Huck Inlow | Two Months


Stats: Well Huck was born at 3035 grams which converts to 6 lbs 11 oz and was 3950 grams at one month which converts to 8 lbs 11 oz and now we’re sitting at 4420 grams which converts to 9 lbs 11 oz. So he gained two pounds exactly in his first month and one pound exactly in his second month. This is great because he needs to be at least a certain weight before his next surgery. Hoping he gains at least a pound a month! (But since it has taken me a few days to post this, he’s already crossed over 10 lbs!)

He is wearing size 1 diapers and just outgrew the last of his newborn clothes. Which caught me a little off guard and I realized all of the clothes we brought with us are newborn! Had to go buy a few new outfits because they want him wearing clothes now. 

Eating: Huck is currently eating 50-60 ml of regular breastmilk at each feed, typically about every 3 hours. This amount is down a bit from 1 month due to some significant reflux issues. He’s slowly working his way back up though. In the past few days he has taken his old normal of 75-80 a couple of times. 

I’m still exclusively pumping for him, still hating it, still sticking it out. 10 months to go. 😝

Sleep: His daytime sleep has gotten pretty consistent. He’s normally awake for an hour and is happy and playing, then naps for two hours. We’re still working on a night time schedule but last night he was awake and upset on and off from pretty much 6 pm to 11 pm and then he slept from midnight to 4 am, ate a bottle and got a picc line dressing change, then slept again from about 5 to 9 before he was ready to eat again. He sleeps mostly in the mamaroo now which helps his reflux a lot. 

Milestones: We started tummy time! He got the all clear at 6 weeks post op and we started giving it a go. He doesn’t love it but he at least tolerates it for a short bit before he’s over it. He actually prefers to do it more on my chest than on the bed. 

We’ve gotten lots of real smiles! And he’s been cooing at me a lot lately. 



Medical Milestones: Currently still inpatient on the CVICU heart failure unit while we wait on our Glenn surgery. We will be here until then. He is on milrinone and clonidine + reflux medications + a couple of diuretics. He is not on any respiratory support at the moment and taking all feeds by mouth. He is still getting a little background nutrition help from tpn and lipids, and getting therapeutic doses of lovenox for a blood clot in his picc line. The Glenn is tentatively scheduled for 4 months old on September 13 but they will start discussing options at 3 months and 5kg weight. 

Likes:

  • Being held
  • Mamaroo
  • Laying on his back and looking around
  • Anything with lights and sound (I’ve been letting him watch newborn stimulation videos on YouTube and he loves it)
  • Warm milk

Dislikes:

  • Diaper changes
  • Picc line dressing changes
  • Taking his medicine
  • Baths
  • Lovenox shots

We are so in love with this little guy and can’t wait to get him home. He is developing such a cute little personality and I’m so amazed at how well he’s handling being in the hospital. I guess he doesn’t know any different, but with as much stuff is hooked up to him, he really doesn’t seem to mind it much. I spend my days just hanging out with him all day, trying to have as close to a normal experience as I can with him. His doctors tells us all the time that life after the Glenn will be so much better and I’m starting to get anxious for that. Almost there!

Happy two months, sweet baby Huck! Mama, daddy, and Whitlee love you so much!! 

Whitlee | 10 Months

 

Whew.. I am so behind. We’re about a week and a half from 11 months, but during the fall we have birthdays galore and then Miss Whitlee got sick, so I’ve had little spare time. But! I’m here now. I’ll try to post 11 months on time.

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So…just when I think we have had the best month yet (ahem.. 7 months, and then again at 9 months) …then we get to 10 months. I feel like I remember reading blogs where a mom would be like “Ohh, this is my favorite age yet.” And then the next month, they’re like “I know I said this before, but this is my favorite age yet.” Well, now I get it. I thought seeing my little girl light up with her first smile took the cake. Then I heard her laugh, and say daddy, and say mama, and man, she is just getting to be more and more fun every single day. She is so smart and funny and silly. We just love her to death.

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Stats:

We ended up going to the doctor last week for an upper respiratory infection. She only weighed 17 lbs 14 oz, but  I’m sure she’s growing because she is steadily outgrowing all of her clothes, mostly length ways. They said not to worry because she’s so active now, she won’t gain weight nearly as fast anymore. I work with a guy that has a little girl that was born a week or so before Whitlee and was full term and they are exactly the same size. Whitlee is actually a tad bigger, so I’ll call her good.

