Saturday, October 17, 2015

9 Months

9 Month Check-in

Weight: 18 lbs 10 oz. He only gained half of a pound in a month and he dropped down a bit percentile-wise, but his doctor said not to worry. The important thing is that he is gaining!

Height: 29.5 inches 

Hair: Still rocking the mullet comb-over, still a little blondie


Sleep: Another month in sleep hell  for us! I had flashbacks to our rock bottom four months ago. It's been the perfect storm over here - separation anxiety, teething, leaps. On our worst night it took me two hours to get him back to sleep, then he woke up two hours later and it took me another two and a half hours to get him down again. Fun. Most nights aren't that bad. It's tough with the teething because he gets super clingy. Sometimes I just give up and we sleep in bed together. We manage to get 5-7 hours blocks of sleep that way. In better news, he's been napping well! His first nap has jumped from 30-45 minutes to 60-90 and his second nap went from 25-40 minutes to 45-90. I'll take it!

Milestones: 1) He got his third tooth (Did he have that last month? I forgot to record it in his baby book.). He currently has three more coming through but they're taking their sweet time. 2) Still working on standing, but he can hold it for longer stretches. 3) He's taken a few steps. I definitely wouldn't call it walking, but they were really steps not just diving falls. 4) He waves! This actually happened at 9 months 3 days, but whatever, I'm putting it here. The first time he did it, he waved hi to my dad on Skype and it was like he'd been waving his whole life.  Then later that night, he waved bye to Seth at bedtime.

Likes: Reading, his dogs, skeletons (Halloween decorations), scrambled eggs, puffs, his snuggle bunny doll and book, swimming/bath time, club soda, drinking club soda out of mom's cup, birds   

Dislikes: I don't even need to change this one. Still hates - HATES - having his diaper changed and getting dressed. Also hates raspberries and kiwis.

What's going on: The biggest change has been with E's eating. We changed formulas and it has made a dramatic improvement. He eats! He finishes every bottle that I offer! I don't have to worry anymore! I'm not sure if he prefers the taste or if he knows this formula doesn't bother him, but something makes him like this one better. It has been an enormous relief for me. It used to be a battle to get him to eat 1 or 2 oz and now he will eat 6-7 oz in just a few minutes. He still spits up a lot, but it doesn't matter because he's eating enough.

We also stopped breastfeeding. It's been two weeks since he last nursed. My heart is still broken. It was hard, really hard. Probably more so for me than for E. I miss it so much. If I think about it, I start crying. I hate that I felt like I had to stop earlier that I wanted to. I hate that I felt like I was stuck with shitty options because of my endo (1. keep nursing, but stay on the mini pill and go crazy, 2. stop nursing and try different BC that doesn't make you crazy, 3. stop nursing and try to get pregnant). But this is how it is. I'm sure I'll feel better eventually. E seems okay. He sometimes tries to latch onto my chest and his new comfort mechanism is to put his hand down my shirt (fun), but overall I think he handled it well. Still. I'm sad. Did I mention that already?

What's Next: E will have to go in for his second flu shot next month and then hopefully he won't need to be seen again until his 12 month (12 month?!?) well visit. I've already started planning his first birthday party. We're going with the "Winter Onederland" theme. I'm making the invitations and decorations and I found a winter theme clip art set on Etsy with a little husky dog. I'm so pumped!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

8 Months

8 Month Check-in
I'm on time! E was completely unimpressed with my attempts at a cute photo this month. Ah well. We tried.

Weight: 18 lbs

Height: Still 29 inches

Hair: His mullet-hawk is getting extra long. We have to do a full on comb-over after his baths.

EyesI think they'll probably stay blue at this point, right?

Sleep: Not bad. Most nights he sleeps 4-7 hours, wakes to eat once and then sleeps until morning. The other nights, he will wake a second time. I'm happy with this and he seems to be doing well. We are having some trouble with separation anxiety, but that's just something he'll grow out of eventually. 

Milestones: It was another big month for E. Actually, he sort of crammed it all into one week. 1) He finally started doing a proper on-all-fours crawl. 2) He learned to go from his belly to a sit position. 3) He figured out how to stand in his crib. 4) He says "mama" all the time now and he knows that it means me! I have been waiting 3 years for that moment and it's exactly as amazing as I imagined it would be. 5) He can free stand on his own for a few seconds at a time.

