Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blakely Ann - 1 Month Update

Height: about 22 1/2 inches
Weight: about 9 lb 8 oz
Head Circumference: about 14 3/4 inches
Vision: You can see up to 12 inches in front of you. You are starting to look at where sounds are coming from.
Movement: You are one strong lady! You have some pretty good neck control for just being 1 month old. Most of your tummy time is done laying on my chest and you just stare at my face and we talk. You also push up with your legs into a stand when you are trying to poop. This past week or so you have been griping things better. You love to hold anyones hand.
Eating Habits/New Foods: We are averaging eating every 3 hours. It does vary though because sometimes you will eat one boobie and then fall asleep. You will wake up an hour later and then want the other boob. If you eat both though we are good for a 3 hour stint. At night you can go for 1 long 4-5 hour stretch then we are back to the 3 hours. You took your 1st bottle at 2 weeks and did great! You are eating 3 ounces a feeding. You are a gassy lady who gets hiccups often or chokes fro sucking  too fast. You get gas drops at every feeding.
Sleeping Patterns: Our morning starts around 8 or 9 and our bedtime is around 10-11. You are up for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour after you eat and then you are back to sleep. I think we will start to get into more of a pattern over this next month. The 1st month is mainly when you are in a sleep coma. You are sleeping in the pack n play on the boppy sleeper. You are fine to sleep in any swing, bouncer, rocker, or mamaroo. You sleep great in your carseat!
Sounds/Words: You make lots of grunting noises when eating and pooping. You are a loud eater like your Mama! We hear an occasional coo, but not too much as far as the noises go yet.
New discoveries/accomplishments:
-You took your 1st bottle at 2 weeks and loved it! You have had a few since so Mommy is able to have some free time when necessary.
-You have a gassy belly, so we have to "de-poop" you at night to help get out the poop and gas. You hated it at first, but now love it because you know you get such relief from it.
-You lost your umbilical cord at 1 1/2 weeks
-You had your 1st real bath with your sister at 2 weeks and you love them!
Places you went/Adventures: You have been a busy lady this month! You have already gone to 2 birthday parties (Griffin's & Weston's), you celebrated Easter, went to the beach twice, went to Disney on Ice, went to Mom to Mom, attended Storytime at the library, had your newborn pictures taken, gone to the pool, gone to a girl's night supper club, went to your 1st musical, done tons of shopping trips, and gone on your 1st date night with Mommy & Daddy! And you are about to experience your 1st vacation to Seaworld this weekend! We have had some exciting days this month! Too bad you slept through majority of the events:)
Clothes: You are in 0-3 month clothes. We wore a size newborn diaper for 2 weeks and have since switched to size 1 diapers. (For future reference I like Pampers newborn diapers better, but Huggies size 1 better)
Sister updates: your big sister is officially obsessed with you! She loves holding you on the boppy, giving you kisses that sometimes smother you, holding your hand, and pretty much touching you whenever she gets a chance. She is especially protective when strangers get near or touch you. She will push her way through and touch you while they are. You are one tough cookie to withstand all the smothering and pulling, but so far we have had no serious incidences! She says "this is my baby" and we now refer to you as hers! :)
Weekly Pictures:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Birthday Week!

I'm not really sure how it came to be, but in the Richie family we celebrate our birthdays for a full week! Any excuse to go out to dinner or get an extra gift given on another day...I'll take it! I think we can thank my mom for this newer tradition (probably over the past 10 years). Of course I love it and love spoiling whoever's birthday it is, so the tradition is carrying on in the McLaughlin family.

It is both David and Delainey's birthday week. Poor David has graciously given up his birthday week to do all the things Delainey loves for her week. He actually wanted her to be born on his horrible to not have your own day! Anyways, I have packed this week full of fun things to celebrate her!

Yesterday the celebration started by taking her to a Curious George musical at the Florida Theatre. She loved it!! It was so cute and kept her entertained thanks to most of the dialogue being sung. We also had great seats! I found out about it randomly Sunday night looking online. I am definitely going to look into more of these in the future.
 After the show, we headed to San Marco and had lunch at M Shack. I treated D to a delicious milkshake and we walked around the San Marco area to look at the fountains and lions. It was a lovely little day with my girls! (Blakely was a champ of course! She sat in the chest carrier for the show and slept the whole time and then hung out in the carseat/stroller the rest of the afternoon)

Today Delainey had school and I got to do a little last minute shopping for her. She received her first present which was some clothes. We had a fashion show and they look so cute on her.

Tomorrow we are headed to TNT gymnastics for open gym. I have done a blog post on this place before. She is obsessed with it! She actually wanted to have a birthday party here so we are going to do open gym and lunch out since we aren't doing an actual party for her.

Thursday, we are doing cupcakes at her school with her classmates and then a little family birthday party with cake and presents.

Friday, I am taking her to this place called Sweet Pete's candy shop to make some candy at the toddler day.

