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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.

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. 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂


Our Journey has Ended and a New One Begins

Thursday afternoon I was sitting around trying to figure out what needed to be done. Realized I still needed to install the car seats.

Went out at 4:30 and installed them. Afterwards I decided to vacuum the car a bit. As I was doing so, Judy called from her doctors appointment to tell me the doc said we need to go to labor and delivery. She was going to come home so we could go and recommended I install the car seat while she was on her way not knowing that I had already done so.

The second she got home we pretty much jumped in the car and she explained everything. Her blood pressure was high and they wanted her to go to labor and delivery to monitor.

We arrive at the hospital, check in and they put us in a room where Judy was hooked up to monitoring and blood was drawn for lab testing which they said would take about an hour.

We ended up sitting in this room for about two and a half hours with nurses coming and going to check on her. About three hours after being in the room I looked up at the monitor and saw Judy’s blood pressure was over 180 and I began to worry but didn’t want to say anything to further worry her as she was already worried.

As I was about to go out to ask the nurse to check on her, a team of nurses and doctors came running in. Long story short she had preeclampsia which is common when it comes to IVF pregnancy’s.

They immediately put her on a magnesium drip to protect her because they were afraid she would have a seizure. This experience as she explains was the worst thing she ever felt. She described it as a terrible sunburn from the inside. To try to alleviate the heat she felt, they gave her multiple ice packs which seemed to melt within minutes of contact.

At this point we were worried about the baby. Thankfully one of the nurses who I will never forget, brought a calmness over the insanity and reassured both Judy and myself that baby is ok. Her heartbeat was strong and we had nothing to worry about.

Next the doc came in and told us we would be going into delivery as it is the only way to alleviate the preeclampsia. They said they did not consider this an emergency as they were able to get Judys pressure under control but we would be delivering sometime between 11pm and midnight.

Delivery time comes and Judy is brought into the operating room while I put on the hospital gear. Once surgery started, they escorted me in and had me sit next to Judy on the other side of the partition that blocked view of the operation.

As Judy laid there and I sat next to her, I kept asking her if she was ok. I think both of us had fear. I was doing my best to look at the light above to see if I can see anything in the reflection which I could not so it was simply a waiting game.

All of the sudden we heard, wow, this is a big baby for 36 weeks. Personally I didn’t know what to think of that and wasn’t going to calm down until I knew all was well.

All of the sudden, a cry. It wasn’t Judy, it wasn’t me and it certainly wasn’t the doctors. It was our baby girl. She was born on July 24th at 12:21am and I will never forget the moment I heard her and both me and Judy broke down in tears of happiness.

Hailey came into our life about a week and a half sooner than expected and we couldn’t be happier.

Today she is one week old and god how we love her sooo much. You truly don’t understand what people say when they talk about the birth of their child. It is a moment of amazement, and your heart instantly grow much bigger and is filled with love and joy.

I think the best feeling was a minute or so after she came out and they put her in my arms for the first time. I simply didn’t want to let her go.

I can write a book in regards to this day at this point if I included every emotion that hit us that day but maybe I’ll save that for another post.

It’s been a week since Hailey was born, first doctors appointment said she was in excellent health and very alert which is what we wanted to hear. Her appetite grows everyday. She went from 10 to 15ml of formula on her first day to around 60ml today.

Overall, she has been a very calm baby with only one notable crying fit the first night she was home. Overall, she eats well, sleeps well and we couldn’t ask for anything more.

This is something I always dreamed of. Key was finding Judy who is unlike no other. I love her more than words can describe and couldn’t ask for a better woman to have a child with. She is already a great mom and I will forever be grateful for her.

She was the one who had to take the meds/shots during IVF. She is the one who had to watch what she ate for eight and a half months. She is the one who carried our beautiful Hailey all this time and created perfection.

Our dream has been realized and our hearts and minds are filled with love and a new sense of being and purpose in life.