Likes: I think his two favorite things are reading and his dogs. I love the reading because it means we can sit still for 20 minutes. I also love that he loves the dogs and I love that they love him. He likes to chase them and let them lick his hands. Binks and Bear hate when he cries and they'll start howling whenever E gets upset. It's awesome.

Dislikes: Still hates - HATES - having his diaper changed and getting dressed. I don't know if it's PTSD from when he had horrible diaper rash or what. It's challenging though.

What's going on: Things are pretty good. We're still struggling with the eating most days, but we have had two awesome days in a row so I'm not going to dwell on it. It seems that E will eat when he's hungry so I just need to relax about it. I'm doing everything that I can. He will be fine. 

Things are going really well for me too in terms of the PPD/PPA. I have been feeling really good lately. I've made a big effort to get more involved in my local mom group and I actually met a few other girls (women? ladies? what are we?) that have babies around E's age. It's been really nice to have plans to look forward to and people to talk to. I also stopped taking the pill and I've been weaning very gradually. I think both of those things have also helped a lot as well. 

What's Next: For E, next up will be his 9 moth appointment. For me, well....

My cycle is back! We went to see Dr. M back in August to talk about what we need to do to prepare for a FET. He recommended that I wean and said that as soon as my cycle is back, I can call him and we can get started. I'll need to do one month of testing (blood work, trial transfer, etc) and then we're good to go. Right now, Seth and I are thinking that we'll sit this cycle out and then get started with testing on the next cycle. As long as things are fairly regular, that would mean we'd be doing a FET in November. I'm happy with that. I'd be happy to start sooner, but I think this will be good. It means I don't have to rush to completely wean. I can nurse for at least one more month and then possibly during the testing cycle as well. That would put us at 9.5 months which is way longer than I ever thought I'd be able to keep doing this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

7 Months

7 Month Check-in
Weight: We went to the pedi for a sick visit and E was 16 lbs 15 oz. Not a huge gain, but a gain! 

Height: 29 inches! Height-wise he's almost growing out of his 9 month sleepers.

Hair: Still rocking the mullet-hawk. And still looking like a little blondie.

EyesBeautiful blue

Sleep: Mostly awesome. E is still sleeping for decent stretches and still waking about twice a night. However, the past week was a nightmare. We were back to waking up every two hours. Sometimes more frequently, sometimes less but he never slept more than 2.5 hours. I think it was because of the second tooth. The first one was no big deal, but this one caused a shit show due to teething. Possibly. See below.

Milestones: So many! 1) E can army crawl and inch worm. He gets up on all fours, but he has no idea what to do with his arms once he's there. He tries to move forward with just his legs but it doesn't work so he drops back down to his belly and moves on. 2) He got his first two teeth! 3) E said his first "word"! He can say ba ba. He also said his second word - da da. WTF E. That's messed up. Don't you know who gets up with you all night? He has no idea what they mean though. 4) He can pull himself up into a stand. Such a stong little guy!

Likes: Still loves reading, standing, his anchor teether, his doggies, trying to claw his mama's face off, being carried, listening to music, swimming and eating (pears, prunes and peas are favorites)

Dislikes: Still dislikes drinking and getting dressed, doesn't really care for sitting in his car seat on the plane

What's going on: Ugh. This month was tough. E is being so difficult about eating. Depending on how well he sleeps, I am nursing 2-6 times a day. He gets 4 bottles of formula each day. I try to give him 24 oz of formula a day because that is the minimum recommended for a baby who eats solids and we rarely come close to that. He usually only eats 2 oz at a time which is ridiculous for a 6-7 month old. I consider it a good day if we hit 20 oz, but usually it's more like 12-15 oz. It's possible that E is getting more breast milk than I think, but because he's small and still spitting up a ton we tried reflux meds. 

Things started getting a little better. He would have good days and bad days, but he was still spitting up a lot. After his first tooth came in, we decided to stop the meds to see if it had just been a teething problem. Pretty much right after that is when hell week started and his second tooth came through. It's so frustrating. Was he in pain and sleeping like shit because we stopped the meds or because of the tooth? It's impossible to know. We decided to start the meds again. I guess we'll just do 2-3 weeks on the meds and then 2-3 weeks off to see if we can figure it out.

What's Next: Next up is the 9 month appointment in October.

6 Months

Just a little bit late. I'm trying to catch up. I'd love to be able to show this to E someday.

