Life with a Baby - Week 15 of Baby #2

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While scrolling through the hashtag I made for my little girl (please tell me I’m not the only one who scrolls through their own hashtags!), I came across the photo I shared of Everly at 3 months, and the corresponding blogpost I wrote on her at 15 weeks. As Aaron is 15 weeks old now, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it and comparing my two babies. I’m so glad I have kept up with blogging, as it has become a wonderful walk down memory lane on so many occasions.

Here’s a comparison of Everly & Aaron at 3 months old:

My pregnancy with Aaron was a very happy and relatively easy one. I stayed as active as I could (going to Pilates for as long as I was able to) and Everly pretty much kept me active all day every day. We also moved house when I was 7 months pregnant (fun & games that was!) and Everly only officially started walking the day I gave birth to Aaron…so having to carry her around all day also helped keep me fit and strong. Although my birth didn’t go according to plan, again (I was hoping for a VBAC but my cervix just wouldn’t play ball…again) this time around the whole experience was a lot more peaceful because I had been through it all before. I was very grateful to go into labor naturally, at 38 weeks on the dot (just like when I had Everly) and I was up and about in the hospital the very next day, which really helped with my recovery time.

Here are all the posts I wrote on my second pregnancy, including a post on what to pack for hospital for both mommy & baby:

Not that I can really remember, but from what I wrote in my post on Everly at 15 weeks, she started really resisting her day time naps at this stage. This is nothing new for Aaron, as he has been cat napping like a champ for a good 2 months now, and surprisingly is actually now starting to settle into more of a predictable routine.

So…the total opposite of Everly.

I also thought Everly was an amazing sleeper at night, but it seems that Aaron is even better than her, and has been sleeping 11 - 13 hours a night since about 7 weeks old (I’m going to say that he is making up for his lack of daytime sleep…or perhaps he gets more than his fair share at night and needs less during the day?? Who ever really knows!).

While I haven’t read/re-read any baby books this time around, here is what I shared in Everly’s post that could give some reason for the unsettledness that happens at about this time:

  • The dreaded 4 Month sleep regression (in reality I feel like babies make up their own timelines when it comes to sleep regressions/growth spurts)

  • A growth spurt

  • Teething (I laugh looking back at this as Everly only got her first tooth at 7 months…so the fact that thought she was teething at this age really gives me a good giggle)

  • A Wonder Weeks developmental leap

  • Travel or disturbance of environment/routine

  • Transitioning out of a bassinet and into a cot (we made the move with Aaron today!)

  • Vaccinations (here in South Africa there are shots at 14 weeks)

  • And the most probable one...babies just being babies, growing and changing with no real explanation as to why they do what they do!

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Up Until Now

Aaron’s first few weeks were relatively smooth sailing, and he pretty much ate and slept all night. He slept about 2 -3 hours during the day, and stretched to about 5 hours at night. From about week 5 - 9, he had terrible gas & tummy trouble (I want to say he was colicky…but I now know that Colic is the word used to describe unsettled babies who generally are just not very happy/have sore tummies/are more on the niggly side of things). I tried every drop/liquid under the sun, but didn’t really notice much of a difference, and he eventually grew out of that at about 10 weeks.

We have also gone through a very hazy 6 weeks or so of crazy cat naps during the day, ranging anywhere from 20 - 50 minutes in length. I tried 3 days of intense sleep training, which I didn’t find to work very well, and then both kids got colds and I put all that on hold. Throughout all of this, Aaron continued to sleep REALLY well at night…sleeping from 6/6:30 - 7/8am with one feed at about 5am. But the days were shocking, and I rememeber pretty much crying at some point every day. I feel like things escalate from 0 - 1000 in a split second, and hubby would leave the room and I would be all cheerful and smiley, and come home 10 minutes later to find me in a complete heap, two screaming babies and lots of tears all around. But thankfully, each day seems to be getting easier, and I hope this continues.

In terms of routine & schedule, we follow the same bed time routine that we started (and still do) with Everly:

  • 6pm bath time (depending on the afternoon nap I’ll either feed him one side right before bath time or when he wakes up from his last nap which can be anywhere between 4 & 6pm). Then once out the bath it’s a quick massage, a nice big clean nappy (we use cloth nappies on both kiddos...click here to read more about our cloth nappy journey so far) and pyjamas.

