These are the Days I’ll Remember 

I used to love that song by Natalie Merchant back in the 90’s. As the days pass before me so quickly, I see they are the ones I will remember most. I have waited so long for these days, and truth is, I may never experience them again with another child. And even if I do, I will never experience them with this child of mine again. 

We had our 2 month checkup this week. Baby is in the 50th percentile for head circumference, weight, and height. He nows weighs 12 and 1/2 lbs. and is 23 inches short. This means he has increased his length 2 inches since birth, and his weight by almost 5 lbs. It is bittersweet to pack away all of the clothes he has outgrown and realize that soon he will be in size 2 diapers and all his infant inserts will be no longer.  Yet, on the other hand, I am so excited for his bright future. 

Things to remember-

  • LO loves to lay on his changing table and stare at the banner above it that I made for him 
  • He smiles back at me now when I smile at him
  • He tracks people as they move across the room 
  • Baby is in love with fans and lights of any sort, also music
  • He has found his fist and enjoys sucking on it 
  • The boppy pillow is his favorite to nap on throughout the days 
  • He is making lots more noises than ever before 
  • Baby sweats a lot just like his dad does 
  • He doesnt seem to enjoy his carseat so much anymore, instead he would rather stretch out his arms and legs very wide 

The ped said he is on track for development, which is great. We wont go back until he is 4 months old unless something comes up before then. I am sure I am biased, but he seems so smart and of course is so handsome already! 

In other news, Im happy to report that we are latching better, and mom has figured out a way to help control the fast let downs so baby boy doesnt choke so much. At night, we have done away with the night light and seem to be sleeping better. In fact, we had our first 4 hr stretch in over a month! Woo hoo! 

I know there is more I wanted to record, but there isnt any time for it now. Until next time~

Night Caps

My body is slowly adjusting to the lack of sleep it is getting. I can survive (and still thrive with him) when I get at least 2 hour spans of sleep at a time. The problem comes into play when he sleeps for less time than that, or chooses not to sleep at all. 

The past 2 nights LO has decided to be up from pretty much after his first feeding on. So somewhere from around midnight on. This has happened before, probably starting a few weeks ago. He doesnt fall back asleep until the wee hours of the morning, like 5 or 6 a.m. Yes, he is literally awake all night long. 

And I dont get it. He was sleeping better when he was a month old than now at 2 months. Everywhere I read & everyone I talk to tells me the opposite is true of their babies. Goes to show I guess no two kids are the same hey? We havent had a 4 hr stretch of sleep in a month now. Sigh. 

Since hubby is working, I have been sleeping in a separate room with baby & letting him get his much needed rest. But last night I couldnt take it anymore, so around 2 am I woke him up. He happily offered to take LO for a few hours. I felt awful but I know I needed it. I slept from around 2 to 5, and felt so much better. Hubby informed me that baby stayed up the entire time. Another all nighter! 

You are probably wondering our bedtime routine. Well here goes. Around 8 pm I start to wind him down. This consists of a bath most nights, followed by a lavender massage every night. We then read a few stories to him and get him into his jammies. Note-we have tried dressing him in sleepers, onesies with socks on, various swaddles, sacks, etc. Around 9 pm, he feeds, which takes about an hour once he is burped and his diaper is changed. Once he is asleep, I lay him down in his snuggle nest on my bed with the lavender diffusing and a soft night light on. Usually start the sound machine as well. I forgot to mention he takes his paci to bed to help suck himself to sleep each night.

We have tried swaddling and not swaddling. When he is swaddled (either in a velcro one or with a blanket on our own), he tries relentlessly to break out. Usually succeeds and has an arm out by the first midnight feed. He tussles around and grunts in it and it ends up keeping me up. But on the other hand, when he is not swaddled, his Moro Reflex wakes him frequently. It is super strong still. It is really a catch 22. This morning, I ordered the Merlin Sleep Suit in hopes of getting at least 2 hr stretches of sleep again. Anyone have good experience with it? 

