Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I turned 35 years old today. Sigh...

My husband bought me a weed whacker for my birthday. I've been wanting one for a while now. :-) It's too bad it's rainy outside today or I'd go outside and whack the hell out of the grass that is growing against the foundation of our house, which I can't otherwise attack with the mower.

Ian and I accomplished a lot this week. At Tuesday's mommy group, he weighed 13 pounds, 2 ounces. After mommy group (and a yummy lunch at California Pizza Kitchen), I bought myself some Spanx at Lord & Taylor. I am attending my cousin's wedding this weekend and although I'm happy to report that I found an appropriate dress in my closet that fits, my belly is not quite flat yet and I will be self-conscious in the dress. The Spanx really work well to flatten out the little bulge in my tummy area.

We also visited the Carter's outlet and I bought Ian a ton of clothing. He is totally outgrowing his 0-3 month clothing. So I bought him a bunch of 6 month shorts and a bunch of 6 month onesies. All the clothing is soooo cute! I hoped to find something a little fancier for the wedding this weekend, but didn't have any luck. Hopefully people won't care that my 10 week old isn't dressed up.

I finally signed Ian up for day care yesterday. My husband and I looked at 3 different centers in town and in the end, I followed my gut in making the decision. We chose Knowledge Beginnings in Needham for multiple reasons:

1. The administrative staff and the teachers all seemed so friendly and nice. They smiled a lot and waved hi as we passed through on our tour. (At Kindercare, most of the staff was friendly, but I could tell that a couple of the secondary teachers were "just doing their jobs" and they weren't looking thrilled when holding the infants. I also didn't like that one room smelled like poop because the teachers hadn't taken out the trash at lunchtime like they were supposed to. The music was also way too loud in that room.) I also like the fact that the assistant director at Knowledge Beginnings followed up with me by both e-mail and phone after my visit to see if I had any further concerns or questions she could answer.

2. The location is really good. It is right by the highway and near the exit/entrance that my husband uses to get to and from work. In addition, if my husband isn't able to make the 6 pm pick-up time, my mother-in-law can do the pick-up and the location will be very convenient for her.

3. I like the interior space. It is warm and inviting and seems really clean without feeling sterile. In addition, they have this awesome gymnasium, which must be so nice for the kids when it is rainy outside.

4. One of the mothers that I met at mommy group has enrolled her child at Knowledge Beginnings. Her son has only been there for 2 weeks, but she is really happy with it. On her advice, I requested that Ian be placed in Infant Room #1. The primary teacher in that room has been a daycare teacher for 8 years and before that, she was a nurse. So I love the fact that she has a ton of experience. This mother's coworkers (she works at Channel 5) also use Knowledge Beginnings and rave about it.

So I think we're finished with the day care search. I know that my mother-in-law (and probably my own mother) wish I was getting a nanny. But I really just don't want a nanny. The ONLY plus I see in having a nanny is that Ian won't get as sick as he will get in daycare. And Ian will eventually get sick once he starts public school. But the nanny will cost more, we will have to coordinate vacation schedules, and she may be out sick or get stuck in traffic. Selfishly, I don't want Ian to have a second mother. He will clearly get very attached to any one person that takes care of him on a full-time basis. At least when he is in the daycare, he gets to go home to mommy and daddy rather than having a loving nanny leaving him at night. And in the words of my best friend fom high school, "I think daycare is better than nanny. Or at least, by the time he's 1, daycare will be a better choice for sure. The social interaction results in an entirely different child. Day care kids are quite adaptable, well adjusted, and more sociable. It's a positive."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2 month pediatrician visit

Ian went to his 2 month pediatrician visit this past Tuesday. Here are his stats:

Weight: 13 pounds - 75th percentile
Height: 23 inches - 50th percentile
Head circumference: 41 cm -75th percentile

So my boy continues to grow well! I'm also pretty sure he's a bit longer than 23 inches. The nurse was having a hard time measuring him because he kept pulling up his feet.

My poor son also endured his 2 month vaccinations. We decided not to spread out the shots for 2 reasons. The first is that I didn't want him to have multiple needle pokes when he could only have one needle poke. The second is that spreading out the shots means that he gets extra doses of the preservatives that are in each vaccine. So he got the 5 in 1 shot (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Influenza type b), a shot for Pneumococcal Meningitis and an oral vaccine for Rotavirus. He took the needle sticks like a champ. I think I cried more than him.

