracting things to do while I wait this out? 

Duck Walk

We are lucky to live within walking distance to a beautiful Portland park which is just getting more beautiful as they finish the renovations. It has always been our park of choice to go down and do a family walk, feed the ducks, avoid being attacked by the geese and play a little ball. Now that the boardwalk is open we have been really enjoying our walks and get down as a family 1-2x per week.

39w2dbabyno2 Last night we headed down for an after dinner walk and to feed the ducks. I won’t lie I was hoping the long walk loop would help an convince this baby to come out and join us but alas I am sitting on the couch 39w3d pregnant and s/he has still yet to join us Earth side. While we are anxious to meet baby #2 we have been really soaking up the moments as a family of three and have been a little more relaxed with Edith’s bedtime (which doesn’t always work in our advantage) and have been doing a lot more activities outside the house during the week than we would normally. Last night was one more of those beautiful moments together where we played, laughed and enjoyed the sunshine. Who knows maybe it will be our last Duck Walk as a family of three.

P.S. you can check out the YouTube video of our walk at the bottom of this post! 
39w2dpregbabyno2walk 39w2dpregbabyno2neilande 39w2dpregbabyno2smiles 39w2dpregno2upsidedowne 39w2dpregbabyno2neilandefeed 39w2dpregbabyno2efeed 39w2dpregbabyno2eanaylzebread 39w2dpregbabyno2crazyhair 39w2dpregno2withe

What is one of your favorite activities to do as a family?

 

P.S. If you liked this video please head on over and give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel!

We Have a YouTube Channel & What’s in Our Honest Company Box

So I decided to start a YouTube Channel!

EEEK! Seriously not sure how I feel about things yet but decided to go out of my comfort zone and start one. We will be sharing various videos and hope to make it regular thing. I have two videos up right now the most recent being our latest Honest Company Box Haul. Check it out.

Please let us know what types of videos you would like to see!