Two weeks in.

Get ready for it.

This is Base Camp B.

My mom is staying in the nursery while she’s helping us take care of things and we have B sleeping in the Pack N’ Play in our room.  We hear every movement, every coo, every snort.  We respond by waking up and looking at him and whispering to each other.

“Did you see him move?”
“Do you think he’s cold?”
“Is he dreaming?”
“Should we pick him up?”
“Do you think he’s wet?”
“Should I feed him now?”

B is the center of our world.  I can absolutely understand why some parents are dubbed “helicopter.”  I don’t want anyone breathing on him, letting him cry, doubting his potential, being anything but kind to him.

When daytime comes we all generally set up on the sofa for nursing and reading and rocking.  We have B nap in the living room so he understands that the bedroom is for night sleeping and the swing is for day sleeping.  I’m not sure this is making much of a difference, but everything we read about routine says you can’t start early enough.  And as a result, our living room is baby central.

These past two weeks we’ve learned a lot about B and I imagine he’s learned a lot about us!

B likes being rocked and patted on the back, the Fisher-Price Snugapuppy SwingLook, Look! books by Peter Linenthal, walks in the park and at the gardens, and regular-flavored breastmilk.

B dislikes onion-flavored breast milk, being put down before he’s actually asleep, waiting around (for more than 30 seconds) in a wet diaper.

We continue to be in love and do not want my mother to leave us.  Please stay, Mommy, and send for Dad.

On B.

We welcomed Benjamin George to our family on his due date, Valentine’s Day, at 1:01 a.m.  He was 7 lbs. 12 oz., 20 3/4 in.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the love to take over and we’ve been staring at him ever since.  We keep saying to each other, “Can you believe WE made HIM?”  He is perfect in every way.  A beautiful little mister with dark blue-gray eyes like the Atlantic and a sweet-smelling head of dark brown hair.

On the hospital…

I’m not going to write B’s birth story here.  If you want to know more about it, you can meet me for coffee some time in the distant future and I’ll tell you all.  What I will tell you is that the stay I had after the delivery was very, very good.  Nurses are incredible people.  Every nurse we had we loved — through labor and delivery and postpartum.  I wanted to take two home with us.  It was overall a very good experience!

On sleep at home…

There isn’t a whole lot of sleeping going on here.  We are averaging probably an hour at a time.  Today, we both took naps.  At one feeding last night Chris said to me, “I feel like I just closed my eyes.”  Yawn!  B eats every two and a half to three hours and it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to feed him.

On breastfeeding…

Well, it’s hard, but it’s getting better.  One of the lactation specialists in the hospital told us the first two weeks are hands down the hardest when it comes to breastfeeding.  That is why most women give up during this time.  Engorgement (when your milk “comes in”) came for me right on schedule and I was unprepared for how painful it was.  Of course, it all happened at night and there is no hotline you can call to see if everything you’re experiencing is normal.  Every website and book has differing opinions on how to relieve the pain of engorgement.  I was desperately writing to other friends who are currently breast feeding and looking for information I could agree with and work with.  Some books say to pump to relieve the engorgement, others say not to because you could mess with your production and end up over-producing milk.  My panic came after I realized the ONLY way I have to feed our baby is with my breasts.  I was not taught how to properly hand-express in the hospital and it was painful when I attempted it.  Finally, I pumped — twice — at three minutes at a time.  All seems well now and we’re back to it on the feeding schedule.

On lullabies…

Our pediatrician does not make rounds at the suburban hospital where we delivered, so we saw her Monday morning at 10:30, right around one of B’s mid-morning feedings.  We knew he would break down and he did, right after his temperature was taken (you-know-where).  I figured it would be just fine to feed him before we saw the physician, but I wasn’t sure.  I do imagine that second-, third-time parents just do what they need to do when they need to do it but I’m still not sure what kind of etiquette there is in the pediatrician’s office.  So we waited, as B melted down waiting for my breast.  In the meantime, I decided to hum to him.  Realizing I know very few lullabies, I did what I had to do, and hummed California Girls, by the Beach Boys.  B really seemed to like it and calmed down a bit before the PA came in and said, “Oh yes, just go ahead and feed him.”

