Saturday, February 25, 2012

four months....picture overload

Has it really been 4 months since I gave birth?? It freaks me out that time is going by so fast.

Firsts:  Emily rolled from her belly to her back on February 20th.  She also rolled from her back to her belly one morning when she was laying in bed with us.  She likes tummy time now but it almost always makes her spit up (just another reason reflux sucks).  She holds herself up really well with her elbows and she will grab her toys and lift her butt up in the air- she tries so hard to scooch around on her belly.

that smile...oh my heart.

She found her toes and loves trying to get them in her mouth (even when she's half asleep).

She ate rice cereal on February 22nd and did really well, she was loving the spoon and kept grabbing for it.

My favorite first- she giggles.  It is and every time she giggles she gets the hiccups.

Feeding:  Now that Emily is on neo.cate she is like a new baby!  She is so much happier and that makes our days and nights so much easier!  I can't thank everyone who got us a sample enough- I really can't. You guys are the best and we appreciate it! She eats 5-6 oz every 3.5 hours during the day.  We can hardly get her to pay attention long enough to eat, she is so aware of everything that is going on around her and turns her head from side to side to make sure she isn't missing anything. She always has to have her hands on the bottle and tries to hold it by herself.

Sleeping:  Oh sleep. The most discussed topic in our house.  We are trying to transition her from sleeping in the rock and play sleeper in our room to her crib. I'm not sure if this is harder for us or for Emily.  She slept in her crib all night last night for the first time! Naps have been a struggle- she always wants to get up after only napping for 30 minutes.  At night she does much better, she goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 and has been sleeping until 6 or 6:30 in the morning!  She will wake up and fuss from time to time but if we put her pacifier back in she falls back asleep. 

Diapers:  She is wearing size 2 diapers.

Clothing: She is wearing 3-6 month clothing and growing like a weed! I put a pair of 6 month pajamas on her last night and she couldn't straighten her legs all the way- she is so long!

Weight: 16 pounds (weighed at home)

Height: 26 inches (measured at home)

Eyes: Her eyes are still b.lue and so pretty!!

Hair:  Emily has chameleon hair.  Some days it looks reddish, other days it looks bl.onde or br.own.  Her hair is wild too, there is no taming it (it matches her personality perfectly). She has the typical baby bald spot on the back of her head but her mullet is growing away!

Favorites:  She loves her Eins.tein toys and anything musical.

Her jumper is a huge hit- she gets so excited when she's in it... look at that concentration.

She loves playing peek-a-boo with her taggie blanket. She pulls it up over her face, giggles and waits for me to pull it off.

Baby Gear: Up until yesterday we were using the rock and play sleeper day and night for her reflux (that thing is worth it's weight in gold), the jumper is awesome and the bumbo seat is good for a little while but she gets bored with it quickly.  The best thing we have gotten recently is this fanny pack looking contraption that Steve is modeling below.  You wear it around your waist and there is a little seat for the baby to sit on so your arms don't feel like falling off when you hold the baby for long periods of time. It's called the baby hip hugger and I got it on babyhalfoff- worth every penny.

So that's our 4 month update. I still just sit and stare at her sometimes and wonder how we got so lucky.  Her personality is so funny- she really is a fighter and is going to be one tough little girl.  She is getting so vocal and will sit and talk to me all day.  I feel like I can just see her brain working and trying to figure things out, it's amazing to watch her learn and grow.

One last picture for my your serious.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cloth....can we do it??

A couple of my blog friends have written about cloth diapering lately (Josey and MODG) and Kelly and I talk about it almost daily. It's gotten Steve and I thinking...

Should we switch over to cloth?

Will it save us money?

It it a huge pain in the ass?  The cleaning, the stripping?

Is it messy?

What are the pros and cons?

From what I've read, it can be just as easy as disposables with the exception of throwing the dirty diapers in the wash instead of in a landfill (the hippie in me thinks this is great). And let's be real- cloth diapers are cute as hell.

The cons I've read are- clothes don't fit as well and you have to have a suitcase for a diaper bag.

If you use cloth diapers give me the scoop- I want to hear it all.  Do you love it or hate it?  Which diapers are your favorites, least favorites?  What's the best way to get them clean?  What do you do overnight?  Are AIO's or inserts better?

