Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1-2-3-4

Yep, the 4 month mark has come and gone and I'm just getting around to a post about it.

Here are some random details of where we stand 4 months into this journey...
  • Sleep usually goes something like this...Bed by 7pm. Often a wake-up or two early on that requires a pacifier re-insertion. Feeding around 2am. Up around 6:30am. Naps around 8am, 11am, and 3pm. Naps can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, with the average probably an hour. We are also working hard on putting her down groggy but awake. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn't.
  • Swaddle. Yep, still using it. Dr. couldn't believe that she still lets us swaddle her (well, she does scream the whole time we are doing it) and said it is ok to keep using it. She gets at least one hand out, usually both, at night. But if we don't use it, she just won't calm down to sleep. Hope we can get rid of it soon. We've tried letting her have one hand out, but that generally hasn't worked.
  • Food. Still just doing breastmilk. Plan to start solids at 6 months.
  • Size. 13 lbs (45th percentile) and 24 inches (50th percentile). The old noggin is a little smaller, only 25th percentile. Not bad for a baby who started her life in the 10th percentile all around.
  • Clothes and Diapers. Just starting 3-6 months clothes and Size 2 diapers.
  • Jog Stoller. We just started using our jog stroller last week and love it. I've been running with it 2-3 times a week and so far no complaints about the stroller (Schwinn Freewheeler).
  • Fussy. Emma has developed a grunt and shriek. The grunting precedes the shriek. I wouldn't call her a fussy baby but she's definitely fussier than in months past. I used to say (somewhat smugly) something like "Emma only cries when she's hungry or tired. What a perfect little angel." Blah! While those are the times she cries the most, she can start crying one second after smiling or 10 minutes after waking from a great nap. Thankfully the crying is usually short-lived and she's fairly easy to console. Mommy prays for patience every day! Guess that's the best I can do.
  • Prevacid. Still on it. Doctor said she'll likely need it until at least 6 months.
  • Drano. I wish I had invested in the makers of Drano. We've gone through so many bottles trying to clear the shower drain of the hair that I seem to shed by the handful every day. I hear this is common when breastfeeding. But it isn't very pleasant.
  • Toys. I think 4 months is difficult, in part, because the baby is more aware and wants/needs to be entertained, but really can't do much self-entertaining. We still use the playmat a lot and she likes to sit up in the Bumbo. She has a Sophie the Giraffe toy and a Winkle from Manhattan Toys that she seems to like. We also have a load of stuffed animals...we'll spread a blanket out on the floor and play with those for quite some time. Probably the way both baby and mommy most like to be entertained is by walking. Unfortunately, it was 100+ degrees everyday last week so there wasn't much of that. Wonder when she'll be ready for an exersaucer? Any of you have suggestions of fun ways to entertain a little one (aka something to make the time pass faster until daddy gets home from work)?
  • Talking. Well, no, she isn't talking yet, but in the last week, she has become increasingly chatty. She'll chat with us. She'll chat with her playmat. It's quite cute.
  • Smiles and laughs. Generally she's a pretty serious baby. So we really appreciate the smiles and laughs.
  • Work. Throughout my maternity leave, I've been doing work for my own company (I do research consulting for political campaigns). As far as my actual job, I plan to go back very part-time starting in September. I'll do 20 hours, max, and only one day in the office. I think we are going to use our friends' nanny. They only use her 3 days a week so I'll get her the other days. I think a day out of the house a week will do me some good.
And here are pictures of the little beauty...


Sunday, July 25, 2010

How much is that baby in the mirror?

I love baby laughter. Not much can top it.


video

Blogger help please!

How do I change the font and color of the text in my blog???

Cutest Baby on the Block most have gotten rid of the background I was using for the blog because all of a sudden I just had a white background and an error message that an image had been removed.

So I am trying to pick a new background but am having a hard time finding one on which the current color of font actually shows up (which is kind of important).

I tried Blogger help and it directs me to the "Layout" tab, which I don't seem to have.

Help please!

Update: Thanks to AP and Once Upon a Time for the Blogger help! I don't think the Cutest Blog on the Block has the template I used to use but perhaps it was time for a change anyways.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On a totally different note...

We had a really nice time in Bermuda. Emma did great, both on the plane (it was only a 2 hour flight) and at the hotel (our room had a huge closet and we were able to put the pack-n-play in it). We pretty much threw the schedule out the window and Emma just took her naps on the go, which she did really well (and this is likely a contributing factor to the frustrations we had upon returning. Go figure!)

My thoughts on Bermuda...

1) Very beautiful and clean. The water was the most amazing color of blue.
2) Way too expensive. Twice hubby and I had a lunch consisting of burgers and one adult beverage each with the grand total of the bill between $50-$60!
3) The service on the island, in general, was really, really bad. From the waiters at restaurants to the hotel concierge (and it was a very nice hotel), no one seemed particularly interested in going above and beyond. And pretty much they didn't even try to be adequate. That said, we had several great cab drivers who gave us tours as they drove us around.

