Bath – Roman Baths, Buns, and the Abbey

After our day in Lacock, we drove into Bath and checked into our hotel. It was in a great location just outside the city center but did require a four story climb up some steep stairs just to get to our rooms. I guess that’s what you get when you travel with a three month old. No one wants to listen to a crying baby at night.

Speaking of babies, don’t let this happy face fool you. This kid decided his first stay in a hotel was just too exciting for sleep and proceeded to keep me awake all night long. So I was a bit of a zombie the next day and almost opted out of walking through the Roman Baths but decided to just suck it up. The weather was beautiful and the temperature was fairly mild and I hoped all those things would help to perk me up.

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I gave Jason the camera for most of the tour and he was kind enough to snap this lovely photo of me and my youngest child. This was the state I was in for most of the day. So the Bath trip is a bit of a blur as I’m not entirely sure which parts I hallucinated and which parts were actually real. Welcome to motherhood.

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And here are some of the sights. Super informative, I know. But you get the idea. If you want a more thorough explanation, here are the recaps from our last trip when I only had one child and a larger percentage of my brain was functioning: Bath Assembly Rooms, Bath Fashion Museum, and the Roman Baths.

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Since we’d been to Bath before, I wanted to check out a few things we hadn’t done the first time and had read about the famous “Bath Bun.” We stopped for lunch at the similarly named tea shop where Jason found nothing of interest on the menu and so ended up with a cream cheese, celery and grape sandwich. Meanwhile, Lena made loud noises and Aksel pooped which was convenient since I had to change him in the hallway due to the lack of a baby room. In other words, we were totally appropriate. But the Bath Bun was tasty and we’ll likely never see any of the diners again so there’s that. Also, I don’t ever think I’ve looked so tired in my life.

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We browsed a few shops before ducking in to the Abbey before it closed. It was absolutely beautiful and the light was amazing so I had fun shooting tons of pictures. All the walls and floors were adorned with memorials and tombstones dating back hundreds of years. And the stained glass windows were massive.

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Lena found this small little alcove and I caught her just as she was kneeling down to look at a poppy that had been laid on the memorial. It was apparently dedicated to fallen soldiers from various wars.

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Finally, we had dinner at Rustico Bistro – a place we had visited on our last trip to the city. Jason and I kept trying to figure out where we knew our waiter from then finally realized he looked like Hank from Breaking Bad. Except he had a thick Italian accent and was much more jolly. He kindly snapped this photo of us; capturing my utter fatigue and Lena’s general attitude about the entire trip. Buon appetito!

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The Village of Lacock

Wanting to make the most out of her two week stay, we decided to take a little road trip while my mom was visiting. We settled on Bath as our ultimate destination with a stop in the village of Lacock on our way there.

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The entire village is a National Trust site and dates back to the 13th century. With timbered and stone houses everywhere and lots of crooked architecture, it has been a popular site for many films including Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, and Emma. Parts of the Harry Potter films were shot here as well but we’ll get to that later.

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After a three hour car ride, we were happy to just stroll through the village without any particular destination in mind. I was in photography heaven.IMG_2305IMG_2307IMG_2309

The village was actually much smaller than we had anticipated and many of the shops were closed for the winter season. This shop, however, was open and as soon as we walked in, I started drooling over all the pretty displays. It was called Quintessentially English and I’m not sure what I enjoyed more – the organic handmade bath and body products, or the funky old building with tiny rooms just waiting to be explored.

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By this point, Lena was starting to get hungry, so we had lunch at the Red Lion before continuing on our explorations. I would highly recommend this pub as they had the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten. Even Lena, with the pickiest pallet on the planet, devoured the fried fish. That’s an honor reserved for only the finest cuisine.

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Our last few shops in the village included a ceramic shop, the Saxon church of St. Cyriac and the 15th century tithe barn. Loads of history and beautiful details.

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Then it was a short walk over to Lacock Abbey and the main attraction I had hoped to see during our visit. The national trust museum documents William Henry Fox Talbot’s contributions to the beginnings of photography and had some amazing old film equipment and prints. I would have loved to spend some time in here, reading all the displays but the demands of a certain toddler trumped my desires.

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So, we headed outside towards the country house and the views were amazing. The house itself used to be a monastic nunnery. Over the years, various additions were made in a plethora of architectural styles. Unfortunately, the house itself was closed for the winter so we didn’t get to browse the rooms but the parts that were open did not disappoint.