My MIL (hi mom!) is probably reading this post and ready to run over here and talk some sense into us for even considering cloth.

Can we do it?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thank you!

I just have to write a quick post saying thank you to Heather from The Road Less Traveled

When she found out I had to put Emily on neo.cate, she went above and beyond her blogger friend duties- she called the company, emailed the company, and asked to get a sample can sent to her so that she can send it to me.

Even though we have never met, she has been a great friend to me and I appreciate it so much!

Thank you Heather, you are truly a great friend!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Last Valentine's Day was our 2nd beta day and we were over the moon with excitement about being officially pregnant.  Steve and I went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate. 

This Valentine's Day we are staying in and celebrating with our little miracle and I couldn't ask for anything more!

  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guest Post- Heather

I've never done a guest post before, but when Heather contacted me and told me her story I thought it was a great story to share.  As mothers, or women who hope to be mothers, we all dread anything like this happening to us and Heather handled her situation with grance and courage.  As we all know, a little bit of hope can go a long way.  Here is Heather's story and this is her blog.  

Cancer through Rose Colored Glasses
Throughout my life people accused me of being an optimist. I find the good in everything. This characteristic kept me going when I was diagnosed with lung cancer in my mid thirties. I was diagnosed only a few months after the birth of my first and only child. I received the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma on November 21, 2005. No one is ever prepared for the diagnosis, especially during what should be the happiest time of your life. But, there I was, hearing those devastating three words…you have cancer. These were my choices. I could give in, drown in self-pity and curse God. Why me God? I could also defiantly confront this diagnosis, which is what I chose to do. I decided to lift my chin up and do what any young mother would do, fight for my life and continued raising my infant daughter. 

Cancer is a contradiction. Many people who have fought a battle with cancer will agree. Hearing the diagnosis is the worst thing that can happen, but simultaneously, the situation produces good. My life is forever changed for the better for having gone through the experience. I chose not to be a helpless victim. I chose to make light of this dreadful situation, hoping the fear would fade away. I swore to assist others who received the same news. I desired to give people hope; because hope is the first thing that shatters after hearing you have mesothelioma. Despite all of the emotions I felt and all the negative thoughts I had, I chose to find the blessings.    

I was referred to one of the world’s leading mesothelioma doctors. The specialist gave ME hope that I could win the battle against this disease. I nicknamed my tumor Punxsutawney Phil, after discovering I would have surgery to remove the tumor on the same day in 2006 that many wait in anticipation, wondering if that woodchuck would see his shadow. We renamed that day; since it also marked the day I gave up my left lung and the deadly disease it contained. Every year after the surgery, during the first weekend in February, we have a celebration party for the successful treatment. I celebrate being alive, overcoming terror and witnessing the blessings that erupted through an otherwise traumatic situation. It is a festivity of hope.   

I would not know the many wonderful people I now know had it not been for the cancer diagnosis. They are incredible people. They are the most resilient, passionate and strong people I have ever met. These are mesothelioma warriors. People committed to bringing about awareness of a disease that gets very little attention. On rare occasions, you might hear about mesothelioma on a commercial during the day. These fighters are the spouses and children of mesothelioma patients. They all have loved ones who battled this form of cancer. I now consider them my friends. I would never have had the pleasure of meeting any of these folks had it not been for my own lung cancer battle. My life has a greater purpose now, and I want to continue giving hope to others fighting the battle.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Research research research...

It feels like that's all I've been doing lately.  Trying to figure out torticollis, plagiocephaly, reflux and mspi (milk soy protein intolerance) and just trying to make my baby girl feel better by knowing as much as I can about what's going on with her.

We have been on neo.cate for about a week straight now (maybe longer, I can't keep track) and I think it's helping her.  She's less fussy, the red ring on her bottom is going away, the eczema on her face is getting better, and she is sleeping better.  Score one for me doing research. 

I've learned that reflux can be a symptom of mspi so I am hoping that once her system is healed with the neo.cate her reflux will go away. Her other symptoms of mspi are: chronic congestion, reflux, eczema, comfort eating (eating more than normal), and chronic irritability (colicky behavior).  Other symptoms that she doesn't have are- blood in her stools, weight loss, refusing to eat and asthma. 

