Our Experience with the First Three Months

I would like to thank Jennifer at momlogic.com for writing The Truth About the First Three Months, a post I can totally get behind.

As a mom-to be, I expected to have a perfect pregnancy, ending in the med-free labor I had dreamed of. My baby would be happy, calm, sleep through the night at six weeks and never cry unless she needed something.

What I ended up with was: partial bed rest when I was eight months pregnant, induction on my due date, epidural, a c-section, a colicky baby who cried endlessly and didn’t sleep through the night until she was seven months old.

Needless to say, I wish I had taken the words of wisdom of so many experienced moms and been open to the idea that things would not necessarily go the way I wanted — and that’s okay. I also know that there is no way, as a first time mom-to-be, that I would have ever understood this, though.

Now that she’s coming up on her first birthday, I can look back on those first three months and appreciate my inexperience. Yes, as Jennifer mentioned in her article, there were moments when I wanted to drop my baby off at the local police station and check myself into the nearest hospital’s psychiatric ward. Was the insanity worth it? Absolutely. Would I go through it again? Without a doubt. But let’s not ignore the fact that the first three months of my daughter’s life were the hardest months of my life.

Moms (and Dads!), feel free to comment and share your experience with the first three months!

Miss A is 9 months old!

So, the jellybean has now been an “outside baby” longer than she was an “inside baby”. That’s kind of weird to think about. For stats…we had her 9 month check-up on the 1st, and she weighed in at 17 pounds and is 28 inches tall. That’s 50-75th percentile for height and 25th for weight…still my long, lean, baby machine! Other than an entire month of the family being sick (stomach virus, cold, then stomach virus) she is doing extremely well!

Let’s see…what else is the little jellybean up to…she’s still not quite walking full time yet. It’s really funny actually, because she will take a few steps without thinking about it, but as soon as she realizes she’s not holding on to anything, she sits down or grabs on. She can walk, she just doesn’t realize it yet. Also, she now claps on demand. She started the clapping right before 8 months, but now if you say “clap clap” she claps. She also starts clapping if she sees or hears someone do it on television. She’s also started on table foods and is really proficient at feeding herself.

In other news, we’ve got the urologist appointment next week to follow up on her kidney condition. She’s been doing great, no other infectons or anything since the first one, so I’m thinking everything will be okay.

I’ll add pictures later…I tried to do it now but Blogger isn’t cooperating.

Miss A Walks!

Our little girl has been threatening to walk over the past few weeks. She’s been cruising for what seems like forever, and has been letting go and standing, and taking a few very cautious steps, but today she took what was very obviously some deliberate steps!

We were watching Lazy Town and one of the songs came on. She pulled herself up on the couch and just let go and took off! She took about ten steps before she tripped and fell, then sat up and clapped wildly for herself! Oh, how I wish I had that on video!

I did get a video of her pushing her toy car across the room (walking while holding onto the handlebars) but my camera is not Mac-compatible, so I’ll have to share at another time.

This will have to hold you over until then…Miss A in her pretty Valentine’s Day dress (sorry for the lack of smile, she was pretty tired):

Miss A is 8 months old!

I can hardly believe she’s 8 months old already! Look at this adorable picture, though…you would never know by looking at her that this little girl had been sick with a stomach virus for six days!

Let’s see…what’s new in the world of Miss A? She claps now. She started clapping last Saturday and thinks it’s a complete riot whenever she does it. She’s also getting frighteningly close to those first steps. She navigates between pieces of furniture in the living room with ease, barely holding on for balance. She’s even let go a few times. I’m sure those first few steps are just days away at this point.

Things she’s into at the moment…she likes Moose and Zee on Noggin. Last night (between 1am and 3:30-ish) she had a major crying fit…Mr. Dad couldn’t calm her down for two hours, so he woke me up and then I tried for about a half hour to no avail. So, I put on Noggin and the second she saw Moose and Zee, she cheered right up. About a half hour after that I was able to get her to go back to sleep. She loves music. She can’t resist dancing.

She’s also really developing a personality now. She’s got a great sense of humor. She thinks it’s hilarious to hit me or Mr. Dad in the face, and she loves to reach in my mouth and try to pull my teeth out. She knows what “no” means now, but objects to it strongly when you say it to her. As in, whenever she’s about to rip fur out of one of my cats backs (or tails or heads) and I say no, she gives me a sarcastic grunt. She’s also ridiculously tolerant…for being as sick as she’s been, she has been extremely happy. Finally, she’s becoming really loud. Loud, as in when we were walking through Target, she was in the shopping cart seeing how loud she could scream, and then laughing. We were getting some funny (and some annoyed) looks.