Ian got the shots around 10 am. At 2 pm he exploded in some inconsolable crying, which was unfortunate because I was out at lunch with the mommy group. He was pretty fussy all day and didn't sleep well that night. The next day, he threw up twice and was fussier than usual. By Friday morning, he was back to his usual happy temperament. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to his 4 month shots.

Yesterday, I had a doctor's appointment in the city. So I decided to bring Ian into work for a visit. Everybody oohed and aahed over him, which I loved. Everyone also told me I looked great, which I also loved! :-) He was a very good boy and he smiled for lots of people. And when he wasn't smiling, he was sleeping. I made sure to dress him in appropriate attire for being at a conservative law firm.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Feelings

I started having some new feelings today. For the last 8 weeks, I've been thinking that it will be extremely hard to stop being a full-time mom and put Ian in day care when I return to work in September. But today, when I was out for a walk with him, other feelings started creeping in. I felt lonely. I realized how much I look forward to Tuesdays, when I get to socialize and talk to the other mothers. I also know that when my husband comes home from work, all I have to contribute conversationally is the number of poopie diapers Ian had and how many times the poop shot out of his diaper and up to his shoulder blades. These feelings give me hope. I'm actually happy to feel them because it means that work won't be that dreadful when I do go back. I'm sure I will feel incredibly guilty that others are "raising" my child. But I think day care will be good for him. And I think working and exercising my brain will be good for me. The search for day care centers continues. I'm going to look at one more next week and then make a decision.

On a side note, after feeding Ian this morning and pumping, I weighed 143.0. That's the lowest number I have seen on the scale since getting pregnant and I'm happy to have finally broken the 144.0 barrier! This means that I only have .5 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And it gives me hope that I may be able to get back into the 130s, which is where I should really have been all along.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2 months old!

Ian is 2 months old today! He continues to be a very happy baby. His new hair is growing in and the peach fuzz that covers his head is so soft. It feels very good to rub and Ian seems to like it as it puts him to sleep. The hair is definitely lighter in color than my husband's hair, but it is darker than mine. It actually appears to have a reddish tinge to it! Ian's eyes are still quite dark and they appear to be a very dark green/gray. They continue to look brown in photos but in real life, they are not.

I am starting to be able to distinguish between Ian's crying noises. Whn he is hungry, his cry is intermittent and more of a whine saying, "Mooooommmmm, I'm hunnnngry. When are you going to feeeeeed me?" When he wakes up suddenly from a deep sleep, his cry is more frantic and high pitched: "Oh my god! Why am I awake? Where the hell is my pacifier!?!?!" And then there is the all out "I'm just pissed off" scream. I'm not sure what starts this scream, but he seems to do it when he is over-tired and/or when clothing is put on or pulled off over his head. And then he calms down if we hold him and shh him.

I started researching day care options this past week and it is a bit stressful. I get very sad when I think about having to leave my son in 4 months so that I can go back to work full-time. I actually teared up at the first day care center I toured when we discussed that someone other than me or my husband would see his first steps. But all the kids at the day care centers seemed so happy and so I'm sure Ian will do just fine too. And I'm lucky to be able to spend the first 6 months of his life with him.

There are 3 day care centers that are close to our home. (We decided not to look at day care places near work since it would make it hard for one parent to drop-off or pick-up). The first and most highly recommended day care (Chestnut Children's Center) has a 1 year waiting list and so I put Ian on that list. Then there is Kindercare (KC) and Knowledge Beginnings (KB), both of which have open spots in September (thanks to the downturn in the economy). I think that Ian would be perfectly fine at either KC or KB, but my husband and I will discuss the pros and cons of each and try to make a decision this weekend. It will be a great relief to put down a deposit and know that Ian has guaranteed care in September. I may continue to research in-home care options or getting a nanny, but I do think I'm leaning towards the day care approach. It's just a bit shocking to know that we will be paying $450 per week for the full-time care. For a 52 week year, that's $23,000! I will make sure that we use pre-tax dollars to pay this. When I go back to work, I will most definitely contribute to a dependant care account.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

8 weeks and still in PJs

It's Tuesday again and we went to another mommy group. At 8 weeks, Ian weighed 12 pounds, 5 ounces, which means he gained 6 ounces this past week. He's really thriving!