On my husband…

What an incredible guy.  I am dreading him going back to work on Monday.  He was a wonderful birth partner and has been a natural dad and partner at home.  He and B just get each other and I will never get over my love for C when C is talking to baby or rocking him.

On B…

He is just a dream come true.  We know our lives have changed forever, for the better.

39 weeks, five days.

I received the following instant message from a co-worker today.

Hi – how are you doing?  I had a dream last night that you had your baby and then showed up to work right afterwards in a really cute dress!!!!  Everyone was asking you why you were at work and you said that you had some free time :)  haha … too weird.  You looked cute though!

After thanking her profusely for the dream compliment I had to ask her just what the dress looked like.  Because if there’s one thing I’ve really missed while being pregnant, it’s wearing dresses and tights to work.

It was a colorful stripe dress with a scoop neck and you had cute boots on with it and it was really form-fitting and you had just left the hospital!!!

My mom mentions often how she refused to leave the hospital (after having babies) in anything other than regular clothing — no maternity-wear.  Already, I know I’ll be glad to leave the hospital while it’s still winter and acceptable to wear a coat over whatever happens to my body after the birth of baby.  I’ve packed only comfortable clothing to wear home — leggings and a tunic.

I’m hoping not to be still pregnant by next Monday.  My doctor graciously informed me she will be out-of-town visiting her elderly parents this weekend so if I want to have the baby before or after Friday through Sunday, that would be better for her schedule.  Chris thinks Wednesday would be a good day because he doesn’t really want the baby to be born on the 13th of any month.  I’m going to try my best to accommodate all hopes and wishes surrounding baby’s delivery.

I’m craving sweets.  Lots and lots of sweets.

And meatballs.

Musings from a wee lad.

I used to think four was the most fun age for little kids.  Then Brady turned five.

Brady is C’s mom’s husband’s grandchild.  Wrap your head around it.

Brady lives in the same neighborhood as C’s mom and spends a good amount of time at C’s mom’s house.  He’s an absolute joy.  In fact, I’ve only seen him in a questionable mood one time, and that was at the art museum the day after Christmas.  I think he was just plain exhausted from the day before.  Generally, he’s got a lot to say and is very inquisitive.

Yesterday during the game (we won’t go there) Brady and I had some good chats.  He’s very interested in the baby and what’s going on in my belly.  So we had a talk and I let him ask me whatever he wanted about babies.

“Can you fit through a door?”  Yes.  ”But do you have to turn sideways?”  No.

“Do people know you’re going to have a baby?”  Yes.  ”Do they know this because your belly is fat?”  Yes.

“Can the baby see me?”  No, but he can hear you and he’ll recognize your voice when he arrives.  ”He can hear me?”  Yes.  ”So he’ll know who I am when he comes out?”  Yes!

“So your baby is just going to slide right out?”  That’s the plan!

“Will the baby be lumpy after he slides out?”  Quite possibly.

“Will he be covered in water and blood?”  Yes.

Brady, what should we name a boy?  We don’t have any boy names.  ”Golf Cart.”

Stocking up on comfy clothes.

In anticipation of kicking around home for several weeks postpartum entertaining only Baby Stroh and C, I’ve started picking up some of the world’s most comfortable clothing to hang in.

There’s really nothing better than lounge clothes.  Comfy clothes remind me of summers at Queechy–cold mornings on the lake and chilly nights in front of a bonfire or out on a boat.  There was no need for outside-world clothing (or while we’re at it, taking showers or washing my hair) as a lifeguard who spent her time between the beach and the cottage.  There was no one to impress.