She’s starting to reach a few more milestones. She got a second tooth (front bottom, right). She’s starting to hand objects to us to play with. She’s getting a little better at holding her own bottle, though still prefers us to do it for her. Oh, and the sleep thing? Yeah, she’s finally got that down to a science. She just stays up a little later now. Unfortunately, this means she sleeps in a little later now too, which makes mornings a little chaotic. Still trying to find a good balance there.

I think that covers all of the latest Miss A news. We’re still waiting for her to kick this stomach bug, and now she’s got a cold on top of it (and yes, she very generously shared those germs with her parents, so all of us are sick). I’m sure I’ll have some more news to share soon!

Miss A has TWO teeth!

Breaking news: We discovered yesterday that Miss A now has TWO teeth, both on the bottom. Which explains why she has been a crankypuss the past week.

Other things she’s doing:
– Starting to stand on her own. She chickens out and crouches down and sits after about 5 seconds.
– She’s been dancing for awhile, but now she REALLY gets going, at the hint of anything that could remotely be considered music. Even mommy talking to her in a sing song voice.
– Waving. She does this CONSTANTLY. She waves when we walk in a door. She waves when we walk out of a room. She waves when someone says hi, bye, or whenever someone who wasn’t in the room before comes in.

And with that, I leave you with the latest, most darling photo of our princess.

Miss A is 7 months old!

I’m late on this update – it’s been a rather busy few weeks since she turned seven months! It was right after Christmas (December 29th) when she had her seven month birthday, and right after that was New Year’s, then back to work and I also started my master’s degree. Anyway, look at our smiley little girl! She’s such a happy kid. She’s finally making up for those first few months where all she did was cry, because now she is all smiles, all the time. It’s great!

Here is a slideshow of photos from Christmas, including some professional ones we got done at Sears.. Her first Christmas was AWESOME. I swear, it’s like they opened up a Toys R Us store in our apartment now. She had a really good time though, she even helped open a few of her presents.

She’s hit a few more milestones recently. Let me think what I may not have covered already…she’s up to six words now! She says “mama”, “dada”, “baba”, “kitty”, “ducky”, and her latest one, “ah-choo!” Which is exactly what you think it is. She sneezed, her daddy said “ah-choo!” and she replied with “ah-choo!” It is really freaking adorable!

Also, we’ve started moving onto more solid foods, namely puffs. She got them for the first time on Christmas, they were a gift in her stocking. She loves them and she’s gotten it down to a science how to pick one up from her tray and get it into her mouth. So far, we haven’t had any major mishaps with them, other than on Christmas day, she plopped down on the floor and got one stuck in her throat in the process, and gagged and threw up all over her pretty dress. So now she only gets them when she’s strapped in her high chair.

We also took her to her first Santa Land, hosted by my company. This picture is of all of us at the cookie decorating table. I have another picture from that day, showing her trying to eat a gingerbread cookie (she didn’t succeed). She did succeed that day, though, in taking a huge bite from her daddy’s italian ice when he wasn’t looking. He left it on a spoon and she just helped herself.

Going back to milestones, you’ll see in this picture, she’s got the standing thing down now. In addition to standing, she dances. Anytime there’s music, she just starts bouncing up and down or swaying side to side. It’s like some sort of knee-jerk reaction how she does it, too. She doesn’t just kind of ease into it…nope, the second music starts it’s like a violent, “OH MY GOD I MUST SHAKE MY BABY TUSH” reaction. It’s freaking adorable. She does it a lot when playing with this table, because just about every button on it plays music.

About two weeks ago, she started waving! This is really cute. She doesn’t do it all the time, but we were walking around the mall one afternoon and she was waving at everyone we walked past. She also waves every time we walk through a door. This includes her bedroom door, so it’s like every morning, she leaves her room and starts waving to the world. She also waves to everyone when we walk in the door at day care.

Finally, this past week marks two new milestones: she can successfully hold her own bottle (whew…this may be one of the only milestones she’s slow on!), and she’s FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. You heard it here, folks…for the past five days, she has gone down to sleep around 9pm and not stirred until 7am (or, in some cases, 8am) the next morning. Of course, I’m sure now that I’ve said this, she’ll start waking up at 2am again…but this is huge for us. Not only do we not have to worry so much about alternating nights, she’s also starting to wake up at a convenient time for us for work so nobody’s getting up super early (except on the days where she wakes up at 6am).

I think I’ve pretty much gotten everyone up to date! I’ll make sure to keep up on the posts better from now on ๐Ÿ™‚

Miss A hits another milestone

We’ll start this story yesterday.