6 Month Check-in
Weight: E was 16 lbs 12 oz. I think that was close to the 30th percentile! 

Height: 28 inches long. He's so tall!

Hair: He has an awesome fauxhawk or upside mullet. It still looks brown sometimes, blond other times.

Eyes: Still blue

Sleep: This has been the best month yet. E typically sleeps 4 hours or more for his first stretch and then he's only been waking 2 twice before getting up around 7:30. He's really good about going to bed too. It's been amazing - such a huge change from the past two months.

Milestones: He's been a pro at sitting for awhile. As soon as he learned to sit, he started trying to stand. He's very good at standing if I help prop him up against the sofa or a table.

Likes: Reading, trying to stand, his anchor teether, eating (sometimes)

Dislikes: Drinking (bottle or breast), getting dressed, having his diaper changed

What's going on: The biggest thing going on this past month was that E started eating solids (just oatmeal) and sleeping so much better. Unfortunately, he does not tolerate the oatmeal well. He's a very sensitive little boy (wonder where he gets that). It makes him constipated and gives him a terrible diaper rash. The doctor said that the oatmeal changes the acidity of poop. That's exactly what the rash looks like - an acid burn. Poor E. Luckily it clears up pretty quickly as soon as we stop the oatmeal. 

What's Next: Next up is the 9 month appointment in October.

Monday, June 15, 2015

5 Months

5 Month Check-in
Weight: E was 13 lbs 12 oz at his 4 month checkup. Since we've started combo
feeding/supplementing, he has definitely gained weight. I kind of want to take him in for a weight check to reassure myself that we're on the right track, but really there's no denying that he's doing well right now.

Height: I measured him last week and he's up to 27.5 inches - 96th percentile!

Hair: Still coming in. It always looks different - blond, light brown, strawberry did I get a blond baby?

Eyes: Blue like his papa!

Sleep: Getting better! We're having more good nights mixed in with the bad. I am afraid to jinx it but it looks like the napping strike might be coming to an end!

Milestones: When he was 4 months old, I predicted that he would be sitting by 5 months since he seemed so interested in it. But nothing happened. Then last weekend, he suddenly got the hang of sitting propped on his hands. Within a week he was sitting on his own! He's still wobbly, but he can sit without his hands and he can even reach for and play with toys. It's so much fun!

Likes: Rolling, sitting, "standing", bath time, middle of the night parties, his dogs, his outdoor swing, reading

Dislikes: Getting dressed, rolling from front to back

What's Next: We don't really have anything going on until his 6 month appointment in mid-July. Until then we'll just be hanging out having fun. We'll be taking E on his first beach vacation in two weeks and I can't wait for that!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Survival Mode

Holy shit. These past 3-4 weeks have been a nightmare. Which is funny because nightmares typically require sleep. There has been very little sleep in our home recently.

This rough patch started right after E learned to roll at 15 weeks. We had to ditch the swaddle before he was ready and it was really tough on him. He still had a strong startle reflex. It was so hard to get him down to sleep because he would wake up right away. At the worst point, he was waking up every 30-60 minutes. We would end up holding or rocking him for over an hour trying to get him into a deep enough sleep to lay him back down.

About two weeks later, E went on a napping strike. He really only naps for 30-50 minutes. A nap longer than an hour is a rare treat. I have no idea how to help him. We've tried everything - nursing to sleep, going in the crib awake, wrap sacks, zipadeezips, sleepers, sleep sheep, white noise - nothing gets him past that 50 minute mark consistently. It's tough because he's overtired and I end up spending 12 hours alone with a cranky baby.

At some point, I lost it. I had a breakdown. Seth knew I had finally reached some limit, so he took off work to stay home with me. My mom made plans to fly down to be with me for a few days. I made an appointment to talk to my doctor about PPD/PPA.

I knew something wasn't right, but I wasn't sure if it was PPD/PPA. I thought it was probably just situational depression - I'm beyond exhausted and so, so lonely without any family within 1200 miles. But that one morning, the morning that I lost it, I knew that something wasn't right. I wasn't handling the every day things the way that I should be. I was getting so overwhelmed and frustrated with the littlest things and that was making the bigger things even more difficult to handle. I've seen my doctor twice now and it has helped. I'll keep seeing her as needed.

