Best Noise EVER

And ML and I got to watch him take his first step on Friday after Thanskgiving. So cool.


round two - oh hell no!

Lots of discussion about 'round 2' these days. It was the topic of discussion at baby class the other day. I panicked when I saw it written on the board, and actually contemplated leaving. The topic is beyond loaded and I just wasn't feeling able to 1) listen to others talk about their seemingly simple 'plans', or 2) make sense of my own thoughts on the subject enough to say something inteligible.

I mean, my immediate reaction to the question has been "oh Hell NO".

First, Pregnancy did a number on my body. My back SI joint is still a mess. I suspect that my tailbone is going to hurt forever. I am still carrying 15 extra lbs that won't seem to budge. My bladder control leaves something to be desired. and while it seems weird, I swear that I damaged my feet during delivery - they are so stiff and achey in the morning when I first get up now. Weird right?

Second, The first few months with babycakes were not pleasant. In fact, they were pretty awful. He was so unhappy, and nothing I did helped him. It felt like he hated me. The truth is that I wasn't so fond of him either. (yeah, i really said that about the baby that I fought SO hard for.) I was not graceful in my adjustment to my new responsibilities.  I honestly do not think I could go through anything like that again. Really, the thought of having a newborn again terrifies me. I am even more terrified that if we tried again we'd end up with twins, and that scares me even more!

And finally, although it felt totally reasonable at the time, I have serious hesitations about going thru fertility treatments again. The emotional toll it takes just feels like more than I can handle again.

Everyone assures me that I will change my mind. That before I know it I'll catch the baby fever. I'm not so sure. But we do have two embryos on ice, and ML is intent on a sibling for babycakes.

SO, it IS a totally loaded question.
I know its okay to not have a plan, but people keep asking.


Kiki Baba

Its my birthday today. The best birthday that I've celebrated in years. I can't help but reflect on what the past year has brought me.

My babycakes is passed out on the couch, what we thought was a late nap appears to be a baby down for the count. It was a busy day with lots of folks here to celebrate with mimosas and donuts. Sweet boy must be exhausted.

Last year, even at 8+ months pregnant, I didn't fully believe that my dreams were coming true. I was waiting until I had that baby in my arms to finally breathe. But here he is, asleep on the couch, and I am planning his first birthday.

Birthing my son was an experience unlike any I could have ever imagined or prepared for - and I rocked it. Parenting an unhappy baby, one who screamed for months, reduced me to basic survival. Watching my lover reveal the most loving fatherly heart melted mine. Experiencing my dreams coming true - this year has been so full of the highest highs and lowest lows - nothing about it has been easy and yet everything about it has been amazing.

Please join me in toasting to another amazing journey around the sun!

Kiki Baba


Thursdays with Baby Cakes

Written By Grandma

Looking at wisps of baby fine hair, the swirls of a perfectly made ear, the dimples of a chubby hand and wrist; listening to the sweet regular breathing of a sleeping baby; feeling a trusting body molded into my chest—these are the gifts I get to soak in every Thursday afternoon.  This is when my grandson and I are together for playtime and then a “Grandma nap.”

Meditation is a time of “just being,” contained or extended thought, reflection, and a time to think
about something deeply. I have been taking classes on meditation for several years and struggle to fit in a regular practice; there always seems like something else needs to be done.

However, when it is “Grandma nap time,” Baby Cakes and I rock in his room, while he is snuggled against me in the Moby, a quiet place with white noise (this little guy has acute hearing and an intense interest in what is going on around him),and I sing my favorite MaryLee lullaby “Noyana” to him.  There is nothing else that commands my attention.  My phone is not with me and my thoughts are only on my gratitude of being with this precious child.

Baby Cakes gets a long nap and I get a long time for mindful awareness, with numerous benefits: physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. What a wonderful combination!  As his naptime begins to wane, and he shifts, wiggles, opens his sleepy eyes and sees me and then smiles and grabs a few more winks, I melt further into the rocking chair and hug him just a tiny bit closer.  This waking may take some time and I am in no hurry for it to end (though I do look forward to playtime that follows!).  Sometimes the dog barks outside and in an instant BabyCakes rears his head, opens his eyes  and is on alert… “What did I miss?” or “let’s get moving, right now!”

Moral of the story, you don’t have to wait to be a grandmother (or grandfather) to grab those times of
“just being” with and enjoying your child.  Even with an endless to do list, the days (and nights) do pass by and your memories of breathing in, watching and soaking in the presence of your child are more than worth it.

Is it Thursday yet?

My mom wrote this last month for a local newsletter.
I had to share.


Random Fear

I worry like crazy that someone is going to sneak into my house at night and steal my baby.

Otherwise, I generally feel like my baby cakes is invincible. I don't worry about illness, or injury, or anything bad happening to him.

But I am obsessed with this fear of someone stealing him out of his crib at night.
Too weird.


Nine Months On

I can't begin to describe the surreal feeling that is watching my baby play with the babies of my bestest childhood friends. Last night a good friend visited with her 2 year old daughter. She had also struggled with years of infertility. It gave me shivers to watch my baby cakes chase after her daughter. Our two little miracles.  

Little Dude is cutting his first tooth, on the top, and I feel so proud - as if I have anything to do with it!

I give up as far as any expectations about sleeping through the night ever again. I just give up.

