Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thursday 11/26/15 – Week 18: Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble, gobble!

Today is Evan’s first Thanksgiving!!!!
I’m so grateful for him and for my wife. I can't believe next year he will be running around!

"Moms, did you put wine bottles in my stroller??!!"
"Yes, Evan, yes we did."

We’ve come so far in one year.  
Last Thanksgiving, I was barely pregnant and he was so, so tiny.  I had all of the concerns with being a new mom and keeping that baby healthy and strong.  It’s hard to believe that we have this beautiful baby boy now.  The year went by so fast.


And he tried holding his bottle on his own today!

"Look Moms, two hands!"

Sleep Training Night #2!

RULES OF THE NIGHT: 10/15/20
The first time he cries, we wait 10 minutes before going into his room. 
The second time, we wait 15 minutes. 
The third time and for the rest of the night, we wait 20 minutes.

He fell asleep at the end of the bottle and I started cutting his nails and he woke up! So I read him Goodnight Moon and got him back to sleep by the end.

Time to open up the wine!


8:08pm = he’s asleep in the crib. I laid him down and he moved a bit but stayed asleep. He had so much stimulation today with meeting new people and being in new places. He is exhausted!!

12:08am = he’s awake. Timer set for 10 minutes.

12:12am = he’s asleep. 

1:09am = he’s awake and crying.  Timer set for 15 minutes.

1:20am = he’s asleep.

1:42am = he’s awake. This is the first real crying of the night. He has moments of silence, then crying. At least it’s not the desperate wailing that we had last night. Timer set for 20 minutes.

1:59am = he’s asleep.

3:30am = he’s awake and crying.  Timer set for 20 minutes.

3:34am = he’s back asleep.

5:44am = he’s awake and pissed! He was saying, “I slept through most of the night and now it's morning, so let's go! Get me out of here!!” 
We’re almost at the 10 hour mark.

6:08am = 10 hours are up! It’s time for a bottle!

Total number of crying sessions = 5
Total number of minutes crying = 60
Total number of check ins = 0


A distinct improvement from the night before!

"Maybe sleeping is fun!"

Friday 11/27/15 – Evan had 2 naps today. 

RULES OF THE GAME FOR NAPS:
He has to stay in his crib for 1 hour.
He can cry, he can play, he can SLEEP – it doesn’t matter.  But he has to stay in there for 1 hour.  
We can do check ins, but for an hour or less, I prefer not to.  I don’t want him to think that when I come in after 5 minutes, that I might do that at night, too.

The first nap he slept for 35 minutes and cried for 25 minutes. 

The second nap he slept for 20 minutes and cried for 15, then slept a little and cried for 12 more minutes. Apparently once he gets the hang of sleeping more at night he will get the naps during the day.

Julia is crying listening to him. She can't take it!
I'm cold as ice! He has to learn!

"No!"

I hung up our stockings today for Christmas.  It made me cry.


This time last year, I knew that next year we would have an extra stocking on the mantle. And here we are. One year later. We have our Evan. Our young buck!

Sleep training night #3!

RULES OF THE NIGHT: 15/20/25
The first time he cries, we wait 15 minutes before going into his room. 
The second time, we wait 20 minutes. 
The third time and for the rest of the night, we wait 25 minutes.

7:45pm = after a bath, bottle and a book he's fast asleep. I laid him in the crib and he opened his eyes and looked around for a second then fell asleep! This is exactly what we want! He needs to know he's in his bed and everything is ok and he can fall asleep on his own.

2:48am = he’s awake. Set timer for 15 minutes.

3:00am = he’s asleep.

3:10am = he’s awake and half crying. Set timer for 20 minutes.

3:13am = half crying becomes real crying.

3:30am = check in denied!  He's settling down and if I go in, he might get stimulated.

3:35am = he’s asleep.  I knew he was close!

4:43am = he’s awake.  Set timer for 25 minutes.

5:10am = he’s asleep.

5:20am = he’s awake.

5:45am = 10 hours are up! Diaper change and bottle for my crying boy!

