Embracing the Crazy – Love and Cries – That’s Life

baby and her stuffed animals^^Margot and a few of her friends^^
3 year old plays with Thomas the Tank toys^^Jack can play with his trains for hours. What a lifesaver!^^
baby tummy time^^Jack demonstrating impeccable tummy time.^^
dad giving bottle to baby, glass baby bottle^^Daryle giving Margot her second bottle ever. She’s not taking to it so well.^^
baby's first smile^^This is pretty much what makes my world go round^^
six week old baby girl^^What a bebe!^^
^^More sweetness^^

mother bonding with newborn

Hi, it’s me! Things have been a mixture of wonderful and hectic, but mostly wonderful. I’m learning to accept imperfection. Boy it’s funny, I felt stressed when I just had one babe. Now with number two here, I actually feel more calm than I ever have. (Maybe it’s just the breast-feeding hormones?!) But truthfully, this is an amazing time in my life. Margot is a doll and Jack has proven himself to be a terrific big brother.

Childhood development is fascinating. I feel like I’ve been given a gift of experiencing a baby again. It’s much easier the second time around in a way because I know what developments to look for with Margot, I feel like she’s reaching each millstone with tremendous speed. Girls rule! She’s 10 weeks old — getting to the point where I’ll count the months rather than weeks very soon. She’s rocking her tummy time and holds her head so far up, she looks like a little sphinx! She’s reaching, she’s smiling, she’s cooing — like so much! And she’s already enthralled by her big brother.

Jack is now 3 years old and this age is proving to be the most challenging. He’s so aware of everything and has a good understanding of how things work. With that, he also has such strong will. He knows what he wants and thinks he knows what he hates. He loves so hard, but yet can have such strong meltdowns that sometimes I want to cry. I’ve been reading the book Parenting Without Power Struggles to help me communicate the best I can without using ultimatums or threats (Is that even possible? I’m no saint.). Even the easiest tasks like getting dressed in the morning are met with fits. Why? Just put your shirt on! Ha. But then he turns around and says things like “I’m really happy Mommy” or “There’s my baby sister, she’s a good baby” and I weep.

The greatest part of being three is Jack finds every day tasks exciting. He helps me put the dishes away, he feeds the cat, he will get juice out of our beverage fridge (which I dilute with water). He can pick out his clothes and he loves to “help” me carry the laundry basket up and down the stairs. It’s awesome and certainly makes the most mundane tasks a bit more interesting even if I’m dying to get it done as quickly as possible. And even though Jack is so active, he’s so gentle with the baby. He really does get it.

Back to embracing chaos. I have so many goals — health, cooking and eating, exercising, coming up with interesting experiences and games for the kiddos, working on the DJ business and maybe just a little bit of quality time with Daryle or just plain ole “me” time. I work it in as best I can. Since Daryle works from home, he’s been a tremendous help picking Jack up from school and squeezing in some grocery shopping so I can have some one-on-one time with Margot. I really don’t have the answers — to anything at all. I’m just changing my point of view and having a bit more humor to focus on being in the moment. It sure helps bring those intense moments some peace. Kids are awesome. I think I’m the nutty one.

Margot is One Month Old Today!

There are things about having a baby I somehow forgot in the three years since I had Jack. Having a newborn feels like a drug. I’m completely hypnotized by you, Margot. All I want to do is hold you close and give you tiny kisses. If I had remembered that feeling, I may have tried to have a baby sooner! There is nothing more extraordinary than caring for your own tiny living thing. Everything is intense as my heart sinks and swells with every breathe you take. I love watching you stretch and yawn. I love watching your bright eyes light up excitedly as you know you’re about to nurse. So many little moments that probably in a year from now I’ll read and maybe forget how significant they felt — but they are so hugely beautiful. I wish I could bottle them up and carry them around with me forever. Though if I never stop feeling this way — I may just never leave the house!

My little girl, how I love you. I actually wondered if it were possible to love more than one child. The intensity I’ve felt for Jack is boundless. But I’ve discovered — there is indeed room. You see, the heart just expands and it is incredible.

My little love is growing so! You were a big baby to begin with and you are nursing with enthusiasm and gaining weight with ease. You are already tracking black and white pictures and you love looking at the ceiling fan and window blinds. You are so curious already at four weeks old!

You love your momma and daddy very much. You don’t really like to be put down. Including at night. I honestly love nothing more than snuggling with my perfect girl all night, but I think it’s for the best if you reside next to me in the co-sleeper. So we are working on that nightly.

Sometimes I’ll take a step back and look at our family of four and feel proud. Three was lovely, but four — a nice even number — four’s a team. We are in this together.  Four’s a family. We are one.

Love,
Momma

FROM THE ARCHIVES: See Jack when he was ONE month old! 

