Caelan Conversations, Part 3

July 30, 2013

Caelan’s stuffed elephant is in the kitchen and we’re in the living room…

CAELAN: The elephant is eating breakfast.

SARAH: Oh really? What’s he eating?

CAELAN: Um, kitty cats.

SARAH: He’s eating kitty cats for breakfast??

CAELAN: Yeah. I go watch him.

[Caelan runs off to the kitchen. I hear whispering and spy on Caelan feeding the elephant cat food. Caelan then returns to the living room.]

SARAH: Is he still eating?

CAELAN: [runs to check] You still eating, elephant? [runs back to me] Yeah.

CAELAN: [runs back to the kitchen] You all done, elephant? Okay. [Grabs him by the trunk and runs out of the kitchen]

———-

In the car…

CAELAN: It’s hot!

SARAH: That’s because it’s Summertime.

CAELAN: No, it’s MY time. It’s Caelan Time.

(He has a friend named Summer – I assume he thought I was talking about her!)

———-

As we’re leaving the house for dinner, Caelan reaches the door and turns back to me…

CAELAN: You comin’, hon?

———-

While Bill is getting Caelan ready for bed…

BILL: What do giraffes eat?

CAELAN: Um, diapers!

———-

CAELAN: I want to watch dinosaurs, Mommy.

SARAH: Not right now, maybe later.

CAELAN: [leaves for a minute and comes back with my iPad] Here you go, Mommy. There’s dinosaurs in here.

———-

SARAH: Come sit here with Mommy and baby sister.

CAELAN: Is she swimming?

SARAH: Yes, she’s swimming. (We’ve told Caelan that the baby “swims” in Mommy’s belly.)

CAELAN: Is she going to get out of the swimming pool?

SARAH: Yes, very soon!

———-

I’m sitting in the kitchen with Caelan while he finishes his dinner. Bill is in the living room…

CAELAN: [calls to Bill] Whatcha doing, Daddy?

BILL: Relaxing.

CAELAN: Daddy laying down?

SARAH: No, he’s sitting in the chair.

CAELAN: [calling loudly to Bill] No standing on the couch, Daddy!!

BILL: Okay buddy!

———-

BILL: Can you say Van Halen?

CAELAN: Van Caelan.

———-

CAELAN: I’m putting my [fruit puree] pouch in time out.

SARAH: You’re putting your pouch in time out? What did it do?

CAELAN: It hit Jake.


Caelan’s Birth Story

July 25, 2013

After Caelan was born, I wrote up his birth story right away. I started scribbling it down in my trusty purse notebook the same day he was born. I knew if I didn’t get it down right away that I’d forget things. Of course I told my family and friends about the birth and I shared my written version of it with a few friends, but I never posted it here.

Why am I posting it now, 2 years after the fact? In part because I plan to post baby girl’s birth story shortly after her arrival and I’m curious to see how the two stories are different (or the same!). So here we go…Caelan’s Birth Story.

At 3:30pm on Tuesday May 31, 2011 I was sitting at my desk at work when my water broke. I wasn’t 100% sure that’s what had happened (it wasn’t obvious like it is on TV!) so I spent the next 2 hours trying to decide what to do. I wasn’t having any contractions so I wasn’t in a rush. I had an OB appointment scheduled that evening anyway so I called Bill and he met me at the appointment. The midwife confirmed that my water had broken and she sent us to the hospital. We got to our room a little before 8pm. At 1cm, 50% effaced, I wasn’t any farther along than I had been the week before. The monitor showed I was having contractions 4 minutes apart but I couldn’t feel them. At my OB’s advice, we walked around the hospital for an hour or so trying to get the contractions going. We didn’t have much luck so around 10:30pm they started me on a low dose of pitocin to try to strengthen the contractions. The contractions were getting stronger, but not by much. Bill and I watched TV and dozed.

