Bottles and Pacifiers

Well, at 11 months (10 months adjusted age) we’re officially done with infant dishes, it seems. After almost a year of having this grey plastic bin next to the sink to catch all of the Dr. Brown’s parts and pacifiers, I’m putting it away and I feel sad about it. Our daughter quit the pacifier at about six months. She took it as a newborn in the NICU and we relied on it heavily in the car and when I wasn’t around through her first months. Eventually, she started getting angrier when you tried to pop it in, so it made things worse rather than better, I guess I am happy we won’t have to deal with weaning her later, but it’s still a little bit sad and I wish we had that easy soothing effect.

Our nanny told me this week that I don’t need to send the nipple/bottle parts to the bottles anymore, because she hasn’t taken the bottle for several weeks. I knew this was coming. Again, we started with the bottle from Day 1, though she’s always shown a strong preference for the boob. It worked moderately well for her to get some milk (never more than about 5 ounces…) while I was at work, but now she’s refusing it entirely. The nanny tries to get milk in through cereal, smoothies, and spoons, but it’s hit and miss. Again, I thought we would be able to get the comforting/nourishing benefit of the bottle for SEVERAL more months, but this kid does things her own way.

She continues to breast feed heavily when I pick her up at 3:00 and into the evening, so I know she’s still getting the benefit. It’s ironic to me that I have a strong supply and a kid who couldn’t care less. Unfortunately, she also hates EVERY kind of sippy cup, so we’re just working on regular cups or spoons. She does use a straw, so that’s a small win, but she prefers to just blow bubbles or suck it all up and dribble it down her front for fun.

I’ll be glad to put away the countertop clutter for now, but it’s hard to let go of all those tiny baby things, as many of you know well. Feeling kind of blue.

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Weekend Fun

Our weekends tend to be pretty full, but I never really write about them. Every once in awhile we get one of those really nice relaxing weekends where I spend hours nurse/napping with baby in our bed, reading the internet or a book on my kindle. Those are rare.

This weekend we drove the the Flagship REI on Friday night to get a new commuter for my wife (she had been saving up REI gift cards for about a year). She wanted a specific type of bike to put the baby seat on, so we had to go to this location to buy it. Saturday morning we pulled up carpet out of the baby’s room. We have been replacing the flooring in our condo, because the main areas were an AWFUL tile and we wanted something cleaner. A few months ago we did the living room, kitchen, and hallway. The new wood has been amazing. But we’ve been biding our time until we were prepared to do the next phase: bedrooms. So, this weekend we sucked it up and moved all the furniture out of the baby’s room (which is really more of an extra-large closet, since she doesn’t sleep in there). We pulled off the baseboard, pulled up the carpet, and pried up the tack strips. My wife ran to home depot to rent the chop saw and I laid the underlayment. Finally we were off and running laying floor. It took Saturday to clear it out and Sunday to install. This is a small room, so it was much easier than Phase 1. Now we just have to finish our bedroom/closet/hallway. After that, we’ll tackle baseboard and some of the door trim. And painting the awful DARK BROWN doors that are everywhere in the house. The previous owner went crazy with this dark brown stain and it is just atrocious. I cannot wait to be rid of it! Also, I found this super cute rug for baby’s room, but I think it might mean I need to paint over my modern grey paint job. Ideas? Find a new rug that matches the walls or suck it up and paint the walls AGAIN before we replace the trim? Also, ignore the light switch hanging out of the wall above the dog. It’s totally safe and up to code. The dimmer box just doesn’t fit back into the hole in the wall. :/

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Between work tasks, we managed to get the bike seat and install it on the new commuter. It’s hilarious. I mean, the minimum weight requirement is 20 pounds, but hey, why not start at 14.5 pounds?? (Don’t answer that – I know why and I promise, we’re really only working on getting her acclimated to it – she’s not hitting the roads). She overall seems to like it. There is still a decent amount of head movement, especially if the bike sways side to side, so we have to be pretty controlled and steady in starts, stops, and pedaling. That’s okay – it’s really just for some fun loops around the parking lot until she gets a little bigger and stronger. Also, did you know they made helmets this small? Hilarious! As an aside, when I texted this photo to my mom, her response was “Her feet are going to get sunburned!?!?!” Leave it to grandma.

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Lastly, after a few other chores, I finally got to bottle my kombucha. I’m attempting raspberry/lemon/ginger. I cannot WAIT to find out if it takes even remotely like it should. My first ferment went pretty well – I was surprised at how much it tasted like GT’s kombucha that you buy in stores. I’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday if this all worked out. Meanwhile, I started my SCOBY up with another round of tea for my second batch. I need more jars!!

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Kombucha

Completely unrelated to pregnancy or parenting of children, I’m now “raising” a jar of kombucha. I’ve been super annoying about it – wanting my wife to leave one of the kitchen lights on over the sink because it warms the area juuuuust enough, not wanting the jar to get jostled, peering in at it 6 times a day to see how much it is bubbling. I’m a little obsessed, and SO excited. I pay like $3.50 for a bottle of this stuff from the store, so I typically have one every few weeks or so. Soon? I’ll be drinking it daily! I can’t wait to start experimenting with flavors.