  • +- 6:15pm feed the other side, burp & then straight into the cot by 6:30pm

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Here's how I put Aaron to sleep at night:

After his bath & last feed & burp, I pop him straight down in his cot while he is awake but drowsy, put his dummy in and walk out the room. Aaron sleeps on his tummy (unlike his sister who HATES being on her tummy…not matter how much I tried). If he’s fussing a bit, I may go in a few times to pop the dummy back in and give a few reassuring pats on the bum. This is the only time of the day that I feed before sleep.

And during the day:

I try to follow a 'wake-eat-change-play-sleep' routine during the day so that he doesn't associate sleeping with feeding, as feeding before sleeping makes life really hard as baby ends up refusing to go to sleep without a feed. This has become much more of a challenge with short naps. For the first few weeks of his sleepy newborn state, he would sleep about 3 hours at a time during the day, which meant every time he woke up it would be time for a feed. I roughly follow a 3 hourly breastfeeding schedule. I do the same sleep routine during the day as at night, Except this time he gets put down after play time. I generally try to follow the following wake time schedule, which is based on age appropriate periods of awake time:

  • morning wakeup

  • 1 hour of awake time

  • nap

  • 1hr 15mins of awake time

  • nap

  • 1.5 hrs of awake time

  • nap

  • 1.5hrs of awake time

  • bedtime

Up until now, it’s been really hard to follow a ‘eat, play, sleep’ routine, as the short day time naps inevitably mean I’m feeding him just before his next nap, otherwise I would be feeding him every hour. I am not against demand feeding, but I find we are all happier when we are following more of a set routine, and 3 hourly feeds works well for this. When (or IF) Aaron’s naps consolidate (apparently this generally happens naturally around month 5) then this will be much easier to follow. So in the meantime, I pop him in the carrier is he wakes up early and it isn’t time for a feed, this way he is happy to either be close to me, or nods off for a bit more.

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And Now

Sometimes it still feels like all Aaron does during the day is cry…I know this isn’t the case, but gosh it sure does feel like it some times. He is a typical boy (at least, from what I have been told and seen with my friends boy’s) he just wants to be held and is happiest when being worn in the carrier. This is completely the opposite to Everly, who could lie on her play mat for ages and ages, and was very content to just be. She also woke up happy after every nap, whereas Aaron wakes up rather grouchy and is happiest only once he has been fed.

Even though I feel frazzled most of the day (I’m sure this has less to do with Aaron and more to do with the fact that I have two kids to take care of and I work from home) each and every smile from him warms my heart and makes it all worthwhile.

I’m also SO thankful his nights are so good #longmayitlast.

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NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Current favourite nickname: Arrow

Loves: being in the carrier & watching his big sister

Hates: day time sleep (haha) being taken out the carrier

Teething: Not crazy amounts of drool, and not too much sucking on his hands yet

Eye Colour: Grey? Dark Blue? Hazel?

Hair Color: Dark Brown 

Weight: Weighing in at 6.2 kg's, the same weight as his sister at this age. I have gone through a week or so of worrying that I am no feeding him enough as I only feed him on one side per feed. He was 3.6kgs at birth, and Everly had doubled her weight by this time, so I’ll keep an eye on this. I’m trying to drink more water and make sure I eat a lot more oats (any other suggestions to increase your milk supply?)

Feeding: Breastfed

Sleeping Aids: His hands & a dummy

Current clothing size: 3-6 months

Currently eating/not eating: I’m eating & drinking everything I did before being pregnant, as well as when I was pregnant. I’m drinking regular coffee (although I try not to drink caffeine after 3pm) and I’m also still drinking my homemade kombucha. Although a lot of people talk about diet affecting their breastmilk, I really don’t believe it makes too much difference, and find I am a happier mom when I eat what I like.

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And that’s where we are now friends. Here’s hoping Aaron continues to settle more during the day, and that he keeps up the wonderful nights (I’m hoping he sails through the 4 month sleep regression!) but if not, I’m going to just try to remember that these are all such short seasons, and before we know it, he will be up and running after his big sister in the blink of an eye.

Chat soon!

x

34 Weeks pregnant with Baby#2 & an update on my hopes for a VBAC

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Well, this pregnancy sure has flown by, and yet in some ways it feels like I have been pregnant for forever. And what they say about your second pregnancy being a bit of a blur, is completely true! I’m doing my best to capture this pregnancy, and to keep up Baby Boy’s journal ( bough both Everly’s and BabyBoys journals from Typo!), but there are only so many hours in a day and when most of them are spent running after a busy toddler, it doesn’t leave much time to daydream about what life is going to be like when he arrives. In some ways I’m almost glad, as the moments I do have to sit and wonder about what life will be like, I’m left pretty much terrified (in a good kind of way haha). I have zero idea of what life is going to be like with two under two, and as Everly isn’t walking yet (she’s 16 months old now and although she’s cruising along everywhere, pulling herself up on everything, pushing her trolley around everywhere & has taken quite a few steps on her own…she is still not officially walking). While I’m not worried about this from a developmental point of view (I mean, she only started crawling just after her first birthday) it’s more of a worry for me as she is so darn heavy and I’ve already got nearly 20kg’s of baby weight on my front…and so picking up another 12 - 15kg’s in the form of a squirming toddler is not my idea of fun. I’m not up for that kind of cross fit session every time we have to go anywhere ;)