Total number of crying sessions = 4
Total number of minutes crying = 89
Total number of check ins = 0


The good thing is there was one less crying session and although he cried for more minutes, some of those minutes were half cries. Also, he slept for 7 hours before first waking up!!!

Saturday 11/28/15 – Evan’s first nap was from 10:00am - 11:00am today.
And he cried the entire time.

Yikes.

But for his second nap this afternoon, he cried for a few minutes then SLEPT!
We are wearing him down!!! He is too tired to cry for an hour!


At the end of this nap, Julia went in to get him and HE ROLLED OVER!!!!
From his back to his stomach!
This is a huge milestone!
Granted it's cause he was so upset and was twisting and turning in the crib, but he rolled over!!!!!

Time to take a deep breath.
In moments like this, I feel reassured that we aren't torturing him and that this is actually working.

His third nap was from 4:45pm-5:30pm. This one can be shorter and thank god because he woke up at 5:05pm and started screaming.

Sleep training night #4!

RULES OF THE NIGHT: 20/25/30 holy smokes…
The first time he cries, we wait 20 minutes before going into his room. 
The second time, we wait 25 minutes. 
The third time and for the rest of the night, we wait 30 minutes.

8:00pm = he’s asleep in the crib.

1:49am = aw shit. It's too early!!! I heard some noise and checked the monitor. He was making some little noises for a few minutes then fell asleep!

4:55am = he’s awake. Eyes wide open and he's staring at the camera! I was willing him back to sleep with my mind. But he wasn't crying. He was laying there making a few noises and just staring. I figured I would sleep until he started crying in a few more minutes.

6:04am = he is crying now but was content for over an hour! Amazing!!! 

Sunday 11/29/15 – For his first nap of the day, he cried for 25 minutes then we watched him find his hand. And he rolled onto his stomach! He seemed upset that he couldn't quite roll back again but then he found his hand and was happy! 

We watched him on the monitor. He's never slept on his stomach before. The doctor said as long as we lay him down on his back, if he gets onto his stomach, he is ok. Any position he gets into on his own is fine.  

So it was scary to see at first but his head was turned and he was crying so he was breathing!

He had stopped crying for maybe 20 minutes and then started again.  We had 7 minutes left in the hour of the nap.

Then he fell asleep.
And so did we.
And we all woke up an hour later! Wow!!!!
Successful nap for sure!!!

And for his second nap, he’s already been asleep for an hour and a half!

I did the dishes, took a shower, ate lunch and I'm having a cup of coffee while watching some football.

Our pediatrician said once he starts sleeping through the night, the naps will fall into place.
Consider them fallen!!!!

One sock napping angel boy


7:45pm = we laid him down in his crib for the night.
6:22am = he woke up ready to start the day.

This. Is. Amazing.

"More sleep equals more play time!"

Wednesday 12/2/15 – We have a whole new Evan.
Jules put him down for his first nap. He opened his eyes, looked around, rolled onto his side and went to sleep.

Later this morning, Evan and I went to Target for a few things.  I wasn’t sure if he would get this nap messed up because we weren't at home for it.
But he fell asleep in the car on the way home! 

I carefully took him out of his car seat, laid him in the crib and he ended up sleeping for over two hours!!!

His third nap is going well right now. 
This is a new baby.

So proud of this boy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday 11/19/15 – Week 17: Sleep Training Begins!

Sir Evan Charles of Hollywood

Last night was better and we got a little more sleep.  I think anything would have been better than the night before!

Today was the last day of session 1 of our Mommy and Me class.  Session 2 will start in two weeks.  

Some moms won’t be back because they have to go back to work.  I really feel for them.  It must be so hard.

Almost every week now, a few of us go out to lunch after class.  It’s really nice to get to know these other moms as we try and raise these babes.  It takes a village!!

I can’t believe it’s November and almost Thanksgiving.
Time is going by so fast.

Friday 11/20/15 – Evan slept for 10.5 hours last night! 
There was a feeding in there somewhere but that is so long for him.  I’m so thankful for these nights when they happen!

