Wednesday, May 28, 2014

9 months!


It's been 4 months since I last wrote.

Laura Kate is now 9 and a half months old. Wow. How is this happening so fast?!

She's still my biggest joy. The cutest, sweetest, silliest, smartest little girl I've ever seen!

She can say "mama" and "dada". She ADORES her daddy.

She started crawling just a couple days shy of 8 months.

 She has pulled up a couple of times over the last few weeks but yesterday was the first day she consistently pulled up, like she really finally figured it out.

She's an amazing eater. We're still doing baby led weaning and I cannot say enough good things about it. There's not a fruit or vegetable or meat that she won't attempt to devour!

She is still exclusively breastfed and definitely a mama's girl because of it. 

*After re-reading the paragraph that was originally here I realized that I came across like a jerk so I wanted to apologize to any formula feeding mamas that read it and decided they wanted to throat punch me! I kind of deserved it. �� For the record, while I am a huge breastfeeding advocate and believe that almost everyone can breastfeed, I know that the support from family, friends, work, and the medical community really isn't there for so many moms making it something that is not in the best interest of mom or baby. But i do hope that is something our society can change. I didn't mean to shame anyone who formula feeds either by choice or circumstances beyond their control. Hope you can forgive me for being an insensitive jerk. 

Her favorite game is to play with Colston, our 3 year old chocolate lab. She might like him better than me or her dad!

She loves the cats too! 

And when she is nice, the love her too! 

She loves Bijou too. But since she is an old, arthritic, cantankerous grouch we keep them separated at all times! 

She still doesn't have a single tooth, despite the fact that I've been convinced on multiple occasions that she was teething and one would be popping up any second over the last 5 months or so. But nada.

And I'm perfectly okay with that, I adore her gummy grin!

At her 9 month check up she weighed 19lbs 8oz and was 27.25 inches long. 66% for weight and 33% for height and 50% for head circumference. She's basically perfect.

She has recently found her voice and after months of considering her a quiet baby who didn't do a lot of babbling she babbles all the time these last few weeks or so. Which is great because as she has gotten more independent and crawls around and out of my sight I can hear her the whole time and know where she is and pretty much what she is up to!

And simply because I think her Easter pictures are some of the best ever, I'm throwing them in right here! 

She loves swimming and we try to go a few times a week! 

Everyone likes to give new parents all these warnings about how hard each stage and new thing is. Crawling was probably the biggest thing I was "warned" about. About how I really didn't want her to become mobile when I would excitedly tell people she was close to crawling. About how hard it is when they're suddenly on the move. How they'll demand so much more attention and things will be really difficult. I actually found myself a bit fearful of it. But now I say that's a load of hogwash. And when I tell people that I love that she is crawling I'm now warned, "Oh just wait til she is walking. Then you'll really be in for it.". Doubt it folks. For one, I've really come to see that it's all about perspective. Just because one parent has a hard time with something does not mean I will see it as "hard" too. But crawling/mobility is the best thing ever in my opinion. She doesn't require more attention or a constant set of eyes and entertainment. She's not as whiny as she was when she desperately wanted to crawl somewhere but couldn't. Now she gets up and moves. It's so much fun to watch her discover something new around the house. And for the first time in forever, I can actually watch her from a distance and get other things done. If she wants to see what I'm up to, she doesn't have to cry to get me to come get her and I don't have to babywear all the time (and while I do love it, it can be a bit hard on my back when I'm bending over the washing machine!), she just gets up and follows me. And in following I feel like we're having so much more fun together. I know she's learning so much because she's able to interact instead of just sitting and watching.

She's what I'd consider an average sleeper these days. She started out an amazing sleeper. Sleeping through the night (5-6 hours) from the minute we brought her home and going longer and longer over the next couple months (10-12 hours straight most nights with no feedings in between...oh those were the good ol' days, haha). I think it was around 4 months that she started regressing and we had a hard go for a while until she got back into a "good" rhythm. Then around 7 months I swear she didn't sleep at all for about 3 weeks. And I thought I was going to die from sleep deprivation. Pretty sure it was a growth spurt because she was her absolute chunkiest at that time too. 99% weight for height! She was soooo round! :D But once it was over she suddenly started taking naps for the first time since she was a newborn. They started out at just 45 minutes twice a day and have now progressed to two hours in the morning and 30-45 minutes in the evening. This would be the reason I have time to blog today!  She still wakes up 1-3 times a night. She goes down around 7:30. She usually needs a dream feed around 10:30. She might wake me up at 1am and 3am if its a rough night but usually its just a 3am feeding and then she'll sleep until 7:30. But she still will only co-sleep or sleep in her swing. Every few weeks we try out the crib again and she can only fall asleep in there if I crawl in with her and nurse her and then she wakes up every 45 minutes and I have to do it again. We've pretty much decided we will get her a hammock when she outgrows the swing. ;)

TTC is back on my mind a LOT lately. She is just so amazing and fun that I cannot imagine not trying for another. Our family isn't quite complete and we will have a brother or sister for her at some point one way or another! We're seriously thinking about another IVF in January. But there's so much to consider...the thought of parent led weaning is absolutely heartbreaking. But I cannot breastfeed and take fertility medications as they'd pass to her and no knows how harmful that may be. And I cannot wait too long to try again. The average 31 year old should have 25-33% of her eggs still be "good" (genetically normal and healthy). We know that with our IVF we had 12 eggs and only 1 was genetically normal, that's only 8%. That's about the norm for a women in her mid 40s. And now I'm 33....