Work is going well. Beyond loving my job, I actually really enjoy being out of the house and away from little dude. I never expected to feel this way, and am so grateful that everything has worked out the way it has.

Just this weekend my baby started standing on his own. We get a few seconds before he panics and sits down, but it is happening more and more, and I can watch him getting stronger.

An ivf friend with a babe about the same age as mine already cycled again for #2. I am still feeling very sure that we are DONE. I seriously don't think I can do the infant thing again. and the thought of twins absolutely terrifies me. This whole experience has kicked my butt big time!

Two good friends are expecting this winter and I want to sew them little presents, but haven't had any dedicated time to work on these gifts. It makes me realize just how little time I actually have for myself for anything anymore.

I continue to feel closer to my little dude. Its taken some time, but I am growing into my role as his mama. It helps that he shows me now that he loves me. Sometimes (rarely) when I leave for work he cries or reaches for me, which strangely makes me really happy. I love knowing that we are connected like that.

Much love to all of you who are still fighting for your dreams. You are always in my heart.


6 months ish

I still call you baby cakes. When you wake up from naps I give you kisses and call you my little love boy. Daddy still wants your official nickname to be "E". Sometimes he calls you the flying spagetti monster. At the dr office today they called you Mr Velcro because you tried to take the scale with you after you got weighed. Little One calls you Quinnee and it melts my heart and you love it.

Yes. You cause massive exhaustion. Daddy and I are SO tired. really. so. tired. You quit sleeping well at night a few weeks back and its been a disaster.

You saw your first Cheese this last weekend. We met up with baby Gemma and Orion (at a 21+ Brewfest pre-show party in the basement of a bar on Telegraph) where you all played on a pool-table with adult bumpers preventing you from falling off. It actually worked out so much better than I expected, and you loved the live music and lights. On Sunday, We met up with your new buddy K (whose mom and dad seem like they could become good friends of ours) then Auntie Christy came to join us and you boogied down with her for a while before passing out.

We were hoping that you'd like music as much as we do. and it seems that you do. MaryLee is your favorite for car rides and almost always quiets you down.

You want it bad. You started crawling right at 6 months. with  perfect form. We were at Max's birthday when you made 5 crawl movements in a row. Daddy looked at me and said 'did you see that?' You love to be able to move. I think that you are happier. and more cuddly too. When you are with me now you aren't struggling quite as much to get away.

I've decided that you are actually very cute. I thought for a long time that people were just saying that to be nice - the way that all moms think their baby is cute. But I've decided that you really are quite adorable.

Your great-grandpa used to wear shirts with his initials monogramed in the top right corner. I still have one of his sweatshirts and love to touch those letters. Cousin MaryAnn offered to embroider some clothing for me so I sent her home with some shirts. She sewed your initials in big block letters onto the top right corner - just like my grandpa's. I love love love to dress you in those shirts. Grandpa would have loved you so much, and in this little way I feel like he is living on through you.

We sent another card out wishing a happy july 4th. So many people love you and love watching you grow. People think that because I can send a card out that I must have my act together, which is far from the truth. I just feel like it is so important to cultivate a community of people who love and adore you and who are invested in you and a part of your community. So many of these people waited so long for you to get here, and I want them to share in the joy that you bring us.

You hosted your first big party- a six month birthday BBQ. You are a special little dude and we don't want your birthday to be overshadowed by the holidays, so we figured that we'd start celebrating your half birthday.  Daddy made tri-tip and mommy blew up balloons. And then the house filled up with people, most of whom had babies. It was quite the moment for us to realize that everything had in fact changed. It felt good to have people over again :)

You are SO social. You LOVE people. You crave lots of activity. You happily engage with anyone who will engage with you. You flirt like no ones business. I take you to the bank and the teller asks to hold you. I take you to meetings and you get passed around like a dooby - happy as can be - and bringing light and love to everyone who sees you.

Random things:
-You love to suck on fingers... any finger you can get ahold of. but sometimes you make daddy a little uncomfortable with how deep you jam his finget back in your throat... like is this really appropriate?

- We discovered a new word 'Boobyshine' - when mommy gets to have a cocktail and you get to have some boobyshine.

- Not everyone will think this photo is funny, but we do... You seriously crack us up sometimes... and this picture proves that you are your fathers son.


a different kind of dream

I had a dream that ML and I ran away. We left Q sleeping on the bed at my SIL's house, and ran away in the dark of the night. I don't know where we went, just that it was necessary, and was away from Q.  We knew that they would awake to his cries and that he would be safe there. Safe until we could get our wits about us and go back for him.

It was a desperate dream. One that I dreamt from the couch of my SIL house, after losing my shit sometime after midnight, after Q had awoken again. I got Q back to sleep then woke up ML, to cry and to tell him that I needed help. More help. That I was falling to pieces. Crumbling. ML did his best to offer comfort, despite the fact that it felt to him like I was blaming him for not helping enough, and then sent me to the couch to get some sleep. He played the hero and while I dreamt about running away. He soothed our baby back to sleep the next few times he awoke that night.

Maybe it is because I wanted this so much. Maybe that is why it is hard to be real about how incredibly hard it is to be a mom.And, let me be clear, let there be no misunderstanding about what I am saying. THIS IS HARD. 

It's hard, and I. am. so. tired. 

I made an appointment to go see my old therapist.

