Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Awww shucks.

I am sorry this has taken me so long....last week (I think) I was awarded the Liebster Bog award by my sweet friend Baby Hopes.  I love this girl, she always has something sweet and supportive to say and hopefully we will become real life friends very soon!   Baby Hopes has three little ones on the way (one in her belly and two waiting to come home through adoption) and I could not be more excited for her! If you want to read an amazing story of strength just check out her blog here. Thank you Baby Hopes for thinking of me for this award!

This Award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers, all in the spirit of fostering new connections. Liebster is German & means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!
It's always hard for me to pick who to give an award to because I love all of my blog friends equally. Here are five girls I love so much and have supported me through IF, pregnancy and now being a first time mom.  Check out their blogs!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counting sheep

All of my posts have been downers lately, I can't help it.  I promised myself I would be honest on this blog and that's what I'm doing.

I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and today I broke down and cried for a long time.  And now I feel guilty for crying  because I waited so long for this baby and I love her more than anything in the world. 

From 7:30am yesterday to 6:30am today, Emily has only slept about 5 hours- the whole day and night. 

Has anyone else had this problem?  We tried everything to get her to sleep and she is not having it.  Sometimes she cries but sometimes she just sits here wide awake. When we do get her to sleep it is very restless and she wakes up as soon as we try to put her down.

I feel so bad for her because I know she has to be exhausted and I doubt it's good for a 5 week old to be awake this much.

Help?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

1 month old!

I can't believe our little girl is one month old already!  This month there have been a lot of ups and downs emotionally and physically- which from what I've heard is totally normal (whew!).  We have been dealing with the reflux and colic the best we can.  For the most part, we have a system down so it's becoming somewhat bearable. 

Emily at 1 month:

*  She has outgrown her newborn outfits, she is too long for them already!

*  She is eating about 3 oz every 3 hours during the day

*  The longest she has slept at night is about 4.5 hours

*  She has started to smile, follow things with her eyes, and makes some pretty cute sounds when she's happy

*  Everyone thinks she looks like her daddy :)

*  Right now her eyes are a very pretty dark blue


*  She loves using her hands to grab fingers or anything in her line of sight

*  I'm amazed at how strong her neck is!  She can lift her head and hold it up for a few seconds at a time, especially when she's mad and ready for food

*  She loves listening to Adele

*  Her hair is often the topic of conversation everywhere we go

Happy 1 month birthday sweet Emily! We are so happy to have you in our lives!


This picture captures her personality perfectly....I think we're in trouble.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for....

my sweet baby Emily Bonnie, the most perfect miracle I could have ever asked for

my wonderful husband Steve, I thank my lucky stars every day that I met him

our families, who are always there supporting and encouraging us

modern medicine, without IVF Emily might not be in our lives

our health, happiness, the roof over our heads and the food in our cabinets

and last but definitely not least, I am thankful for all of my wonderful blog friends who have helped me through so much in the past year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TVT (on Wednesday)

I started writing my TVT post and then I realized it's only Wednesday...geesh.  I'm not turning back now so here's my TVT on Wednesday.

*  You have to go check out MODG.  This blog makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.  I know you will too, so go check her out.

*  I am very excited for Thanksgiving this year.  I am thankful for so many things- most of all I am beyond grateful to have Emily here for her first Thanksgiving.

*  We have 26 days until the move and I haven't packed one box or found a realtor to sell our house. Someone tell me how to find the time.

*  I am going to attempt the moby wrap today. You all have convinced me I can do it. I have watched the video, read the manual, and Steve even practiced with a 2 liter of pop.  Yes, he really did.

*  Merchandise for babies with colic is the way to make money.  Come to think of it, it's just like merchandise for IF sufferers.  We will try anything, no matter how ridiculous or crazy it sounds.  Because we just want it to stop. 

That's all I have folks.  I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

True Life...

...I don't know the last time I showered.

ok, this isn't totally true, I showered yesterday...I think. 

What day is it again?

It's amazing how quickly times goes when you're home with your newborn. 

