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The Capricorn child may be born looking like an old soul. This physical attribute will shift as the baby finds its childhood bearing, but the presence of an "old soul" will be apparent throughout life. There is a serious nature about Capricorn and a great determination to succeed. This personality trait will be become apparent as the child learns to walk and take care of its own basic needs (dressing, potty training, etc.). Parents may find this impressive focus "adorable," but it is important not to minimize the seriousness Capricorn children bring to these tasks. They tend to set ambitious goals and meet them when they are encouraged to be true to themselves.

Capricorns may have pronounced foreheads and remarkable eyes. As children, they do not readily participate in frivolous games and activities, preferring to learn and apply their knowledge to acquire greater skill. Games like chess may be preferred. Capricorn children will treasure the parent who teaches them practical skills. There is also a great respect for manner and tradition in this personality. Your child may show an interest in older cultures such as Japan, China, and even Europe. Exposure to these cultures through fairytales, children's books, and videos will be a delight for your young Capricorn.

Capricorn children may feel extremely empathic when forming relationships with peers although they may not always have the words to express the deep emotions they experience. Your support in connecting emotions with language will be vital to their development. Foundation and structure is essential to this sign. Young Capricorns will be conscious of their foundation from a young age. The best way to show your respect for your Capricorn child is through regularity and dependability.





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Aug 11, 2011
Birthing Story: Mary Ayn Rae Young

The night you were born changed my entire life.  Yes, we had planned the birth, planned to have you at home, practiced relaxation techniques - me more than your daddy, but nothing could prepare me for how I was going to feel about this entire experience.

It all started at around 4:00 on the morning of July 31, 2011.  My son came into my room, crying, and as I sent him back, I realized that I was having a very mild contraction; more than Braxton Hicks, but nothing that registered in my consciousness as labor, or even something to be noticed.

As I went back to sleep, I had about two more contractions over the span of the hours prior to the dawn breaking that were enough to rouse me.  I knew then.  It was like a quiet secret all to myself.  I had a very comfortable feeling we were going to have a baby that very day.  Little did I know that 8:00 would come complete with a very uncomfortable little boy throwing up.  The day found our feet hitting the floor in a hurry.  As I softly moaned through another contraction, Matt helped get Gavin settled and was trying to figure out where Gavin "drank too much water" from.  Turns out, his only experience with throwing up came from swimming lessons.  Matt took him, with a bowl, to the living room and turned on a long movie, Cool Hand Luke that they could watch together while riding out his nausea.  No matter what we gave him, it came back up.  Poor soul fell asleep in his arms partway through the movie.

I got up, and right away, got a load of maternity laundry started in case we needed to transport and I needed clothing to go with me, got a shower and vainly dried my hair to look nice for later, ate breakfast, and kept moving.  I got the huge stack of dishes on the counter washed and in the machine for drying, then started picking up clutter, and vacuuming the floors.

All of that in the span of a couple hours, and I swayed through the couple of contractions I had, moving my hips to help get the babe in position.  I smiled at the thought that this felt so different from my first labor.  This was all to keep me upright and distracted while doing so.  I called my best friend because I could no longer keep this secret to myself.  She offered to bring over dinner to ensure I wouldn't have to worry about cooking and asked if anyone was taking care of Gavin.  I told her we had it handled, and not to worry, as it was still very early first stage, this may well take either hours, days, or a week.  I was still easily talking through them, and able to stay upright, so I did.  I texted the midwife to just give her a gentle heads up to keep her phone handy.

It was around noon, the house was clean and ready, and I was able to sit and relax with my boys.  I had been drinking to stay hydrated, and eating when hungry to stay fueled.  (Tuna fish and crackers for lunch?  It was the easiest option without cooking.)  I simply knew that we were having a baby, and wanted to stay in front of labor while I still could.  I laid down for a nap on the couch to keep my rest up.  I had three contractions wake me up that required stretching and a bit more focus.  Deeper relaxed, I kept saying to myself, reminding myself that my uterus was doing much work to help make room to bring my baby here.  Slowly the process took over.

Around 3:00, I woke up from the nap, well aware that I was in full blown labor.  Every time I sat up or moved, another contraction would follow, and they were getting to be more intense.  We had moved from officially 40 minutes apart to about 10 minutes apart in that seemingly short span.  I sat on the ball for a while, and Matt was making plans to run out to get food for the house and dinner, as well as supplies for Gavin. 

I took Gavin to the bathroom with me while Matt had a surprise from our neighbor saying our dogs had gotten loose before he was able to leave.  Gavin hung with her for a few minutes while I sat on hands and knees in the bathroom floor, waiting for the dogs to be secured, and Gavin to return to me, and Matt to hurry to the store so he could come home.  My world became very small.  The tiniest details of our bathroom.  The text on the spines of the books on the back of the toilet.  The way the fibers looked on the bath mat. 

Gavin sat with me in my own little universe while we got through both of our ailments together.  He rubbed my back, saying "it's okay Mommy, it's okay".  Sweetest of little boys.  Larissa made it with baked ziti to my house, took one look at me, took action to get Gavin fed, and then made me eat a few bites of food as well.  Thankfully, since I was not in my right head to feed the hunger that had been plaguing me for a while before.  She heard me deal with more contractions than she was comfortable with, tried a couple of different techniques for help with coping, then softly demanded that I call my mother; that it was time, and Gavin is going to need more care than she and I could provide.  I agreed.  One more contraction, and I was able to call her, and did so, quickly, so she would not have to hear me deal with one.  I told her things were picking up and getting serious, and I needed her to come and care for Gavin while I labored.  She did so, cheerfully, and I hung up and moaned through another wave.  Larissa, bless her heart, would have stayed, but my boy being sick was making her sick, so she had to make a quick exit the second Matt came home.

