Monday, February 29, 2016

6 Weeks!

It's a pretty sweet life being Matt's Mama. 

He is starting to be a real charmer. Lots of smiles for Dada and me. In-between feeding sessions...

I can't tell you how often I feed him because around 7 or 8 pm it feels like he just breastfeeds straight for 3-4 or 5 hours. I feel like I must not be keeping up supply-wise in the evening for whatever reason. So I try pumping through the morning some and giving him a big bottle, but it doesn't help me start getting ahead. I've also tried to ride it out with him in the hopes it would increase my supply to meet his demand. I had weaned myself off of my nipple shield until I tried that *chortles*. Although I was seriously (momentarily) worried we were on our way to being that family on a TLC special bc our 6 month old weighs 75 lbs. 

On that he seems to be gaining pretty steadily. I'd say he's around 10lbs and some change. Today he officially used his last newborn-sized diaper, and I've retired all but 3 newborn-sized outfits...So clearly he's not that chunky.

He's my little enigma baby. I don't think he had or has colic but I do think he runs a bit intense in the temperament department. Matt will go from sweetly cooing to screaming with hunger in no time. I keep looking for hunger cues like smacking lips or chewing hands, but it's rare, especially in the evening, or he's doing it in his sleep, and I don't dare wake him up. Ah, the intensity, that's not his Daddy, that's for sure. 

I also have no clue if and when he wants a pacifier. I'm not even ashamed to say I'm clueless about what will soothe him when, because it's different every time. At first I of course blamed myself, but honestly it's him. I don't think Matt is still very sure on what he wants when. It's not so bad, though, because we have a 100% success rate so far on figuring something out. 

I do think I understand why infertile couples are prone to postpartum depression. I've had over 5 years to prepare, read books, learn from friends, etc. Not to mention the expectations are extremely high that since this is your miracle you will enjoy every second of it. You don't dare complain, or even reach out for help because this is what you wanted so badly. Nor would you be open to having a serious discussion about how hard the "4th trimester" is while you are relishing in your dream pregnancy. 

Matt is my miracle, but that doesn't mean I automatically know how to Mom or that Matt even knows how to do Matt. It's just part of our journey, and I'd do it a hundred times over. He's totally worth it. It may break my heart to hear him shriek, but I hope he learns that I'm doing my best in my own mom-bumbling way. I'll stay by his side no matter how many tries it takes to soothe him.

Anyway, I'm still so in love with my little Pico. He's better than I ever could have imagined. More intense and complicated as well, but definitely the best thing that's happened since I met BJ.

Peace, Love, and the most intense but precious baby on the block,

Mary Katherine

Sunday, February 21, 2016

5 Weeks!

Well 5 weeks and a couple of days...

Matt is pretty darn amazing.  He's starting to get interested in BJ and I.  It's so incredible to watch.  He's seriously the most darling thing.  I'm still so enamored with him.

I'm starting to understand and accept that a crying baby does not mean I'm doing a terrible job.  He's done a lot better.  I think I spent too much time trying to coax him to sleep instead of just feeding him.  But this week, he's already starting to sleep better and entertain himself a wee bit more.  You can tell he can see stuff a little better and is watching his mobile and looking around more. He even "reaches" for his rattle...we think...well, we are going with that.

He might be getting a wee bit clingy, but I don't mind.  I've waited for too long to have a baby to be upset that he wants me back.  So while I'm not initiating the attachment parenting, Matt sure is, and that is fine by me.  We'll figure out how to get stuff done.  Thank goodness for my Ergo!

(Just ignore my "night nurse" in the background. ;) ) 

A few days into iron supplements and I'm feeing a lot better. I can walk up and down the steps without dizziness, and I don't feel bone-achingly tired anymore. Anemia was not an issue during my pregnancy so it was not on my radar afterwards...well, nothing but Matt has been, to be honest. So it was quite a relief to know I could feel a little better with some iron pills. I would have totally thought it was just the not sleeping through the night/new parent exhaustion.  