I write this because I need to write. Because I need to get it out.
Because I need to be reassured that I am not alone in having these feelings.
Because I need to be reminded that this is the only thing I have ever wanted.

and thats the thing. this is the only thing I have ever wanted.
and I feel guilty for 'wasting' parts of it.

I am so lucky to be able to ask for help. But I am having a really hard time knowing exactly what kind of help it is that I need. I have a super-dad as a husband - he seriously spends more time with Q than I do and knows his cues better than me. I have a babysitter come a few mornings a week so that I can sleep, because when I say tired, it is a tired unlike any I have ever imagined, and sleeping for a few extra hours in the morning is the only thing that makes a day functional. My mom comes over a few evenings a week to help, and she really is helpful. But I need more. but I dont know what to ask for. I don't know what to do, other than wait for this to pass.

In other words, Q is adorable, incredibly social, generally happy, except when he's not, and so full of energy. He loves people, loves activity, loves the outdoors. He is extreme in his reactions, intense in his emotions, and so aware of his surroundings. He is on the verge of crawling, able to creep and roll his way around the living room to reach toys, people, and his dog. He is vocal in his happiness, and has a strong set of lungs he exercises when he is unhappy. He is perfect in every way. Our beautiful little boy with the softest round cheeks and big warm smile. He actually reached out for me with both arms the other day and my heart melted. It is incredible.

incredible, yet intense.
and so hard.




Impending Chaos

Chaos is about to break out in the Foxy Family.
This kid wants SO desperately to crawl.
and the noises you hear, they are non-stop as well.


Happy Daddy's Day

Here we are again, Fathers Day is tomorrow.

I got my act together and ordered ML a special little gift, made a messy card from Q, and am planning a day vacation to the beach.

I knew that ML would be the most incredible dad. and he is.

I am back to work, still on a part-time basis, and he is now Q's primary caregiver. They spend more time together than I do. He know all the subtle cues and cries. I love it. I love seeing this man i love in this awesome new role.

For some reason I can't remember Fathers Day last year. at all. no recollection. Actually, i do remember that it was the week that my dad randomly showed up in town, so we got to tell him that we were pregnant. but I don't remember how, or if, ML and I celebrated his impending fatherhood at all.

But I can so clearly remember Fathers Day the year before. in 2010. That was such a hard year. I got my love a fathers day card that year. hoping so desperately that our dreams would someday come true.  He was in the middle of the FSH therapy. We were coming to grips with the choices that we'd need to make in order to become parents. It was not an easy summer. and yet we survived it, and are stronger for it.

I am grateful everyday for this life.
I am grateful every time I hear my baby cry.
I am grateful to leave for work and know that Q and ML are together.
I am grateful in ways that I simply don't have words to describe.

I am so excited to give ML his first ever fathers day present. It is a day I've waited so long for.


Five Months

I've been avoiding the blogs these past couple weeks because I wanted to pretend that everything was okay for a friend. I wanted to much for this to be her cycle and couldn't bear the thought that reality might have other plans. My mom and husband kept asking me for news and I kept telling them that I was hoping for the best. I am so sorry, heartbroken really, to read about this recent loss.

My baby cakes is nearly five months old. Unbelievable.
I celebrated mother day as a real life mother. Unbelievable.
It has been the most intense ride, and I am filled with gratitude everyday to be on it. 

As much as you do sleep, its just not enough for me. 8pm has become a very predictable bedtime. We have a little bedtime routine with you and I taking a nice hot bath together. You float and splash for a while then I pull you up onto my belly so that you can nurse for a bit. We call for daddy when you are done and he comes in and scoops you into a towel. We give you a 'baby blow job' with the hairdryer, then lather you up with oil for a baby massage. We dress you in a sleeper and wrap you in a swaddle and I nurse you to sleep. We have a big air filter set up in your room to make some white noise, but you are much less dependent on it now than you were a few months ago. You are actually really to put down for bed. We've almost completely transitioned you from the swing to your crib. Once your eyes are fluttering we can set you in your crib and you'll drift off to sleep.  You sleep an average of 6-8 hours in that first stretch, then we bring you into bed with us when you wake up. I nurse you every hour or two once you come to bed with us until you wake up for good at about 7am. We've had a few nights where you slept for 9 or 10 hours straight, which was beyond awesome!

We are still waiting for a predictable nap pattern to work itself out. Once you get tired you fall asleep pretty quickly once you are swaddled and bounced in your quiet room. We've realized that we pay dearly if we mess with your naps, which is a real challenge since we can't predict when you will want to sleep. Daddy talks about the 'nap lottery' because we ever have any idea how long your nap will last - 2 hours is like a jackpot, but sometimes we only get like 5 minutes.

Weight & Height:  
At your four month appointment you weighed 18 lbs 8 ozs and were 26.5 inches long. You are one big boy! It is fun to see how fast you are closing in on M - He is 5 months older than you but only 2 lbs bigger! And Baby C is two months younger but already over 15 lbs! We seriously need to be taking more pictures of you boys!

Diaper Size:  
We jumped to a size 3 a while back and that seemed to solve the problem with blowouts.. until last week when I changed two massive blowouts that left you covered in poop and me trying to change you diaper in parking lots. You got your first owie last week while I was trying to clean you up and you rolled off the poopy blanket onto the asphalt where you got a bit of road burn on your arm. It was such a big mess, and I was late for lunch, so I just left the pile of dirty next to the car tire until I came back after lunch with a trash bag to scoop it all into. Sometimes your blowouts are so massive that it is just easier to dispose of your outfit than try to get it clean again.  You've always been an every couple day pooper, and save up for lots of action on those days. 

