Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seamus Christopher, a birth story

Today is Seamus's half birthday, so its seems like a good time to tell his birth story.

To be completely honest, although I do love to read birth stories, I am actually a little bit uncomfortable with them. There is something sacred and very private about a birth, and too many details can ruin that. My mom never really talked about our births in front of us growing up. I love that she kept the whole thing enough familiar and open that I was never too scared of child birth, but enough mysterious that going through that myself made me feel like I had gone through a special rite of passage and that I had accomplished something very beautiful, difficult, and in a way holy. Now she will talk about it more openly with me, but I still don't know many details from mine or from any of my siblings birth. I certainly don't plan on discussing my kids' births with them in major detail, especially not my sons.

That being said, I do love to hear other people's birth stories and talk about my own with woman who have shared the experience. There is something about talking about those moments that reminds us of their importance, that gives us a sense of accomplishment, that helps us to feel as though we are a part of a community of woman striving hard to be good mothers.

But this is the internet so I will share with you only slightly more than I plan to share with my kids in case they get a hold of this someday :).

It was about 9:30pm on Wednesday September 25th. Ryan and I were watching a movie and I started to have contractions. We wondered if it was the real thing, and kept watching. The contractions quickly got more painful, I paced the room and we kept watching the movie. I let my Mom know that there was some action. After a while we decided to go outside. We walked around our backyard for 30- 45 minutes timing the contractions, and at some point Ryan let the midwife know that things had started. We discussed what we should do and decided that we would stay and have this baby at home since Caleb was sleeping soundly. We went back inside to see if we could get some rest. The contractions got harder, but never really got more than 3 or 4 or 5 minutes apart even at the end. Sometimes they were so far apart that I thought labor had stopped ,and was able to nap for 8 to 10 minutes in between. At some point I took a shower, put on makeup and painted my nails just to pass the time. We made bets about what time the baby would come. For some reason a part of me just didn't believe that this labor was the real thing, it was so much easier than my Pitocin induced labor with Caleb. The strangest part was that I could slow the labor down if I was tired and needed a break. I think I transitioned around 3:30am right before the midwife arrived. Seamus was born at 6:20am on September 26, 2013.

Seamus was 8 pounds, 21 inches, beautiful and perfectly healthy. They immediately laid him on my chest, and the first thing I did was check to see if he was a boy or a girl. Just like Caleb, when I saw he was a boy it did not surprise me in the least, it just seemed to make perfect sense. I said "Hello Seamus Christopher" and he looked right at me. He nursed right away with no problems. When they laid him on my chest he was so tiny I thought for sure he would only be about 6 lbs, when they told me he was 8 I was amazed and relieved that he arrived 4 days early. Caleb, who had woken up right at the end, obligingly either fell back asleep or stayed quiet in his crib until we were ready for him to see Seamus. Caleb (who suddenly looked like a giant compared to Seamus) was thoroughly confused, but very interested and immediately tried to poke Seamus in the eye.

The most wonderful part about having a baby at home is getting to be in your own bed right after! As soon as I had eaten something and the midwife thought I was ready, I got up, changed my clothes, freshened up a bit, and went and got in my own comfortable bed. Ryan's mom took Caleb for the day and Ryan, Seamus and I curled up in our bed for a long exhausted sleep.

We can't imagine life without our sweet little guy. He is such a character, and has a very strong personality. For the most part he is laid back and easy going, but he can be very particular about things and likes things to be his own way. He loves baths that seem too hot for him, loves to wear what seems like way too many layers to bed, loves to sleep on his tummy, shrieks when toys are taken away or when no one is paying attention to him, wants to be in on all the family goings on, thinks Ryan is hilarious and slightly frightening at the same time, is completely obsessed with Caleb and stares adoringly at everything Caleb does (unless its taking Seamus's toys away) and is about as much of a mama's boy as they come.

And here are few pictures from the big day!

A few minutes after he was born

He had such chubby little cheeks!

The whole family

Friday, March 7, 2014

Taking up where I left off...a novella

Can I use the post-partum excuse 5.5 months later???? Probably stretching it, I won't go there. I will however give you an overview complete with pictures of the last 5.5 months around here. Buckle up, it may be a long one.

Lets see, my last post was on September 23, 2013 so we will start there. Here we are on September 22, 2013 hanging out in the Boston Public Garden four days before the birth of our little goof Seamus Christopher.

And he arrived four days early!!! Born at 6:20am September 26, 2013. Weighing in at 8lbs even, 21 inches I think. A birth story post to come along shortly, I hope.
The brothers checkin each other out.
Wondering how he is going to survive law school with two.


Two was way easier than I thought it would be, but the first couple months were still a major adjustment. Getting up and down two flights of narrow stairs with a newborn and a toddler who can't go down stairs is not easy, probably the biggest challenge of all.