She’ll get there eventually, I just hope it’s before her brother is due to arrive in +-6 weeks time!


Today I wanted to share a bit more about my hopes & dreams for a VBAC.

A VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarian…aka a natural birth after a caesar) has been my dream ever since Everly was born via emergency c-section in September 2017. I do plan on sharing her birth story (if anyone is interested in that) but to sum it up I went into labor naturally, and after 36 hours of unmedicated labor, my cervix started hardening (I was already 7cm dilated) but she just wasn’t progressing any further. I have a lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘If onlys’ but after that amount of time, as well as my doctor and the nurses worrying about her being in distress (not to mention how exhausted I was) and so I was rushed off to theatre and my little girl was born a mere 30 minutes later. It wasn’t what I had planned, but she was born healthy & safe, and even though it was not the sort of birth I had hoped for, I don’t feel any remorse about it. I just feel a lot of determination that it will go differently this time.

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In saying that, I have come a long way in the past 7 & a half months with regards to my mindset and I’ve realised that what is most important for me, is just to go into labor naturally. I want my baby to choose his own birthday, to be ready to join the world, and for my body to be ready too. I’ve realised that in some ways a Caesar is ‘nicer’ if I can put it that way (no tearing/cutting, a longer stay in the hotel ahem I mean hospital) but the recovery time is much longer than a natural birth, and trying to recover from a second c-section, feed and care for a newborn AND look after a busy toddler is not going to be easy.

VBAC’s in South Africa

Just a little note…these are my own thoughts & perceptions from months and months of research & spending time chatting to care providers and other moms, I am in no way bashing the health system here, but rather sharing my own personal views.

South Africa, in general, is not very VBAC friendly. Most gynaes are not very keen on the idea (I say most, because up until recently I didn’t even know that it was an option to try for a natural birth after having a ceasar as it’s not something the majority of gynaes support). I am generalising, as there are some incredible VBAC pro gynaes out there, but they are few and far between, and there are lots of reasons for this.

First of all, most gynaes will tell you that the biggest risk of a VBAC is your uterus rupturing. While there is a chance of this happening, the actual statistics are soooooo tiny (it’s less than 1%), and there is only a slightly lower risk of this happening even with a regular, first time vaginal birth. Anyway, this post is not supposed to be a rant on gynaes and their choices to avoid ‘risk’, but rather to share my feeling and decisions in wanting to pursue a VBAC.

There are also lots of factors that affect a positive outcome for a VBAC, and a lot has to do with the reasons why you may have had to have a Caesarian in the first place, as well as the type of scar you have (these days its most common for a Low Transverse Incisions to be done…this is from the top left and across). If you had an elective caesar the first time around, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to birth naturally. If, like me, you had an emergency caesar, it can change things a bit as your doctor would worry about whatever happened to prevent a natural delivery the first time, happening again.

If you are wanting to explore the option of a VBAC further, I would HIGHLY recommend joining the VBAC in South Africa facebook group. There are loads of wonderful ladies in that group sharing their experiences, their VBAC successes and failures, as well as LOADS of information of VBAC’s here in SA.

Did you know that Government hospitals will push for a VBAC due to the immense cost & labour (ie staff required) of caesarians, preferring for the mom to rather attempt a natural delivery than have a repeat caesarian. This really should highlight just how normal the idea of a natural delivery after a c-section is.

Here in South Africa, most gyna’es have a very strict tick box list for a VBAC in hospital (these may vary slightly, and some gynaes may differ/be open to changes but these are the general guidelines:

  • Baby must weigh 3.5kg’s or less at birth

  • You must go into spontaneous labor (ie your body has to go into labor naturally) by 38/39/40 weeks

  • Labor has to progress by 1cm an hour

  • There should be at lest a 2 year gap between your last birth and your current due date

From what I have read and from the many, many ladies I have spoken to about this, the highest chance of a successful VBAC is to have a home birth with a midwife & a doula. While I love the idea of a home birth, I’m not sure it would be something I would actually pursue, and the fact that I live 1.5 hours from the nearest hospital basically rules out that option, especially for a VBAC, when most midwives wouldn’t attempt a home birth for a VBAC as if things do go wrong, you need to be able to get to a hospital as fast as possible.