His wardrobe, however, could use some help. According to the women in the mommy group, I always dress Ian in pajamas. Pajamas!?! Is that what the cute one piece outfits with feet are? Ha! I didn't realize that most people think of them as PJs. My mom and sister told me that I shouldn't bother with separate pants and shirts because it is too difficult for dressing and undressing the baby, as well as diaper changes. In fact, they told me that I should return all those outfits when I received them as gifts. So I listened to them because they've had children and know better than me. But now, all Ian has in his wardrobe is PJs! I think I'll sneak out and buy a couple of cute "real" outfits so that Ian has them for mommy group and other outings. :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

It is Mother's Day weekend and I'm excited about celebrating my very first Mother's Day! My sweet husband (and baby!) bought me an outdoor bonsai tree (an outdoor Satsuki Azalea) from Pro Flowers. I put it out on our front steps and I can't wait to see it flower.

Tonight, we are planning to take the baby out to an early dinner at Sweet Basil. We still have a $50 gift certificate left over from Hanukkah. (We had tried to go to Sweet Basil to celebrate my due date/achieving 40 weeks of pregnancy, but it would have been a 90 minute wait and instead we went to Fuji Steak House. My water broke 8 hours later!)

As a new mother, I'm amazed at how quickly the baby can change/learn. Ian first smiled at 6 weeks (proof here). But I couldn't get him to repeat that smile and when he did smile, it was at the ceiling or the wall instead of when he was looking at me. At 7 weeks, he started smiling more consistently and he was clearly making more eye contact and tracking our faces. And now, at almost 8 weeks, he is constantly smiling. If he is not sleeping or feeding, he is smiling. Just now, he started fussing...not because he was hungry and not because of gas but because he wanted attention. Daddy went over to play with him and out came the smile. It is amazing. Ian is a very happy baby. I feel extremely lucky.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Baby and Captain Smiley!

It's amazing how much a baby can change in 1 week. At 6 weeks, Ian gave us his first real smile. But he didn't smile consistently and his smiles were often directed at the ceiling or the wall instead of at me. But now, at 7 weeks, he is making great eye contact and smiling a lot. He is clearly interacting with me. I took the following photos today and got Ian to smile by putting the burp cloth in his face and then pulling it away while babbling to him. I know I'm totally and completely biased, but MAN, he is one freakin' adorable baby!

Reminders of Infertility

When I was at mommy group on Tuesday, another mother mentioned that she was pregnant again. I immediately congratulated her and was genuinely happy for her...but I noticed there were some other feelings down deep. I was jealous and even a bit angry. You would think that those feelings would have gone away given my successful IVF and successful pregnancy. After all, I was at a mommy group with my beautiful 7 week old son. But those old feelings resurfaced...especially when another mother chimed in about how she was planning to perfectly time her next pregnancy. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to hop in the sack with your husband and make a baby the natural way?

I'm annoyed with myself. I have always had a bad habit of looking into the future too much instead of living in the present. And I'm doing it again. Instead of focusing 100% on my child, who I love more and more with each passing day, I am already spending mental energy thinking about how I am going to have my second child. Should I do a frozen embryo transfer with one of the three embryos I have frozen? Or, given that I'm turning 35 this month, should I do a fresh IVF cycle while I still have the chance and save the embryos that came from 34 year old eggs? Should we only transfer one embryo like we did last time and risk failure or transfer more than one and risk having multiples? I'm already thinking about making an appointment with my RE to discuss next steps in having a second child. I want Ian to have a sibling and I very much want them to be fairly close in age (2 years or less). But I wish I could just shut down these thoughts for the moment. I don't need to be thinking about this yet, but I am. I wish I wasn't such a nutjob.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

7 week weight

It's Tuesday, which means Ian and I went to mommy group again. He weighed in at 11 pounds, 15 ounces. So he only gained 4 ounces this past week. His weight gain appears to be settling down, which makes sense because his night time feeds are very short. Last night, he fed twice from me, but only 6 minutes for each feeding!

