Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weight at 6 weeks

Just a quick post to record that at 6 weeks of age, Ian weighed 11 pounds, 11 ounces. That means he gained 6 ounces this week.

Here is a photo that was taken by the nurse at our mommy group meeting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Captain Awesome at 6 weeks!

Being a parent rocks. But being a parent to an awesome child rocks even more! Last night, my 6-week old son slept in his own crib in his own room from 10:30 pm until 6:30 am with only one night-time feed at 3:15 am. How unbelievably cool is that?! And this morning, after I fed him and changed his diaper, he was in crazy "happy baby" mode. What this means is that he is super alert (eyes WIDE open), moving all 4 limbs like mad and cooing. And lately (over the past 1 week), it means that I have seen fleeting glimpses of what could be smiles. But I'm never sure of the smiles. But this morning, I experienced Ian's first social smiles. He was clearly responding to seeing and hearing me. And later in the morning, it became obvious to me that he was making eye contact with me and tracking my head as I moved it from side to side. Amazing.

Thoughts on Infertility

I am unbelievably lucky. Even though I had to use IVF to have my son Ian, I didn't waste too much time trying naturally and I was able to get pregnant on the first round with a single embryo transfer. I cannot compare my experience to the infertility suffered by my sister. Nor can I even begin to imagine the pain and devastating losses about which so many infertile women blog. But one thing that I read recently on a blog rings true: once infertile, it's hard to leave those thoughts behind. I can't believe it, but I am still bothered by pregnant bellies (and this is only 6 weeks after having my own very pregnant belly!). I am already thinking about the "next round" so that Ian can have a sibling who is fairly close in age to him. I continue to read blogs about IVF and cross my fingers for all the other women out there to experience the success that I had. I worry that the next round won't go nearly as well as my first round. You would think I could just be happy and enjoy my son. And I sure do. I'm elated and ecstatic that Ian made it into my life. But it's extraordinarily hard not to be greedy and I want more. I'm already thinking about making an appointment with my RE just to discuss the next steps. I need to understand whether I can do the next round while continuing to breastfeed Ian. I'm guessing because of the necessary hormone treatments, I will have to stop breastfeeding my son, in which case I will wait at least 6 months because I certainly don't want to short-change him. And I need to understand how soon after a C-section it is safe to be pregnant again. I wish I could just focus on the present and on my ever-changing amazing son, but I can't. I'm still infertile.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

4+ Hours of Uninterrupted Sleep!

I have a GOOD baby. God, he is just good. About 1 week ago, when Ian was just over 5 weeks old, I decided that it was time for him to sleep in his own room (instead of in the bassinet portion of a Pack N'Play in our master bedroom). The first couple of nights were a little rocky. He didn't sleep in his crib for very long periods of time and either wanted back into our bedroom or simply wanted to be placed in his bouncy seat instead of flat on his back in a crib. Here I sit, one week later, and Ian is sleeping GREAT in his own crib.

Ian has also been stretching out the time in between his feeds. During the day, he is still wanting to feed every 2.5 to 3 hours. But lately, we are getting a 5 hour stretch between 7 pm and midnight. I would have preferred the 5 hour stretch to be from midnight to 5 am, but I'm still happy about any 5 hour stretch. In addition, Ian takes only very short feeds in the middle of the night. Instead of the 18-20 minutes that he feeds during the day, his nighttime feeds are only 7-10 minutes. He also isn't urinating/pooping as much during the night, which is great.

Last night, Ian was awake more than usual after his 7 pm feeding. And it seemed like he wanted to feed again around 10 pm. So I fed him for 10 minutes and he fell asleep. I crossed my fingers and hoped that this would mean that he would sleep past his usual midnight feed...and he did! I went to bed around 10:30 pm and he didn't wake me up crying until 3:00 am! I was so happy! I haven't gotten that much uninterrupted sleep since he was born and I know that many people with 6 week old babies do not get that kind of sleep. I feel incredibly lucky that we have Ian, such a GOOD baby!

