3 Months

Miracle is offically 3 months old now, which means mommy & daddy survived what is said to be one of the toughest times by most. There have definitely been some challenges, but there has also been so much laughter (no coincidence our boys name means full of laughter). He is such a blessing. 

I think the most difficult things we have faced are feeding and sleeping (and working from home, but I’ll save this 1 for another post).  Pretty sure most new parents would say the same things if they had to pinpoint something. We finally have feeding under control, but it took us a full 12 weeks. Sleeping, on the other hand, not so much! 

As I mentioned in my prior posts, baby has reflux pretty bad with my breastmilk. I tried LOTS of different things (eliminating foods, adding rice cereal, diff bottles, nipples, etc) in hopes of him being able to drink my milk. One late night as I was feeding him, and searching Dr. Google, I came across a product called Gelmix. Its a USDA approved all organic thickening agent. I ordered it and its been a God send for us.  He now drinks all my milk no problem, and we were able to stop the special formula he was on. 

TONS of times I almost threw in the towel with my milk, from low supply to tongue and lip ties, to reflux and thrush. BF doesnt work for everyone, and in no way should anyone feel guilty if they did throw in the towel, but Im just saying Im glad I didnt. And if you are out there and struggling with baby feedings, know you arent alone. 

Sleep. Oh my. Why do I fall for all these fancy sleep aids? We have SO many darn sleep oriented items its not even funny. Maybe soon I will accept the realization that the way he sleeps is just part of his normal development. For a few giggles, I will tell you some of the things I have tried (marketers must know sleep deprived people will buy almost anything).  

  • Swaddles-velcro, zip, tie, swaddle up, down, every which way. Every brand. Blankets included. 
  • Magic sleep suit-worked for a few weeks until his Moro Reflex overpowered it. Side note-reflex is still going strong. 
  • Zip-a-Dee-Zip gown (shown on Shark Tank) or something like that? Was an immediate return. 
  • Dock-a-Tot-first 2 nights thought it was a win, 3rd night a total fail. Still trying. 
  • We have also slept (or tried to sleep in) snuggle nests, pack and plays, crib, swing, boppy, you name it. 
  • Sound machines (bought two now), lotions (which are not secret potions lol), goodnight prayers…need I go on?? 

I know, I know…accept the fact we arent sleeping and move on. It could be much worse. 

Some miletones to note at 13 weeks old-

  • Rolling over! This happened just before 12 weeks. Tummy to back only.
  • Head control 
  • Chuckling out loud (this is the best) 
  • Recognizing people (mostly nanna) on Facetime…no joke-he stares at the phone & laughs like crazy
  • Sucking on his fist & drooling
  • Holding toys and blankets on his own, grabbing them as well

Everyday I thank God for our miracle. As I was sterilizing all his bottles and he watched me from across the room just smiling, I thought about how much less anxiety I have now. When going through those IVF cycles and when pregnant, it was through the roof. Yes, I still worry about him, but it is different because he is HERE. Thinking of all you out there who are still chasing your dream(s).  

10 Things No One Told Me About Being a New Mom

  1. Breastfeeding *can* be the most rewarding, yet most frustrating thing you will ever do. 
  2. That (damn) Moro Reflex, once deemed cute, will undoubtedly keep both you & your baby from sleep at some point. 
  3. Opening a bag of chips will wake your baby from peaceful slumber while something as loud as siren probably wont. Eat all the chips you can now. 
  4. In the same day it is possible to feel like the worst mom ever one minute and just the opposite the next. 
  5. Deep sleep is hard to come by. You realize you will sleep soundly again one day when you die. But not until then. 
  6. Forget watching a TV program all the way through without any interruption. Binge watch when pregnant. 
  7. Pretty much anything you swore you wouldnt do, you will do, so better off not saying it. 
  8. Getting peed, pooped, drooled, or spit up on (notice I didnt say vomit here) isnt really that bad after all. Not being facetious here. 
  9. You will likely have a whole new set of appreciation for your own parents, especially your mom. Yes, it sounds cliche, but it is true. 
  10. It is possible to care for another human being (that has been in your life for just a short time) with a love so pure you never knew existed.

Life with a Newborn

Since Miracle will no longer be a “newborn” soon, some things I want to note are-

  • The longest stretch of sleep we have had is 7 hrs (one time).  
  • On bad nights, we are up every hour or 2. But I saved this in my phone and have been reading it anytime I need a little reminder-

  • We have transitioned him from the snuggle nest on our bed to the pack and play next to our bed.
  • He is no longer sleeping swaddled (except some naps), instead he sleeps in his Dr. Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. 
  • He has just started noticing the dogs in the past week, and seems to really enjoy them. 
  • He is drooling quite a bit now and putting his fists in his mouth.
  • My milk supply has finally increased, up to about 25 oz pumped a day, compared to a measly 8 oz a day the first month and an average of 15 oz a day the second month.
  • Baby boy uses a special pillow when he lays down because his head appeared flat to me, however the ped says it is not anything to worry about or out of the ordinary.
  • Isaac has a birth mark on his left eyelid. When he gets mad or hot, it gets bright red. It is cute. The ped referred to it as a “stork bite” 
  • I just put out our Easter decorations and am working on his 1st Easter basket which I ordered from PB Kids when I was pregnant.
  • LO still has a blue/grey eye color  (thinking they will turn brown like mom & dads) and his hair is much lighter than it was at birth.
  • Baby boy can almost always be consoled by mommy now when he cries. I love this. In the very beginning it was not this way. Now if I pull him close and kiss him and sing, he stops almost immediately. Its pretty awesome. 
  • I am more than in love with our boy, he was most def the missing puzzle piece all these years. 

Back to Work

If I had not resigned from my elementary teaching position, my maternity leave would be just about over now. But since I did resign, there will be no tears shed this week about leaving Miracle and heading back to the classroom. 

However, I am still working. And I decided what better time to get back into it than now. That being said, today marked the start of the online college course I am teaching. I signed up to instruct a quick mini-semester course (only 8 wks) that is easy to grade (pass or fail).  It is a class teachers can take if they need to renew their current certificate. I only have 9 students enrolled, making this a total piece of cake. 

I also started working for a different virtual education company last week, where I tutor up to 6 students at a time through a web cam. So far I enjoy it. It is right up my alley in that I set my own schedule completely; I can teach 1 session a day, 10 sessions a day, or 0 sessions a day. Sessions are 45 minutes long, and the lesson plan is already done for me. All I have to do is make it come alive. I have been picking up night sessions so that hubby is home to watch the baby. After this week, I plan to try a few day sessions too, as my mom said she will watch baby boy. So back to work it is. Just in a new way. 

In other (not so good) news, both baby and I have been diagnosed with thrush. Ugh. I feel awful for him, although there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I just hate to see him uncomfortable. He is actually taking it like a champ overall, but my heart breaks seeing it. I know it could be much worse, but something like this makes me so thankful that he is healthy and thriving otherwise. He is almost 14 lbs now at 11 weeks old, and of his infant inserts have been put away. The newborn days are no more. I cant believe we have survived the first 3 months. We made it! 

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!