This Is How We Do It: Why Montessori Education

This is another post that falls under the category of “getting it down for my own sake” (i.e., for me, not you).  It’s not meant to bring anyone over to Montessori; although, that’s a nice bonus if it does.  I am not writing this because I think Montessori is The Way, nor am I implying that a Montessori education is suited for all children.  I have found that I am/we are getting asked more frequently about Montessori and why we chose it for Harrison. It’s nice because we have now been a part of the school community for almost 18-months, and parents are asking us how we like it and what we think.  In the past month, I have had email and face-to-face correspondence with families considering Montessori.

It’s also a bit frightening. There are all these outward/concrete reasons we chose Montessori, but there are also many internal reasons we chose Montessori, and I am not always eloquent at describing that part.  And I kind of feel like that’s the most important part.  That’s the part I want people to know about, but I realize it’s probably different for everyone. It is very much a personal decision you make for not just your child, but your family.

I had long found the idea of Montessori appealing.  I first experienced Montessori while working as a speech therapist.  I treated a little girl in her Primary classroom at a Montessori school.  I remember being awestruck by how fluid everything seemed in the classroom. A class of 20+ pre-k/kindergarten age children was operating smoothly.  An image that stuck with me was this one little girl who had been working on a puzzle (perhaps a puzzle map) and when finished, got up quietly, placed the puzzle back where it went, and chose another material.  The Directress was working with a small group of children, but many of the other children were working independently with materials.  I remember talking to David about it when we were both home, and that was that. Harrison wasn’t even a twinkle in our eye at that point, so that experience was tucked away for later.

Fast-forward to Harrison being almost 2 1/2.  For many reasons, it was becoming apparent to David and I that he needed a more academic environment.  Harrison was also quite the social child (and still is), and he needed something outside of home.  Not being the homeschool type, I quickly realized we needed to look into something more structured for Harrison.  We specifically wanted a school environment.  We weren’t necessarily ruling out preschool, but we know we didn’t want daycare.  After all, I was at home.  We didn’t want to pay someone to watch him. I mentioned Montessori to David, and we looked into our options near us.

Here’s some things that came into play for us:

  1. Harrison is very intentional.  He typically has a specific “end” in mind.  You can’t just give him anything and expect him to be content.
  2. Harrison likes to be active.  If he is interested in the book/activity, he will sit for a very long time or stay with something to completion, regardless of time.  If he isn’t interested, good luck. He needs to be allowed to make choices.
  3. Harrison enjoys work; especially, purposeful work.  It’s even better if this work helps someone else. We wanted him to be someplace that would give him the tools to accomplish the work he so often sought.
  4. Harrison enjoys interacting with other children. He loves playing, but he also enjoys asking questions and learning from other children. A mixed-age classroom sounded ideal.

Those are/were some of the key playing points. When we toured Harrison’s school, we were given the book, Montessori Madness by Trevor Eissler, to read. I highly recommend it. It’s not a book on Montessori philosophy; it’s a book written by a parent who chose Montessori for his child, and why. It’s a parent-parent perspective. I liked that because I’m not really the type of person who’s going to call a bunch of parents asking what they think.  I am totally fine with someone asking me, though.

Really, Montessori just felt right.  Maybe a lot of it had to do with the particular school Harrison attends. That certainly helped.  Harrison was so quickly welcomed at his school.  As in, he walked into the classroom during our tour and at least two children came up and took his hand and showed him around the room.  He maybe looked back once.  Nothing is quite so bittersweet as seeing your first child so happy to leave you.

Now that Harrison’s into his second full year at his school, I can confidently say we made the right choice. Honestly, I could say that after his first few months.  His teachers are wonderful.  He is cared for and taught wonderful lessons.  He is respected and trusted.  He is LOVED! I don’t mean, “Oh, we love Harrison.  He’s so sweet and funny.” I mean, he is loved as their own.  And, Harrison loves his teachers.  Seriously, there was a time last year when Harrison would call me both of his teachers’ names before he got to, “Mommy”. I was third fiddle!

So, there you have it.  Why we chose Montessori education.  As we learned, it’s much more than an educational philosophy. It’s a way of life, and it’s playing a big role in our family life.  That’s another post, though.