Things were rockin' and rollin' and this is where my memory gets a bit fuzzy.  Tara, the midwife, called and listened to me for a few minutes.  She had been calling all day in intervals to check and make sure I was coping well, eating, drinking, also to check on my body processing labor and not producing bad things like excess blood and the like.  I had had no bloody show, no waters breaking, no mucus.  The only thing I was relying on was my emotional sign posts, and the intensity of contractions.  No, I had not been timing them, just guessing how far apart.  I purposely stopped looking at clocks very early on in labor just so I didn't stress the numbers.  Once she listened to me handle a couple of contractions, she concluded that I was far enough along to need assistance, and instructed me to call Cecilia, the Doula, and get her on the way as soon as I could.  I hung up with her, called my photographer who heard me simply speak and told me she was on the way (apparently, I was appearing very ready to have a baby, while I was thinking I might have a long time left to go).  I called Cecilia, but from a text we shared earlier, I knew she was teaching class and couldn't be free until 9pm, but I left her a voicemail anyway.  I had not looked up in what felt like a very long time, and I was vocalizing through every wave.  I found myself standing in the door frame of the bathroom, utilizing my fist at the small of my back, pushing against one side of the frame with my full back, the other with my feet, counter pressuring my way through.  They were coming on top of each other.  I was not freaking out, but I knew birth was going to be imminent.

Matt was listening to me, and asked if he should fill the pool, I could only nod.  He left and got started.  I got through a few more, and he returned to tell me that the pump would not work to get air into the pool.  I could only shake my head, while inside I was not wanting any bad news, but couldn't find the words to tell him so.  He left again to finangle a solution to our problem, and called my mom to ask how far away she was, and to inform her that the pump she loaned us wouldn't work.  She was about 20 minutes out, but heard me in the background and, in a very worried tone, asked how far apart I was.  I growled at Matt upon the asking that I thought I was about 3 to 5 minutes apart.  Mom hurried.

Once she got here, she immediately broke out a watch and started timing.  She quickly found out that I was 2 minutes apart with 30 seconds in between waves.  She proceeded to ask where the midwife was and freak out a bit since we were alone; all she could see was us catching a baby by ourselves.  I don't think she could have ran a marathon to get the nervous energy out of her.  She physically supported me through a couple of waves, and I hung my body onto hers for one; it was nice to not have to hold myself up.  My universe was still very small, and I had long since closed my eyes to all the light and energy going on around me.  I needed to be alone.  I needed to have people support me.  I needed to not be touched.  I needed to have someone to hold me.  I needed to have silence.  I needed to have someone tell me I was doing well.  I told Matt that I was pretty sure this was not my greatest idea, and that this was really painful.  He did what men do best and told me that we were in the thick of it now, and it was a tad late to back out of laboring.  I agreed, and turned back inwards as another (another) wave came crashing through.  I kept thinking that my uterus works.  My cervix is working.  I felt everything up front and in my thighs as well as my abdomen.  It was the most intense thing I have ever gone through.  I somehow still thought that we had a while to go.  I also knew with my self doubt that transition was coming, and with that thought, up came dinner.  Bingo.  My tell tale sign that pushing was coming up on the horizon quickly.

The pool was announced to be ready, and with that, I somehow hauled my body into my bedroom to change from my nightgown into my tankini top that I bought especially for the occasion.  I clipped my hair up, and hauled my body back down the hallway to climb into the warm waters.  Off went the overhead light, and I finally caught a small break as my body adjusted to the therapeutic heat of the birthing waters.  I was able to grasp the handles and allow my body to float a bit.  I, at this point, had no idea how many people were outside on my porch turned waiting room.  All I knew was as soon as my mom arrived, Gavin was whisked out to be watched by caring hands.  People were coming in and out.  Matt sat across from me in his chair.  My body adjusted and the waves were back to one on top of the other.  Stephanie came through the door and with a caring smile and soothing voice came down and said hello on my level.  I remember looking in her eyes and feeling a bit of relief that at least all of this will be captured in a beautiful way, and she was just in time.  She made her own introductions to those in the room, and with that, I was back into laborland. 

I was constantly announcing start and stop to my mom, as she was still timing.  I couldn't get comfortable.  I wanted to run away from my body.  I was writhing when all the sudden, at the peak of another, my mom took my hands, and held her head close.  I so needed that.  I needed anchoring.  I needed to re-center, and I needed the hands of support at just that level to hang onto; I needed a piece of something outside myself to help keep me out of my own way.  My head needed to be reminded to relax, that my contractions are not stronger than me, because they are me.  My mom's hands did that. 

This woman's work.