Our boy is officially in SIZE 3 diapers now!  I can’t believe how big he’s getting.  What happened to my tiny newborn boy???

I happened to look at old photos of him from the summer.  He looks so small!

It made me want another baby!  HELP!!!

Now I know why people have more kids.  I’m so exhausted but I see the pictures of this tiny baby and want a newborn!
S.O.S.!!!!

Monday 11/23/15 – Our boy is four months old today!


We had an appointment with the doctor and knew Evan had to get another round of shots.

He weighs 16 pounds and 10.5 ounces and is 26.5” long!
This kid is growing!

He did so well with the shots.  There were only 2 this time and after the first one went in, he seemed ok.  Then the second one went in and he started crying.

I had a bottle all prepared for him and then he was happy!
He loves to eat!

Then he slept on the way home like a good boy.

His sleeping schedule is different every night.  Every night you don’t know when he will wake up next and if you should feed him because it’s been a while or just bounce him back to sleep.

We might start sleep training this week…

Tuesday 11/24/15 – Last night he was awake almost every hour! The longest stretch was from 3:00am – 5:45am.
I'm a zombie today!

I think it was from the shots. That's my guess. At one point we made him a bottle and he was still wide awake and crying after he finished.

He didn’t feel warm, but we gave him some Tylenol in case he was in pain from the vaccines. Let's hope tonight we get more sleep!

UPDATE: We are not off to a good start and Jules is working late so I’m here alone!
This is what’s been going on.  
Please, feel my pain.

7:30pm = he’s asleep and I laid him in the crib.
8:00pm = awake and crying. I went in to bounce and rock him.
8:10pm = back asleep in the crib.
8:12pm = awake and crying. Bounced him again.
8:23pm = back asleep in the crib.
8:25pm = awake and crying. Bounced again.
8:36pm = back asleep in the crib.
9:14pm = awake and crying. Bounced again.
9:25pm = back asleep in the crib.
10:14pm = awake and crying. Bounced again.
10:23pm = back asleep in the crib.
3:30am = awake and crying. Julia made him a bottle and fed him.
5:30am = awake and crying. Bounced back to sleep.
6:45am = he’s awake for the day…AND I’M F*&%ING EXHAUSTED.

This kid is begging to be sleep trained.

Wednesday 11/25/15 – I had a dream that I was doing shots of red wine.


Then I woke up and heard Evan crying.
I guess that's my answer to a crying baby!

Sleep training begins!

Yes, the red indicator light shows the level of NOISE in the room.

Because Evan is 4 months old and over 15 pounds, we can now sleep train.  

Our pediatrician, Dr. Scott Cohen, has a method that sounded good to us.  We’ve never gone one night without feeding him halfway through, but our doctor explained that once the baby hits a certain weight, they are only eating for comfort.  They can make it through the night without eating.

Rules of the game:  For 10 hours, we can’t pick him up for feed him.  He must stay in his crib.

The first night is the 5/10/15 rule.  We do our normal bedtime routine and the first time he cries, even if it’s when I lay him down in his crib, we set the timer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes if he’s still crying, we go in his room, put our hand on his chest, tell him we love him and that everything is ok.  Then we leave.

If he continues to cry or whenever he cries again, we now wait 10 minutes before we check in on him.

The next time he cries, we wait 15 minutes. 

Then every other time he cries that first night, we wait 15 minutes.  Until the 10 hours are up.

If at any time, he has a poopy diaper, we would change him and then put him right back in the crib.  That’s the only reason we would pick him up.

The check ins are really for us so we know he is ok while we are staring at the monitor and listening to him cry all night long.

Tonight, Mama and I will get through this with some whiskey.


7:30pm = he finished the bottle. He always falls asleep by the end of the bottle. Tonight he didn't. He was wide awake. It was like he knew it was coming. I read him Goodnight Moon while holding him upright for 15 minutes (we always do that after a bottle so he isn’t immediately laying flat with a full belly.)