I also finished my larger project of the quarter and that's a huge relief. So now I can "sleep when baby sleeps" theory, anyway. I have mastered the breastfeeding while typing method of getting through grad school stuff. Remind me not to be in graduate school when and if we are able to have another one.

BJ is back at work full time now. It was a little scary for me because he's been such a huge support and help. He's a brilliant dad, that one is. I hope I'm as good of a mother as he is a father! Anyway, Matt and I have survived! It's not too bad, either. Lots of snuggle time.

Peace, Love, and Continuing to be In Awe!

Mary Katherine

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1 Month

I am sitting here curled up with Matt on my couch and still so in love. This same couch...has been host to numerous recuperations, modified bed rest stints, and emotional breakdowns. But no more.

It's still such sweet relief to leave all of that pain and anguish behind. I can just stare down at this precious little boy and smile about how worth it everything was. And how I would do it again in a heartbeat.  

He's doing swell. He's grown 1.75 inches  and weighed 7lbs 14.5 oz at his three week check over a week ago. So I'm sure he's pushing 8.5 lbs now. It's funny how much his face has and hasn't changed. It seems fuller from the front, but I still see that infuriated newborn profile from early on.

(Daddy got better pictures than Mommy)

He has been an easy baby...and then he turned 4 weeks old. I don't know why I thought breastfeeding meant no colic but, I did. That was incorrect! I also had no idea that I would go from feeling pretty confident at reading his cues, to absolutely helpless. I tried keeping him fed, freshly diapered, and rocked, but NOTHING would soothe him. It's awful, and of course I immediately went to 'this is why you were infertile' place in my head. It's a new kind of awful to not be able to help your child. 

So after two sleepless nights I was to the point where all I could do was hold him and cry with him. I cashed in a lifeline and called Amy, because I couldn't even tell when Matt was pushing me away or still hungry anymore. Instead of just talking to me she came over with a bag of tricks and let me sleep for 4 hours. She was my angel. It was seriously the best gift I could have asked for at this point. I hope I can pay her back one day! 

So with the help of Simethicone (gas medicine) Matt seems much more content with himself. He may not choose to sleep when Mommy and Daddy would like him, too.  But at least he's not screaming uncontrollably.

Mommy is exhausted, but passed her 4 week post-partum check. I've lost 20lbs so far, so I'm almost where I would have liked to have been going into this pregnancy.  I still don't look quite like my pre-pregnant self when it comes to my mid-section, but hopefully now that I can exercise, things will tighten up.  I can resume "normal activities"..HAHAHA... While I'm dying (to have the energy) to get on the elliptical and try a Mommy and Me yoga class,  I'm pretty sure my lady parts are still on a prolonged vacation...that and I need some red blood cells.  I mean, I know I'm normally pale and just had a baby, but right now, I'm fluorescing like I'm ready for an audition on the latest vampire flick and not sure how to make it out of bed much before 11:30 or 12:00.

There is nothing on the interwebs about postpartum for the 1% of us who have little to no ovarian function.  There are a few blogs of POI moms who all seem to cave and go back on hormone replacement therapy in lieu of continuing to breastfeed *SIGH*. While your estrogen is supposed to be low while you breastfeed, and some women have hot flashes...all of that has come crashing back this week.  So I don't know if I'm in the normal postpartum range or if I'm already plummeting back to 'I've fallen and I can't get up' levels, or if there is even a difference.  Oh, we had that "what do you want to do for birth control" conversation...

I know it's required, and to be fair, Dr. B asked if we were just going to go off our history or if I wanted to use something. I consider myself a pretty elite infertile...I'm really good at not getting pregnant.  So good, that it takes other people's ingredients and synthesized hormones to keep me pregnant, so when someone asks the question "What are you using for birth control?" It seems to me like the equivalent of telling a hospice patient to pray harder for a cure...

I distinctly remember Dr. Donesky telling BJ, before I was even officially his patient, that we had less than a 3 percent chance of conceiving on our own.  So combine that with my less than 3% chance of brain is too exhausted to figure that formula out, but basically it's a 0% chance that BJ's 3% chance would sync up with my 3% chance of a miracle spontaneous ovulation of a healthy egg...So if it were to's truly meant to be...and I'll take that chance even if it means a short-interval pregnancy.  Not to mention there is also a less than 3% chance of us partaking in such festivities in the near future...

