halloween 2021 (1 of 1)-32

Parenting is Life

It’s definitely been awhile since we have updated our parenting experiences. Between our jobs and watching our little one grow, we just haven’t been able to find the time until now. She’s napping so we have about 30 minutes.

So much has changed since our last post. At this point our little one just turned 15 months and she is a ball of energy.

It’s amazing to think that in 15 months she went from a bottle every two or three hours and sleeping most of the day to two naps a day to three bottles a day and tearing the house apart throughout the day as she walks around placing her toys all over.

She is such a great girl but I’m sure like any child, she has her moments. Most of the time she is smiling, laughing and having a good old time. Then comes the witching hour which starts anytime after 4:30pm. It is at this point she becomes clingy and only wants to be held. She will throw fits and get upset mort easily around this time if things don’t go her way.

We try not to give in to her demands but sometimes we just feel like we have to. I admit that sometimes it isn’t a bad thing because all she wants to do is snuggle which is better than chasing her around as she tries to climb on everything and pull down anything she can reach.

In public she can be a trip. Apparently, she isn’t always a fan of people approaching her. It seems when people don’t pay attention, she demands their attention and will get it with a thunderous hi followed by a wave and a smile when she gets someone’s attention.

She loves going out and walking around the block.  Unless she is having her bottle, doesn’t always seem interested in screen time. That is unless Coco Melon is on. At this point we know all the songs and sing along.

As far as speaking, she does say some words but is not speaking in sentences yet. And then there are words she tries to say but just hasn’t figured out yet. For example, “Ahhh” is Alexa. She likes when we use the Alexa app called Zoo Keeper which plays animal sounds on demand. Her favorites are the Cow and Sheep, both of which she knows along with a cat and dog.

Overall, she is absolutely awesome and we are so proud of her.

As first time parents, we are still learning. That will be a never ending experience as she grows and gets older. There are moments where we get frustrated, especially when she eats. In a perfect world a child would tuck a napkin into their shirt and eat with no mess.

In the real world, it is a messy affair in which food ends up all over the floor, table, face, hands, hair, you get the picture. It is just part of the growing process and anyone who gets frustrated with this just needs too remember, this is all normal albeit a bit annoying.

And then there are the times you wish that when you say no or stop they just do but that doesn’t always happen. In time that changes slowly. At first we would give her yogurt or applesauce pouches and she would simply throw it on the floor and proclaim, “Done”.

Took a bit but now a days she still proclaims done but actually takes the pouch and puts it in the garbage.

Once she started doing that I realized everything is temporary and as she grows and learns, her ways will change and all will be good.

Don’t think we need to say this but obviously parenting is a 24/7 job. Some days are easy and some days not so easy but with each passing day and each new skill learned it is truly rewarding.

To be able to look at her and say we made her is unbelievable. We are proud of what we made and the job we are doing.

Well, she is waking up here so time to cut this short. We will write again and try to update more frequently as we find our groove. Thanks for reading.

Five Months of Fatherhood and Life is Great

So it’s been a bit since either me or Judy posted. Our little girl has been keeping us busy and the blog was pushed to the side so we can enjoy each and every minute but figured I should take a few minutes here to share my thoughts.

First off, how does it feel to be a first time dad? Absolutely amazing. From the moment I first laid my eyes on her, I was absolutely in love and had a whole new purpose in life. Purpose is doing everything I can for her to give her as much as possible but also show her that she can do anything she dreams of doing with no fear or failure. She will understand that while she may get five no’s, she will always be able to get one yes and when that opportunity comes along, she will grab the bull by the horns and shine. Basically I want her to know that as she grows and becomes a woman, she will be able to do anything a man can do and do it just as well if not better.

So we just hit her five month birthday the day before Christmas. Everyone warned me that time will fly and to enjoy every minute of it. Time flying is very true. I can not believe it she is five months already. She went from a tiny little baby who had to eat every two hours, had no head control and slept most of the day, to a bigger baby that now has four 8 ounce bottles a day and just graduated to adding cereal to it. Also has amazing head control and is very observant with a smile that radiates love. In a short time she has hit so many milestones already and it’s been great.

She rolls over with no issue and I am pretty sure in a few weeks she will begin crawling. Some of the motions are already there but she still needs time to work on the skill.

We have been lucky because from early on she started sleeping through the night allowing us to sleep which was wonderful especially after many sleep deprived nights in the beginning when we had to feed her every two hours. Just as she would go back to sleep after a bottle and you would lay your head on the pillow, it seemed as if the two hours were up and it was feeding time again. After a month or two, the doctor told us we can eliminate night feeding and it was at that point she started sleeping through the night and we were ecstatic.

Now we seem to be hitting the teething stage. Lot’s of drool, a good amount of crankiness and a couple of night of waking in the middle of the night crying. All signs point to teething considering she spends a lot of times biting her toys. It is rough at times but we know this time will pass before we know it.