Around 2am, half a dozen nurses ran into the room. The baby’s heart rate had dropped below 100bmp. They shut off the pitocin, gave me an oxygen mask, moved me into a different position, and were saying to page my OB and get him in here ASAP. They gave me a shot in the arm (terbutaline, I believe) to try to stop the contractions and get the baby’s heart rate back up and it worked almost instantly. The whole thing was really scary because it came out of nowhere, but luckily he recovered.  Apparently I had a couple contractions back-to-back and the baby wasn’t able to handle them. They decided to leave the pitocin off for awhile. Soon after, the baby had another heart rate drop, but this time it resolved on its own. My OB came in and said that the baby wasn’t handling the contractions well which was kind of odd because the contractions weren’t very strong and I had not progressed any further. He suspected a possible problem with the umbilical cord. He said if the baby had one more decel (heart rate drop), it would be a c-section. They had me sign all the forms for a c-section and the OB even went and changed into scrubs. They were going to wait a couple hours and see how the baby and I did without the pitocin, and then possibly restart it. They were also having trouble picking up the baby’s heart rate on the external monitor, so they switched to an internal monitor.

The rest of the night was uneventful so in the morning my OB (a new one since there had been a shift change) decided to start the pitocin again with the plan to increase it very slowly. Finally the contractions were getting much stronger and around 11am I asked for the epidural. After 19 hours I was finally at 3-4 cm! They said the anesthesiologist would be there in 20 minutes so we waited and I tried (and mostly failed) to concentrate on anything other than the contractions. When I found out it would be another 20 minutes before she’d be there, that’s when I cried and Bill called to ask them to give me something in the meantime. Then somehow the anesthesiologist was there 2 minutes later! Nothing like begging for someone to stick a giant needle in your spine to put into perspective how much those contractions really hurt. Five minutes later I felt so much better. Bill came back in (he had left the room per hospital policy and to call our parents to update them) and we both went to sleep for a couple hours. When we woke up 2 ½ hours later, I was fully dilated and ready to push! Amazing that it took 19 hours to go from 1cm to 3cm but only 2 ½ hours to go from 3 to 10cm! I was so glad to have slept through the hardest part!

The monitor showed my contractions were coming hard and fast but I couldn’t feel them. I started pushing at 2:50pm. During the pushes, it was intense but when we were waiting for the next contraction it was relaxed and Bill says I was very chatty. The epidural had worn off a tiny bit and I could feel the contractions but they weren’t really painful. I pushed for about 1 ½ hours which didn’t seem like that long at all. Caelan was born with facial bruising and sunny side up (I’m pretty sure!? Weird that I’m not positive.). Sunny side up babies normally result in back labor and I had not been feeling contractions in my back so my guess is that he turned sometime after I had the epidural in.

Caelan Vaughn was born at 4:16pm on Wednesday June 1, 2011 (about 25 hours after my water broke). He weighed 7lbs 6.7oz and was 20 inches long. Bill cut the cord which he originally wasn’t sure he wanted to do but he changed his mind the previous evening. Caelan’s APGARs were 8 and 9. I sobbed for the next hour or so while they cleaned us up. I had zero control over my emotions which was a very odd feeling. I felt extremely happy but the whole thing was so surreal that it was hard to take anything in. I do remember thinking, just minutes after Caelan was born, “Uh oh. That was easy. I’m gonna want to do this 10 more times.” (That must have been the I-just-gave-birth high talking because I can’t say I still feel that way now!)

Bill was awesome through the whole thing. He stayed calm (or appeared to!) and he tried to remember everything we learned in our childbirth classes. He helped me get through the contractions and held my hand through all the scary and difficult parts. He told me how great I was doing every step of the way. Best husband ever. Caelan was taken to the nursery about an hour and a half after he was born to be checked out by the doctors and nurses and we were moved to the recovery unit. We stayed for 2 nights in the hospital and then brought Caelan home on Friday June 3.