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Eating:

It’s kind of crazy to me how she’s slowly transitioning into eating normal meals and eating less and less formula. We’re still do formula at 22 calories, but she is definitely beginning to eat less often. She has moved into where she eats like a morning bottle before her nap, and an afternoon bottle before her nap, and she gets a bottle before bed, all additional to actual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with occasional snacks in between. She’s also still eating a bottle in the middle of the night. My next move is to wean that bottle for good finally. This is our normal eating schedule:

7:30 AM – Breakfast (usually baby yogurt and cheerios – she is seriously obsessed with all kinds of Gerber baby yogurt)

9:00 AM – Morning Bottle (5-6 oz)

12:30/1:00 PM – Lunch (usually a Stage 3 baby food or one of the squeezable pouches)

1:30 PM/2:00 PM – Afternoon Bottle (5-6 oz)

5:00 PM – Dinner (Stage 3 baby food or whatever we’re having. I use this time to let her try new things.)

7:30/8:00 – Night bottle (6-8 oz)

1:00/ 2:00 AM – little bottle (4 oz)

She’s still pretty particular about her likes and dislikes. She will shake her head “no” when she doesn’t want anymore. She also prefers to eat from the little pouches more so than  a spoon (unless its yogurt), so I trick her into eating all kinds of stuff using reusable pouches from Squooshi. Aside from being a little annoying to wash, they work great!

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Food Likes:

Gerber Baby Yogurt – every flavor so far

Cheerios

Macaroni and Cheese

Real Spaghetti (not baby food spaghetti)

Limes

Beans and Rice (Mexican restaurant)

Food Dislikes:

Most Fruit

Any kind of baby food “meat”

Most tomato based foods (raviolli, spaghetti os) – she loved homemade spaghetti though

French Fries

Sleep:

While she’s still not sleeping all night in her bed, she does sleep in it for naps and a couple of hours at night. We’re still co-sleeping, because that’s what works for us to get any sleep and I’m not gonna lie – I secretly like being that close to her. I miss her when she’s in her bed.

She still takes two naps – one morning nap about 9:00 and an afternoon nap about 2:00. Both are usually an hour and a half to two hours. Occasionally she’ll miss a nap and occasionally she’ll pick up an extra cat nap. But most commonly, two solid naps.

Milestones:

This is where 10 months smacked me in the face.

-She cut both top front teeth this month! One the end of August, and the other was about a week and a half behind it. Those were pretty rough nights.

-Goes from crawling to sitting up perfectly now

Said Mama!

-Started doing this odd scoot on her butt, while she leaves one leg under her. It’s like a half full crawl, and half scoot.

-Can “dance” on demand now

-And the big one – her first steps!! She took two steps on September 11 and now she will take one or two steps without falling. I couldn’t believe it! I have been so worried her real first steps would be while I was at work, but we started working with her one week and she ended up doing it on a Friday evening for the first time. It was so exciting.

She’s wearing mostly all 9 month clothes with the occasional 12 month outfits and we’re still in size 3 diapers.

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Likes:

-Any animals

-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

-Other children, especially her cousin Tyner.

-Being outside

-Riding the RZR

-“Driving” Daddy’s truck

-Getting her ears cleaned with baby Q-tips…seriously she can be screaming and will just go silent when I clean her ears.

-Remotes/Cell Phones

Dislikes:

-Diaper Changes

-Clothing Changes

-Getting her face wiped after eating

We finally baby proofed everything with baby gates and bought the cabinet latches because she is into e v e r y thing. But its so much fun to watch her learn new things, which happens just about every day. I can’t believe our tiny little 4 lb 3 oz preemie is a walking, talking pre-toddler with 4 teeth and a head full of reddish blonde hair. She is so much more than we could have ever asked for. I seriously don’t know how I went so long without her in my life. We love you more than the world, little girl!

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This Week So Far

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Message from my BFF Sunday night

Monday – 1st day of daycare for my sweet girl and 1st day back to work for her momma. Whew.. Sooo.. the daycare in our town doesn’t take babies until they’re a year old, so she goes to daycare near my husband’s work (literally like a quarter of a mile from him, but 30 minutes from home). Whitlee normally eats at 6AM, 10AM, 2PM, 6PM, and about 9:30PM. I have to leave for work at 6:45/6:50 to be there at 7 (yes, lucky, I know.) The plan was to get up at 5AM and get ready for work, feed her at 6AM like normal and we’d have 45ish minutes for her to eat, get a clean diaper, clean clothes and ready for the day. Nolan doesn’t have to be at work until 8, so there’s really no reason for him to get up that early, so I try to let him sleep until his alarm at 6:30. Well she had other plans. She was awake at 5am which is when I needed to be getting ready. Thankfully, at first she was just laying in her crib, talking away. (seriously a d o r a b l e) About 5:30, she started crying because she was getting hungry and just wanted to be held. So I let her sit in my lap while I finished getting ready. She likes to hold my makeup brushes while I do my makeup. Hashtag Girl Mom! Then she ate and just wanted to be held, so we snuggled for a little while.