Your second best chance for a successful VBAC is a hospital birth, but with a midwife as your primary caregiver, and a Gynae as backup. This is a tricky one, and unless you really strike it lucky with a Gynae who agrees to be ‘on stand by should things go wrong’ it’s not easy to make happen. It’s different if you live in Joburg or Cape Town, as then you have the option of a clinic like Genesis, which is midwife led, and whose whole focus is on a natural delivery. I visited Genesis in Joburg for my second trimester abnormally scan, and it was just the most incredible place. I even considered moving in with my family in Joburg for the last few months of my pregnancy, just so I could give birth there…but then came to my senses when I had to ask myself if would really be happy being away from my husband for those months, and also would he be happy to be away from me and his little girl during that time.

Third option, and the one I have had to settle for due to my own personal circumstances (basically, the fact that I live out in the middle of nowhere!) is to have a hospital birth with a VBAC pro gynae. There are not a lot of options for VBAC pro gynaes in Pietermaritzburg, and in my months of research, have realised there is a big difference between a VBAC pro gynae and a VBAC friendly gynae. A VBAC friendly gynae is open to the idea, but they are far more risk adverse than a VBAC pro gynae, and the chances of a successful VBAC are much lower. Anyway, beggars can’t be choosers, and I have found a VBAC friendly gynae (she was the gynae who actually delivered Everly as my doctor just so happened to be overseas when I went into labor) and so as she actually did my surgery, I decided to go with her for my second pregnancy. She was very blunt with me in the beginning, not saying no to a VBAC, but not being very hopeful either. She just told me we would have to see how my pregnancy progressed, and gave her strict list of labor protocol. I left every check up with her ( up until about 28 weeks) feeling despondent, and not at all hopeful for my VBAC. I even considered changing gynaes several times…I just wanted someone to give me the chance and to be encouraging and positive about a VBAC. I wasn’t looking for anyone to make any promises to me (after all…I have first hand experience of how things can change during labor) but she was very honest and pragmatic about the whole thing, and I really respect her for this now. She didn’t want to give me an false hope, and I’ve realised it’s not her job to feed into my birthing fantasy, when she knows there is no actual way to know what will happen during your pregnancy, never mind during the actual birth.

I think the guidelines above make it pretty much impossible (if followed 100%) to have a VBAC. First of all, the weight scans during check ups are estimates…Everly was estimated to be 3.5kg’s at birth and was born at 3.085. Not many women (generally speaking) actually go into labor naturally before 40 weeks…many are induced (something that is not recommended for a VBAC as labor can progress very quickly once induction has taken place, and this places a greater stress on your scar tissue. For labor to progress by 1cm an hour is pretty much ideal textbook stuff, and not likely that most women’s bodies would follow this ideal. The age gap stated is to give your body and scar an adequate amount of time to heal, but some women heal faster than others, some scars heal better than others, and so this is a very hard guideline to follow. I have heard most midwives prefer an 18 month gap, and no less. But then again, there are always exceptions and I have read about amazing mommies who have had successful VBAC’s with a 11/12/13 month gap. My gap will be about 17.5 months if baby arrives at 40 weeks.

It was at my 28 week scan when my Gynae told me that although she does elective caesars at 38 weeks, she was willing to make an exception and allow me to go to 39 weeks for spontaneous labor. I was happy to compromise on this, and considering Everly arrived at 38 weeks (and apparently second time labor is likely to be early too) I felt confident that my labor would begin before then. If not, I agreed to set a date for my repeat caesar. I have just gotten back from my 33 week check up, and Doctor was very happy with how things are looking and has told me, that as long as everything is else is in order (ie no complications, baby is in the right position etc) she is happy to let me go to 40 weeks. I am delighted with the news! So, according to my original due date, I’ve got until the 22nd Feb to go into labor naturally. I will be doing ALL the things to try and ensure this happens, but as I mentioned above, I am far more at peace with a repeat ceasar that I was before and now will just have to wait and see what happens in the next 6 weeks.

I’ve got my wonderful Doula, Clare, at the ready (Clare was by my side through my entire labor with Everly and I know I would not have been able to make it as far as I did without her) and was one of the first people I told I was pregnant this second time, and told her to make sure she had a note in her diary for mid/end Feb! All that I can do now is wait, stay healthy, keep active (do my kegels, bounce on my Pilates ball) and be patient.