While we were at the hospital getting tests done yesterday, I got a good look inside Angelica’s mouth (since she was screaming her head off). She’s been teething for awhile, and I’ve been wanting to get in there to see if I saw any sign of teeth coming through. No teeth yet…I saw a tiny “crack” in her gums on the bottom but no tooth. I suspect her teething has been causing her increase in sleep trouble lately so I was kind of hoping for a sign that the tooth was about to come through.

As an aside from this, last night I was packing up some of her old clothes, which I am eventually going to bring in for my boss to look through (she’s having a girl) and looking at her newborn stuff…I got a little sentimental. She was SO TINY…and comparatively speaking she is SO BIG now. When did that happen? Can I go back? And started thinking about our first few days home…the newness of her, the new baby smell, the lack of sleep, the overwhelming emotions…It kind of gave me another wave of “I want another” (and then I snapped back to reality). Then my thinking shifted to…well at least so far we don’t have walking, and we don’t have teeth. She’s still a baby.

So last night, I’m rocking her to sleep and letting her chew on my finger (it soothes her) and I was thinking…another perk of her not having teeth yet, and we should take advantage of this time, since she can still chew on our fingers and it doesn’t hurt, and we don’t have to worry about getting her teeth knocked out or anything.

She’s having trouble falling asleep, and I have a massive headache, so after about 20 or 25 minutes I put her in her crib (awake) with a blanket, lovey, and pacifier (which she normally doesn’t take, but since she had been chewing the crap out of my fingers I thought it’d make a good substitute) and head out for some Tylenol. She lays down, but I keep hearing her make angry grunts. After about 5 minutes, I check on her, and she’s awake, a little annoyed, but not crying. So I start patting her back and she goes to sleep.

We repeat this cycle about three more times. She never actually cried during the whole thing, but you could tell she was having trouble falling asleep on her own, and I had a BAD headache and hadn’t eaten in about 8 hours so I needed dinner. Since she wasn’t crying and I could tell she was on the verge of sleep, I left her.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I sat down to eat dinner and about ten minutes later realized…oh my gosh! She hadn’t made a peep! I went in to check on her and sure enough she had put herself to sleep after being put down awake for the first time (and thrown the pacifier out of the crib into the middle of her bedroom).

And here I was thinking we’d need to try Ferberizing!

She didn’t wake up until 6:30 this morning either. She’d been waking up so often during the night lately and it was draining both of us.

So this morning I get up with her, change her, dress her, give her a bottle (which she promptly grabbed from my hands and decided she would feed herself…something she’s been trying to do lately but hasn’t fully grasped the idea that you have to hold the bottle upright to get the milk) and then Mr. Dad took over while I was showering. About five minutes later, I hear him bust in the door and yell:

“Mommy, Mommy! Miss A has a tooth!”

Sure enough, when I checked, the spot where her gums were “cracked” yesterday, there’s a sharp little nubbin of a tooth.

And then come the unexpected feelings. My heart sank. She has a tooth. No more toothless smiles. No more letting her chomp away on my fingers. As if the sitting and crawling or standing and cruising weren’t enough to do it already, the tooth did me in. My baby is growing up.

When she starts walking I am probably going to self destruct.

But, I’ve moved on from that and now I’m excited. She has a tooth! And she’s sure to get more! That vastly increases the variety of food she can eat. And now, until the next tooth starts coming through, maybe Mr. Dad and I will be able to get some sleep! Oh boy!

Miss A’s Urinary Reflux Diagnosis

Just a little update following our visit to Arnold Palmer children’s hospital today for Miss A’s kidney/bladder testing. We got there around 8:30 this morning (okay, we were scheduled for 8:30 but those of you who know me know we didn’t actually get there until around 8:50) and finally got seen at around 9:30 and were completely done by about 11:30.

The first test they did was a VCUG, which required yet another catheterization (good times…that part in and of itself took about a half hour because she’s so young and was so incredibly upset, they couldn’t get the catheter in until about five people had tried five times…even though they did restrain her…the actual test took about 5 minutes once she was catheterized). During this test, they found that she has a condition called vesicoureteral refluxย (urinary reflux). Essentially, her bladder is refluxing back up to both kidneys. On the right side, it’s grade III reflux, and on the left, it’s grade II reflux (they rate it on a scale of I to V). Also, on the right side, she’s got something called a duplicated system. Essentially, she’s got two tubes coming from her kidney instead of one. They fuse together right before they reach her bladder. They think she may also have it on the left side, but had to send the urology films off for further review. Nevertheless, this is what caused her UTI about a month and a half ago.

