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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 🙂