happy 11 months

baby brian,

happy 11 months, baby buddy!  i say this every month, but i can’t believe we’re already here!  i’m so thankful you are learning and growing, but i do miss the tiny baby days.  i miss the way you used to fit on our laps with your head supported by our knees for bottles.  and i miss your toothless grin, but your big boy smile all full of teeth is pretty cute too.

over the last month you have continued to grow and amaze me with all of the new things you are learning.  you have 6 more teeth coming through – all of your canines (february 26-27th) and your bottom one year molars (february 25th).  getting 6 teeth at once is efficiency at its finest!  mommy and daddy have seen you pull up from sitting all the way to standing once (february 27th).  you’ve learned to close doors and to open and close a dresser drawer in mommy and daddy’s closet.  you love to crawl around and explore.  and you love to chase balls and your plastic egg toy around the house.  you’re able to point, mostly when you’re interested in something – fish at the doctor office, whether a door is going to open.  and you can dance when you want to!  it’s pretty cute, like most things about you.

not much has changed with your feeding and napping schedule.  you are drinking slightly less formula on your own, presumably from eating more table food.  in another month or so we will have some big changes like switching to milk from formula and getting rid of the bottle.  we continue to practice with the sippy cup, so hopefully you will be ready.  i always dread big changes in your routine, but most transitions are flawless, almost like you already knew they were coming.  we’ve added a few new table foods – pork tenderloin, cheese, waffles and pancakes, to name a few.  when you really like something, you sign “more” over and over and keep piling food in your mouth.  that’s been happening with waffles, so we have to give you only one piece at a time.  speaking of sign language, you still only know more.  we were working on please, but i guess mommy and daddy have sort of given up.  we will have to get back to it.

something big is happening for our family soon!  in just 5 more days, mommy is resigning from her first big girl job to stay home with you!!  i am so excited… i really think this will be a good change for our family.  you are the most important thing to mommy and daddy, and raising you is the most important job ever.  i can’t wait until we get to spend our days together again, i’ve really missed that the last 5 months.  mommy has already enrolled you in a weekly swim class, and i hope we will be able to participate in moms group at church on thursday mornings (although this activity is during your morning nap, so we will have to see).   

in this last month, you officially parted ways with your cranial band.  your head isn’t perfect, but i don’t think the general public will be able to tell.  you also caught a little head cold, and we visited your pediatrician to make sure it didn’t turn to ear infections.  mommy and daddy did have a little accident with you.  while installing the gate at the top of our stairs, we both thought the other was watching you.  mommy was cleaning baseboards upstairs and daddy walked away to get a tool.  in literally 20 seconds, you crawled down the top stair, which turned into rolling down a few more stairs.  thankfully you had your helmet on, so your head was protected.  your mouth did bleed a little, which led to a dentist appointment.  turns out your one year molars were about to erupt on the bottom and a blister like sack popped through first causing the bleeding… seemed coincidental, but mommy and daddy were pretty shaken up.  i don’t like recounting this story, but i want you to know that we truly believe God hears our prayers to keep you safe on a daily basis.  even when mommy and daddy don’t do such a good job, God does.  we are so thankful that you stayed safe, and we are extra extra careful to always make sure the stair gates are closed.

mommy has been planning your first birthday party!  in a little over a month, it will be here.  i wish i could freeze time right here, but i’m so thankful you continue to grow and learn.  i love you millions, baby buddy!