When we lived in Eugene, Oregon, I thought folks were nuts for trying to brew their own kombucha at home. Mind you, I’d just moved from Vail, where such granola crunchiness was not en vogue. Now? I’m thinking, why didn’t I start this sooner! Next up…sauerkraut. Yay, home fermenting!

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And for fun, here’s a picture of my kid choosing her own eggs from the dozen my mom’s chickens just produced. Don’t we sound like hippies?!IMG_1344.JPG

TTC#2 Update

We’ve now done four rounds of IUI with my wife. The first three were natural – waited for OPK+ and then inseminated at the office. The last one was medicated with low dose of clomid and a trigger shot. The second and fourth both gave us HPT+. Both ended very early.

During our follicle check for IUI#4, wife’s lining was only 4mm at CD10. They immediately started estrogen pills up the hooha, and at insem (CD15) the lining was only 6mm. We still got a positive at home, but then the betas were decreasing (I don’t remember the actual numbers but something like 180 on CD17 and 130 on CD19). We knew right away that it wasn’t going to stick around. Unfortunately, wife’s parents were in town when we got the positive, so we told them. I called the lab to find out the beta the same day they were flying out. I had to tell my wife that the beta was dropping, which had to be one of the hardest phone calls of my life. She then called her parents at the airport. Big bummer. At least we found out early, before we became too attached and before we made too many plans. It was extra hard to lose the baby that was due on Christmas, because we thought that would be fun.

We watched the beta slowly drop over the next week, and finally she bled at about 6 weeks. It passed relatively painlessly – she said cramps were worse than with a period, but not so much that she needed anything but advil.

Our clinic won’t try again until the beta reaches zero, so this cycle means we sit out (her beta was still around 40 right before she miscarried). It’s looking like her next cycle, which we hope will be IUI#5, will start around May 25th. Theoretically that would mean a March baby, which is always one of the first things I consider. Spring birthdays seem great, so we hope that works.

Hopefully this cycle the doctor will do something to increase her lining. I’m almost positive that’s what is causing these early miscarriages. I think the little nugget is fertilizing and trying to implant but just not getting enough blood flow to dig in. On the upside, she’s shooting a 50% success rate at insemination, anyway. Anyone have any experience thickening linings? We’ve only done one cycle of clomid, and they may try femara this round, so I don’t think that has had a huge effect on lining yet. Meanwhile I think we’ll be doing raspberry leaf tea, pineapple, pomegranate, and beet, because why not?

Nap Training

So, this 10-month old has now made clear that she does NOT want to sleep without a nipple in her mouth. This has been an evolving theme. Early on, she would nurse and then often take a pacifier. It would sometimes pop out or sometimes she would keep it in while she slept, but either way, she slept. As she became more aware and more assertive, she decided that she didn’t really like pacifiers. She would take it occasionally to soothe herself in the car, but when it was offered as an alternative to the human nipple, she raged. Around the same time, she started rejecting bottles, because, well, synthetic materials just don’t meet her standards. I used to be able to at least get her near to sleep by nursing, and then let her fall asleep on her own, next to me. At this point, though, if the nipple leaves her mouth, she immediately starts whining, writhing, and push/kicking me to give it back. When I do manage to sneak out of the room with her asleep, she’ll only stay asleep for 20-30 minutes before she realizes that her nipple is gone and she wakes up.

While I’m still willing to accommodate her for at least a few more weeks, the nanny is STRUGGLING to get any decent naps in. Last week, she mentioned that she would like to start some kind of nap training. At first my stomach clenched and I thought NO WAY. I just don’t really want the baby to lay there and cry, wondering why she is not being helped. I know that’s silly. I know there is nothing wrong with her figuring out that she does NOT need a nipple (or someone holding her) for her to sleep. It’s just an emotional reaction. Also, I figure I’m paying the nanny to tend to her, so if it’s burdensome, oh well.

After several days of reflection, I’m actually considering letting the nanny try to let the baby cry it out just a little bit. For one, she does need better naps – two or three broken 20/30 minute snoozes are not enough. She gets to me at 3:00 and could nap for 3 hours straight (with nipple). For two, my back freaking hurts from laying in the position that allows her to nurse endlessly all night long. For three, it’s got to happen sometime, right? For four (fore), I can tell that her self-awareness is MUCH greater than it was a few months ago when her cries signaled fear and confusion. At this point her cries mostly signal irritation, frustration, or outright anger. I’m more okay with her working through those emotions than I am with her lying there scared and confused about why she is alone.

So, hive-mind, what say ye? Tips, tricks, advice to teach a 10-month old to nap? I’m open to hearing anything you have to give. I haven’t read any of the sleep books since the first few weeks postpartum when I was just SURE we were going to avoid bad habits, create a restful, healthy, sleep pattern, and do ALL the right things as new parents! Ha!image1(12).JPG