More Firsts

This wont be a teribbly long post, but a few things have happened this week I dont want to forget. And although I am keeping a baby book, it simply doesnt allow enough space for everything! 

At 14 weeks, Isaac has now started showing interest in his stuffed animals. Every morning he spends time talking to them in his crib. I surround him with a variety of them to keep him occupied as I wash bottles, take care of the dogs, and such. Side note- not to worry he isnt sleeping with a bunch of stuffed animals. His favorite seems to be a bright yellow chick-a-dee his nanna bought him long before he was born.   Runner up is a turtle I bought him when pregnant.

He is also determined to watch TV. For about a month now I have noticed him glancing at it, but in the past week he has really locked in on it. So much that I have to turn it off if he is napping in the living room. He has been watching March Madness with his dad mostly. When he was in his little Fisher Price chair, I placed him in front of the TV & flipped to PBS kids just to see how he would react and he seemed to like it. I think I will put on the baby DVD set I got him soon and see how it goes. By no means do I want him in front of a TV all day, but on the other hand I do believe there are programs that educate littles and provide value. As a former teacher, I used such technology in moderation to engage my students and always saw a positive results. I plan to do the same for my son.

Miracle attended his first music and movement class this week. The class is designed for 3-11 month olds, yet he was the youngest one there. Most of the babies were 6+ and able to sit and crawl. All of the moms were nice (although you could tell somewhat in a clique) and it was neat to see how my baby reacted to all the other babies and instruments in the class. The class lasted an hour, and during that time he didnt cry, instead he ate once, smiled, stared at all the stimuli, did some tummy time, and finally, out of pure exhaustion, fell asleep. Overall it was a good experience, and the plan is to try the library next week. They offer storytime for 0-12 mo olds once a week. Isaac has been listening to stories since he was a week old, and he is very interested in books now. His favorites are Peek-a-Who, Curious George, The Hungy Caterpillar, & Let’s Talk. This being said, I think he will love storytime with other babies. And even if he doesnt, I think getting out and trying things is important to his development so it is worth a shot. 

Another first. LO stayed awake the entire time we were in Target the other day. In the past, he has slept the entire time on trips like this so mommy used them for an easy nap. This trip he was amazed at everything and couldnt keep his eyes off the shelves. So much for guaranteed naps at Target! Lol. 

I am loving everyminute as I watch him change & grow from a tiny newborn into a baby with personality. Hard to believe this time last year we were just 1 week away from our (3rd) FET that would bring us him. Keep the faith ladies, miracles do happen! 

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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!  

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. 

Rookie Mom Musings

Its hard to imagine my life now without our little IVF miracle in it. I am so grateful everyday that he is finally here. Sometimes I still dont believe it, sometimes I get scared and think about losing him (thanks to our past losses). 

Overall, things are going very well. Baby boy is almost a month old now. Boy, how time flies. Everyday is a learning experience, below are some things that have been happening so far-

  • Isaac has gained a pound since he was born! He is now 8 lbs, 11 oz. This is great news. Between the breastfeeding, pumping, & formula, I was not sure if he was gaining enough. Turns out he is right on track. 
  • Gripe Water and Mylicon are very helpful for infant gas. They have done wonders for our son in this department. 
  • The “witching hours” are a real thing. They happen nightly from about 7pm until midnight or so. 
  • I plan to start baby wearing in the next week if possible, probably after my post partum appt. and finding out all looks good with my c-section incision. He is at the stage now where he constantly wants to be held. We have both a Solly and an Ergo 360 to try out. 
  • The Moro Reflex that babies do is so cute. I am noticing he does it less and less as he gets older. Can we slow down time just a little bit?
  • Isaac likes both car and stroller rides so far, he just sleeps the whole time. Thank God! 
  • I have broken some of the after c-section recovery rules…for instance, I have been bathing since week 3 and was told not to until week 6. It is my saving grace after a long day. 
  • Baby boy has many nicknames-little burrito, stinkarooskie, and buddy to name a few. 
  • Newborn photography is NOT cheap. We met with our photographer and got to see all the photos she took, and I really have no clue how we will choose which package to purchase. We need to decide if we want to buy an album, digital files, or individual prints. As of now, I am pretty sure we are going with an album that includes about 25 photos (shown below) and a 17×26 canvas to hang in our formal dining room. My mom plans to purchase a couple digital files so we can always access them down the road. I really want to buy digital files as well, but financially its not feasible. 

  • Baby acne is not cute. Enough said here.
  • After getting the OK from our pediatrician, I had my first beer yesterday in about 11 months! It was greaaaaat.
  • My Blanqui post partum leggings are a lifesaver. They literally are all I have worn out of the house since giving birth. I also have a pair of Lula Roe’s, which I like for comfort, but the Blanqui’s def hold in the flab better. 
  • Just like our dogs have different barks, Isaac has different cries. We are starting to recognize which is which-hunger cry, tired cry, hold me cry, change me cry, etc. 
  • Isaac has a obvious tongue tie and lip tie which are affecting our feedings. I will post more about this soon as I am still processing it all myself.