I’ve read this story a hundred times and though it is what happened (minus a few of the more graphic details – you’re welcome) I feel like it’s a little void of emotion. But the truth is that the whole thing was such a blur. I didn’t wake up that day wondering if THIS would be the day. Even when my water broke I didn’t think “This is it!!”. It was like I could only see one step ahead of me (Did my water break? Okay, what should I do next? Call Bill, go to the doctor. Hospital, okay let’s go.) “Surreal” is really the only word for it and I’m not even sure that covers it.


The Nursery is Done (Again)

July 23, 2013

It’s hardly worth doing a whole post on the nursery since we barely did anything new in there, but we did switch a few things out and added a few things that are a bit more girly than what was in there before. But all the same furniture is in there, the same paint, same curtains, etc. I’ll show you what we DID do in pictures, shall I?

Nursery_Window

Nursery_Crib

Nursery_Dresser

Nursery_Closet

Caelan has a letter on the door to his room…

Nursery_Letter

I made one for baby girl too, but since we are keeping her name under wraps until she arrives, I haven’t put it up yet 🙂

Also, for those of you who have heard me complain about pink and are noticing that there are some pink things in the nursery, let me clarify 🙂 I’m not completely against pink. Pink is okay (particularly dark pink) but my issue is when EVERYTHING is pink. I was browsing a website for birth announcements the other day and EVERY girl option was pink. Seriously people, there are other colors!

Anyway, there’s the nursery! And in other baby preparedness updates…our hospital bag is finally packed and so is Caelan’s overnight bag (though neither made it into the car yet), the mini Pack N Play is set up, the infant car seats are installed, and we’re stocked up on teeny tiny diapers. Basically, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be and are taking bets on when baby girl will arrive. Bill thinks next week 😯


Displaced

July 18, 2013

Friends have mentioned feeling guilty or sad about turning their first-born’s life upside down by adding a new baby to the family. I had a fleeting moment of sadness very early on in my pregnancy when I thought about how our little family of 3 would only exist for 2 short years – just a blip in our lives.

But I don’t even remember being an only child myself. My sister came along when I was 3 (so a year older than Caelan will be when his sister arrives) and honestly, I have no memories of before she was born. My first memory at all is a very blurry one of walking in a hospital corridor when going to visit her when she was born.

I thought once my due date got closer, that I may feel some more sadness or apprehension about this, but at the same time, maybe I wouldn’t. Caelan is such a go-with-the-flow kind of kid, maybe this won’t even phase him too much?? Over the past few months Bill and I have been trying to talk up both being a big brother/big boy and talking up baby sister herself. But Caelan has shown no interest in her. He’ll respond “baby sister” if we ask him who is in Mommy’s belly, but he doesn’t ask follow up questions or ask about her independently.

At first we thought, well maybe he’s just too young to really get it. It IS quite an abstract concept – a baby is IN Mommy? And without any evidence around the house (not much baby gear pulled out yet) it’s probably hard for him to really get it. But after talking to his daycare provider about his behavior there towards the babies and taking a closer look at his responses to our conversations about baby sister, we realized something. It’s not that he doesn’t get it. He does get it (on some level), he just doesn’t like it.

Cue that apprehension I thought I might be able to avoid.

It was easier to think that he was oblivious to it all. But the other day I mentioned that baby sister would be here soon and he could show her all of his toys when she arrived. He asked me with such concern “Baby sister not going to take my elephant??” I assured him that no, baby sister would not take his elephant. (Side note: Caelan has recently developed attachments to several stuffed animals, which is new for him.)

We are doing everything we can think of to try to make sure that Caelan doesn’t feel displaced by his sister, but the truth is that he will be displaced. About 2 weeks ago, we kicked him out of his crib and his own bedroom. I didn’t realize what a bittersweet milestone that would be until the night before when I found myself rocking him and laying him down in the crib for the last time. I’d been so focused on the need to get him settled into the new room before the baby’s arrival that I didn’t really think about the significance of moving him out of his old room.

