Friday, October 29, 2010

it's a boy!

We are so thrilled to welcome our baby boy to our family!

Emry Isaiah Brams Davis
October 22, 2010
7 lbs 15 oz, 20.5 inches

Emry is a Welsh name that means "honorable" (Davis is a Welsh name). Isaiah is a name I love and also in honor of David Brower, Mikhail's mentor, who loved to quote from the Book of Isaiah. In the tradition of Mikhail's family, my last name is Emry's second middle name (we did this with Elan too - his name is Elan Joshua Brams Davis).

He came exactly on his due date, and three of his grandparents got to see his birth. I'll write the whole story of his birth at some point. It was a wild ride. What birth isn't? But really, it was pretty great. I feel soooo lucky for how the birth went, to have a healthy baby... and to not be pregnant anymore!

Elan is extremely excited about the baby. He wants to hold him, touch him, rock him in the swing.

And take him for rides around the hospital in his bassinet.

We're having a whole lot of fun around here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

my boy

This is my boy.

We think he looks a little like an Ewok.

He woke up at 5:30 this morning. Mama was not pleased.

Of course, I had already been up since 4. Pregnant insomnia. That one good night's sleep with the Valerian was awesome, but I guess it was a one-shot deal.

Here he is with Doggie in the pocket of his new apron. In our house, we call this a "morale-boosting outfit." As in, the cuteness factor boosts Mama and Dada's morale.

He's even taken to helping with the cooking, but don't worry - he didn't want to eat the lasagna. That would have been a little too much.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

fully baked

Well, here I am at 38 weeks + 5 days.

Yes, I am counting the days.

Elan was born at 38 weeks on the dot. Which means this baby is already asserting that he/she is a different personality than big brother. Elan came much earlier than we expected, and Mikhail and I often joke that we've been playing catch-up ever since. I rarely in my parenting life have the experience of being "one step ahead" of my strong-willed and big-personalitied little fellow. I never really feel prepared; I always feel like I'm winging it. Of course, much of that can be chalked up to the first child. Every new stage is a surprise; every few months I repeat to myself the refrain "I am a new mother" because for every new stage, I am.

I already feel like this baby is so different in personality. Who knows what you can intuit about the personality of a baby when they're still surrounded by amniotic fluid (some might say nothing), but I have certainly noticed that this baby tends to lie still all night long and into the morning. Sometimes it's even freaked me out in the middle of the night, as I've made yet another bathroom run or ponderous flip in bed without even a flicker of motion from the belly. And then Elan will be up at 5:40 a.m., crying in the hallway or chattering in our bed, and from the little one -- nada. Not even a kick, until some more sane hour.

For the record, Elan woke me up at 5 in the morning nearly every day of my pregnancy. Early on, I didn't know why I was so wakeful, but then later, it was quite clear: early-morning trampoline hour.

Is this just wishful thinking on my part, willing the baby to stay still so I can get my badly-needed and elusive sleep? Maybe. But I'm okay with that.

The idea of a radically different child with a very different personality is thrilling, and intimidating too. What new tricks will this one have up his or her cute little sleeve? How will we relate to each other, what will be the challenges, the particular joys of that child?

Right now, I am sincerely hoping that this baby is: 1) healthy; 2) comes out smoothly; and 3) does not choose to set me a new challenge right off the bat by coming late. Let's be honest. On-time will feel late to me. I tried to not set myself the expectation that the baby would come at 38 weeks, but I also wanted to be prepared in case my gestational oven was always set to quick-bake. And of course, it was inevitable -- preparing for 38 weeks did make me think I'd be having a baby at 38 weeks. On Friday, I wondered what to do with myself: it appears I'm not having a baby, how about a trip to the chiropractor instead? I have officially entered the waiting game, which I never played with Elan, and have no desire to play for any real length of time.

September into early October was fairly comfortable, compared to the general course of events for this pregnancy, in which standards for comfort have not been high. But now I am full up with baby. I am baby down to my knees, baby up to my throat. Not literally of course, that's just what it feels like. Going up the stairs leaves me breathless; leaning over to buckle Elan into his carseat is an Olympic event. I am a rather complainy and moany person. Just ask my husband.

As I walk waddle around town, my enormous belly invites comments. EVERYONE has something to say. I tell myself that the miracle of human life so bowls people over that they are compelled to comment. But sometimes I think that if one more person says "Looks like you're ready to pop" I will walk over and pee on their shoes. "Oops, guess I just popped!" I imagine saying with a shrug of my shoulders, and then strolling away unconcernedly.

Wouldn't that be fabulous?

Or am I just spending too much time with a potty-obsessed 3.5-year-old?

Friday, October 8, 2010

"marriage first"

us, last November

I was reading an interview with a woman named Pam as part of The Motherhood Project on chookooloonks, and I loved what she said in response to the question "What advice would you give to someone who is still trying to figure out this parenting thing?" (and isn't that all of us who are parents?):

"Really, the best advice I could ever give are two simple words: marriage first. Children are the single most disruptive thing to a relationship, a budget, a routine and life in general. Also silence. Doesn't mean that they aren't wonderful, it just means they are extremely distracting and, if you're not careful, the days and thoughts and energy can go only to them. A family only works if a marriage works. If the marriage suffers, the children suffer. Do everything in your power to support the marriage first. Your marriage is the model for what the children will expect and do in their own relationships."

I think this is so wise. It's what my parents modeled for my sister and me, and what I strive to model for Elan and his sister/brother on the way. It's not easy. Elan is the kind of kid who hates it when his parents attempt to have a conversation in front of him. After he goes to bed, we are both tired and in need of quiet "me" time; we tend to retreat into our separate activities and interests. There are nights where 9 p.m. will come along, and I'll realize that all we've done is sit in front of our respective computers, Mikhail watching soccer and me reading blogs. And of course with another little attention-demanding person soon to arrive, it will be even more challenging.

In September, Mikhail and I went away for an overnight just the two of us (my fabulous mother-in-law watched Elan, with help from my fabulous sister-in-law -- we are lucky!). We stayed at a B&B in Calistoga, floated around in the pool, poured over baby name books, ate a nice dinner out. It was beautiful, though I have no pictures. I didn't even bring the camera. We talked to each other for more than 5 minutes straight. We were quiet together. A little time away from the household routine and you start to remember that your relationship is more than being co-parents, co-workers on the domestic front. I cannot recommend it enough.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

practicing to be a big brother

No baby yet, but Elan had a chance to practice some baby skills at a Big Brother, Big Sister class at the hospital last weekend. He keeps saying things to me like: "Mama, I want the baby to come today. I'm tired of waiting. It's takin' too long!"

That's not my refrain quite yet, but I know what he means. I feel like I've been pregnant forever, so these 9+ months must really feel like forever to him!

Friday, October 1, 2010