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Up until quite recently, this was actually a family home. Can you even imagine inviting a friend over to hang out and rolling up to this estate?! I’m fairly certain that if you took the square footage of every home I’ve ever lived in, you still couldn’t match this space. It was impressive.

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After picking my jaw off the ground, we walked around the side of the house and found the cloisters. This is where my brain exploded and I took approximately 8 million pictures. It was absolutely stunning and thanks to the posted signs, we were able to get an idea of how the nuns would have used this space thousands of years ago. There were built in book cases, burial nooks, all sorts of awesome and somewhat eery details.

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And since I did mention Harry Potter above, this is where parts of the blockbuster were filmed. Admittedly, I have never watched nor read anything Harry Potter so I have no idea what significance this place plays but it apparently means something to HP fans. And no, I have zero plans of educating myself on Harry’s adventures as I would rather read a user manual for a vacuum cleaner. Sorry, it’s just not my thing. But, this place was incredible so I would recommend a visit even if you suffer from Hogwarts aversion like me.

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So that was our day out in Lacock. Short but sweet and definitely worth a visit on the way to Bath or Bristol!

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Antiques and Tea in Ely

With big L in town, I thought it would be fun to spend a day in the nearby town of Ely. Knowing her penchant for copper kettles and porcelain dishware, a stop at Waterside Antiques was in order. With three floors packed full of treasures just waiting to be discovered, my mom was in heaven. Lena did surprisingly well, managing not to break anything despite picking up a few precariously placed items.

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The copper selection was on point and after much deliberation, my mom decided on a large kettle with a hand-stamped decorative design. We also found a pewter muffin warming tin. I didn’t get a picture but as soon as I spotted it, I knew my mom would love it. An added bonus is that I liked it as well and as my mom loves to remind me, someday all of these purchases will be left to me and my brother to fight over.

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Check out the glow of pride radiating from this body. This is the face of a satisfied hunter who has struck a bargain.

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We promised Lena she could go visit the ducks if she was a good listener in the antique store and since she delivered, off we went to hang out with this flock. I think this guy was plotting something sinister. That is one of the sketchiest bird faces I’ve ever seen!

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The late afternoon light was gorgeous and I could almost remember what the warmth of the sun felt like after a long and cold British winter. I definitely miss the heat from my days living in Arizona and North Carolina but the trade off is that there are virtually no bugs here and low humidity. Also, there’s afternoon tea which wins in my book every time.

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And speaking of tea, after such a strenuous afternoon of antiquing and dodging shady fouls, we were famished. Luckily, Peacocks Tearoom sits right next door to the antique shop (it’s like I planned it or something!), so we ducked in for some “widdle treats,” as Lena would say.

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Every time I’ve visited Peacocks, the staff has been amazing and so welcoming of me and my little monsters. It’s super kid friendly but still feels like a relaxing retreat at the same time. The decor is quaint, with tea paraphernalia littering the walls and shelves. My mom was salivating over this giant copper teakettle – surprise – and wanted to make sure I got a picture. Here you go, Mummy dearest. There was also a wall of knives with carved handles that she liked so I’ve included that for your viewing pleasure as well.

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Then it was on to tea and scones for us and a massive bowl of ice cream for Lena. Please disregard the tired faces. Between jet lag and late night nursing sessions, we weren’t the most well rested group. That didn’t diminish our enthusiasm for the delicacies set before us, however, as you can see by Lena’s very accurate Chris Farley impression below.

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Having overeaten to the point of misery and sugar comas, we began the process of bundling up again to venture out into the cold. This was not before both my children decided to leave their mark on the restroom, however. They suffer from a genetic condition called Caspersenism which causes them to have massive bowel movements in public restrooms. The smaller the bathroom and more obvious their offense, the better. It’s super fun.

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After all her hard work, Lena passed out in her stroller, giving us about an hour to browse a few more shops and take a peek at the cathedral. Not a bad afternoon at all!