With that realization tucked into my head and heart, the next thing I remember was the midwife's assistant, Tonya, arrived.  She made her introduction, but I never looked up, I just weakly waved.  Late labor sounding; low, but getting louder.  I kept trying to keep my tones low in my gut this whole time.  The lower the tones, no matter the volume, the more relaxed the body gets during each wave.  Thankfully, my consciousness kept that nugget of wisdom handy.  Tara came through the door not much later.  More introductions and hellos.  She got down to business and got the doppler out for the first check in my labor.  Heart tones were great.  She took my temperature and blood pressure, and upon satisfaction of those numbers, proceeded to set up her equipment.  I pointed her to the direction of the Birth Kit in my bedroom, as Matt had already brought out her other items in the big bin.  The next thing I remember, Cecilia walked through the door, and immediately took place right next to Matt's chair on the stool he had set up in front of me for his seat.  He happily sat in his recliner instead.  During each wave, I reached out and asked for hands.  That simple touch was so healing.  I got Matt's fingers and Cee's hands.  I squeezed the dickens out of Matt, and tried to hold Cee's as gently as my hands would allow during the moment.  The baby's hearttones were being checked every couple minutes; it was only mildly distracting since nobody was asking me to move out of my little world to accommodate them.

I was fully aware of every conversation going on around me, yet, I could not contribute, nor did I want to.  It was rather nice to, in between waves, just lay there, and be.  Be supported, be taken care of, be looked after, be cheered on.  Cee mentioned my "perfect Bradley relaxation", then rubbed her finger over the one wrinkle I had in my forehead.  Having had it made known to me, I melted it away, and relaxed further.  Deeper relaxed.  Another wave came through, and I toned my way through it, but this time, I had to tone differently; my mouth needed to change shape, my throat needed to sound out.  My mom cracked the joke that I sounded like Dori doing whale impressions; while funny to the rest of the room, I could only glare at being disturbed.  This went on for a few more waves, my varied toning, hands anchoring me, upper body hanging over the side of the pool, knees supporting my working body, sweat starting to bead on my face.

Then it happened.

At the peak of a wave, I grunted out loud.  This caused a knowing look between the midwives and doula.  "Candice, can I check you, please?"  The one and only check during my labor of my cervix.   Tara was having a time trying to get in there under the water and in my current position, I finally just declared that checking in general is not fun, and to go ahead with however it had to be done.  Surprisingly, I felt nothing while she checked.  It was then declared that I was complete, and effaced.  Baby was nice and low.  Pushing could commence at my leisure.

Low and slow, that was what I kept repeating in my head.  Each wave brought about the uncontrollable urge to push with it, and for once, my body felt like it was working with me instead of me working against it.  I visualized in my head, and arc, and at the start of every wave, I was at the bottom of this arc, as I continued up, I would start to push, doing my most effective pushing at the top of it.  Slow.  Effective.  Slow.

I regained consciousness for a moment and looked straight up in front of me.  I was greeted by a warm smile from Cee.  She proclaimed, "you're doing it, Candice!"  Indeed, I was.  I sunk back into my world pretty quickly.  But I was doing it.  Female hands holding mine, guiding me through.  Female hands reaching into the waters for measurements, confirming life is coming.  It was really wonderful to not hear people yelling at me to push, or counting to 10.  Somewhere along the way, during a push, I felt my membranes release.  "Something broke" I said, even though I knew immediately what "something" was.  I seem to remember more waves in between, but my memory jumps to as Tara was providing perineal support, she was noting the position of the baby, and gently guiding my pushing to slow down to avoid a tear.  Slowly, at her direction, I started to puh-puh-puh my way through with shorter, gentler, but controlled pushes, to help me stretch evenly.  While this was going on, Matt had a lot of different questions about the baby, including her hair color, but never once got up to check.  Cee happily gave him a play by play of what I was going through, as he kept telling me to breathe at the top of a pushing contraction.

I worked quietly.  It was intense work, but good work, and I knew this, even in the thick of the fog.

I was asked if I could turn over for heart tone readings, but I could not.  I could not move my body from the position that was working.  They had me move my leg out, and maneuvered to get low enough to hear, moved away when I was pushing, then came back when it was over; this was the one heart tone I could not hear right away, but Matt, and everyone else, heard the faint heart tone that was good and strong.  From having two babies, Matt had learned to tell the difference between maternal and fetal heart tones.

I could feel myself stretching with each small push.  Stinging, stretching, burning, but once the muscle stretched initially, it did not sting nearly as much on the next push.  I could feel her head stretching and coming down.  I felt her brow present, and all the fears of having an arm present with it went away.  I knew she was textbook perfect at that point.  I felt her brow come through, then her face, her chin, then I felt her rotate.  I knew I'd have her out soon.  Upon rotation, the neck came through, then one shoulder, another rotation back, and the other shoulder.  She easily slid into the warm birthing waters.

One hour after the birthing team walked into my home.  Eighteen hours after labor had begun.

10:28pm

I was overwhelmed and wanted to touch her, to hold her.  As Tara brought her up, I was trying to turn around and catch a glimpse of my prize.  She came out of the waters with healthy, strong cries; the sound that will bring tears to any new mama's eyes.  I had to pull my leg up and over the cord, once thick and pulsing with life, now empty and white as it put what was left into my daughter.  I held her.  In the warm waters, we connected, and I drank in her scent from the top of her head.  I marveled at her beauty, and her small size.  She was wrapped into a fresh pink towel and a little white hat put on her head, as I was hoping to deliver the placenta shortly after her, so I wanted her connected.  The special bowl for catching the placenta was retrieved, and we waited while I adored the newest creation to come earthside.  More hot water was added to the pool, and as the warmth flooded around us, my heart poured over in elation.  I couldn't believe that I was finally face to face with the one that I had dreamed over for so many nights before.

