Luke is 18 months which means he is half a year old which means we are only SIX months away from him being 2 years old. I just can’t believe it!

Oh boy these last three toddler months have been so fun! I continue to be shocked at how much of a “little adult” Luke is. The rate at which he learns things is beyond astonishing and I only wish I could learn new things like he does.

Where to start……I guess the biggest and most recent event that has happened since I last posted his 15 month update is that he is now a big brother. And goodness he is the most adorable big brother. He is SO loving with Olivia and constantly gives her kisses and hugs. He’s recently started trying to pick her up when she’s in the rock and play. It’s adorable and again reminds me that he is always watching what we are doing. I hope that he continues to show his affection for her and I can’t wait until she starts to smile back at him.

Sleeping has been going pretty well in the last three months. He continues to sleep through the night with no issues. Sometimes he needs an extra cuddle session when we put him down but I am thankful he is in the crib every night from 7:00ish to 6:00ish. His one nap a day is going fairly well. The length is still highly unpredictable but he always gives us at least an hour and a half and sometimes the nap lasts for 3 hours. Average is definitely two and it is the most welcomed two hours as he truly does need a nap that long.

He’s currently getting his last set of 4 teeth before two year molars start. The canine teeth showed their ugly heads months ago but are JUST now starting to pop through. He’s got one through and I am so hopeful the next three will be through soon. I. LOATHE. TEETHING. I’m also hoping he will be done with teething before Olivia starts.

Eating is still going well although he has definitely gotten more picky than before. He doesn’t like to have the same things more than a couple days in a row. I do find myself nervous about mealtime (particularly lunch and dinner) as I never know if he’s going to eat what I make or not. I’ve just started to put his food on my plate and pretend like I’m going to eat it as he always points and demands to eat my food. Breakfast is always the easiest meal and I’m thankful at least that is predictable. Just for fun I tried to give him a bite of donut which he refused and when we went for frozen yogurt and I tried to share he had a fit. I’m totally fine if his disgust for sweets continue. I only wish i didn’t like sugar as much as I do. I’ve recently discovered some great toddler foods including RXbars-kids. I hope to continue to discover foods that Luke likes as he gets older and I’m looking forward to the day he can just tell me what he wants to eat.

I continue to be amazed at the cognitive ability of a toddler. Luke seems to understand everything we are saying and we’ve resorted to spelling some things out as to avoid having him fixate on whatever it is we are talking about (i.e. crackers, park, milk). I’ve been keeping track of words that he says on his own regularly (I figure the pediatrician will ask me) and so far we are over 30 words. He will attempt to say whatever we ask him to say when we say “Luke can you say….” and it’s been really fun hearing his versions of our language. His newest language skill makes me think he is trying to begin to speak in sentences. He will say something along the lines of “Buh buh ba buh ba ba ba” as he’s pointing to something he finds interesting or wants to know more about. I think it is adorable and I’m hoping to get it on film so I can watch it a million times over and over again when he is actually saying sentences.

Luke is truly all boy and enjoys typical male things (i.e. tooting and laughing-how do they know at this age that it is funny?!?!, playing in mud and dirt, etc). His all time favorite toy continues to be the golf ball and golf club. He will take any stick like contraption and swing it like a golf club. We recently bought him a t-ball stand and he’s enjoying swinging the bat. When he does so he says “POW.” I wonder if he’ll grow up to play some type of sport that involves a stick. He loves being outside which is now sadly limited to the AM hours since it’s so hot. He loves the water and completed a third session of swim lessons in May and is now participating in the Little Gym this summer. We continue to be habitual library go-ers and are enjoying all the story times and festivals during the hot months. We’ve also joined an art studio for children here in hopes of getting him more interested in those typs of things. His love for coloring is really just a love for taking the marker tops on and off over and over again.

Luke loves responsibility and being given tasks to do. Throwing things away, putting clothes in the dirty laundry, putting items back in the fridge and pantry, and sweeping are among his favorite househould duties. I’ve figured out anything can be turned into something fun and exciting to a toddler….it’s all in the presentation!