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January 2015

So apparently having two kids means twice the work and half the free time! It’s hard to believe Aksel has been with us for three months already. Life is more or less back to normal now with Jason back to work and Lena back at school. I have no idea how I would have even gotten to this point if not for Jason; he really is the most selfless human I know. For the first month after Aksel was born, he basically took care of everything and that’s not even a slight exaggeration. We had hot meals and snacks throughout the day (many times served to me in bed), the house was kept clean and tidy, laundry was done and put away, Lena got more one-on-one attention than she could even handle, and he still found time to take Aksel so I could shower and catch up on sleep. All of this on top of working full time and going to school. And if he knew I was bragging about him like this, he would be horribly embarrassed which makes him even more lovable. I am just the luckiest! Also, check out the lashes on this guy – he passed them down to both my babies and it makes me simultaneously melt and turn green with envy. IMG_2123 copy

Aksel is an angel and if I could clone him, I’d take 50 more. Aside from being ridiculously cute, the child sleeps. Like legitimately sleeps; sometimes for five hours at a time. For the first couple years of Lena’s life, I was waking up every two hours (minimum) to either nurse her or console her unfounded crying. Thank you Jesus for taking pity on my sanity as I’m not sure I would have survived another slumber terrorist. Lena is still completely in love with her little brother and is adamant about being his second mama. If he’s crying, she’s quick to give him cuddles and shove (yes, shove) a pacifier in his mouth. If he spits up, she tries to wipe his face though many times, it looks more like a suffocation attempt. And if he needs a diaper change, she will loudly proclaim, “Oh Aksel! You stink! Peeee-youuuu!” Not too bad for a little girl whose world just completely changed!

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Living in a completely different country as the rest of our family means we don’t get to see everyone as much as we’d like. The cost alone to fly to Europe is insane so it makes sense that we didn’t have grandparents and cousins knocking down our door once Aksel was born. However, my mom’s flight attendant benefits mean she can fly for a fraction of the cost and luckily, she is crazy enough to want to spend her vacations “visiting ” us over here. When I say “visiting,” I really mean that she turns into a personal servant despite me telling her she doesn’t need to do anything. Here she is, in her element, doing a deep clean of my kitchen. She told me to delete this photo so obviously I’m sharing it here.

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On top of continuously cleaning the kitchen after each meal, she probably did 50 loads of laundry during her two week stay, walked Lena to school each morning, helped out with Aksel, and tried to pay for every single outing. Hopefully I can live up to her legacy and someday do the same for my babies. Though I would just like to let them know they are never allowed to move away from me (children, take note).

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Since Aksel is so easy going, we were actually able to make it out of the house quite a bit and go on a few adventures. I’ll save those for future posts as we saw some pretty cool things. My mom had never seen the winter gardens at Anglesey Abbey and I could go there every single day and not get tired of it. If I had any clue when it comes to gardening, this would be my dream. However, my house seems to be a horticultural graveyard so that’s probably a pipe dream. I even manage to kill succulents. Seriously.

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Now that Lena’s a bit older, she has the memory of an elephant. She remembered that Mormor likes chocolate (I think addiction is the proper word but I don’t want to label anyone). So when my mom showed up with two giant ziplock bags full of gourmet treats, Lena had basically found her soulmate. The amount of chocolate those two consumed would likely put the average person into a diabetic coma. After every meal, including breakfast, Lena would announce they should have a “little treat.” Ridiculous.

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For the duration of her stay, Lena snuggled up in the guest bed with my mom each night. Hardly a vacation, as I mentioned, especially when Lena wet the bed in the middle of the night; soaking both of them. I’m not even sure she’s ever done that before so it really was a special treat just for my mom. Lena also talks/screams in her sleep; a fun little habit Mormor got to experience several times a night. So Mama, thank you for taking one for the team. We love you!

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Christmas 2014

Jason had been up until 2am building Lena’s Christmas gift and Aksel had fussed at me through the night so Christmas morning was slow to get going. We finally headed downstairs around 9 am where all the presents had been carefully laid out in front of the tree.

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Lena immediately spotted her prize – a vintage style kitchen. Her face lit up as she came into the living room and told us, “I sure like that pretty kitchen, guys!” When the grandparents had asked what to get for Christmas this year, we mentioned we were doing a cooking theme. They went overboard outfitting our little chef with everything from felt food, pots and pans and even a Lena-sized apron.

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While Lena got down to business “cooking” for Jason and Aksel, I made BoBerry Biscuits from scratch. They were even more delicious than last year and I loved that we had continued our little tradition from the year before. Adding to our special breakfast, we drank milk out of the mugs we had picked up at a German Christmas Market in Birmingham. Lena loved that it was little and had pretty “dars” or stars on it.

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After stuffing ourselves full, it was on to stockings. As always, Santa had filled our stockings with oranges, candy, socks and undies and a special magazine for each person. Lena was pretty excited about Aksel’s magazine as it had some Thomas the Train toys on front so we let her read to him. She actually had picked out the magazine earlier in the week but somehow didn’t remember much to my surprise as she has the brain of an elephant.