Here we are at Christmas. We stayed in NH this year, and had fun decorating our apartment and doing some traditions of our own. The presents on St. Nicholas Day (my family's tradition) or presents on Christmas or presents on both is still a debate in our house. We did a few things on both days this year.

One major reason we have been so busy is that we have been skiing a bunch, I can finally go!!! I love it. and its such an awesome way to get fresh air and exercise in the winter. I joke that my gear is way too nice for my skill level (thank you to Ryan's very generous dad). We spend most weekends up in Lincoln, NH where Ryan's dad has a ski condo, and ski at Canon Mountain (where Body Miller learned to ski...for anyone who cares). The condo association has an indoor pool that Caleb loves, Seamus is not a fan. He loves his water scalding hot.
In January, the boys and I went out to Seattle for a few weeks in which was amazing! Thank you to my sister Claire and my sister-in-law Maria for helping to make that possible by flying with me. Here are my parents and their six grandsons.

In February we survived the flu. I got it the worst of all, and Ryan was unscathed. Here they are at their best...

...and here they are at their worst.

And the most recent pictures I have of "Seamy Brother" (don't ask, I don't know why we call him that) from a couple weeks ago.

As you can see he is a happy, smiley easy going little guy.

Caleb still isn't talking yet. He can say a few words, mostly just imitating us, and he does about 5 or 6 signs. Other than that he just babbles along in a language of his own that I am pretty sure Seamus understands, because they have elaborate conversations and crack each other up. Caleb also loves to make siren noises if you ask him what a fire truck says, and we are currently working on potty training.

So life is good, I spend my days playing, nursing, working out, trying desperately to keep things clean and neat, occasionally doing projects for the company I used to work for and waiting for the sunshine and warmth to come!

Oh and anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby boy Cowan!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Maternity Monday-39 Weeks!

     Haha! Jokes on me, I never thought I would actually make it to 39 weeks. I know so na├»ve of me. However, I do continue to get little false alarms here and there, so I do have some reason to believe this one will come early.
     Nothing too exciting has been going on at the McKenna house these days, we are just plodding along waiting for this little one. I have already made it through way more of my "to do before baby" list than I thought I would, so I am quickly running out of distractions. Luckily Caleb's antics keep me pretty busy.

Anyways, here I am at 39 weeks (minus a day). Sorry about the picture quality.

Shirt-Motherhood maternity
Vest-Upcycled from a rabbit fur stole we had in our dress-up from when I was growing up. I thieved it from my parents house last Christmas and finally finished making it into a vest.
Pants-Old Navy. Not crazy about the ankle zippers, but they were $8!

Oh and I made this fall wreath for my mantel last week. Caleb thought it was a great toy, while I was sitting on the floor trying to put it together.

Have a good week! I will keep you updated if the little one decides to make an appearance!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Maternity Monday-38 Weeks and an episode of false labor

     The weeks are not passing quickly enough for me at this point, but I know that I just have to be patient. Its not like this little one can stay in forever right?

     False labor is the worst, especially when it happens to be in the middle of the night. Losing sleep for nothing makes me so mad! Mine started last Friday night at around 10:30 pm. I laid in bed for a long time checking my phone here and there and noting how close the contractions were, but not really thinking about it much. Sometime around midnight I decided to get up because they were getting pretty painful. I watched some Netflix while using an online contraction timer. Around 1:00am they got to be about 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute, and I started to think it was the real think. I went back into our room gently woke Ryan and said " I think I might be in labor." He rolled over said " no you aren't" and went back to sleep. Boy was I mad a few hours later when it turned out he was right. Anyway, sometime around 2am the contractions died back down to every 7-10 minutes and lasted that way for another few hours. I think I finally fell asleep on the couch at around 4am. Luckily Ryan got up with Caleb (the only thing that could have saved him from my wrath regarding his callous reaction to my declaration of labor)  and let me sleep in, but I was so mad the next day that I had gone through all of that for nothing!

Here I am on Saturday after my not so great night.
Starting to get some prego face going, but my ankles have remained their normal size this time around (probably due to my daily 3 mile tramp through Concord)
Tank: Can't remember. Its a non-maternity I have had for a few years, I think it is actually meant to be a tunic, therefore why it still can sort of fit over my belly.
Sweater: Gap
Pants: Motherhood Maternity. After realizing last time around that I wear maternity pants long after the child exits my womb, I decided to get some new pants a few weeks ago even though I am at the end of my pregnancy. Hey and now Mariana can borrow them!
Shoes: TJ Maxx I think. Ryan likes to tease me about them because they are Coach.
Have a good week! I will let you know if there is anymore action from the little surprise!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Maternity Monday-37 Weeks!