I feel extremely lucky to have Luke and can’t wait to see what the next few months hold for our little adult!

https://youtu.be/egxZ4qEmMW4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN5rwErs7Jkhttps://www.youtube.com/upload

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Playdate!IMG_8084

Luke’s music classIMG_8140

Our mornings involve pajamas and outdoor activities.IMG_8539

Luke had his first professional haircut…..you can tell how it went by the picture!

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I hope his love for books continue.IMG_8643

Imaginary Worlds Festival at the Library a few weeks ago.IMG_9166

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One month with Olivia

I say this all the time and I’ll say it again. It’s crazy that time goes by so quickly. Olivia is one month old! It seems like just yesterday that she was born but it also seems like ages since I was pregnant with her. It’s hard to remember life without our newest family member.

Olivia is doing really well! She’s doing great at feeding and currently weighs 9lbs 3.5 oz and is 21.5 inches long. She’s also giving me 4+ hour stretches at night which is much appreciated. She definitely prefers sleeping on someone to sleeping alone but what newborn doesn’t? Like her brother, she hates having her hands swaddled and I’m longing for the day that the startle reflex no longer exists. We are still in that exhaustion phase but I have to say it’s much easier this time around.

One of my favorite things about her so far is this little grunt she does when she’s annoyed. It’s hilarious and I would equate to “the face” I used to give students who were misbehaving during teaching. It’s like her baby version of being disgusted with what’s going on at the moment. She often does it when stretching out or when a paci is in her mouth (I think she’s going to be one of those kids who doesn’t take a paci). The facial expressions that go along with the grunt are priceless.

She has really good head control and turns it from one side to another during tummy time. She has also rolled from her tummy to her back three times which is kinda scary. Hopefully those were just flukes and we won’t have to worry about her achieving physical milestones early. Mobile children are much harder to keep up with. ūüėČ

She’s pooping and peeing and sleeping and eating so well. All the things a newborn should be doing. And so far her “4th trimester” has been much smoother than Luke’s was.

Speaking of Luke, I can’t describe Olivia’s first month without telling you all about how Luke has adjusted. He is doing very well with his new little sister. He loves running into our bedroom in the morning to greet her with hugs and kisses. He’s also recently been reaching up his arms to her when someone is holding her. At first we thought that he wanted to be picked up but then we realized he wanted to embrace her with a hug. It melts my heart every time. My parents are still here which means Luke is getting lots of attention and I do worry about how he’ll adjust when it’s just us three during the day (especially during feedings). If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that children are resilent and adapt much better than adults and I think Luke will do just fine.

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Olivia’s Birth Story

Olivia Mae Whitworth was born on June 3rd at 11:43am via repeat C-section at 37 weeks. The delivery was a breeze and I am so thankful there were no complications with either of us.

Walt and I headed to the hospital around 9:30 that morning. We decided it would be best if Luke stayed at home while we headed to the hospital. Delivery was set for 11:00 and we didn’t want the “goodbye” at the hospital to be traumatic for either of us. So thankfully my parents stayed with Luke as to not disrupt his nap schedule or make him worry about where we were being whisked off to at the hospital.

We were brought in to the pre-op room almost immediately where nurses took my vitals and asked my a ton of questions.

SIDE NOTE: I couldn’t eat past midnight on June 2nd. If you know me well you know that this was extremely disturbing to me. Luke’s delivery was at 8:00 which made the “no food after midnight” much more doable. I ate a HUGE dinner and even woke up at midnight so that I could eat again. I thought I’d be good but all be damned if I didn’t wake up that morning STARVING. I knew there would be no way I could go without eating so I ate some almonds and peanut butter and drank a little diet coke (I needed the caffeine). Walt was in doctor mode telling me I shouldn’t eat and I asked him if he’d like to deal with hangry Jennifer after which he stopped nagging me. So among the many questions the nurses asked was “when did you last have food” and of course I lied and said midnight. It felt like I was asked that question a billion times and finally I said to myself “if one more person asks me that question I’m going to have to tell the truth.” Thankfully no one else asked and the surgery went fine. ūüôā

After all the pre-op protocol was finished I was wheeled a few feet from our room to the OR. As with Luke, Walt was told to wait outside while they did anesthesia¬†(which once again felt like FOREVER). It was a surreal feeling once I was in the OR. Everything is so bright and white and medical looking. It doesn’t feel like you are about to have a baby brought into the world. Everyone in the OR was amazing and made the entire process joyful.