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Wanting some family photos, I set up the tripod Jason bought me last Christmas and used the remote control to capture us in all our pajama glory.

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We had planned to have a very small Christmas with just a few gifts – we actually bought only the kitchen and a little tool set for Lena. Jason and I had agreed not to buy anything for each other but luckily, I knew better than to believe him and picked up an electronic kettle for him at the last minute. Of course, he had bought something as well – an iPod adapter for the car – despite his claims to the contrary.

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One of the most random gifts was a pack of Frozen Band Aids from my cousin, Laila Eva. Lena went crazy for them and I am probably going to steal that idea for future kid’s gifts. It was super practical but also fun (Lena thought they were stickers and asked that we put one on her ankle) and the styles are endless so they could work for any age.

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A big thank you to all of our family for sending such generous gifts. Everything from clothes to books and plenty of toys – we are truly spoiled and loved. We wish you all could have been here to enjoy the holiday with us and see Lena’s excitement over everything. Hopefully these photos captured some of that for you! We love you all and look forward to all being together sometime soon!

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December Rundown

It’s been exactly one month since our little guy joined us and it feels like he’s always been here. I’m not sure if it’s due to my short labor or just being a bit more savvy the second time around, but the recovery has been a breeze – can I get an amen for that?! Jason got ten days of leave to help us settle in and then it was back to work. In those ten days, he managed our entire household – grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, Lena duty (a full time job in itself), plus still had time to change diapers and give me plenty of breaks for naps and showers. In other words, I hit the husband jackpot. I know no one is perfect but he comes pretty dang close. If only I could get him to stop singing 90’s R&B in a nasally, out-of-tune voice ;)
Wanting to make sure Lena didn’t feel forgotten, we were intentional about doing some special things with her in the days leading up to Christmas. All the kids at her preschool exchange Christmas cards so we thought it would be fun to make some candy cane reindeer. The Bacon Bit was a big helper handing me red noses and googly eyes – I didn’t have the courage to let her operate the glue gun so close to my fingers.
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We also made these “pinecones” out of peanut butter and Nutella for a school fundraiser. The flyer sent home by her teachers asked for cakes but I am still struggling to figure out my fan-assisted oven so we stuck with the no bake option. And because they’re my favorite cookie, we did a quick batch of sugar cookies with some very cool sprinkles picked out by Daddy.
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Finally, we put together a quick gift for her teachers to thank them for all their hard work this term. I have no idea how they do it – I’m not sure I would survive 35 hours a week with a bunch of preschoolers. Ikea had these cute tins for just a pound so we picked up one for each teacher and filled the smallest container with some holiday pretzel mix. I figured they had received a ton of candy and they could use the tins after they finished the snack inside.
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We had originally planned to make a whole day at Elveden to pick out our Christmas tree but Aksel ended up making his appearance that weekend. So a couple weeks later, we attempted our first big family outing. Lena loved seeing the big dogs pulling sleighs topped with Christmas trees while I could not stop giggling at this trio of musical elves. They had used electrical tape to create pointy shoes and their face make up was really disturbing. Lena maintained a reasonable distance and avoided eye contact with them – I can’t really blame her. And since she loves all things carnival-related, she begged Jason to let her go on the bungee jump. He didn’t stand a chance.
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Since Aksel was born overseas, we had to jump through a few hoops to get him registered as a US citizen. So we got his British birth certificate then made the trek to the US Embassy in London. It was a bit of a mad scramble to get all the paperwork together as we had just a few hours notice. I collected our passports, marriage certificate, tax forms, plus all the necessary application paperwork. We were able to submit his birth certificate, passport and social security forms all at once which helped. However, we also needed a passport photo so at the very last minute, we set up a little photoshoot before hopping in the car and heading to the city.
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Not knowing how sleep deprived we would be, we decided to have a quiet Christmas Eve. The village church held their usual crib and christingle service and Lena went as an angel again. She was so excited to wear this vintage dress after I told her I had worn it as a little girl, too. It was originally worn by one of my mom’s cousins in Norway then passed on to my cousin Liv, on to me, and now to Lena.
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Our little angel decided she didn’t want to sit for the short service and instead, kept trying to eat the candy off her christingle. Luckily, Aksel slept through it all and then we headed home to eat dinner and open a few presents.
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Lena insisted on helping with dinner which resulted in Jason forgetting to make the potatoes. So dinner consisted of Swedish meatballs, gravy, brussel sprouts and biscuits. Lena was in a goofy mood, Aksel was fussy, Jason was sweaty so he stripped down to his tank top and my eye was trying to burst out of my face as Lena had infected me with a raging case of pink eye. This picture is not our most glamorous but it is definitely real life and makes me laugh hysterically. Makes for good memories, right?
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We opened a few gifts and suckered the kids into posing for embarrassing photos. I am fairly confident that Aksel wanted to punch me for taking the antler photo and suspect this is a look I will see many times in the future. After watching some Christmas movies, I took the kids upstairs to bed while Jason got started on building Lena’s big Christmas gift. He was up until 2am and I could hear some grumbling and loud banging going on in the process. It ended up being all worth it the next morning, though, when we saw Lena’s happy face.
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Aksel’s Unassisted Homebirth