Here is a peek into our days at home: 

Wake up (if you can really call it being awake), change and feed the baby. 
Hopefully put her down to sleep again without too much crying.
Try to remember to eat something and drink some water.
Try to remember to go to the bathroom.
Try to remember to let the dog out.
Lay down and pray to God that she sleeps just a little longer.
Oh wait, I have to pump. Damn it.  Get back up, pump.
Now lay down and really pray to God that she sleeps a little longer.
Shit. She's up.
Shush her, give her a pacifier and pray she falls back to sleep.
Ok good, now lay back down for about 10 minutes.
She's up again.
Change diaper and feed her.
Repeat previous items over again.

This makes time go super fast and is somehow the most tiring thing I have ever done in my life.  Most days (ok, every day) I stay in my sweats and t-shirt and to be totally honest, I stay in the same clothes for days at a time.  Nice, I know. 

Nights are a different story altogether.

Steve gets home and takes the baby so I can somewhat relax.
Try to make dinner and eat...usually with one hand, balancing plate on lap while holding the baby.
Try to watch a show on DVR....until the nightly screaming begins.
Pause the show, take turns walking, bouncing, shushing, burping, and even attempting to reason with the baby.
When she calms down and starts to fall asleep the discussion on 'should we try to lay her down?' begins.
Start the vacuum sound track, lay baby down, hold breath and wait.
On a good night, she sleeps.

Some days I feel like I'm getting the hang of this mom thing and other (most) days I feel like I have no clue what the F I'm doing.  But I'm figuring it out (with Steve's help of course) and I'm loving every minute!

A couple of side notes/questions:

A few people have suggested taking Emily to a chiropractor who is experienced in treating babies with colic.  Have any of you tried this? Thoughts?

Probiotics- I want to start taking them, will any brand work? 

Moby wrap- this thing confuses and scares me, any tips on this contraption?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The things we do for colic....

First off, happy anniversary to my better half!  Two years ago today we walked down the aisle and said 'I do' and it was one of the best days of my life.  I am so lucky to have Steve in my life.

Now, on to baby things.

A baby with colic is hard.  I mean really, really hard.  And a baby with colic and reflux is even harder. I'm sure you are all tired of reading my crying baby posts, but this post might be helpful to any other new moms out there who find themselves with a colicky baby.

These are the things we have tried to keep Emily from crying- some work better than others and with colic, I've learned that one thing might work one day and not work the next- you just never know what might calm them down from day to day.

- Car rides: we tried this first, it was 12:00am and Emily had been screaming for 4 hours.  We were actually scared of some of the noises she was making. I am not exaggerating, when she gets in one of her colic fits, she screams bloody murder- it is not just a cry.  So naturally we called Steve's mom in PA.  Even though there wasn't anything she could really do for us it helped to call her and make sure we weren't doing any damage to our daughter (thanks mom!).

- The vacuum:  Emily loves the vacuum.  Sometimes she can be in the middle of a 2 hour screaming fit and if we turn on the vacuum she immediately gets quiet and her eyes glaze over like she's in a trance.  Last night after 5 hours of crying we downloaded a vacuum sound from itunes and we played it all.night.long.  It's amazing. (Needless to say, my sleep wasn't that great listening to a vacuum running all night- but that was fine with me!)
- Gripe water:  sometimes it works, sometimes it does nothing.  But we love when it works.

- Swaddling: from birth to about 2 weeks Emily loved being swaddled and it would put her to sleep.  Now she hates it and wants her arms free.

- Dishwasher: We found this cure on accident one night.  Steve was walking around with Emily while she was crying and he walked into the kitchen where the dishwasher was running.  She got quiet almost right away.  That night, we took her bassinet into the kitchen and ran the dishwasher over and over, hallelujah she slept!

There have been nights that we are crying (well I am at least) cussing under our breath (or out loud) while other nights all we can do is laugh uncontrollably (due to lack of sleep). I am so thankful I have Steve as a partner in this parenting thing, it's hard work and I don't know how anyone does it alone.

If anyone has any other helpful hints- please share!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TVT

In case you're new to it, TVT = Thought Vomit Thursday, a bullet point post for those of us who are brain dead by the time Thursday rolls around.