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I headed out at 6:45 and they headed out about 7:15. I told Nolan to make sure she wore a bow, and he sent me this picture of her all ready for her first day!

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I called the daycare at lunch to check on her and they said she napped until 9:30, ate her whole bottle at 10, and was currently napping again! Perfect!! I was really worried she’d refuse to eat for them or refuse to nap or just cry the whole time. But they said she had been smiley when she was awake and was doing wonderful. I was so excited to see her when she got home and she immediately smiled at me – that made everything okay. I’d been reading horror stories about babies that wouldn’t smile for their mom after being away all day, and some that said their babies wouldn’t even look at them for hours.

Tuesday – We attempted the same plan of attack of me getting up at 5AM, feeding her at 6AM, and then take her to my mother in law’s before work. Well if I thought Monday was rough going, Tuesday was over the top. She started out by basically sleeping all night but woke up at 4:30AM, ready to eat. I did what I could on getting ready for work while Nolan tried to comfort her for a little while, but I finally had to stop and feed her and then had to finish getting ready one armed because once again, she just wanted me to hold her. Nolan absolutely helps when he can, but I think she’s a serious momma’s girl right now and sometimes only I will do. I can’t say I hate it when she does that though. We checked on her at lunch again, and my mother in law said she was doing wonderful. She slept until 10 and ate her whole bottle, then cat napped a little around 12. When I got there to pick her up, she was asleep and continued to sleep until her bottle at 6! We took advantage of the warm weather and went for a walk in the stroller and she was all smiles for me but too quick for the camera.

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So obviously her morning routine was not working anymore. We talked about it and decided to move everything up by an hour. She apparently wakes up at 5 now, so we’re going to try eating at 5AM, 9AM, 1PM, 5:30PM, and 9PM. We played all evening, then started her bedtime routine at 9 instead of 9:30.

Wednesday – I got up at 5AM and actually had to wake her up to eat. Of course she’d sleep once we rearranged her schedule… But I fed her at 5, then rocked her back to sleep and layed her in her crib while I got ready for work. I was actually able to get ready and eat breakfast without her crying. I went to tell Nolan bye and he was standing at her crib in the dark, patting her trying to get her back to sleep. I asked if she was crying and he said no, but that she was just rolling around in her crib. She does that when she’s sleepy, but can’t get settled. So I flipped her light on and we sat there and talked to her for a little bit before I had to leave. She was so smiley and happy, just babbling away. That was much better than hoping she sleeps until 6 and having her just want to be held. Because trust me, if I have a choice of getting ready for work or loving on my girl – bet you can guess what I’ll choose. Every time.

So hopefully this schedule works a little better. She seems to enjoy daycare the most but it’s probably because there are other babies and lots of toys and fun things to look at. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week before we call it a successful week. If things go as smoothly as this morning, I think we can do this. Otherwise, I was seriously questioning whether I was doing the right thing by being away from her and jacking with her morning routine so much.

Tomorrow is my Friday so I’m counting down until my 3 day weekend with the little munchkin!

Return to Work Eve

Well it has arrived. I go back to work tomorrow. I’ve been mentally preparing for this since before Whitlee ever arrived, schedule preparing for this for over a month, and physically preparing all week. I’m now sitting on the couch while Miss Priss naps in her carseat beside me (because she fell asleep on the way home from grocery shopping), waiting on my chicken for the week to cook so I can finish preparing my stuff for the week.

As I mentioned in my Maternity Leave post, Whitlee will be going to daycare Mondays and Wednesdays, staying with my mother in law on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and staying with my mom every other Friday (I’m off every other Friday). Daycare is her first stop and daddy will be doing drop off duty so I’ve emptied all of my personal stuff from her diaper bag and added even more essentials like diaper rash cream, teething tablets, extra pacifiers, extra clothes just in case, and swaddle wraps for napping. Daycare provides formula, so we’re only responsible for sending diapers, wipes, bottles, and her own preferential stuff. I’ve got a package of diapers and wipes set with her bag, ready to go. I’ve also got everything together to go to her MawMaw’s house and to YaYa’s house –  a jug of nursery water, package of diapers, package of wipes, and can of formula. Each are getting their own set to just keep at their house.