 

Harrison’s Gems

IMG_3264It’s been a while. Too long, really, without a post full of Harrison’s wit and funny conversations with us. We really do have to try hard not to laugh sometimes. Harrison may say something without any realization that it’s funny (or slightly inappropriate), and we try our best to respond appropriately and with the same honesty with which he talks to us. Without further ado…

Watching me sort laundry:

H: That’s for your breasts (seeing my bra)

M: flabbergasted and just not sure what to say. Wait for it…

H: I’m not talking about your breasts, just saying that’s for them. (Glad you clarified)

In the bathroom stall at Whole Foods

H: Those are beautiful pink underwear you have, Mommy. (The woman in the next stall chuckles audibly.)

Woman who was in next stall: He’s so cute! (Hmm, not what I was thinking.)

At the pool with David

H: I think I peed in the pool, Daddy. I’m not sure, though. No, I didn’t pee in the pool. I think it was just the water coming out of my shorts.

At dinner

H: I need to go on a run after Beckett goes to bed.

M: But, that’s your bedtime, too.

H: Oh, well I will go after dinner.

After dinner, and we’re in the back yard.

H: I’m running around the yard. It’s a long run. You need to cheer for me. 

Helping me make pizza

H: Can I have some cheese?

M: No. I need it for the pizza.

H: But, it’s right there in the bowl, and I might want to sneak some. 

Harrison is full of this stuff. In case you’ve missed any of his “gems”, you can read them here, hereand here

Master and Commander (of the bedroom)

Shame on you if you thought this was going to be about something besides bedroom DIY.

We have lived in our house for almost 21 months, and haven’t really done much to our bedroom.  The only rooms we’ve pretty much finished have been Harrison’s and Beckett’s rooms. To be honest, I’m not sure when our room will be completely finished. If you haven’t seen it in person, let me tell you; it’s MASSIVE! It’s not exactly what we were going for when looking to move to a new home. We were pretty content with our previous bedroom. We would have been fine with the same size master, or perhaps a little bigger. I think two of our other bedroom would fit in this one, and that’s not including the bathroom and closets.

So, here’s what the room looked like before we moved in.

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See. Ginormous! We added a few pieces of furniture since we first moved in: another dresser (yes, you read that right), a trunk, some night stands, a coffee table, and two chairs. Yep, we have a corner in our room akin to a sitting room. Here are some pictures. Pardon the mess. There’s a 3-year-old and a 15-month-old who like to be in our room.

From the doorway.

From the doorway.

Right side of bed.

Right side of bed.

Sitting area to left of door looking out.

Sitting area to left of door looking out.

Looking on into upstairs living space.

Looking on into upstairs living space.

Left wall toward front of house.

Left wall toward front of house.

Right wall with bathroom door.

Right wall with bathroom door.

We hadn’t changed the wall color, and even though there’s plenty of furniture, the room still looks empty. It really felt like a modge podge of items. We also didn’t have anything up on the walls except for the art work above the chairs. David hung those up just to have something on the wall. To brag about my husband (again), he put together that seating area before we came home from the hospital with Beckett. Anyway, back to the bedroom.

Pinterest was helping us find inspiration for the bedroom (decor, people), but we still hadn’t really done anything. Finally, a month or so ago, I mentioned to David that I would like to paint the bedroom for my birthday, and maybe pick another project (bedding, some type of wall feature, crown molding). Well, we decided on a paint color, and I knew David would likely be painting our room for my birthday. No spoilers, there.  Except, he went and made a tufted headboard.

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Then, when I came home from a weekend in Chicago this past Monday, I discovered this:

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Not only did David paint our room, he put up board and batten, crown molding, and made picture ledges. What’s even better, is that my dad, older brother, father-in-law, and Harrison helped out. Yep. Harrison and Grandpa B. made the picture ledges together. A whole slew of family were in on this (from parents to siblings and aunt and uncles). If I ever wonder how loved I am, someone please refer me to this post.

