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. 

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~

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. 

Surviving the First 3 Weeks

Thought I’d share some things that have helped hubby & I survive the first few weeks home with our rainbow! 

  • As I said in a previous post, the mamaRoo. Our boy loves his swing, especially when he is fussy! Splurge and get it. 
  • Aiden & Anais blankets-these muslin blankets are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Since they are soooo lightweight, there is great peace of mind when using them. Excellent for swaddling. 
  • Wipe warmer-some people told me this would be a waste of money. Not. I actually went out and bought one after week 1 because of the bloody murder screams when that cold wipe hit the butt in the middle of the night. Well worth the $ for us. 
  • Pacifiers-dont judge. Isaac doesnt discriminate against nipples, and I am good with that. He loves a paci to self soothe. Avent brand is his fav.
  • Medela Double Electric Breast Pump-need I say more???
  • Portable Myla the Monkey Sound Machine-oh how our boy loves nature and white noise sounds! Really helpful in the middle of the night when trying to get him back to sleep. 
  • Bamboobies Organic Nipple Balm-I started out with Lanisoh Lanolin and it was so sticky. I switched over and fell in love right away. The balm immediately soothes the nipps and its not sticky.
  • Babyganics Foaming Bottle & Dish soap-even though we bought a sterilizer, I find myself handwashing all bottles and such. This soap is totally plant based and safe. Lifesaver. 
  • Dr. Browns bottles-Isaac spits up and has gas and hiccups. These vented bottles work way better for us than Tippee, Playtex, or Avent. 
  • Pampers Swaddlers-LOVE the yellow line that turns blue once little one goes potty. Its all about the line. How do these other brands not have it?!? Got to be a patent issue. We tried Babyganics, Seventh Gen, Huggies, and Honest Co. as well.
  • Huggies Wipes-thickest wipe around. Beats Pampers, Water wipes, Parents Choice, etc. You can get these at Sam’s Club in bulk! Win.
  • Ubbi Diaper Pail-not a waste, dont listen to what they tell you. This pail is steel coated (you cannot smell the poop) and takes regular kitchen 13 gal bags. It holds a GOOD amount of diapers. If the pail wasnt so expensive, we would get another one for our bedroom.
  • Snuggle Nest-baby boy loves to lounge in this when we sit on the couch or lay in bed and chill with him. It gives him his own safe space, is portable, foldable, light, and easy to clean. A must. Note-if you have a small dog, they might mistake it for a dog bed! Lol.
  • Nursing nightgown-I live in this thing. So comfy and easy to feed baby in. Buy a few, I need more. 
  • Ninja Coffee Bar-totally not a baby product! But a treat for the new parent for sure. We drink DD iced coffee on the regular and the cost adds up. Also, I knew with a newborn there would be no more easy morning runs to get it. This machine makes DD iced coffee in less than 5 min and I kid you not, it tastes exactly the same as the drive thru. Thanks, Mom!

Okay, I think that just about does it, but before I go, here are a few sneak peeks of our newborn photo session. So adorable, So blessed. 

The 4th Trimester 

Some observations and things to note as Isaac turns 2 weeks old tomorrow-

  • The site where my c-section incision was is still numb…I am wondering if I have permanent nerve damage or if this is normal? 
  • No one tells you how constipated you will be after a c-section. Sorry if TMI, but I mean seriously. I have had other surgeries and been behind, but this is like no other. Awful! 
  • I gained 40 lbs total while pregnant, dropped 20 lbs within the first week of delivering him, and am sure the remaining 20 will be much harder. 
  • Our baby boy sleeps for about 2-3 hours at a time between feedings and throughout the night. This is not bad from what I hear from other newborn parents. 
  • Although he sleeps “good” for a newborn, I am still feeling sleep deprived. I have decided that sleep deprivation is probably a form of torture somewhere in the world. 
  • Baby boy has been doing tummy time everyday and can already lift his head and turn it side to side. I cant believe how strong he is. 
  • I am still breastfeeding, pumping, and supplementing with formula. During our hospital stay, Isaac had low blood sugar and needed formula. I have continued to give him some each night, but I hope to wean him off it soon. 
  • I am pumping about 3-4 ounces total each session. I am hoping this increases with time??? 
  • Isaac hiccups a lot, and doesnt tend to burp much, the doctor said this is normal, but I am hoping it eases up and we can get some belches out of him soon. I purchased some Gripe Water and will give it to him soon if not. 
  • Dr. Brown’s bottles seem to be the best fit for our boy. So far we have also tried Avent, Tommee Tippee, & Playtex.
  • Baby boy has visited his pediatrician twice so far and is almost back to his birth weight. All else looks good. 
  • I do not want hubby to leave us this week and go back to work! It has been amazing having him home. Can we hit the lotto please?!?
  • Time is flying by. Part of me wants Isaac to grow because he is so fragile and I worry about things like SIDs. The other part of me cries even thinking about him growing so fast.
  • I have no clue if I could handle being pregnant again (we have 1 frostie left), and I am talking mentally, not physically.  Or maybe I mean both. It was extremely tough on me both ways. 
  • Isaac currently sleeps in his mamaRoo in our bedroom. They should call this thing a lifesaver! He did not like the Halo bassinest much. Thank God we got it second hand at a thrift store and didnt pay full price, as it has been converted to an additional changing table in our room. 
  • The dogs are adjusting well overall to baby’s arrival. If anything they are just curious and protective already. We included them both in our newborn photos we had taken. 
  • Isaac loves to pee (and poop occasionally) all over us as soon as we take off his diaper. He has ruined many outfits already.
  • The future of this blog is unknown. I will always be an infertile, but a new chapter of our lives has now begun, and it may be time to rest Surviving Infertility. 