When Walt was brought in I began to cry. I think it was a build up of lots of emotions that laid much more dormant during this pregnancy. Walt was an amazing support and so was the nurse who sat with us and reassured us that all would be well.

I swear it wasn’t but five minutes into the operation that I heard someone say “Happy Birthday!” I remember thinking to myself “the baby is already out? but we just started?” And then I saw her beautiful little face and chunky little body. The peds team immediately started the APGAR tests while Walt watched and we were both reassured that she was healthy and beautiful. After the test was done at 1 and 5 minutes they brought her to me for skin to skin time as they finished the surgery.

Walt and I were taken to the recovery room after about an hour in the OR and I was able to breastfeed. Olivia latched on immediately and nursed while the doctors were waiting for the anesthesia to wear off. Thankfully that happened within an hour and we were brought into our room where we stayed for two nights.

The second night in the hospital was difficult. Olivia was going through the typical 2nd night cluster feeding and Walt and I were both exhausted, missing Luke, and desperate to get home. We were discharged and home with our family on Monday morning around 11:30.

We took a family photo right after coming home from the hospital. Walt is holding Luke and I’m holiding Olivia. I still get choked up when I look at the photo. It’s still hard to beleive she is here and healthy. It’s hard to believe I’ve had another successful pregnancy and am now a mother to two living children. And yet even after all the joy we’ve experienced there is still a part of me missing. That will forever be the case.

I am so happy that all went well with her delivery and my recovery. While I never thought I’d have multiple C-section babies I am so happy that my body has responded well to all of my deliveries.

We didn’t have a name picked out until the night before her birthday. We were hesitant about using Olivia as it is so similar to her oldest brothers name and didn’t know if that would be difficult for us. Now that she is here we both agree the name is perfect especially since her middle name is the same as Walt’s grandmother who holds a very special place in his heart.

We are so happy she is here!

Happy Birthday! 

Olivia Mae Whitworth was born at 11:43 on June 3rd at 37 weeks via repeat C Section. She weighed 6lbs 15.5 oz and is 19.75 inches long. She is doing beautifully and we are so thankful for this addition to our family! 



Less than a week…

Two years ago today we found out I was pregnant with Luke. It was the beginning of a long road of anxiety and worrying but it was truly our last hope. It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by and now we are just days away from meeting our third child, our daughter.

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that Luke is here and is a¬†thriving toddler. I cannot believe that we have (so far) had another successful pregnancy and that we are going to be adding another family member on Saturday. I am so very thankful and nervous.

I’ve been a bit nervous in the last week or two that something catastrophic will go wrong. I remember having these same thoughts during Luke’s pregnancy. It’s like we are so close that I’m convinced something will go wrong and while I don’t want to wish time away I’m counting down the days until my new baby girl and Luke are both in my arms or at least in my sight.

I never realized that there is a mourning period for mothers who are about to have another baby. From what I have heard this mourning period is very normal. After all your “alone” time with your child is ending but under the most beautiful circumstances. While the adjustment period will be hard I know that Luke is going to be a wonderful big brother. He such a sweet little boy and I can envision the type of big brother he is going to be.

I’ve been pretty emotional over the last few days/weeks about this huge life change. It has brought up the grief I continue to live with over not having Oliver¬†here as well as the gratitude I have given Luke is. Life is weird and complicated and it continues to be a journey that has emotional valleys and peaks for me.

My last doctor’s appointment is tomorrow. I will have labs drawn for the delivery on Friday and then Saturday we will head to the hospital around 10:00 for the 11:30 delivery. I’m not looking forward to the surgery or recovery but continue to remember that after Luke was born I had the thought “I can do this again.” My children have taught me that I can pretty much do anything even when I don’t want to or think I can’t.

At my last appointment my doctor asked if I had any questions (like he always does) and unlike all the other times I told him I did have one. I prefaced my question by saying I know I was getting ahead of myself but we aren’t sure if this will be our last pregnancy. If it is medically safe for me we would like to have one more living child so I asked him to keep that in mind during the delivery. He said he doesn’t see why we wouldn’t be able to have another child unless my uterus has thinned out so much (where the incisions have been) that it would be a risk. His optimistism was a relief and I’m hoping that we get good news after the surgery is over. And while I realize it’s crazy to already be thinking about another pregnancy I felt it was important to ask this question and to be prepared for the answer.

