One Year

A year ago today after a breakfast of heart-shaped whole wheat banana pancakes, Catch and I headed to the fertility clinic to transfer two of the frozen embryos from our IVF cycle. 

  
This morning, after a breastmilk-friendly breakfast of oatmeal, I am preparing to head to my office Halloween party to show off our little gumball machine. 

  
Life is good, folks. So unbelievably good. Don’t ever let me forget it. 

Advertisements

3 Months

Charlotte was 3 months old a few days ago. 3 months! Now I really want to stop the clock.   
This little girl is absolutely the light of our lives (and the center of our universe). She is growing in leaps and bounds. We can barely keep up! 
  
Month three has brought so much awareness of her surroundings. She wants to be sitting up looking around at all times. No being cradled for this kid. If she can’t see, she is MAD. 
  

We got in trouble at the doctor because her head and neck control wasn’t where it should be. Problem is this kid detests tummy time. She will scream 30 seconds after we put her down. The pediatrician wanted us to do 60 minutes of tummy time a day to catch her up. Hah. As if. 60 minutes definitely isn’t happening, but we’re doing our best and she’s really improving. Yesterday I got about 5 straight minutes out of her before the screaming commenced. I have no doubt that she’ll get there in her own time as long as we keep trying. I’m not going to make myself sick over it. 

  
Her first round of shots happened a few weeks ago. That was hard to watch! My poor little boo. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried a bit. She was pretty hysterical, but we calmed her down reasonably quickly with her pacifier and a bit of nursing. 

  
She had very little trouble from her shots. She was pretty sad/fussy/sleepy until early evening and then she suddenly perked up and was happy as a clam. No fever at all, and she was fine the next day. We never had to break out the Tylenol. I was really grateful that it was a reasonably painless event compared to what it could have been. 

  
 

In the last two weeks, she’s started grabbing things. I love it. She grabs her toys and immediately tries to get them into her mouth. EVERYTHING goes straight to her mouth these days. She almost always has either a fist or her pacifier locked in her lips. 

  
 The drool has started and it is INSANE. I just ordered some cute bandana bibs because she’s constantly soaking wet and I’m finding that I hate regular bibs. 

  
Feeding has been–well, it’s going. Let’s just say that. It probably deserves its own update. Things are on an upswing, fortunately, but we had a couple of rough weeks where I doubted my ability to continue at all. (After all that work!) I can’t say enough about having access to a good lactation consultant that you trust. That support is invaluable. I saw mine on Monday and I left there feeling like a weight had been lifted. C will have a weight check on Friday, and with any luck that will give me even more peace. 

  
I go back to work on November 16th. I am dreading it. I have a total mental block about it. I don’t know how I’m going to get past that. I need to hire a nanny (like yesterday) and I have so much anxiety that I can’t even return phone calls. I think about it and I just shut down. This is so hard. I never imagined that I wouldn’t be happy to get back to work, but I don’t miss it one bit. I miss my colleagues, but that’s more of a social thing. If there was any way I could stay home, I would do it in a heartbeat. 

  
Aside from some breastfeeding stress and my back-to-work anxiety, I’ve been doing so much better. I feel like I’ve finally got the hang of this mom gig. My hormones have settled down a bit, and things are generally just better. Especially since I stopped pumping during the day. I have so much more freedom now. It’s not so hard to leave the house. 
  
Every week, she is more fun. I love watching her little personality develop. Sometimes I find myself pining for the days when she was tiny, but these days are just so much more fun. I wish I could bottle it all up. 

   
 

A Quickie

My insanely sweet MIL made me a special non-dairy mud pie for dessert. I asked her what the filling is and she told me it’s ice milk. 

Good thing I asked. 

That moment when…

You’re in the middle of burping the baby when the mail arrives. You go outside to get the mail with the baby on your shoulder and as you’re waving at the neighbors, you realize that you never put your boob back in your tank top. You grab at your chest hoping that the baby is covering you, and discover that your bare breast is conveniently placed right between the baby’s legs and visible to the world. 

Good times. 

“At least you didn’t have twins!”

I can’t count the number of times people have said that to me since Charlotte was born. 

Yes, giving birth is hard. Recovering from birth is hard. Having a newborn is hard. Being a new mom is hard. Having twins would compound all of that. 

But it would also compound the love. The joy. The baby snuggles. The smiles. 

Once upon a time, I got to see and hear two tiny little hearts beating side by side inside of me. I was overwhelmed by joy and fear that day. 

  

Then, one of them grew and one of them didn’t. 

I will never be relieved that I didn’t give birth to two babies. I will never be glad things were easier because my little baby B didn’t make it. I will always wonder how Charlotte’s life would have been enhanced by the instant best friend that was taken away from us. 

Since today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, as I pump tonight for the baby I am so, so blessed to have asleep in the next room, I have two candles lit. One for my lost little love, and one for all of yours. 

 

Nursing Advice

So Charlotte is 12 weeks old today, but our nursing experience is much newer. It’s been a week since she’s had any formula, and we’ve only been giving her bottles at night. 