The second test was just a renal ultrasound, which still made her completely miserable but was thankfully much quicker and less invasive.

So, the plan from here is to put her back on prophylactic antibiotics and after the holidays we’ll go visit a pediatric urologist (we have to wait to get the referral before we can schedule it). Her pediatrician told me that in most cases, kids outgrow it the reflux, but the duplicated system is something that may or may not require surgery (which is why we have to see the urologist).

Anyway, the good news is that all of this sounds a lot worse than it is, and she’s going to be fine. The bad news is that it means more tests that are going to make her unhappy and uncomfortable. (Also the prospect of surgery and dealing with insurance crap…never fun.)

Also, interestingly enough, as I was reading up on the condition, I learned that this problem happens more commonly in girls than boys, and also more commonly in girls who have red hair. Also, not that we’re currently planning on having future children, the condition is genetic and any siblings she may have will have a 1 in 3 chance of also having the condition.

The nice people at Arnold Palmer also gave her two beanie babies which she loves ๐Ÿ™‚

So, that’s the update for now. Will post more updates when we have them.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday!

Mommy Moment #4/ 6 month checkup

15 pounds, 7 ounces, and 26 1/2 inches of pure spitfire. Still 50th percentile in weight and head size, but 80th in height. Tall, skinny, with a normal-sized head. She’s perfect!

She screamed through her shots, as usual. She’s been to the pediatrician so much in the past couple of months that she knows it’s going to be a bad time the minute we walk in the door, so she was angry before it even began. But, when it was all over, she went to daycare and had a great time, acting like her normal self.

I was reflecting this evening on the past six months as I packed up the remainder of her now too-small clothes in the 3-6 month size. (always a tough milestone for me, it means she’s growing up). I remember her being only a few days old, and asking questions about this and that…everyone told me “It gets easier at 6 weeks.” Six weeks!?, I thought…I couldn’t grasp the concept of her being six weeks old. especially being as sleep deprived as I was, with a colicky baby! And now here she is, 6 months.

I had a dream last night that I was talking to a pregnant friend (Hi Cara!) and telling her that when her baby is a newborn, she is going to be so overwhelmed by how much he’s going to need to be held…and how much she’s going to want to put him down! I know that’s how I felt when Miss A was still teeny tiny and very needy. Now that she’s bigger, she’s not cuddly at all and I MISS those days so much. Between the time I spend away from her at work and her new-found abilities (crawling, pulling up to standing, etc) there’s not much cuddling to be had. Part of me would give anything to go back to the zero to six weeks phase, where all I did was snuggle my baby.

Truth be told, though, so far every stage has been precious and wonderful, especially in hindsight (I’ve found as a parent, I tend to look at the past with rose-colored glasses). Her first cry, her first smile, her first laugh, her first crawl, her first time sitting up…the first time she reached for a toy…the first time she reached for me…I feel lucky that I haven’t missed any of these things, even though I am a working mom. I’m lonely a lot for the early days when I was with her 24/7, but even now the time we spend is so precious, and I know I’m doing her the benefit of being a good role model (meaning, showing her that women can have it all…careers, family…they just have to work extra hard to balance it all!) But I would give anything to have one more day to just pick her little 8 pound body up and bring her to bed and snuggle.

So I take the moments as they come and try to be as present in those moments as I can. Babies grow so fast; once they’ve moved on from a stage, you can never go back. Every stage is a challenge, but is also completely wonderful and fulfilling to experience. So wonderful that sometimes I contemplate what it’d be like to do it all over again (and then I slap myself in the face and return to reality)!

Until you actually have a baby, though, there is no possible way to fully understand this.

Miss A officially crawls…and stands…

I was waiting to make the crawling announcement until I was sure it wasn’t a fluke…last Wednesday, I got off work early, picked Miss A up at daycare, got home and sat down on the floor to play with her. She caught a glimpse of Rudy (one of our cats) and just took off crawling after him. Anyway, ever since then, it’s been all crawling, all the time. Getting her to sit still in one place is completely impossible.

Then tonight, I was playing with her on the floor again…she had her big stuffed penguin, pushed it over against the couch, and used it to pull herself up to kneeling. Then she grabbed the sofa cushion and pulled herself completely up, and giggled wildly with pride. Then she got a little too confident, let go with one hand to turn around and look at me, and fell on her butt. Which she also thought was wildly hilarious.

Look out world, here comes mobile Miss A!

Tomorrow’s her 6 month checkup…wonder how much she’s gonna weigh and how long she’ll be?? (She’ll be at least 15 1/2 lbs…but possibly more!)