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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. 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

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.

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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.

Now We Wait

Week 35 came and went and during that time I managed to finish up the nursery. Painting is done, ceiling fan is up, and crib and changing table are assembled. All that’s left is to put up the new curtains and maybe touch up a few spots that got dinged up on the wall.

So now we are in week 36 and seeing the nursery ready to welcome our girl has made our excitement build even more. This has become even more real than it already has been even though at times it seemed surreal.

Looking back, the hands on the clock have gone from a crawl to a sprint. This journey seems like it has been going on for a long time but with the finish line upon us, time is now in a sprint. This sprint simply isn’t fast enough because we want to hold our girl now but like they say, good thing come to those who wait.

Judy went in for her maternal scan last week and they estimated our baby was weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces. Not sure how she fits in there but she does.

The other night I was rubbing Judys belly as we were going to sleep. As I was doing so, I felt a little bump raise up which I swear was our girls hand reaching out to say hi. It was the best feeling as if she was reaching out to hold daddy’s hand. Of course when I told Judy to feel the spot, baby moved away which she often does to both of us. She will start kicking away and Judy will tell me to come feel and the second I get there she stops. It’s like a little game she plays with us.

These are the things we are cherishing in the moment during pregnancy. Funny to think about a few months ago when Judy would say she felt the baby move and tell me to feel but I wouldn’t feel anything in the beginning. Now our baby is big and strong and it is not hard to feel her when she is moving.

So all that is left to do is get that car seat bases installed and pack the go bag in the car. We are at a point where the biggest thing to do besides that is wait and waiting somewhat patiently is what we are doing.

Dad’s Random Thoughts

Excited is an understatement. Daddy’s little girl will be here in a few short weeks.

Did I have a preference of a boy or girl? Absolutely not. What if I absolutely had to choose? Well then, I would have chosen a girl.

Why would I have chosen a girl over a boy? There are stereotypical things a father does with their son to teach them how to be a man. A father teaches a boy how to play sports, use tools and do what is considered male things. I feel like I would be able to teach that easily.

So with my being confident that I could teach that all easily, why not teach all of that to a girl? I grew up with a single mother who truly believed she could do anything herself and did not need a man to do anything for her. And she really was able to do anything and everything herself. She was a strong woman.

This is what I want to raise my daughter to be. I wasn’t her to grow up to be a strong woman who has no fear and can succeed at whatever she chooses to do in life.

If my little girl wants to be a a dancer well then daddy is going to provide the tools for her to be a dancer. If she wants to play baseball, then daddy will show her how. If she wants to learn technology like daddy works on, well then daddy will show her. If she wants to learn to cook, well then we will leave that one to mommy to show her because daddy’s cooking is awful.

Not only do I hope to instill confidence within her, I hope to teach her how to respect herself and when the time comes for boys to be part of her life, she only associates with ones that are respectful as I believe I have always been to Judy.

I am not sure what to expect, but I am expecting a challenge. I know there is always a strong bond between daddy and daughter because daddy is always there to protect. I believe that the mommy daughter bond will be just as strong though because mommy is as tough as they come and will be a solid protector.

Overall, both myself and Judy were raised with family values and a sense of respect for others. I believe the two of us will no doubt help build a strong foundation. As parents, we know we each come to the game with our strong points and weak points. Strong points are not an issue but if our little girl sees us work as a team to help each other turn those weaknesses into strength, then she herself will have less fear of failing and a stronger desire to succeed.

This entry is no doubt just me rambling and spitting out random thoughts. May or may not make sense to some which is fine either way. Just wanted to be able to record what I am currently thinking whether it makes sense or now.

The one thing I know I can add to this that isn’t random crazy thinking is the following.

Judy, thank you for being you. Thank you for always standing tall by my side (Even if you are shorter than me). Thank you for keeping me sane at times when I felt like the world was collapsing around me. Thank you for always making me smile and laugh. Nothing beats the random laughter we share whether we are making a joke at the expense of each other or just same something off the cuff ridiculous. I love laughing with you.

Most of all, thank you for being the vessel that has carried our little girl over the past almost 8 months. I know it hasn’t been easy and I wish I could say I understand what being pregnant is like. I do not know what that is like but I do thank you for teaching me. Together we are going to be amazing parents.

To our little girl if you ever read this in a few years. We may or may not have decided on your name yet but either way, only me and mom will know what it is before you are born. We are both ecstatic knowing that in just a few more weeks, you will be with us on the outside where we will be able to hold you, look at you, play with you, teach you and most of all love you with all our heart and soul. I promise to do my best to be the best daddy a girl could ask for. I may not always be perfect but I do promise to always be good.

I love you my sweet precious daughter and can not wait to hold you, see you and love you forever.

Change the Future One Child at a Time

Today marks week 30 and all is well. Judy is following her plan provided by her dietician to keep her sugar levels controlled. For the most part it is working well. Some days her levels are slightly above what is recommended by a few points but for the most part they have been in range.

With all the turmoil going on in the world right now we realize that the world we remember before the pandemic started has changed significantly in a few short months. The world we remembered may not be the world our baby girl will grow up in.

Will she grow up having to wear a mask to play with her friends? We don’t know and have to see what the future holds.

On top of that, racial equality has become front and center on the world stage. While the reasoning it has come to light is sad, we must use this as an opportunity to teach love and respect.

Now is the perfect time for parents both new and old to teach love and respect to all humans regardless of race, nationality and religion.

We are lucky because in two short months our baby girl will join us in this world. She will come into this world not knowing what hate is. From day one she will learn everything from us for the first few years.

It is our job as parents to teach her and build a strong foundation of love and respect so when she starts to venture into the world, these qualities are not altered by any negative outside influences she may encounter.

We can and will teach her that we are all individuals and as an individual we all have great qualities but none of us are exempt from having faults.

These values will not only come through question and answer sessions as she grows up, they will also come from the way she sees us interact with each other as well as the rest of the world as a whole.

Will she learn to hate under our guidance and will we allow it? Only if she says she hates her veggies or my cooking. But in time we will get her to love those also. Maybe not my cooking so much but hopefully veggies.

When I first met Judy, she hated mushrooms. After pushing and pushing a little more to try them again, guess who now loves mushrooms.

In general we can all learn to love even if our foundation was built on hate. We just need to allow ourselves to be open and understanding towards one another.

We as new parents as well as the thousands of new parents all have an opportunity to build a strong foundation of love and positivity. We must all take advantage of this now to ensure a better future for all.

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.