Since I’ve long loved lounge clothes but never have an excuse to spend money on them, I’m thrilled that I can now shop a bit in anticipation of being cozy at home for a few months.

I’ve bought three of these Make + Model layering camisoles.  They are normally $18 each at Nordstrom.  I found three off-season colors for $3.97 a piece at Nordstrom Rack.  Score!


I bought a pair of Old Navy Compression Leggings.  Also on sale.  Old Navy is always running some promotion or another.  Today and tomorrow use code JUSTFORYOU to receive 20% off adult clothes.  Be sure to look online and sign up for their emails for extra deals and coupons.


Finally, my favorite new purchases, the Coobie Bra.  A few weeks ago, I was shopping with Micaela and an old Denver pal of hers, who is also pregnant.  We were at Kismet, a sweet little boutique on 32nd in Highland, where she bought two of these bras.  When we left the store, she showed them to us and told us hands down, she could not get enough of them.  They’re padded, they’re one-size fits many (sizes 32A to 36D — now a full-sized line is offered, 38A to 42DD), and they have detachable straps.  I went back and bought one to try.  Three days later, I bought two more.  They’ve also received rave reviews online for use as nursing bras due to their comfort, straps and ultimate “give” when it comes to cup sizes.


Today’s lesson?  Keep it comfy, lady pals.  And remember, postpartum isn’t the only excuse…we’ve got weekends too!

The wind.

Again last night I was woken up by the wind.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, it is VERY blustery up here and in Denver in general.

The first thing I did was see if I could spot my planet out the window from my place in bed.

There is a planet, or I guess more probably a satellite or some light in the clear night sky that is bright enough to see without my glasses and it’s been in the upper left corner of our bedroom window for a few weeks now.  It’s a bit of a comfort, flickering in the urban canopy.

I am having trouble sleeping, which I think is just part of being less than four weeks from my due date.  Where did our time as two go?  What will it be like to be someone’s mother?  How will we handle it all as a couple?

Chris has been working massive hours.  I mean, home by midnight at the earliest on nights we don’t have birthing classes and sometimes nights we do — when class lets out at nine, he goes back to his office.  He goes back to the office for seven a.m.  I have been handling things at home and at work (and not doing that great at either).  Yesterday it all came spilling out before Micaela arrived from Boston for a visit.  We are freaked out.

How do we fit this tiny person into our small space?  I totally get why people move to houses in the suburbs.  It’s so they can have a nursery big enough to fit a large tufted glider without having to sacrifice a guest bed.  It’s so they don’t have to get rid of dishes to fit bottles in their kitchen cupboards.  It’s so they don’t have to put their desk in storage so a crib can fit in the office.

How will we live with limited sleep?  Or at least, super interrupted sleep?  Will we be really cranky with each other?

Baby will be born during corporate tax season and I’ve been forewarned that Chris will not be able to take much time off to help me those first few weeks and unfortunately, we’ve decided my mom should come out when Chris receives radioactive iodine rather than when the baby is born.  We think this will happen some time in March.  What will I do without my mom or my partner here to help me?  Leaning on others is NOT my strong suit.  My mother-in-law has been very gracious and wants to be here to help and I know I need to take her up on this — “What are you doing from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day for two weeks because I’m worried I won’t be able to do this without a little help and guidance?”

I have been told over and over again to ASK people to come and visit.  Come hold the baby so I can take a shower.  Please feel free to do a load of laundry.  Clean our bathroom.  I’m not really comfortable with much of that kind of thing–you know, the asking for help thing.

Last night after worrying for an hour and writing an email to Micaela (who was right next door in the nursery) about my Wednesday and Friday schedule, I decided there was really not much I could do about it.  It is what it is and it’s only for a short while.  Just like that planet in the night sky.  It’s going to change position.  It’s going to shift.  And I have to have faith that all this concern will work itself out and in a few months I’ll be wondering what all this apprehension was about to begin with.

wind runner[source]