With my due date less than a week away, we decided to spend Thanksgiving break getting things ready and decorating for Christmas. I was convinced I had plenty of time before baby made it’s arrival as Lena went four days past due so was in no real rush to get anything done. Thanksgiving Day was busy between Lena’s ballet class, dropping off Jason’s car at the mechanic and my 39-week midwife appointment. My iron levels had been steadily decreasing despite my diet of kale and spinach so I was a little nervous I wouldn’t be able to have a home birth as planned. Luckily, the midwife said they still supported me and scheduled me to come back at 41 weeks if I hadn’t yet had a baby. The rest of the day, I rested on the couch while Jason prepared an elaborate feast for us and a few friends. He’s basically a superhero in my mind. Black Friday came, we sent Lena off to morning preschool and then decided to make a trip to Ikea to walk around and pick up some Christmas decorations. There are few things I love more than Ikea and their delicious food so I was in heaven. A couple hundred pounds later, we chowed down on some Swedish meatballs and pølser then hopped in the car to head home. I was so excited with our new wares that I stayed up a little longer to set everything up and finally crashed at 9pm. At 1:30am, I woke up with some light cramping and was slightly annoyed that it had interrupted my sleep. I “knew” it wasn’t labor because I hadn’t yet reached my due date but did notice they seemed to be building and getting a bit hard to deal with. Not wanting to make the rookie mistake of calling the midwife prematurely, I decided to get in the tub, fully expecting them to go away. My plan wasn’t working so I downloaded a contraction counter app on Jason’s iPod before waking him up to say I thought maybe it was go time. I really just wasn’t mentally prepared to be in labor so soon as I felt like there were all sorts of last minute things I NEEDED to get done. So I told Jason we absolutely had to wash both the showers and the toilet plus start a load of laundry. Barely awake, I could tell he was annoyed with me but I didn’t care because these tasks suddenly seemed vitally important to me. After an hour of tracking, it was clear we were going to have a baby so I abandoned my list and told him to call the doula. The surges were getting stronger by the minute as I tried my best to remember that it was just muscles moving my baby down and out. I had Jason pour water down my back as they went which helped create a different sensation to concentrate on. Apparently, I get a bit bossy when in discomfort as I barked at him to only go down the middle of my back and make sure it was a steady stream. I may also have said it felt like he was peeing on me otherwise and that it was making me angry. No doubt, he enjoyed my constructive criticism. In between my bossy demands, he fed me almonds and cranberries, made sure I was drinking some water and helped me get in and out of the tub to deal with the glamorous labor-induced bubble gut. Better to use the toilet than poop in the tub though, right?! At one point, Lena woke up and realized she was in her own room which was entirely unacceptable to her. So Jason moved her into our bed as I hollered at him to come back and pour the water on my back. The surges were coming strong and hard by that point and I had a few back to back with no rest in between. I started to doubt my ability to ride them out and felt really vulnerable. I also realized my labor was progressing way more quickly than I initially realized and that we needed to call the midwife. Unfortunately, the labor hotline phone number was downstairs and I didn’t want Jason to leave me so I made him wait until after a contraction and then yelled for him to hurry up the entire 30 seconds he was away. Despite knowing all the signposts of labor, I was still in denial that it was going so quickly and that I was likely in transition. I have to say, this is my least favorite part of the whole process as it is just so mentally demanding. As Jason was talking to the midwife and trying to ask me questions, I was getting more and more agitated. I just wanted his undivided attention and water poured on my back. Lena also chose this moment to call out for cuddles as well and I realized my poor husband was completely stressed out as he exclaimed, “everybody just chill!” Hehehehe… at least we can laugh about it now! IMG_1651 Susan, our doula, showed up as I started grunting and feeling the urge to bear down. I had planned to be downstairs in a birth tub but there just wasn’t time for that. I remember saying that I didn’t have enough room and just