15 month update

Luke is 15 months. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were moving to a new city and leaving the city we lived in for 10 years behind. It’s even harder to believe that at this time last year Luke was only 3 months old!

You’ll have to forgive me but I have to get this out of the way first. We are going through sleep hell right now. About a month ago Luke started to transition from two naps to one nap and it hasn’t gone well at all. The problem is that with two naps he gets WAY too much sleep and has trouble falling asleep at night. With only one nap he gets too little sleep and has trouble falling asleep at night. Odd right? The issue with the one nap a day has been that his body doesn’t yet know how to nap for the minimum of 2 hours he needs on a 1 nap schedule. The other issue is that our child takes after his momma and daddy and is a complete early bird which means making it until noon or 1:00 for his one nap means he’s overly tired which isn’t good for  staying asleep.  I’ve come to terms with the fact I will never have a child that naps for more than two hours and I will never have a child that sleeps for 12 hours at night BUT we’ve been struggling for the last several weeks.  For example yesterday he woke up at 4 am and then fell back asleep from 5-6. He took a morning nap that was over an hour at 8:30am and then almost a 2 hour afternoon nap. Today he wakes up at 6:00 after sleeping 11 hours and only naps for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 12:00. HELP!!! Add to the nap transition FOUR canines that are coming through and well you’ve got some sleep deprived people in our household. This too shall pass, right?

Okay moving on!

Wow! This age is fun. It’s SO fun! Luke is a sponge and soaks up every little detail of everything. Right now he’s really into mimicking what others are doing and doing things for himself. He loves to bathe himself in the bath, brush his own hair, sweep the floors (he’s obsessed with the broom), and feed himself using a spoon or fork (still working on the mechanics of all of that). His favorite toys continues to be his plastic golf clubs and balls and his hand eye coordination is pretty impressive at times. Walt is excited about this as his dream of a future golf partner is in the works. Luke loves to be outside and I’m excited to explore new parks, plant a garden, and spend mornings and afternoons outdoors with him throughout the spring.

Luke loves music and I have to credit his weekly music class for that. He has learned so much from that class and I’m amazed at the latent learning that has gone on. Anytime a song comes on that he’s heard before he smiles and begins to clap and dance. His favorite song to dance to at the moment is Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash.

While I know it’s not the case it seems as though he understands everything we are saying. You can ask him to throw something away and he will do so. You can tell him to bring you something and he will go retrieve it. Just last night we were doing a Melissa and Doug puzzle that has different types of locks that can be done and undone and I made some comment like “oh this is the same type of lock that is on daddy’s guitar case” and he got up, walked over to the guitar case, and undid that lock. Speaking of locks he is OBSESSED with doors and door handles. He can open doors with handles that are levers (NOT fun to deal with) and will probably be able to open regular door handles once he grows another inch or two. We are probably going to have to install chain locks at the tops of some doors. He’s even figured out how to unlock the gate at the local children’s museum. The baby proofing never ends.

He’s just started to attempt to mimic what we say when asked to do so. In addition to the regulars of dada, momma, bird, ball, book, he will now say “doctor” (probably from going to so many appts with me) Pop Pops (my dad), bye-bye, baby, and “bu bu” for both bubles and blueberries. He can tell you that the rooster cock-a-doodle-doo’s or “coc coc” and that the owl says “hoo hoo.” He can locate his own and your nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, hair, ears, belly button, and now boobies (oh boy). He knows his baby sister is in my belly and often comes to lift my shirt up and give her a hug and kiss. And he knows that shaking his head from side to side means “no” even when asked things that you know he should say yes to.

He’s definitely not an “easy” child…not that any child is. He’s not the type of child who is going to sit by himself for even a few minutes and play with his toys. His curiosity demands constant attention and he needs you to be sitting down on the ground helping him figure out the world around him. If he is awake he is moving and chances are he’s going to need to be chased around as he’s trying to escape the room or environment he is in. Even if we did allow him to have screen time I highly doubt he would be able to sit still long enough to allow me to do anything productive. I’ve found getting out of the house with him is much easier than staying in. We visit the Science Center, the Children’s Museum, and frequent many libraries for story time each week. He’s not the child who is going to fall asleep in the stroller or in the car as he’s just too preoccupied taking in his surroundings. This is so much fun and so exhausting.