Saturday we are headed to Orlando to go to Seaworld for the weekend. We got a hotel room down there so we will take our time enjoying Seaworld over the 2 days. I am thinking of doing shows and rides on Saturday and then the kids area and playing all day on Sunday.

Sunday is Delainey's actually birthday. I can't believe my baby is going to be 3 years old! She has turned into such a sweet, caring little girl who makes me laugh everyday and is such a joy to be with. I am lucky to be her mom!

David's birthday is tomorrow and he turns 34. Ahh! We are getting old! But I think he is thrilled with exactly where he is in life as he turns 34. He is the best husband and father who is one of the hardest working men I know. He is so selfless and would literally do anything for a stranger. I love watching him with the girls. Us 3 girls are lucky to have him in our lives! We love you David! Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week - My Infertility Journey

Every year there is a very short week that comes and goes that is frequently not talked about by people or in the media for that matter except for a few small things during this one week. It is infertility awareness week. This past week it has been so sad to watch infertility awareness be overshadowed by transgender awareness. Everyday this week The Today Show has done a transgender story without paying any attention to the millions of women around the world struggling to have a baby to complete their family. Because it is so rarely discussed, majority of people struggling with infertility keep it to themselves because they are almost ashamed or embarrassed as if it is something they did wrong. It is a genetic illness, just like cancer or diabetes and I wish people were more open to talk about it. I myself have struggled with infertility and have been blessed by God with 2 beautiful girls. I am still part of the infertility family and hope that one day my story will provide hope to someone struggling or at least reach out to me for advice or help during this difficult time.

David and I decided we were ready to have kids 5 years ago. Like any naive girl who was taught over and over how easy it was to get pregnant, I had it all planned out to the month of when I wanted my baby born and off we started on the baby making. Well it didn't happen that month or the next one and I was shocked. I had a friend give me a fertility book so I read it and started doing all different things. Charting my temperatures for a few months, doing ovulation predictor kits, handstands afterwards :), you name it. About 10 months later, I went to the doctor and started some testing to see if something was genetically wrong. Of course David and I checked out and seemed perfect, so I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. A few months later, we decided after 14 months of trying it was time to try some IUI's. On average if an IUI is going to work it will work within 3, max of 4 times. After 3 unsuccessful ones, I lost hope and decided to see a fertility specialist. The wait was a month to be seen by the Dr. so I decided what the heck lets try one more IUI while we wait. By what I now know was a miracle, I got pregnant and was blessed with my sweet baby Delainey Marie.

Fast forward to a year after Delainey was born, and we decided lets try again for another baby just in case it takes awhile again. I was hopeful it wouldn't though since a lot of people who struggle with their first have no trouble after that once there body gets into the baby-making mode. Of course we struggled again. After only 6 months I decided lets do what we know works and jump into the IUIs. 4 IUIs later and still not pregnant. Time to see a fertility specialist. It took 2 months to do all the testing and meet with him. At our appointment he went over all our results and said everything looks good so the only thing I think it could be is endometriosis. The problem with it though is you can't tell if you have it without doing surgery. I decided let's go through with surgery and find out once in for all. I did in fact have it and I had stage 3 out of 4 stages, 4 being the worst. He burned all the scar tissue off and we had a 6 month window until it grew back to get pregnant. Back to the IUI's! 4 more unsuccessful IUIs, and it was time to make plans for our next step which was IVF. I scheduled all the stuff for IVF and thought let's do one more IUI before its IVF time and maybe a miracle will happen again. It didn't! :( So last July, I went through the entire IVF process and implanted one embryo into my uterus and had the longest 2 week wait of my life to find out if I was pregnant. Thank the Lord, I was and just delivered my 2nd miracle baby Blakely Ann.

Moral of the story, infertility doesn't define you and it can be overcome. Just because it is not the way you envisioned having babies, does not mean it is wrong and you should give up hope. When I want to go back to work, my dream job would be to become a infertility counselor to help people understand the process and feel free to ask any questions. It takes someone who walked in the same shoes to fully understand how it feels and what all you are going through. I was lucky enough to have a friend who went through it before me to talk to and I hope that people who undergo this journey in the future will feel comfortable coming to me for support and help.

I do need to add the most important thing that helped get me through these past 5 years without losing hope was my faith and relationship with the Lord. When things seemed hopeless or I questioned why me, I often looked to a few key verses that helped me keep a positive attitude.
The verses are: Romans 5:3-4, Jeremiah 29:11, Joshua 1:9, Philippians 4: 6-7
The story of Job really resonated with me and changed my outlook on this entire infertility journey. What if God put this obstacle in my life because he knew I was strong enough to overcome it,  just like he allowed Job to endure such pain because he knew Job would stay strong in his faith no matter what the circumstances. What they says to me is I am a fighter who's strong will and determination won't let anything stop her from achieving her goals. It is almost a compliment from God that he knew I could handle this. It's funny that all the people I know who are infertile are some pretty fantastic ladies! Thanks for the compliment God!