* Emily has both reflux and colic.  Having just one of these awful conditions was not good enough for our little over achiever.  Gripe water is our new best friend.

* My amazing husband let me sleep through the night last night (he is simply the best).  I think he was tired of the emotional crying brought on by sleep deprivation....or, he just loves me.

*  Steve, Emily and I are moving to PA in mid December!  Steve's parents live there and Steve is going to be learning his dad's business so he can take over when his dad retires.  Big changes are coming and we can't wait!

*  I have recently found myself watching Judge Judy midday.  Yes, you read that correctly.  What is wrong with me?

*  It is 6:00am.  Pre-baby I would still be sleeping soundly. Post-baby I am sitting on my couch, pumping, typing this post with one hand, and watching my baby sleep in her swing.  I wouldn't trade this for anything.

* TMI alert... I am sick. and. tired. of wearing pads.  Seriously, when does the bleeding stop?

Love to you all, happy Thursday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Newborn pictures

The first four pictures were taken at the hospital when Emily was only 2 days old.  The rest of the photos were taken the other day when she was 2 weeks old.  So sweet!  I feel like she is changing so fast! I never knew it was possible to love something so much.








Another post on crying...

Well, my blog is all about what we are going through....so here is another post on crying because that is our life right now.

First off, we took Emily to the Dr on Friday and she is healthy and normal (whew!)  She does have blocked tear ducts so her eyes have been getting goopy especially with all of the crying.  Poor sweet baby girl.

Secondly, thank you all so much for the support and comments over the past few days- they help so much and make me feel a little less crazy.

During one of Emily's many crying fits this weekend, Steve was sorting through some things in her room that we brought home from the hospital.  He starts laughing.  I asked him what was so funny and he showed me a DVD titled- "The Period of PURPLE Crying" and right on the front of this DVD is this question- "Did you know your baby would cry like this?" 

Well, no- no I didn't. 

So we open up the booklet that comes with the DVD to see if there is some secret we are missing out on and this is what we learn.

The letters in PURPLE stand for:
Peak of crying- your baby will cry more each week.  the most at 2 months, then less at 3-5 months
Unexpected- crying can come and go and you don't know why
Resists soothing- your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try
Pain-like face- a crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not
Long lasting- crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more
Evening- your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening

* babies can still be healthy and normal even if they cry 5 hours a day (while this is good to know....it scares the shit out of me...5 hours a day???)

In case any of you are interested, here is a website that talks a little more about this period of crying.
Period of Purple Crying

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Any ideas?

Well we had another night with Emily crying until 2am and it continued through today.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for us to try- please let me know.

Last night at her 9:00pm feeding she was very fussy.  After eating she dozed off for a few minutes and then woke up crying.  This went on all night- dozing off, waking up, crying, rooting and wanting more milk.  There were points during the night that she was crying uncontrollably, almost screaming.  We tried a pacifier, holding her in a  more upright position, bouncing, swaddling, walking around, her swing, we turned on the vacuum and that made her quit crying but she still wouldn't fall asleep.  This fussiness/crying has been going on for three nights now, before that she was pretty content and didn't have any problems sleeping.  I can't think of anything that has changed in the past few days. The crying happens both when I breastfeed her or give her a pumped bottle.

Before today, she had no problems going right to sleep after eating during the day.  She would eat every 2.5- 3 hours and wasn't fussy. She would then fall asleep for about 2.5 hours and I would wake her up so I could feed her and change her diaper and play.  Well today was a different story.  She has continued with the crying/screaming all day.  I feed her and she will fall asleep for maybe an hour and then she wakes up crying, rooting and wanting more milk.

She doesn't spit up very often and when she does it's not very much. I have noticed that she gets the hiccups a lot throughout the day. We have tried to sit her up after feeding and propping up one end of her bassinet.

Steve and I are lost on what to do at this point.  Am I supposed to feed her every hour like she wants? Do I need to cut certain foods out of my diet? If so how do I know what foods to stay away from? Does anyone have any ideas?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2 weeks old! (yesterday)

Emily is 2 weeks old!  In some ways, those 14 days went so fast and in other ways I feel like I've had her forever.  She is such a sweet girl and is already getting a little personality that I just love.