I have all of her paperwork filled out, shot records filled out and her “first day of daycare outfit” picked out.

I’m about 75% nervous and sad and anxious about actually being away from her. Nervous that she’ll cry all day or not eat enough or not nap very well. Sad that she might be mad at me when she comes home. And anxious to just do it all. We’ve basically been on Whitlee Time since she came home; we work around her schedule. Now we have to master the art of sticking to her schedule and making it click with ours. Which leads to I’m about 20% ready to get it over with and settle into a routine. Then there’s a measly 5% of me that’s a little excited about making my money again. We have so many plans for our future, including building a house hopefully later this year or early next year and it requires both of us to work to get that started. So me going back to work is the first step towards a new house for Whitlee to grow up in.

I’m really trying to focus on the positives and the things I can control, like packing her stuff and planning our routine to some extent. Nolan and I have discussed how to make our lives easier for the next few weeks until we get in a groove, like making sure we wash dishes after we eat or eating off paper plates when we can, doing one load of laundry a day, and prioritizing into “must do’s” and “can wait til later’s”.

This post feels sort of scattered, which is sort of how I feel, but I just wanted to document the day before a major change in our lives. Hopefully everything runs as smoothly as possible and I don’t cry every day. I’m mostly worried about Whitlee’s adjustment and I hope she handles it well. I’ll update again as soon as possible with how we’re adjusting but it may be quiet here again for a little bit!

Just a reminder and another hint – Southernly Ever After is having our very first giveaway in May for Whitlee’s 6 month birthday! Here’s your next hint! 🙂

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And some Whitlee pictures just because.

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Sleeping in Her Crib

Typical blog disclaimer – I’m not a doctor or an expert by any means, this is simply what worked for our baby and our family. I researched all of our options and made sure we did everything in the safest way possible. And as usual, this is long. You should talk to me in person – I’m a talker!

When Whitlee came home from the NICU, they told us she’d be on a schedule and used to sleeping in a bassinet. Well I don’t know what we did to mess that up but it went out the window the first night.

We started out with her sleeping in the Rock and Play next to our bed. The first few nights were pretty rough and she wouldn’t sleep in it at all. She’d sleep on me, and that was it. Then we tried the bassinet attachment to our pack and play. No dice. I stayed at it, letting her nap throughout the day in the Rock and Play and she eventually got a little better about it. The problem there was sometimes when we’d lay her down in the R&P during the day or at night, she’d wake up almost immediately, no matter how sound asleep she was seconds before in our arms. It was exhausting.

Then I figured out a trick. I started prewarming the R&P with a heating pad, letting her fall completely asleep while holding her, then we’d careeefully lay her down in the already warm R&P. (just for clarification, I’d remove the heating pad before I put her back in it.) Score! Then our problem lied in the whole letting her fall completely asleep thing. When she’d wake up in the middle of the night to eat, we’d change her diaper, feed her, reswaddle her, and then pat her butt a little until she fell asleep. But sometimes this took an hour and a half to two hours. Then for some reason, she’d rarely make it more than an hour in the R&P before she’d wake up again, even if it wasn’t time for her to eat again. So I did what I swore I wouldn’t do. I started letting her go as long as she could in the R&P, then I’d bring her to bed with me. That’s when she proved she’s quite capable of going even up to 5 hours between feedings at night. But even though I was doing everything I could to ensure a safe co-sleeping environment, I was still terrified of something happening so my sleep wasn’t very restful at. freakin. all. And I didn’t want the ultimate task of moving her out of our bed when she’s like 5 or something. So I started researching…wait for it – sleep training. *gasp!*

Our thinking was that she has proven she’s comfortable going 3-5 hours between feedings at night, so we needed to find some way to get her to sleep as much as possible in those stretches. I basically was aiming for feeding her and putting her back to sleep in the shortest amount of time possible, giving her and us the most amount of sleep at a time. The majority of what I read about sleep training was teaching them to fall asleep on their own without the aid of a crutch – things like being held to sleep, pacifiers, special blankets, etc.. Whitlee doesn’t love a pacifier, and she doesn’t have any special blankets yet, so our main obstacle was her need to be held to sleep.