If you’re still following along after the above very long VBAC related discussion, here are some more general thoughts and feelings on how the last 10 weeks of my second pregnancy have been. Click here to read my first post on how this second pregnancy has been.

My Body

Following on from the tummy comparison I shared above, here is a comparison of me at 33 weeks with Everly (on the right) and now with BabyBoy (pictured left).

I am also absolutely amazing at how different women gain weight in their pregnancies. I gained 18kg’s with Everly, and am already at the 18kg mark now with BabyBoy and I still have +-6 weeks to go. I was lucky in that I lost all (and then some) of my pregnancy weight within about 8 months (thanks to breastfeeding and following our regular low carb lifestyle). It’s still rather shocking when you think that baby only weighs, in my case, about +-3-3.5kgs…where does the rest of the weight come from!? I do like to remind my pregnant friends not to worry about their weight gain during or after pregnancy, because you just never know what your body is going to do, or how it will respond afterwards. Rather worry about getting back into shape once you and your baby have had a good chance to get to know each other. Don’t let it consume your thoughts, your body goes through an incredible transformation, and we need to be kinder to ourselves.

My skin started clearing up around the 6 month mark (thank goodness!) but I’ve still got cracked heels (apparantly this is from the weight gain). I’ve been lucky enough not to get any stretch marks again (holding thumbs it stays this way for the rest of my pregnancy) but have been religious with lathering BioOil on after each and every shower.

I am sleeping better, but it doesn’t help that I’m awake at 04:30 every morning when Farmboy goes to work, but I usually wake up that time to go to the loo. I have also had less round ligament pain this time, but I think that’s only because I now know to sleep with 4 pillows (one at my back, one at my tummy, one between my legs and one for my head!).

This boy is SOOOO active compared to Everly. I barely felt Everly kick, and every time she did it would be a wonderful little surprise. This guy hardly ever keeps still! He has hiccups none-stop, pushes and prods me with his legs/arms/bum and uses my poor organs as punching bags regularly. I’m hoping this is’t a sign of things to come, as Everly was the most contented baby & toddler, happy to sit around and play with her books and toys by herself for ages. I have a feeling this little guy is going to be a real busy body…who knows, maybe he will be walking before his sister haha #ImOnlyHalfJoking.

My Mind

Gosh, it’s still not real that a second little human is going to be joining our family soon. And to be very honest, I haven’t given it too much thought as my days revolve around Everly. We also moved house at the end of November (this was incredibly hectic!) and so most of the past 2 months have been spent sorting and organizing our home. Having said all of that, I am SLOWLY adjusting to the idea of being a boy mom (although I’m really struggling to come to grips with all the blue!) but I am excited and I just know Everly is going to adore her little play thing ahem, I mean brother.

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Everly

Thanks to the advice of lots of friend and family, we bought Everly a little doll and gave it to her a little while ago. Oh my goodness if this hasn’t just been her absolute favourite thing in the whole world. She calls it her Baba (she has stopped referring to everything under the sun as ‘Baba’) and now the only Baba’s she talks about are her doll, and my tummy. She will often sporadically point at my tummy and say ‘baba’ and loves to lift my shirt up to see my tummy, after which she will give it a little cuddle (or rather a headbut sort of thing which is her version of a cuddle) and then carefully pull my top back down again. It’s the cutest thing!

Her little doll came with a magnetic dummy (genius!) and is just the right size for her. I found it at PicknPay after hours of looking around all the shops and feeling totally overwhelmed by the sheer variety of dolls. So many of them were really plasticky looking, and I wanted something simple…and small enough for her to carry herself. I have also been absolutely amazed by how she has started caring for her baby. She insists on wrapping her in a little blanket (I never showed her how to do this!) and will often share her milk with it, and puts the dummy in and cuddles it while giving it bum pats. I’m amazed at her natural mothering instinct.

Do you have any tips for introducing a young toddler (Everly will be about 17 months old when her brother arrives) to their new baby sibling? Friends have suggested getting her a special present that comes especially from her brother, which I love the idea of (any ideas of things that would make good presents for her?). I’d also love to hear any tips you may have for the actual first introduction, as I have no idea if there is a ‘best way’ to go about it.

Everly is still in her cot, but we plan on taking down the sides of it this week to convert it into a toddler bed, and are holding thumbs the transition won’t be too hard on her.

Ideally she will be sleeping in the single bed that’s in her room now by the time BabyBoy is here. But we aren’t going to rush that just yet, as he won’t need the cot for a good while still.