We still have a list of things to do:

  • Substantial rug under the bed (at least 8×10)
  • New curtains, or modify current curtains in some way. I do like the color.
  • Find some items (art or otherwise) to hang on the walls
  • Add two more vertical slats(?) of wood (one on each end) to the board and batten
  • Do something with the bench at the end of the bed. It doesn’t go anymore.
  • New duvet cover. The current one on our bed, while nice, is a coverlet we already owned. We like our down comforter, and comforter + coverlet = too warm in the summer.

Obviously, we can’t do all of those things at once, but that’s what we are enjoying about this house. We really rushed into things the first go-around, and while we loved our first house, we learned a lot along the way. I don’t think our room would have turned out this way at all if we’d jumped right in almost 2 years ago. I also think David needed that time to muster up the strength/courage to take on these projects. I am so thankful he did take these projects on. Seven years of marriage, and I’m still learning new things about this man.

Harrison’s Gems

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Back again with another installment of our conversations with Harrison. This kid really does make me laugh. I do not know where he comes up with this stuff.

H: (before rest time) You know what, Mom?

M: What?

H: I’m going to use this time to come up with funny jokes.

M: Okay. Just do it quietly.

H: Okay, Mom.

 

H: Do you know what a mountain goat’s favorite flavor of ice cream is?

(Well, do you?)

H: Rocky Road (current favorite joke via Ranger Rick)

 

H: I need to eat this little piece of bacon, Mommy.

M: Why? 

H: Oh, it might spoil. (wouldn’t what that to happen, would we?)

 

(leaving PaPa and Grammy’s house)

G: Tell Beckett ‘hi’ for us.

H: Okay. I will have Mommy take a picture of me telling him ‘hi’ and send it to you. (if you’re wondering, we did just that.)

 

M: (after H passed gas several times) Do you need to go to the bathroom again before bed?

H: No.

M: You don’t need to try and poop?

H: If I need to poop, I will save it until the morning.

M: We don’t ‘save’ poops, Harrison.

H: No. I just mean I will save it until I wake up. (Isn’t that the same thing?)

You can read more of Harrison’s gems, here, here, and here.

 

 

 

Lindsey’s Sprinkle

This past Saturday, my mom and I were honored to put together a sprinkle for one of my oldest and dearest friends. For those of you not familiar, a sprinkle is a way to celebrate someone who may be becoming a mother for the second or third time. My takeaway from what I read (because, yes, I did read up on a sprinkle since I’m that way) is that a sprinkle is more low-key. Since the mother likely has many of the “necessities”, it’s an opportunity to ask her what she may really want. Let’s face it, when you register for that first baby, you likely go way overboard and end up with a lot of things that you didn’t need and weren’t functional, or you realize that it would’ve been really nice to have something you didn’t register for. Also, if it’s been a few years, your items may be out-of-date, grimy, or non-existent. In Lindsey’s case, I knew it had been several years since her last child. And, even though she was having another girl (her oldest is a girl), this little one will be born in the opposite season (late spring vs. fall). Honestly, though, it just came down to the fact that I wanted to do this for my wonderful friend, and she was kind enough to let my mom and I do this for her.

I went back and forth with whether I should have a “theme”. I liked the idea of being literal with a sprinkle, and I saw so many great ideas using sprinkles everywhere, from the decor to the food.

Image via La Partie Diva

While I drew great inspiration from images such as these, I also wanted to do something original, and I had to consider that the sprinkle was during Brunch. It didn’t make a lot of sense to serve candy, cupcakes, and pretzels (well, to me). And, although I wish I had time to use cute signs/labels for the food, I just didn’t. I decided I’d take more inspiration from the sprinkle concept, and just go with what I liked (and had time for). I guess you could say I “sprinkled” lots of different ideas throughout…or you couldn’t. The funny thing is that one of Lindsey’s friends asked what my theme was, and I told her (semi-jokingly), “A clean house, and maybe some flowers.”. I hope I did better than that.