     I have reached 37 weeks which means I can have this baby anytime and its ok!!!!! I keep telling Ryan that I know its best for the baby if it bakes all warm and cozy inside for as long as possible, but that I really really really want it to just come out now (what I mean when I say "I keep telling Ryan," is really that I just say that several times a day whether or not he is actually listening). This time around I hit the "just get this baby out of me" stage much more quickly than with Caleb. I think its a combination of really wanting to meet this little guy or gal, and discomfort.

     I am feeling pretty ready. My go to the midwife's bag is packed, the baby's bag is packed. I have a freezer packed full of pre-made meals. I have organized every cupboard, drawer, and closet in the apartment. Caleb's fall and winter clothes are purchased and organized, and this week's goal is to clean the fridge, stove, and microwave...I know, I know you are all thinking "she crazzzzzzy." And you are right. But I have to keep myself as busy as possible so the next few weeks go by as quickly as possible.

     And now for some pictures. In looking back at my old Maternity Mondays, I realized I have primarily posted pictures of me in dresses or skirts. So I decided this week to show you what I am stretching over my rather large bump for casual wear. We are in summer to fall transition here NH, which means its a tiny bit cold for shorts and a tiny bit hot for pants (at least for this pregnant lady) so I often find myself doing the long sleeve shirt with shorts trick to try to find a good balance.

Looking oh so enthused!
And the little man snazzed up for mass

Big boy swing at Grammy and Papa's cottage
Sweater: Thrifted-non maternity
Shorts: Thrifted-altered by me
Shoes: Marshalls
Sunglasses-My trusty Ray Bans, best birthday present I have ever gotten (thank you Ryan)
Shirt: Gap Outlet
Tie: Target
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Gap
Sweatshirt: Hand me down
Jeans: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Zara (I got them in Spain, because I couldn't resist them)
Please keep Ryan in your prayers this week, he as several interview this week for summer associate positions for next summer. These positions are typically lead ins for a permanent position after graduation.
Have a great week!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Maternity Monday-Nesting Edition

     I am 36 weeks! Only four more weeks to go (hopefully)! I have been nesting for a while, but the past few days I went from Humming Bird sized nesting to full on Golden Eagle sized nesting. There isn't a nook or cranny of this house I don't want to reorganize and clean.

     On my to do list was a dining room update. So out came the sewing machine. I haven't sewn since Caleb started walking, and discovered that sewing while he is awake is a desperate fight to keep both of us alive and unscarred. He wants to touch the hot iron, he wants to pull the hot iron down on himself, he wants the scissors and the pins and to push the backward button when I am trying to go forward. He also discovered the correlation between the foot pedal and the speed of the needle (complete with shrieks of glee). But I prevailed.

      The goal of my dining room makeover was to use things I already had around the house and to create a nice Fall centerpiece for the table. As I put it so eloquently to my husband, "don't worry I wont use too many monies we don't have."

Please note hideous dining room table I like to keep hidden at all times


Temporary centerpiece

Runner and pillow I made with fabric I already had
     The only item I didn't have was the wheat, which I need to get more of, and I am keeping my eye out for some little white pumpkins to add to the centerpiece. Ryan is also going to build me a long box out of scrap wood, so I can make my centerpiece look like this:
 Have a good week! Happy September!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maternity Monday

Remember how in my last post I mentioned that I have recently joined the whale species? Well, I am here to prove that I really have, please refer to exhibits 1 and 2 below.

Exhibit 1: Me, 34 weeks pregnant.

Shirt: TJ Maxx, non-maternity
Skirt: Homemade
Shoes: Thrifted, usually not a fan of second hand shoes (kinda grosses me out), but these were    barely worn Steve Maddens that were $5!
Bracelet: Vintage, wore it for my wedding

Exhibit 2: Whale on a swing

Shirt: Old Navy Maternity
Shorts: TJ Maxx, non-maternity altered by me to be maternity
Shoes: Target years ago
Child too young to be on a real swing: Caleb

Exhibit 3 & 4: Me, about 30 weeks pregnant, at the beginning of my whale-hood.

Had to show the frontal view because it shows the fact that this skirt has pockets!

Shirt: Target Maternity
Skirt: Thrifted, altered by me
Shoes: Can't remember
Necklace: Homemade
Really terrible face I should have cropped out of photo: Homemade

Be thankful I spared you (actually mainly myself) the swimsuit pictures, which do exist despite my best efforts. All in all though I don't make a terrible looking whale right?

In other news, after 50 minutes of labor (yes you read that right, 50 minutes) my sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy today. That is boy number 4 for my brother and sister-in-law, and
grandson number 5 for my parents. Will my little mystery baby break the boy streak? Can't wait to find out!

Have a good week!