We also had E's 4 month appointment. His doctor was not impressed with his weight or weight gain. He had been at the doctor's a week before this appointment, so we knew that he had no gained an ounce. He also had not doubled his birth weight yet. They encouraged me to supplement with a little formula, but I was really resisting it. We worked so hard to breastfeed and I wasn't ready to accept that it wasn't working. However, after I talked to my doctor about the PPD/PPA, something clicked. I realized that breastfeeding was contributing so much to my anxiety. I was constantly worried that E wasn't eating enough, that something wasn't right. I was finally ready to accept that it might not be best for us.

Luckily, we found a formula that E will tolerate. At first, I was just going to go cold turkey but I didn't even get a few hours into it before I changed my mind. I still wasn't ready to let it go. I decided that I would try doing formula during the day and nurse at night. That's what I'm doing now. My new plan is to just keep doing that as long as my body keeps up.

I think that I made the right decision. I can see the difference in E. He sleeps better. Not good, but better. He's gaining weight! He just looks healthier. It's probably not something that anyone else would notice, but I see the difference. I don't know what the problem was. Maybe I had a low supply (I don't think so). Maybe he was never able to get a good latch and it was just too much work for him. I'll never know and I will always wonder what happened.

Even though I think it's for the best, I'm still very sad that nursing is coming to an end for us. I cry often. It's bringing up a lot of feeling I had before E was born. I'm angry at my body. I'm bitter that I have to add to the list of things my body is supposed to do but doesn't. I'm starting to hate hearing people talk about breastfeeding the same way I hated hearing about honeymoon, cycle 1 and condom babies. I know that breastfeeding advocates think that almost all problems are in your head or can be fixed by a lactation consultant. It really bugs me that anyone could think I didn't try hard enough for my son. Bullfuck. I've had plenty of opportunities to prove that I would and will do whatever it takes for him. I know that I did everything in my power to make it work. Continuing to breast feed exclusively would have been for me, not for E. Anyone who doesn't believe that can suck it.

For now, I'm just trying to get through one day and night at a time. On a good night, E will only wake every 3 hours, nurse and go right back to sleep. On a bad/regular night, he's up every 1.5-2 hours plus an hour long party between 2 and 4 AM. It sucks but, like they say, it won't be like this forever. Sleep deprivation is torture but it will pass. The memories I have of nursing E at night and watching the contented look on his face as he snuggles into my arms, so happy and safe, will be with me forever.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

4 Months

I can't believe it's been 4 months since E was born. I still think about that day all time because I don't ever want to forget any of the details.

I am so in love with him and grateful for every second that I spend with him, but these past 4 months have definitely been full of ups and downs. Some things are better (breastfeeding and sleeping) and some things are getting worse (loneliness and anxiety, for me). I'm doing my best to take it one day at a time and focus on all of the amazing things happening in E's life.

4 Month Check-in
Weight: He doesn't have his 4 month visit until next week, but I think he's at least 13.5 pounds. Maybe even 14. It seems like he's finally growing really well. We just moved up to the 3-6 month clothes!

Height: I measured him as 25.5 - 26 inches long. He's a tall little boy!

Hair: It's finally starting to grow! Looks like it's a light reddish brown.

Eyes: They're like a denim blue and they look gray in some lights.

Sleep: Oh my gosh. Weeks 12-15 were pretty much a nightmare. He was waking up every 60-90 minutes almost every night and only getting about 6-7 hours total. This past week, we've had more good nights than bad (nursing 2-3 times, 9-10 hours of sleep) so I'm hopeful that that phase is coming to an end. For now.

Milestones: E rolled over from front to back at 13 weeks. I was so proud! At 15 weeks, we could tell that he was really trying to roll back to front. He was getting so frustrated and ended up finding his feet instead. The next day, I put him on the floor to change his diaper and he flipped right over to his belly! This time I was more horrified than proud. We were trying unsuccessfully to transition out of the swaddle and this meant we'd have to go cold turkey. Thankfully, the merlin sleepsuit is working for us because he is a little rollie pollie!

Likes: Rolling, his bunny blanket, sitting upright, mom, his puppy brothers

Dislikes: Laying down/reclining, getting dressed, getting strapped into his car seat

What's Next: E will have his 4 month visit and next round of vaccines next week. Hopefully he handles it well. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much he weighs. Breastfeeding is going pretty well now and we're supplementing with a little formula once a day (helps with my anxiety SO much) so I'm hopeful that he finally jumped above the 25th percentile.

I have no idea what E will learn to do next, but I bet he'll be sitting on his own by 5 months. Maybe he'll grow some more hair too.