Introducing our Chubby Vegan Son ... Literally

Despite my transgressions and rants that our Chubby Vegan Son wouldn't EVER arrive (hey, in my defense I did go 8 days overdue), he made his beautiful, giant way into the world at 10:47 a.m. Friday, December 28.

Did I mention all 10 lbs, 3.2oz and 22 inches of him came screaming into the world?

Yeah. When this mother thinks she's going to have a big baby, she's going to have a big baby dang it. He is amazing, handsome, beautiful, healthy and oh so vocal. And did I mention beautiful? I know, I know, every mother thinks their precious baby is the most beautiful, perfect creature in the world (probably because most of them are), but I fell so in love with this little boy the minute they laid him on my chest I can't believe I ever doubted how I could love two. 

Despite being more than a week overdue, when labor started it really wasn't what I expected. I still wasn't convinced. I went to the doctor Thursday morning to discover that I was 4 cm dilated and really, really "ready," so our doctor did the whole membrane stripping fun and told us it was a matter of days. 

What he meant was hours, because as later that night (not even 12 hours later) I found myself sitting in bed really, really uncomfortable. My husband kept asking me if it was the night, but I insisted it wasn't. I even fell asleep for a good hour or more until the contractions and all their glory started at 2 a.m. 

We dropped our daughter off with my parents and hauled to the hospital, where after two hours of walking we determined I was in labor and we got admitted by 6 a.m. Just under five hours later we were a family of four. 

You may remember my sinking suspicion that our baby was big. Or my fear of him wreaking havoc on my lady parts. The good news is, not much havoc was wreaked, even less than my daughter, surprisingly. I will say this much about a 10 lb baby vs my two-pound less daughter; there was still A LOT of pushing to do once the head was through. In fact, I even asked if he seemed to be big after I finished said head pushing, only to find my husband, midwife and nurse all staring at each other, saying nothing.

Turns out, he kind of was. 

Needless to say, he's an absolute doll. I can hardly wait to love him more every day and see what kind of personality he brings to the mix. 

Our family is utterly joyed to introduce the latest member of the Chubby Vegan Clan, Braeburn Abbot.

You also might like:
My chubby vegan pregnancy: the sequel
Vegan Pregnancy the sequel: the homestretch


Happy Holidays from the Chubby Vegan Clan

It's Christmas Eve, so I figure what better time to wish everyone else out there a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, if you want to be politically correct) from our family to yours.

And to answer the question that is on everyone's mind (or at least most of your emails have entailed), I was due December 20 and if you're curious whether or not we have welcomed Baby B into the family by now, this photo was taken this morning!

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear the Chubby Vegan Son will be making a Christmas appearance. This basically equates to a very tired, very giant, very trying-not-to-be crabby ass mommy! Between my heartburn, the stabby pains and me not being able to do anything without having a contraction, it's safe to say this little bundle of joy is overstaying his uterus welcome.

On a positive note, at least he'll be nearly a whole year old next year and able to really dig into some gifts from Santa!


Five things I want to do as a mommy of ONE

Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the back aches, the stretch marks, the weight gain and the leaky boobs that you forget what is really going to happen when you finally go into labor.

Practically the minute you hit 37 weeks it seems like labor can't come soon enough. Your baby is officially "fully" cooked, you're a mere three weeks away from your due date and as far as you can tell everything is pointing towards you meeting your baby really, really soon. 

And then a few weeks go by and you STILL haven't had that baby. And everyone keeps asking you if you've had the baby yet, how close you are, when you'll be induced or even why you haven't. 

Don't forget the unsolicited advice. The things about walking for miles on miles, drinking witch doctor teas and shoving oils and all sorts of other things up your lady parts. Oh and don't forget to eat pineapple, drink castor oil and inhale spicy food. I'm all for tips, particularly when I ask for them, but it seems like everyone under the sun has become more informed about what's going to put me into labor than my doctors. 

It's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement. Between the aches, pains and anticipation of meeting your new baby, it's easy to forget about all the other things that come along with having a new baby. The new routine. The uprooted lifestyle. The change in pace. The lack of pace. The constant change. The breastfeeding. The no sleep. The guilt. The exhaustion. The diapers. The doctors appointments. The healing. The torn up body. The emotions. 

Oh, the emotions. 

