Tuesday, October 30, 2012

three and three-quarters


































this past weekend papa was out of town and we had our own little halloween celebration. this was the first time ever that you ran off and just played with friends without me looking out for you every minute. you would run up to me and say "may i please have three tickets" and then run away.

you are changing so much physically. no more baby belly, you are getting long and lean as you approach four. i'm surprised at all that you know, your observations of the world, your desire to share with us everything you see. i'm having a hard time at the idea of sharing you with one more person but know that our hearts will expand every second your baby sister gets closer.

some things that have made me smile so much lately.

how much you love to dance to the nutcracker and hernando's hideaway (archie bleyer's version).

you now tell everyone you are three and three-quarters. you are so proud of yourself that you are about to stop using your night time diaper.

the holes in your tights still drive you mad. hopefully we can get to a better place with that.

your descriptions are getting more vivid every day and i love the world that you color. you talk about your christmas birthday party. you want a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting. but not real strawberries just the taste. then you want pink, blue, and purple stars and rainbow sprinkles all over it. you'd also like polka dot napkins and "hang-y things" like baby ruby had at her party. you've also requested a "texas" piƱata (pegasus), not a unicorn.

the next few weeks are going to be so exciting and new for all of us. please be patient with mama and papa as we go through them. we love you so much and want to be the best parents to you both. and in turn, i promise i'll do my best to be mindful of you too. i taped two things to the wall and will read the words every day.

the first:

SAY YES.

the second:

my hands are small. i don't mean to spill my milk.
my legs are short –– please slow down so i can keep up.
please look at me when i talk to you. it lets me know you are really listening.
remember, i am a child, not a small adult. sometimes i don't understand what you are saying. 
i love you so much. please love me for just being myself, not just for the things i can do. 

- author unknown

Monday, October 29, 2012

a new moon


tomorrow we meet our little girl. it is so surreal that we have a birthday picked out for her but i do feel pretty peaceful that's it's a good day. in the harvest almanac, it says that babies born a day after the full moon enjoy success and endurance. not bad. i've been having contractions and feelings that labor is approaching since last wednesday and know that labor would start very soon if i didn't have this scheduled cesarean.

i am truly grateful to everyone who has written with words of advice or shared their own stories of their cesarean births. i'm still a little frightened of the healing process but have amazing support in the days ahead. it will be such a lesson in humility to not be able to do all the things i like to do for myself and others. maybe a lesson i need. asking for help is ok (i'm still telling myself this!) i've culled all of the advice and have created a great birth plan that i'd love to share postpartum.

it might be a bit quiet around here while we are spending time with our new little one. i'm sure i'll still be on instagram quite a bit - my handle is thelittlest.

i'd also like to share a post i wrote for jamie and cecilia's blog on the topic of the first six weeks postpartum. it is more relevant than ever and will be guiding me in the weeks ahead!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

pumpkin party!!

last week we invited some friends over to carve pumpkins and to celebrate our being a little more settled in our new home. i had planned on making a big pot of soup, some cider, and donuts but it ended up being ninety degrees. thankfully it cooled off quite a bit as evening drew nearer and we were even able to have a fire in our backyard. i love our new home and the fact that it feels so quiet even though we are still in such a big city. there is nothing quite like a gaggle of kids running from the front yard to the backyard, being silly, and having a good time together. so grateful for this life.






























































last two pictures by jesse chamberlin

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

life from life

these final weeks are so bittersweet. it's such a wondrous gift creating life from life. so far i've gained about forty pounds which is a little less than i did with my first. knowing that every nutrient is being funneled to my little baby makes me ok with all of the weight gain, although i am getting a bit swollen these past few days. i feel a bit like tweedle dee trying to get out of bed and can't help but laugh at myself. i'm SO pregnant!

i have been walking, taking prenatal yoga with some amazing local teachers, and try to swim two times a week. i cannot emphasize how important swimming has been this pregnancy and urge mamas to try to find a local place to swim while pregnant. i've increasingly become more absent minded - staring off into space and forgetting why i came into a room. the baby's movements are getting more intense each day and we've been singing the same songs to her over and over again. 

i didn't take a load of pictures while pregnant with elodie so wanted to make sure i captured this pregnancy. i asked the gorgeous and talented annie mcelwain if she would come over and take some shots that were a little more intimate than what i've been doing up until now after seeing justina's pregnancy photos. although they maybe would have been more flattering around 7 months, i wanted to remember this transformative time and the transition from one to two. big belly, bottom, and all! so here we are...37 weeks.








































































































top to bottom: the brilliant loup charmant, vintage, kiki de montparnasse

Friday, October 19, 2012

picking pumpkins

recently we took a trip out to underwood farms with some of our good friends. it was a moody sixty degree day and since we went during the week it was pretty empty. so nice to feel so far from los angeles even though we were only 15 minutes from malibu!











































































Saturday, October 13, 2012

nesting
































nesting is no joke. it hit me fast and furiously and has turned me into such a home body these past few days. i'm soaking up as much time with family and friends before this our new little one arrives. elodie and i have been talking about all the things a baby needs. it's pretty short.

1. lots of love
2. boobies
3. diapers sleep

she giggles every time we get to the second item on the list. it's amazing how little you really need and i kind of laugh when thinking back at how much time i put into elodie's nursery before she was born. i don't think we really spent more than 5 minutes at a time in it before she turned one. we are turning this baby's room into a family/play room with a little corner just for her. now if we could just decide on a name!

