Thanksgiving Recap

Holidays are always chaotic in our household. The day is carefully planned ahead of time and our time is limited at each place we go. Ah, such is life. Declan liked every food he tried, and had a ton of fun visiting with our visiting family members. Josh’s mom and step-dad had recently turned part of the garage into a rec room type situation, and it became Remi’s favorite place to hang out during our visit. We love visiting with family, and watching Declan form bonds with people he doesn’t see everyday.

Our crazy Remi girl is now 8.5 months old and making our life a little more chaotic. But we love her just the same and she makes our lives just a little more bright. She loved hanging out in the garage and fetching stray ping pong balls while people played. Remi LOVES Josh’s little sister Megan, an d they’re both thoroughly worn out by the day’s end every time we visit.

How was your Thanksgiving?
We’ve found that holidays are so much more fun now that we have a child, watching him discover and realize that it’s a special day and getting to play with family he doesn’t always get to see is so fun for us!

Declan’s 1st Birthday – Little Blue Truck Theme

For Declan’s first birthday party, I didn’t want anything too cheesy or cartoon-y. Our favorite book to read together for much of his first year was “The Little Blue Truck”, and so that was his theme. We kept it simple and pulled colors from the book – royal blue, orange, and yellow. We kept food easy and served roll-ups from Costco, as well as fruit and veggie platters.

The party was held at our local community center, and with children invited, I knew they would need something to do. I decided to set up a play corner, and bring some of our more open ended toys from home. I made Declan’s smash cake as well as the cupcakes that were served to guests. I completely dropped the ball with photos, and didn’t take as many as I would’ve liked, buuuut such is life!

This sweet boy knew the drill and went to town on anything that was put on the tray in front of him. Including his cake! It was his first time having anything that sweet and sugary, but he loved it and it made for some great entertainment.

Happy Birthday, Declan Joshua!
We love you so.

Eleven Months Old – Declan Joshua

One more month and our tiny baby will officially be a toddler. We are in party planning mode, and have decided to go with a Little Blue truck theme! It’s my favorite book to read to him, so naturally I had to go that route.

Weight – He went to the doctor just over a week ago and was 20.2 pounds. He also in Size 4 Honest Co. diapers, which we’ve been moving since we moved in May. Looking forward to being back in our AppleCheeks! He’s recently moved into mostly 12mo clothing, and is looking so big these days.

Eats – Everything. He truly likes everything he’s ever tried. Still nurses 4x throughout the day, and 1-3x at night. Favorite foods include: sweet potato, zucchini, eggs, and chicken. Still dairy and gluten free about 99% of the time.

Likes – Climbing everything. He can climb on almost any couch without help, but hasn’t figured out how to get down safely yet. He likes opening/closing and stacking things. His Melissa + Doug wood stacking rings are currently his favorite toy. He loves emptying drawers and trying to sneak around the chair in his room to unplug the night light.

Dislikes – Sleeping solo is the big one. He also gets mad when we tell him he can’t have something or take away an item he’s not supposed to be playing with. He gets annoyed when Remi licks his face, but he’s getting good at blocking her.

Sleep – Finally found a daytime routine that works for him, called the “2-3-4 Routine”. Things clicked and his sleep has started improving. He spends most of the night in our bed, and neither or us have the energy to “fix” it because it allows us all to get the sleep we need in order to function properly at work each day. He averages 2x 1.5 hour naps everyday, sometimes he sleeps on the way home from work depending on what time he woke up from his second nap.

Life’s Happenings – We’re pretty much settled into my new nanny position and have found our groove and are thriving. I celebrated my 27th birthday at the end of August, and Declan was in attendance, of course. Last year I was 34 weeks pregnant with him on my birthday! Our dog Remi is keeping life entertaining by being her super smart and mischievous self. Declan also caught Impetigo this month, which warranted a day home from work with Dada and a full round of antibiotics. He also swallowed a bandaid, which still hasn’t shown up in a dirty diaper.

Development – Declan has started to try to do the hand motions “roll it up” from Patty Cake and “climbed up the water spout” from Itsy Bitsy Spider. He sometimes gives kisses if we ask, but if we don’t make it a silly game he won’t do t more than once. Our sweet boy is all about laughing and being silly. We spend a lot of time in the flight path for our local airport and he absolutely loves watching planes fly overhead. He has started standing unassisted more and more often, which means he’s getting closer to walking!

Ten Months Old – Declan Joshua

Only two months until our Tiny Dude is a whole year old. The past ten months has flown by and crept along at the same time. It’s like he’s been here all along!

Weight – I would guesstimate that he’s sitting at the twenty pound mark. He hasn’t had a doctor’s appointment in a few months, but the last time we were there he was just shy of 18lb. Fitting solidly into 9/6-9 month clothing still. I’d guess we’ll be in the same clothes for another month or so, unless he has a big growth spurt.

Eats – He still has only had breastmilk as his main source of nutrition, but we followed a modified baby-led-weaning approach around the seven month mark and now he eats whatever we eat in terms of food. He typically has 2-3 meals a day, depending on how busy we are. He also drinks 4-6oz of water daily and I’m sure he would drink more if I offered. Chipotle is his favorite (just like mama). Eating dairy or gluten causes some pretty intense excema on his trunk, so we’re staying away for now.

Likes – Toys that he can shake, especially these Haba Shaker Eggs. He also loves playing with his puppy, climbing everything he can get a leg up on, playing in the water/swimming, and swinging on the swings.