Clothes Size:  
You just keep growing! Last week I cleared out your dresser and filled it with 9 and 12 month clothing. We now have a few different channels of hand me down clothes coming our way - so much more clothing than you could ever wear. We sent big bags of clothing home for C and M. I also set some favorite outfits aside for your future cousins :)

Hair Color:  
Your hair is getting thicker and is looking very light - like a strawberry blonde, or very light brown. We need it to grow a little more before we can tell what the color will be. 

Eye Color:
Your eye color is the topic of much discussion around our house. We are seeing more and more green, still some blue, maybe a hazel? The color seems to change everytime we change your clothes!

Funniest Moment this week:  
You are a super social little dude. Totally bored by dad and I at home, and all smiles when we leave the house. Eveyone talks about what a happy baby you are while we are out in public. Its like a mean little joke you play on us - with one personality when we are at home and another when we are out in public. I went out to lunch with some of the moms from baby class. You'd missed a nap and were non-stop action and activity - like you tend to be at home. The other babies sat in their carseats, took naps on their mama's shoulders, and sat quietly while we ate and talked. You were constant action, constant noise, reaching for everything on the table, too distracted to nurse, the intense little boy that I see all day at home. By the end of lunch one of the other mama's commented about how exhausting it was to simply watch you! I was funny, only because if I didn't laugh i'd cry. 

Milestones and Firsts and Stuff:  
- We broke the BOB out of its box on Mothers Day and took it out for a ride with Baby C. OMG you love that stroller, I do too. And you seem to really love being outdoors.
- You are rolling around every which way, and trying so hard to push your torso up that you are actually pushing yourself backwards. You want so badly to move, and I bet that yo'll be crawling before too soon. 
- I've been taking you to so many meetings. Everyone in town knows you and those who get to see you at meetings feel extra special and even brag about it on facebook! so much fun :)
- Auntie graduated from college last weekend. We are SO proud of her. Your great uncles came down to celebrate and got to meet you for the first time. They love you SO much and were SO sweet with you. We took a ton of pictures. At the graduation party you were passed around the room to just about everyone there. Daddy said we should have named you 'doobie' since you were passed around like a little joint! You were SO happy to hang out with so many people all day. 
- We took you to the carmel river this past weekend and dipped you into it. The water was very cold but you loved it anyways. 
- So many giggles these days. I can tickle your belly and you burst into laughter. I love love love your giggles. 
- oh and everyone says that you are an exceptionally beautiful baby. I can't help but brag aout how adorable you are. Your sweet round cheeks and long dark eyelashes are big-time attention getters. Everyone comments on your stunning features. and I agree :)

Daddy Says:
You know what you want and can't reach any of it. You love the outdoors. You have all the ladies wrapped around your little finger, which makes you a great wingman!

Favorite Toy:  
Oh my gosh, you want to touch and taste EVERYTHING! Hands are still a favorite, but you also like anything that I am holding. Your special owl is still a favorite, and keeps you entertained in the car on almost every trip. The activity mat is getting boring and you outgrew your tummytub. 

Other Thoughts:  

- You spend a lot of time with Daddy since I've started back to work. It is actually a pretty awesome arrangement. I miss my work so much more than I thought I would, and you are so exhausting that I relish the chance to be out of the house for a break. I am only working 20-25 hours week, and I do miss you on the long days that I am gone, but it makes me appreciate my time with you so much more. It is pretty special that you get to be with both daddy and I, and are developing a special unique relationship with both of us. 
- Grandma still comes over a few nights a week. You stop in your tracks and smile when you hear her voice. It is so sweet. She is so in love with you. 
- Those first few months were brutal. Really. You really put us thru a parenting crash course, and I am not totally sure how we survived. It is getting easier, but you are still quite an intense little person. I think it is your personality shining through, since day 1. It is especially clear at baby class when we watch you in comparison to the other babies your age. You have so much energy and demand so much more attention from those around you. I am so excited to see who you are going to grow up to be.  



Baby Q loves his tummytub. i mentioned it in my last post and there were a few curious comments, so heres my one handed post about the tummytub.

its not something we would have known to purchase, but my mom had one floating around at work so she brought it over one day when we were desperate to stop his screams. it has been awesome, not so much as a place to bathe him, but as a way to soothe and calm him. we use it at least once every day.

he is pretty squished in the tub, and its hard to reach in to clean all his dirty areas, so it isn't ideal as a bath, but it certainly comes in handy as a way to rinse him down after a massive diaper blowout.

the tub came with us on our trip last weekend, and would definitely be on the top of my list to recommend to new parents. (right behind the yoga ball that has become essential furniture in our living room!)


Three Months Old

My little Baby Cakes,

I just ordered a Baby Book to capture all of your first special moments. I also found these prompts for keeping track of your stats that I'll try to update every so often. 

Sleep:  Thank goodness that you are a sleeper! Almost from the very start you knew that sleep was important for Daddy and I. You've fallen into your own pattern of going to sleep for the night at about 8pm. We watch for your 'sleepy eyes' and get you swaddled nice and tight and turn on the air filter for white noise. Then Daddy or I hold you close while we bounce on the ball until you drift off to sleep. We put you in the swing where you sleep for nice 4 hour stretch. The past few nights you've slept for a glorious 7 hour stretch, which makes me happier than you could possibly know. When you wake up we bring you into bed with us where you nurse every two hours until morning.