The Nursery

While BabyBoy is going to be using most of Everly’s nursery furniture (compactum, feeding chair, bassinet) there are a few things I’m changing, the first being the general ‘theme’ of his room. We are doing a constellation theme, and as I have really struggled to find beautiful decor items that match our theme so far, I’ve been in touch with the lovely ladies behind Riley & Fox Bespoke Nursery Linen and have had some custom linen items made just for him.

Here are some photos of how the nursery is looking so far, and of course Everly has had a ball ‘helping’ me get his room ready:

Still to be added:

  • the family bassinet

  • custom prints on the wall next to the compactum

  • floating shelf of some kind in place of the bookshelf

  • a nightlight (we used and still use a beautiful pink Rose Quartz lamp in Everly’s room) and I’m planning on getting a white salt lamp that will also give off a lovely soft glow

  • and when he gets a little older, he will go into Everly’s cot (although I haven’t quite figured out where the cot will go in the room as right now there really isn’t any space. There’s still lots of time to worry about that though, and we might take the bed out when the time comes for him to go in the cot, and put the cot where the bed is now

What I AM sorted with though is all his cloth nappies! While I did try to buy mostly gender neutral nappies with Everly, I have gotten a little carried away with boy prints this time around and have a beautiful stash of both newborn and OSFM (One Size Fits Most) nappies for when he gets a bit older. I’ll share more on his nappies in another post soon.

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I hope you enjoyed this update.

Thanks for following along! Feel free to ask me anything/leave a comment below, I love hearing from you.

x

6 months in with Pregnancy #2 and what has been different this time around

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Today marks the 24th week (or 6 month mark) of my second pregnancy, and I thought I’d share a post on what has and hasn’t been different this time around.

The first, very obvious thing for my loyal blog readers, will be the fact that I documented my first pregnancy (click here to read those posts) quite a lot, sharing every month or so, what was going on with my body and how I was preparing. This time around my time is spent running after Everly, long gone are the days of lying in bed, watching series, and day dreaming of what life would be like when she arrived. Now it’s all hands on deck making sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble and she beetles around the house. Because of this, I have still tried hard to capture this pregnancy with photographs, and with my baby journal, as I would be heartbroken if he (yup! we are having a little boy) grows up and is feels left out of the whole memory capturing process. So although it takes a bit more effort to remind myself to photograph my growing belly, I am still making the time to do so.

My body

Well…the saying that your body is like a balloon after having a baby is 100% true. It blows up a whole lot faster the second time (as it has already stretched once before!) and I am MUCH bigger this time and my belly popped out a lot sooner that it did with Evs. This makes sense, I guess, but still leaves me feeling a bit nervous for what I’m going to look and feel like closer to the end.

Here’s a little size comparison between 22 weeks with Everly, and 22 weeks with #2:

My skin has also been a lot worse this time around, and this may have to do with the fact that I am carrying a boy this time around, but who really knows. Each pregnancy, just like each baby, is so unique, but I really only battled with a few pimples until about the 10 week mark with Everly, and this time my skin is only going back to normal now, 24 weeks in. It is also a different time of the year so there is that to consider too (I was mostly pregnant through Winter with Everly, and this little guy is due in Feb…so basically a peak Summer pregnancy…you’ll find me in the pool whaling around from here on out!).

I also seem to have picked up weight a lot faster too. I put on nearly 20kg’s with Everly (that’s a WHOLE lot of extra weight on my usual 52kg frame) and I’m already on the 12kg mark with another 3 or so months to go. It always boggled my mind that baby ends up weighing +-3kg’s so where does the other 17kg’s come from! Anyway, I was delighted to be back at my pre-baby weight within a few short months after Everly (mainly due to breastfeeding and following a semi low-carb high fat way of eating) and I’m hoping my body will do the same this time around.

What I am struggling with at the moment is picking up and carrying Everly around. She’s only 14 months old and not walking on her own yet….although considering she only started crawling at around the 12 month mark it might still be a while…and this means I need to pick her up and carry her everywhere. She weighs about 12kg’s, and my poor body is struggling with that and the baby bump to haul around. But, I guess it’s keeping me relatively fit so I should be thankful.