Dislikes – Sleeping/falling asleep solo. He’s started to protest our drive home (if he’s awake, which isn’t often) by crying the entire way and being happy as a clam when we get out of the car. He’s stubborn like his mama, that’s for sure. There aren’t any foods he dislikes.

Sleep – Typically two 1-1.5 hour naps and one 45ish minute nap on the way home. The other day he napped for an hour and fifty minutes and it was amazing. That’s the longest work nap he’s taken in 5+ months, and the longest nap in general in 3ish months. He goes to bed between 8:30 and 9, and starts off in his crib. Once he wakes up, he moves into our bed for the remainder of the night because mom and dad need sleep too.

Life’s Happenings – I started a new job at the beginning of July, so we’re getting settled in there. It’s going great and we’re enjoying it. :) He’s been to the lake multiple times, and has started going to the nursery at church.

Development – Declan has four teeth, and I can see four more under his gums. He says mama, dada, ball, and baby. We’re working on animals noises, which is pretty dang cute! He can sign milk and all done. He also waves! Declan can stand unassisted as long as he doesn’t realize he’s doing it, and is crawling and cruising like a mad man.

Declan’s Birth Story

Before I get into Declan’s birth story, let me rewind a few weeks for you. At 38 weeks, I made the decision to switch from midwife care (and a planned home birth) to OB care (and a planned hospital birth). After having my iron be too low for a safe home birth since 28 weeks, and trying three different supplements and having reactions to all of them, I felt like switching to OB was the best decision for both Declan and I. Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up – let’s move along, shall we?

On Tuesday, October 11th I had my 40 week appointment at 9a. J had the morning off to come with me, and we decided to bring the bag with our clothes in it “just in case”. When they took my blood pressure it was pretty high – about 157/90. Keep in mind, my blood pressure had been stellar (like 107/74) up until 37 weeks when it began creeping upward. I was really anxious about having my cervix checked for the first time, so we thought it could be nerves, but I was sent over the hospital to be monitored more closely for a few hours just to be sure.

After two hours of having my blood pressure taken every 10 minutes and giving a urine sample, only half of my reads came back at a normal level and my uric acid was high. Basically I was brewing pre-eclampsia and my doctor felt it necessary to induce me, which I was comfortable with. It was 2:00p by the time I was moved to L&D and hooked up to fluids, pitocin, and the antibiotic I needed due to being GBS+. I alerted Jennifer (my doula) and Lindsay (my photographer) that we would be staying and told them I would either let them know when we needed them, or to plan to arrive around 5p, as we had been told that they would be in to break my water at 6p.

J and I hung out and I labored and watched movies until everyone arrived and we anxiously awaited for them to break my water. I could feel contractions happening at this point, but they weren’t painful or uncomfortable – just noticeable. At 6:30p they came in and broke my water, which basically just felt like I peed myself a thousand times over. Contractions really began picking up at this point.

I had some back labor that definitely picked up once they broke my water, and I started vocalizing at this point. Eyes closed and “hmm-ing” through my waves; I tried really hard to make sure I kept my face and jaw relaxed through everything. I didn’t want to tense up and stop myself from progressing smoothly. Either Joshua or Jennifer HAD to be there during my waves to apply pressure to my tail bone, since they started in the back and wrapped around to my sides. All the intensity stayed in my back, s0 heat and pressure were Godsends! I think at this point I was dozing off in between contractions. Jennifer just gave me her version of Declan’s birth story and said I was “very still” in between contractions, which makes me think that I was.

After a few hours, everything changed. My hmm-ing became low toned vocalization and which escalated as I progressed. I remember laboring on the birthing ball my hospital provided, then facing the back of the bed and using the hand rails for leverage. With being induced and on pitocin, my goal was still to do everything pain medication free, but I was more open to an epidural if I thought I needed one because of the intensity of the contractions. At some point later in the night, I asked to be checked because I wasn’t sure if I could handle things if they got too much more intense. The joke was on me because the nurse told me I was 7-8cm – too late for an epidural. My birth team was SO encouraging at this point, and kept reminding me that I was almost there! That it wasn’t going to get any worse that this. They were right.

Up until the last hour and a half or so, I labored on the bed. It was at this point that I could feel him moving down and began feeling very grunty and pushy. I was 9cm and a +1 station. Almost there! After a few waves of feeling grunty, I moved to the toilet. It was the contraction after I moved to the toilet that I knew he was coming, like right now. Throughout my labor, the nurse kept telling me “you’ll KNOW, it will feel different” and holy moly did it feel different. I moved back to the bed where we began practice pushes. That was over about as quickly as it began because he was crowning with every push. All that “push like you’re pooping” talk, it’s true. DO IT.

My OB was called, but my body had taken over and was pushing him out no matter what, so the on-call OB was paged. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the same OB we’d had a negative experience with a few weeks earlier after I went to the ER with huge hives all over my legs. Joshua was not happy with the way were treated, nor with the way he belittled our (amazing) nurse when she was 100% correct with her requests. Thank God my OB arrived with two contractions to spare!

Our beautiful son Declan Joshua McNamara was born on October 11, 2016, at 11:35p, after 5.5 hours of active labor. He weighed 7lb 13oz and was 19.5″ long. I received no pain medication, I pushed for a total of four contractions, and I ended up with a second degree tear that required stitches. 

I’m so thankful to my amazing birth team for making my experience so amazing. To Joshua, for being my rock and never leaving my side, and telling me exactly what I needed to hear. To Jennifer Marsicano, our birth doula, for showing J how to help me in all the right ways. And to our amazing birth photographer Lindsay Petty, for taking photos and video that we will cherish forever.
We love you.