During the day you take a few nice naps, either while I am holding you in the Moby or in your swing. We are getting better about catching your 'sleepy eyes' and helping you get to sleep before you get upset. 

We set up your crib a few weeks ago and have started putting you down there instead of your swing. 

It is amazing to see you relax when we swaddle you up, turn on the white noise, and give you your pacifier. Sometimes it really seems like you want to be left alone to fall asleep on your own.

Weight & Height:  
At your two month appointment you weighed almost 15 lbs and were 23.5 inches long. I weighed you on the scale at home today and it said that you are now 16 and a half lbs! 

Diaper Size:  
You've been in size 2 diapers for a while now. I am still trying out different brands, hoping that I'll find one to contain the massive blowouts that we've become accustomed to. 

Clothes Size:  
Grandma and I cleaned out your closet a few weeks ago since you were growing so big. By two months you'd basically outgrown all of your 0-3 month old clothing - You had so much clothing that you didn't even get to wear all of it! We kept a few 3-6 month items, but you are almost exclusively wearing 6 month clothing now.  A lot of your clothes right now are hand-me-downs and the rest are items that grandma has been collecting since before you were even born!

Hair Color:  
You were born with a thin covering of dark hair, that mostly fell out. A new covering has started to grow in, a little lighter than the original, but still brown. You have an adorable little cowlick along the hairline on your forehead. 

Eye Color:
Everyone is so curious to know what color your eyes will be. They are still a greyish blue, but every now and then we see glimmers of green. Grandma says she doesn't care what color your eyes are. Your Aunties are rooting for blue. Daddy and I have our fingers crossed for a hazel green.

Funniest Moment this week:  
The other evening when grandma and Auntie were visiting you got upset so I took you into the bathroom for a  tummyTub bath. You really love your little bath but I didn't want to miss spending time with our visitors so I brought the bath out into the living room. Grandma thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever seen. Auntie took a bunch of pictures. You had everyone laughing so hard. Your living room bath was so much fun!

- Grandma and I got your birth certificate from the Health Department last week. It is pretty cool to hold that special document in my hands.
- You were one of two little ones to attend a lunch featuring Nobel Laureate economist and Univ of Chicago Professor James Heckman. He spoke about the fiscal responsibility of investing in early childhood development. 
- We went on our first overnight adventure to visit Auntie, Uncle, and your cousins. You were so good in the car. I had fears that you'd be so upset in the car that we wouldn't make it, but you proved me wrong. We got lots of attention in the traffic because your puppy was sitting in the front seat while I sat in the back to entertain you.

Favorite Toy:  
You've just started grasping toys, which is pretty cool. I think your favorite toy is my hand. You love to watch my fingers move, reach for my fingers, grasping them tight and letting me softly pet the backs of your hand.

You also seem to enjoy laying on your activity mat while batting at the hanging toys to make them rattle. There is a very special gift owl hanging on the activity center right now - it was from a friend of mommy's who is also on a long journey to meet her baby. 

Today you had fun playing with a soft plush lamb that Auntie gave you as soon as we found out you were growing in my tummy. 

Although not a toy, you LOVE your tummyTub bathtub. You calm down almost immediately when we put you in the tub, and you are happy to stay until your fingers and toes start to wrinkle. Lots of people think your tub is silly, that it loots like a bucket or a big flower pot, but you don't care, its one of your most favorite places to hang out. 

- We took you to the pool this past Saturday with Little One. You loved floating around in the water, kicking your legs, and slashing with your arms. You and Daddy even dunked your heads under the water together!
- I love the smiles and giggles. This morning Cousin was here to watch you while Daddy and I slept for a few extra hours. You'd been screaming so I got up to see if I could help. As soon as you saw me you stopped crying and smiled. It warmed my heart.
- Last weekend you rolled over from your tummy onto your back. I thought it was a fluke, but you did it again and again! It hasn't happened since, but I know you can do it!
- We went to grandma's house for the first time since you were born. Grandma was so so so happy to sit in her living room rocker and sing to you. 
- Last Tuesday you went to your very first Board of Supervisors meeting. It was so special to introduce you to all of my friends at work - everyone was so excited to meet you!


back to work thoughts

I think we'll keep him.
Seriously though, these first few months have been hard.
This kid tested us and really made us rise to the challenge of being his parents.
I felt so disconnected from my son, but had faith that time would bring us closer. And it has.
It was all so different than I expected, and I thought that I was pretty well informed.

So, I joke and say, I think we'll keep him, but really, there were many times I wondered what we had done by bringing a baby into our home. Seeing so many other people talk about how great and wonderful and in love they were with their newborn just made me jealous and a little sad.

And now, just as we are finally getting to know one another, and just as I am figuring out how to read the subtle signs that tell me what my baby needs, I am headed back to work.  Its a bit of a bummer.

To make it all more confusing, I really miss my job. I miss my work. I miss the people. I miss the challenge and the strategy and the feeling of accomplishment. There are so many projects that were just left hanging when I left and I can't wait to pick them up and get them going again. I believe in the importance of my work and know that I can do what needs to be done.