Photography by  Dillon Kin Photography

Photography by Dillon Kin Photography

My Mind

As this pregnancy was a bit of a surprise, it took a while to wrap my head around the fact that another little bundle would be joining our family. A lot of people I’ve spoken to have shared the same worries as I have, and have even gone so far as to say that didn’t bond much with their growing bump throughout the whole pregnancy. While I definitely felt like that in the beginning, as I’ve gotten bigger and felt him move and kick, I’ve definitely grown closer to him and am really starting to look forward to him being here. At the same time I’m still absolutely terrified with how I’m going to manage the 17 month age gap, but there ain’t no going back now and I guess no matter the age gap the adjustment is always a hard one in the beginning. I think Everly is going to LOVE having a sibling, and the nice thing about the small age gap is the fact that she probably won’t ever remember her life before her little brother. I hope this helps them grow closer together and that they don’t end up spending each second of the day fighting.

On that note, if you have any tips for adjusting to two-under-two please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from other mommies who have/are navigating the same waters. I have been told that it’s super helpful to try and get them on the same schedule/routine as quickly as possible, so that they are both napping at the same time (that’s the idea anyway) and so that leaves mom with a bit of breathing space amongst the chaos. I also wonder how Everly will cope with me feeding her bother, and whether she’ll have any regressions on that front. She didn’t even bat an eyelid when I weaned her at just over a year, and she didn’t fuss for the boob at all. Hoping this means it won’t even phase her in the slightest, but who knows how they will react when the time comes.

Everly

A lot of friends and family have asked me whether Every is aware of what’s going on. I don’t think she really has any idea and although she uses the word Baba all the time, this has come to mean the dog, the chickens, the sky, my belly button and about a million other things. I think maybe closer to the time she might start to have more of an idea of what’s going on, but right now she’s very content playing with ALL her baba’s :)

What is going to also have to change very soon for her will be her bed. We haven’t quite decided what the next best thing is for her, but as her baby brother will be needing the cot relatively soon after he is here (although we do plan on using the family bassinet for the first couple of months) we will need to think carefully. I have been toying with the idea of turning her room into a Monessori style room, with a mattress on the floor. This is great in that we don’t need to worry about her falling out as she would just sort of roll onto the floor and I would put carpets underneath the bed. But this would mean she would be free to move/get out of bed when she wants to. I really like the idea of her having the freedom to get up when she wakes up and encourage her independence, but this could also have the opposite effect and mean she just won’t sleep because she can play with her toys whenever she wants to. So we will see what happen a little closer to the time and see how she manages in her cot once we’ve taken the sides down and converted it in the toddler bed it is designed to be.


I hope you enjoyed this life update!

Thanks for following along.

x

Someone's going to be a big sister! Baby#2 Arriving February 2019

I am officially 14 weeks pregnant with Everly's little brother/sister, and thought it high time I start documenting this pregnancy before it's all over. Gosh it's VERY different with a second pregnancy, and I am determined to not let time slip by without at least attempting to do everything I did while pregnant with Everly. I'm pretty sure this is not going to be easy, as life with an-almost-toddler is pretty crazy, and some days I feel as though all I've accomplished is keeping my child fed and watered...like a good plant haha. But even if that's all I have been able to do, I still give myself a pat on the back, because let's face it fellow moms...no one else is going to!

So, let me start at the very beginning.

Everly 11 Months Chakas (37 of 38).jpg

I had an inkling that I was pregnant about 10 weeks ago (just like I did with Everly...click here to read more about the start of that pregnancy). Again, just the same as what happened with Evs, I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test, because I just 'had a feeling' and all 5 of them came back negative. Then I waited a few more days, took one last one (well, I actually did another 3 after this next one came back positive) and there was no denying the double line. This was just before the Creighton Aloe Festival, where I was going to be setting up and selling Gin cocktails...needless to say I was unable to actually sample any of my exciting homemade cordial concoctions and had to rely on the repeat customers and cheesy gin smiles as the day progressed to know that they were indeed good!

My mom came to visit from Joburg, mainly to babysit Everly while Farmboy and I worked our little bums off day and night at the Aloe Festival...me doing Gin and setting up the stalls etc and Farmboy who worked many a late night smoking enough pulled pork to feed 1000 people! My mom arrived armed with a ClearBlue Week Calculator pregnancy test and, thank goodness no morning sickness had hit me yet, as I was surrounded by meaty smells and alcohol! The test maxes out at 3-5 weeks so I knew that, 1. I was definitely pregnant, and 2. that I was about 3 -5 weeks pregnant. 

I decided pretty early on that I wasn't going to go for as many scans as my first pregnancy, and only popped into a GP with a very old scan machine to do a very basic check up. She struggled to find baby, and eventually found a little blob and a which was a bit of a dissapointment to be honest. She thought I was actually not as far along as I had thought, but still, it was nice to get a visual confirmation and see the strong and healthy heartbeat.

