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Dear Owen,

As you lay sleeping on my bed beside me I am full of so many different emotions that it is hard to know where to begin.  If it is possible, I feel as if time is flying by even faster than it did with your big brother.  Life as mother of two seems to move at breakneck speed!  I fail to comprehend how a month of your life has already passed.

Becoming a parent the second time around has been altogether much easier and yet so very challenging all at the same time.  Your Daddy and I knew better how to look after a newborn and we are second guessing ourselves less.  We have simply decided to go with the flow and because of that I think we are responding to your needs pretty well and because of that, you have been a pretty “easy” baby.  As long as you are fed and warm (and preferably in someone’s arms!) you are quite a content little boy!  Life with a second baby seems very much to be more about coping than creating the “perfect” routine or following random “rules”.  So you are often nursed to sleep, and you have slept in our bed for at least part of every night since you were born.  The rest of the time you are happiest in our arms and we are almost always glad to indulge your preferences!

You are quite a good nurser and we seem to have hit our stride in that department fairly quickly.  It took us a bit of time to figure out your latch, but we’re good now and you’re quite an efficient eater.  Right now you are nursing about every 2 hours, which takes up a lot of my time, but I never mind snuggling with you…so it’s not really a hardship 🙂

In the sleep department it has been hit and miss – but I guess that is normal for a newborn too.  It took a little while for you to get your days and nights figured out and we have also struggled with some gas issues.  But for the most part you sleep quite well at night – usually a 3-4 hour stretch at the start of the night and then you wake every two hours after that.  When you’re gassy we often have to sleep with you on our chests for a while before you’ll let us lie you down, but for much of the night you are already sleeping quite happily in your own crib or bassinette.  During the day you nap on and off – usually in your swing or bouncy chair or – most happily – wrapped against Mommy’s chest!

You are quite calm in the car for such a little babe, although you sometimes fuss when we first strap you into your car seat.  Not that I blame you – a 5 point harness can’t be all that comfortable.  I should also point out that at the ripe old age of 2 1/2 weeks you went on your first airplane ride.  And you were a fabulous traveler!!  You slept most of the way and even did super well on the 4 hour drive from Edmonton back to Cold Lake once we arrived in Alberta.

Speaking of Alberta, we are finally back “home” after our stay in Comox.  Although we were ready to get back to our own house and our own routines, we were sad leave Auntie Gill and Uncle Brandon and all our friends in BC.  And I know that Auntie Gill was especially sad to see us leave, too!  Thankfully we don’t have long to wait to see her again, since she’s joining us for our trip to Ontario in August.

Some other notable things about your life at one month:

– Daddy is good at settling you when you’re all worked up;

– You are starting to follow my face with your eyes when I move; and,

– You are very tolerant of the many squeezes and cuddles you get from your big brother every day (both gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle!).

Some days I feel like you have been here for ever, and other days I am shocked that four weeks have already come and gone.  I am trying my best to savour the moments, to relax and let the less important things go so that I can concentrate on nurturing you and our little family, but I know I don’t always succeed at that.  What I am always successful at is loving you with all my heart.  Your Daddy and brother and I waited a very long 9 months for you to finally be here and now that you are, we are so so happy to have you!  You make me smile everyday, my sweet Owen, and I am certain that these first lovely weeks have only been a prelude to all the joy you will bring to our lives over the coming months and years.

Love Mommy

On Friday May 21st, 2010 at 7:38 am we finally got to meet Baby C – Owen Allan Campbell – after 39 long weeks of waiting 🙂  I truly could not imagine a more perfect birth story for Owen.  It was nothing short of amazing – everything we had hoped and planned and wished and prepared for…and then some!

It started the weekend of May 15-16th.  I had two nights of 3-4 hours of stronger-than-Braxton-Hicks contractions that were anywhere from 3-5 minutes apart.  I started to get really nervous, since Dale hadn’t yet arrived in Comox.   For any who missed it, our plan was to deliver at Gill and Brandon’s house in Comox with the same midwife who delivered Nate.  The last weekend of April, Dale, Nate Turner and I packed up the truck and drove from Cold Lake to Comox and then Dale flew back to Cold Lake to work for a few more weeks.   Anyway – so on Monday morning I called our midwife and asked her to check me to see where I was at and whether we should think about having Dale fly out earlier than his planned arrival date  of Friday.  Turns out I was 4cm and getting thin, so after some frantic phone calls and switching a West Jet flight, Dale hopped on a plane on Tuesday and the real waiting began.

