It’s about time I write another update on both Savina and peanut, and this will probably turn out to be a fairly long post. The reason is that I’m not sure I will find time again to post here before peanut enters the world. I’m 36 1/2 weeks pregnant now, so the baby could technically come anytime. My guess is around 38 weeks.
My sweet Savina continues to amaze me. She’s been working so hard on her communication skills. Her signing blows me away. When I don’t teach her a sign for something, she just makes one up. Her language is even more developed. I’m certain the number of words she can say now must be reaching 200. I can’t count them anymore, and she repeats almost everything we say. Occasionally she’ll surprise me by saying a word I had no idea she could say. She observes and listens closely for sure!
She’s also starting to put words together to form 2 or 3 word sentences. Sometimes she’ll put a sign and a word together to form a sentence, for example: She’ll sign “where” and say “go?” to ask “where did it go?” or as yesterday morning at the pond: “where is the girl going?” She can say sentences like “I know” and “I don’t know,” “bye bye XY,” “kitty, come play!” “more baba” (more banana please), “I see Papa,” “I see baby” “I see bird” (boo/boh is her word for bird) etc. etc.
She says “all gone” or “all done” now instead of “gone” and “done” and is trying to fine tune her pronunciation. Instead of “gain” she often says “again” now, and instead of “tato” she says “ato” (for Auto–car), “side” is turning into what it should be: “outside”.
She’s starting to learn manners: she says “Thank you” (sounds like gako–closer to the German “danke”) very often on her own now, and occasionally she’ll say “please” on her own. There was this cute incident, when she stole my water bottle, and ran around with it outside. She made a whole game of it. When I finally caught her and took it back, she asked me for the bottle again, tried to pull it out of my hand, but I didn’t give in. After a minute, she apparently noticed that the “aggressive” way was not getting her what she wanted, so she stepped back, and signed and said “peeaaasee?” (please?). It was sooooo adorable, and I could hardly resist.
Savina knows how to beg for more, too. Especially in the evening, when it’s time to go to bed. We read a book or two, or three, and when we’re done, she’ll raise her forefinger and say very determined but pleading: “One!?” She’ll do the same when I stop singing her lullaby. Just ooooone more, please, Mommy! How can you resist that cuteness? Another really cute one is when she says “some,” referring to “May I have some?” “I’d like some” and “Here, have some.” While she’s a good sharer (so far) she can sometimes go a little too far with it too, and push a food or drink to your mouth saying “some” as in “have some, Mommy” when you already said “no thank you, hunny.”
Some time ago, probably several weeks by now, I figured out that Savina sometimes actually refers to our cat by the cat’s name (Sue–pronounced: Su-e) I was blowing bubbles, and Savina kept calling: see! see! so of course I thought she was saying something like “look, can you see, look at those bubbles!” But then she called, “Seeeeee, cooooome, plaaaaay!” After that one time I’ve often been able to recognize her calling our cat rather than saying “see”. She hasn’t figured out how to add the “u” to the name yet.
I don’t think Savina understands much more yet than 1 when it comes to numbers, but she can count as far as 2. What she is completely oblivious of is colors. No matter how much I try to teach her colors, she just doesn’t get it. We’re a ways away from that one.
Apart from advancing vocally, she finally has hit a new milestone in gross motor as well: she’s climbing, yay. She climbs on everything, including having finally figured out how to climb her tiny little slide by herself. She has a blast on that thing! Of course, with the climbing comes the falling, but so far we’ve only had two falls, and no injuries other than a little bruise here and there.
Two more things about Savina, and then I’ll move on to peanut: 1. baby…
Oh my gosh. Savina has been obsessed with babies for a very long time now–it started long before I became pregnant. However, recently her obsession with babies has become so extreme that if I sing a lullaby at bedtime, and it does not contain the word “baby,” she freaks out and wants me to sing a different song. She’ll go: “No! No! Baby! Baby! No! Baby!” It gets a bit frustrating, as there are only so many songs in my repertoire that actually contain that word, and if it doesn’t come up right away, I have to tell her: “Yes, there is a baby in the song” or she won’t even let me start. On the upside, she’s been very good with her baby sibling, trying all sorts of things to interact with him/her. Feeding, offering water, kissing my belly, playing with baby with a flashlight, washing my belly, trying to listen to baby by holding one of my breast pump bottles with a breast shield attached to my belly. She’s adorable with her doll, too, breastfeeding her, rocking and bouncing her, burping her, and really caring. She gets super-excited whenever she sees a baby anywhere, especially if it’s an infant, but even older kids, who are babies in her mind, get her excited. I so can’t wait for her to meet her sibling!!
My last topic leans a little bit on my last blog entry. It’s about her tantruming when it’s time to brush teeth after a meal. We started out with me brushing her teeth all the time. Then she didn’t allow me to do it anymore, and I figured out that she wanted to do it herself. That was a few months ago. Then, several weeks ago, she wouldn’t properly brush anymore, so I had to step in, and that set off a huge tantrum that could last up to 30 minutes before she would finally let me brush. Well, recently I have discovered what the problem is: it’s not her. It’s not her teeth (as I thought, because she was teething really badly at some point). It’s not her wanting to do it herself.
It’s me. I would always look at her sternly, when she wouldn’t brush, and be very serious about it, and say things like “Are you going to brush your teeth now? Or will Mommy have to do it?” (I never forced her, which is why her tantrums would last so long. I always sat and was with her, offering my care and understanding of her upset, and waited until she was okay with me doing it). And then I would continue to ask her every now and then during her tantrum: “May Mommy brush your teeth now?” But I was always stern, and giving her that warning look, as if I wanted to say, you don’t have a choice, it’s brushing time, and you better comply. Rarely, I’d even actually say to her: you know, you’ll sit here until we brush your teeth–I do feel bad about that, but with all the patience I’ve had, and my hormones being all scrambled, and me being tired and exhausted, I think I’m doing the best I can.