So it’s been five months since I earned the title of Dad. It is a title that I love and am proud of. I am blessed to have an amazing wife who is an amazing mom and couple that with an absolutely amazing daughter, I would say the past five months have been a dream come true.

Mothers Mental Gymnastics – A Postpartum Experience

I’ve never been one to publicly talk much about my mental health struggles but being postpartum I’ve been told It’s important to let it out.

But as a perfectionist and of stubborn Irish-Italian descent…It’s so hard. Getting used to responsibilities of keeping the tiny human alive is a huge change in routine.

Then there are those moments for myself when baby is sleeping where I try to figure out who the hell I am. Those moments I seem to struggle with the most. Adjusting to limitations with COVID on top of all that is just the proverbial straw on the camels back.

I feel guilty sometimes leaving her w the hubby because I see my maternity leave as my “job” to take care of her.

My hubby works remotely from home but his availability and responsibilities can change at a moments notice. He is an amazing father and I knew he would be from the beginning of our relationship over 10yrs ago. I have no doubts in his skills and abilities.

I am learning so much from him already. Things like rushing home and asking him if things are good, are more to calm my brain while I learn to dial things down. It’s just a learning curve to go through at this point.

I was driving to the store the other day and was overwhelmed w the thought “who am I, and who am I now?” Yes I’m now a mom but I’m trying to still find out me. What do I like? Dislike? What are my goals and dreams for ME?

I know I coast along socially with work and family but I’ve never been strong w friendships. I feel like I have trouble making friends but I hate being alone. If that makes sense.

So I am trying to figure out a lot. If you are a new mom and have thoughts that you’re a failure as a mom, are over anxious, or feel out of control please tell your doctor ASAP. Save yourself to help your child. Both of you will benefit.

I told my doc how I’ve been feeling today and just her saying to reach out to people daily, take each victory as it comes, and nothing is going to be consistent to control, only your reactions to them was a huge help.

There was a poster in the exam room explaining the difference between baby blues and true postpartum depression. Blues last about 2weeks, PPD lasts longer and becomes more intense over time. The quicker you communicate the better you will feel.

Finding Our Parenting Groove – Learning as We Go

When people told us to enjoy our sleep while we could before our baby arrived I think we took it lightly.

I won’t speak for Judy but for myself I can say the one thing I didn’t consider or read about was the feeding schedule for the first few months after a child is born.

Our doc said to feed her every two to three hours which means for sure one of us are waking up multiple times through the night.

Before I go any further, let me just state, this is in no way w complaint. While we are both tired and one of us is sleep deprived multiple days of the week, we know it is necessary and we are giving our little one lots of caring and love. Plus it’s a great excuse to just hold her and stare at the beauty we created.

But… there is always a concern that we may sleep through a scheduled feeding and miss it. I can honestly say I was late for one or two by maybe an hour. Hailey wasn’t up crying though and if she was I am sure that would have woken me up.

Only issue we see when we let her sleep longer than two hours is she is harder to put back to sleep and can be fussy when we try to do so. Just like most of us who get a good amount of sleep and wake up feeling productive, she feels the same on three to four hours of sleep. If only four hours was enough for us.

Overall I think we have been really good about her schedule. We keep a log on our fridge so we know when she was fed, how much she was fed as well as what she gifted us in her diaper. All things that our important to keep track of.

We take turns on who will get the restless night and be on baby duty so it works out somewhat. Not going to lie, we are both tired but it truly is the best tired I can think of.

Two nights ago I got about two hours of sleep total and had to work. Thankfully I am still working from home so commuting wasn’t an issue. The idea was the minute I signed off work I would go to sleep. That actually didn’t happen because Hailey gives me so much energy when I am dead tired.

I did end up crashing out on the recliner around 11pm or so and Judy was on baby duty through the night. I really thought I would wake up to relieve Judy but she did such a good job, I heard very little crying and knew everything was under control.

We are still trying to figure out how much to feed Hailey as that is not so consistent but at the same time it is. Some feedings she has about 60 to 70ml, then others she may have 100, then the next she will only have 30ml.

The amounts through the day are not consistent but when you total all the amounts through the last 24 hours, the amounts are consistent with a slight uptick every other day.

As for changings, we were concerned for a few days because she went from pooping five to eight times a day to two a day. We did change her formula and think that may have been the reason since we have now switched back and she has been going more.

As first time parents, everyday is a learning experience and you can read every book about caring for a baby there is. At the end of the day your baby is unique and you just have to learn their specific signals and follow. I feel like most of the stuff I read and made me feel ready has been tossed out the window and I am simply letting Hailey teach me.