Ian has also been making a lot of cooing noises, which are new this week. He has what we call "Happy Baby" periods where he is just wide awake and well...happy. He coos a lot, tries to look at us and does seem to be interacting with us more. We still aren't seeing consistent smiles and in general, the smiles we do see don't seem to be reactions to our faces, but man, he's cute! I look forward to seeing a true social smile.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Growing like a Weed!

Ian and I went to mommy group again today. This time, we actually prepared to go and so I showered, dried my hair, put on some makeup and put just a little bit of thought into my clothing. I also put Ian in one of his cuter outfits. The nurse at the group brings a scale every week and so I was very curious to see how much weight this little boy gained in 1 week. Well, at 5 weeks old, he came in at a whopping 11 pounds, 5 ounces, which means he gained 9 ounces in 1 week. I'm really thankful and happy that he is thriving on my breast milk, but man, he is HUGE! He is one of the youngest babies in the group and despite that, he outweighs almost all of them! And the one baby that he doesn't outweigh has a mother who is 5'8" and a father who is 6'3"! I'm really not sure how me and my hubby produced this guy! I'm 5'5" and my husband is almost 5'10". I weighed only 5 pounds, 12 ounces at birth and my husband, while bigger, was 7.5 pounds at birth. People keep telling me that weight/height can change dramatically, but for now, I'm considering Ian a very big baby!

I decided to try feeding Ian from a bottle when we all went out to lunch today. I had planned ahead and brought a Dr. Brown's bottle full of 4+ ounces of breast milk. Ian took it like a champ! He took 2 ounces pretty quickly, slept for 30 minutes, and then finished off the bottle. Although Ian had taken bottles from my husband before, this was my first time feeding with a bottle. It was nice! I was actually able to hold him with my left arm and hold the bottle with my left hand and still eat my own lunch with my right hand. But I plan on only using bottles when I'm out and about with Ian. I'd still rather him go to my breast when we're at home. I'm also very proud that I'm still exclusively breastfeeding Ian. He has never had formula. All the other mothers have switched to pure formula or a mix of breast milk and formula. Some of them do it out of convenience. Others do it because their milk supply is drying up. As someone who already has 100 ounces of breast milk frozen (I just counted twenty 5 oz bags in my freezer), I will continue to breast feed him. And for all the luxury that I had using a bottle to feed Ian at lunch, I came home just as my left breast started soaking the shirt that I was wearing. Luckily, Ian woke up from his nap and fed..otherwise it would have been another pumping session!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First Smiles?

Last night, I was tickling Ian when he was sitting in his bouncy seat and he looked at me and smiled three times. I think they were real smiles and not gas, but it's so hard to tell and I haven't been able to reproduce the smiles. He's almost 5 weeks old and so it's not inconceivable that they were real smiles. Part of me doesn't want him to grow any bigger, but part of me can't WAIT for him to interact with us.

We've been doing tummy time with Ian. He is holding his head up pretty nicely, although not for very long each time. We limit the amount of time he is on his tummy and turn him over when he starts fussing/crying (which makes tummy time last only 3-4 minutes).

I think the baby is starting to understand the difference between night and day. We've started keeping him unswaddled during the day and only swaddle him at night, which may help. But his feed cycles are every 3 or 3+ hours during the night and during the day, they tend to be shorter...more like 2.5 hours. Luckily, he seems to be getting over his gas issues. I stopped giving him the mylicon drops earlier this week and he doesn't seem to be missing them. I cut milk out of my diet about 4 days ago (although I didn't cut out dairy because I kept eating cheese and yogurt) and I'm going to reintroduce milk and see if it makes any difference in his fussiness/gas. There hasn't been any uncontrollable crying for at least 3-4 days now. I also ate spicy Indian food last night and Ian seems completely unaffected even 24 hours later. Now, his crying seems to be limited to the times when he is hungry, wanting attention or needing his diaper changed. What a good baby!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Month Old Today

Ian is one month old today! Given the special anniversary, I decided to give him a bath. Isn't he cute all wrapped up in his towel?