Luke loves to eat although his long and lean physic may say otherwise. I literally think he burns every calories he consumes. If only I should be so lucky. His favorite foods are yogurt and cheese, any kind of fruit, and zuchinni, peas, and carrots. He refuses to eat any type of meat that is left over and turns his nose up at cooked spinach. Thankfully spinach is really easy to sneak in to smoothies and grilled cheese. Anytime I get the Mediterrean salad with smoked chicken from Panera I am fully aware I will be splitting it with Luke. He loves everything about that salad including the kale which I find very odd. We don’t give him processed sugar….I guess I kind of figure “what’s the point?” At this age they don’t know any different and there is no nutritional value in it. I still wish I could hold myself to the same standards.

We are currently doing our third session of swim lessons and Luke continues to love the water. He’s a little more distracted in the pool these days than he was with his first lesson at 6 months but he’s learning a lot. If we ask him to show us how he swims in the pool he will move his arms and kick his feet. I’m hoping that this early exposure to water helps make me more comfortable with him in the pool and give him the knowledge he needs to one day be able to swim comfortably on his own.

I feel like I have so much more to say but I’m exhausted and so I will leave you with some pictures and videos of the last 3 months.

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Luke got his first hair cut by Walt in February. The bath photo was pre haircut. It already needs to be cut again.

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28 Weeks

I am now 28 weeks 1 day and officially in the 3rd trimester. This was a huge milestone in Luke’s pregnancy and it’s hard not to want to celebrate this milestone in this pregnancy as well.

But the truth is this pregnancy has been extremely different in regards to the anxiety and fear that being pregnant with Luke brought me. Don’t get me wrong. I have worried and cried over losing this baby girl but the truth is I have been much more relaxed about everything. It’s probably easy for me to say that right now given that I am 28 weeks. The late teens/early and mid twenties were still very nerve wracking for me but each appointment brought welcomed news that all things were fine.

The major difference in the worry and anxiety has not been about something happening to the baby like when I was pregnant with Luke. Instead the anxiety has been centered around worrying about something happening to me. I never worried about myself when the trauma of Oliver’s delivery was happening and I never worried about what could happen to me during Luke’s pregnancy. I was solely focused on my unborn children in both instances. After knowing what I know about Oliver’s delivery I realize that I could have lost my life. I never even thought about that until it was clear that my husband while mourning the loss of our 1st son was also thankful that I was alive.

Now that Luke is here and thriving I have found that I worry about him growing up without me. I have not let myself think about this too often because the thought of not being here for the rest of Luke’s life is truly too hard for me to even begin comprehending.

However, as the due date approaches (which is already scheduled for June 3rd at 11:30) I feel like these thoughts might creep back into my mind. And perhaps the closer I get to having my daughter in the world the more my anxiety will increase. Thankfully though I have a feeling that Luke will distract me from too much worry as he has done for the majority of this pregnancy.

Thankful to be 28 weeks and 1 day. Thankful that all is going well.

Viability 

I’ve hit the 24 week mark. 24w0d today. This will be a hard week for me. The next month will be. My app tells me this week is a milestone because I’ve hit “viability.” And if the baby was born this week she would have “a great chance of surviving.” 

I call bullshit.

As a mom who lost her son at 24w6d I know that’s not true. 

I call bullshit.

As someone who has heard a ton of other mom’s stories whose babies where born later than 24 weeks and did not survivor.
I call bullshit.

As a mom who knows any baby born at this age would struggle for years and years. 

I’d like them to define what “survive” means. 

24 weeks: Be nice to me. I need the next 13 weeks to be nice to me. 

It’s Okay to Not Know What to Say

I heard a piece this morning on NPR while working out and wanted to share. 