Today we had her first Dr. appointment and it went well.  She weighs 9lbs 1oz (up from 8lbs 2oz) and is 21 1/4 inches (up from 21 inches).  Everything looked good- we have a healthy, happy baby on our hands!

We have had a couple of rough nights this week.  For some reason Emily doesn't want to fall asleep after her 9:30/10:00pm feeding. After she eats she acts like she is still starving (rooting around and crying) and when I try to feed her more she doesn't want to eat.  She is wide awake and then gets very fussy and cries quite a bit.  When we finally get her to calm down and fall asleep we lay her in the bassinet and she wakes up and we start the whole process over again.  Last night she finally fell asleep at 2:00am.  Mom and Dad are very tired! 

She is not a fan of her swing or anything that requires strapping her in- so the car seat is not her favorite thing either.  She likes her play mat and staring at herself in the mirror.  She loves having her hair washed and the sound of running water. 

Steve and I are doing great, still getting into the groove of having a baby (I think it gets a little easier every day).  Everything takes just a little more planning and time but it is all so worth it.  We have never loved anything more than our little girl and we wouldn't trade these adjustments and sleepless nights for anything in the world.


Monday, November 7, 2011

My husband amazes me

I always knew that Steve would be a wonderful father.  He is patient, kind, and loving- everything you hope your child's father will be.  When I watch him with Emily I am so impressed with his natural ability to calm her down and make her smile.

And on top of being an awesome dad, he is still an awesome husband.

He gets up with Emily in the middle of the night when he knows I need more sleep.  He makes sure I am taking care of myself.  He reassures me that I am a good mom when I doubt myself.

I never thought it was possible to love him more than I already did....but I do.

Thank you Steve for always being here for me and now for our daughter.  I don't know what we would do without you. xoxo

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TVT here we go!

I'm jumping on the Thought Vomit Thursday train! TVT is basically a bullet point post spewing out everything drifting through your head without having to think much about creating an organized post.....enjoy!

*  I don't know what I would do without my Baby ESP app on my droid.  It seriously saves my life daily (hourly).  When sleep deprived, it's hard to remember what day it is or what time Emily ate last/had her diaper changed/was bathed.....etc.  I highly recommend this app for any new parents!!  The best part is Steve can sync his app to mine so we both know what the baby is doing all day long. Love.

*  I am finally starting to feel a bit more like myself (I think it's because I showered two days in a row).  When I was pregnant, I read and heard about the 'baby blues' but I didn't realize how insane you feel after giving birth.  I had anxiety pre-baby and for a week after having Emily I wasn't exactly anxious but was definitely overwhelmed.  Everything made me cry, I felt like I had no clue what I was doing, breast feeding was hard, I was overly tired, and my body felt like it had been beaten with a baseball bat.  So feeling like myself today is a huge step forward in my book.

*  Emily is funny, already.  She makes these sly faces like she knows what's going on, especially when Steve and I are talking about her or when she knows it's time to feed.  She also has the habit of waiting to pee after her diaper is off...(insert sly baby smile) I'm convinced she totally does this on purpose. I have a feeling she's going to be a little trickster when she gets older and I love it.

*  Along with breast feeding I have also been pumping.  This is mainly because being the only person who can feed the baby was really getting to me.  I'm sure some people will judge me, and I can't worry about that. With pumping, Steve can take some of the feedings and that makes me a happier and more sane mom.

*  I am trying to decide if I should keep my blog going.  It was a wonderful way to help me cope with IF/IVF and now, I'm not sure if anyone wants to hear about our life after IF.  I have met some wonderful people here who I am sure will be lifelong friends and I am so thankful for that.  What to do?

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Emily's birth story

We went to the hospital on October 24th at 5:00pm to begin the induction process,  at 7:30pm I was given cervidil to ripen my cervix and was 0 cm dilated, 60% effaced and at a -2 station.  Baby girl was monitored through the night while Steve and I tried to relax as much as we could.