Time was ticking by, and after half an hour and only cramping to show for waiting, I made the call to cut and clamp her cord to get her to warmer, and drier, settings.  Matt was not all that interested in cutting, but my mom was all about it.  Two hemostats were placed, scissors passed, and with a loud "clack", we were now two instead of one.

Gavin was briefly brought in to see her, but, like any two and a half year old, all he saw was this really awesome pool, in his living room, and wanted in it, right then.  Because he couldn't, and he was feverishly sick still, he was ushered back out to be taken care of by family outside.  Thankfully it was a nice, warm summer night.  Now to get back down to business, and get this organ delivered.  One full glass of gatorade later, I was regaining strength and endurance.  While I leaned over the side of the tub once again, I started to sweat as the water was now hot again, and all I could feel was cramps again as my uterus did its work of detaching, and expelling it.  Mary made her way next door to my elderly neighbor's house to make her debut with them.  It was quick, but it felt like an eternity that she was gone.  15 more minutes passed, and no placenta to be seen yet.  So we decided to come out of the water, with a plan of moving me to my bed, and giving it a bit more time before we give it a shot of pitocin.  Getting out of the pool was about as graceful as getting in.  After gathering myself around a chux pad, I waddled my way down the hallway to my bedroom to finally lay down and get out of my wet top.  This also provided prime opportunity for skin to skin with her, and to see if we could get her to latch to get the oxytocin flowing and my uterus to clamp down.  Then, with one giant push, and a sloosh, out it came into the bowl.  One hour and twenty one minutes after she was born.  It never felt so good to be done before.

My abdomen now soft and fleshy, an empty vessel that carried her.  It was time for a warm shower and to get cleaned up.  It took a bit of help to get me neatly into the shower, but once in, water flowing over me felt so nice, however, I was in a hurry to get back to my little pea pod.  I'm pretty sure that was the fastest shower I have ever taken.  Tara was giving me instructions as I was showering for care during this time and afterwards for my body.  Once out, I was asked to urinate.  That was the hardest part of this whole thing.  To control that muscle and make it work was an almost impossible task.  Tara turned her back and turned on the water in the sink in an effort to help my mind over matter.  I finally was able to dribble, and thus was able to get up and get back to my kiddo.  I was so happy and proud that I was up and moving within moments of giving birth.  I was not broken.  I was not beaten up.  I was a mother, a woman, and capable.

I was swimming in a sea of pink with all the towels around us.  My mom found a brush and brushed my long, wet hair.  I finally got her to nurse; her latch was perfect, both lips flanged out.  Time seemed to stand still as everyone waited and watched, making conversation.  Her newborn check was about to take place as a hot plate of ziti from Larissa was brought in to me and I handed her over.  I chowed down, not realizing how ravenous I was! 

Tara checked over every single detail of Mary; nothing escaped her notice.  She observed, and made note of everything to Tonya, who was writing it all down.  She was so gentle with her.  Matt stepped forward to help weigh her; the one question everyone had burning in their back pockets.  Gently, she was placed into the sling, and held up in the air.

6 pounds, 9 ounces.  19 and 3/4 inches long.

One vitamin K shot, and a lot of pictures later, everyone was making their way out and saying their goodbyes.  It was around one a.m.  I was completely over the moon and swimming in a birth high.  It was a wonderful place to be.

I spent many hours in the night, next to my mom, simply beholding the wonder of what just took place.  She stayed the night with me, in the same bed, all three generations in the same space.

The warm July night in which you were born, we all rejoiced.


Birthing Story: Mary Ayn Rae Young from Candice Young on Vimeo.



Posted at 10:22 am by Candy
Comments (4)  

Jul 13, 2011
Baby Journal: 37 weeks

Daughter... it's late, and yet here we are, awake, with thoughts running through my head.  I just got signed off and approved to homebirth with you.  I'm really ecstatic that everything seems to be falling into place.  Your nursery is very close to being complete, the birth supplies are all stacked and ready to be organized on birthing day, and people have showered you with love and trinkets to celebrate your coming.

This birth, this pregnancy; I have called myself selfish prior to now with it, but that description is inaccurate.  It's far beyond selfishness that I consider this birth.  This birth is sacred.  How you come into this world is something that, as I delve deeper within my heart and mind in these last weeks, is rooted in love and calmness.  I want nothing about your arrival to be rushed through, to feel pushed, to feel like I'm on anyone else' time table but yours.  This birth is your birth as much as it is my birthing.  To be apart of something so monumental in your life, as the beginning of it, is ominous, but is also something that I cherish with great humility.  I've never been more content, more at peace, more ready to greet you, my little love.  You have some cooking time left, but with that 'yes' came a rush of relief that I will not be forced back into a world of clocks and charts, of people waiting, of someone else' expectations or desires.  That you and I will work together, and bring forth a new life into this family.