Steve and I were pretty much in denial about Emily having a mspi but now that I've read so much about it, I realize that it is very common.  Many pediatricians don't know a lot about it, so it goes undiagnosed or babies are diagnosed with "colic" and sent on their way.  Thankfully, our new pediatrician listened to our concerns and discussed trying neo.cate to help Emily.

As far as the torticollis (twisted neck) and plageocephaly (flat head), Emily had her first at home PT appointment this week and she did awesome! Thanks to one of our neighbors, we learned that the state of PA offers at home therapy services for free to babies who qualify.  Since Emily was diagnosed with torticollis that was all we needed to get at home PT weekly- for free!! The therapist was so impressed with how strong she is- way to go baby girl!  She also doesn't think she will need a helmet for her plageocephaly since we caught it so early (score 2 for research) but we will keep an eye on it and discuss it again in a month. 

Of course, I can't write a post all about Miss Emily without a few pictures!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sleep? Now I remember what that is...

Holy shit you guys, Emily slept through the night for the first time last night.  Well, she slept from 8pm-4am so I'm totally excited.

I admit that I used to sit here, exhausted, drinking my 3rd cup of coffee, reading your blogs about sleeping babies and wonder what the hell I was doing wrong!  Emily would go to bed at 7:00pm and wake up at 12:00am screaming, we would get her up and feed her and she would go back to sleep until 3:30 or maybe 4:00am and then wake up screaming again.  I was like, goodlordinheaven- why is she so hungry at night??  But this was our normal and we dealt with it.  Until last night....

I had been reading some info on (tons of good reflux info) and found out that reflux is the worst at night, even if the baby is propped up (am I the only one who didn't know this??).  I just figured the dose of prev.acid that I gave her in the morning lasted until the next morning...apparently not.  A lot of these moms give their babies their reflux meds at night before bed.  So that's what Steve and I decided to do....and guess what? It worked! She slept!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

long overdue post about our doula

Better late than never, right?

I don't think I ever mentioned that Steve and I hired a doula for our L&D. Let me tell you, it was the best decision we made.

When I was researching natural labor, I came across information on doulas.  I had never heard of them before but I thought it sounded like an interesting idea.  I searched online to see if there were any doulas in our area and I found Char.  We met with her when I was 30 weeks pregnant and after our chat we hired her, she was amazing.

She checked on me weekly through email and texts, asked how my Dr appointments were going, and was always there to answer my questions.

The day I went in to be induced, she was there with us from 11:00am-10:00pm.

Here are some of the things she did for us:
* Got us whatever we needed- blankets, water, pillows, popsicles, etc.
* She helped explained anything the nurses said/did and what was happening on the monitor while I was being induced
* Helped me breathe through contractions, told me positions to try, massaged my back, explained to Steve how he could help me
* Kept our parents updated as they waited in the waiting room
* During delivery she held one of my legs and was a wonderful coach.  Told me how to push and let me know a 'play by play' of everything that was going on (she was the one who told me Emily had so much hair)
* Took pictures as Emily was born and while she was being cleaned up
*  Helped get Emily latched for the first time

In a nutshell, Char was like our own private nurse.  She answered all of our questions and kept us calm and relaxed.  I had the best midwife, but she delivered 10 babies the day Emily was born (Emily was #10) so she was very busy and wasn't around much.  I could never thank Char enough for making our labor so amazing and stress free.

So there you have it, if you have the opportunity to hire a doula I say definitely do it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tag- I'm it.