You might be wondering what LO is doing when he is up all night. The crazy part is he isnt even feeding a lot. He eats around 12 and then again around 3, and finally about 6. He is just cooing, and looking around, and as alert as can be. No crying. He appears to be stimulated really easy, like the fan and nightlight excite him a lot. I thought about shutting the night light, but then again I want to be able to see him. I am not ready to put him into a separate room, I prefer to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on SIDS prevention. The latest recommendation from them is that baby sleep in the same room in their own space for the first year. I am deadly afraid of SIDS and will do all I can to try and prevent it. That is another reason I havent completely thrown in the towel on BF (some studies say it lowers the risk, not sure if its true or not, but again I will do what I can in this dept to prevent). 

I know if he was in the other room I probably wouldnt hear all the shuffling around and what not since he isnt crying. But like I said, right now that isnt an option in my mind, even with a monitor and all that other fancy stuff. 

I am thinking this is just the way LO is wired for the time being, and there really isnt much I can do about it other than I already am. I do plan to try and limit his late afternoon naps a bit more moving forward, but its tough to keep a newborn awake when they want (and need) sleep. I mean there is only so much you can do with them! It would be different if he was able to sit, or play with toys. We see our ped this week, and it is on my list to bring up as we def arent getting the “suggested” amount of newborn sleep in a 24 hr period. We even fight our naps after pulling all nighters lol. 

Some things to note-

  • Mom doesnt drink any caffeine to keep baby up
  • The temp is turned down to a comfortable setting each night
  • No TVs or other forms of stimuli are around baby when he rests 

Anyone else have a stubborn sleeper? If I see one more post of these newborns who sleep 8 hr stretches I might lose my mind!  

Being a Stay at Home Mom

So today I officially resigned from my position teaching 3rd grade. I am technically on a medical leave until May 1st, however I figured if I have no intentions of returning then I might as well resign now. Let my administrator find someone sooner than later to replace me permanently.  Im no longer receiving pay or benefits of any sort, so its not like I would be missing out in that department. 

Side note-I just posted about breastfeeding, and now I am posting about being a stay at home mom. Both hot topics amongst mothers I am quickly finding out. Insert sigh here. It would be nice if more moms supported each other instead of judging each other if you ask me but that is a whole other post-

Anyways, back to today…I decided to take LO with me up to my school to resign, might make things a little easier hey? Plus, I know all of my co-workers who have supported me on this journey really wanted to see him. Initially I was a little hesitant to take him to such a germ infested place, but then again I made a point to keep him away from any students and I took hand sanitizer with me to lather him up should anyone touch his hands without cleaning theirs first. He also kept his paci in his mouth so his hands could not go in it. 

It was great to see everyone & it made me feel human to get out of the house dressed and ready (not in a milk stained tank top with unbrushed teeth, just sayin).  This is one of my fears staying home, that I will miss the adult social time. Im sure I will, but after weighing out the pros and cons of it all, I am positive there is no place I would rather be than home with him his first few years. Thankfully my administrator was very supportive, and we left it hoping our paths cross again some day.  

Speaking of some day, I do eventually plan to go back to teaching. It is the perfect career to have once my little one is in school. I have always had a passion for it & am blessed to have made connections along the way that will hopefully help me back into the field down the road. As for now, I feel extremely grateful to my husband that I have the opportunity to stay home with our son. He is such an amazing husband and father who would do anything to provide for us. If you are reading this, I love you! 

While staying at home, I will continue teaching college courses online. My first one picks back up next month. I am not sure how ready I am for this, but will make it work. I want to contribute something, and every little bit helps. 

This morning when I pulled up my Timehop, I saw this image from exactly one year ago today-


Crazy how things change in a year. I deeply questioned then if I would ever be a mother here on Earth. Now my son is here in my arms as I type this. And who knows, this time next year we might be sitting here with our LAST little frostie in our arms as a family of 4 (well, 6 if you count the furbabies). Since I am staying home, we have decided that is part of the future plan. My RE wants us to wait until at least December 2017 to do the FET. We figure we will aim for a January or February transfer if all goes well. Hubby and I do not really see the sense in spacing out the FET much further than that. In all honesty, we are ready to completely close the “IVF” chapter of our lives out. We have spent about 5 years on it (that does not include TTC on our own).  If that little embryo is meant to come home with us, we will be thrilled. If it isnt, we will be beyond content with the miracle we have been given right here in front of us. We will not be doing another IVF cycle should that one fail. 

In the meantime, I have every intention of enjoying every moment here at home with my little rainbow 🌈💙

2 Months 

Well, almost. Time is flying by. I cant believe it is February and he was born in December. 