I want to reach down and pull you out of the birthing waters.  To be the first one to touch you, to drink in your scent, to wipe the vernix into your skin.  To hold you, birth your placenta, and keep everything calmly in place until it is time to separate.  It is my honor.  I want to tap into our great grandmothers, and the ancestors that walked the paths before us; to celebrate the rite of passage that is birthing.  Women are the great carriers of life.  We have the gift of carrying two hearts within us at the same time, and then bringing that life earthside.  It is a profound gift to be a woman in this way.  From the first breath of air, to the first menarche, to the first baby, the gift of fertility has spanned generations of women before you; and it was not until I realized that I am passing this blessing into another life, into you, that it hit me how important this task of womanhood is.  You, my child, are a strong one.  You are a daughter of this house, but first, a daughter of God.

I hope that you receive all the benefits of the sanctity of your birthing day; that you come into the world and feel completely at ease and loved by those surrounding the waters.  How lucky and blessed are we to have such support and strong women to be present.  How amazed you will be when your grandmothers hold you for the first time the coming days after.  How adored by your father and brother in the first hours.  How indescribable it will be to behold you in the first moments as no other person in this world but your mother can.

I love you, beautiful, confident, you.
Mama

Posted at 10:50 pm by Candy
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Jun 13, 2011
Toddler Journal: 2.5 years

Hi Sugar Bug, Turkey Butt, Monkey, Buddy, Booger... my Big Boy.  You're learning a lot these days and have become interested in a wide variety of subjects.  We stopped doing the Baby Can Read dvds simply because they became scratched beyond recognition, two entire sets, and because of the time that they demanded in front of the tube.  You've got your abc's down pat, and also have most of the letter sounds memorized.  It was interesting to see the second you stopped watching the dvds, the words you had memorized faded very fast.  You still know a handful on sight, but now sound out a great deal of them, or at least try to before giving up and guessing at it.  We still work on words, but not nearly as much as we work on subjects.

You're into numbers now, and like skip counting, mostly by threes, the best.  You count everything you see.  My favorite is when you start singing the song you have learned to help you count by threes.  It's supremely cute to hear you say "freeeeeee" instead of three.  You count sides and angles on shapes, and depending on the number, tell me what shape it is.  You like animals, but have become very engrossed with sea turtles after a necklace that I earned from a 5k, compounded by the movie Finding Nemo.  We're working on learning about beaches, sea life, oceans, and, of course, sea turtles at home.  We have incorporated a few Montessori Concepts into our teachings, and utilize all manner of different objects and visuals to help you learn about these while also learning practical skills (you transfer sea shells, one at a time, with a pair of tongs from a small basket to an egg crate, play counting games with your shells, themed books and activities, field trips, and memory jogging by drawing what we saw and/or learned about)  You enjoy any and all sea life, but your best impression is that of the gorilla.  You beat your fists on your chest and say ooh ooh ooh!  You're very curious about your world, and are constantly asking questions to help define it (What is that?  What is that sound?).  You still like space and rockets, moon and stars.  We got to watch a rocket launch via Nasa TV on the web a week ago, you were enchanted with the entire process from countdown to liftoff to booster release.  Dinosaurs have taken a back seat, but you do so like two books that we have (How Does A Dinosaur Count To Ten, and Dinosaur Vs. The Potty) and I can find you going through them over and over.

You like things in order, and either stacked or in lines.  It is not surprising to find you grouping like items, and lining them up, such as blocks, vehicles, hats/helmets, etc.  Since that is such a prominent part of your personality, we went ahead to teach you about the passage of time.  Each day, we change the date together, change the day of the week, including "yesterday, today, and tomorrow", as well as observing our clock to see the time of day and what comes next.  I have a couple of clocks hanging around the house at your eye level, labeled accordingly so that you can learn these concepts.  You are learning how to pour from a small pitcher into your dinner glass during that particular meal time, yes, glass.  You do well at handling small things, and do exceptionally well at handling non-lidded cups and glasses versus those with lids and straws.  You love to color, and you love to paint more.  You can draw circles and the start of the letter A.  You seem to pick up the color green more than most colors, followed closely by yellow and red.  You love to sing and dance, though your dancing looks a little more like jumping without your feet leaving the ground, or spinning in circles.  You like dancing with Mommy by standing on my feet.  It still surprises me to hear you sing entire songs.  I didn't think you'd ever really sing like most kids, but turns out, you really enjoy it. 

Speaking of the word Mommy, you have taken to calling me Mom when you're looking for me.  It came a tad faster than I would have cared for, but at least Mommy wins out more times than not.  Your spontaneous hugs are the absolute best!  You say good morning to your sister every day, give her a hug, and routinely through the day say that there's a baby growing in there while rubbing my belly.  During our prayers at night, when we get to the part where we thank God for Mary, you always say "thank you my Mary."  It is the most heart warming thing ever.  After you saw a 3d ultrasound image of her, with no prompting at all, you simply pointed and said "Mary!"  You proclaim yourself the big brother often.  You are interested in children smaller than you, and are very curious about babies that are at the age of sitting up.

You're getting better about understanding boundaries with regards to other people, however, you still hate being told no, and will let the entire world know about it.  On a brighter note, potty training is continuing to go well.  We use Pull Ups for sleep time only, and after nap, you are almost always dry.  Number Two still presents a problem, but you hate being soiled, so we are coming to a cross roads here soon, I think where you are finally going to put it together.  So I hope, anyway.  You almost always stay dry through the day, though it requires constant prompting from me every hour to go potty; worth it, however, to have dry pants!  You are very proud of yourself when you wind up dry all day.  Latest antic to crack me up?  You stand on the seat of the bowl, hold on to the tank, take aim, and "pee like daddy!"  lol.  Cutest thing ever.  Daddy is working on teaching you to aim better since you have taken a liking to peeing standing up, for obvious reasons.