I was tagged by my lovely friend Stephanie over at Blawndes Blawg.
 Her questions for me:
  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging? Hmmmm there are so many things.  I can't pick just one, so I'll say the support, advice and friendships.
  2. What is one thing that makes you unique? No idea, I'm probably not that unique.
  3. Have you lost someone close to you? Yes, I lost my mom a few years ago and my grandmother last year.
  4. Were you named after anyone? Not that I know of.
  5. Tell us about an embarrassing moment. Who doesn't have an embarrassing moment about their period, right?  Well, I was new to the menstruation game and I spent my summers in a corn field detassling.  There weren't any toilets waiting at the end of the rows for us and by lunch time (when we got to use porta potties) I had bled all over my shorts and I am pretty positive everyone on the detassling crew had noticed.  I sat in the porta potty and cried and wondered what the hell I was going to do for the rest of the day.  Thankfully, I had a flannel shirt with me and wore it buttoned up and tied around my waist like a skirt for the rest of the day.  So embarrassing.
  6. What did you want to be when you grew up, and did you accomplish it? I always wanted to be a librarian, not accomplished but I still think that would be the best job ever.
  7. Why did you start your blog? To keep my family and friends updated on our IVF and to vent. I had no idea there was a whole community out here and I am so glad I found you guys!
  8. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning the shower.
  9. What celebrity do you think you look like? I don't think I look like anyone but I've heard many things over the years.  Jenna Elfman, Princess Diana, and Faith Hill.
  10. What songs are included on the soundtrack of your life? This is a hard one! I'm not sure exactly the best way to answer this. Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here, make me think of my mom.  Honorary Title- Far More, Norah Jones- Come Away With Me or any Jack Johnson song remind me of Steve.  Adele- Make You Feel My Love is my song for Emily and any Beatles, Rolling Stones, or classic rock remind me of my dad.  Music is a big part of my life so I have so many songs that have strong connections for me.
  11. What story does your family always tell about you? My mom and dad always talk/ed about what a bad baby I was, crying all the time.  They don't have many pictures of me as a baby that aren't red faced with tears.

I think most of you have already been tagged -but if not, consider yourself tagged by me and play along!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Reflux is a bitch

I've been up since 4am so a bullet point post about reflux is about all my brain can handle.

~ Remember when I told you the pediatrician gave us neo.cate to try?  I want to try it so badly to see if it will help Emily's reflux but I'm worried that it will help her and I know we won't be able to afford it.  This magic potion is 139.00 for 4 tiny cans that will last us 8 days.  Are you kidding me? If anyone has any secret neo.cate hookups I will be your best friend forever if you pass that info along to me.  It's sad that we pay a shit load of money every month for insurance and we can't get what we need for our baby.  The reflux meds that have worked best for her aren't covered and now they won't help to cover the cost of a formula that could possibly ease her pain. 

~ Someone needs to invent a play mat for babies with reflux. I would pay a million dollars for that right now.

~ Who has recommendations for propping up the crib or the mattress or who has used a tucker sling, AR wedge, or any other reflux sleep solutions for the crib?  Eventually, Emily is going to outgrow her rock and play sleeper and I need some options for her crib.

That's all I've got. I'm tired.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

formula roulette

I've been done with the pumping for awhile now.  I couldn't keep up.  It was stressful.  I was attached to that damn breast pump 24/7 and I still wasn't getting enough milk.  So I made a choice, I cried, and I moved on.

But trying to figure out what kind of formula works best for Emily has been the biggest pain. in. the. ass.

When we were first supplementing we used sim.ilac advanced.  It was during the dark days of colic so we didn't know what the hell we were doing (we still don't) and we switched to thinking it would help with the colic.  It did, a little, but not much.  She still cried a lot after eating and always seemed like she was in pain.  Three weeks ago we made the switch to ali.mentum.  She was like a new baby!  So happy, not crying after eating or as gassy.  I was so relieved.  Then the diarrhea started.  She had liquid green poop anywhere from 2-4 times a day.  (I can't believe I'm writing about my daughter's poop.)

When I took her in for a check-up I talked to her pediatrician about the diarrhea and he said it's pretty normal with ali.mentum because the proteins are so broken down.  He said we could add rice to her bottles and that should help with the diarrhea and with her reflux.  Or we could try neo.cate.  That shit is expensive and our insurance won't cover it. 

So the new phase of our baby formula experiment is ali.mentum with rice.  Wish us luck.  And if anyone has any suggestions for nipple combos with rice I am all ears.  I am tired of trying to cut them to be just the right flow and the Y-cut is waaaay to fast for Emily.

And now for your viewing pleasure...Emily has discovered our cat Pete.  I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Hey, who are you?

Wanna be my friend?