Friday, July 31, 2009

The Pool!

We put Ian in the pool for the first time. The water was so nice and warm for him because after all, it's summertime in Florida! I wish I could say that Ian liked being in the water, but honestly, it didn't really seem like he noticed he was in the water! He didn't try to splash and I just held him and played with him. So he was happy, but I think he would have been just as happy if I did these things on land with him. But overall, at least he didn't cry or seem to hate it.

I was fairly happy with the way I looked in the bathing suit, although I would love to lose the back fat that seemed to creep up on me during my pregnancy. I know I'm being hard on myself because everyone is telling me how great I look for only being 4.5 months post-partum. And I know I look good for the situation. I just look forward to looking a bit better. But I bet I won't be able to get my body looking the way I want it to until after I stop nursing Ian. These D boobs are starting to be cumbersome! But really, it's all worth it to me. I love nursing Ian. I love that he has grown so much and thrived on the nourishment that only I can provide to him. I'm very proud of that.


We have been "Ferberizing" Ian to help him sleep better in his crib. Even after adding back in the swaddle, Ian did NOT want to go to sleep on his back in his crib. I think he really would prefer to be on his side, but not only is that not safe for him because of the risk of SIDS, he just wakes up again when he rolls onto his tummy or back. So we picked up the new edition of Dr. Richard Ferber's book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" and have been using his described methods to help Ian sleep in his crib. So far, it's been successful (although painful to do). The first night, we ended up Ferberizing Ian around midnight after he woke up and we couldn't get him back to sleep. He cried for 40 minutes (with intermittent soothing from us) and finally fell back asleep. The second night, we Ferberized Ian at bedtime and he cried for 30 minutes. The next time it was only 20 minutes and yesterday, when we did it for a nap, he only cried for 9 minutes. I hope that he will go to sleep soon without any crying!

We have been mostly successful at scheduling Ian's naps at 9ish, 12ish and 3ish, but today, when we went out food shopping, we couldn't keep him awake in his car seat and let him fall asleep at 10:45 am. It's 12:15 pm now and he's still sleeping! I wish he slept this well in his crib. We only get 30-45 minutes from him for naps in his crib. As my mom said, "He's not one for sleeping." But maybe he can learn to sleep better!

Monday, July 27, 2009

First Flight, First Food and First Naps in Crib!

We are in Florida right now visiting my family. The trip down was completely uneventful. Ian was a very good boy. He slept in the cab on the way to the airport and then woke up as we neared the airport. We sailed through security with him and I nursed him at our departure gate. He stayed awake for the first 1 hour of the flight and after nursing again, he slept the last 2 hours. (As an aside, nursing in the middle seat on a plane is not so easy. Ian kept kicking the guy sitting in the window seat and if I tried to nurse Ian on the other breast, I just didn't have enough shoulder room to position Ian on my breast. I finally switched seats with my husband and had a little bit more room to work in the aisle seat, with my husband in the middle seat). Ascending and descending in the plane didn't bother him AT ALL. And as I carried the still sleeping baby off the plane, I joked to my husband, "I can't get this baby to sleep in his crib, but he's still sleeping after the plane's descent." I think a couple of people snickered when they overheard this.

We also gave Ian rice cereal for the first time two days ago. We mixed one tablespoon of the Earth's Best organic rice cereal with 3-4 tablespoons of breast milk. Ian did really well! At first, he pushed his tongue forward so that the cereal came right back out, but after 3-4 spoonfuls, he seemed to understand that he could swallow.

Overall, he appeared to enjoy the experience because he didn't scream or fuss and he opened his mouth nicely for the spoon. We also fed him the cereal twice yesterday. I was really hoping that the cereal in his tummy would help him sleep better/longer, but unfortunately, it didn't help.

My sister and her family came over yesterday and met Ian for the first time. My twin nephews were adorable. After seeing Ian for the first time, they finally understood why the little baby wouldn't be playing Wii Sports with them! My brother-in-law played with Ian a lot yesterday and Ian just adored all the male attention. He does seem to prefer males to females in giving up smiles.