Tick Tock. Tick Tock.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

This New Life

It's been so long! I've become the worst blogger! But I'm trying! It's just that there really isn't time! But I never FEEL busy. It's the strangest thing. Time just flies away every single day until suddenly it's bedtime and I'm exhausted. 

It's a new life for me. A wonderful life! So incredibly different than how it was for so long. Brian and I turn the lights off at night and at least once a week one of us makes a statement about how we can't believe how lucky we are, do we really have a beautiful baby in the room next door, have we really had almost six months of pure bliss?! We came from such an incredibly dark place that it's impossible to not look at this new life with gratitude and amazement. 

It's like our lives picked up where they left off in January 2010. It's the weirdest thing. I can't even put it into words. That's not saying all has been forgotten. Not even close. There are daily reminders. There's still a lingering sadness, a thought about what could have been, but mostly it's just straight up, annoying happiness in the Smith household. 

Brian has over 8 months of sobriety. It's not something I talk about much. I've always felt that was his story to tell, even though it's been a HUGE part of my life, a huge factor in my depression, it's still been his battle. But I'm so lucky to finally have him back. It was hard going through losses and infertility "alone". But it's really nice to have the man I married back. Weird (Something only someone who has been there could get.). But nice. 

Laura Kate is 5 1/2 months now. She's still the sweetest, smartest, and cutest baby that has ever existed! She started sitting unassisted at 4 1/2 months. She can roll over from back to front and vice versa. She loves to be "scared" with a loud "Boo" and it's just about the only thing that gets her giggling....unless you're a dog or a cat.... Or the tickle monster! She LOVES our pets. And while none of them reciprocate that love to the same degree they do tolerate her very well. I'm pretty sure our oldest cat, Marshall, secretly loves having her "pet" him. He approaches timidly, eyes half closed like he is worried she might accidentally gouge them out (smart cat!) but he enjoys how rough she pets him. 

She reaches up and out when she wants me to hold her. Cutest thing ever!!! And I can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy when she wants me over anyone else. I know one day that will change! 

Separation anxiety seems to be kicking in over the last couple weeks. Some days are worse than others. Thank God for my ergo! I can still get laundry done, dishes put away, vacuuming, etc and not have to hear her scream because she can't see me! And then other days she is happy as can be playing by herself while I get things done. But leaving her with grandparents or in the childcare room at the gym have proven to be a bit trickier just in the last couple weeks. But we ate figuring it all out and making things work! 

And she is taking baby steps to getting mobile! Yikes! Sitting up kept her content for a couple weeks but now it's really not enough. The wheels are turning. She wants things out of her reach and will fall over and roll around to try and get to them. And then gets really frustrated when she can't sit back up. So I don't know how long it will be before she is crawling but I can tell she is hoping it's later today! 

Brian and I had a little discussion about TTC again. Originally I said at her one year birthday I'd be ready. I wanted a full year to just enjoy her. But six months have gone by so fast that I'm not sure I will be ready in another six months. I want more kids and I do feel like there's a clock in my ear, ticking really LOUD, but I'm just not ready to go back "there". It's such a dark place. I don't want to subject myself, my marriage, or my daughter to it. 

Not to mention, I'm breastfeeding and have every intention of continuing this at the very least another 6 months. I also don't want to be the one who weans her. I want her to wean herself. But if we make it to 2 years I will probably go ahead and wean her so that we can try again for another baby. I don't think I'll be mentally or emotionally ready to do another IVF ever again but two years is probably the longest we should go if we hope to have any chance of success. 

We will see. 

So back to Laura Kate! We have been introducing her to food, BLW style, for about a month now. She started grabbing for food off our plates right after Christmas and even though she wasn't the recommended 6 months, she had met all the developmental milestones they suggest before allowing solids so we just followed her lead. We actually don't give her solids daily or with any consistency but if the opportunity arises we go with it. She is still 100% breastfed and I suspect it will still be another month or longer before she figures out how to actually swallow the food we give her! 

But she loves everything we have given her so far: avocados, banana, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, carrot, onion, bell pepper, mango, strawberry, orange, apple, cucumber, steak, noodles, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few! I originally thought I should cook everything for her so it's soft and mushy and easier to swallow but I'm finding raw is just as good, nowhere near as messy, and in some cases I think she prefers if. We now take a baggy of raw broccoli and bell pepper with us when we go out to eat. She gnaws and sucks on it and stays very entertained. Plus broccoli and bell pepper doesn't stain her clothes! It all ends up on the floor but who cares?! 

So that's about it for now! See ya in another couple months (hopefully sooner but let's be real)!!!

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