love,

mommy

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happy 10 months

baby brian,

what in the world?!  how are you only two months away from being one?!  just yesterday you were my teeny tiny baby, barely smiling at your world, always hungry.  now you are my big baby boy… crawling around, getting into everything, curious about all of your surroundings, flirting when you want, and slowing down just enough to eat when mommy reminds you to.  this last month has held big things for you, mainly crawling (january 20th).  it took a while for you to figure it out, but once you got it, you were off!  now mommy and daddy have the joy of chasing you around and trying to keep you out of things you shouldn’t be in (like the dishwasher, shoes and shoelaces, mommy’s decorations).  and we have the joy of trying to keep you from rolling over and crawling away from us during diaper changes.  it is fun to watch you grow, and it keeps us busy, for sure!  i’m sure pulling up on things isn’t far behind, you can already stand on your knees and do some maneuver that closely resembles the yoga move “downward dog.”  we haven’t added any more new signs, but not for the lack of trying.  your claps have sound now, and they are super cute.  generally speaking, you’re a happy little fella, sometimes you start clapping just because.  you’re vocabulary is improving with words like “baah baah, “da da,” and an occasional “mama,” although “da da” and “mama” dont seem to be reserved for daddy and mommy just yet.  you have also figured out how to push buttons – buttons on toys, the button on your movement monitor, the GE symbols on our dishwasher and oven that you think are buttons.  it’s pretty funny!

naps are still the same.  eating is quite different.  you have discovered that there is more than puréed baby food out there, and you’d rather have the other stuff!  you started to deny baby food after about half of the jar, so we’ve been offering you more table food… bananas, avocados, roasted sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, shredded chicken, Cheerios, kiwi, oatmeal, and this week, shepherd’s pie.  you love shepherd’s pie!  you sign more before you finish chewing the current mouth full, and if we’re not ready with the spoon, you let us know you still want more with a loud “mmmm.”  you even had your first bite of real cake at a friends’ birthday party… what can i say, we had to celebrate!  we’ve had a couple of feeding challenges, mainly spitting and swallowing pieces of table food whole.  the spitting is not very gentlemanly, we just try to convey our disapproval for spitting at the table.  swallowing pieces of soft table food wole isn’t all that bad, other than it has messed up your bowel movements some. i think all of the extra pieces that are not able to be digested almost act like fiber.  you had one weekend full of poop, which ultimately led to a very raw and sore behind.  you don’t have any new teeth, but i’m fairly certain you’re working on your lower one year molars… it’s kind of a challenge to get in there and see though!

your appointments over the last month have just been for your cranial band and 9 month checkup.  you are about to outgrow the cranial band, we probably only have a few weeks of treatment left.  your head shape won’t be perfect, but it has improved some.  i wish we hadn’t waited so long to see the cranial banding folks.  your 9 month visit went well.  you’re right at average for height and weight.  you got one shot and a finger prick so your doctor could get a baseline reading for blood work.  the worst part about the finger prick was getting you to leave the band aid alone afterwards, you tried to eat it several times!  you’ve also tried to eat a band aid we had on your foot after you rubbed it raw crawling… no more band aids for now!

my prayers for you are mostly the same.  i do pray extra hard for your safety now that you’re mobile.  and i continue to pray that your dimple won’t be an issue and that you will learn to stand and walk. i also thank God for you many times a day.  you light up my world, and i’m so very lucky to call you my son.

i love you millions, monkey man!

mommy

one thousand gifts: 83 through 89

i’m already behind.  honestly not surprised though.  being a working wife and mom is no joke.

  • 83. brian can crawl! another milestone that helps us worry less about the sacral dimple!
  • 84. a friday snow day with my little love!
  • 85. several joint pain free days recently, praying the trend continues
  • 86. celebrating the first birthday of our friends’ little girl
  • 87. warm weather on the last day in january 
  • 88. answered prayers for a dear friend
  • 89. a successful meeting with a new endocrinologist {for the thyroid}

one thousand gifts: 74 through 82

instead of blowing up the blog daily, i’m going to collect a few and then post.  just continuing on:

  • 74. lunch with a sweet friend to brighten my tuesday 
  • 75. extra time with my little man on wednesday morning, even if it was rushed 
  • 77. a good 9 month check up on friday
  • 78. warm, sunny weather in january on saturday
  • 79. catching up with good friends on saturday 
  • 80. church on sunday, especially a good sermon
  • 81. the day off on monday to spend with my little love
  • 82. making progress on house decorating over the long weekend {it has been 1.5 years since we moved}

one thousand gifts: 63 through 73

life is hard.  this is a truth we all know.  it’s so easy to get discouraged with circumstances, but simply pausing to take a look around shows that this is not a unique situation to me.  everyone faces a trial of some sort.  there are so many things that i perceive to be “worse” than the things i’ve been through during my time on earth so far.  whether my assessment is right or wrong, it is grounding.  it helps me remember to be thankful for all that is going right, for all i do have {non of which i deserve}.  who am i to say my hand of cards should be better?  the truth is, i live in a country where i have the freedom to worship the Being that created us, where there is no shortage of food, where there is adequate medical care to help me overcome some of life’s unpleasantries.

something’s been happening with the blog lately.  i write about baby stuff and write for therapy, but i haven’t really been writing about the good stuff.  i don’t like this.  i’m not sure when it changed, so i’m going to try to fix it.  it’s been 1 year and 9 months since my last one thousand gifts post.  that’s embarrassing.  a lot has happened in the last year {and 9 months}, a lot of it has been good.  so here we go {always in no particular order}:

  • 63. freedom to worship the Lord
  • 64. IVF and FETs
  • 65. baby brian 
  • 66. watching my hubby be a father
  • 67. parenting with my hubby 
  • 68. the way my husband sacrifices so serve me {there have been some ups and downs, but when i step back and look at all that he does for me, especially since having our son, i realize that despite bad choices in the past, he is a good man}
  • 69. thyroid medication
  • 70. a new, family friendly vehicle
  • 71. watching baby brian grow and learn
  • 72. communicating with brian through sign language
  • 73. the unusually warm weather we had over Christmas – lots of walks outside!

i’ve had this blog for almost two years.  if i had written one thing i’m thankful for each day, i would be at 708 things.  that’s eye opening.  new goal: think of at least one thing i’m thankful for everyday.

happy 9 months

baby brian,

happy 9 months, bubby!  wow, i can’t believe we are already at the 9 month mark.  time definitely goes faster now that you are part of our family.  we just celebrated the new year, 2016, which allowed me a little time for reflection.  2015 was a good year, possibly the best one yet.  you joining our family has been such a blessing and so much fun.  being a mom definitely has challenges, but most good things in life do.  i wish i could freeze time right here… to soak your 9 month self in just a little while longer.  i never want to forget your sweet baby face and expressions, the way you sign “more” and wave at mommy and daddy.  but time will march on, as evidenced by another year, and you will keep growing.  2016 will be a big year.  it is the year you turn one, and your birthday is only 3 months away!

between 8 and 9 months you’ve added little scoots in every effort to be more mobile!  you can also get from the sitting position to the crawling position, but so far you just rock back and forth on your hands and knees before breaking out into your supermans.  you’ve learned to sign “more” for more food during feeding times.  we’re working on “all done,” but so far you use the same sign that you do for more.  in addition to signing and waving, you can give high fives and clap with no sound.  you definitely respond to your name now.  we celebrated your first christmas – you loved the ribbon, wrapping paper, and bell on your stocking more than the actual presents.  you did get a few cool new toys, but it seems like you’d always rather play with things that are not really toys – cell phones, remote controls, books, pieces of paper, jewelry.  

your eating and napping schedule hasn’t changed from last month, but you are eating more things now.  more varieties of fruits and veggies, tiny pieces of bananas and avocados, and you even tried some biscuit on christmas day (grandma’s idea).  you are doing much better with not gagging when eating table food.  mommy is becoming more consistent with offering you water in the training sippy cup; you take a few drinks with mommy or daddy holding the cup for you, otherwise you mostly play with it.  you don’t seem to mind mommy and daddy helping you hold that cup and the bottle.  speaking of bottle, you’ve taken a new interest in examining the bottle nipple after you finish a bottle.  you love to squeeze it and play with the bottle in general.