And best of all the firsts, Ian napped in his crib for all 3 naps yesterday! Here's the back story: I'm an idiot. I decided that since Ian was breaking out of his swaddle consistently that we would just take it away. We then had a fairly crappy week of sleeping. But I finally picked up Dr. Ferber's book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" and we read that a child needs strong associations with sleep and a good routine in order to sleep well. And we realized that our child's strong association with sleep was the swaddle!! So we re-introduced it in modified form. We swaddled his legs, tummy and chest, but left his arms out. And it was immediately easier to put Ian to bed. He went to sleep quite easily, as he had before we had gone cold turkey on the swaddle. We then decided to swaddle Ian for each of his naps and that worked great too! Yesterday, he took a nap at 9:15 am (slept for 45 minutes), 12:15 pm (slept for 1 hour and 45 minutes) and 3:30 pm (slept for 45 minutes). No more naps in the bouncy seat! And we put him down for the night at 7:15 pm. He woke to feed at 10:30 pm and 3:45 am and he woke up a couple of other times needing the pacifier, but overall, it was just a more pleasant night than we've had in a long time.

The other thing that is helping Ian sleep is the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium. My parents borrowed it from a friend. It has bubbles and music and lights and Ian stares at it in a way that he never stared at his mobile at home. And I truly think it helps him to fall asleep. We offered to buy it from my parents' friend, but she decided to give it to us for free! So we are most definitely bringing it back to Boston with us and may buy a second one from Ebay to put on the crib in day care.

Our next step is eliminating Ian's need for the pacifier. I will most likely enlist the day care to help with this. :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is There Anyone Out There?

In honor of International Comment Leaving Week (ICLW), I would really appreciate it if those of you out there reading my blog would leave a comment and say hi.

I'm guessing I don't have too many readers (if any at all) for multiple reasons. One: My blog is probably pretty boring. It's more of a diary to myself than a literary piece meant to entertain others. Two: We're really on the fringes of the infertile community. Even though we had to use IVF to conceive my son, we didn't waste much time before seeing a doctor, the first IVF cycle worked and my insurance paid for the cycle. So I really have nothing to complain about and can only feel lucky that things turned out the way they did. Third: Have I mentioned I'm boring?

I happened to run into my RE on Tuesday after mommy group. She recognized me (sort of), quickly took a peek at Ian (like for a millisecond) and then ran off while yelling over her shoulder, "Send us a picture!" I forgot how lacking she is in social graces. But I should have known better. The first thing she ever said when meeting me and my husband was, "Let's talk about your uterus." But hey, she got me pregnant and I never signed up to be her friend. What's interesting is that another woman at mommy group used IVF to have her son. And she had a consultation with my RE. My friend said that my RE was really pretty awful and told her, in not so many words, that her only chances of having a child were adoption. Wow. So my friend went to Boston IVF and got pregnant on the first IVF round! I told her that she should write a big "You Suck" letter to my RE.

So it's a little weird how I happened to run into my RE in the first place. Mommy group is held in a conference room in the Harvard Vanguard building. Ten minutes before the group was over, I heard someone cry out "Oh my god. Ohhhhhhhh" and heard several women suck in their breath sharply. A 7 month old girl in the group had been sitting on the table and quickly pushed off the table with her feet. The consequence is that she ended up flying backwards. Her mom was right there behind her, with her hand on her back, but the little girl managed to roll out of her mother's hands and fell to the floor. God. It was scary. I didn't see the fall, but I saw the mother lose all color in her face. And the baby started wailing, which I learned is apparently a good thing because it is REALLY bad if a baby doesn't cry after a fall. That signals there is a head injury. But because the baby hit her head, the mother couldn't let her go to sleep for 1 hour. So instead of going right out to lunch like we usually do, a bunch of us waited around with the mother to make sure her baby was okay. But there was no good place to wait. We got kicked out of our conference room at noon. So we went over into the OB/GYN waiting area, which is also where the infertility specialists work. I felt bad. Here we were, 4 women with 4 infants, and we were all congregated around a woman who ended up having an appointment with my RE. I know this because my RE came out to get this woman from the waiting room and that's when I ran into my RE. Sigh. I tried to get the other women to move away a bit. I even said, "Hey, some of these women are here for fertility treatments and may not welcome us and our babies." But the other mothers (even the one who did IVF!) sort of looked at me like I was crazy. Oh well. I tried.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cold Turkey on the Swaddle