Friday, October 12, 2012

when life gives you a breech baby...































so i'm in a very interesting position. my little girl has been double footling breech for the past 9 weeks. when i wrote this post, my birth options seemed very simple. i would labor at home for as long as possible with my doula and then head to the hospital to have an unmedicated, vaginal birth. just like i had done with elodie.

my latest parenting lesson: every child is different. the way they choose to come to you is different. you are hilarious for thinking you have any control over this. 

i have spent a great deal of my last trimester trying to change these circumstances including:

1. all the exercises on spinningbabies.com, a great resource for turning breech babies
2. visits with the chiropractor doctor berlin. he is somewhat of a local hero here in los angeles, known for his ability to turn breech babies and as an advocate of vaginal breech births
3. acupuncture combined with moxabustion (which i'm slightly addicted to)
4. headstands in pools
5. researching midwives and doctors who will deliver breech babies vaginally in the hospital and at home (not one would do a footling breech)
5. having elodie and michael talk to her down low, shine a flashlight on her, play music
6. and last, but not least, asking her many times if she would please turn around

part of me feels responsible for her not turning. that i have been so busy with our move that i haven't been there for her the way i was with elodie. it's really hard to not beat myself up about that but i am finally coming around to the fact that maybe she just likes where she is. with her head up under my ribs close to my heart and voice.

the idea of a scheduled c-section has been uncomfortable for me and i've spent the last few weeks worrying so much about it. last week i decided enough was enough. that i was creating so much more resistance during these final, beautiful weeks than was necessary. i have reached out to many friends and acquaintances to hear their c-section experiences and have to say that i'm finally getting to a place of peace if this is the route for me. i am so thankful for all of the women who have come forth to share advice and tell me their stories. i am so thankful to be a woman going through this amazing experience called birth. i am so thankful that i have this option. i am so thankful that i am having a little girl who has already started teaching me much needed lessons. i thought with elodie's birth that i had learned about surrender, apparently, i have more to learn.

so now i am turning all my focus on relaxing into this last bit of time. maybe that in itself will turn her.  if not, i am now prepared for this new experience. i am choosing to not to do an external version as my doctor thinks i will have less than a 30% chance of success due to a low-lying anterior placenta. i know many women end up with scary emergency c-sections (and doing an external version could cause this to happen) and i am grateful that i have time to prepare. my eye is on the prize. welcoming my daughter in as peaceful and safe way as possible.

i am sharing this in the event that another mama might end up finding some useful information if they end up with a breech baby. the good news is that a very low percentage of babies stay breech so it really is worth trying everything!

photo by bonnie tsang

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

try not to smile






















this photo by photographer steve schapiro makes me supremely happy. i was getting a haircut and came across a story on him in the latest issue of italian vogue. he captured so many incredibly important moments of the sixties and seventies - JFK, Martin Luther King, Andy Warhol's Factory, as well as some fun ones like this. i hope this little boy went on to live a fantastically full life!

Monday, October 8, 2012

the moon is almost full - 34 weeks

the evening before the harvest moon, jenn and i headed to arlington park to snap a few photos of my growing belly. it was a beautiful indian summer night and i immediately fell in love with the parks many pomegranate, olive, orange, and cypress trees. it is so nice to discover a new corner of the city, especially with my littlest baby.

my due date is november sixth but there are so many things that lead me to believe she will be an october baby. i love this month, the transition from summer is so beautiful. the leaves change, we get to bundle up a bit more, hunt for pumpkins, eat donuts and drink cider. it is a perfect time to go from a family of three to a family of four. things are getting exciting around here!




dear baby girl,

it has been a really intense month with you. you are breech which has caused a lot of anxiety for me. i am trying really hard to surrender to your journey. knowing how you choose to come into the world is part of your path. a new lesson in motherhood that you are going to be different than your sister elodie. your auntie's midwife tells me that because we've been busy moving that you have just wanted to be closer to my heart and my voice. if this is the case, i'm so sorry that i haven't let you know how excited i am to welcome you into our family. things are slowing down and every day we are getting closer to you coming. you have grown so much in the past few weeks and i feel your spirit stronger every day. elodie always hugs you and says "i love you, my baby sister." you love when papa talks to you down low in my belly and kick like crazy when we sing to you. already a music lover! i can't wait to take you often to this new garden. it will always be ours as we discovered it together. 

mama loves you.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

motherbees

a little over five weeks to go and i'm starting to contemplate food for after baby number two is born. with elodie, i was constantly starving from all the breastfeeding, and making sure i had all the nutrients i needed was the last thing on my mind during those first bleary eyed days. i just saw this brilliant los angeles based website, motherbees, and it's inspired me to get ready! every single meal they carry sounds so delicious and perfect for a pregnant and postpartum mama. it's been too hot (aren't all my posts a bit redundant?) to think of cooking and freezing food but i've broken out the shopping list to prepare some of these in advance at home and might splurge a couple of days and order some of their fantastic salads and teas that you can't store. at any rate, all of the ingredients they use are nutrient rich and already staples in my diet. and what a great baby shower gift! wish i'd known about this a couple of months ago when a few of my dear friends had their babies.