About that 5-month old monster (since I know that's what you're really here for), he's amazing. He's cute, he's smiley, he has the chubbiest cheeks that just beg to be kissed. He loves his daddy. He sleeps through the night (ha! he did at the initial writing of this post. Now we're back to 2 wake ups. Hello, 4-month sleep regression). He's blown out every brand of diaper we've tried. He sometimes bites my nipple. After a 5:30 a.m. feeding, he'll often pull off, and look up at me with the biggest, happiest smile you've ever seen. And be so wide awake and want to play. I beg him to please just go back to sleep for another hour and then we can play. But he just keeps cooing and laughing and being so freaking adorable that even though I'm more exhausted than I ever thought possible, we play 17 rounds of peek-a-boo, sing "The Wheels on the Bus" (even though I totally just make things up that are on the bus and make weird sound effects cuz I can't remember the real words), play with his toes, try to keep him from licking ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in sight (his arm, the sheets on the bed, my hair, my phone, etc.), and eventually he'll drift off to sleep next to me for a few more hours. He's a good kid. But he's also sometimes a turd.
J also recently graduated physical therapy! He had torticollis, which was causing plagiocephaly, and Dr. G. prescribed physical therapy at his 2-month appointment. We did the therapy in hopes of avoiding a helmet, and J did amazing! At his 4-month appointment, Dr. G. called his head "beautiful." It really is rounding out much better in the back, and he definitely has more mobility in his neck and can turn both ways now. I guess the torticollis is fairly common, especially with our combo of giant breech baby + short mom. He didn't love the stretches, and I hated doing them at home when he'd give me pouty faces and cry, but Bobby continually reminded me that this wasn't the last time we were going to do what's best for him, even if he hated it.
Jack now rolls back to tummy all. the. time (yeah, diaper changes and bath time have gotten really exciting), but he's now forgotten how to roll tummy to back, which he learned about 2 months ago. We had to stop swaddling, which is what I think destroyed his beautiful sleep, but we're working on it. He sleeps on his tummy now, in his crib, in his own room. We're thinking about starting him on solid food. Who is this big boy and where did my tiny baby go!?
Other things...breastfeeding is still going pretty well. I mean, I do have occasional breakdowns when I'm convinced my milk was drying up. J goes through crazy growth spurts because he will eat constantly and never seem satisfied. And then when I would pump, my output seems pretty low. But a few days of guzzling water, Gatorade, Mother's Milk tea, and oatmeal - plus nursing/pumping every hour for a day gets me back on track. It's hard, though. Harder than I ever thought. But I have to say I'm proud of myself for making it almost 5 months. We had a rough start - J losing 12% of his birthweight in the hospital, supplementing with formula in the hospital, pumping in the hospital, syringe feeding, SNS feeding, tongue tie, lip tie, bad latch, nipple shield, lazy eater, sore nipples, clogged ducts - we had it all. But I just kept telling myself I wasn't going to quit on my worst day. And then it started to get easier. And when my nipples couldn't take it anymore, I'd switch to exclusively pumping for a few days, then go back to nursing when they were healed. I wanted to make it a week. Then a month, then 6 weeks, then 3 months. Right now the goal is 6 months (with the ultimate goal of one year). We'll see how it goes. I won't quit on my worst day.
I'm also 3 weeks into to my volleyball season. I'm amazingly less tired this year (dare I say that having a baby is less exhausting than working full time plus being pregnant? it sure feels like it), and much less nauseous. And no longer terrified a stray ball is going to hit me in the stomach. But it's also more complicated, since I'm constantly worried about finding a babysitter, having enough milk pumped, wondering what the heck I'm going to do with a baby when we have a full weekend tournament in another state. So yeah, some things are much easier than last year, and somethings are much harder.
We recently returned from our Duluth vacation. We celebrated our 5-year anniversary in the same city where we honeymooned. The same city (and same hotel) where a year ago we conceived Jack. It was cathartic, I think, returning to a city we love so much with a child we longed for for so many years. Healing, you could call it.
I'll never forget those rough years of infertility, but looking at this kid every day makes it all worth it.
|Relaxing on vacation in Duluth|
|Ready for the first Vikings preseason game|
|Chilling in his pool|