But in all seriousness I’m ready to not be pregnant for a while. I’m ready to go on long runs and drink beer. I’m ready to meet my daughter.

Five days. Five extrememly short and long days.

 

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36 Weeks.

 

 

15 month update

Luke is 15 months. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were moving to a new city and leaving the city we lived in for 10 years behind. It’s even harder to believe that at this time last year Luke was only 3 months old!

You’ll have to forgive me but I have to get this out of the way first. We are going through sleep hell right now. About a month ago Luke started to transition from two naps to one nap and it hasn’t gone well at all. The problem is that with two naps he gets WAY too much sleep and has trouble falling asleep at night. With only one nap he gets too little sleep and has trouble falling asleep at night. Odd right? The issue with the one nap a day has been that his body doesn’t yet know how to nap for the minimum of 2 hours he needs on a 1 nap schedule. The other issue is that our child takes after his momma and daddy and is a complete early bird which means making it until noon or 1:00 for his one nap means he’s overly tired which isn’t good for ¬†staying asleep. ¬†I’ve come to terms with the fact I will never have a child that naps for more than two hours and I will never have a child that sleeps for 12 hours at night BUT we’ve been struggling for the last several weeks. ¬†For example yesterday he woke up at 4 am and then fell back asleep from 5-6. He took a morning nap that was over an hour at 8:30am and then almost a 2 hour afternoon nap. Today he wakes up at 6:00 after sleeping 11 hours and only naps for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 12:00. HELP!!! Add to the nap transition FOUR canines that are coming through and well you’ve got some sleep deprived people in our household. This too shall pass, right?

Okay moving on!

Wow! This age is fun. It’s SO fun! Luke is a sponge and soaks up every little detail of everything. Right now he’s really into mimicking what others are doing and doing things for himself. He loves to bathe himself in the bath, brush his own hair, sweep the floors (he’s obsessed with the broom), and feed himself using a spoon or fork (still working on the mechanics of all of that). His favorite toys continues to be his plastic golf clubs and balls and his hand eye coordination is pretty impressive at times. Walt is excited about this as his dream of a future golf partner is in the works. Luke loves to be outside and I’m excited to explore new parks, plant a garden, and spend mornings and afternoons outdoors with him throughout the spring.

Luke loves music and I have to credit his weekly music class for that. He has learned so much from that class and I’m amazed at the latent learning that has gone on. Anytime a song comes on that he’s heard before he smiles and begins to clap and dance. His favorite song to dance to at the moment is Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash.

While I know it’s not the case it seems as though he understands everything we are saying. You can ask him to throw something away and he will do so. You can tell him to bring you something and he will go retrieve it. Just last night we were doing a Melissa and Doug puzzle that has different types of locks that can be done and undone and I made some comment like “oh this is the same type of lock that is on daddy’s guitar case” and he got up, walked over to the guitar case, and undid that lock. Speaking of locks he is OBSESSED with doors and door handles. He can open doors with handles that are levers (NOT fun to deal with) and will probably be able to open regular door handles once he grows another inch or two. We are probably going to have to install chain locks at the tops of some doors. He’s even figured out how to unlock the gate at the local children’s museum. The baby proofing never ends.

He’s just started to attempt to mimic what we say when asked to do so. In addition to the regulars of dada, momma, bird, ball, book, he will now say “doctor” (probably from going to so many appts with me) Pop Pops (my dad), bye-bye, baby, and “bu bu” for both bubles and blueberries. He can tell you that the rooster cock-a-doodle-doo’s or “coc coc” and that the owl says “hoo hoo.” He can locate his own and your nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, hair, ears, belly button, and now boobies (oh boy). He knows his baby sister is in my belly and often comes to lift my shirt up and give her a hug and kiss. And he knows that shaking his head from side to side means “no” even when asked things that you know he should say yes to.