From about weeks 6 - 10 I had terrible morning sickness, something I didn't have at all with Everly (could this be a sign that this little bundle is a boy???) and I've also had all the same symptoms as before...spots on my back, dry and cracked heels, having to go to the bathroom CONSTANTLY, and feeling incredibly tired around weeks 6 - 8. My tummy also POPPED around week 10. I have done very little exercise (I'm going to blame those weeks of nausea but in reality, now that i feel back to my old self, I've just been plain old lazy). I am determined to get back to Pilates, and keep up with walks around the farm. I have also not been very good about drinking water, and have been AWFUL with snacks and junk food (again, I want to blame those weeks of nausea but in reality I know I've just been lazy to cook healthy meals) but I am suffering because of it and it's not fair on the little growing life inside of me. As of tomorrow it's back to low carb/Banting (mostly) and no more sugary drinks!

This week I went along to a Gynae for my first official scan and check up. Baby is doing well and was so lively on the scan, waving his/her hands about and kicking up a storm. She estimated my delivery date to be the 22nd February, but if I end up having a cesar (I am hoping to be able to make my VBAC *vaginal birth after cesarian* dreams come true as I ended up having an emergency cesar with Everly, after a VERY long 40 hours of labor...blog post to come on my birth story soon) then baby will be here around the 8th Feb. I went into labor at 37+6 days and Everly was born exactly on the 38th week. So, this new little one may also arrive early.

Everly 11 Months Chakas (9 of 38).jpg

Finding out that I was indeed pregnant, was a HUGE shock for both Farmboy and myself. While we both wanted more kids (and the fact that I wasn't on any form of contraceptive....mostly because I didn't want to put my body through any more doses of hormones after being on the Pill for 15 years before Everly). It's just that we hadn't planned for their to be such a short gap in-between our little ones, or that I would fall pregnant so quickly. I am in no ways complaining, it's a 'hashtag' blessing (sorry, I couldn't hep myself with that '#' considering how it gets bandied about these days) to be able to fall pregnant without any complications and I am in awe of what a woman's body is able do...carry and grow a life...but at the same time, I was filled with so many mixed emotions. Just before I found out I was pregnant, I was feeling fantastic, I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (and then some!) and was just feeling so healthy! I was just getting used to my body again, feeling strong. This definitely contributed to the feelings of shock.

Another reason for the shocked emotions was because up until that time I was still breastfeeding Everly, like, a lot! I was feeding her 4-5 times a day, and while I have always known that breastfeeding is definitely not a hard and fast form of contraception, it is more on the unusual side to fall pregnant when feeding so frequently. I only had one period (when Everly was about 7/8 months old) and then I guess the next month I fell pregnant. I think around the 7 month mark I had dropped her night/early morning feed and so my body must have started getting ready to make more babies. In case you're still wondering, I am still breastfeeding Everly, but am slowly weaning. She has had absolutely no issue with dropping feeds so far (since a week ago I now only feed her twice a day, when she wakes up in the morning, and when she goes to bed at night). I had initially planned to breastfeed until a year (she will be a year in just under 2 weeks time!!!) but I've loved our journey so far (click here to read our breastfeeding story), and if I wasn't currently pregnant, I would probably carry on until she decided she had had enough. I still seem to have enough milk for her, but she eats her solids really well and has even continued to sleep through on the od occasion I haven't been around to feed her at bedtime, so I know she probably isn't needing the feeds much anymore. I know that its going to be a very bittersweet moment when I give her her last feed, but at the same time, I would like a few months of my boobs back before the next little one is here and I am back to being the in-house dairy cow :)

Everly 11 Months Chakas (8 of 38).jpg

I also had a lot of up and downs in the very beginning, mostly because I felt like 'I already have a baby' and Everly really was just a baby at that time. And she is still pretty much going to be a baby (in my eyes at least) when her little sibling is born. But I am encouraged by all the moms I know who take the small age gap in their stride. And it's happening either way, whether I am mentally prepared or not! I'm just going to have to roll with the punches, I mean nappies (because boy oh boy are there going to be a lot of them! Although we are hoping Everly will have started potty training by them...she has been in cloth nappies since the very beginning and from what I have read, it seems cloth nappies really help with potty training...we will have to wait and see!).

You can read more about my first pregnancy, as well as all my pregnancy posts by scrolling through the images below (just click and you will be taken to the full post). I'm hoping to make some more videos like I did for my first pregnancy, so please do keep me accountable for those!

As always, thanks for following along.

x