I decided to use a color scheme fitting with the girls’ room. That meant pink, orange, and hints of teal. I also wanted the decor to be functional.  I wanted Lindsey to be able to take items with her if she wanted (the basket with diapers, the tissue paper flowers, the real flowers, the diaper cakes), and I wanted the functional items to also be decorative (plates, napkins, utensil holders, you name it). Let’s start at the front entry, shall we:

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I wanted something in this space as guests came in, and I also wanted to lead them into the office space where they could place gifts. Above the gift table, I liked the idea of clouds and rain. I saw this image via Fiskars, and wanted to duplicate it without copying it.

My version maybe didn’t turn out as “beautiful”, shall we say… but let’s not. I think I should have copied, but it’s the thought that counts.

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You may recognize the zig-zag streamers from Beckett’s birthday. I was thinking it would look like rain falling from the sky, but I think the raindrops would have been more delicate and looked less haphazard. Lesson learned.

In the dining room, I set up a few stations for guests to go to as they pleased. Thanks to the idea of another guest (these women really are awesome), I created monthly onesies using this tutorial. I completed them beforehand because I didn’t feel ironing should be on the sprinkle agenda. I made little notecards with the idea that guests could pick a few months to write messages for Lindsey to read as she pulls out a onesie each month.

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The other station was for late-night diaper changes. Guests could write something funny or sweet on the front of the diaper, and then Lindsey (or Travis; definitely Travis) can read these when they are up in the middle of the night with baby girl.

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By the way, that’s Lindsey’s oldest helping Lindsey’s mom come up with some things to write. How cute is she?! She wanted to come with Lindsey and celebrate her baby sister.

As guests came into the living room, I put up a few decorations on the mantle, but a small diaper cake (made by one of Lindsey’s friends) and some writing on the chalkboard were the main attractions. I didn’t want too much in here because we would all be sitting there talking, eating, watching Lindsey open gifts, eating some more.

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There was another “activity” for guests in the living room. I found a “Wishes for baby” printable that I thought was a sweet sentiment. I plan on binding them all together with a ribbon and giving them to Lindsey as a little book.

In the kitchen, I used the big diaper cake as a centerpiece on the table, and then the flowers and food took center stage. Even though it was brunch, I didn’t go overboard on the food and drink. I actually planned on another savory and sweet dish, but time constraints didn’t allow for that. It turned out perfect, though. My mom made a savory breakfast casserole, I baked some donuts, and we had some fresh fruit and sparkling cider. I was going to brew coffee, but it turned out everyone had already had their morning cup or two. These ladies made it easy on me.

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It was such a fun celebration, and I am so thankful that on Mother’s Day weekend I was able to share this time with my own mother and so many other wonderful mothers. All of the decorations and food wouldn’t have meant anything without Lindsey and her wonderful family and group of friends.

Here are just a “sprinkling” of photos from that morning that actually include the guest of honor.

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Thank you, Lindsey, for letting me throw this sprinkle for you!

Contributing to Family

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw these pictures from earlier today:

Harrison and I took a hike along the Katy Trail today. There are several trailheads near us, so we just picked one and took a hike (pun intended). It was a perfect day for it; it was just a little cool out, and we got to wear our boots since it had rained recently. I mean, take a boy out in the woods, and he’s already happy, but toss in mud and puddles, and he’s in heaven!

Just as we started, an older man passed us and decided to tell me I would probably end up holding Harrison. I said I didn’t think so, and he proceeded to tell me, “If you go down that hill, you will.”. I kindly told him I appreciated the “heads up”, and Harrison and I chose to go down the hill. Harrison did ask for me to carry him on the way back, but it had nothing to do with being tired. Someone forgot to use the bathroom before we left, and he wouldn’t go outside. (Uh, get on that, Daddy.) I told him I would hold his hand and help him make it up the hill, and that worked. Other than that, it was an exciting hike full of rocks, worms, puddles, plants, and mud!

We do this kind of thing with Harrison a lot, but this was a special trip he chose this morning. We are always talking to Harrison about how he contributes to our family, but we recently decided to help drive the concept home, if you will. We want Harrison to understand that he contributes to the family because everyone has a role in a family, but at  almost 3 1/2, he still needs a little encouragement. We decided to do this in a form of a “contribution chart”. I had read about this concept in several places (here is just one).