I also decided to take the "chair photo" where you place your baby next to an object of known size. Here is Ian looking very serious next to the bunny that his cousin gave to him.

And Ian's grandpa and great-grandmother came over for a visit too and took some photos. I really like this one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 pounds, 12 ounces and 22.25 inches at 4 weeks!

I took Ian to the pediatrician yesterday for his 4-week checkup. The boy weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces! In 2 weeks, he gained 26 ounces (up from 9 pounds, 2 ounces) and he grew 1.25 inches (now 22.25 inches, up from 21 inches). All of his measurements (including head circumference) put him at the 75th percentile (up from the 50th percentile). I guess I grow 'em big! He thrived in my uterus and now he is thriving on my breast milk. It sure feels good! Otherwise, the doctor said he was healthy. He received his first Hep B shot and I have to start him on a multi-vitamin to make sure he gets enough Vitamin D (because Vitamin D apparently doesn't pass through the mother's breast milk).

On my way out of the doctor's office, I passed by a conference room and recognized two women from my childbirth education class (Stacie and Jamy). I stopped in and said hello and asked what they were doing there. Apparently, there is a mothers' group every Tuesday morning from 10 am to 12 pm. It was so fortuitous that I ran into them! So I decided to hang out with the group since I was only planning to go home and do laundry anyway. It was a fun 2 hours. And then we all went out to eat lunch in Framingham. It was hysterical when 6 women, all with strollers, walked into the restaurant. I'm sure all the other diners weren't pleased. There was a lot of loud talking, baby screaming/fussing and breastfeeding going on. I loved it! I finally got us home around 3:00 pm and boy, was I tired! It was a great, but long day. I'm definitely going back to the mother's group every Tuesday. It's nice to share stories and ask questions. There is also a nurse at each meeting and so I can weigh Ian each week when I go (since Ian doesn't go back to the doctor until his 2 month visit).

Two things that I learned from the mothers' group: (1) I MUST buy the Baby Trend Snap 'N Go stroller. It will be so much lighter and easier to fold up and put in my trunk and our Chico Key Fit 30 car seat will fit into it. (2) I want to buy a nursing cover. I think it would also be a good idea to pick up some Dr. Brown's bottles. Right now, we have tried bottle feeding three times, just using the Medela bottles that came with the pump and freezer storage kit.

I weighed 145.5 pounds this morning, which means I still have 3 pounds left to lose in order to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. These last few pounds are definitely lingering and my body doesn't appear to be shedding them quickly. And I have a feeling that even if I lose 3 pounds, I'll still have a belly that I'll need to tighten and tone. My mother-in-law expressed to my husband that she wanted to feel more useful. So I've invited her to come babysit on Friday so that I can head to the JCC and go for a swim. I think this arrangement will make both of us happy. :-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

End of First Week At Home Alone

It's Friday evening and Ian and I are waiting for daddy to get home. We made it to the end of our first solo week together. We had some adventures, including opening up a joint savings account at the bank (Monday), grocery shopping (Tuesday) and renting a safe deposit box (Wednesday). Ian also "participated" in his first Passover Seder on Wednesday night. My in-laws came over with all of the food and necessary dishware and we celebrated the first night of Passover. Since the weather was so beautiful yesterday and today, the daily activity involved a 3 mile walk. Today, I decided to be adventurous and include the big hill in our walk. It was tough to push the stroller up that hill! I was definitely out of breath and sweaty when we reached the top.

On a personal note, it looks like the last 4-5 pounds I gained during pregnancy are not coming off easily, as did all of the other weight. So I'm going to have to work for the last little bit. I can't wait until I feel up to doing some crunches. I want to get this belly back into shape! Right now, although I feel pretty healed, I can still feel the incision and think an ab workout would be overdoing it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our First Outing

Today was my first day alone with Ian. Since I came home from the hospital, my parents were here visiting and helping out. They left on Saturday morning, but then my husband was around to help out over the rest of the weekend. Today was the first day that I was alone with my son. I decided that we would go to the bank to open up a joint savings account so that I could deposit the checks that Ian received. I loaded Ian up in the car and off we went. Success! It was so successful that I decided to continue on to CVS and Finagle a Bagel. Once I parked, I had a bit of trouble inserting Ian's car seat into the stroller. This was made a bit more stressful by the fact that it had started to rain. But I finally got a strap out of the way and the handle of the stroller in the right position and click!, in he went. We bought everything we needed at both stores and I was happy to take home a tuna melt for lunch. Once we got home, Ian slept in his car seat for another 30 minutes before he was ready for his own lunch.