Also as any parent would be, you are concerned for baby’s health. The other day she started forming a crust on one of her eyes. At first we weren’t concerned but then it seemed to get worse. Judy scheduled a telehealth appointment with our doc who was able to determine it to be a blocked tear duct and recommended we use saline drops in her nose and gently massage the area around the tear duct.

Thankfully with the saline alone, it appears the eye has cleared up and all is well. Haven’t seen any issues with it through today so we are relieved.

All in all, I believe we are doing a great job and have been learning each and every day. Our girl is simply amazing. She may have a crying fit from time to time but overall she has not been too fussy and we are thankful for that.

It’s hard to believe she has been with us for two weeks already. While two weeks may seem like a short time to some, looking back at our journey to when we first met with our fertility doc, it seemed like time stood still up until the day she was born.

While she came about a week and three days sooner than we expected, I must admit, I am glad she did. I feel like I got an extra week to see her, get to know her and most importantly love her.

All I keep thinking is how wonderful parenthood is and how blessed we are to have her in our lives. We didn’t know what the outcome would be after two miscarriages and I must admit, I was worried about IVF not working after seeing many peoples experiences.

My heart goes out to those who struggle and wish each and every person struggling is blessed with a child of their own. While the process of IVF is not easy, when it pays off it pays off big time.

For two weeks now we have witnessed the miracle that is our daughter and look forward to watching her grow while we do our best to instill values and morals so that she grows up to be a decent kind giving woman. That is now our goal and purpose in life but first, daddy has to learn to stop cursing. Using the F word to describe something isn’t necessary but it is how we spoke on the streets growing up in Brooklyn. Yeah, that’s my excuse but it is something I am working on so she doesn’t grow up hearing it. Wish me F’n luck on that. 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

1st week of parenthood- Mom edition

So it’s been quite a whirlwind. People tell you how much your life will change with a baby and you don’t realize it until it happens to you.

Had a routine doc appt prior to my sched delivery day which would’ve been today, 8/3. I had very high BP so she sent us to the hospital for “monitoring” which turned into getting IV medication because it was so high they worried I could have a seizure. Then they decided on delivery because I started having contractions.

Delivery was beautiful. Heavenly. Just dreamlike. Yes it was a C-Section but it was one of those times where you really take stock and are truly awed at this life, creation, the human body, science, and just absolute unconditional love. While riding high from delivery of our baby girl, I was still on this medication that made me hotter than the sun inside and out, and also made me intolerable to everything, even water for 24 hours.

My hospital is very keen on breastfeeding and skin to skin within the first hour. It was so hard to concentrate on so many things during that time. Recovering from surgery, this damn IV drip, hormones all over, and a baby to learn about.

Eventually we tried latching and she did ok but no one told me how much it would HURT! Literally NO ONE (including fellow moms) mentions this. You see pictures of women breastfeeding and it seems so serene and natural. I assumed it actually feels good. WRONG!

They said “it gets better just keep at it… don’t be so hard on yourself. She’s 36 weeks so she’s still figuring it out too.” They suggested trying to latch for 5-10mins, then try pumping, then formula. So they brought in lactation consultants over our 4 days in the hospital to work on latch and holds.

The whole time I felt tricked and frustrated that it should be so easy. There’s something I’m not doing or maybe something I’m doing wrong.

I felt like I failed at Mom 101 already. Nothing was comfortable. I felt so awkward, my back hurt from being so tense just aching for breastmilk to come in so I can mentally feel relief that I can do what my body was designed to do.

Pumping seemed like a hassle to set up and do. When I did it I suctioned too much and my nipple bled. It scared me so I had to hold off on it and only try latching on one side. I stayed in a hospital gown that didn’t fit and got in the way, an uncomfortable bed, BP all over the map, people coming in and out to check my vitals, baby’s vitals, give me pain meds. It was all just exhausting.

Finally come home and tried to latch still, and grew increasingly frustrated. Annoyed at the process pumping takes, and just generally felt overwhelmed and defeated at the start of how hard this all is. Later that night I shed tears of frustration and overwhelming change seeing my husband running around to help and keep me relaxed.

He really has been my rock, savior, saint, and lifeline for me through this whole thing. I literally have no idea what I would do or who I would be without him. I draw my strength from him without him even knowing it.

Over the next few days, I looked up anything to help and found nipple shields. I was able to get colostrum out of my right breast not my left. After the shields it evened out. They helped with her latching but man does feeding still hurt!!!! Sharp glass like pain at every latch.

I still only get about 5mls total for both sides. I have been trying to pump after her formula feedings to keep up my milk supply. Hoping it will ramp up. We will see.

With all of this going on, I just look at her face and know I can keep going and she’s going to be okay.

This blog has definitely been an outlet for us and hopefully it is for other moms AND dads out there. We all can relate to something so let’s talk about it. Would love to hear your thoughts and share ideas on this parenthood journey.