Cate - 2 months

I'll probably say this every month, but I can't believe how fast time is flying by!  Cate is 2 months old and she is one healthy girl.  She is now 22 1/4 inches long and weighs 12 pounds, 9 ounces.  Yes, you read that correctly...12 pounds, 9 ounces!

As you may have guessed, she's nursing like a champ.  He tie revisions have all healed and her latch has improved.  It takes some time to fully overcome the latch she's known her entire existence, but she's working very hard.  

Trying to get a baby to smile at you while wielding a giant black camera sometimes results in goofy composition. :)

We've had some challenging nights recently.  Up every two hours is exhausting, but she also occasionally blesses us with a couple of 4 hour stretches at night.  Thank you sweet girl! Mommy will remember that when you ask $100 jeans someday.  You probably won't get them, but I might give it an extra half second of consideration.  

Moments after Cate was born, I was checking her out and noticed faint red lines and creases on her arms.  I got a little excited wondering if she would be a rolly polly.  My hunch was right!  Just look at the rolls on those arms! Her legs look very similar, but I can't seem to get internet appropriate pictures that really do them justice.

 Cate is getting a little more generous with the smiles, but has yet to really laugh.  But we all work very hard to try to get the first one.  Raise your hand if you think it will be Daddy. Yup, me too.

Cate's Birth - The Spiritual Journey

Since it was so late in my pregnancy with Cate that I decided to try for an unmedicated delivery, I spent the last few weeks of the pregnancy researching pain management techniques.  I felt like I was cramming for a test.  I spent countless hours reading birth stories, watching youTube videos and pouring over articles written by moms, doulas and midwives.  I wanted to have as many coping mechanisms as possible at my disposal in order to increase my odds of accomplishing this goal.  I thought I would share some of the resources I found helpful.

Here are a few links to articles I found helpful:
1. Comfort in Labor
2. Birth Sensations - This one is a little graphic. You've been warned.
3. Tracey Rose - YouTube Channel.  Lots of videos on how to manage pain in childbirth.
4. Anything you can find by Ina Mae Gaskin.
5. The Business of Being Born - this documentary is available on Netflix. Very empowering.  The follow up series (More Business of Being Born) is also worth watching.

This video was a bit of a turning point for me.  Most of the other resources I had found were secular.  While they were incredibly informative, there was something missing.  They never touched on the spiritual aspect of pregnancy, labor and delivery.  In this message, the speaker discusses the verses in Genesis regarding childbirth and the fall.  She went back to the original language (Hebrew) in which the book was written and talked about the translation of the original text.  God did not curse us, as women, to have miserable experiences giving birth to our blessed children.  We were, however, called to LABOR...  Labor, meaning hard work.  Not suffering, misery or torture.  God doesn't inflict suffering on us in order to bring a blessing.  I'm not saying blessings can't come from some very trying experiences.  But I don't believe that God would wish that on His Creation repeatedly in order to bless us.  It just not in line with God's character.

Links to things that helped me call upon God during labor:
2. Birth Affirmations Based on The Fruits of The Spirit

I poured over countless birth stories on Birth Without Fear reading about women with short, relatively easy labors.  I was cautious not to hope for that, but encouraged to know it was possible.  Turns out that's exactly what I got!  Thank you Lord!  I'm so blessed to have such a positive experience to share.  

You can read it here.