So for as excited as I am to meet our new addition, I think I'm going to quit wishing on every last star that he'll get here by Christmas. He'll come when he's ready and when he does it will be right.

Until then, I'm going to spend these last few moments, days, weeks as a mother of just one darling, smart, challenging, beautiful little girl. I'm going to cherish what's left of our life as a family of three, the way I should have been. There are still five things that I have on my to-do list, before I'll feel like I've fairly given every last piece of me as a mother of one to my daughter. 

For starters, I want to go to brunch, dinner, lunch, whatever one more time as a family of three. I want to go and let Pearyn pick whatever her heart desires of the menu, I want to parade her around and enjoy the peace of being able to go out to eat with one screaming, tantrum-throwing child instead of two. 

And once we've done that, I want to go somewhere completely and utterly sporadic. Just because we can. I want to go somewhere without a big, bulky diaper bag filled with goops and creams, I want to be able to throw a few necessities in my purse and just go somewhere, last minute, without a plan, because when you have a toddler, you can get away with those kinds of things. 

I want to sleep in the big, giant king-sized bed in our bedroom and snuggle with our little girl all night long. I want to fall asleep with half my body going numb and in a puddle of drool because she can't go to sleep without cuddling. I want to wake up to her sweet little face telling me good morning and that it's light outside, which means it's time to play. 

And because that's not good enough, I want one more day to dedicate to her. It doesn't matter what we do, whether we watch the same four Scooby Doo reruns over and over again or she drives me bonkers playing and spilling water while I try to take a bath. I want her to put her hands on my stomach and tell me that when Baby B gets here, she'll teach him how to crawl and she'll changes his poopy diapers. I want her to grab her hand away quickly and giggle that he kicked her, only to respond by pinching my stomach and telling me that she just got his "biscuit." 

I need more time to let her know that even though it's just been us these last few years, having a sibling isn't going to take away from any and every thing. It will be different, but that doesn't mean it will be bad. And one day, she might even thank us for bringing a new kind of love into her life. 

Most of all though, I need enough time for me to know that, for me to be OK with that.


So there's progress ... and then there's stabby lady part pains

Here's the good news.

I had a doctors appointment today (39 weeks, holy moly!) and all the stabby, knife-to-my-lady-parts pains and aches have actually been well warranted, I'm dilated 2-3 cm, completely thinned out and Baby B's head is about as low as it can get without actually being born.

Yay, all these crazy feelings and pressure haven't just been completely in my head (or my nether regions for that matter)!

Oh and I lost my mucus plug (yum!), that was confirmed at my doctors appointment after peeing in the cup for the 100th time. (Ahh the mucus plug, the pregnancy gift that keeps on giving).

Here's the bad news.

In the land of pregnancy, this really doesn't mean a whole lot. Sure, I'm excited that my body is getting a head start on all the gross realities of labor, but ultimately, this doesn't mean that I'm any more likely to have this big ole' baby boy tonight vs two weeks from now. (Much to the dismay of my very excited friends, all waiting to be the "call" I make when I'm in said labor).

I know, I know, perhaps I sound a bit like a negative Nelly, but my daughter Pearyn is full-on proof that dilation doesn't really mean a whole lot unless it's a big number and accompanied by actual regular contractions. On my actual due date with her I wasn't even a fingertip dilated, I was high, closed and no where near thinning out.

Five days and 10 cms later my little girl was a member of the outside world.

So see, you can go from no signs of labor to actually having said child in your arms in the matter of five days.

I'm going to try and not get my hopes up. With all the issues I've faced this pregnancy, I kind of had this odd feeling that he'd be early. In fact, I didn't even entertain the idea that I'd still be giant, bitchy, grumpy pregnant once Christmas rolled around. And now, I'm finding it to be an all-too-real reality.

I'm going to anticipate a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day baby, mainly because I was there for my nephew's birth nearly five years ago this Christmas Eve. Not only did I get peed on by the birthday boy himself, I was there to hold my sister-in-law's leg and watch her and my brother become parents.

So I figure since our daughter's already share a birthday (like same day, year and 15 minutes apart), our boys might as well share the date. That and Baby B needs to release some sort of bodily fluid on her, for payback.