Update on BF

I originally wasnt going to post about this, as it can be a somewhat controversial topic and I didnt feel like getting any crap for it. However, I sat & thought about a few things….like why did I start this blog in the first place? One reason was so others wouldnt feel alone. Another was so I could get my feelings out. After pondering this, I realized I wanted to share bc these reasons alone are far more important than dealing with any possible trolls.

Baby boy had his tongue & lip ties clipped at almost 5 weeks old. After a few professional opinions and doing some research, we concluded they were most likely interferring with his (breast)feedings. He had trouble latching, gumming, thrashing, etc. After clipping, positive nursing progress is supposed to be almost immediate. Well, the day after the procedure we were still seeing the same behaviors, and I felt somewhat discouraged. I did feel a deeper latch on one side, but the other showed no improvement. Thrashing, squirming, tugging, all continued.

The lactation consultant and MD who did the procedure began to explore other potential issues since the clipping wasnt the cure to us BF. Come to find out I have low milk supply (I am now pumping about 15 oz per day, should be about 30 oz) paired with a very fast let down. I began taking supplements such as Go Lacta, Fenugreek, eating oatmeal & berries, lactation cookies, amongst other things daily. This doubled my supply to 15 oz -I was only pumping about 8 oz a day prior.

Although an improvement in supply, this did not help the fast let down or thrashing around, or poor latching on one side. To top it off, he started spitting up, choking and gasping for air when breastfeeding or drinking my milk from a bottle. Our pediatrician recommended we put him on a special formula and add rice cereal to breastmilk to thicken it up a bit. We consented. 

He does amazing when he drinks the formula, but I still didnt want to give up the breastmilk entirely. He is able to drink this formula through a Dr. Browns bottle with no problem, but could not use it for breastmilk even with the cereal thickening agent. I went on to try Avent, Tommee Tippee, Playtex, MAM. None worked. He gasped for air so badly once that he couldnt catch his breath. Hubby and I decided its not worth him choking to death for some breastmilk. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, my mom bought us a NUK Simply Natural bottle. It is a God send. No choking, no gasping for air, no discomfort. He even thinks it is a boob, suckling it and smiling all gummy like.

This said, he has a NUK bottle for all of my pumped (cereal) milk, and Dr. Browns for his formula. I do not let anyone feed him breastmilk as I have to be careful and stop him occassionally. Pumped feedings take considerably longer, but I will continue as long as he is comfortable. 4-5 ounces of breastmilk literally takes an hour compared to 20 minutes for formula. I let him on my breast after my let down so he can handle it without choking badly. He barely touches the one breast still, not only by his doing but by mine too. It is just plain old uncomfortable. This makes for one lopsided woman. Lol. Side note-I had the nipple on this side pierced MANY moons ago (a.k.a. Teenage rebellion years) and it hasnt been the same since. Possible culprit. 

Our feedings are complicated, but we are working through it in our own way. I should say that this post isnt looking for advice, instead it is for the reasons I listed above-to relate with others. If you are feeling pressure to feed a certain way, this post is for you. I too, felt that way and know how crappy it feels. But we must remember, a fed baby is the best baby. I think I forgot that from time to time and compared myself to others expectations. 

Needless to say, this whole feeding experience has been full of learning for me. I am getting used to how we do things, and prefer not to stress anymore about it being textbook perfect (since there is no such thing anyways). No, I never thought I would be triple feeding 2 months postpartum, but I am. The good news is that is not nearly as hard as it was a month ago. Silver lining. 

It all goes to show you never know what something is like until you go through it. Yes, I could change my diet, and try other things too Im sure, like medication for reflux and what not, but for now I am choosing not to go that route because the truth is that wont change how fast my let down is, the thickness of my milk, the amount of milk I produce, or his latch. And I am not sacrificing all of the foods I like as selfish as that may sound. I feel that I sacrificed enough over the years just to simply get him here-my body, mind & soul for years…It is time to enjoy him now. 

So, we will continue our new “normal”-taking a few bottles of formula a day, followed by a few bottles of breastmilk, followed by our middle of the night nursing sessions. 