I've enrolled you in swim school this summer, and you seem to enjoy it.  You so do not enjoy having someone tell you what to do and take your turn in the water.  But this will hopefully give you some skill with your swimming; though you are a spirited swimmer, and love everything about the water, you desperately need to learn that there is some risk, without squashing your spirit.  You like jumping into water, being under water, floating, kicking, splashing... so long as you can touch, or have your swim wings on to help you float, you have no fear at all.  You love our little pool that we set up in the front yard.  We'll see how you do at the end of swim school, and if it gives you enough skill that you can swim to the side and climb out.  You are such a little fish though, and I'm proud to have you taking this next step.  I hope you never lose your love of water.

Posted at 10:44 pm by Candy
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Baby Journal: 32 weeks

Big is the word of the day!  You sit so much lower than Gavin did, and, though I'm charting normally, as are you, I just am much bigger this go around.  I've run a couple of 5k's, but have since slowed down.  The one on the beach was pretty fun, though, and it earned me a gorgeous sea turtle necklace.

Currently we all have colds in this house.  Between the hacking, coughing, sneezing, and all that comes with it, it's been a pretty miserable week.  We've been working on getting the house ready for the birth, and getting excited for your baby shower coming up next month.  I got some help rearranging the living room to make room for the birth pool, and I'm almost done getting all the linens and towels washed up.  I'm going to gather all the supplies I need next week; the midwife provided me with quite a list, so I'll start putting all that together soon.  I've got a playlist started so that I'm not listening to my own voices in my head through the entire labor.  We're getting people in place for various tasks so that it's not last minute when you decide to come earthside.  I'm so looking forward to it.

You had the hiccups the other night, ker thump, ker thump, ker thump.  You also stretch while I'm in the shower.  I'm able to pick out which parts are sticking out where; and you are plenty head down and more than in position.  Soon, you'll be turning towards my back to put yourself in OA (occiput anterior) position.

We had a 3d ultrasound done!  You look very much like Gavin did, and have my ears.  And you have 2.5" feet!  These last weeks, you're packing on the baby fat, and gathering up all the necessary hormones for growth and lung development.  I, on the other hand, am working on visualizations for birth, getting your nursery ready, and just remaining as relaxed as possible.

Posted at 09:52 am by Candy
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May 3, 2011
Baby Journal: 27 weeks

So, yeah, to say I'm a bit behind is an understatement.  However, to be sneaky, I had blogged out my emotions elsewhere while I waited, and prayed, and waited some more to see if an issue was going to work itself out, without all the craziness that comes with worrying family members and friends who love us.  I'm worrying them enough already, I assure you.

We had an issue with the placenta a few weeks back.  After a routine diagnostic ultrasound at 22 weeks revealed a low lying placenta, I was informed by my midwife that she would need another ultrasound, this time at a different place that has better imaging (thus, a high risk center), that would be able to pin point to the millimeter placental location; it was apparently that close of a call.  There were fears and self doubts in my mind as worry and tears filled my eyes at the thought of previa; wonderings if it was something I did or didn't do, too little activity, too little nutrients, too poor a position on the couch too often?  I didn't know, nor was there anything I could do about it.  It just happens, and needs to run it's course.  Low lying placentas are perfectly normal in early pregnancy, and as the uterus grows, it pulls the placenta up with it.  Thankfully, it was already anterior, so that was not against me, but all there was to do was wait, and see, in two weeks at the next appointment.

[note: placenta previa is a condition where the placenta can cover part or all of the cervix, and is named by varying degree of coverage.  Full Placenta Previa cannot be birthed through and the baby must be delivered by cesarean section as one cannot birth a baby through the placenta; the risk of hemorrhage, both maternal and fetal, is too great, and one that I would never take.]

I grabbed a hold of those closest to me for support, and opted to keep things quiet for the sake of not worrying folks if it turned out to not be necessary.  At the ultrasound appointment two weeks later, Matt joined me to take care of Gavin.  My patience was thin, as my anxiety was high, so I was very thankful he was there; he was my rock that day.  I had not been "in the system" in quite a while, and like any other behavior or experience, the less you are around it, the more shocked you are when you are faced with it again.  They moved women in and out like cattle, and it was very clinical.  But they were there to get a job done, and so was I.  They brought me back a full hour after my appointment time, and sat me in a chair to prep.  As they rolled the transducer probe over you, they confirmed great news... no signs of previa.  The placenta was pulled far and away from the cervix. 

Relief washed over me, as a smile finally hit my face that was genuine.  I was grateful for the news and grateful that my prayers had been answered in such a positive way. 

As we chatted, the tech and I, she went through and produced diagnostic images of you; you had us both in stitches that day.  I have the funniest photo of you with your tongue sticking out!  And get this: you were, as of that ultrasound, transverse frank breech.  No kidding, my little yogi, you had your toes up by your ears while hammocked on your back.  I know you are still just enjoying all the space you have in there to swim in, and there's plenty of time for you to change positions - in fact - you do, hourly.  I can feel you kick, flutter, dance, flip, poke, all on different sides and different ends.