He’s definitely not an “easy” child…not that any child is. He’s not the type of child who is going to sit by himself for even a few minutes and play with his toys. His curiosity demands constant attention and he needs you to be sitting down on the ground helping him figure out the world around him. If he is awake he is moving and chances are he’s going to need to be chased around as he’s trying to escape the room or environment he is in. Even if we did allow him to have screen time I highly doubt he would be able to sit still long enough to allow me to do anything productive. I’ve found getting out of the house with him is much easier than staying in. We visit the Science Center, the Children’s Museum, and frequent many libraries for story time each week.¬†He’s not the child who is going to fall asleep in the stroller or in the car as he’s just too preoccupied taking in his surroundings. This is so much fun and so exhausting.

Luke loves to eat although his long and lean physic may say otherwise. I literally think he burns every calories he consumes. If only I should be so lucky. His favorite foods are yogurt and cheese, any kind of fruit, and zuchinni, peas, and carrots. He refuses to eat any type of meat that is left over and turns his nose up at cooked spinach. Thankfully spinach is really easy to sneak in to smoothies and grilled cheese. Anytime I get the Mediterrean salad with smoked chicken from Panera I am fully aware I will be splitting it with Luke. He loves everything about that salad including the kale which I find very odd. We don’t give him processed sugar….I guess I kind of figure “what’s the point?” At this age they don’t know any different and there is no nutritional value in it. I still wish I could hold myself to the same standards.

We are currently doing our third session of swim lessons and Luke continues to love the water. He’s a little more distracted in the pool these days than he was with his first lesson at 6 months but he’s learning a lot. If we ask him to show us how he swims in the pool he will move his arms and kick his feet. I’m hoping that this early exposure to water helps make me more comfortable with him in the pool and give him the knowledge he needs to one day be able to swim comfortably on his own.

I feel like I have so much more to say but I’m exhausted and so I will leave you with some pictures and videos of the last 3 months.

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Luke got his first hair cut by Walt in February. The bath photo was pre haircut. It already needs to be cut again.

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28 Weeks

I am now 28 weeks 1 day and officially in the 3rd trimester. This was a huge milestone in Luke’s pregnancy and it’s hard not to want to celebrate this milestone in this pregnancy as well.

But the truth is this pregnancy has been extremely different in regards to the anxiety and fear that being pregnant with Luke brought me. Don’t get me wrong. I have worried and cried over losing this baby girl but the truth is I have been much more relaxed about everything. It’s probably easy for me to say that right now given that I am 28 weeks. The late teens/early and mid twenties were still very nerve wracking for me but each appointment brought welcomed news that all things were fine.

The major difference in the worry and anxiety has not been about something happening to the baby like when I was pregnant with Luke. Instead the anxiety has been centered around worrying about something happening to me. I never worried about myself when the trauma of Oliver’s delivery was happening and I never worried about what could happen to me during Luke’s pregnancy. I was solely focused on my unborn children in both instances. After knowing what I know about Oliver’s delivery I realize that I could have lost my life. I never even thought about that until it was clear that my husband while mourning the loss of our 1st son was also thankful that I was alive.

Now that Luke is here and thriving I have found that I worry about him growing up without me. I have not let myself think about this too often because the thought of not being here for the rest of Luke’s life is truly too hard for me to even begin comprehending.

However, as the due date approaches (which is already scheduled for June 3rd at 11:30) I feel like these thoughts might creep back into my mind. And perhaps the closer I get to having my daughter in the world the more my anxiety will increase. Thankfully though I have a feeling that Luke will distract me from too much worry as he has done for the majority of this pregnancy.

Thankful to be 28 weeks and 1 day. Thankful that all is going well.

Viability 

I’ve hit the 24 week mark. 24w0d today. This will be a hard week for me. The next month will be. My app tells me this week is a milestone because I’ve hit “viability.” And if the baby was born this week she would have “a great chance of surviving.” 

I call bullshit.

As a mom who lost her son at 24w6d I know that’s not true. 

I call bullshit.

As someone who has heard a ton of other mom’s stories whose babies where born later than 24 weeks and did not survivor.
I call bullshit.

As a mom who knows any baby born at this age would struggle for years and years. 

I’d like them to define what “survive” means. 

24 weeks: Be nice to me. I need the next 13 weeks to be nice to me.