After he got here I didn’t have any more strings of contractions and we were almost starting to second guess our decision to bump the flight up (which cost $200! LOL).  Thursday, the 20th, I started having regular Braxton Hicks in the late afternoon and they kept up all evening.  I was kind of thinking that things might happen soon but didn’t say too much.  Gill was just anxious that Baby not be born on Saturday since she was going to be away all day shooting a wedding.

When we went to bed Thursday I couldn’t sleep and just tried to relax.  Around 3 am Friday morning the contractions changed and were definitely stronger.  I timed them in bed for an hour and they were 3-5 minutes apart lasting 1-2 minutes.  At 4 I figured things were starting for real so I got up to have a snack and move around a bit.  At 5 Gill woke up and I gave her a heads up, so she went back to try to sleep for  while longer.  By 5:30 I was needing to consciously relax during the contractions so I woke Dale up and just before 6 we called the midwife and woke Gill and the two of them started to get the bedroom and birth pool set up.  This was about the time that I turned on my hypnobirthing “music”  but rather than listening to the Rainbow Relaxation track (which I don’t particularly like and didn’t find helpful during Nate’s birth) I chose to listen to my Birthing Affirmations, as I had been doing almost every night since late in the first trimester.

The midwife, Joanne (incidentally not the same midwife who delivered Nate – but wonderful nonetheless!), arrived at 6:15 and I don’t think she really believed that I was in active labour since I was still laughing and talking and moving fairly easily, but when she checked me I was 6cm.  I thought about trying to move around some more, but was really comfortable on the bed, listening to my Birthing Affirmations and playing solitaire between contractions on my iPhone.  Thank goodness for iPhones 🙂

Right around 7 am, Nate woke up and my contractions quickly started to get closer together.  I was ready to get into the birth pool but needed to use the bathroom first.  I had a little show and started to feel more downward pressure – getting into the tub was a wonderful change.  I had about two contractions and then felt a lot more pressure, so Joanne called the second midwife and told her to head over.  On the next contraction my water broke, which made us all laugh because it looked like a little bomb exploding in the water! LOL  Suddenly I was getting tons of pressure and with the next contraction our Baby was crowning.  Joanne had to rush around a bit to get a few last things set up and Gill almost missed the whole thing because she had taken Nate downstairs to eat breakfast.  This was the only point in labour when I got a bit freaked out, because I remembered the awkwardness and pain from pushing out Nate, but I concentrated on my Birthing Affirmations and the encouragement from the Dale and Gill and Joanne and gently pushed out his head on the next contraction.  Waiting to push out the body was the toughest part, but I breathed through it and in two pushes he had arrived 🙂  He arrived at 7:38 am and was a calm relaxed hypnobaby.

Nate came up to meet his baby brother minutes after he was born and was in love from the get go.  For the most part he is very gentle with Owen and helpful too.  He has been acting out with Mommy and Daddy though – so the changes are obviously getting to him.

Today Owen is a week old and still a very calm, easy-going baby.  He is sleeping 3 hour stretches at night and goes back to sleep easily after nursing.  We have figured out most of his cues and already it seems like he has been part of “us” forever.

Because of Owen’s easy birth, my recovery has also been remarkably easy.  I am feeling great; tired, but great!  Nursing hasn’t been nearly as difficult as it was for Nate and I either.  I’ve still had rather sore nipples, but I think that is to be expected.  I’m definitely less stressed about it all, which I’m sure is helping to make it easier too!

I can’t wait to share more about Owen as he grows 🙂

I’m not alone, am I?

Please tell me all pregnant women get unreasonably cranky at some point in the final few months?  Because I am there folks.  And cranky might just be an understatement!

Sleep is hard to come by.  My back aches.  When I’m at work I want to be at home.  When I’m at home I think I should be at work.  I’m bored and overwhelmed all at the same time.  I feel like the end of May is still far too far away and yet too close all at the same time.

I am quite certain I am not a very fun person to live with at the moment and feel some serious sympathy for my husband at the moment.  Although every thing he does…regardless of how thoughtful…only seems to contribute to the crankiness at the moment.  I’m trying to chalk that up to the post-deployment balancing act, but I bet it has more to do with hormonal crankiness than anything.

I’m totally open to brilliant suggestions for getting over this.  I’m thinking I’ll see whether a giant bowl of chocolate ice cream helps, but I’m slightly concerned that the idea of it making my butt any bigger will just increase the cranky-factor three fold…so I’m still on the fence with that one.