7:45pm = upright time is over. I told him I loved him and gave him a kiss. He's already fussy at this point.  He knows what’s happening!  He’s begging me not to leave!  I laid him down in the crib and now he’s CRYING.  I set the timer for 5 minutes. And since we're in the next room, I turned the volume off on the monitor. Dear god we don't need it in stereo!

7:50pm = go inside his room. I put my hand on his chest. I tell him everything is ok and we love him. I rub my hand on his cheek and leave the room. I set the timer for 10 minutes. This sh*t is getting hard to listen to. I thought I would be cold as ice. But hearing him cry and seeing him look at you in the dark like why aren't you picking me up?! It kills.

7:58pm = I'm beginning to think that he will only stop crying when he passes out. And hopefully that will be soon. He's really not happy with us. But there are a few seconds (like two) when he's quiet. Those seconds make me hold strong and think this will work. He will get it.

8:00pm = I went in his room, put my hand on his chest, told him I love him and rubbed his cheek. I think he's getting hoarse from crying so much. Jesus, I hope this works. Like soon. Timer set for 15 minutes.

8:07pm = he's quieting down! Still crying but maybe this is working. He's rolled onto his side from squirming because he's so upset.

8:11pm = he passed out!!!! Sort of on his side. So we will try to go in and fix him at the next interval.

8:15pm = he is still asleep! I went in and moved him gently off his side onto his back. He moved and was still breathing(!!!) but stayed asleep.

10:18pm = I just want to say that our angel boy is still asleep!!!!! I'm in shock. A quiet, blissful shock.

11:08pm = after dinner and some TV, mommies are off to bed. Let's see how long we can sleep!

12:14am = he’s awake and crying.  Not awful crying, but crying nonetheless. I set the timer for 15 minutes.

12:15am = no more crying. No more squirming. Fingers crossed!

12:17am = he’s crying. I set the timer for 15 minutes again.

12:24am = he started calming down a little and he’s completely sideways in the crib. He turned all the way around.

12:30am = Julia went in. She repositioned him and told him we love him and left. Timer set for 15 minutes again.

12:32am = he’s calming down. I know he’s definitely exhausted.  And he’s not the only one!!!

12:43am = just shy of the timer going off, he passed out.

12:51am = he’s awake and crying. Timer set again for 15 minutes.

1:05am = I went in and straightened him out. Told him I loved him. I could hear all this snot from him crying. Poor baby. Please fall asleep soon. Timer set for 15 minutes.

1:19am = he passed out.

3:36am = he’s awake and crying. I set the timer for 15 minutes and am just staring at the monitor.  I feel like I’ve been doing this all night.  Then I hear something besides my baby crying… 
Julia is SNORING!!!!! Somehow she can sleep through the sleep training with our son wailing in the next room!

3:51am = I woke Julia up and she went in and repositioned him again. Timer reset for 15 minutes.

4:14am = he wiggled sideways again but passed out.

4:17am = he’s awake and crying. Timer reset for 15 minutes.

4:23am = he passed out sideways in the crib.

6:08am = he’s awake and ready to start the day! He went past the ten hour mark of 5:45am, so now it's time to change his diaper and give him a bottle. He was so happy to be held! After I was finished burping him, he laid on my shoulder and zoned out. He let me play with his hair and I held my boy. Love love love.

Total number of crying sessions = 7
Total number of minutes crying = 133
Total number of check ins = 6

Evan Charles cannot be tamed!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday 11/12/15 – Week 16: Four Month Sleep Regression

"I got this."

We had a great Mommy and Me class this week.  
We talked all about our partners/spouses and let me just say that I’m so grateful for my wife.  I have someone who is supportive, kind and generous who has my back.  Forever.
Some other moms don’t have that.  And it was sad to hear that they don’t get the support they need at home.

Afterwards some of the moms and I went to lunch and it turns out a few of us had done IVF.  I heard that two of the moms had miscarriages.  They were in their mid to late first trimester when it happened. 

I can’t imagine what they went through.  We were so lucky with Evan.  So grateful that when I got pregnant, it was with him.  I carried him to full term (plus 8 days) and he is a healthy baby boy.