I'd planned on starting back at 20 hours per week, for a transition period, and then building back up to my full 40 hours. Smart plan. But now I can't imagine working a 40 hour work week and being away from my little dude for so many hours.

One the other hand, I am SO beyond grateful to have a job waiting for me. I am SO beyond grateful to have health benefits for our family. I am SO beyond grateful that I've had the chance to spend these first three months at home. Going back to work - be it for 20 hours or 40 hours - really isn't something that I feel I should be complaining about AT ALL.

I am trying to stay calm and flexible about the return to work.
Accepting it for what it is.
Knowing that everything will work itself out for the best.



Oh my gosh he giggled at me.
on Sunday night.
It was SO sweet.

ML and I were sitting on the couch together and baby Q was laying in between us. We were kindof watching TV, kindof reading the internet, and kindof playing with the baby. Q started making little gurgle bubble noises so I imitated him by sticking my tongue out and making a kindof farting noise. He immediately busted out a big smile, then he giggled at me. It was so cool.

Other super cool things that have happened this week include:
- Q grabbed a fistful of my hair. Yes, i was super impressed and thought it was super cool!
- Q played by himself batting at toys on his activity mat for like 10 whole minutes! Long enough for me to go to the bathroom - by myself! and get a glass of water.
- We finally set up his nursery. ML assembled the crib, and we moved the swing in. I have a pinterest board full of additional ideas to make the space perfect for our little dude. (btw, i am totally loving pinterest! what fun!)
- We cleaned out Q's dresser of all 0-3 month and most 3-6 month clothing because it just doesn't fit anymore. At 2.5 months he is 15 lbs and wearing almost all 6 month stuff.
- Mommy and Daddy got b.u.s.y. finally after many many attempts that were interrupted. And I lamented that it feels like i have  whole different body and need to figure out how it works. Daddy lamented that we should have named baby Q Cockblock.

Baby Q with "Little One" at lunch today.
much love to all.

Discharge AMA?

I have a question ... I haven't yet written up our birth story. All things considered it was perfect and beautiful, but there is one issue that I can't seem to reconcile. I am hoping that this community might be able to help me find some answers.

What are a patients rights around discharging against medical advice (AMA) following a hospital birth?

My home birth plan turned into a hospital induction and delivery at a facility that has a 24 hour discharge policy. I wanted to go home after the birth, but they weren't willing to budge and told us that our insurance might not pay if we signed out AMA. We called our insurance and were told they would probably pay, but that we would have to submit the claim in order to find out. We ended up staying the full 24 hours, but it has left me feeling slightly bullied and ignorant about my rights.

I am just wondering what the facts are about the implications of discharging AMA.
Or if others have experienced anything similar.


I contacted the California Department of Insurance with my question, mostly because I want to know my rights in case I ever end up in a different situation and want to leave AMA. Their response is pasted below:

Thank you for your inquiry to the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding the referenced subject matter.
The insurance company would have to cover the birth of the child as long as it is a covered benefit. If they refuse to cover the benefit you would file a complaint with the Department of Insurance called an Independent Medical Review.  Your treatment would be considered medically necessary.  The main problem you may have is if you discharge yourself against medical advice any complications that arise as a result of this may not be covered or covered at a lesser benefit level. Some policies may have riders that contain language stating that if you discharge yourself and do not comply with the recommendations from your physician your policy may limit future benefits that pertain to any complications relating to early discharge. Insurance companies have to comply with Federal law and allow women to stay 48 hours after a normal childbirth or 96 hours after a cesarean has been performed. Most complications to the mother and child occur within the the initial two days after delivery and the goal is not to force women to be pushed out of the hospital too soon. I'm sure you are aware of this, but ultimately nothing can prevent you from rejecting medical care or leaving the hospital.
We hope this information has been of help.  If we can assist you in the future with an insurance problem, looking for insurance or provide information you may contact us through the e-mail system or you may reach our Consumer Communications Bureau at 1-800-927-HELP.


Two Months Old

Wrapped up warm in grandmas special quilt

I call you "baby cakes" all the time. Little One came over last week and asked if she could call you 'baby cakes' too. It was beyond sweet.

Your eyes are starting to look green to me. Most days they are greyish blue, but somedays they have glimmers of green.

When you smile, I feel like you DO like me after all.

I love to kiss your little face, on each side of your mouth and the ridge of your little nose. You love my kisses and I love feeling your soft skin on mine.

You have a special scent. I catch myself smelling your head throughout the day.

Your daddy and I are so grateful that you are such a good nurser and grower. You weighed nearly 15 lbs at your 2 month Dr appointment. Its no wonder that my back hurts from carrying you around all day.

Last night, when you were refusing to go to sleep, daddy took you to get a new diaper and never returned. I found you guys at the changing table having an "adult conversation" as daddy described it, about life and diapers and swaddling and sleep.

You don't poop as often as we'd like, and when you do it usually explodes out of your diaper all over your clothes and onto the blanket that you are wrapped in. Your most favorite blanket for blow-outs is the special quilt that grandma made for you. Its been through the wash so many times already that grandma is worried it is going to fall apart. We think you are holding it until we wrap you in grandmas blanket.


I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about the donor more than I'd like. I guess there is a grief about the loss of ML's genetics that just persists. It just does.