One tidbit we found out...the average 3 bedroom house on the island is over $1 million! Can you believe it? Our cab driver said his house was $800,000. He said that all men have at least two jobs and there are no housewives. Just can't afford it. Needless to say, we won't be buying property there any time soon.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

We spent just a few hours at the beach, and, as you can tell, Emma wasn't particularly thrilled with the water.


Here's the happy family at the wedding. Like a good girl, Emma slept through it all.

Us on the beach. No sunhats seem to fit Emma, hence the covered eyes.

A friend who is a photographer took about 50 pictures of Emma while we were riding in a van one day...I just love the expression.

And, on yet another note, July 17th marked the one year anniversary of our "Two Pink Lines" Day. Can't believe it's already been a year. This time last year, Emma was a beautiful cluster of cells multiplying exponentially every day. Today, she is a beautiful baby girl who brings us joy and laughs, and yes, some tears!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A frustrating month

I actually composed this blog post in my head while I was laying in bed at 4:30 this morning trying to ignore Emma's cries. And trying not to cry myself. Regardless of whether you decide to read it, I need this therapeutic outlet.

I always thought that the first 3 months of having a baby would be the hardest and that it would only get easier from there. I was wrong. This 4th month has definitely been the hardest. I am doubting, on a daily basis, my abilities as a mother. And it really stinks.

I know that I am overly hard on myself. Hubby tells me that daily. Here's an excerpt from an email he sent me this morning when he got to work:

"...you have to trust me when I say that regardless of the doubts that are creeping into your mind, you were definitely made to be a mother…I just wish you could take a step back and not be so hard on yourself… you’re a fabulous mother and I thank God every day that you’re my wife and the mother of my child. Think of where we’ve been in our journey together. We’ve encountered and overcome the couple of most difficult problems that a married couple can have and have come out the other end in this glorious situation, it all leading to Emma joining our lives. I think God carrying us through those problems and delivering us to where are today is proof enough of what He sees in you as a mother..."

Needless to say, that sent me into a flurry of tears first thing this morning. I am used to being able to control every situation in which I'm in - and I really need that control - and with a four month old, you definitely have little control. I can't control when she sleeps. I can't control when she cries. I can try to get her to sleep and I can try to soothe her, but it doesn't always work as I hoped.

I want to experience that joy of motherhood that I probably overly idealized during our infertility struggle. And I think that is what makes me the most upset with myself. We tried for so long for our precious miracle, and now that we have her here with us, I find myself wondering whether it was even a good decision. I can't believe I could ever utter those words, and I am probably making very angry anyone reading this post who is going through their own infertility struggle.

Don't get me wrong, we have moments of joy and fun but I just feel so overwhelmed with frustration and impatience and I feel bad that Emma doesn't have a more compassionate mom.

I know it will get better. I know that I am just trapped right now in a bubble that is clouding my vision of the big picture. I want to enjoy every second of my time with Emma - even the hard seconds - because I know I can't get them back. And then I just read a blog post from a mother who just lost her son and it makes me feel even more guilty.

I have my little angel here with me. And I just need to pull it together and cherish her.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Up, up and away we go...

...on vacation!

Hubby, Emma and I head to Bermuda this week. It's a place I've always wanted to visit, and, lo and behold, friends of ours decided to get married there. I'm so excited!

We had to get Emma a passport. Pretty funny that the picture on it was taken when she was 10 days old and the passport is good for five years. Can't wait to see her try to get by security at age 5. "I swear, sir, this really is me!"

This will be the first plane travel with the little one. Thankfully, it is only about a 2 hour flight. Hopefully we can keep some semblance of a routine while there and still be able to enjoy ourselves.

Since I'll be off for a few days, I'll leave you with a new picture that I love. I think Emma is saying with her eyes, "Really, what do you think I am, Mommy? A doll to dress up?"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

From that to this...

What a difference a year makes.

From that, July 4, 2009...


To this, July 4, 2010...



July 5th marks the one year anniversary of our embryo transfer.

I remember last year watching the July 4th fireworks, scared out of my mind and nervous, knowing what the next day held, yet still hopeful that we would one day hold our little miracle.

And here she is!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Frustration

I had my first breakdown as a mommy today.

Emma has become a terror at naptime. She used to be a champion napper - went down with no problems and slept about 1.5 hours several times a day.

Well, that has dramatically changed this week. She has started WAILING at naptime, fighting going down and then fighting the whole time that she is down. Sometimes she is able to cry herself to sleep but not always. And I'm talking maybe 45 minutes later she's cried herself to sleep.

I go in and rock her and try to get her calmed down. The moment I put her back down, it all starts again.

I am beyond frustrated and finally just had to put her down in her crib while wailing because I could feel myself bubbling over.

I catch her "sleepy" signs and put her down right away. I don't allow more than 1.5 hours of wakefulness. I'm still swaddling her but today I tried the sleepsack. I gave her a little Tylenol before this nap just in case there is something going on that I can't see. I tried to put her down on her tummy and she just raised up like it was tummy time.

I just don't know what else to do.