Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Brother

John has taken very well to his new position as Big Brother. I love watching him smother his brother with kisses. He is totally smitten with Peter and that makes me think about his own call to fatherhood in the future - be it physical or spiritual.

I have noticed that with multiple kids, you have the added responsibility of teaching the older child how to care for the baby. There are so many life lessons for them when having a newborn around, but it does require more patience on my part to teach those lessons.

John is a great big brother and I look forward to seeing his relationship with Peter blossom over the years.

Here are some cute things John as said about Peter:
Pointing at Peter: "Look, so good brother is!"
"I like Brother."
"Let me hold him!" (says this about 100x a day!)
"Baby Brother a Baby?"
"Baby Brother so nice!" 
"I love Peter."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Peter Julian's Birth Story

Below you will find Peter Julian’s birth story. It is written to him and I plan on putting it in his baby book for his first birthday, as I did for John. Warning - it's pretty long! =) 


We eagerly awaited the blessing of a second child. It took six months before you were conceived and this was a sign to us of God’s perfect timing. When your dad and I got married we made the commitment to let God plan our family. It was a lesson in patience for me when month after month, I was not pregnant and then finally in January of 2011 - the pregnancy test was positive and you were present on this earth! We joyfully welcomed your eternal soul into our family!

I also learned to be patient at the end of my pregnancy because you were not born on your due date - just like your brother, John. My goal was to birth you naturally, with no drugs of any kind. I had the same goal for John’s birth, but because I was induced and didn’t know much about the birthing process, I ended up getting an epidural. But with you, we prepared ourselves by taking class on natural child birth. Even though we were still anxious about your birth, we felt more prepared this time.

Since you went past your due date, our doctor suggested inducing and advised us that we should not wait longer than two weeks. We scheduled the induction exactly fourteen days after your due date - to take every chance we could to let labor begin naturally. As we neared the fourteenth day, we questioned whether we should go through with the induction or keep waiting. Thankfully, you were born on the twelfth day, so we didn’t have to make that decision!

Days and days passed with no sign of active labor. Grandma St.Hilaire came down for a few days before your birth to help me around the house and entertain your brother, John. We had told her and Grandpa Stockton a few months prior that they could be present at your birth. She had never seen a birth and we wanted to give her that special gift of seeing her new grandson being born. It was such a blessing to have her stay with us and her company made me feel less impatient for your arrival. 

I did a lot of walking to help bring on labor. A couple of days before your birth, I started feeling contractions when walking with Grandma St.Hilaire and John. That made me hopeful, so the next day I went on three walks! That night around midnight I began to feel regular contractions. They were not painful, but they were strong enough that I couldn’t really sleep. I stayed in bed and tried to rest. Around five in the morning I got up to get a bite to eat, knowing that I should eat while I could since, once admitted to the hospital, the nurses would not let me eat. Sourdough toast and string cheese sounded good to me, so that’s what I ate while sitting on my exercise ball. I woke your dad up a couple of times during the night so he could time the contractions. Thankfully he was able to get a good amount of sleep so that he was well-rested in the morning.

Your dad took the day off from work and we sent John upstairs to be with Grandma and Grandpa Stockton and Grandma St.Hilaire. It was so nice spending the day with your dad. We played Dr. Mario together, went on walks, and danced! It was actually fun being in labor! I felt like the whole day was one long date with your dad!

Based on what we learned in our birthing classes, we thought that I was in early first stage labor for most of the day. Hours went by and not much seemed to change. So we kept enjoying ourselves between the contractions with more games and fun. When a contraction came on, your dad would help me through it with encouragement and massage. Around four in the afternoon your grandparents told us that they were going to the Saturday Vigil Mass. Since it was the weekend, they thought it would be good to go to Mass before you were born, so they wouldn’t miss anything. 

Shortly after they left, your dad and I finished up playing a video game (which your dad won, sparing no mercy on your laboring mom!), and looked at each other wondering what we should do next. Should we eat dinner? Go on a walk? We decided to time the contractions to see if they were any closer. I laid down on the couch. The contractions were getting closer but were still more than five minutes apart. We thought we’d try to stay home until they were less than five minutes apart.

We were listening to a Bob Dylan album. As I was laying there, listening to Blowing in the Wind, I began thinking about you and how blessed I felt to be a mother. Knowing that I was going to be able to hold you and nurse you in a short time filled me with joy. I started crying. Your dad thought the pain was the cause of my tears but I told him they were tears of joy. Around this same time I started feeling like I was going to throw up during the contractions - a sign to us that I might be entering transition which is the last phase of first stage labor. These emotional and physical signs told us that we should leave for the hospital.

Your dad scurried around the house grabbing last minute items, while I got my shoes on and grabbed a few things in between contractions. We got out to the car and hopped in. As we drove the contractions got stronger and closer together. Dad tried to console me while driving, but I told him to focus on driving and that I would be fine. Dad called your grandparents, who were still at Mass, and left a message. We figured they could just head to the hospital when they got out of church.