David and I didn’t want to pay Harrison for his contributions, though. Again, the idea is that he contributes his share because that’s what you do as part of a family. Also, he already has a natural desire to “do”, as most children his age do. He wants to do work and help us out. He just needs some motivation at times. That’s where the contribution chart comes in. I printed off this free template. Here’s the image from the site.

I framed ours so we could use a wet-erase marker on it. I do love a gold sticker, but I didn’t want to print off a new chart each week. It works perfectly for Harrison. He has to make sure all of his blankets and pillows look decent on his bed; he gets himself dressed and folds and puts away his clothes/puts away dirty clothes and puts on pajamas; sets his place at the table and clears it; brushes his teeth; cleans up toys. Basically, I hit the jackpot finding this chart. The icons fit with all of Harrison’s responsibilities. Harrison gets a check mark if he completes something with minimal prompting (i.e., we don’t have to tell him 3xs and he requires little if any assistance). He still has to perform every task, but he may not get a check for it.

Here’s what we don’t do:

  • We don’t tell him he does or doesn’t get a check mark. 
  • We don’t punish him for not getting check marks.
  • We don’t praise him for getting check marks. We may let him know we appreciate that he’s contributing and doing his part, but we don’t applaud him for doing what is expected of him.
  • We don’t bribe him with candy or other gifts.

Here’s what we do:

  • We put the contribution chart in plain view in the kitchen area. Harrison can see for himself if he is or isn’t receiving checks.
  • We thank him for being an important part of our family and let him know it means a lot to us that he does his part. For example, I may tell David, in front of Harrison, how Harrison did a nice job folding his pajamas.
  • We let him choose an “experience” at the end of the week (Friday) for his contributions. David and I predetermine what will go in the “pile” based on the checkmarks, but Harrison helped us come up with many of the experiences.

We have used the contribution chart for two weeks, and it has been hugely successful so far. Not to say we have a 100% success rate (more like 80%), but we have noticed Harrison getting better at just doing and not needing reminding. Last week, he chose the train store (Barnes and Noble), and this week he chose a nature hike. And that takes us back to the beginning. The nature hike we took today was an experience Harrison chose after another week of contributions.

The other bonus is it gives Harrison some 1-on-1 time with Mommy or Daddy. Some we will do as a family (the zoo), but it’s nice to give Harrison some individual attention. We strive to devote equal time (whatever that means) to the boys, but the truth is that can be difficult at times, and we notice it can put a strain on Harrison when he’s feeling “neglected”.  I know he really appreciates this time, and it helps us reconnect with him. A win-win in my book.

Harrison’s Gems

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I’m back with another installment of the things Harrison says that amuse me for some reason or another.

Harrison: I need to be carried up the stairs sometimes.

Mommy: Why?

Harrison: It aches my knees like Papa. (sorry Papa)

 

Mommy: Do your ears hurt? (Harrison was pulling on his ears)

Harrison: No. I’m just straightening them. Sometimes they get upside-down, and I have to straighten them.

 

Harrison: (listening to song on radio) This song is called Burrito Mars. He says, ‘Ugh, oh, ugh”.

 

Harrison: (the Mississippi saga continues) Mississippi is a state and a river, Mommy.

Mommy: You’re right.

Harrison: What about Mister Ssippi?

 

Harrison: I’m going to have train tracks at my train birthday.

Mommy: I thought you were having a farm birthday? (his birthday is in November)

Harrison: Oh, trains are for my next birthday. (He then gave themes for his next 5 birthdays: rocket ships, dragons, alligators, lions) But real lions won’t be there. Only lion costumes.

You can read more Harrison gems here, here, and here

Back on the (blogging) wagon

I started this blog several years ago as a way to share our family happenings with family members who (at the time) were halfway across the country. It became a way for me to document the small (we painted a room in our home) and the big (we are expecting our first child). I never aspired to have a blog that anyone outside of family and close friends read, but the idea of that sounded nice. Basically, I enjoy writing, and I enjoy telling people about my family, so it seemed like a win-win. It also gave me something to do that was not job-related.