Luckily, that transition has gone amazingly well. He didn’t give his old room so much as a glance until last weekend when he saw me in there getting it ready for baby sister. I’m kind of at a loss as to how to handle this since I don’t want Caelan to refer to the room as his own anymore, but I’m reluctant to start calling it “the baby’s room” because his move to the new room was SO recent.

The next few months are going to be hard on our grown up baby, but hopefully exciting also. I hope that our efforts to provide a plethora of elephants and other distractions will help ease the transition. Baby sister even bought her big brother a gift to give to him when she gets home. (Shopping online before she’s even born – definitely my kid 🙂 ) I’m not going to be able to escape feeling sad about turning Caelan’s life upside down, but I will focus on what a good big brother he is sure to be once he gets used to having little sister around. Maybe we can play up the “mine” aspect and emphasize that this baby will be Caelan’s. He seems to love when things are mine/no-it’s-mine/no-it’s-Caelan’s 🙂


35/35 And The Home Stretch

July 15, 2013

35/35 is a pregnancy milestone referring to being 35 weeks pregnant and having 35 days left until the due date. That’s where I was yesterday. About a month left to go, 5 weeks really, and I have no less than 7 doctor’s appointments in that time. One is an ultrasound where we will check again on baby girl’s size. She was tipping the scales at an estimated 6lbs 4 ozs (approximately 2lbs above average, >97th percentile) a week and a half ago, so we will see how she measures up next week.

The day I hit 35/35 when I was pregnant with Caelan, I made a cake and co-hosted my sister’s bridal shower. I remember feeling good (marshmallow feet notwithstanding). This time around…it varies day by day. This pregnancy has been harder and more symptomatic than my pregnancy with Caelan but still, overall, it hasn’t been too bad. Except for the whole being due in the dead of summer thing. Ugh.

The last month of pregnancy is a lot of hurry up and wait, in my experience. It’s reasonable that the baby could arrive anytime during these last few weeks so I feel like I need to be ready for her NOW, but hopefully she’ll hang in there another few weeks. She’ll be “full term” at the end of this month, so just 2 weeks away.

I go back and forth between being in denial and being very aware about just how fast these last few weeks will go by. Since we’ve been focused on Caelan’s new room for the past few months, we’ve done very little to prepare for baby girl’s arrival. But now that Caelan is all moved into his new room, I switched gears this week and started working on the nursery. There’s not a whole lot to be done in there – it kind of just needs to be “reset”. When it’s all ready to go, I’ll post some pictures 🙂

Other than getting the room ready, there isn’t too much to do. I’ll get our hospital bag packed (which I keep threatening to do) and Bill will install the car seats and get some of the gear down from the attic. I have a bin of Caelan’s infant clothes to go through and I should probably pick up some diapers and set up the mini Pack N Play. It’d be really nice to get the rest of the house cleaned up so that it won’t be such a wreck when people come over to visit after the baby is here, but I am rapidly running out of energy. That’s another reason I feel like I need to get these things done NOW – the longer I wait, the less chance things will actually get done!


Project Big Boy Room: Finally

July 8, 2013

The original goal was to be finished with this room by mid-May and get Caelan sleeping in there before his birthday on June 1st. Well…we missed that deadline by, oh about a month. There were some legitimate reasons for the delay, and some not so legitimate reasons, but now, FINALLY, it’s done.

Whole1

We cleared the room out and painted it (Glidden’s “Quiet Rain”), and then slowly filled it with new furniture, bedding, and accessories. We bought a twin bed for Caelan with a plain metal frame and we added a headboard that I found at Target. It’s odd shopping for a mattress when it’s not for YOU to sleep on, but that did definitely simplify the process. The bedding is also from Target though this set has now been discontinued. The sheets and curtains are from Target too. I do love Target 🙂

Bed1

The dresser is from the ever-popular Hemnes line from Ikea. I was originally planning on getting the 8 drawer chest for his room since we technically have the space for it, but in the end we decided to go for the 3 drawer chest instead. It’s actually the exact same dresser we have in the nursery, only that one is white. I love it – it’s nice and roomy (and half the price of the 8 drawer so that was a plus too!). We added a shelf above the dresser which is one of the few places that will be completely out of Caelan’s reach. The video monitor is mounted on the wall and we have a nice view of pretty much the entire room so we’ll know if he’s staying in bed or not!

