Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Months as Mav’s Mommy | A Quarterly Update

I never meant to go so long without posting on this blog. My intentions were to write monthly updates along with a laundry list of other topics. But life changes after you have a baby, that’s for sure. Taking care of Mav has been my number one priority. Followed by sleep. Then recovering from pregnancy and childbirth. And finally, nurturing myself and my real-life relationships. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much time or energy left for reading blogs and writing.

But I’m here now and promise not to abandon this space. It just took me a while to come up for air. The first 3 months of Mav’s life have been a whirlwind. Amazing. Scary. Awe-inspiring. Tiring. Beautiful. Words really do escape me. Being a mother is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Every day, I am so grateful to have him as part of our family. It is the hugest blessing in my life to be his mother.

For those of you who are still trying to conceive your miracle babies…DON’T GIVE UP. If the door keeps slamming in your face, try a different one. Even if it looks different that you imagined it would. On the other side is parenthood. And it doesn’t really matter how you get there. All the pain, tears, money and heartache are worth it.

Recently, I received an email from a woman considering donor eggs. She wanted to know if I wish I’d tried harder with my own eggs. She asked whether I felt like I was missing out on anything with my son.

Answer: Absolutely NOT.

He is the child that we were always meant to have. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Not for one second have I felt that I am missing out or that he is not really my child. In fact, if I had the choice between him or a child from my eggs…I would choose him. Without a doubt. I wanted to put that out there for anyone considering egg donation and wondering the same thing.

It’s almost over. I go back to work on Monday. Gah! I can’t believe it. Seems like the time went by WAY too quickly. I’m going to miss lil man with every fiber of my being when I’m away from him. But it will be good to use my brain and have some adult time (outside of my pajamas).

Thankfully Mav is on a pretty solid schedule and he’s sleeping about 7 hours each night (on average). So this should make going back to work manageable. His schedule looks roughly like this…wake and eat at 6AM. Play and then go down for nap. Wake and eat at 10AM. Play and go down for nap. Wake and eat at 2PM. Play and go down for nap. Wake and eat at 6PM. Play (and incorporating bath time here but we’ve been inconsistent) and go down for nap. After this nap, I usually have to wake him up at about 10PM before I go to bed to feed him so that he will sleep throughout the night.

The tough part is that he is still in our room and he's restless after about 2AM. He wakes me up a several times each night. Especially when he pops his arm out of his swaddle…pretty much every night. I’m on the hunt for THE best swaddle. Borrowing the Ollie from a friend and heard that the zipadee-zip is worth trying too. We are transitioning him into his crib in his bedroom this week after we get the Angelcare monitor hooked up for mama’s peace of mind.

For childcare, we are doing a combo of my husband, my mom and myself. We are fortunate that my mom has the summers off from work so she can help us watch Mav. It will keep him out of daycare until August. At that point, we will be putting him in a daycare for 2 or 3 days each week.

Mav never was able to latch (for reasons that I will explain in more detail some day). But I’ve been pumping and feeding him breast milk since he came home from the NICU. In fact, I produce so much milk that our freezer is overflowing and hubby complains that he can’t fit anything inside of it. But I am stockpiling in case my supply goes down when I return to work.

Although baby boy doesn’t seem to care whether his milk is delivered via breast or bottle, I still have moments when I’m sad that we never got to bond in that way. But I am so glad though that he has been able to get my milk via a Haberman Feeder.

He loves to eat so much that he complains and fusses when we were done feeding him EVERY time. Our feeding specialist recommended adding 1.5 teaspoons of formula to his breast milk to thicken it and make it more caloric instead of giving him more milk (too much fluid). Mav is eating more than 5 ounces of breast milk augmented with Honest Company organic formula every 3-4 hours.

Mav hates to be burped because he had bad reflux in the beginning. Now he is on Prevacid for the reflux but it’s his habit to hate burping so he still keeps up the fuss. But it is rather half-hearted. Sometimes I have to laugh because it is a pathetic attempt at complaining.

Recovering from a C-section is no joke. It was tough in the beginning. I’m almost healed now but boy was it hard at first. About two weeks after Mav was born, I started bleeding out of my incision site. It was brown blood so I wasn’t too worried. When I saw the doctor, she said that I started bleeding internally after I was discharged and the blood clotted inside my abdomen. The clotted blood was stuck and trying to come out. So I had to apply hot compresses three times a day and apply pressure to try to coax the dried blood out. It never came out after that initial bleeding incident so I ended up with hard knots in my stomach that are just barely starting to go away.