The baby is here!

We are so fortunate to announce — a little belated — the arrival of our daughter.

Margot Saint May
December 26, 2014
8lbs 15oz, 22 inches

She’s healthy and beyond lovely. Daryle and I are filled with love and amazement at the arrival of our precious one. Jack is being the best big brother and is really interested in everything Margot does.

Love and warmth,
Katie, Daryle and Jack

P.S. See Jack’s birth announcement here.

38 Weeks Pregnant – Update Time!

After my last post regarding my quest to encourage my baby to flip from being breech to a head down position, I went through many different levels of emotion. I mentioned how determined I was as my days were consumed doing inversion exercises, moxibustion / acupuncture treatments twice a day, and meeting with a chiropractor 2-3 times per week for the Webster Technique. I was indeed obsessed and a little out of my mind. After several weeks of treatments the baby stayed put, and I was in total fear.

I began to research breech deliveries and found out it was a true possibility. My midwives at GW Hospital felt that I would be an excellent candidate for breech delivery. Their practice does have experience delivering breech babies and the midwives work hand and hand with a couple of OBs who have skills with forceps for extra guidance should the baby need it as the head emerges last. Heavy stuff. Risky stuff. But not impossible. I researched more and discovered that breech deliveries were something that women have delivered from the beginning of time. No they weren’t routine, but the woman didn’t just die if her baby never turned vertex. The trouble is, OBs in the US have become out of practice since the 1980’s and have sent nearly all women with breech babies to the operating table. Delivering a breech baby turned into something that was an art form, a finite skill, to something no one knew how to do.

Today, interested OBs and midwives go as far as India to witness and learn how to deliver a breech baby. It can be done! My issue was that “all stars needed to align” for the team at the hospital to allow me to proceed. … The baby would need to be a reasonable size — and Jack was born 9lbs — which worried me. I am measuring smaller with this pregnancy, but I did worry that my body just makes big ole babies. I needed to have a normal blood pressure also, and all the emotional stress was causing my blood pressure readings to border just a little above average.

I had a melt down. I cried for four straight days out of fear that I wouldn’t meet all the criteria and would wind up in surgery. My family supported me for a delivery as did Daryle. I actually felt passionately determined, but yet I was so fucking scared of it not working out. Of me dying. Of my baby having brain damage or dying. On a Monday morning at 35 weeks, I wept silently through my Webster adjustment. And later that day when I met with my midwife — she knew I just needed to know. She felt my belly all over, felt down near my pelvis and said “that feels like a head.” She brought in the sonogram machine and quickly placed it on me — confirming that the baby’s head was DOWN. She had flipped in the middle of the night — because I never noticed it! Waves of emotion drew over me. Strength, power — the feeling of being in control of my body, tears streamed and hope rose again for a successful delivery.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get back online to share the news. I didn’t want to “jinx” the baby’s position because it’s been known to happen that a baby will flip back up to breech. But I do believe in my heart that she is going to stay head down. I enjoyed reading the point that eventually a baby’s head becomes too heavy and that’s why they naturally move to a head down position. So I will carry with me that she has a big head like me and will stay in the right spot from here on out.

Other than that, I am feeling huge! At times I really worry how I will juggle an active (nearly) three year old with a tiny baby. Jack has been my sweet baby — he has received all my love, attention, and heart for the last three solid years and will have a major adjustment once this little girl arrives. I want this baby to be as loved as he has been. I also don’t want Jack to feel deprived. I have a lot of love to give. I just pray for patience from all.

This past Monday, I had a series of eight contractions in a row. It took me a while and after they didn’t go away, I pulled out my labor app and tracked them some more. I had 12 more, mildly painful. Another emotional streak came over me. 37 weeks was sort of considered full-term, but I was not ready to go to the hospital. I drank some water and moved around and after awhile they subsided. From experience my midwife and doula separately agreed that those contractions mean the cervix is getting ready for delivery and that the baby may come early. Another point in this pregnancy that I wasn’t expecting. My midwife said “just when you think you have it figured out, there’s a change.” She said if more contractions begin to track them as I did. If they go away — continue on with my day. And if they continue, to give them a call. Second babies can progress quickly into what they referred as lighting labor. Bam! So in the meantime, I have packed my hospital bag, all baby clothes have been washed, and the car seat is ready. I’m just hoping to last as close to 39-40 weeks as possible because I think it’s best that way.

That’s all for now. Thank you truly for your interest reading my blog, love and support.

Katie

Breech Baby — I do not want a C-Section.