The only other piece of furniture in this room is the “bookshelf”. I call it that for lack of a better word, and because we put books on it. I love these ClosetMaid Cubeicals shelves with their many coordinating fabric drawers. I also got this (and the drawers) at Target. Who’s surprised??

DresserWall1

We were going for a “jungle animals” theme since Caelan is fond of jungle animals, especially elephants and monkeys. This is his room and we want it to reflect his interests (even as a 2 year old!) but since we’re also asking him to abandon both his crib and the only bedroom he’s ever known in favor of this new room, we want him to really love it. I thought the animals would help, and I really think they have.

I searched Etsy for some kind of affordable vinyl decal and ended up working with Etsy seller JustTheFrosting to customize this family of elephants. There are 4 of them and each one, by its size and color, represents a member of our family.

Elephants1

I found this set of 2 canvas prints on Amazon and since the colors and theme coordinated, I picked them up.

Canvas1

My parents gave Caelan this canvas height chart for his birthday and it fits in perfectly with the theme of his new room! I will retroactively add his 1 year and 2 year heights, but from now on we can measure him on this chart. I love that we can roll it up and take it with us whenever we move out of this house.

HeightChart1

So that’s it! One big boy room done! Caelan started sleeping in there this past weekend. The transition is going well so far. He’s sleeping in there very well at night, though the first nap was a little difficult. But Caelan has never been a good napper so I didn’t have high expectations there anyway. Yesterday’s nap was great, so who knows. When he was in the nursery, we used to change his diaper and his clothes with him on the changing pad on the dresser but since we didn’t move that into the new room with him, we’re doing that whole routine on the floor. Right now it’s annoying because it takes 10 times longer since he’s constantly getting up and running away but hopefully we’ll all get used to the new routine soon.


Caelan Conversations, Part 2

July 1, 2013

Looking out the front window at our empty flower bed…

CAELAN: Oh my goodness, where did the flower go?

– — – — – — –

As we pull into the parking lot at Bob Evan’s for breakfast…

CAELAN: We’re at pancakes!!

– — – — – — –-

At dinner…

CAELAN: I want get up.

SARAH: Are you all done?

CAELAN: Yes.

SARAH: Okay.

CAELAN [panicked]: No!!! I no want get up!

– — – — – — –

Caelan eating lima beans…

CAELAN [picks up a lima bean]: Is this one my favorite? Nope!

CAELAN [picks up a lima bean]: Is this one my favorite? Nope!

CAELAN [picks up a lima bean]: Is this one my favorite? Nope!

CAELAN [picks up a lima bean]: There’s my favorite! I found it!

– — – — – — –

[Caelan burps]

SARAH: What do you say?

CAELAN [not paying attention]:…

SARAH: Caelan, what do you say?

CAELAN [still not paying attention]:…

SARAH: Caelan! What do you say when you burp?

CAELAN: I burped.

– — – — – — –

ROCK N ROLL ELMO: Let’s sing a song together! Press Elmo’s foot please.

CAELAN: Yes ma’am Elmo!

– — – — – — –

Caelan follows Jake (our cat) into the kitchen…

CAELAN: Jake! No no no no! Don’t go in the kitchen! Stove is hot!

– — – — – — –

Riding in the car (with no food whatsoever, btw)…

CAELAN: Don’t touch my pancakes!! You touched my pancakes again!

BILL: Caelan, who is touching your pancakes?

CAELAN: Um, me.

SARAH: So you’re yelling at yourself?

CAELAN: Yes.