What seemed like a horrible thing, has actually made me a stronger better woman who's faith and relationship with God has grown over the years. I know for a fact this had made me a better mother who appreciates my children more than I would have had it been that easy to get pregnant. I try my best to appreciate all the moments and when frustrated remember how badly I wanted this when struggling with infertility and to never take these babies for granted! I hope that everyone who is dealing with this will one day get to experience what it's like to be a mom, the best gift in the world! I hope this post can help just one person during their time of difficulty and know that you are not alone in this journey!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weston's 1st Birthday party

This weekend we celebrated one of my best friends son's 1st birthday. It is crazy to think in 3-5 years all of my good friends will most likely have kids and the birthday parties will take on a whole new meaning. The theme for the party was Wild Wild Weston. Delainey loved riding on the horses and feeding them. She had a good time playing with the other kids her age. Of course she made best friends with the 5 year old instead of the other 2 year olds, but she just loves older kids! Blakely just hung out and was passed around from person to person wanting to hold her. 
 The birthday boy!

Other fun things that happened this week was Blakely took her first bath and she loved it! Delainey did really good not splashing her or smothering her! Baths together is going to be my saving grace so I always know where my kiddies are vs. bathing one and letting the other roam the house! :) 
Delainey had a sleepover with Grammy & Pops on Friday night, so Dave & I (and of course B) could have a date night at Carrabbas. It was a very nice relaxing evening! 
Saturday after the party, Dave went out on the boat to fish so we just hung out at the house and then on Sunday we went to watch Dave play in his basketball league. It is just a rec league, but Delainey enjoyed watching Dad play. 

Also Delainey reached a milestone this past week, and has officially given up naps. I was dreading it because I love an hour of peace and quiet to do things or take a nap myself, but putting her to bed at night was a NIGHTMARE! I would have her in bed with stories and prayers over by 8:30 and she would play in her room, ask for things, pretty much do anything besides sleep for about 2 hours. She would go to sleep by 10:30-11. It was horrible. So I gave her the option of quiet time in her room instead of a nap. So she is still in her room playing/reading books for an hour so I still get some peace! I should have done this about 2 months ago! O well just in time for her 3rd birthday!

Here is a picture of me and Blakely snuggling during quiet time today! 

The countdown for birthdays has begun! David is in 9 days and Delainey is in 12 days! Time to go shopping :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Newborn Pictures Sneak Peek

Here is a preview of our pictures from Blakely's newborn shoot. I love them all! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recap of last week & Blakely's 2 week check up stats

Blakely's 2nd week of life was a busy one to say the least. There is no holding back with a newborn...we are doing the same things, it just takes longer to get out the door and more planning! Mom and Kelli were on spring break this week so we enjoyed lots of time by the pool, a day at the beach, some preschool, and some quality family time spent with Elizabeth and Paige who were in town from Wednesday to Sunday. 
Wednesday we skipped mom 2 mom and went to the beach with some friends. It was a gorgeous day!! 

Friday we had our newborn pictures in the morning and then that evening we went to Chick-fil-a for dinner and to Disney on Ice with D's bff Collins. Blakely even enjoyed the music! :)
D is getting real sassy with her new hand on her hip move:)

 The girls were mesmerized and kept waving hi to all of the characters! 

 Saturday we went to the beach with Emily, Liz, Paige and her friends and then had dinner at Gammoes.
Delainey got a little bit of a cold on Saturday so we are doing our best to try to keep her away from Blakely as much as we can (which is basically impossible!) She of course got me sick today too so we have just been hanging out at the house today watching lots of TV shows and movies.

We did go to Blakely's 2 week check up and she is a growing girl!
Height:  21 3/4 in - 90%
Weight: 8 lb 8 oz - 50%  (up 1 lb 9 oz from her last visit less than 2 weeks ago) woohoo!
Head: 14 1/4 in - 50%
She is starting to strain to poop like D did when she was little so we have to use a rectal thermometer every now and then to help her get it out. She also still has a clogged tear duct, but otherwise we are looking great! We are off to try our first real bath since her umbilical cord has fallen off!

Easter 2015

Once again a week overdue, but better late than never! We celebrated Easter last Sunday and had a great day! D loved opening her easter basket, as well as Blakely's basket. We carried on the family tradition of including in the basket some bathing suits, towels, and outdoor toys. 

Blakely was less than interested in the easter baskets as we woke her up to get ready for church. Church was a great message on God's grace and then we headed back to Grammy's for an egg hunt, swimming, and lunch.

Blakely is a week old here! 

After lunch, we headed home for naps and then went to Gammoe's for dinner. Dave's friend Brent and his wife Erica joined us from Atlanta so it was nice catching up with them. D also dyed easter eggs with Gammoe and did about 5 egg hunts for them. Which turned into her hiding them and everyone else having to find them. It was cute! We had a great Easter weekend!!