At 6:30am on October 25th the cervidil was removed and I was still 0 cm, but had progress with effacement to 90%, and baby was still at a -2 station. 

At 7:30am I was started on an IV of pitocin and fluids.  Our midwife, Pam, explained that we would start the pitocin at 2ml and it would be increased by 2ml every half hour. 

After walking the halls, sitting/bouncing on a birthing ball, and going through some pretty intense contractions (wow!)- our midwife came in for another check.  At 10:00am I was finally dilated to 1cm and was still 90% effaced.  My pitocin level was 10ml and Pam decided to break my water- this was our official start to labor.  My water showed signs of thick meconium with particles.  This concerned Pam and she explained to us that since I had a large amount of meconium she would have the Neonatologist in the room for the birth to check the baby as soon as she was born.  She reassured us that this happens quite often with late babies but she wanted to be safe and take every precaution.  She also told me that my cervix was still very stiff and wasn't pliable and hinted that I could get an epidural at any time.  At this point, my contractions were very strong and were coming every 2 minutes and lasting about a minute but I was still going to try and labor without an epidural.

At 1:45pm I was examined again and I had only progressed to 2cm, 90% effaced, and a -1 station.  My pitocin level was 16ml and my contractions were so painful and intense.  Steve and I decided at that point to go ahead with the epidural.  Even though this wasn't in my birth plan, I did not want to risk having a c-section and our midwife thought the epidural would help to relax my cervix and get things moving in the right direction.  I was so glad I got it!!  I was able to take a nap and felt very relaxed and calm.

At 4:10pm our labor nurse (she was so amazing!) checked my progress and I was at 4cm, 100% effaced, the baby was at the 0 station, and my pitocin level was at 22ml.  The nurse "worked on" my cervix massaging and trying to stretch the scar tissue, she made some progress and said without the epidural this wouldn't be able to be done without extreme pain. A catheter was inserted and my IV fluids were upped because my blood pressure was very low, 96/58.

At 5:15pm our nurse came in for another check and again worked on my cervix, getting it to 8cm and very pliable.  She then lowered my pitocin to 14ml and told me to rest up.

I started feeling some pressure and contractions at 7:43pm, I wasn't sure why I could feel the contractions again so I asked our nurse if the epidural was wearing off.  She said no and then said I could be ready to go.  She went and got our midwife (who had delivered 4 other babies that day!) and I was at 10cm!

I felt very calm and ready to push.  Steve was right by my side encouraging me and so were our midwife, labor nurse, and our doula, Char.  I called them the 'A-Team', because they were all so fantastic.  In the beginning of pushing we were all joking around and it was a very light mood, I loved this. 

Pam (our midwife) explained to me that I was pushing in the exact way that I should and everyone was so positive and helpful, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be there with me for my labor.

Then, things got very intense.  My contractions were so strong and I was in a lot of pain.  I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to be able to do this.  I was given an oxygen mask and cold wash cloths were put on my neck and forehead. I ended up getting sick (I didn't expect this at all). Out of the corner of my eye I could see the Neonatologist and nurse from the NICU standing in the corner waiting.

At just the right time, Pam told me she could see the baby's hair and it was thick and black.  I was so happy and it gave me the push I needed to keep going.  I will never forget seeing her little head, (this part of my labor has been told over and over since she was born) I looked down and the first thing I saw was her tiny ear.  I excitedly said- Oh, she has Steve's ears! And I had quit pushing because I was so exhausted.  Pam and Char, (and I think everyone in the room) started shouting at me that I couldn't stop pushing.  At 9:22pm, I gave one last huge push and there she was, it was so surreal.

We had planned to have Steve cut the cord and have immediate skin to skin contact but this all went out the window so that we could make sure she was safe.  She was rushed to the warmer bed and the Neonatologist

The rest is kind of a blur.  The placenta was delivered, I was stitched up (2nd degree tear), and Steve let our parents know Emily had been born.

Even though our birth plan didn't turn out how we thought it would, I wouldn't trade any part of my labor for anything in the world.  We are so blessed to have this beautiful baby girl in our lives.

"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here for an hour I would have died for you. This is the miracle of life"

~author unknown