As someone who has lived (and continues to do so) through the loss of an infant I really related to this story. After losing Oliver I realized that many people don’t know how to respond to someone who is grieving (especially the loss of a pregnancy or baby). I do think people want or feel the need to say something  but struggle to find the “right” words. I really loved the part in the piece that reassures people it’s not about saying anything…it’s about listening. I hope that I can continue to keep that in mind as I help to support anyone who grieves the loss of anything. 

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/13/514164179/there-is-no-good-card-for-this-what-to-say-when-condolences-isnt-enough

Still Working on My Masterpiece

I’ve been hesitant to write this post. I think I will always be hesitant about getting a positive pregnancy test. I think anyone who has been through any type of pregnancy or infant loss is  nervous and hesitant. Even after having a successful pregnancy that positive test can be a catalyst for worry and anxiety and this time was no different.

But it was slightly different. I have living, breathing proof that I can have a successful pregnancy.

Walt and I knew after having Luke we wanted to try again. We never acknowledged those thoughts during Luke’s pregnancy…we were too scared. After Luke was born, after speaking to my OB, much consideration and long chats we knew we wanted to try sooner rather than later. However it all revolved around if I could get pregnant while breastfeeding. There are so many preconceived notions about that topic. You’ve heard “it’s harder to get pregnant, you don’t have a period or ovulate, etc.” So we decided if my period did not return one year postpartum we would wean Luke from breastfeeding and start trying. Much to our surprise my period came back 6 months postpartum and I started to track ovulation to see if I was in fact ovulating and after a few months of positive tests we decided to try again.

I got a positive pregnancy test in October. I was a bit shocked how quickly it happened and a little nervous about what it meant. Walt and I both felt so happy that this was yet another step in the right direction to expanding out family. But in the back of my mind I prepared myself for another miscarriage. The early ultrasound at 7 weeks showed a thriving living being and we were happy. Then came the sickness. I had morning sickness with both Oliver and Luke so I was prepared for more of the same. I feel like it was worse with this pregnancy but perhaps only because I had a very active and demanding little man to take care of. Anyone who has been pregnant and experienced the 1st trimester symptoms who then has gone on to have a baby knows there is a different in the types of exhaustion. There is nothing in this world that compares to the exhaustion in the 1st trimester. There is something about that fatigue that is all consuming and it was really hard to cope with that while caring for Luke. Luckily we made it through (I still don’t know how) and I am feeling much better.

Another ultrasound at 9 weeks showed a growing baby and we were again so thankful. We decided to do the 1st trimester screening and got good news showing a baby with healthy chromosomes. Unfortunately we’ve had to switch OBs since moving. I was commuting an hour during the 1st trimester so that I could be with the doctor who delivered Luke. However Walt and I knew that the commute would not be sustainable with Luke (he hates his carseat and isn’t a great traveler) so we have since switched to a local OB.. It’s definitely not the same as being at the office that provided me with such good medical and emotional care but it is working for us and I trust my new OB completely.

We had the anatomy scan done at 18 weeks at it showed a beautiful growing baby. I’ve been feeling movement since about 16-17 weeks and my bump is growing.

My care during this pregnancy is the exact same as with Luke. I’ve had 2 week appts since I was 14 weeks, progesterone injections starting at 16 weeks, and cervical monitoring every 2 weeks through 24 weeks. The plan is to have a repeat C-section at 37 weeks since I’ll never be able to labor as the risk of uterine rupture is too great due to Oliver’s emergency delivery.

So for now I will keep doing what I am doing. I am thankful to be 20 weeks 3 days pregnant with a healthy baby girl who should be here around June 3rd if all goes well.

 

Luke’s First Birthday and Party

Luke had a wonderful first birthday and lovely first birthday party. I wanted to do a whole post about the day of and the day of the party as so many special things are engrained in my memory.

The night before his first birthday I started a journal for him that I hope to write in frequently. I had this in mind to do throughout his first year but I never actually sat down to write in it. I thought the eve of his birthday would be a perfect time to start writing to him. I hope that when he is older he cherishes these letters and notes. I got a little teary eyed when putting him to bed that night just thinking about how fast this year has gone by. I still can’t believe he’s one.