Two days later, our midwife came over for our usual four week visit, and while we commiserated and celebrated, we went about the usual diagnostics of the check up as well.  You totally balled up and didn't want anything to do with the doppler that day, so she had to take your heartrate through the cord instead.  I had never heard a heartrate through the cord before, so it was quite the experience!  It sounds somewhat softer than it does when taken from you, but it gives a definite heartrate.  Everything is looking perfect with you.  All measurements are good, all imaging looks good, and all your movements are great.  I can feel your different parts depending on where you are laying in there; it's amazing, I'm really enjoying this pregnancy with you.

Posted at 10:31 pm by Candy
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Mar 6, 2011
Baby Journal: 18 weeks

What an exciting day!!  We went for an ultrasound this morning to find out exactly who you are.  Theresa came with the three of us to help wrangle Gavin and keep the peace, depending on what the ultrasound revealed (or didn't reveal!). 

The tech was very nice and calm as she rolled over you.  We determined that the placenta is indeed in the front and on the left.  Close to my incision from Gavin, but not terribly close to cause concern, just something to keep an eye on in labor.  We saw fingers, toes, eyes, brain, skin and hair... then we saw something missing that we expected to see there!  You are a girl!!  And no longer just simply known as Jellybean, but may I formally introduce our daughter:

Mary Ayn Young
due August 2011





Matt was certainly disappointed, but he covered it up well that night when we went to go announce it to the family.  I decided a week before to do a dessert party and announce the gender during by slicing into a white cake: pink cake inside for a girl, blue cake for a boy, this way everyone would find out at the same time in a very fun way.  Theresa stayed with me all day while we ran errands to get everything we needed, including some girl things for the nursery.  We got it all finished in the nick of time, closed the nursery door, put the last bit of icing on the cake to cover up our secret, and put the champagne on ice.  People wandered in to find a banner that asked "He or She, what will it be?" and giant paper pom poms hanging from the chandelier in the dining room.  Under that, a glorious buffet of desserts!  I made a (pink) cake, a skillet chocolate chip cookie, a german chocolate caramel brownie cake, and pecan-peach-walnut cookies, all served up next to some ice cream.  Everybody was on edge waiting on people to arrive so we could finally cut. that. cake!  They tried bribing Gavin.  Tried sneaking to the room.  Matt was in such a good mood that he fooled both Tammy and my grandmother into thinking it was a boy.

What a surprise when we finally cut the cake.  It was such a joyous event.  Everyone is thrilled to be welcoming a little girl into our family.

Ah, my Mary.  Welcome to our lives.  You are already so loved, expected, and wanted.  I can't wait to see you again in my arms.

Posted at 01:18 pm by Candy
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Mar 4, 2011
Toddler Journal: 25-26 months

Hi Gavin!  I've put off writing this entry because it didn't seem like much was happening, when all the sudden, it seemed like SO much happened, and I had no idea where the time went.

Your verbal skills are coming so rapidly now.  You speak in sentences, sometimes in a paragraph, depending on how exciting the subject is.  I still have to translate for those who are not around you all the time, but you're really clear most of the time.  We went and saw the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-133 mission) at Kennedy Space Center.  It was the last launch and mission for this shuttle, and one of the last three manned missions for the space program.  You had an amazing time.  Your Aunt Theresa came with us, and we arrived at 130pm and spent the whole afternoon on the viewing lawn, between trips to the potty and walks around the visitor center.  We picked a spot next to a hill, and it kept you busy for a good couple hours.  You thought all that grass and running space, while surrounded by shuttles and astronaut coverage on the big screen was the coolest thing ever.  You were cranky some of the time, but happy most of the time.  Theresa held you on her shoulders while we watched liftoff on the big screen until the shuttle cleared the tree line.  Everyone cheered and the environment was perfect for shuttle viewing.  You were excited and kept saying "up in the sky!  The shuttle is up in the sky!  Look at that!"  The boosters fired, and the ground rumbled beneath us!  There were about 10,000 people, NASA estimated, that watched this shuttle go.  We were really blessed to be a part of it.  The very next morning, you jumped out of bed, ran into the bathroom and told Daddy all about "space shuttle discovery.  discovery up in the sky.  [insert shuttle sound and pointing here].  I saw it!"  If asked, you still remember and speak about it.

In that very same week, we got to go to Monster Jam thanks to Grandparents Williams.  You had been talking about monster trucks for about a month prior to it thanks to all the commercials.  Graaaaave Digggerrrrrr you kept saying over and over.  I was worried the noise might be too much for you, so we brought your range ear muffs, and while you wore them for a bit, the excitement set it, and you yanked them off to get the full experience.  You clapped and cheered on your favorite truck.  We had great seats and you got to see the whole arena.  You liked it when they went in circles around the track because of how much noise they made.  You hung in there for the whole thing, and still really, really, really love playing with monster trucks, and cars of all types.

Speaking of cars... your latest obsession is that very movie.  You can quote it, and it's the one thing you ask for every day.  I find it adorable that it's the only movie that holds your attention for longer than half an hour.

Everything is a "have" or "need" with you lately.  And heaven forbid I tell you no.  This age has brought about minute by minute attitudes and behaviors, that while normal, are tough to ride through.  Though your way of getting out of whatever you think you might be caught in is precious.  "Mommmyyyyy" while squeezing my cheek against yours very tightly.  Your need to be independent constantly conflicts with your need for reassurance and dependence. 

