Reed Camille, Two Months

Hi, friends! I am two months old today.
Here's what I'm up to lately:


-I weigh 11.5 pounds and am really long!
-I wear 3-6 months clothes!
-I look just like my sister except I have my uncle Jake's nose.
-I started smiling and cooing at Mama the day after I turned one month.
-I am about to giggle any time now--it almost sounds like it when Mama makes faces at me.
-I started rolling over from belly to back regularly at five weeks.
-I am still a great sleeper.
-I sleep on Mama but she can lie me down if she needs to and I stay asleep.
-I love to be worn.
-I fall asleep almost immediately in the car.
-I got to meet all of my aunts and uncles this month!
-I went on my first little road trip to Tulsa. Slept the whole drive!
-I am super tolerant of sister's cuddles and loud yelling.
-I get lots of comments from strangers about what a smiley baby I am!
-I am incredibly interested in hanging objects. I love my new play gym.
-I grin and coo when Mama reads to sister.
-Dada is the only one who can calm me down during my witching hour late at night. I love lying on his legs and looking up at him.
-Other than my very short fussy time in the evenings, I am an incredibly easy, happy baby!

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Oh, my girl You have healed my heart with your joy--you are such a happy baby and I can't help but let it rub off on me. I wish I could freeze time and keep you at this smiley age forever, but I also know you have much more to teach us. We love you so much, sweet Reed!

Preparing My Toddler for Birth

If you read my birth story, you may have noticed that Edie was not only present for her sister's arrival--she played a huge role in it. Her hand was on my back as I pushed and she helped Daniel cut the cord. Edie was two years and seven months old when Reed was born, and throughout the course of my pregnancy I received a lot of questions and concerns about my plans to have her in attendance. Won't she freaked out? Isn't she too young for such an experience? Isn't it inappropriate for her to have that type of understanding of where babies come from?

I obviously can't predict the future, but I always responded with, "No, I don't think so." 

Toddlers are whole people, too. In my experience parenting Edie, I've learned she is pretty capable of being as responsible as I allow her to be. So I told her I was pregnant as soon as I found out, knowing full well I would have to explain loss if it came to that. Praise the Lord it didn't. Instead I got to explain the female body and its magical ability to grow a human and give birth. 

Mamas, you know your kids better than I or anyone else. I'm not claiming this will work for everyone, but adding a couple of simple things into Edie's routine really seemed to give her the understanding she needed to remain calm and confident when her mama was at her most vulnerable.

1. Hello, Baby

This book is so special to me. We read it nightly during the second half of my pregnancy, usually at Edie's request. She had lots of questions in the beginning, but by the end she was explaining to me what was going on and how excited she was to cut sister's cord. The midwife in it is even named Anna (our midwife's name)!

2. Birth Videos

The first birth Edie watched was by Fight for Together, and we started making a  weekly tradition of finding a new video or two at the beginning of the third trimester. I think we watched every natural birth on Youtube by the time sister decided to join us! Snuggling on the couch with Edie gave me the opportunity to explain the mechanics of birth, particularly the loud noises mamas tend to make. I was able to tell her the yelling just meant mama was working hard to get baby here, so when she woke up during my labor with Reed she almost immediately understood what was happening and knew how to handle it.


Was your older children present at their baby sibling's birth? How did you prepare them? I knew I wouldn't be able to fully focus if Edie was elsewhere, and I will never forget how we all immediately felt closer as a family after working together to meet sister. I wouldn't change a second of it, even the fact that she now happily tells strangers, "Baby sister came out of mama's 'gina!"

Lying In

The sacred first 40 days following my beautiful home birth are now behind us and we are transitioning back into a routine, although I still most definitely consider today part of this postpartum season and will for some time. But my body has stopped bleeding, we are getting out of the house most days and Reed and I have found our nursing rhythm for the most part. Edie is comfortable with her, loves to help me take care of her and rarely shows signs of jealousy or anger toward sister like she did in the first few days. My milk supply seems plentiful, I am eating hearty meals daily, exercising every morning and kissing my new baby (who already feels like the most precious old friend because of our time together in the early weeks) most of the rest of the day. 

As the mother of a two year old and a newborn, I am up several times a night and I don't get to "sleep when the baby sleeps" during the day, but I don't recall ever feeling more rested in my life. I stayed in bed for two full weeks after Reed was born and much of the two weeks after that. I held my babies, watched them observe one another and allowed them both to come back to me as their homebase any time they needed to without a single second of waiting or distraction--we were lying beside one another the entire time and I had no other agenda. I slept with them when Edie napped, smelled my new baby's head ten thousand times and physically felt my heart swell with the sweetness of my life. 

I was present, and it restored me. I stripped away most things so I could really see the best things, and now I feel myself carrying that perspective with me as we add activity and responsibility back in. My babies are joy in the flesh--I can see it and feel it and hold it and it was born from my body, therefore my body is magic and I deserve to appreciate myself. I realize I have never loved myself before. I was always below my ever changing expectations and set on feeling disappointed in myself for not being God. And motherhood only magnified that--I didn't see myself as a good mother because I couldn't know and control every bit of my child's health and well-being. But, oh! Seeing that first terrifying baby love on the second with every ounce of her innocent heart--that was as close to perfect as I could ever hope to be. And I realized I can do that. I can't know everything, but I can love my girls fiercely. And I am allowed to let that feel good. I am allowed to let that be enough.

That birth high? It is real. And after this go around I am fully convinced it can be dragged out by lying in. Bringing your baby from your womb to your arms and then camping out away from the rest of the world is unfortunately rare in our culture, but perhaps it's the sweet secret to postpartum health. I'm still blissed out about my baby almost eight weeks in, maybe even more so than I was on day one.

 

Reed Camille, One Month Old

Hi, friends! I am one month old today!
Here's what I'm up to lately:

I weigh over 9.5 pounds and am 22.5 inches long.
I am in the 96th percentile for weight and 60th for height.
I have dark, fuzzy hair and dark brown eyes.
I am a super mellow girl and a great sleeper.
But...I have my days and nights mixed up, so Mama hasn't been getting any sleep at all.
I've already slept a few six hour stretches and I'm still gaining around 10 ounces a week on Mama's milk.
I made Mama work really hard the first couple of weeks to get nursing established--I was really sleepy all the time!
I had my tongue and lip ties revised at five days old.
I am a trooper when it comes to my big sister's constant (not super gentle) affection.
I coo a lot lately!
I smile and laugh in my sleep.
I'm not a fan of baths at this point.
I immediately calm down when Mama picks me up.
I track Mama with my eyes and turn my head to her voice.
I love being worn in my Solly and Wildbird!
I sleep on Mama's chest most of the time, but I am a unicorn baby who usually stays asleep for a bit if she needs to put me down to help sister.
I rarely cry--only when Mama is busy helping sister and doesn't get to me when I first start showing I'm hungry.
Overall I'm a super content, easy-going babe!

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Sweet Reed, in one incredibly quick month you have brought so much joy and calm to my heart and our home in general. I feel like I've always known you, yet I'm also shocked every day that such a content, low maintenance baby came from me. You are just what we needed to keep on this healing journey and so worth waiting well past our due date for! We love you, moon child.