First, the facts. At 18 weeks, Ian weighed 16.0 pounds.

We have gone cold turkey on the swaddle. I decided that this would be the right move since Ian has broken free of his swaddle for 4 nights straight and he was spending a lot of his sleep time attempting to get loose. The first night was fairly awful because we couldn't get him to fall asleep without the swaddle and then he got overtired. There was a lot of screaming. And even after he fell asleep, he woke up a lot needing the pacifier. But we're determined people and decided to try it again last night. We just needed a new bedtime routine without the swaddle.

My husband was working late and so I did this all myself. I fed Ian around 7 pm and he fell asleep on me. Crap. So I then woke him up by changing his diaper, put him in cotton feety pajamas (something we didn't do the night before) and read him a story twice (also new). I then rocked him in my arms while singing a lullaby to him. He got pretty sleepy and so I put him in his crib where he promptly started crying and flailing his arms. Swear words. I picked him up quickly (to avoid a repeat of the night before) and turned on the mobile and rocked him some more. He got sleepy again and this time, when I put him down, he stayed calm. I rubbed his belly for 1-2 minutes and he fell asleep at 7:30 pm. After this, he needed his pacifier twice before 8:15 pm, but then he slept until 12:30 am when he needed to feed. And then after that? After that? HE SLEPT UNTIL 6 AM!!! He didn't wake to feed. He didn't wake for a pacifier. It was bliss. I hope this happens again, but I know better than to say anything out loud because Ian likes to prove me wrong.

In other news, I've been swimming again and it feels great. The JCC has babysitting hours from 8:30 am to noon and it's only $4 for 1 hour! So I went for a swim this past Friday and Monday and swam 1500 and 1750 yards, respectively. Ian was a good boy for the babysitters and spent most of the time napping. I think the swimming has helped with my weight loss because I was 142.0 on the scale this morning. This is the lowest I've seen in a while. Unfortunately, I don't feel like I LOOK like I'm 142.0, which is my official pre-pregnancy weight. I still have a little bit of a gut and my thighs and ass still seem bigger. I think my shape may have changed permanently. I'm okay with this and it helps that my husband is so supportive. I just wish my clothes fit better. Oh yeah, I'm also a 36D instead of a 36C, which I found out when getting measured for a nursing bra. I hope these babies shrink when I'm done nursing!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

4 months

Ian is 4 months old today! Here are his chair photos before and after his bath. :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

4 Month Stats

Ian is almost 4 months old and he had his 4 month pediatrician visit yesterday. He handled his vaccinations like a champ (with very minimal crying when the needle went in) and wasn't nearly as cranky afterwards as he was after his 2 month shots. His stats are pretty impressive:

Weight: 15 pounds, 11.2 ounces - 75th percentile
Height: 26.5 inches - 95th percentile
Head Circumference: 42.5 cm - 60th percentile

I'm still not quite sure how my husband and I produced this little man. I'm 5'5" and my husband is 5'10" so it's not like we're huge people. And Ian weighs more than either of us did at this age. But I won't complain. I'm very happy to have a healthy and strong baby. I just wish he would sleep through the night!

I'm getting incredibly bored being at home. I usually look forward to Tuesdays because that's when I go to mommy group. But most of the old crew is gone (on vacation or back to work) and the new mommies that have shown up all have such little babies and none of them want to go out to lunch afterwards. So today I took Ian to the library where I picked out 3 movies and 2 books. Since it's the summer time and there's really no good TV on at night, this should keep me occupied. :-) I also requested The Milk Memos, which was recommended to me.