over the past month, you’ve had several helmet appointments.  mommy and daddy can see progress with your head shape and are thrilled about the results so far.  you also had your second flu shot and two sick appointments.  on new year’s eve, you woke up with a 101.6 degree fever after a restless night.  we were at pop pop and gigi’s house, but decided to come home to take you to the doctor.  the doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with you, so she said it was likely a virus.  after 2-3 days, the fever subsided, but the restlessness, fussiness, and poor eating did not.  then you developed congestion and a yucky cough.  mommy could hear a wheezing sound when you laid down, so back to the doctor we went. turns out you had pneumonia in your right lung.  you’re on an antibiotic, so hopefully you will be all better soon.  the antibiotic seems to curb your appetite, which mommy is not a fan of, but it’s important that you get well!

of course mommy still prays for you several times a day.  i pray for your growth and development, health, and well being.  and i always pray for the character traits i want you to have – to be a leader, compassionate, caring, confident yet humble, and obedient.

i love you more than i have words to describe.  you are my favorite little man, and i’m so thankful i’m your mommy.

love,

mom

there is still a sting

here i am, a mom.  i have a beautiful 8 month old baby boy.  the first few months of his life, i felt very content.  content with him, content with being a family of three, content that i am finally a mommy.  this contentment gave me a false sense of security.  security that i can dabble in social media again and that i can handle it.  after all, i’m free from that deep, never fading ache to be a mom.  and for the most part, i can handle it.  i can handle the multitudes of pregnancy announcements and endless pictures of other people’s kiddos.  but occasionally, there is that one announcement that gets me.  the one that seems to say “getting pregnant with this baby was effortless, and all is right.”  or the post that jokes about the morning sickness and how terrible it is when any infertile woman would take that badge and wear it with honor.  or this one, this one is really good: the lady that struggled with “infertility,” but finds herself pregnant with zero fertility treatments.  why do i even let my mind go to thoughts like “that is not infertility.  infertility is a septate uterus, PCOS, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, 3 failed cycles, IVF, and a FET?”

i wish it weren’t this way, but sometimes i get agitated on the inside.  the deep pain doesn’t burn anymore, but instead there is this tiny sting.  this sting that taunts me as if to point out that i will never be able to do this on my own because my body isn’t good enough.  then i have to remind myself that i don’t know the full story – maybe it was easy, but maybe it was harder than i know.  and maybe she is fertile as fertile can be, but there is some other great struggle.  everyone has something.  it’s called life.  this is where i have to accept my scars and count my blessings.

happy 8 months

baby brian,

today you are 8 months old, little love!  how is this possible?  you are turning into such a big boy, and mommy thinks a sweet boy too.  while you’re not crawling, you’re mobile in your own way – you roll to where you want to go!  and you can pivot on your belly by putting your hands to a new location and moving that way.  you can sit up now (november 16th)!  you have always been a foot kicker, and you even move your legs back and forth while sitting up… now that takes skill!  while laying down, you’ve started this thing where you lift both of your legs in a 90 degree angle and slam them down at the same time.  not sure where that came from, but you clearly have strong abdominal muscles.  daddy and i practice “mama” and “dada” with you everyday, but your baby babble is still mostly squeals.  you’re really good at imitating noises – a fake cough, clicking, and your own version of the kissy sound.  the other day daddy was fake coughing and you were giggling so hard, then you stopped to fake cough too.  it was pretty cute.

regarding your eating and napping schedule, we moved you to 4 feedings a day (starting november 25th), which means you get 2 naps a day now.  you’re doing really well with the new food schedule, naps are hit or miss, but they were before anyway.  you usually have one good 2 hour nap now and another 1 to 1.5 hour nap.  we are feeding you solids 3 times a day with bigger servings, along with a 6 oz bottle and another bottle before bed.  we’ve also tried introducing dissolvable food that you can practice chewing with (gerber puffs and baby mum mum crackers) – you can bite them just fine, but often gag once they sit back on your tounge.  eventually you’ll get the hang of it!  and we’ve given you a training sippy cup with water a few times.  you can suck from it, but don’t hold it up well to actually get the water out.  we should really be more consistent with practicing, we’ll continue to work on that over the next month.

