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.

Getting it all Together

We are weeks away from baby girls arrival and trying to tie up all loose ends to prepare for her arrival.

Nursery has been painted, new ceiling fan installed and now we need to install new molding and assemble the crib.

In regards to the crib, we ordered a Newton mattress for the crib as it is highly rated and is made of a breathable material that would allow a baby to breath if they happen to flip over. Of course we will be on a high alert and watch her to ensure this doesn’t happen but having the mattress gives us a little comfort knowing it is breathable.

Next on the list is installing the car seat based in the cars and ensure they are installed properly. We have been asking around to see where everyone installs their car seats. Some say in the middle because it’s safest and most say behind the passenger seat as it easier to place and get the car seat out of the car. I think we have to consider safest option as opposed to convenience

We have our go bag ready to go here for the most part. Just need to get a few things in there but if we had to run, I think we can get by with what we have here. Clothes for Dylan as hospital protocol says when we go in, he can not leave to avoid increased risk of coming into contact with coronavirus.

Speaking of which, we will have to be tested prior to our scheduled date to ensure neither of us are positive. Definitely scary times but we have both been taking precautions and hopefully we will both test negative.

We are currently on our last day of week 33 with week 34 starting tomorrow. Had a doctors appointment today and they said they can see contractions and cramping in the ultrasound. Caused us some concern but spoke with the nurse who works with our doctor afterwards. She consulted with our doc who said everything looked good but we will have to monitor to cramping and if it gets stronger we may have to head right to the hospital. Cramping seems to have calmed down for now but we are now monitoring.

It’s really amazing how it feels like this has been a road we have been traveling for a long time with our first consultation with our IVF doc taking place in the first half of last year. Seems like so much time has passed us by which at times seemed to drag. With only a few weeks left, time is flying.

Another week down since our last post and one week closer to holding our little girl here. We just can’t wait.

Can She Kick It? Yes She Can

Almost 26 weeks this week, baby and mama are getting big! It’s starting to hit us that babygirl will be here in a matter of weeks.

We have started to really focus to get the nursery going, as well as organize to store what we need. I have been keeping my ears and eyes open on message boards and FB groups regarding hospital policies for delivery.

Next week is our glucose screening. I have been good taking my BP 2xs daily as well as watching my fats and carbs using MyFitnessPal.

Otherwise physically I’m starting to feel the literal weight of this pregnancy. I have gained about 20lbs which is pretty good, but for my small frame it’s a new experience. Putting on shoes and socks, squatting to pick up objects off the floor, standing at work, and taking flights of stairs has been a little more difficult lately but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Being pregnant has been nothing short of amazing. Everyday I still can’t believe it’s happening and almost don’t want this feeling to end. Feeling all the kicks and flips is just something I can’t describe. Just have to pick out a pediatrician, finish the nursery, find out our delivery date, and stay healthy.

All in this Family Logo

22 Weeks

Today marks 22 weeks pregnant. So crazy to think at 8 or 12 weeks I thought it was going so slowly!

Baby moves a lot more during the day and they’re more pronounced with sitting and walking. As we said in our last couple of posts we had our anatomy scan and baby looks great.

This week I have to go for a fetal echo to take a closer look at her heart to ensure everything is good. Only reason I’m getting this test due to going through IVF.

We were supposed to have a follow up with our OBGYN next week but that was cancelled to reduce risk of exposure to COVID.

We have seen more news reports and articles now coming out about pregnancy and risk of COVID, especially in newborns. Many offices and providers seem to be scaling down to only the bare
minimum of follow ups barring no pressing issues or emergency situations.

So our next appt is towards the end of May
for the glucose test to see if I am at risk or have gestational diabetes.

I have been more conscious of my sugar and unhealthy carb intake and I actually feel pretty good so far. Don’t be fooled though, mama still has her milkshakes or handful of cookies to keep her sane and happy!


19 Weeks and Socially Distant

Here we are at 19 weeks with a growing baby bump and we can’t even get together with people to show it off.

It is amazing to think how the world has changed between the time we started our IVF treatment last year to today.

Of course we are concerned about Covid-19 and taking all precautions at this time. When this virus first started out we asked the doc if she would be concerned. Because there were no known cases in pregnant women at the time she felt like Judy had nothing to worry about and should be safe because her antibodies were stronger then anyone not pregnant.

There is still a lot of unknowns at least to us so our course of action is to follow social distancing recommendations the best we can.

We won’t live in fear but we also understand the seriousness of the moment. All we can do is take things one day at a time, wash our hands constantly and plan for Baby girl to come into our lives in August.

We do have an ultrasound this week and are extremely excited since it has been awhile since we have seen her. She has been making her presence felt with a few kicks here and there that we have both been able to feel.

And let the spending begin. Dylan already went online and bought her some clothes. Onesies, dresses and socks. Even mentioned watching YouTube videos to learn to braid her hair when she is older. Considering he is bald that may take some time for him to master.

So far, so good here and everything is going well. We will update you all on our ultrasound next week. Till then keep washing your hands and stay safe. Thanks for reading.


Week 5

It has been about two and a half weeks since we had the embryo transfer and one week ago today we received confirmation that we are pregnant. As of this past Wednesday we entered week 5.

How are we feeling? Well I still can’t shake the nerves when it comes to performing the injection on a nightly basis. Not only do I fear hurting Judy but there is also a fear that I do something wrong and mess everything up. This part isn’t easy but I’m getting through it.

The more important thing is Judy and how is she feeling? So far so good. She has started getting hit with morning sickness which is a good sign. She was a bit worried yesterday when she was going through the day and didn’t feel it. FYI, morning sickness doesn’t necessarily happen in the morning. She was hit with a case of nausea in the afternoon. As we are learning, this can not be timed so word to the wise is expect the unexpected and realize it can happen at any moment.

She also does get some minor cramping but we are told this is normal. Key is not to freak out over everything but also don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor for assurance.

Yesterday we had our first ultrasound and saw the sac. Everything looked good according to the doctor and our second sonogram is set to take place in about two weeks at which point we will hopefully see more and possibly hear a heartbeat.

We are reluctant to ask to hear the heartbeat so early simply because we heard the heartbeat in our last two pregnancies and we were both heartbroken when we went in for our appointment and received nothing but silence. I can not explain that moment and wish that no one has to go through it. Unfortunately we know others have been through this same scenario and know the heartache it causes. So as a protective measure we may hold off on listening to the heartbeat until we make it into the second trimester.

As we know this is a very important time for development, we are doing our best to eat healthy. Lots of greens, protein and whatever else may benefit baby while avoiding any foods that are considered bad such as cold cuts and anything not pasteurized. Obviously there are more foods than that to avoid but we will leave that up to you to research as we do not want to give advice that may adversely affect your pregnancy.

So they say that baby is about the size of an apple seed right now. It just makes me think how amazing life is and hope that our Appleseed sprouts into a healthy vibrant child.

Will keep you posted on the progress. Thanks for following along on our journey so far.