When I transitioned from my old blog to this blog, I did so with intentions of sharing our journey through infertility. We had privately battled the journey for quite a while and I was tired of hiding behind the curtain of what people consider taboo. A month or so later we started working with a reproductive endocrinologist who told us our chances of getting pregnant without IVF were slim. I wanted to share with the world the struggles to having a baby, but the struggles at that point were short-lived and our pursuit of parenthood finally resulted in us getting pregnant. A year ago last week we found out we were expecting. The pregnancy came after prayers, tests, invasive procedures, injections, and poking and prodding by lots of doctors and specialists.
After deciding to be real and open up a little on the blog about our struggles, numerous people have contacted me and shared their stories. What people don’t understand is there should be no shame in admitting there is a problem conceiving a child. Its more common than the world realizes. The gut wrenching pain is only made worse when you feel you have to hide behind the curtain of infertility.
But I want to be very honest. Now that I’ve been blessed with a baby, I only feel half “changed”. I love Jonathan more than I can put into words. Our first three months were incredibly tough. There were times I felt as though I was a failure and failing him as a mom. I prayed for years for a baby and I couldn’t take care of his needs. He had trouble eating and I had to supplement with formula. I felt horrible. He wouldn’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time…if I was lucky. The sleep deprivation/exhaustion alone almost killed me. So many nights I would put Jonathan down and sit in our bonus room sobbing uncontrollably because I didn’t feel adequate. I try hard not to complain about the struggles of motherhood, but I know I fail (and did especially those first three months). Being a mom is such a hard, yet incredibly rewarding, job. I never want anyone to think I take it for granted.
Struggling for years for God to fulfill this desire definitely left its mark on my life. While I may have a new title, I still feel as though I will always be an infertile person living in a fertile world. When most friends announce their pregnancy on Facebook, I still twinge. I may have my own baby, but there is a sinking feeling in my gut. There are, of course, certain friends I cheer for. Those friends have faced similar battles. It may not be fair to hold that double standard, but its the way some of us are wired.
We want to have more kids, but deep down I have this fear that our infertility journey isn’t finished.
1. Gas Drops – Imagine this if you will: The day you leave the hospital, they send you home with a meal. Baked ziti, salad, bread. It’s a super thoughtful gesture and you enjoy it the second night home. As you’re finishing your dinner, you and your husband look at each other and think, hum…that was a tiny bit spicy. You’re also breastfeeding. Two feedings later, your tiny newborn that doesn’t weigh quite seven pounds begins SCREAMING his little lungs off. Oh no! The spicy meal they sent you home with was like poison to your newborn’s tummy. You’re tired, your baby is in a lot of pain, you feel helpless. The only thing that could help at this point was the gas drops. I’m so thankful Joe went out and bought them! You may not have a horrible event like that, but if you may find that you need them to help your gassy baby!
2. Saline drops – When Jonathan was a few weeks old, he became really congested. It was really helpful to already have these drops since you can’t really give them any medicine yet.
3. D-vi-Sol – Vitamin D drops. Your pediatrician may suggest that your baby take these daily, so go ahead and have them on hand. (I’ve found them cheapest on Amazon, plus not all pharmacies carry them)
4. Car Seat – Don’t be like us. We were supposed to have a shower two days after I had Jonathan (he was a few weeks early). We decided that we’d see if we were given any gift cards and then we’d purchase our car seat. Bad idea! Between contractions, I was on Amazon, ordering a car seat for us. Thankfully a friend of ours had extra since her twins had outgrown them and let us borrow one! Ours arrived a few hours after we came home!
5. Aden & Anais swaddling blankets – Great, big blankets made to swaddle babies. They’re super soft and breathable. Sadly, even as a newborn, my child could Houdini himself out of these in minutes, no matter how tightly he was swaddled.
6. Vaseline – This is for boys and girls! If you’re having a boy and he’s being circumcised, you’ll need it. But for both boys and girls, diaper rash can be treated with Vaseline. I never realize that there were different forms of diaper rash. But thankfully my pediatrician husband filled me in on the different forms and that some types are better treated with Vaseline, not zinc oxide.
7. Rectal Thermometer – Taking the temperature of a newborn/small baby is best done with a rectal thermometer. You also want something with a little room between the probe and your hand…just in case there is a bathroom “moment”. The Summer 3 in 1 Family Thermometer has worked really well for us. Simple to use, removable probe tips that store easily in the back of the case.
8. Freezer meals - Make them around your 35/36 week mark. You’ll be thankful you did! We had baked spaghetti, another pasta dish, freezer burritos, twice baked potatoes, shepherd’s pie, cheesecake, apple tart (didn’t freeze well). Between having friends drop off meals every other night, and us having freezer meals, it saved us so much time and stress! If you’re in need of freezer friendly meals, head over to my Once a Month Cooking page on Pinterest for links!