A Very Pregnant Lady, a Newborn, 2 Sets of Grandparents, & the Wrong Number

This morning I went to Quest to drop off my urine sample and get blood work taken.  By the way, the 24 hour urine test was rather gross.  I started to gag by the end of it, so I will spare you the details.

I signed in as usual when I arrived.  There were about 10 people in front of me in the waiting room.  As I waited, a family came in with a newborn.  It appeared to possibly be the grandparents with the baby, which was later confirmed through conversation. I started to squirm around in my seat when they came in, playing on my phone, doing anything to try to distract myself.  Then, a random older couple started striking up conversation with the newborn family.

Random older couple, a.k.a. 1st set of grandparents: Aw, look at him! I just love my grandkids! Aren’t they the best?

Family of the newborn a.k.a. 2nd set of grandparents: Yes! He is our first grandchild.  Just amazing!

I was trying so hard not to look at them. Everyone in the room “oohing” and “ahhing.”  On the outside, I am sure I looked like a miserable bitch who probably dislikes children; little does anyone in that room know what I have endured to get me to this point.  The simple, happy, normal conversation between strangers celebrating life now makes me extremely on edge.  If that wasn’t uncomfortable enough for me, what happened next surely was.

A very pregnant woman and what appeared to be her mom signed in.  She sits next to me, and across from the sets of grandparents and the newborn.  She is steadily rubbing her belly.  I am seriously wondering how much longer it will be before they call me, because I know it is only a matter of minutes before her and the newborn family start baby talking.  And of course, it began.

Grandparents 1: When are you due?

Pregnant woman: (says a date; I refused to listen)

Grandparents 2: Is this your first?

Pregnant woman: (laughing) No, my second, but it will be my last!

Pregnant woman’s mom: She has a girl already, but really wanted a boy.  It’s a girl again!

Grandparents 1: (laughing) They say boy sperms don’t swim as fast! (laughing)

Pregnant woman: (laughing more) I know..aren’t there supposed to be remedies for that?

They started making jokes on things you could do to help the sperm, or change the gender , or whatever.  I couldn’t bare to listen.  None of the jokes were true or made any sense by the way.  I was so tempted to look up and blurt something out, tell them how dumb they sounded.  I bit my lip hard.  I felt really angry.  Angry that no one in that place knew about all of the babies I lost.  Angry that pregnant woman had the nerve to be disappointed about the gender.  Angry that people make reproductive jokes, whether their intentions are good or not.  Most of all, I felt disappointed.  Disappointed that no one takes a moment to wonder what the other people in the waiting room could be going through. 

Maybe I am overreacting. Most likely I am.  But that’s OK though, I don’t care. I am allowed to have my days. 

I can say and have said that in some ways infertility and RPL have changed me for the better.  For example, not one situation goes by in my life now where I don’t project myself into the possible situation another person around me could be experiencing.  I am always thinking about what they could be going through.  When my husband comes home and complains about someone at work, the first words out of my mouth are, “be kind, you don’t know what he may be dealing with right now.”  I would have never said that 5 years ago.

Not too long ago, someone called me from a number I did not recognize.  I called it back and long story short, she kept calling me back, thinking I had called her when she really called me, and she thought I was quote, “messing with her man.”  I had no idea who this lady or man were.  She was cursing me out, screaming at me, threatening to beat me up, etc.  I never got impatient with the lady calling.  I kept telling her I would pray for her, and I was sorry she was going through what she was going through.  I was with one of my girl friends while all this was happening who said to me, “you are being way too nice to her…why???”

The truth is I felt so bad for her.  She obviously was dealing with something horrible in her life.  And I know how it feels to go through something really terrible.  I know how I want people to treat me.  However, I do wish for one moment she would have thought about what I might be going through, but she never did.  Nor did the people in the waiting room.  The world would be such a better place if people did wouldn’t it?