We couldn’t be happier with our girl. For anyone who has been following our journey for the past year and sending positivity our way, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our IVF journey may have come to an end but our journey as parents has now started. Keep an eye out for more posts about our experience as parents and thanks again for reading.

Approaching the Finish Line – Dads Persepctive

In what seems to have been a long journey, it struck us both how close we are to the finish line.

In 2018 we had our first pregnancy which ended in miscarriage. Early 2019 we experienced the same. Both were due to genetic defects and both sucked.

Our doc recommended we go for genetic counseling which we did. No issues were found with our genes and the fertility doc we met with suggested we give IVF a shot.

His opinion for this would be to ensure that we have a quality embryo with little to no defect. They found no other reason why we couldn’t get pregnant and keep it otherwise except for maybe age but that was not said.

Now we knew that IVF doesn’t always happen on the first attempt but as many couples who have taken this route or will be taking this route, there is hope that it happens on the first try. We had to keep that in our mind and truly understand this to avoid or at least minimize any emotional hurt that may be caused by a failed attempt.

As I write, Judy is coming up on week 29 of pregnancy and we were blessed to get to this point on our first attempt. I know we are lucky when I read the stories of others who have gone through multiple cycles.

We are blessed to feel the baby kicking at this point as well as hear her heartbeat with a Doppler we purchased online even though are doc did not recommend we get one because they are not medical grade and can cause fear if the baby is turned in such a way where the doppler does not pick up the beat.

As we approach week 29, it hit us that we are about 11 weeks away from meeting our baby girl. Actually less than 11 weeks as we will be having a c-section.

So the rush is on to prepare for all things baby. The nursery has been painted for the most part. Now I just need to clean it up and organize it. We have enough clothes between items we purchased as well as hand me downs from friends and family that we should make it through the first year with no issues.

At this point we need to narrow down our list of names which seems to grow as opposed to getting narrowed down.

Our excitement grows every single day and the hands of time which seemed to be stalled for the longest time are now flying. Before we know it our baby girl will be in our arms and our family will become a +1.

I must mention how wonderful Judy has carried herself through this pregnancy. With each passing day you can see the excitement she feels as well as the joy she has being pregnant knowing she is carrying our child.

I am always using the term we are pregnant because I look at us as a team. Two to tango right? I completely understand she is pregnant and she was the one who went through morning sickness and know my part is the easy part.

I have tried to step up my game by preparing dinner more even if my dishes are sometimes just edible and nothing great. Point being I do try to do more so she can relax. That is what great teams do. They look out for and to each other for support which is what we have been doing. So this is what I mean when I say we are pregnant and in no way want to take away from Judy.

We are experiencing this together with each of our experiences being different. She feels the kicks and movements from the inside while I can feel them by placing my hand on her belly. What a beautiful feeling that is.

These are amazing and exciting times and we are enjoying each and every day. We know that not every experience is the same but we do hope that there are a few people out there who can relate to our experience or maybe we can help. We found reading the experience of others both good and bad helped us so we just wanted to pay it forward by sharing our uncensored experience.

Thanks for reading and will see you on our next post.


Third Trimester Begins – The Final Countdown

Here we are at 28weeks – THE THIRD TRIMESTER!!!

It’s so crazy how this has literally flown by. I’ve loved being pregnant especially for the past few weeks that I’ve really settled into it. At the same time I am getting sad that it’s almost over.

We are so excited to meet our daughter. Yes I know that was all over the place but yknow… hormones.

We continue to work on the nursery and completing projects around the house before she arrives. Feeling her kick and wondering if that’s her elbow or knee or foot now is fun.

We have a baby Doppler and listen occasionally. Each time we just sit there quietly and soak in that that’s her HEART. I know I’ve said it before but It’s just the most beautiful sound.

Dylan said it best a few weeks ago. We have come SO far on our journey to have a family that we just want to meet her already. It has made us a stronger individually, and as a team.

I’ve seen my husband go through so much personally and professionally during all of this, and can only pray our daughter has the same care, strength, and resilience as him. She has the best dad already.