We celebrated his actually birthday (January 11th) by visiting the Children’s Museum with my parents. We sang happy birthday to him when Walt got home from work and gave him his first taste of sugar. I made a yummy “healthier” version of carrot cake cupcakes. He loved it (and I did too). We got him one of the classic “Cozy Coup” cars and so far he has not only loved riding in it but also pushing it around.

We waited to have his birthday party until Sunday the 15th so that my entire family could attend. I had been planning this party for months and settled on the theme “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s the song I sing to him every night and with the meaning of his name being “Light Giving” we thought it was perfect. The party decor turned out really lovely and thanks to my mom and dad for helping flesh out some of my ideas. I’m not creative in any way however I know what I want when it comes to decor but have trouble executing the idea. My mom and dad are both some artsy in their own different ways and I couldn’t have pulled it off without them.

Luke had several of his baby friends at his party and it was so cute to see them all together. We had several people make the hour drive from Durham which was very meaningful to us.

It was pretty perfect timing as right when the party was about to start Luke woke up from his afternoon nap however he spent the first 45 minutes clinging on to me, Walt, my parents, and his uncles/aunts. I’m pretty sure he was like “Whoa, all these people at my house? What’s going on?” However from the time we sang Happy Birthday to him he was all smiles and warmed up fast (probably because food was involved). I will never forget his face when everyone started to sing to him. He looked up at Walt and then had the cutest most bashful expression. It was like he knew that everyone was singing to him and that something very special was happening. It was priceless!

Random funny story: In addition to fruit and veggies and other food and drinks we had beer. I know it may seem odd to some to have alcohol at a child’s first birthday party but we all know parents need a drink sometimes. Apparently at some point during the party Walt thought we were going to run out of beer and decided to take matters into his own hands. I was glancing around the room and noticed two bottles of liquor with plastic shot glasses sitting on the food table. On a whim my husband decides the party may need more alcohol and decided to bring out the big guns. I’m laughing about it now but I was like “what in the world?!?!”

I feel so lucky to have had so many people willing to help us celebrate Luke’s 1st birthday. It is clear that we are blessed in more ways than one and I continue to be thankful for each day with our son.

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I got the ribbon at a fabric store and with the help of my mom cut it and tied it to twin to make the high chair banner and table banner. The pillow was given to Luke by a former student. It was the perfect party decor addition.

Sign made by my father.

Cake made by Delicious Bakery and to our surprise they threw in a smash cake for free.

 

The party favor table. We gave each baby the book “You Are My Sunshine.”

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12 Months

I can’t believe I’m typing this post. This has surely been the quickest and most joyful year of my life. Luke turned 1 on the 11th and we have celebrated all week! First a few updates….

In the past month Luke has taken his first steps, celebrated his first Christmas, and welcomed in a new year (asleep of course). It seems like every day he learns something new and it’s so exciting to see him experience new things. He continues to love reading books and will now demand certain books be read over and over again. His favorites right now are the Seek and Find Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Peek-a-Who, and two books about big trucks (go figure). He loves beating on the drum we got him for Christmas and playing in his tunnel. He’s obsessed with pushing just about every toy that has wheels around and around. He’s also very into sticks and balls. He loves playing with his golf club and hitting balls around. He’s even started to use his drum sticks as tools to hit and push balls. It’s really cute.

He hasn’t shown too much of an interest in walking however he is standing on his own and has taken several steps by himself. He’s at the point now though where I’m fairly certain he has all the motor neurons needed to walk but knows he can get somewhere faster if he crawls. I will say it was super exciting to see him take his first steps and it was cool because both Walt and I were there to witness it.

He’s in a pointing phase where he will point to things that he wants to know more about and can point and identify several different things around the house. He quickly learned where the “snow” was when it snowed about 9 inches here last week and had fun playing in it.