We are very blessed to have him and so lucky that we also have some embryos left over for Evan's sibling(s!!!).  Some women do IVF and end up with only one embryo, like what happened to us the first time.  Others end up with several embryos, but only one results in a pregnancy.  

We are very fortunate and I guess this was an advantage to having two women do IVF at the same time... 4 ovaries!

"I can't wait to be a big brother!"

I’m finding that whenever I go out into the world and do something, I feel like a super mom.  I need to remember this and make sure I get out of the house at least every other day - and not just to walk the dog!

Friday 11/13/15 – Breastfeeding is finally coming to an end.  I’ve been doing it twice a day now, first thing in the morning and at night before his bath.

Evan is getting frustrated because there isn’t much milk left and it doesn’t come out immediately.  The boy is used to the bottle, and that’s ok.

On top of this frustration, I have a MILK BLISTER.


It’s just as bad as it sounds.
I noticed this small white dot on my nipple that didn’t go away.  After some internet research, I found that it is caused by a small amount of milk getting clogged in a milk duct.  FUN!

Breastfeeding already hurt.  Now it is on the verge of unbearable.

How do you get rid of it?
Well, the best way is to KEEP NURSING.

Are you freaking joking me?!!!!!

I’m probably going to stop breastfeeding him this weekend if this doesn’t resolve itself ASAP.  It’s not worth it to have him be frustrated and me be in agony.

I feel sad about stopping.  But I know that feeling is because I’m mourning what I thought breastfeeding was going to be.  This magical bonding experience.  Instead I’ve been greeted by intense pain and not enough milk.

I wish it would have been different and I could have done it longer, but it wasn’t in the cards.
What’s in the cards is Evan being healthy and having a happy mommy.

Sunday 11/15/15 – Today is the last day of breastfeeding. 
I decided this when nothing was coming out and Evan wouldn’t even try to nurse.  He was hungry and we were both getting frustrated.

I thought, “Why am I pushing this?!”
It was time.
Time to end the torture, take my body back, buy some new fun bras in celebration and make Evan a damn bottle!

He saw me making the bottle and he looked at it and smiled.  What more convincing did I need?!

I thanked him for bearing with me through all of this.
He’s been amazing with everything.  From the two tongue tie corrections to the lip tie correction to the different bottles to the nursing frustration for both of us – this kid just goes with the flow (or lack thereof).

And now, it’s bottle time.


Monday 11/16/15 – Last night we gave Evan a bottle at 7:15pm.
He was asleep in his crib by 7:45pm.

Around 8:15/8:30pm, he woke up and was crying.  Julia bounced and rocked him back to sleep. This only took maybe 3 minutes total.

Then he slept until 6:30am!!!!!!

Angel boy in his magic suit

He woke a little around 1:00am and 3:00am but got himself back to sleep. Maybe sleep training won't be so bad when we do it??!!!

I'm so proud of him.
Granted it’s 11:30am and he hasn't napped yet today but anyway...that’s a battle for another day!

UPDATE: He finally napped at 1:00pm IN HIS CRIB!!!!


I knew I could break him!
I wasn’t going to let him sleep in my arms, so I figured I would keep putting him down in his crib. He only slept for 20 minutes, but we'll take it!

Wednesday 11/18/15 – Last night was the worst night ever!
Here was the sequence of events:
6:50pm = bath
7:15pm = bottle
12:00am = finally asleep after multiple awakenings where we went in and soothed him back to sleep.
1:00am = awake and we rocked him back to sleep.
1:45am = awake again.
2:15am – 5:15am = he woke up four times but was able to get himself back to sleep each time.
7:00am = awake and ready for a bottle.

I got more sleep when he was a newborn!

I found out that other moms in my class had the same problem.

The dreaded 4 month sleep regression is real.  And he's so advanced that he decided to start it a little early!

His brain is starting to sleep more like an adult. He used to close his eyes and immediately fall into a deep sleep.

Now, he is starting to sleep like adults do where we don’t fall asleep immediately upon closing our eyes.  So he will fall asleep in my arms but the second I lay him in the crib, he wakes up and CRIES.