I felt bad acknowledging it until now, but I've felt so detached. I was afraid to love you while you grew in my stomach, and thought that I'd be overcome with love when I finally held you, but it hasn't been like that. I am still waiting for those feelings of 'my heart being on the outside' that everyone else talks about.

I want to start taking to you about your story, but I don't know where to begin. I try to bring it up, but just don't know what to say or how to say it.

I haven't cried since you've been born, and, well, that just seems weird to me.


Eight Weeks Old

Baby Q is 8 weeks old today. It feels like he's been here forever, and yet everything is still brand spankin new at the same time.

He is SO much happier thanks to the reflux meds, gas drops, probiotics, and my diet changes. Instead of near constant crying when he is awake, we get times during the day when he is awake and alert and happy.  It helps too that he started smiling at us.

I have made a very conscious effort to slow down our schedule and spend more (ie, all of our) time at home so that we can get to know each other. I am starting to see a few daily patterns for napping and playing. We go to baby class on Wednesday's and Fridays, but other than that I spend most other days in the house following Q's lead. Things seem to be better when I don't mess with his naps or make him wait to eat.

My mom got us this little tummy tub. It is basically a little bucket that babies bathe in. Q loves it! We take at least one bath a day.

Back to Work...
I have to go back to work in April and have such mixed feelings about it all. I actually really miss my job, so much more than I thought I would. I am actually really looking forward to leaving the house and doing a job that I feel somewhat competent at. I would have thought that I'd want to stay home and that leaving my baby to go back to work would be torture. Regardless, I carry our health benefits and my fmla job protection runs out after 12 weeks, so I have to work at least 20 hours / week starting in April.
I'd made plans to start back at 20 hours /week for a couple months, which seems like a manageable plan. Ideally I'll be able to work 2 full days in the office and then a few hours from home on the other days. I still need to sort out the details with my boss, but am confident that she'll be supportive. Before I had Q, she suggested that I bring the baby to work. Now that he is here I'm not sure that Q has the temperament for spending the day in the office.

The challenge that I'm facing now is childcare... We'd initially thought that ML would be working from home with a very flexible schedule, able to care for Q while I was at work. Then last month he got called for a contract project working in an office 40 hours week. The contract is for 2 months, with a full time position possibly waiting for him, if things work out well. On the one hand, a full time gig with this firm would be fantastic (providing a steady income and offer health benefits). On the other, it means that we need to make arrangements for childcare.

I'd assumed that we wouldn't need non-family childcare and don't even know where to start looking.


One day at a time

First off, THANK YOU all for your amazing outpouring of support yesterday.
And so so so much appreciated! And so so so needed :)

We actually had a really great day yesterday. Q had a nice long nap in the morning, and then my mom came over to help me take him to the pediatrician. He made a little liar out of us as he peacefully let the Dr examine him and talk with us for nearly an hour. After I explained that he only poops every couple days and blows out of his diaper each time, he even made a nice little normal looking poop while we were in the office!

I realized that one of the biggest challenges that us new parents face is that we have no baseline for normal. As the Dr asked me if Q's poop was normal looking, if he farted more that normal, etc... I had nothing but Q's behavior to base my answer on. I found myself saying again and again "I don't know what normal is."

I had to find examples of what I meant by, he cries "all the time"... like, I try to take a picture or video to send to the grandmas everyday. I try to send a happy picture, but barely have time to grab my camera and snap a few shots before he starts crying again. Unless he is asleep, or nursing, he is fussing/crying and I am cycling thru my baby soothing strategies - all day long.

We determined that what my mom and I described about Q's behavior was in fact not normal and that there was a good chance that he had some sort of gastrointestinal issue going on. Instead of trying one treatment at a time, we decided to tackle all of the possibilities at once and see if there is a chance in Q's behavior. Then we can wean off of the different treatments one at a time, to determine which one made the difference.

1) I started a dairy-free diet yesterday. And thanks to the lovely ladies in the braces bunch facebook page I also discovered the "milk soy protein intolerance" (MSPI) websites and facebook page. Cheese is a staple in my diet, and its going to be a serious challenge to cut it out.
2) We started Q on Axid (for reflux).
3) We started Q on Gas Drops.
4) We started giving Q probiotics.

We see the Dr again in two weeks and will reevaluate things then.

I also made arrangements for Bestie's part time nanny to come over in the morning two days next week so that I can sleep in a couple extra hours. I feel like the sleep deprivation is catching up with me and not helping the situation.

My little piggy sporting man boobies at 5 weeks.
The Dr described his weight gain as "impressive!"
For the record, and my memory, and anyone else who reads this in the future, I wanted to mention a few things:
-the 5 S's have been our saving grace. We are methodical about the swaddle (in a thick blanket), shhhh (via white noise ap on Q's dedicated iphone), suck (preferably on a finger), and swing (via bouncing on the ball). The side laying doesn't seem to help. The other 4, when combined, are golden.
- the yoga/exercise ball is possible the most important baby supply we have. We spend hours everyday on that thing.
- the changing station is equipped with a heating pad and blow drier. Q will usually calm down for a few minutes when placed on the warm table with the blow drier on. We've also avoided diaper rash, possibly because we give him a little blow job (hahaha) with each diaper change.
- I started taking lexapro about 3 weeks ago. I'd been on it prior to getting pregnant, and stayed on it until the third trimester when I weaned off. I'd intended to start taking it the day he was born, but felt so happy that I waited. When we found out ML was going back to work, I figured that things were going to get a lot harder. The happy hormones of those first two weeks had also started wearing off. We knew that I was at high risk of ppd and my husband, mom, and dr are all paying pretty close attention.
- we have both the moby and the ergo, but Q seems to like the moby better. I am getting better at wearing it, and he is getting better at sleeping in it.
- the swing is amazing. Q goes to sleep in it every evening at about 8pm for his first stretch. Then I bring him into our bed. He also takes his first morning nap in the swing. When I suspect he is sleepy I can set him in it still awake and he will immediately relax and drift off to sleep.