Of the diaper rash variety.

So…after espousing the virtues of cloth diapers for the better part of a year – including the fact that my baby’s beautiful bottom has never been marred by diaper rash – I am now encasing that precious tooshie in a disposable (oh horror of horrors!!!) in a last ditch effort to rid it of a lingering diaper rash.  This think just. won’t. quit.

We’re talking a month of ooozing open sores here people.  Sores that today for the second time caused me to take a day off work so that I could let my otherwise perfectly happy and healthy child parade around naked which the babysitter cannot do (totally understandably!)

We have been to the doctor.  We have anti-fungal cream.  It is doing nothing.  And, to be quite honest, the disposables don’t seem to be making a difference other making me feel incredibly guilty for filling the landfill with hoards of contaminated plastic when my perfectly good cloth diapers languish on a shelf.

Nate doesn’t seem very bothered by the sores at this point.  And they respond well to naked-fresh-air time by scabbing over.  But the problem is, every time we get them semi-healed over a weekend at home, once we take him back to our sitter’s the sores inevitably open up again to the point that on Thursday and Friday they were bleeding at almost every diaper change.  I know that our sitter changes him frequently (because I can count the dirty cloth diapers she sends home!) and she uses the same (disposable) wipes that we do when we’re out of the house (Kirkland brand – which Nate has never had a problem with, unlike Huggies and Pampers which seem to make his bottom raw).  I can only imagine that she is gentle with him because he adores her and she is obviously very concerned about his sores since she updates us regularly and even called Dale at work last Thursday to tell him about the bleeding.

But here were are at the end of another “unintentional” long weekend and we are debating whether to keep Nate home again tomorrow in hopes that we can totally clear up the sores before we send him back to daycare.  But we can’t stay home from work forever…and I am at my wits end.

We lather on the bum cream (Bare Organics – which we have always used and which helps make wiping very easy).  The sitter does the same.  We give him tons of naked time, change him immediately after poops and check for pees frequently.  But these 3 spots will not go away!

So Mamas – dig out your best kept secret solutions to diaper rashes and please tell me whether I should go to work tomorrow or not??  Will one more day make that critical difference or am I just wasting leave for nothing? I’ll owe you big time!

I’m sure these feelings are totally normal.

I’m sure that they will pass.

I’m sure I’ll get through this.

And I’m positive that Nate will be fine.

But I just don’t feel at all ready to go back to work tomorrow.

My uniform is ready.

My boots are polished.

The babysitter is arranged and everything is set.

So why is my heart so heavy?  Why am I so nervous to leave my baby?

I keep reminding myself that I’ve left him before and he’s always been fine.  I keep reminding myself that he likes his babysitter.  I keep reminding myself that I’ll be home at lunch, and then it’s only three more hours until the end of the day.

But I also keep thinking…am I about to let a 17 year-old band geek (albeit a super nice and very responsible one!) raise my child??

At least Dale keeps reminding me that if this whole working “thing” doesn’t jive, I don’t have to do it.

A perfect end to a perfect day.

Have you ever had a day when everything just seemed to go right?  Or when nothing seemed to go wrong? A day when karma was definitely on your side?  Today was one of those days for me.  And it was wonderful 🙂

Nate was only up once last night (for the first time in a couple weeks), so I started the day well rested.  I got to scrapbook all day with my sis and my good freinds Laurel, Rae Lynn and Heather!  I got lots of compliments on my new haircut.  Nate had a great day with a brand new babysitter – including two good naps.  It was a beautiful sunny evening with a light warm breeze and I got to take Turner for a walk, Nate cooing happily from the Beco on my back.  

And then to top it all off, before Nate went to sleep I got to just sit in the rocker and watch him while he played contentedly on the floor.  Spinning himself in circles and pushing himself backwards on his tummy.  Reaching for things and chewing on things  – exploring the world around him.  I almost felt like I was watching his little brain growing and developing.  Then, with Turner curled up at my feet, I got to snuggle my baby in my arms, nice and close while he nursed himself to sleep.  

It just doesn’t get any better than this.  So maybe you can remind me about it next time he spends the day screaming, while I battle a cold and overflow the kitchen sink while a wet, sandy dog destroys my recently washed floor, ok?

My kind friend Allison just let me know about a photo contest (with a $1000 grand prize donated by Egg Beaters! Wow!) being held by the great gals over at 5 Minutes for Mom.  I’m usually over there somewhat frequently, but I’ve been so busy the last few weeks that I haven’t taken 5 minutes for me over there in a while!  So I think I’m just squeaking in under the wire on this one.  And even if I’m too late…I love this pic so much that I don’t mind posting it (again) for you all to see.