nighttime sleep has been off lately.  you’re usually such a great sleeper, but the past few weeks you’ve been waking up and crying.  you recently got your cranial band, and at first mommy suspected that was to blame.  but during a break from it, you cried and cried instead of napping one afternoon.  mommy suapects that it’s more teeth and can see the outline of at least one tooth making its way down your gum line on top, but it hasn’t broken the gum line yet.

before i depart from the subject of sleep, i want to note that we had to add a breathable bumper to your crib after several instances of you spending awake time chewing on the crib slats.  you removed paint and wood, and you even cut your little lip.  ni ni said she thought we were getting a baby, not a puppy!  again, teething is probably to blame, but the mesh bumper seems to be deterring you.

as for cranial bands, we finally got your DOC band… but unfortunately it didn’t fit well.  it was slipping down into your eyes, so we took it to get adjusted.  then it just slipped worse and so bad that it was in your line of sight.  the company we are working with remade your band.  the second one still slips, but not as bad.  when we first got this band, it was leaving some pretty yucky red spots on your forehead, you even had a few places bleed.  so you were in and out of the band for about two weeks before we finally got it right, and that made the adjustment for you difficult.  we think it’s good now though.  mommy took it to get painted so it looks a little better.  it’s silver with a carolina panther on it, stripes, the number 15 since you were born in 2015, your initials, and the panther’s unofficial slogan “keep pounding.”  it’s pretty cute and pretty appropriate since the panthers are 11-0 so far this season. 

in addition to the several cranial band appointments, you had one “sick” appointment for being fussy and not sleeping well.  turns out there was nothing wrong with you, so the doctor said you have separation anxiety.  grandma and i think that’s a diagnose for “i’m not quite sure what’s wrong with this baby.”  you really don’t have much separation or stranger anxiety at the moment, it was definitely worse around 4-5 months.  you also had your second flu shot.

we are done with daycare!!  yippee!!  we have a part nanny, really your auntie jordan, and grandma fills in the gaps.  we are all much happier and healthier!

of course mommy prays for you every day.  i always pray that you continue to grow and develop on track, both mentally and physically, that your sacral dimple doesn’t cause issues, that your reflux improves, that your head rounds out.  i pray that you will come to know and love the Lord, and that you will act with wisdom.

i love you so much, brian.  you are my favorite baby, and i am so thankful God chose me to be your mom.

love,

mommy

health updates

hypothyroidism… the pendulum has swung and my TSH is now double the normal range, almost 8x what my historical levels were… and free t4 is low.  synthroid it is… probably for the rest of my life.  could be worse, but definitely adds another layer of complexity for future pregnancies.

never wrote about this one, but started getting random joint pain a couple of weeks after i went back to work (at the same time i had another psoriasis flare on my face).  at first it was mainly my wrists, which i attributed to using the keyboard for 8 hours a day after a 6 month break.  then my knees started hurting, then finger joints.  i spoke to my primary care, who was concerned that it could be psoriatic arthritis.  she ran some blood tests, most of which came back normal, although i am vitamin d deficient.  she referred me to a rheumatologist anyway, as blood work usually appears normal in psoriatic arthritis.  at first look, the rheumatologist thinks this is all related to my immune system going haywire postpartum (that’s what postpartum thyroiditis is caused by). he did order some additional tests to check for joint inflammation, i should get the results later this week.  he also put me on an anti inflammatory drug to see if it helped with the pain.  it did, but then i stopped taking it after a few days because i was taking every OTC medication under the sun for a cold, started synthroid, started an antibiotic, and drum roll please… started birth control again.  so, because the NSAID helped, i fear the worst that there is real inflammation.