My blood pressure was too high after I gave birth so I was put on blood pressure medication along with my slew of pain pills. Thankfully I was able to wean myself off of all meds by around 3 weeks postpartum.

The only remaining bothersome symptom that I have is carpel tunnel in both hands. As I type this, I can’t feel my fingers. They are numb. So frustrating. I’ve been going to physical therapy and sleeping with wrist braces (when I can remember). But it still persists. I’m hoping I don’t have to have surgery for it. Ugh!

Oh by the way… I also got thrush in both of my breasts. And STILL have it. I have an anti-fungal cream that I apply four times daily. But I can’t shake it. So it is ‘oh so fun’ pumping with painful nipples. Sigh! Girl can't catch a break.

Happy to report that I quickly returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay! I gained 34 lbs during my pregnancy but most of it was probably water weight due to the excessive swelling in my lower extremities. Breast-feeding definitely helped me get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I eat more now than I did when I was pregnant yet the weight just came right off. I’m trying to walk to start to building back my muscle mass but it is pretty tough to manage my time with Mav. I attended a couple of postpartum sculpt classes while I was out of work. Big accomplishment!

As for Maverick…here are some monthly milestones and pictures.

As of Mav's 1-month appointment, he was up to 9 lbs, 14 oz. I’m not sure his length, as they didn’t measure him. This put him in the 48th percentile for weight (according to the Sprout app), which was up from the 28th percentile at birth. He was wearing NB-sized Honest Company diapers and NB clothes, although he transitioned pretty quickly from NB to 0-3 month size clothes.

  • Great eye contact 
  • Hates being burped 
  • Eats 4 ounces per feeding 
  • Loves his swing 
  • Smiles and eyes dart when falling asleep 
  • Strong neck and legs 
  • Sleeps up to 4 hours 
  • Nickname “bug” 
  • First happy hour with mom + dad

At Mav’s 2-month appointment (where he received his first round of vaccines and his blood-curdling scream broke my heart), he weighed 12 lbs, 5 oz. Again, my pediatrician rarely measures his length because he said it is hard to get an accurate read. According to the Sprout app, this puts him in the 57th percentile for weight. Woo hoo! Up from the 28th at birth. My little peanut loves to eat! He graduated to size 1 diapers and 3 month size clothes. 

  • Smiles a lot 
  • Eats in side lying position 
  • Can have a cooing “conversation” 
  • Likes to suck on left hand 
  • Collects lint between fingers and toes 
  • Loves mobiles 
  • Sleeps up to 9 hours (when we are lucky) 
  • First road trip | Sonoma 
  • First play dates | baby Dylan, Venture and cousin Braxten
  • Admitted in PICU for apneic episode 
  • First drive to visit So Cal family | San Diego 

At our appointment yesterday (6 days past his 3-month mark), Mav weighed in at 13 lbs, 15 oz. This is the 60th percentile. He actually looks like a chunky baby now, which is awesome. He’s wearing size 2 diapers and 3-6 month size clothes. I'm so happy we've been able to get his weight up and satiate his crazy hunger.

  • Alert + observant 
  • Bats at hanging objects 
  • Hates tummy time 
  • Always kicking his feet 
  • Faux hawk is 2 inches tall 
  • Loves being outdoors and watching the trees blow 
  • Started teething | top front tooth 
  • Expert at popping out of swaddle 
  • First trip to the beach | Pismo Beach 
  • First time in the pool | Lake Tahoe 

I’ll do my best to update the blog more often but if you are interested in seeing more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @dreamingofdimples as I post pictures weekly. It only takes a second to upload images from my phone so it is easier for me to keep up at the moment.


Kristin DiCristofano said...

He is the sweetest thing! I just can't get enough of cute babies :)

Jess said...

I was wondering about your pumping schedule? I have a 2 week old son and am on maternity leave, but will have to start pumping soon. I was wond ring how you built such a stash and managed to feed so well too! Thanks!!

Lara said...

He is so handsome! Glad things are going mostly wonderful. I hope Monday goes well with your return to work. I had persistent yeast with my first. The only thing that finally fixed it was going on a yeast free diet (as called the Candida Diet) for four weeks. It was hard to restrict my diet but so worth it to finally get rid of the yeast and the pain.

Owen Ross Davis said...

I am over the moon happy for you! He is just perfect! Congratulations momma xoxo

Dream Chase said...