Hi my friends, I know it’s been an eternity since my last post. I’ve been re-thinking the voice I want this blog to have, whether I even want to write a blog any more and to be honest, I just don’t have a direct answer right now. I love Sunshine+Design and it’s been an important creative outlet for me over the last four, five (I can’t even remember) years. That said, I’d like to share some news…

First, I will be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I’ve had an awesome pregnancy with #2. I think the second time around is actually easier because I’ve been so calm about everything. My main focus is on Jack and frankly, I don’t have the head-space to obsess about every tiny feeling the way it felt so natural to do when I was pregnant with Jack. I haven’t been tired — there’s just no room for that. In fact, I’ve felt the opposite — I’ve had lots of energy and pretty much have conducted my life the way I had been.

This will probably be the last full length picture I’ll post of myself. I’m at 32 weeks pregnant here, and was having a good hair day. I already look — ahem, different. Say hello to my messy bedroom.

As you may have remembered from my first pregnancy three years ago, I am passionate about having a natural childbirth. In my heart I do believe there are way too many unnecessary c-sections in the US and I do not want to be part of that statistical group. I do believe the over-use of pitocin and epidural can create a snowball effect, distressing the baby and leading a doctor to advise an emergency cesarean when the baby doesn’t come after a set amount of time. I chose to have an unmedicated birth with Jack and that is my aim for this baby as well.

At my 31 week appointment, my midwife felt my belly and informed me that the baby was breech. My reply: fuck. She was so calm and told me not to stress. She advised me to do some exercises from the website Spinning Babies to help encourage the baby to turn head down. My midwife even said not to obsess and do the exercises 100 times a day, but just to bring them into my routine.

An inversion from the website Spinning Babies. The idea is to get your pelvis above your head to create more room and entice your baby to do a summersault.

Hello big face and huge belly! This is an inversion from the website Spinning Babies. The idea is to get your pelvis above your head to create more room and entice your baby to do a summersault.

I would not describe myself as a “type-A” person. But I do have my pressure points. Learning that my babe is breech, I’ve gone from total depression, to angry, scared, and determined. I want this baby to flip. The trouble is, everyone I talk to outside of my midwife practice jumps to the fact that I am inevitably going to have a c-section. I don’t want to hear this.

I started seeing a chiropractor who specializes in the Webster Technique which helps encourage the baby to flip. I go in 3x a week where the chiropractor adjusts my spine to help create more room in my pelvis. It’s really quite fascinating and it feels incredible. I walk out of the office feeling relaxed with full of endorphins. It builds my courage and gives me hope.

I’ve also had an acupuncture session where the acupuncturist strongly advised me to incorporate moxibustion twice a days for 2 weeks. Moxibustion is an easy and inexpensive home remedy — you do not need to go to an office to have it done. (There are YouTube videos that show you how.) Smokeless moxa sticks are available on Amazon for next to nothing. You light one stick and hold it at the edge of your pinky toe — near the base of your toenail (so not right at the top, just a teeny bit lower).

Light the moxa stick using a candle.

Light the moxa stick using a candle, otherwise you’ll have to use 10 matches before it’s fully lit.

Doing moxibustion is sort of like meditating. I turn on some Indian music, light a lemongrass candle, put my feet up and close my eyes to visualize the baby turning around. The coolest thing is, every time I do it, the baby really wakes up and begins moving around. My acupuncturist said it’s important to establish a strict routine for my body to follow — two times a day at the same time every day. I love trance it puts me in. I come out of the session feeling rejuvenated and again full of hope and determination.

Here's a little something to remember me by: My feet. No really, I'm posting the photo in b/w so that you can't see them too much. Here's my diy way of holding the moxa stick near my feet. Please note, I did this before hearing the advise from my acupuncturist. You only need to use one stick on one side.

Here’s a little something to remember me by: My ugly feet. No really, I’m posting the photo in b/w so you can’t see them. This is my DIY way of holding the moxa stick near my feet. Please note: I did this before hearing the advise from my acupuncturist. You only need to use one stick on one foot.

I’m trying to stay positive that the baby will flip. Statistically only about 4% of babies will stay breech. I try to remind myself of the good stories I’ve heard — that some babies just like to stay near your heart, but eventually do flip. Some even take as long to flip as 37-38 weeks. That moxibustion, Webster and inversions work. I feel like a warrior in this fight — against the masses. I will not give up hope. I will march, and I will prevail no matter what. Now COME ON BABY, let’s dance.

If you’ve had a breech baby turn, I’d love to hear about your experience. I need all the positive stories I can get right now.

With love and thanks.