Again, thank you all for your amazing comments, and emails. I seriously needed to feel like I wasn't alone in my emotions yesterday and your words meant more to me that I can tell you.


Baby Q cries a lot. 

Most of my day is spent transitioning from one soothing strategy to another. ML and I have even wondered aloud "why doesn't he like us?" We try so hard to make him happy, but he just isn't. 

He does have a few periods of each day where he is awake and alert. There is about 30-40 minutes in the morning just after we wake up. and when I'm lucky well have a few other 5-10 minute periods of alert. 

He is generally calm while i am nursing him, which might help explain his extraordinary weight gain of 5 lbs in 5 weeks... the boob is my 'go-to' solution, so Q eats A LOT! 

I know that all babies cry. and I just figured that our is on the fussier side. I figure that its my job to keep trying to make him happy, and that eventually he will outgrow it. but sometimes I wonder if maybe there is something wrong with him. and then yesterday my mom, who knows a lot about babies, said that he thinks we should make an appointment with the pediatrician. She thinks that maybe he is suffering from reflux, or that there is some other reason that he cries so much.  

The things that worry me are: 
- the way that he will be so upset while I am holding him and then stop crying when I set him down (sometimes). 
- the way that he struggles so hard every morning, kicking is legs, and making grunting noises.
- the way that when you hold him, he doesn't cuddle.
- the way that he is so dependent on white noise to soothe.

The other thing that both worries me, and at the same time I know will happen with time, is that I don't have that feeling of being so 'in love' with my baby. I love him. I do. But most of the time it is more of a job than a labor of love to care for him. I am relieved to leave him in the arms of other people, and leaving the house without him is such a treat. When he is crying while someone else is holding him I am just glad to have a break - unlike so many other moms I know who can't help but run to get their baby. 

I felt better yesterday when my mom acknowledged that it is hard to fall in love with a baby who is so fussy. I know it will happen.

I am trying to figure out how to tell the pediatrician about Q. This is all I know. And all I can compare to is what I hear other moms talking about. Its not like he cries when I put him down - I hold or wear him almost all day long. And its not like anything I do consistently helps him stop fussing. We do spend a lot of time bouncing on the big exercise ball - that seems to be effective, when combined with a swaddle, and white noise, and pacifier. I felt pretty lame calling to make an appointment, saying I need to see the dr because my baby cries a lot. But maybe if he can help us figure out how to help baby Q be happier, it will totally be worth it. 

Regardless of what we figure out at the pediatrician, I am going to hire someone to come over and help me a few days a week. Knowing that I'll have someone to hand him off to for a couple hours will keep me sane - and hopefully help me get a little extra sleep.

six weeks old


6 weeks along

Every night when I lay down in bed I compose a post about our day... whats working, what I'm struggling with, what I'm hoping I'll figure out soon... but then in the morning, or whenever it is that I have a chance to write my mind is blank. 

Little Q is 6 weeks old. He is growing like a little weed - gained just under 5 lbs in 5 weeks! He is a champion nurser, and has even started taking a bottle with pumped milk from daddy or grandma so that I can catch a few extra zzzz's every so often. 

So many of the things that I think about are things that I'm not sure I am ready to write about, and I am confident that they will pass with time. Its all stuff about the donor and bonding. Stuff that is not in the forefront of my thinking, but is there, everyday, nonetheless. 

Yesterday I'd invited all of the moms from our parents class over for the afternoon. It was really nice to have company and other new moms to talk about new mom stuff with. Most of them had shared in class that they got pregnant the first month they tried. I finally divulged yesterday that we used IVF to conceive Q. I am always surprised at how little people know about the IVF process. Later in the conversation one of the moms asked if Q looked more like me or ML. I paused and thought about sharing the details of Q's conception, but didn't. I just replied, as I always do, that I think that he just looks like Q. Its been a very effective way at deflecting the question, which actually comes up much less often than I thought it would. 

I'd been planning to go to a postpartum support group this morning, but baby Q is napping and I am afraid to wake him... and even when he does wake if will take me 20 minutes to nurse him and another 20 to drive across town, at which point the group will be half over. Meh.

Sleep remains an issue, more for me than for Q. He is actually doing a pretty stellar job at sleeping thru the night. And by that I mean waking to nurse every 2-3 hours. I am up (out of bed) with him a few nights a week between 4-5 am, but have always been able to get him back to sleep. He starts the night in his swing, which helps me get to sleep alone, and then moves into our bed for his first nursing of the night. I wish that I could ask ML to take him away for the morning feeding before he leaves for work, but I know that he is just as tired as I am and under quite a bit of stress already. I am having such a hard time sleeping when our little guy is asleep. His little noises keep me awake at night, and I find myself laying in bed awake, thinking, more often than I'd like. 

This is really hard work.


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