I've been thinking about you a lot recently and hoping you guys were doing well, especially since the start was scary and less than ideal. I'm so glad to see this update. He is doing beautifully!!!!! *hugs* Mama!

Heidi said...

He's so sweet! I love that we're measuring his faux hawk! What a darling!

Oh, we used a zippy suit. It's not a swaddle. It's more of a transition. It's a Sleepsack without arm holes. We call it his sea star suit. After Kyle got used to it he slept perfectly. It was just enough to catch his arms when he startled. But it doesn't apply counter pressure.

Michelle Levine said...

Love the faux hawk ! Too Cute ! Welcome back to blog :)

Taren said...

So happy to see you post finally! I just have one recommendation, the super swaddle technique. Look it up on youtube. I tried tons of products but Arianna was too strong for all of them. She was in a Merlin Magic Sleepsuit from 3.5 months - 5.5 months and that helped.

Melissa said...

He is seriously THE cutest little baby boy! So happy for you. :) Sorry you have to go back to work already though! Praying for a smooth transition!

Gypsy Mama said...

Sounds like things are going really well. I hope the thrush clears up soon though.

Sunflower said...

Wonderful update:-) Glad to know Mav is doing so well! Hope your wrists get better and going back to work is not too hard.

I totally agree with your sentiment on DE. "In fact, if I had the choice to have him or a child from my eggs…I would choose him." -- So very true! I feel the exact same way.

I started Beanie at daycare 2 days a week as well to start. She was about 22 weeks. I really felt she was ready for some additional kiddie interaction by then.

Rebecca said...

If you want to keep him swaddled, I had success with a miracle blanket. I usually doubled up and added a swaddleme or swaddling blanket over it (otherwise she would kick free of it). I then moved to the swaddle strap with a swaddle blanket over top. It was serious business trying to keep my girl's arms from breaking free. And it worked; she very rarely broke free of these during the night. I wasn't comfortable putting her in a crib swaddled like that, though, so I kept her in the rock n play while she was swaddled.

We just transitioned to the zipadeezip and the crib, about a week before she hit five months. Her arms are still crazy, but she was ready and needing to be free. It's been an adjustment, but it's getting better! The zipadeezip really helped.

Northern Star said...

He is SO cute!!!! That smile! Those eyes! My heart melted! Glad to hear you are settling in and that you are loving your mama-hood!

Ashley said...

He is SO precious!!! Glad to see you back and hear your updates! Hope everything goes well with your transition back to work. Will be looking forward to future updates and pictures!

Aramis said...

So good to see an update from you! I'm super jealous of your sleeping/eating schedules. Q is still very all over the map with both of them (except at night, he's still pretty good there) so it makes life interesting, to say the least. Mav is adorable!

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

That smile <3 Seriously! So precious. I loved reading your update and GO YOU for getting that weight off - dang girl! That's impressive! Hope work goes great this week - I'm so glad you have such a good support system to help watch Mav xoxo

Great hearing from you! Keep blogging, when you can ;)

Amie said...

He is just adorable!! I am so glad to see an update from you :)

Laura @ Making Baby Provence said...

I love everything about this update! I'm so glad you wrote this. I cannot wait to see more in the future. Oh, and sorry for blowing up your IG with likes! The pictures are all just too awesome.

Melissa Long said...

So nice to hear an update! I'm glad you are doing well! He so adorable! Best wishes on the transition of returning to work!

JenS said...

My girls never latched correctly either. I was bummed, but I continued to pump and was happy I could at least give them (mostly) breast milk. Hope going back to work doesn't throw things off too much. It's great you have so much stockpiled!

Recovering from a c-section is no joke! I was amazed when I would read comments from people online saying they never needed pain meds and felt fine after a week. That was so not the case with me. In fact, I still get a little sore around the incision every once in awhile. Nothing terrible, but I think I will just always be aware of it. Glad you are feeling better now.

Krystal Sullivan said...

So glad to see this update! I've been so busy too and Blogger has kind of taken to the backburner, but for good reasons. Your little boy is so precious. I'm loving the pictures of him. Take care - sending love.

Haisla said...

He's such a cutie-pie!! I'm glad to hear that you are all doing so well after quite a rough start at the NICU. Sending you all lots of love.xx

Mrs. Southern Mama said...

omg you poor thing. I, too, have major issues recovering from my c-section including an infection and high BP. boo!!! hope you are feeling 100% soon!

Sarah said...

Love love love this update! I've been following along just not able to comment due to my stupid google account. So glad to hear motherhood is going well. It's always hard but amazing. Looking forward to your next update!

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