"No sleep for me!"

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thursday 11/5/15 – Week 15: Positively Evan


One year ago today, I drove anxiously to the doctor to have my blood drawn.  I was about to find out that I was pregnant.  
It feels like yesterday.  I just got chills typing this. 

I remember so clearly being at work and seeing the doctor call.  
I ran outside and answered the phone – nervous as hell to hear what she would say.

“I was hoping you’d answer! I have good news for you!”
I got so excited I blurted out, “I’m pregnant??!!”
“Yes!” She said.

I remember shaking there on the sidewalk outside my building.  I felt like I was on cloud 9.  I was literally in a dream.  Everything I had ever wanted was finally here.

Wow.  What a difference a year makes.  Now we have a healthy baby boy who’s over 3 months old!



Today my mom and I went out to lunch after the Mommy and Me class.



Evan slept almost the whole time! Then we fed him a bottle and changed his diaper and went home.  It was the perfect day.  He was such a good boy.

I learned today in class that babies this age should get 11-12 hours of sleep a night, including interruptions for feedings.
Whoops!!!!!

We had been putting Evan to sleep closer to 10:30pm or 11:00pm and he would wake up around 6:00am.  Sometimes he would sleep this entire time and it really helped us to get solid sleep and be ready for the day. 
But I guess it’s not helping Evan!

So tonight we started an earlier bed time.  The goal is to get him in bed by 7:00pm.

New routine goes as follows:
Breastfeed
Bath
Bottle
Bed

Wish us luck!

I guess it runs in the family!

Sunday 11/8/15 - GO EAGLES!



Monday 11/9/15 – My mom and I went to the movies with Evan today!  His very first movie was Spectre – James Bond!


There are Mommy and Me Movies that you can go to and everyone there has a baby.  It’s the same thing as watching the movie, but if your baby cries, no one cares!

We sat down and a lady walked in with her COUGHING baby and sat next to me.  My mom and I switched seats to get her away from Evan. 
Let’s just bring HEALTHY babies out to the movies please!

The previews were really loud so at first I was worrying about his little ears.  No one else seemed to be bothered so I imagined this would resolve itself.

The hardest part was not having Evan watch the HUGE MOVIE SCREEN!
We are trying to give him no “screen time” until he’s 2 years old.  Studies have shown that babies who watch a lot of TV, etc have ADD and other learning problems.  It makes sense since watching TV shows them a lot of fast images so their brain then wants to process things so quickly and they’re not ready for it.

It’s challenging believe me.  No TV, phones, tablets until he’s 2.  We will see how close we get!

I gave Evan a bottle when the movie started and then he needed some bouncing.  So I walked to the side of the theatre to bounce him and he fell asleep in my arms.  I walked to my seat and he slept through THE ENTIRE MOVIE!
Such an angel.

At first no babies made a sound.  Then by the halfway point, all babies were crying!  Except for our sleeping angel boy.

I loved seeing the movie and there were many scenes in Rome.  Rome is Julia’s favorite city.  We’ve always talked about going to Italy as a family when we had a baby.  We want to show him the world.  And now I was seeing part of that amazing city on the big screen while holding my son.  I can’t wait to visit with our boy.

After the movie, we changed his diaper and went to lunch.  He sat in the stroller and was an angel boy for sure today!


At night, I fed him his bottle and he started staring at me. 
He was really looking at me.  Into my eyes.
He connected with me on another level.
This has happened maybe five times so far since he’s been born.
He smiled at me and was looking at me with his huge blue eyes.
I started crying. I love him so much. He's so amazing. This incredible boy.



Tuesday 11/10/15 – Last night we made the mistake of putting him to bed around 8:30pm.  It wasn’t on purpose, the night kind of just got away from us and it was later than we realized.

Then we thought if he went to bed later, he will sleep later.
WRONG!

We did a dream feed at 10:30pm and he was awake at 2:00am and at 5:30am and after that he never fell back asleep!

Sooooo tired today!

"I'm never tired!"

Business in the front, Party in the back