I'm ticked at one of the nurses that attends my mommy group meetings. When I mentioned that I donated 200 ounces of breast milk to a mother in New York who couldn't produce enough milk for her baby because of insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), the nurse kept saying how she had never heard of privately donating milk and that it didn't seem like a good idea because there was no way to ensure that the milk was safe (and the mom was disease free). She said she could get comfortable with a milk bank because they screen donors and ensure the milk is safe. But milk banks pasteurize the milk (which basically kills all the good stuff in the breast milk) and on top of that, they SELL the milk to mothers in need! And frankly I don't care what this nurse could get comfortable with. Obviously, women who seek out breast milk donations think it's still a better choice than formula. I did a good thing by helping this woman and her daughter and this nurse was making me feel bad about it, like I participated in something unsavory. Screw her. Once I build up another frozen stash, I am planning to donate to a local MA mother who adopted a baby that was exposed to drugs in utero. I have an abundant supply of milk and it really makes me feel good to help others.

I'm really looking forward to our trip to Florida at the end of this month. It will be so nice to be around other people for a full week. And since the pediatrician told us that it was okay to start feeding Ian solids, I'm going to give him rice cereal for the first time with my mother. She'll get such a kick out of it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Damn, I Love this Kid.

I can't stop looking at this photo. Damn, my kid is cute! We had a good day today. Ian napped in the bouncy seat a couple of times and also fell asleep in the jogging stroller. And the weather is finally beautiful! It was sunny and 74 degrees today. After our walk and a snack, Ian and I spent even more time outside. He babbles and cooed in the bouncy seat while I dug up some weeds around the house. He really adores being outside (well, as long as the sun isn't in his eyes and the wind isn't blowing too hard). And I got to hear plenty more giggles today. Man, I ADORE that sound.

I'm also happy to report that I finally see progress being made on the deck that we're building on the back of our house. There was a 2 week delay to get the plot survey done and then another 1 week delay getting the building permit from Needham. And then the rain shut us down for a while. But now the framing is up and I can see just how huge it's going to be. I can't wait until we're barbecuing out there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Laugh!

First, let's get the facts out of the way. At 16 weeks, Ian weighed 15 pounds, 7 ounces (gaining 8 ounces this past week). My little boy is...not...little. We go to the doctor on Monday for his 4 month visit and I'll be curious what percentile he is in for height and weight.

Ian has been sleeping a little bit better at night. He goes to sleep very regularly around 7:30 pm now and is, more often than not, waking up only once to feed, usually around 2 am. (Of course, to prove me wrong, last night he woke up at 12 am and 4 am to feed.) The killer is when he wakes up needing his pacifier. We've had only one night since he was born where he didn't wake up at all for his pacifier. In general, he wakes at least 2-3 times per night needing that small piece of silicone stuck back into his screaming mouth. Sigh. He calms down immediately once he is sucking again, but I'm not quite sure what is bothering him enough to wake him up in the first place. We haven't made much progress with daytime naps. He definitely will not sleep in his crib and I'll usually only get 30-45 minutes from him in the bouncy seat. I like getting out of the house with him because he will nap in the car seat or stroller.

The really nice and new development is that we heard Ian laugh out loud for the first time this week. He LOVES being pulled up into a standing position by his arms and he was giggling like crazy. I also got him to giggle tonight right before I swaddled him for bed. I was tickling his tummy and chest and he was really loving it. I would do anything to just keep hearing that little laugh. It is music to my ears.

Today was the first nice day (no rain drops!) we've had in a long time. I took Ian in the stroller down to the center of town and ran an errand and then we sat in the park. Ian sat on my lap and I watched him while he watched everything. He stared at the kids playing and watched as each bird flew near him. He was so aware of everything and it was really cool to watch.