Well….life happens, and I have not been so good at keeping up with this blog. I have so many ideas, and I can’t decide if all of them are suited for the blog. Part of me wants to share everything and just post about something I feel the need to write about. This doesn’t work because my core audience is family and close friends, and I have found it’s easy for people to misinterpret what I write, interpret correctly and become upset, or the topic doesn’t make sense to what I originally intended the blog to be: posts about our family and what’s happening. I need to have two blogs, have separate headings/pages on my blog, or use a pseudonym and tell no one about blog I have started. You may laugh at the last one, but I have considered it, as many people do it, and it would allow me to have an outlet where I could write anything. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean to say I have these things to say that I don’t want others knowing are my words. I mean that I want to write about topics sometimes that don’t belong on this blog. I felt like writing about all the “problems” I had during my second pregnancy was risky.

Right now, I have decided to just stick with our little family blog, and be more diligent about posts. If only grandparents and a handful of others read it, that’s great. I don’t need a huge audience. This is a personal blog, and I’m not writing for anyone else, honestly. I can’t promise consistency, but I can promise this will be a hodge podge. I will write about events, about funny things our kids say and do, things I create, our house, what we made for dinner…life. That’s just how I roll. I also promise you will see a lot of posts this week, and then I may take another week to post again.

 

Happy (much belated) Easter!

It’s not that we just celebrated Easter (obviously), it’s that I’m just getting around to writing about it. That’s a common theme around these parts. Like, I’m looking out our dining room window and seeing the plants in front of our house that are out of control. I’ve been telling myself and David out loud for months that I need to go out there and prune, hedge, and pull out weeds. Eh, it’s good if I water the plants I still haven’t planted in the planters. You get the picture. It’s not like I’m just sitting around. It’s just the family and the inside of the house take priority. It’s a good thing we own a Roomba because I’m not so sure we would vacuum a lot without it. This post is a good example of what happens. I’ve spent the first paragraph not really even talking about our Easter. It happens that easily.

Easter was a little different this year. We were in a new house, all of the family was here, and, we may have had a 6-day-old baby. It wasn’t Easter as usual. We didn’t make it to Mass because we were a little preoccupied. We just got home with Beckett on Wednesday, and my parents had come in Friday (or was it Saturday?). Harrison had decided the day we came home that he didn’t need naps anymore and that screaming and throwing tantrums was the only way to get anything; especially things we didn’t have nor ever had in this house. I swear he started making things up just so he could get upset over us not having it/them. It was crazy up in here!

I had, thankfully, planned on Beckett’s birth, and Harrison’s Easter basket/bucket was already finished, and plans were made for the day, including an Easter egg hunt. It was a very nice day, and we were so thankful to have all our family around.

Here are a few pictures from the day. Oh, and things did calm down. Harrison decided naps are good and that peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies are not the only foods he can eat.

Beckett’s Birth Story

“This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside-down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, to tell you how I became a mom of two boys and lost all my hair…” Can’t you just hear the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air busting it out right now? Maybe I added that last part in. And, maybe, I am embellishing just a little bit.

Beckett’s birth story is an interesting one. As I mentioned here and here, it was already a difficult pregnancy compared to my pregnancy with Harrison. I was already scheduled for an induction on April 4, a little less than a week before Beckett’s due date of April 10. Well, during my 38-week appointment, my blood pressure read high, I mean really high (for me). It was 147/98 or something in that range. I knew it would be high because I was feeling funny: headache, queasy, “floaters” on the wall at times. That prompted my doctor to order a blood sample and a 24-hour urine analysis (fun times). That was Wednesday. On Thursday, we had dinner at David’s sister’s house with her and my mother-in-law. Again, I was feeling really tired and my calves were feeling pretty tight. I lay on her couch, and David’s mother recommended I take my blood pressure. She had brought a cuff with her knowing I’d had some high readings recently. It was high again. We waited 10 minutes after I lay down some more and re-read it. High again. I called the doctor’s emergency line, and when she called me back, she told me to check-in to the hospital.

Now, I could’ve told you (if you’d asked) right then that a baby was not coming that night. However, David, who had already brought Harrison home to put him to bed, seemed to be thinking and hoping otherwise. I called him to tell him we needed to go to the hospital for some monitoring, and he packed the car with my labor and hospital bag. We were there for a couple of hours, and then home by 10:30. No baby. And I was glad. He needed to wait a little longer.