I plan to do a separate post about his birthday and his party with lots of pictures but in short they were both wonderful. I’m so thankful that so many people helped with the party and where there to celebrate our little guy with us. I still can’t believe I now have a toddler!

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11 months

In less than a month my child will be 1. On one hand I’m in disbelief at how quickly the last year has gone by but on the other hand I have a hard time remembering life without Luke.

He’s 11 months old and is at such a fun age. He continues to learn in clusters. It seems one day he’s picked up a new task and the next day he’s acting like he’s been doing it for month. 

He’s not walking just yet and I’d probably bet that he won’t be by his first birthday. However he is extremely mobile and I basically have no reason to sit down if he’s on the move. He has a fascination with doors and would open and shut them for as long as I’d let him. 

He points at everything and says “huh” as if asking to be told what he’s looking at. He gives hugs and kisses and my heart melts each time he comes up to give me one or the other. In addition to saying “bird” he’s now saying “book” and “momma” consistently. He recognizes an upwards of 10-15 words and will point correctly when asked “where’s daddy? Nolah (our dog?) Outside? Christmas tree?” Etc. he’s also starting to make a “roar” when asked what the dinosaur says. 

He hates being confined which makes doing anything productive when he’s awake difficult. He hates being put in the car seat and the pack and play is for emergency only unless you’d like to hear him wail almost instantly. He’s a busy body for sure!

He continues to love our play dates, food, and anything that involves learning. I love watching him take in his surroundings. And I can’t believe he’ll be one in a month! 

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The Holidays

Three years I ago I dreaded the holiday season. My son was due on Nov. 19th and it was supposed to be our first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of three. Oliver came too early and instead I spent Thanksgiving mourning the loss of what should have been. After his due date and Thanksgiving passed I decided that I would start holiday traditions that would help honor and remember Oliver.

Last year I spent Thanksgiving being thankful that I was pregnant with our second son and hoping that the holiday season would lead me to the new year in which I would have a successful pregnancy and a living child.

This year I have that living child and am experiencing the holiday season in an entirely different way. It’s not even December but to see holiday’s through the eyes of your child has already been extremely special.

We spent the weekend putting up our holiday decorations and I’m realizing that this time of year will forever be bittersweet. On one hand it’s exciting to experience this time of year with my child but on the other hand it’s sad that our first born isn’t here.

We plan to continue our tradition of buying Oliver an ornament. His two ornaments from years past hang at the top of our tree. This year we will continue that tradition with Luke. We’ve honored Oliver during the holiday season by donating to local rescue missions and children’s homes and I look forward to teaching Luke how important giving back is as he gets older. It’s warms my heart to know that Luke will be able to know his brother in this type of way.

The holiday season can be tough for anyone who has experienced loss of any kind and I hope that we all remember each other this season.

 

 

Luke is 10 months old! 

 

As of last week Luke is now 10 months old. We are a little late on the post which has everything to do with me not being able to sit down at a computer.

I am amazed at how much Luke seems to be learning on a daily basis. He clicks and claps on command and is so close to waving. He turns pages in books as we read and will even retrieve a book when told “Go get mommy a book and we will read it together.” Even though he does not know how to make a car roll by he loves going to get the car when we roll it and will go and get it and bring it back to us to do again.

About a month ago I decided I was no longer going to get up with him at night. There was no need for him to eat and I was tired of always being tired. We have had our fair share of sleeping issues with him but I knew it was time for this to happen. So we had a few nights of him waking and crying and us just trying our best to ignore it and now he’s doing great and sleeping through the night every night. Naps however….blah! He fights almost every single nap and they are progressively getting shorter. When he does sleep more than an hour I find myself sitting around wondering what to do.

Luke was a lion for Halloween and did so well with keeping the head piece on. We took him around to a few houses and then handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. I’m excited to celebrate Luke’s 1st Thanksgiving and Christmas soon! And I’m starting to plan his 1st birthday party!!

And now I have to go and try to settle him for his morning nap because he’s sitting in his crib screaming. Ugh. *edit* Believe it or not he has just settled himself! VICTORY!!!*

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