Potty training is going pretty well; just a lot of patience, a lot of consistency, and getting you to the bathroom on time.  You like your big boy underwear, and really prefer them dry.  You've actually walked out of the living room and walked back in completely pantsless a few times in the evenings.  I check, and sure enough, you went all by yourself!  You're getting to be such a big boy.  Night training is harder, but we're working with it.  I ask if you have to go, and the answer is almost always "no ma'am".  Are you sure?  "sure."

On a completely random note, you found a couple pennies and a nickle one day.  You held the pennies, smelled them, looked at me and said "smells good!"  Hahahaha!  You picked up the nickle, walked through the house proclaiming how beautiful it was.  It was a very humorous moment for me to witness.

You're very aware of you.  Of what you can do, what you wanna do, who you are in the space you're in, and your relation to people around you.  Seeing you interact with complete stranger's children is so very sweet; you walked up to a girl one day at the park, and said "friend".  You played with her for half an hour.  You still have ownership issues with toys and such, but if we're in an open enough environment, you usually handle conflict with other children fairly well.  You still hate the whole concept of sharing, though you will if prodded and redirected.  Whenever anybody you love comes through the door, you start the whole process of showing them and naming everything around you that is yours, or you like.  It's your way of showing affection prior to giving hugs and kisses.  Though, for your dad and I, you'll come running to give plenty of hugs right away.

Gavin, you're a good boy.  You are.  All the time.

Posted at 11:01 pm by Candy
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Baby Journal: 17 weeks

I'm feeling all of the flutters, pokes, and kicks lately.  You're far more active than your brother was in utero.  I had almost forgotten what these early movements felt like, and I'm loving reliving them with you.  I'm enjoying this secret that we can both share until you are big enough to have your movements felt on the outside of my body.

Our latest appointment with our midwife went very well.  Your numbers and stats all look good.  You're sitting about two fingerwidths below my belly button, and have a heart rate in the 140-150's.  Though it took a minute to get a solid reading, as you kicked the doppler a few times (par for the course, your brother hated them, too).  My numbers look great as well, normal blood pressure, and only eight pounds gained, though my belly is more present with you than was with your brother.  My energy and appetite have been making a comeback, as have my nesting instincts.  I'm soon to have your room ready to be yours and no longer the dog's slash storage room.

We're nearing the halfway point in this pregnancy, and, Jellybean, you're so anticipated and loved already.

Posted at 10:20 pm by Candy
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Feb 3, 2011
Baby Journal: 13 weeks

Here we are at the second trimester already.  My energy is starting to make a come back, as well as my appetite from time to time.  I'm still queasy every now and again, but not feeling nearly as awful as the first eight weeks.

I had 12 week ultrasounds done at my last OB visit, and this baby moves quite a bit, okay, A LOT more than Gavin did at this stage.  It was pretty neat to see!  It was also very strange because I can't even feel so much as a flutter yet.

Today, at 9:30am, we got to meet our midwife in person for our first official prenatal appointment with her.  It's been an interesting journey to secure care for a homebirth as a vbac/hbac client.  I couldn't even get care at our local Birth Center due to the fact that legally in Florida, under a midwife constrained by obstetrician protocol, I have to have had one successful vbac prior.  We found a midwife in St. Augustine, and are working with her towards the goal of a homebirth.  This morning, she drove to our home (as she will for all of our future appointments), sat down with Matt, Gav, and I and went over our questions, concerns, paperwork for an hour!  Every appointment will be an hour.  Of face to face contact with my care provider.  I was lucky if I got 10 minutes with an obstetrician!  We got to hear the Butterbean's heartbeat today.  Gavin got to stand right next to me while I laid on the couch as she found the whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh of a 150's rate.  It was every bit as calm, warm, and wonderful as I had hoped.  She comes back in four weeks.  I have never felt so sure of a decision in my life.

While I have a bit of a belly, I've only put on 3-4 pounds so far.  I'm still running twice a week (though, for a while it was once a week).  I do a lot better when I brace up my belly with an ace bandage, and am less sore after.

So far, so good....

Posted at 11:30 pm by Candy
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Jan 10, 2011
Baby Journal: 10 weeks

I'm discovering it's a lot harder to be so dedicated to weekly entries with a toddler running around.  It doesn't help when each week would also say "still sick."

I'm a lot sicker this time around than I was with Gavin.  It tends to make life pretty miserable from time to time, and we've been homebound tv watchers a lot of the past few weeks.  I'm trying to change that.  Running is harder this go around; however, I don't have the luxury of a personal trainer during the week as I did with Gavin to keep me going, either.  We had an ultrasound and baby appointment at 8 weeks, everything is looking good and healthy.  They are off by about two weeks with their dating by using a made up LMP date instead of the conception date I gave them.  I'm still looking at the beginning of August, they are saying the end of August.  So sometime in August!

I'm already fluffier than I was with Gavin at this time.  I'm just giving credit to already having had a baby, and having a cesarean delivery on top of that.  The body just isn't as tight as it was prior to both.  I've put on about 10 pounds worth of fluffiness so far.

Lots of things are going on in there:

Though he's barely the size of a kumquat a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.

He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.

In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size to nearly 3 inches.

(source: www.babycenter.com)


Posted at 08:44 pm by Candy
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