In other news, I've been baking a lot of muffins in preparation for his arrival. From protein pumpkin ones to apple oat, I want to make sure we have something little, something semi-healthy and something my daughter will devour in the event I don't feel like cooking for months after his birth. I tackled six different dozens the other night and will hope to freeze some breakfast biscuits before he makes his debut as well.

Although, if he decides to come in the next five minutes I'm OK with that too.

We've gotten his diaper bag ready, a diaper bag I didn't even plan on having I should mention. We were planning on using the one we used with our daughter, and just carting around double the stuff for two kids.

Well thanks to my chatty mother who made friends with an incredibly talented and creative woman in Georgia (one with a sweet spot for sons because of her own), she graciously asked my mother if she could send us a "little something."

Our little something arrived over a week ago and included an AWESOME crochet diaper bag (complete with tons of pockets), a blanket AND a hat. I highly suggest you look her up on Facebook at Laurel's Creative Creations, not only are her things super unique, they're SO well made. I can't wait to cart all of Baby B's stuff around in my one-of-a-kind diaper bag.

We also took the annual Chubby Vegan Clan Christmas photo, I haven't mailed them out yet, so you'll have to settle for a few outtakes instead. Needless to say, our little Pearyn did NOT want to cooperate.

So let's hear it ladies, with one week until my due date and Christmas closing in, how on Earth am I going to get this little guy on the move?


Christmas threw up in our house and other chubby vegan tales

I'm starting to think that I either need to blog every single day or I should just start every blog entry off like this.

No, Baby B has not made his appearance and yes, I am so "past" ready for him to be here.

Although I guess I'm not technically, 100% ready if I really, really think about it. I'm trying to take these last few weeks I have left and dedicate them to all things Pearyn. The guilt of spoiling our happy little threesome existence hasn't really gone away, if anything, it's multiplied because every time I utter "I'm sooooooooooo ready for him to be here," I feel like I'm unhinging my daughter's life and our happy, estrogen-filled bubble.

I mean, it'll pass, eventually, right?

That or I'll just be so sleep deprived I won't be able to remember what I'm feeling guilty about?

Now that we got it out of the way, let me extend an extreme amount of gratitude for all of the concern and stories you've shared with me whether in email or comments regarding our daughter's stomach issues.

I can't begin to explain how reassuring it is to know that first, I'm not crazy for getting worked up over poop (or the backing up of it) and second, to hear that of the children who have gone through this type of thing, many have grown out of it.

 Despite her healthy, fiber-filled diet, the doctor recommended we introduce either an "aid" to her morning juice daily (ie: a mild laxative) or we could give some probiotics a whirl. After reading ridiculously positive reviews about Good Belly (a dairy-free, vegan juice with an awesome probiotic strand in it), we decided to give it a shot, only, in a daily, four-ounce increment instead of the eight-ounce recommended for adults.

And so far, knock on wood, our little girl is crazy regular and hasn't complained of a cramp since. I don't know if it's the Good Belly or just her stomach and intestines having a good week, but I'll buy this juice for the rest of my life if it helps her not wake up screaming and writhing in pain.

In other news, Christmas has not only visited the Chubby Vegan household, it's throw up ALL over it. We've got these Christmas village taking over every flat surface our house has to offer (from television stands to DVD racks to side tables).

 There are stockings, lights and our Christmas tree could never, ever be mistaken for one of those fancy catalog ones. It's covered in big, bordering on gaudy strands of lights, glittery bulbs and kiddie-themed ornaments.

We've got snow globes of every size, playing music and an advent calendar filled with vegan treats and chocolates. And lest we forget the Minnie Mouse doorknocker, the Minnie and Mickey window clings and the festive Minnie and Mickey plush dolls that just sit around looking all sorts of Christmas.

Tonight we're going to tackle homemade Christmas ornaments to hand out as something little and personal that Pearyn was able to do (we plan on letting her paint them), they're made from corn starch and baking soda, so I'm really hoping they turn out.

We'll probably watch something holiday-themed too, which despite not having cable, ABC Family or Lifetime hasn't been as hard as we thought it would be! Between our Roku and Blu Ray player we've had no problem streaming our fair share of Christmas movies and cartoons for Pearyn.

Eventually, there will probably be Christmas cookies made and if I get the energy, muffins galore to prepare for the baby's arrival.

Because what is better that carbs, sugar and a little fruit for good measure?