After the fifteen minute drive to the hospital, we arrived and your dad asked me what we should bring into the hospital. I just told him to get your diaper bag and we could get the rest later. I started walking ahead to the entrance of the hospital but a contraction came on. I motioned to Dad to hurry over so I could lean on him. He ran over and when the contraction had ended I remembered that my cute laboring gown was still in the car, so I sent him back to get it.

We checked in and they wheeled me to room 16. Two nurses were there to greet me. I told them I had my own gown to wear and they complimented me on it saying that whoever made it could make a fortune. I got the gown on and tried tying the bow in the back. I was having a hard time tying it so one of the nurses helped me. Then I hobbled onto the bed and the nurse checked to see how dilated I was. She said I was between 8 and 9 centimeters dilated (the goal is 10). Your dad and I were both surprised and excited that most of the work was done. Shortly after that I felt like I was doing to pee in the bed. I warned the nurses and asked if that was alright. During the next contraction my water broke and I started feeling a slight urge to push. At that point the nurses were in a flurry trying to prepare for your birth. I looked at your Dad and told him that I had to push during the next contraction. Pushing you out was something I couldn’t really control - my body just did it! It took about three contractions before I pushed you all the way out. Your warm, naked body was immediately placed on my chest and I kissed your precious face. I told you that I loved you over and over. I called you by name - Peter! Dad got to cut your umbilical cord and he touched your sweet body for the first time.

You were born fourteen minutes after we arrived at the hospital - at 6:06pm. The doctor wasn’t even there for your birth! In hindsight, your dad and I are so thankful that we even made it to the hospital! 

Your grandparents called Dad when they got out of church. Dad asked them, “Do you want to know his name now or when you get here?” They couldn’t believe you had been born already! They went home to grab a few things and then headed over to the hospital to meet you.

They came in the room with John and Miss Jordan. John had on his shirt that said “I love my lil’ brother”. He had decorated cupcakes for you earlier in the day with your grandmas. We all sang Happy Birthday to you. John was beaming and really enjoyed eating your cupcake for you!

Everyone got a chance to hold you and welcome you into our family. We apologized to Grandma St.Hilaire and Grandpa Stockton for not waiting for them so they could see your birth. They forgave us! 


It wasn’t long before we were transferred to a different room. It was getting late and eventually the family left to go back home. You, your dad and I were left alone for the night. I was feeling great and on a natural high from giving birth to you with no pain medication. You and I were both doing so well that we were released from the hospital less than 24 hours from being admitted.

We came home to a house full of people wanting to meet you; including Great-Grandma Launceford, Grandpa St.Hilaire, Uncle Aaron, and Mr. Friedman. We ate a big meal together to celebrate your birth.


As I write this, you are now one week old! You are a precious addition to our family and we thank God every day for your life. He has entrusted you to us here on this earth and it is a true honor to be your parents. May you have a long life filled with love for God and others!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing Peter Julian!

Peter Julian St.Hilaire
Born on October 22, 2011
9 lbs
19.5 in.

Stay tuned for the birth story...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clean up!

In the past month or so I've been relying on John more and more to clean up after himself, since I can't do it all and endlessly picking up toys off the ground is no fun when you are 9 months pregnant!

I know that for him to meet my expectations, I need to teach him and train him how to do it first. We began by cleaning together and we put everything in its home. One day I thought of a way to make it a little more fun - I made this short youtube playlist with some good songs for cleaning (disclaimer - some of them are slightly annoying and get stuck in your head!). So now when I tell him it's clean up time, I turn on the music and he is capable of doing it all by himself. Notice I said "capable" - meaning he can do it but doesn't always do it without more encouragement and help. At this point the event after clean up time dictates how quickly and thoroughly he cleans. For example, "clean up so we can watch a show" gets better results than "clean up so you can take a nap."

We typically do this routine before nap and bedtime. A couple of days ago it was time for nap and I was thinking that I'd just clean up for him since it was getting a little late in the afternoon. But when I told him it was story time (which we do before nap) he said "no, clean up first!" I wasn't going to argue with that, so I turned on the music and let him clean!

Here are some before and after shots of our pre-nap clean up time today:



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Less than one week to go! (Maybe)

Well, there is now less than a week until my due date. I've been trying to not focus on that date though because I don't want to go crazy if he arrives late. John was nine days late and the waiting game was very trying emotionally. I'm already beginning to feel anti-social and homey.

The other night I asked Andrew if he ever forgets that I am pregnant. He chuckled and said "No!" But I can honestly say that some days I feel like I forget, or sometimes I have dreams that I am not pregnant and then when I wake up it's a big shock that I am indeed pregnant and the baby will be coming out very soon. I guess it's just hard to imagine having another baby in the house. John and I have a particular rhythm to our days and I don't feel prepared to have that change yet. These last nine months have really gone by so fast!

But "ready or not... here he comes!"

39 weeks pregnant