So here is a list of replies in no particular order for "What birth control method do you plan on using?"

1. Premature Menopause
2. Not paying anyone $36,000 to get pregnant.
3. Abstinence (This one may only be funny to me.)
4. Early Ovarian Retirement
5. The Calendar method
6. Witchcraft
7. Spite
8. Leaving the 14 other embryos in the freezer.
9. Hypno-birth control
10. Beaver Testicles in moonshine (Oh, Canada...[look it can't make this stuff up...])

So, anyway...Matt is the best, even when he's not sleepy or comfortable.  Hopefully he knows his Mommy and Daddy are trying really hard, and we love him very much.  We will get this figured out, because this is still not near as hard as being told you didn't conceive after an IVF cycle. I just need to read earlier posts in this blog to know that.  It doesn't take much to remember wanting a baby, any baby to remind us how lucky we are.

I am so extremely blessed to get to experience a newborn...well, he's not a newborn anymore!  I am so blessed to experience my baby.  He's an absolute doll, even when he's a fuss-pot.  This is just one of many adventures to come, and I'm excited to be on this journey with him.

Matt, I may not know what I'm doing, but I love you and we are trying our best. We are forever grateful that we get to be your parents.  Hang in there,'s only going to get better!

Peace, Love, & Trying Really Hard,

Mary Katherine

Matt Facts:
Sleeps: Anytime but from 0100 to 0600...that's playtime
Weight:  8+ lbs
Clothing size:  He's outgrown Gerber brand NB size, but fits comfortably in most other NB-sized clothes.  0-3 month still seems SO BIG!
Height: 20.5 inches (at 3 weeks)
Fave Food:  Boobs
Fave Toy:  Mom's hair and Boobs
Fave Comfort Item:  Boobs
Predicted Occupation:  GM at either Twin Peaks or Hooters

Monday, February 8, 2016

3 Weeks of Being Matt's Mom

I'm sure all the feminists out there will roll their eyes, but I had that moment looking in the mirror as I brushed my teeth a couple of days ago and realized...I'm Matt's mom.  I'm someone's mother.  I'm not just Mary Katherine, I'm not just BJ's other half, I'm not just Mickey and Melissa's daughter...I'm Matt's mom, and I LOVE it.  I cherish that title...I don't care if that's all Matt's friends ever call me...I'll be "Matt's Mom" forever.

Now if only I could figure out what being Matt's Mom requires of me.  I don't know if this is true for every infertile, but for me at least...I dreamed of being pregnant and prayed about getting him here safely.  I studied, read and researched pregnancy, but you don't go much further than that, because...well, you just never know.  So while I've had dreams and little snap-shots of what parenting a toddler, an older child, and even a teenager might be like...I never really thought about how I would parent an infant or what my parenting style would be.

Three weeks in and I still have no clue.  Poor Matt, he's got the make-it-up as we go parenting style. We aren't quite doing the attachment parenting thing.  I'm too scared to wear him in a carrier 24/7 that I'll drop something on him, or he'll get hurt in some other way. Then again, I'm too scared to let him sleep very far away from me either...So IDK what does that make me? Attached at a distance parenting?

Whatever we are doing, I feel like he is thriving.  He's so heavy compared to where he started. He's outgrowing clothes.  We don't even overlap the velcro on his diapers anymore.  So in that regard I feel like I must be doing something right.  Not that there is any useful information that I can find on breastfeeding between week 2 of your baby's life and 6 months when you start introducing food.  What's up with that?

So even though I am completely clueless, I am so in love. Matt's having those moments where he gets a little fussy with Grammy or even BJ, but he snugs into my neck, quiets down, and everything in the world is just perfect. I never let myself imagine how perfect and wonderful it could be.

Peace, Love, and Making It Up as We Go,

Mary Katherine & Matt