Monday, February 14, 2011

4 Months Old, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Here we are at another month birthday ready for another update! Aaron is doing great. I am loving this stage. He is all smiles, laughs, coos and squeals. He is very interactive, which is so much fun. We went to the doctor today for a checkup. It always makes me feel so good because they have a developmental milestone checklist, and he is always doing everything that he is supposed to. The list for today was:

  • Smiles to get attention

  • Keeps head steady when sitting on our lap

  • Rolls and reaches for objects

  • Wants to play

  • Likes to cuddle

  • Lets us know when he likes or dislikes something

  • Babbles

  • When on his tummy, uses his arms to lift his chest

The only thing I wasn’t sure that I could check off was “calms down on his own.” I have to say we really don’t give him the opportunity to do that very much. I wonder if I could let go enough to let him try it? The doctor said he is at the place where
he should be able to do that.

They weighed and measured him. He is such a big boy! Here’s where he is this month:

  • Head is 17 inches – 76th percentile

  • Weight is 15 pounds, 5 ounces – 55th percentile

  • Height is 27 ¼ inches – 100th percentile. He was off their charts!

The big thing I was hoping for was that we got the green light to start introducing solid foods! He is still not that great of a sleeper. He can be up around 3-4 times a night, and always because he is hungry, so I was thinking he needs more than what I am giving him. He is still exclusively breast fed. I am pumping at work, and it is all going well. But, it is stressful having it all on me. I am constantly paranoid that my supply will take a hit because I am not with him all day, as well as the stress of having to squeeze in pumping sessions in an already busy day for me. I will keep it up and make it work as long as he wants and needs it, but I am glad to get to solid foods both for the hope that this will help him sleep better, and to take some of the pressure of breast feeding off of me. We are going to start with rice cereal, or the doctor said that breast fed babies sometimes do better with mashed banana. We will see what Aaron likes. If that goes well and he gets to the place that he eats more than he spits back out at us, we can move on to yellow veggies (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots), then try green veggies, then fruits last. He said that we start with one (1 ounce) feeding per day at this point. When he gets to 6 months old, we can build it up to 2 ounces a day, then by 9 months, 3 ounces a day. Time to get out that high chair! This should be fun. We will, of course, take pictures and video to share!

I also thought he might be teething. He drools a lot, and he loves “chewing” on his hard toys. The doctor says that lots of moms of 4 month olds claim their babies must be teething because of all the drool. Apparently, 4 month olds just drool a lot and it rarely means teeth. Also, his eyesight and motor skills are developing more which is why lots of toys are going in his mouth. I have to say, with breast feeding being his primary source of food right now, I really don’t mind that that’s not what it is!

Doctor’s visit aside, I have been back to work for a month now. It was so hard to leave him, but it had to be done. He has settled into a great routine with our baby sitter, a stay-at-home mom in our neighborhood. She is just fantastic. He is her only full-time child that she watches, and he lives on her hip all day long. She is such a loving person, and it makes me feel good that there is a really awesome, well-trained second set of eyes on him. She is also a great person for me to have for asking questions of when I get stuck on something. She is a wonderful resource. There is another little girl that she watches in the mornings a couple of days a week. She is just a tiny bit older than Noah would have been, so I love that he gets some access to another child in that age range. The baby sitter’s daughter is also there in the afternoons for a few hours when school gets out, and she and Aaron really enjoy one another. I show up to pick him up, and he’s enjoying a “picnic” on the living room floor with her (with play dough for food!). She giggles as she feeds him pretend baby food. Or, she’ll be laying around with him, looking into his eyes, and making funny noises to him and he’s laughing so hard. His eyes are always on her, wondering what she’ll do next. I love love love this whole situation. It is so good for him.

I, on the other hand, am TIRED!!! This is the part where sleep deprivation really kicks in. When I was home, I could sleep here and there and over the course of a 24 hour period would somehow get enough. Now I have to conform to a schedule. I sleep a lot on the weekends (as much as I can anyways), and feel pretty great on Monday. By Friday, after having had 3-5 hours of sleep a night for a week, I am DRAGGING! I am slowly learning to adjust my schedule. I come home from work, eat dinner, and then Aaron and I go to bed. I am now at the point where sleeping is all I really want to do with my free time. I am getting used to it, and live with it. It is funny how you somehow adjust and manage when you have kids.

I am also really learning to let go more. It has been a slow unconscious change. I don’t know whether it is because I am so tired, I don’t have as much energy to obsess over every little thing, or if I am just getting more comfortable with being a mom, but the hyper-vigilance around protecting him from any sort of perceived danger is lessening. I am kind of relieved for his sake. He deserves to have a normal childhood, no matter what we lived through before he got here. For example, I don’t mind being out in groups as much, or environments that I don’t feel that I can control, or situations that take my constant attention away from him. I am also beginning to trust leaving him with others so Chris and I can go out for short stints. It is all baby steps on my part, but it is getting easier, where it as felt almost impossible before. My fellow grieving parents said that it takes a few months, and they are right. Here we are month four, and I am getting there. It is scary, but I am also glad to worry a little bit less.

Finally, it has been a year since my little guy was implanted, and this whole journey began. It has been fun to remember the anniversary of these dates, from the beginning of our infertility treatments, to the retrieval day, to the implantation, and finally the day when I found I was pregnant. This year has been a marathon, facing all sorts of highs and lows. I can’t believe looking at Aaron’s first baby picture, and comparing that with what he looks like today. He is such a joy. I tell him all the time that he was the one that made it all ok again, after all we had been through. How did we ever do without our Aaron? He is such a miracle, and our family wouldn’t ever be close to complete without him!

Aaron one year ago (he's the exploding one on top!):

Other favorite photos from this month:

Aaron Videos:

Rolling Over – Aaron is getting to be good at rolling over! This is the second time he did it (managed to have the video camera going this time!)

Jumperoo – Aaron has a new favorite toy! He laughs and squeals as he bounces around in this thing!

Screaming Match – Aaron is very vocal these days! Chris caught us stretching our lungs together. We were having a really good time, as you can see!

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