on to the next thing, finally got a normal pap smear after over a year of abnormal results with cell changes due to high risk HPV {thank you, husband – still not completely over this one yet}.  although, i’m not holding my breath as i will have HPV for life and it could show up again at any point unannounced.  you know what’s so messed up about this situation {besides me making the right decisions and dealing with the consequences of husband’s poor decisions}?  i got the gardisil shot in high school.  apparently it does not cover all strains of high risk HPV.  abstinence is the only thing that will do people, and you better believe i’m preaching this to my offspring.  i think another reason i’m having such a hard time getting over this one is that i could’ve made different choices too.  i knew some came before, but didn’t think it was a big deal.  wrong, it is a big deal.  it is a big deal because i have yet another health problem to deal with.  life is messy.  it just is.  prime example of my ever growing need to part with perfection.  and to forgive.  why is it hardest to forgive the ones you’re closest too?  including yourself?

moving on, i went to see my RE thinking i would need metformon again since i have a history of PCOS.  and guess what, apparently research shows that it’s only really beneficial for ladies with PCOS that are overweight and boarderline diabetic, which so far is not me {i’ve learned to never say never}.  we discussed the goal of future FET(s) and decided it was best for me to resume taking birth control so that my body will be at baseline when we’re ready to move forward.  i have mixed emotions about this… after all that we’ve been through, it just seems wrong to prevent pregnancy.  however, i truly feel that God gave us the number of embryos we have for a reason and i do not want to waste them.  and to be honest, i don’t want to even think about having another ectopic pregnancy experience.  3 months of being fake pregnant and methotrexate to shut it all down, not fun.  further, the odds are against us for natural conception – even if my PCOS were magically cured, the husband has pretty terrible swimmers {a result of HPV?  kidding.  but really, he should have some sort of consequence}.  {also, if you know me in real life, i kindly ask you not to broadcast this whole HPV thing to the world, or anyone really.}

oh, i almost forgot the best detail yet about this appointment with my RE.  i stopped breastfeeding 2 months ago, but still hadn’t started my period.  until the evening before my appointment with my RE, same day i had the repeat pap actually.  my OB was a bit concerned and told me that if i didn’t start by january, to give him a call.  life has a funny way of organizing events sometimes.  oh, and the first period after you’re done breastfeeding, it’s no joke.

so back to doctor appointments.  daycare is rough.  especially the daycare germs.  they are super germs that don’t give up until they’ve got you pinned.  brian got a cold, turned double ear infection.  husband caught he cold next, but eventually got over it.  i thought i was going to sneak by.  false.  it got me, and it got me good.  it turned to a sinus infection, and i’m pretty sure the worst sinus infection i’ve had to date.  my primary care was off the day i felt the sickest, so i got luck of the draw at the doctor office.  the man i saw is an idiot.  he said “you just have a cold and giving you an antibiotic would be like killing a fly with a machine gun.”  he wrote a prescription for an antibiotic anyway, but told me not to fill it unless things got worse and lasted several more days.  so after two days of having a fever and feeling like crap, i decided to fill the antibiotic.  i made the right choice, because i kid you not, the biggest most disgusting ball of mucus i have ever seen managed to exit my right nostril about 30 minutes after i got back from the pharmacy.  it was green, streaked with blood, firm in the middle, and the size of a quarter in diameter.  so i started taking the antibiotic, until a family member tipped me off that this antibiotic wasn’t strong enough for a sinus infection.   after two days of taking it with no improvement other than the fever going away, i practically had to beg my primary care to switch the antibiotic.  she finally agreed, and it has literally taken an additional 4 days to feel human again.  everything that comes out of my face is green.  with that, i will just reiterate that daycare germs are super germs.

i’m sure the world wide web isn’t all that concerned with what’s going on with my health, but on the off chance that someone is, there you have it, folks.

my little love

if you haven’t noticed, i don’t post pictures of brian on the blog.  just not my thing, took me long enough to post pictures of myself.  anyway, we recently had brian’s 6 month photos taken, and there is one i can actually share… a picture of his sweet little toes :)