Paper products – This may be a silly thing to include on my coming home list, but trust me, its worth having! Washing dishes is going to be the last thing on your mind or in your plans. You’re going to be too busy cuddling your baby or sleeping to think about the dishes in the sink. We’re a family who (generally) washes dishes the day they’re messed up (don’t look in my kitchen right now though!). If we wouldn’t have stocked up on paper supplies, I can’t imagine how long our dishes would have sat there!
Are you part of the Pinterest cult yet? It is by far one of the most addicting things I’ve ever seen, but I try to limit my time on there to only when I’m feeding Jonathan…if I can help it. There are so many projects I want to do, so many recipes I want to make, so much decor inspiration that I’d love to do for my house!
My recent pin projects I’ve completed:
My front door (pardon its dirtiness) is now ready for fall! The original inspiration came from this pin. The project was around $20. I used 4 pieces of wood from WalMart ($0.99/ea), scrapbook paper (less than $2 total), black letters (I think they were $1.99/ea). I had a coupon for the ribbon which started out at $10 for a huge spool. I spray painted the pieces of wood black & used ModPodge (both I had on hand) for the scrapbook paper (about 4 coats worth). I glued the letters on using heavy duty wood glue. I finished it off by drilling a hole in each corner to thread the ribbon through.
I hung a command hook upside down on the back of the door (thanks to this pin for the tip) to catch the ribbon from the FALL sign hanging on my front door.
This sign now hangs in the window next to our doorbell. I thought it was a brilliant idea so that visitors didn’t wake my possibly napping baby. Apparently the UPS man couldn’t read the other day. The idea came from this pin (her’s is much prettier than mine. My pink paint pen bled everywhere). The pencil lines have since been erased!
Recipes recently (as in the last month) attempted:
Slow cooker Salisbury steak - great, and we’ll have it again…once Jonathan’s intolerance for dairy subsides. I served it with rice, because that’s what I had on hand. Mashed potatoes would have been MUCH better!
Sweet & Sour chicken – Decent, but doubt I’ll make it again. The amount of time spent wasn’t worth it!
See all of the pins I’ve completed over on my “I did it!” page on Pinterest
As almost every mom knows, Bumbo recently had a recall of their infant seats. All this was because of user error, leaving kids on elevated surfaces, unattended. Their solution was a strap that owners could get, fairly easily. All you had to do was fill out an online form and they’d send you a repair kit. Simple enough. In fact, a few days later ours arrived in the mail and Joe installed it for us.
I don’t know about others, but it appears that this strap system could have been designed a tad bit better. When we put Jonathan in his sit, we have to fish the center strap out from under him. If he’s in a cloth diaper, forget about it! Its almost impossible to pull it up while he’s in there. Its not long enough to keep upright, and unfortunately I don’t have third or fourth hands to do it all.
Good try Bumbo.
I can barely believe my eyes! Wow, you’re four months old and have grown up so much this past month! You weigh half an ounce shy of 15 pounds, right at the 50th percentile for your age. Your heavy head is in the 60th percentile, but sadly, you’re going to be like your mama and daddy…not extremely tall. You’re only in the 3rd percentile for length. Sorry kid!
This past month you gave us the best gift ever! SLEEP! Most nights you averaged NINE hours of glorious sleep! You woke up happy and playful, laughing hysterically at the silly things we would do That all changed though at the end of the month when you got your first cold…croup to be exact. I felt (and still feel) terrible for you. You’re almost over it! You’ve had a stuffy and runny nose. You’ve coughed and sneezed, and then there is the poor raspy sounds you make. And you’ve had such a tough time sleeping because of it. Mommy has been sick too. Sick and sleepy, we’re not doing so great!
We’ve noticed that you’ve become more ticklish too! Of course we take full advantage of this by tickling you and making you laugh as much as possible! It seems you have “found” your voice too! You are very vocal and share your opinions quite often! In fact, daddy and I swear you’ve said “ma ma” a few times.
Some of the funniest moments from this past month-
- One morning we were sitting at the table eating breakfast. You were sitting in your Bumbo and wanted to hold your burp cloth. You were watching me and I told you that you needed to start wiping your face since you wanted to hold it. Daddy was sitting at the end of the table and told you that “next week we’re going to expect you to clean your own bottom.” You quickly quit looking at me, turned and looked at your daddy. The “you’re crazy” look you gave him was priceless!
- A few days later you were giving me a tough time one morning. Daddy was trying to study in the kitchen, but came over to help calm you down. He held you for a few minutes. I asked you “I bet you’re tired of dealing with mommy since you see her all day, aren’t you.” Right on cue, you shook your head up and down! I swear, you are a smart kid! You know exactly what we’re saying sometimes.
This coming month we’ve got some great things in store! The biggest and best is that we’re taking you on your first vacation to the beach! I’ve got you swimsuits, sunglasses, a hat, and tent! I can’t wait to see you enjoying the ocean and pool!