I do feel that it’s important she learns she has to do this, but I went about it the wrong way. I can’t remember if I stumbled across the solution I found to the problem by accident or just finally thought of it, but whatever the case, it worked and has ever since, and it proves once again that the disciplinary approach gets you absolutely nowhere. You need to be kind and loving and happy, because babies and toddlers indeed feed off of your emotions. Now you’ll ask: well, what is it? Tell us already! How’d you succeed? The answer is simple: I smiled. I let go. Let go of my worry of not getting her to brush, let go of being so serious and stern about the whole matter. I smiled at her, honestly (not pretending to) felt positive about everything, and asked in a playful manner: May Mommy brush your teeth? Immediately, she said ya, and she let me do it, opened her mouth when I asked her and let me brush as much as I needed to. She has ever since. No more tantrums.
On to peanut.
Peanut’s baby shower was on June 29th, and while many of our friends, including most our mommy/baby friends, could not make it that day, we had a blast with what few guests came to celebrate our sweet baby. As a nice surprise, one of my closest friends came by with her baby, although she had initially told me she couldn’t make it. That really lightened up the day! Savina got to play with two other babies, and they had a wonderful time together. Thank you to all who came–it was a huge pleasure to enjoy your company!
A week before the shower, we had our maternity pictures taken. They came out so well. As always, thanks to Kathy Jackson of “The Mirrored Image Photography.” I compared this years pictures to those when pregnant with Savina. I can’t believe time has gone by so fast. She’s almost 2 years old now, and becoming a big sister. And she looks forward to it just as much as we do.
Here are just a select few of the beautiful pictures Kathy took for us:
So how’s this pregnancy going? At this point I can’t help but compare the two pregnancies. Savina and peanut. Much is definitely the same, but some things are different, if only slightly.
My belly has grown faster this time around, but my weight gain is far less. With Savina I was at 32-33 lbs weight gain at this point. With peanut I have gained 19 lbs so far. For the longest time I hung at around 17 lbs, but it seems to be spiking–which is exactly what happened just 1-2 weeks before Savina was born. I had a huge spike in weight gain, then lost 3 lbs over night just before contractions started.
While I had hardly any heartburn with Savina, I had a slight bit more with peanut, but still nothing monumental. It seems as though I’m carrying about the same way, but judge for yourself (pics below). My leg hair grew much slower while pregnant with Savina–instead of once a week I only needed to shave every other week. With peanut, it’s even slower. I only need to shave about once every 3-4 weeks. With Savina I had to deal with leg cramping, which is not much of an issue this time around, I’m guessing because I’m taking more calcium (because of my teeth) and drinking far more than I did with Savina.
My back has been really bad at the start of the third trimester, which is why I bought a babybellyband. That helped a great deal, and my back was finally getting better. However, it has become worse again, although not yet nearly as painful as I remember with Savina. My tailbone is definitely not affected this time–I think Savina always sat oddly on/against my tailbone. This one likes to hang out on my cervix. Still, I can feel everything starting to loosen more than it already has been, and ligament pain is becoming far more prominent.
I’m exhausted. I can’t remember being this exhausted with Savina–but according to my journal I was. The reason I feel it more this time, I think, and am more aware of being this exhausted, is probably because on top of the exhaustion I’m getting less rest now. Obviously, in great part because of Savina, but also because of less opportunities to rest. When pregnant with Savina, I sleept 8-9 hours or more at night, and took a 1-2 hour nap during the day. Now, I get 7-8 hours of sleep at best, and am lucky to get a 1 hour nap in most days.
I feel strongly that this baby will make his or her grand entrance between 37 and 39 weeks. Of course I could be entirely wrong, but let me lay out to you why I feel this way:
Apart from mere maternal intuition: Savina was 8 days early, peanut has been sitting on my cervix for weeks, in perfect birthing position, my back bones are loosening, I’m experiencing greater hunger lately, coupled with a spike in weight gain, I need to pee more frequently at night in the last several days (like every 1.5-2 hours), I had my first uncomfortable (not yet painful) Braxton Hicks contraction a few days ago and a couple more today, everything is just so much more difficult to do these days, and my ligaments are more sensitive.
I would appreciate peanut to stay in there until at least July 12th (really wouldn’t want the baby’s birth day too close to Independence Day), but I’m ready to welcome him/her any time. I can’t wait to get my energy back, and be able to move my body more freely again. We do need a few more days though, to set up the pool and get last odds and ends taken care of. We have yet to receive our birthing kit, too, so peanut better stays put until that arrives.
While I’m still nursing Savina 2-3 times a day, I do keep arguing with myself (and trust me, neither I nor myself have won the argument yet) about whether or not to wean her now, because I’m drying up, and nursing was becoming more and more painful. Lately the pain has lessened, but I have white hard spots on my nipples–like callused skin. So I keep wondering, should I wean Savina and give them a rest? At the same time, how can I refuse her? She asks for it more often lately than a few weeks ago, and she and I both still love the closeness nursing gives us. Knowing myself, I’ll probably keep going, and then regret it, when my nipples are so sore that I can’t feed the new baby painlessly, ugh. What’s the right choice to make? I don’t know.
So, all in all, I love feeling baby inside, but can’t wait to give birth. And I’m so very curious what gender Savina’s little sibling will be. You will likely not hear from me again on this blog until after the birth of our baby. Thank you for reading this far, and look for the amazing birth story of Baby Comeau #2 next time.
Bonus: Savina — 20 months