Is it sad that I'm terribly impressed with myself (especially since I managed to eat breakfast, start a load of laundry, pump and feed Ian twice before heading out the door)? I feel as much pride today as I do when successfully negotiating a difficult license for a client. And that says a lot!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

3 weeks and 3 pounds to go!

Tomorrow, at 6:11 am, Ian will be 3 weeks old. As of this morning, I weighed 145.5 pounds, which is 3 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm glad the weight came off quickly (and without any effort on my part), but I'm realizing that I will need to work at getting my stomach back into the shape it was in before. Although I'm only 3 pounds heavier than prior to getting pregnant, my stomach is poochy and I really want to tighten it up. Given that I had major abdominal surgery 3 weeks ago, I don't want to push it and so I will most likely wait at least another 2 weeks before doing any abdominal exercises. But I will be signing up for the Stroller Fit class at the JCC (which starts on April 17) and I will try to take walks with Ian as long as the weather permits it. Today, it was beautiful out (albeit a bit windy, which my son did not like!) and we took a 2 mile walk. I had previously only walked 1 mile at a time, but today, I decided to do the neighborhood loop twice instead of just once. It felt really good. I haven't taken any pain medication (600 mg Motrin) in over 36 hours and I don't feel like I need it because of the walk. Go me!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

No More Parents, But Successful Bottle Feed!!

My parents left this morning. They had been here for 3 weeks to help out, although for the first 4 days after Ian's birth, I only saw them when they came to visit at the hospital. The last 2 weeks with them were amazing. They did all the shopping and cooking. My mother kept me very well fed, which I needed because I was absolutely starving from the breastfeeding! My father kept himself busy fixing up the basement. He loves his projects! He re-sanded and re-painted the walls, stained the wood shelves and doors and installed the Pergo flooring. I no longer have to cringe when I walk down the steps to the garage. Instead of seeing knotty wood pine walls and cracked and dirty brown/beige floor tiles, I see beautifully painted, light yellow walls and flooring that looks like real wood. I absolutely love it. I was extremely sad to see my parents go. I started crying and made my mom and dad tear up too. Not only will I miss the help that they offered, but I'm going to miss their company. It sure will be lonely here without them (especially when my husband is at work during the weekdays). I am already looking forward to their next visit at the end of May.

In other news, Ian is almost 3 weeks old. Since his birth, he has consistently latched well to my breast and I think that I've clearly established a good (if not overabundant) milk supply. So we decided that today would be the day to try bottle feeding for the first time. Ian's pediatrician warned us not to wait too long and so we made today the day. Daddy used one of the Medela nipples that came with the pumping bottles we bought and Ian took it immediately and like a champ.

He drank 3 ounces and didn't seem to care that (a) he wasn't feeding from a breast and (b) that I was in the room (and taking pictures like a mad woman). Now we just have to figure out how much bottle feeding we should do in order to make sure that Ian takes both breast and bottle easily. If anyone is out there and reading my blog, do you have any thoughts or experience on this?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Unique Moments

There are some things that only happen once and three of those things happened in the last 24 hours:

1. Last night, as I was changing my baby's diaper and putting some Vaseline on his penis, I noticed that he had an erection. I'm sure this will be the first of many.
2. This afternoon, after pulling my baby's urine-soaked onesie over his head, I realized that my baby was crying real tears.
3. This afternoon, the nub of my son's umbilical cord, which had been hanging on by a thread, finally fell off (18 days after birth). And we are now free to bathe him, which we will do tonight, when my husband gets home from work.

I love these milestones!