Old Stomping Grounds

Hubby took a day off this week & we ventured back down south to the ritzy area where Isaac lived for 2 years before he was transferred back to my uterus & we finally brought him home. It is really crazy to think he was frozen in a lab for that long. Mind boggling modern science is. Anyways, we headed this way to visit our RE & her staff. We promised at our last visit back in May of 2016 (when we graduated) that we would return with him once he entered this world. 
We did not call ahead, instead we crossed our fingers & hoped our doc would be in. I chose to stop in around lunch time as I know they dont schedule patients then. One of the things I hated most (speaking as a recurrent pregnancy loss patient right now not an infertile patient) was seeing pregnant people or ones with infants come in. Perhaps if I had only been infertile and not suffered so much loss it wouldnt bother me as much. Maybe I would look at it as hope instead of heartbreak. Instead the loss made me resentful when I saw it. 

Thankfully the waiting area had not a soul and we were greeted by the receptionists we know all too well. They immediately came around the counter & let us know they received baby boy’s birth announcement in the mail. They ooed and awed at him. I should have prefaced this by saying how nervous I was as we drove to the office. Weird right? What was there to be nervous about? Its not like I was headed in for a blood draw, ultrasound, or procedure. For once I was on the other side. I had made it! But still the anxiety lurked. I couldnt help but think of all the times I had made that dreaded drive and all the various feelings that accompanied it. Im happy to say that once we arrived it faded away and I felt more like a conqueror than anything else. 

Soon after arriving, our nurse and phlebotomist came out. Lots of happy squeals and “after all you went through” statements followed. Hubby held baby while I gave hugs. Finally our RE came out with the biggest smile you ever did see. We embraced and then she quickly stole little one away from us. I was able to capture a photo for the baby book of the 2 of them (we plan to be very open with our son about what we went through). What a feeling standing there with the whole staff, everyone full of joy for once. I cant explain it, but it was so surreal. 

We had a canvas with us that we had picked up from our newborn photographer just prior to our visit at our RE. Our photographer was actually referred to us by our RE originally. Well, the photographer loved our baby boy so much that she offered to do a complimentary canvas for our RE’s office. Truly a compliment. My RE was thrilled. 

I cant tell you how many years I sat in that office staring at the beautiful baby canvases and daydreaming. Now our baby was on a canvas and would be going up on one of those walls. Feelings of being incredibly blessed & content overwhelmed me. Again, we made it I thought. I am well aware so many dont get to the other side. Motherhood after loss and infertility that is. It could have turned out differently than it did. And I thank God everyday it didnt. 

Later that day, after we left, my RE sent me a message via FB. It was short & sweet-“thank you for stopping by, it made my day” and my response was “likewise.” As a teacher I used to live for the days when my previous students would come back & visit. It let me know I did something right. I would like to think this is how she felt when we stopped in. 

Grief

I have been thinking about writing this post all week, but really dont know how to put my grief into words. No, this isnt about our new bundle of joy that means the world to us. He is doing great. 

This is about the struggle that stays with you after you become a mom…dealing with loss and infertility after motherhood.

Two years ago today, I underwent my last d & c at 10 weeks pregnant. It was our 3rd Frozen Embryo Transfer, and we thought we were almost out of the woods (or first trimester). I wont rehash all of the awful details with our loss, you can read about them in our archives back in March of 2015 if you are in a place where you need to relate. If you are, my prayers go out to you. However, I will say that this February day back in 2015 still haunts, or hurts me deeply. 

I sat in the bathtub last night, when I should have been relaxing after a long day filled with cluster feeds, dirty diapers, cries and sweet rainbow baby coos, only to find myself grieving deeply. 

You see, having a baby doesnt replace losing one. Having a miracle in your arms actually makes you wonder even more about what your other child would have been. All the moments you are enjoying now that you lost with them. There is even a smidge of guilt mixed in with the grief. 

We will never know why we lost Isaacs brother that winter day a few years ago, or why we lost all 5 of his other siblings before that. All we can do is thank God for what we have and cherish it even more. Pray for peace for all the babies taken too soon, and for all the moms that became moms the second those embryos were placed inside of them…regardless of the outcome. You are a mother even though many might not recognize it. The love starts way before the baby arrives. Losing many and now having one has made me realize it even more. 

Rest in peace Isaiah William with all the other angels gone too soon 💙 today we think of you 💙