Of all the photos of Nate and I this one definitely says “motherhood” to me.  He was tired and cranky and little bit sick and wanted nothing more than to snuggle with me all day long.  Which was fine with me, because I know there will come a day all too soon when he wants nothing but to run off and be Mr. Independent.  And although that too will be wonderful and exciting I cherish the fact that right now I am the centre of his little universe.

Other than perhaps sheer laziness, I really have no excuse for the complete and utter lack of blogging going on in these parts as of late! Unless of course you count the fact that my days are full of the following:

Nursing a baby

Changing poopy diapers

Making homemade baby food

Feeding baby said homemade baby food

Changing more poopy diapers

Laundering said poopy diapers

Running, rain or shine, with my “new best friend” Laurel

Walking a giant dog

Taking baby swimming and dog to agility

Cleaning my house

Nursing a baby some more

Changing yet a few more poopy and wet diapers

Throwing in a few more loads of laundry

Remembering to make myself something to eat

Usually while yet again feeding homemade baby food to the bottomless pit that is “baby”

Bathing baby to remove all evidence of poop and dried on food bits

And finally at the end of each and every very long day putting baby to bed before collapsing into a heap on the living room couch

So, as you can see.  Really no excuse.  Cause you all do the same.  Just call me a bad blogger….but I’m pretty sure I’m an ok Mommy!

But seriously – I do have a few posts in the works!  You’ll just have to bear with me while I’m being a Mom this week.  Not that I’m not a Mom every week, but this week is especially busy with appointments and activities and to top it all off, spring has truly arrived on the West Coast and we’ve been taking advantage of the sunshine whenever we can.

Hope you’re all doing to same.  That’s if it’s not still snowing in your neck of the woods!

Ok Moms…I’m seeking advice.  Since I’ve decided to cancel our cable..and hence will be living in a quiet, t.v.-free household, I’m thinking I’m going to need to have music on ALL THE TIME!I have a very small selection of children’s c.d.’s –  mostly lullabies from Costco that my Mother-in-Law picked up for me and the Raffi classic, Baby Beluga.   So I’m looking for your thoughts on good children’s music…and if you have any must have adult music too, I’m all ears!  I usually buy on iTunes, so if it’s available there, even better.In other news, I’m finally home.  It felt weirder than I thought it would to be back in my house.  Especially with no Dale here.  But Turner was here, and we went for a nice long walk yesterday afternoon.  Nate chilled in his Beco, and I threw the ball about a gazillion times for Turner.  Might I add that there is a reason I love living in Comox?  Not to brag or anything, but I left Ontario in a blizzard and arrived to a beautiful warm (i.e. above freezing!) sunny day in the Comox Valley.  Perfect for puppy walking!Now, I’m trying not to kid myself, I know the onslaught of rain will return shortly, but I’ll enjoy the sunshine while it’s around!In case anyone was wondering  (which I’m sure you’re not – but I’m going to complain a little anyway!) out first night home alone was awful.  Nate was awake almost every hour…and I’m exhausted from my cold, the travel and the time difference.  The only good news was that I managed to keep him in sleepy mode until 7 am, which is good considering Ontario time is 3 hours ahead of us. So, here’s hoping for a better night tonight – I’m pretty sure it can’t get any worse! Knock on wood! 

Thought you would all like to know a few things:

1.  Nate, although still barking like a seal pup at 2 am, is doing much better!

2. His also-sick-with-a-wicked-cold Mommy is feeling slightly more human, too.

3.  We are probably both feeling better because the Little Man has been sleeping better.  I was only up twice last night for the first time in weeks!

4.  Today is the day of the Big Bloggy Move over at Christy and Megan’s.  Check out their new digs and get in on some great giveaways.  If you moved or started your blog anytime since the beginning of Dec 2007, you can add yourself to the list of Big Bloggy Movers, too (Jackie and Gill…I think this applies to you!).

5.  I’ve started packing!  That’s right – only two more days till I’m home-sweet-home in Comox.

6.  Apparently there have been arguments over who gets to pick me up at the airport!  It’s nice to be loved!  (Although I’m guessing it’s really Nate that they’re after! LOL)

7.  Here are my last few days of 365 pics:







I thinks that’s all the updates I can think of!  Happy Monday 🙂