The Trouble with Living in the City

We’ve had the most lovely summer. Like it’s the nicest summer in the 11 years that I’ve been in DC. Most of the days have been in the low 80’s with zero humidity. It’s almost too cold for this Florida Orange to think about bringing my boy to the local pool. As you know I am a city girl. I love the bustle, the noise, the proximity to do anything, and I love taking Uber when I can’t get there fast enough. But I have one gripe, my sweet little local park, with a pavilion that houses a green roof (so cool right?!) has been tagged by some complete dummies. Look, I actually like graffiti. I appreciate seeing how a city has it’s local politics and flavors. But I’m a little pissed off at the profanity, drug references and general un-artistic-nature of this rubbish. On a bright side, Jack didn’t seem to care. But as he gets older and can actually understand what these words mean, I’d prefer him not learning them from the safe haven our neighborhood park is meant to provide.

WHAT TO DO?
1. I’ve called DC Parks and Rec. Someone put me through to an anonymous voice mail. I haven’t heard a peep and that was four days ago.
2. I tweeted the above picture to Muriel Bowser, my Ward Representative, and candidate for mayor, whom I have a sign in my front yard supporting her! No response either.

I’m not really sure what my options are other than getting in the car and going to a park in a better neighborhood. I’d love any suggestions if you have them.

Sexy Maternity Dresses for your Summer Holiday

Today marks 20 weeks into my pregnancy! Where does the time go, because that means I’m half-way there! I’m going to a wedding in Baltimore next weekend and it’s been sort of looming in the back of my thoughts all summer long. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to wear something I already owned. Up until this point, I’ve been squeezing into my regular summer clothes, but I do finally believe it’s time to get something with a little more room in the belly area. My girlfriend Rylee has been raving about ASOS’s selection for like years, so I checked out the maternity line and was amazed at how many different styles and items in general they have! Most of which aren’t insanely expensive like other maternity shops. So like a crazy, shopping-obsessed lady, I bought four options for this wedding (see above). I’m hoping at least one will work. If they do, I will surely be back for the rest of my fall wardrobe. If you are looking for cute, modern options that aren’t insultingly expensive, check out ASOS for some fresh new duds and let me know what you think! (BTW, this is NOT a sponsored post! It’s straight from my heart to yours.)

THE GOODS:
floral sweetheart dress | ivory shift dress
cobalt blue sexy french dress | printed floral with peekaboo back dress

Some Newsy News … Can you guess?

We are elated to share the news … You see, it would seem that I am going to have another baby! Yes indeed. I’ve been quiet as a mouse these last several months, I wonder if anyone besides spambots even reads this thing! Baby Mac 2.0 will be on his or her way this Christmas 2014! Yes, another Christmas baby. That would mark Jack on the 23rd and Daryle on the 25th. My money is on the 24th, wouldn’t that be fun?

I had a tough first trimester, and felt way worse than I did with Jack. For 10 weeks, I pretty much spent the entire day with morning sickness. I couldn’t handle the smell of cooking and hated the thought of anything besides toast. So after my long winded promise that I was Miss Number One Paleo Girl Forever and Ever, I’ve done a total 180 and am back to my old ways. Now that I am at 16 weeks pregnant though, I have so much more energy and have my normal appetite back. I suppose I should cut back on the ole breads, but they’re just so good!

Jack has been a sweet boy these last few months. When I ask him “what’s inside mommy’s belly?” he replies with glee “a baby!” My sweet angel, bless his heart. Every day I pray for a healthy, happy baby. We are beyond excited and a little bit freaked out by how we will juggle the babes. But at this point, we are more consumed by love for the new addition to our family!

 

Give Us Money, We Are Pretty

Wow, I’ve been m.i.a. for over a month and this is what I come back with? Well yes. Hi. I am alive, I assure you. I’ve been in la la land. No literally dreaming of living in LA for like forever. I’ve been looking at jobs, houses, schools. Yes, dreaming, hoping and praying. We shall see if anything bites.

Sometimes I think about loosening my Sunshine+Design posts to be a bit more free, and include some random imagery like this. It caught my eye while I was looking at a job board of an ad agency based in LA. I have no idea what the context of this picture is. It’s disturbing and weird. Plus the look on those ladies’ faces is miserable. I love it for it’s bizarreness.

So yes, I’m here. If you ever want to talk about Los Angeles anything, I’m all ears. And if you’d like to see more gems like this picture, follow me on Pinterestisito!

Wuvy wuv kittens!
Katie

Pretty dresses you can get dirty in

Here’s an idea I wish I had thought of: design a line of dresses that are stretchy and sturdy so that you can get on the floor and play with your kiddo, but then stand up and be wrinkle-free, put on a cute necklace and earrings, and off you go to meet your friends for a girl’s night out. Sold! Wait, but not only that, a dress that will grow with you, say if you are growing a little one inside of you. Hello my dear Sonnet James. I’m loving everything on the site: color block, stripes, navy and gold. They’ve got my name written on each item. And the prices are quite nice as well. Check out the entire line right here!



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