Well, remember here where I talked about my Valentine’s gift to David? He had written, “I love you because YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE OUR BABY! Oops. That wouldn’t come for a few more days.

So, fast forward to Monday, April 2. I had an early afternoon appointment with the perinatologist, so we asked David’s aunt if she could pick Harrison up from school and keep him for us. She suggested we go enjoy lunch together one last time before baby arrived, and we eagerly agreed. Good thing, too. Just as we were finishing lunch, I noticed I missed a call and message from my doctor. She said my urine analysis came back fine, but my blood sample came back, and she wanted me to call her.

The gist was that I needed to get to the hospital because she wanted to deliver our baby by that evening. I remember starting and re-starting phrases and sentences on the phone with her multiple times because I was not prepared to have this baby. Granted, he was scheduled for 2 days later, but that seemed like an eternity away at that moment. I recall asking if it was alright for David to go back to our house and get my things. They weren’t in the car, and don’t ask me why since we’d already been to the hospital once and I was on bed rest. We should’ve been more prepared. I wasn’t sure if she meant she wanted to deliver now or what. She explained that although she wanted Beckett to come that day, she wasn’t going to expedite the process beyond what we’d already discussed.

I pretty much had the same course of action that was taken with Harrison. I had tested positive for Strep B again (if you’re wondering, a positive or negative test the first time is no indication of what the results will be other times), so they had to run two courses of antibiotics. I got this awful pain in my right thumb and forearm from where the antibiotic ran. I do not remember that from last time. I was almost crying, so they had to turn the dosage down a little. They started the pitocin soon after the second course of antibiotics. I once again did not understand why they did this. It apparently was not because my contractions weren’t regular enough, but because I wasn’t feeling them strongly enough.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was already 5 cm dilated when we got there. I was only about 65-70% effaced, though. With Harrison, I was 5 cm and 90% effaced when we arrived. Anyway, I remember around 4/4:30 the on-call doctor coming in and talking about breaking my water. I must have had this very confused and scared look on my face because she quickly said, let me check you first. I was then 6 cm dilated on my own, so after calling my doctor, she said they would wait until 6 pm or so. I was relieved because I just didn’t feel ready for Beckett to arrive. It didn’t seem right.

So, a couple of hours passed and the doctor came in to break my water. I was still not very effaced, so when she did it took a while and nothing much happened until 30 minutes or more later.

My parents arrived, followed shortly by my older brother and his fiancee. We exchanged some pleasantries while I breathed my way through contractions (which I’m still not convinced David or anyone else realized I was having; or, at least, the extent to which I was having them). After they left, the contractions became much more powerful and closer together. I asked the nurse how close together they were, and could we please turn off the Pitocin. She explained they were where we wanted them, 3 minutes apart. I said, “No, they are much closer than that.” She replied, “I mean from the start of one to the start of the next one.” Grr….

Around 8 pm, I said, “I need to push”. The nurse told me she would call my doctor. Yeah, um, I meant right then and now. I knew Beckett was coming. The nurse asked me if I could roll over (I was on my side), and I said I wasn’t sure. She said I needed to roll over, so she and David helped me. She took a look and exchanged some words with the doctor (do they think I can’t hear them?), who said, “I don’t think her doctor is going to make it.”. Nope. Beckett arrived at 8:05 pm. Whew! My doctor had told me she didn’t think I would have to push long with him, and she was right. I think I gave 3 long pushes, and he was out.

And he was beautiful. He was small and perfect. He was my 5 pound, 10 ounce, perfect little peanut. I don’t know his APGAR (probably perfect 🙂 ), but that was the furthest from my mind. I just wanted to hold him close and not let go.

Beckett was definitely a baby that has done “better out, than in”. He left the hospital at 5 pounds, 5 ounces, and was up 2 ounces a day later at his first doctor appointment. Three days later, he was up to 6 pounds. By 6 weeks, he was 8 pounds, 6.5 ounces, and at 8 weeks, he was 10 pounds, 9.7 ounces. I am such a proud mother, and am so blessed to have another healthy baby boy.