I haven’t yet been able to pump enough that we have an extra stash. I pump at bedtime and that’s her middle of the night bottle. Then I pump around 1 am and that’s her 4/5 am bottle. I pump at 5 am and that is her bedtime bottle. We nurse the rest of the day. Occasionally I’ll have an ounce or two in the fridge for a day or so, but that’s it. 

Point being that I need to get comfortable nursing on the go or else I’m never going to be able to leave the house. C has a touch of reflux, and she likes her daytime meals small and frequent. I’m lucky if I can go an hour without nursing her during the day. 

I bought a nursing cover that C absolutely hates. It’s not that I really care about people seeing me, but it seems to just be what one does when nursing in public. What do you do when nursing on the go?

Also, help me with positioning. This kid weighs 14 pounds and holding her to nurse kills my neck/back after a bit. At home I rely on the boppy, but I can’t take the boppy with me everywhere I go. How the heck do you get comfortable?

Finally, there have been a half dozen or so days when she’s starving but screams bloody murder when my boob is anywhere near her. I have no clue what to do with that. Have any of you experienced it? She did it this morning and the screaming was just insane. I ended up giving her the bedtime bottle I had stashed and she took it just fine. This afternoon, she’s nursing just fine again. It seems to always be in the morning that I have problems. 

As always, your experience and advice is much appreciated!

I’ll throw in some baby pictures for those of you who are rolling your eyes at this annoying breastfeeding post. 

   
    
    
    
 

A Milestone

  
This little face did not consume a single drop of formula yesterday. Not one drop. It took 11 weeks, countless hours of pumping, and a lot of pills to get here, but I feel like I have conquered Mount Everest. 

Seriously. 

At 10 weeks old, my daughter is 13.7 pounds and 25.5 inches. She is in the 99.9th percentile for height. This is nuts. 

People with big babies… Please tell me this growth pattern slows at some point.

  

Two Months

1-month a

1-month a

My beautiful little girl turned two months old last week. The days are a total blur of complete exhaustion and absolute wonderment. She is the center of our universe, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have no idea how much she weighs at the moment because she doesn’t see the pediatrician again until mid-October, but I can tell you this: she is BIG. And growing like a weed. She’s already wearing 3-6 month size clothing. Mostly that’s because she’s so long. The smaller sizes fit her shoulders, but won’t snap between her legs or are too short for her limbs. It feels like we’re adding things to the “too small” drawer every day.

Sleep hasn’t been fantastic, but it does seem to be improving. We took a deep breath and forced ourselves to stop using the Rock & Play as a crutch, so she’s actually sleeping in her bassinet now. We usually get two three hour stretches or so each night, and usually one good nap during the day and quite a few very short little snoozes after she eats. Occasionally she’ll push one stretch of nighttime sleep to four hours, but I think I can count the number of times that’s happened on one hand.

We went through a rough patch for a few weeks where she would scream from 8-9 pm no matter what we did (bottle, boob, warm bath, rocking, singing, bouncing, swinging, walking, burping… you name it), but thankfully we seem to have (hopefully?) moved on from that.

She was totally disinterested in pacifiers for the longest time, and finally one night out of total desperation, we opened up the box of all of the pacifiers we received as baby gifts and tried every single one until we managed to find one she would take. Sadly, she has zero interest in Wubbanubs, which totally breaks my heart because I think they’re the cutest things ever. It turns out that she LOVES the Tommee Tippee pacifiers. I’m just grateful to have found something that will help calm her for a few minutes here and there.

Her personality is starting to show, and every day she is more and more generous with her smiles, laughs and coos. It is impossible not to smile when she’s smiling. I will do absolutely ANYTHING to see that smile. (She likes it when I blow raspberries!)

She’s holding her head up really well, and she loves to sit upright so she can watch everything around her. She loves to watch the world. Whether it’s the trees on a walk or the ceiling fan when we’re at home, she will find something to watch and smile and laugh. It never gets old. She hasn’t met a ceiling fan she doesn’t love. I can’t count the number of times every day that we find ourselves saying, “where’s your ceiling fan?”

Her cradle cap has improved dramatically, and all of the hair that fell out on the top of her head is starting to grow back. She has a totally bizarre hairline at the moment. We’re still not quite sure what color her hair is. In some light, you totally see red, but in other light it looks light brown or blonde. I’m thinking maybe it will be sort of an auburn color. I can’t wait for it to get a bit longer so we can really see!

The whole family is just smitten with this little girl. She has absolutely no idea how loved she is. It’s amazing.

I’ve been terrible about posting her weekly photos, so here’s a whole mess of them all at once!

2 Weeks

2 weeks

3 Weeks

3 weeks

4 Weeks

charlotte 4 weeks

5 Weeks

5 weeks

6 Weeks

6 weeks

8 Weeks (Mommy skipped 7 weeks… oops!)

8 weeks

9 Weeks

9 weeks