couldn’t get comfortable. Strange, I know, as the pushing stage is generally such a pleasant experience. I could feel Jason’s relief at her presence and felt really comforted as she reminded me that my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to. IMG_1652 copy My body basically took over at this point as I could feel the baby moving down at a very fast rate. The only way I can explain it is primal. I could work with it and let it happen or let fear take over and just amplify the sensations. It dawned on me that the midwife wouldn’t make it and once I accepted that, I just decided to get down to business. I got sideways in the tub and tried to spread out as much as possible in hopes that it would prevent me from tearing. Even in the midst of it all, I did recognize that the noises I was making were ridiculous but there was just no stopping it. Luckily, it wasn’t quite the exorcism that Lena’s birth was (Jason assured me after the fact that I wasn’t nearly as loud this time around). I had really hoped to have a more calm pushing stage and use some J breathing a la Hypnobirthing but my body had other plans. I could feel my pelvic bones open – and that is quite a sensation if you’ve never felt it – and as I reached down, I felt the baby’s head. One last big push into the water, and I caught our new little life in my hands. IMG_1655 copy IMG_1666 copy IMG_1658 copy As fast as they came on, the contractions were over and I was holding our little boy in my arms. I was so excited to find out the gender and did a victory cry when I looked down and saw a little tinkler. There is no relief and joy like that of realizing your baby is out and labor is over. Jason just kept laughing as our doula took pictures and we commented in disbelief that we’d just had an unassisted home birth. IMG_1672 copy My growls had woke Lena up but she had stayed in our room the whole time. Luckily, we had talked a lot beforehand about how Mama was going to push out a baby and might be making loud signs like a lion. So when we brought her in to meet her new little brother, she was really excited. No fear, no trepidation. It couldn’t have been more perfect. She immediately declared, “Oh Mama, that baby is weally cute!” and giggled at the noises he was making. IMG_1671 copy IMG_1675 copy IMG_1674 copy I kept the baby in the water and we wrapped him in a blanket as the midwife, Ann, arrived and came upstairs. We transferred me to our bed in order to deliver the placenta. This was quite the task as the umbilical cord was too short for me to have him on my chest so Ann and I did a very intricate shuffle with baby at my abdomen and Jason and Susan following me with a barrage of chucks pads to prevent getting blood on the carpet. I’m really glad there’s no video of that little dance! IMG_1682 copy IMG_1707 copy Once in bed, I delivered the placenta, got our little man to latch for the first time, and ate an enormous plate of leftover Thanksgiving dinner because I was suddenly starving. Wanting to make sure Lena still felt special, we gave her the special present her brother had “bought” for her – an elk and a book about him. She flipped through the pages, calling out all the animals but it just couldn’t compare to her need to finally hold the baby we’d been promising her for the past nine months. IMG_1689 copy IMG_1691 copy She was absolutely in love and five days later, is still enamored with the little guy. We cracked up as she told him how she loved his “wittle ears and toes” and gave him kisses on the head. And even the slightest little movement or noise on his part elicited hysterical laughter from the new big sister. IMG_1693 copy IMG_1695 copy IMG_1696 copy I’m still in shock at how quickly everything happened; it barely feels like I even gave birth. Being in the comfort of our own home was just amazing and made the whole transition feel seamless. Our birth team was incredible; letting us bond as a family and only popping in to get baby’s weight or help us pose for pictures. I really wouldn’t change a thing about the entire experience. IMG_1699 copy IMG_1700 copy IMG_1702 copy IMG_1706 copy And now, this sweet little baby is finally here after much prayer, worry, and intense hope that he would be a boy. Aksel Thomas was born early on a Saturday morning at 4:06 at seven pounds, one ounce. He has beautiful dark hair and skin just like his daddy and I’m pretty sure he’ll have Jason’s brown eyes as well. Aksel means Father of Peace and so far, it seems to fit his personality perfectly. We are so in love and so very thankful to be chosen as his parents. IMG_1709 copy IMG_1710 copy IMG_1715 copy IMG_1713 copy IMG_1712 copy IMG_1719 copy