I was hoping that Ian would get closer to sleeping through the night because for 3 days in a row, he only had one overnight feeding. But he has now gone back to multiple nighttime feeds, which is disappointing. But the nurse at mommy group said that this is common and normal. She also mentioned to me that exclusively breastfed babies will not sleep like formula fed babies. That's too bad, but I'm not so overtired that I'm going to break down and give him formula. I'm still producing a TON of milk and so that's what he's gonna get!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mums the Word

There are two topics that I generally don't discuss at my Tuesday mommy group because if I did, I would look like a total biyatch.

The first is my weight loss. I gained only 26.5 pounds during my 40 week pregnancy (which makes it all the more shocking that I had a baby that weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces!). And except for 4-5 pounds, all of that extra weight came off dramatically and without effort about 3 weeks after Ian was born. As of this morning, 7 weeks after Ian's birth, I weighed 144.5 pounds, which means I have only 2 more pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. (That being said, I would love to get down to 135 pounds, which would really be ideal for me.) Today, I wore a pair of my old jeans and I was actually comfortable in them. They are just a bit tight in the stomach area, but otherwise fit quite well. And I have a sneaky feeling that even after I lose the last 2 pounds, my stomach still won't look the way it did before I got pregnant. I can just tell that the muscles in my abdomen are stretched and I'm going to need to work hard to tighten them and pull everything back in.

The second topic that I don't discuss is my supply of breast milk. All the other mothers in the group have started supplementing their child with formula because they don't make enough milk. They ask the nurse what they can do to produce more milk and pride themselves on pumping 3-4 extra ounces of milk to keep in the fridge or freezer. I pumped 20 ounces yesterday, in addition to breast feeding my child. The milk pours out of my breasts. At this time, I have roughly 175 ounces of breast milk frozen in our freezer. We even went out and bought an additional fridge/freezer for the basement so that we have room to store all of my milk and not take-over the freezer in the kitchen. Needless to say, my problem is that I have an overabundance of breast milk. Now I'm certainly not complaining about having enough milk to feed my child. It really feels great to know that my child is exclusively breastfed and thriving on it. But I really do wish I made only enough to feed him. My breasts get so unbelievably full of milk during the course of the night that I have woken up from the pain. The discomfort I feel has even worked its way into my dreams. And my poor baby often gags, chokes and sputters when he first starts feeding from one of my overly full breasts. I know that breast milk will only last 3-4 months in the freezer and so we have been using the older breast milk in the 1 bottle that my husband feeds Ian in the morning. But still, I am pumping more than we use each day. At this point, I think I may actually look into donating my extra milk. I don't want it to go to waste and I think it would be absolutely fantastic if someone else could benefit. For now, I'm happy to feed my child and continue pumping. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm already anxious about the time when I have to wean my child. It is going to really hurt.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Guess I Really Was Sliced Open

My exercise classes at the JCC started this week. On Wednesday mornings, I do a class called "Restore the Core" and on Friday mornings, I do a class called "StrollerFit." Both classes are geared towards new mothers and their babies. Before I got pregnant and had Ian, I would have found these classes inordinately easy. But man, being pregnant for 40 weeks (I refuse to say 9 months because women are pregnant for 10 months!) really did a number on my body. And it didn't help that my ab muscles got sliced open just under 7 weeks ago. I could totally feel the incision site when doing certain of the ab exercises. I didn't feel pain, but the incision wasn't letting me forget that I had an emergency C-section on March 16!

So now I sit here on the couch, with a heating pad on my twitching back muscles, whining to myself. Today, as part of the class, we did squats (fine), pushups (fine) and tricep exercises (also fine). But we also ran. Ran! Sometimes we ran with the stroller. Sometimes we ran without it. Either way, it hurt. It didn't hurt my feet, knees, legs or lower back. It SLAUGHTERED my breasts. I was wearing my regular sports bra (which fits correctly only right after I pump) and that just didn't cut it. I didn't have enough support. And I'm pretty sure that I could wear 8 of the sports bras and STILL not have enough support. Apparently, at least one other mother felt the same as me because I noticed that as she was running, she was holding her breasts up with her hands! I really wanted to do the same, but there were children playing at a nearby playground and I didn't want to be the one responsible for scarring them for life. For next week's class, I may have to break out an ace bandage and wrap myself up super tight. Or maybe duct tape will work? Either way, I have to come up with a solution.