Because of the odd layout of our house, her crib is super close to our room so we wouldn’t be moving her too far away, but I felt like she and us both would sleep better if she got used to her crib. Plus she’s a super noisy sleeper and moving her to her crib would be far enough to hear her little noises as a comfort that she’s breathing and okay, but far enough not to keep me awake with every little noise. I took everything I read with a grain of salt and devised a loose plan to start getting her to sleep in her crib. Armed with our sleep essentials – Sleep Sheep sound machine, SwaddleMe velcro swaddlers, basic heating pad, and our Samsung video monitor – we held our breath and gave it a shot.

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sleep sheep | swaddleme swaddlers | basic heating pad | Samsung video monitor

We started on a Friday so that we’d have the weekend to dedicate to it just in case she flat out refused the crib, it wouldn’t be too detrimental to our sleep. Our plan was to get her happy – bath, clean clothes, clean diaper, full belly, swaddled – and then get her drowsy, but not fully asleep, then lay her down in a prewarmed crib. We’d give her 5 minutes to fuss or cry and settle herself, then we’d go in and help her with what they call a shush-pat, where you pat them lightly and “sshh, sshh, sshh” them, hopefully without picking them up. Of course, if she was just completely distraught I would have picked her up.

Night One
We gave her a bath, put on clean clothes, a new diaper, and swaddled her. Then Nolan fed her a bottle and snuggled with her a little while I cooked supper. Then we laid her down in her warm-ish crib, turned on the Sleep Sheep to the rain setting, and hoped for the best. I actually think it was harder on me than her. I stood outside her door for a while, even though we could clearly see her on the video monitor. She fussed and cried, then she’d stop, then she’d fuss and cry, then stop. I went in at 5 minutes and shush-patted her and she calmed down. As soon as I left, she started it up again. It took two rounds of shush-pat visits for her to calm down and she fell asleep. Not too shabby.

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When she woke up to eat the next time, we kept the lights low and did everything quietly. We didn’t talk much, just quietly changed her diaper, fed her, reswaddled her and let her get drowsy again. Then we went for round two. This time it took 4 times of going in to shush-pat her and calm her down. At this point I was getting a little nervous. I kept telling myself to stick to it and I hoped I wasn’t hurting her feelings. #emotionalwreck

The next time she woke up, we did the same routine. This time, she went right back to sleep all on her own! We laid her down, she fussed a little but never cried and then she was out!

The next day, I put her in her crib for all of her naps and she did great! (I do let her sleep unswaddled and on her belly occasionally during the day, but only when I can watch her 100%. It does make for some super cute pictures. She curls her feet under her like that every time.)

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I won’t continue with nightly updates, because after the first night that was basically it. It just seemed to click for her. We do baths every other night and try to treat her feeding at around 7/8 PM as her bedtime. We try to stick to the same routine every time. She still wakes up every 3-4 hours to eat, with the occasional stretch to 5 hours (it’s happened once or twice), but now when we wake up to feed her, it’s fairly quick and she’s back down in her crib usually within 30 minutes at the most. We’re normally “up for the day” around 7/8 AM, then she naps a few times during the day. I do still let her sleep on me occasionally to get in plenty of snuggles. We’ve had a few nights where she was a little fussier than normal, like one time she was awake during the day for over 6 hours and I think she was WAY overstimulated, therefore resulting in a bad night’s sleep, and then after her 2 month shots, but for the most part she’s amazed us with the ability to self soothe and fall asleep. I’m equal parts sad and proud that she seems so grown up to have done this so early. I feel like it’s great for her and will be especially helpful when I go back to work. We’ll be leaving her swaddled in the velcro swaddlers until she’s rolling over, then we’ll swap to a sleep sack of some sort. I’ve been thinking of weening the swaddlers early, because I’m nervous that she may learn to roll all the sudden, and then we’re stuck going cold turkey on the swaddle. The swaddle plus the pre-warmed crib seem to be the two things that calm her the most. If you’re having trouble keeping your baby asleep when changing from sleeping on you to a different sleep surface, I recommend pre warming it with a heating pad on medium heat. I always touch the surface with my hand before I lay her down and make sure it didn’t get too hot by chance.

So it’s not a hardcore sleep training scenario, but I do feel like we’ve laid some really great groundwork for healthy sleep habits. And it definitly doesn’t hurt that I’m getting a little more sleep with it! Next stop – sleeping through the night! 🙂

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