Tag Archives: formula

Rachel 9 Months

I’m not sure where the time has gone this summer.  I’m a bit behind (what’s new?), but Rachel turned 9 months old two weeks ago!

Man, oh man.  She is SO fun right now. She figured out how to crawl and is enjoying perusing the entire house at her leisure. I found her today playing with the broom in the laundry room, and sitting on her knees in her room while she fiddled with the garbage can sitting on the lower part of her changing table. Apparently we aren’t as baby-proofed as we used to be with Josh. Either that or she just loves to explore more!

She is my cuddly baby, who loves to be near me. Whenever I scoop her up, her arms fly around my neck faster than I can say “Hi!” (She then proceeds to pull my hair or pinch my cheek, but whatever.)


We went to Six Flags Discovery Kinddom a few days ago and left Josh with his Aunty and Uncle. But Rachel came along with us (as well as my nephews and their grandparents). We almost didn’t have room for her in the stroller, but we managed to fit her in. 😉


I wasn’t sure how it would go, but she did great. Slept and ate on cue, even. I’m not sure she even cried while at the park. I brought a quilt and found a (relatively) quiet spot so that I could nurse her and let her crawl around.


It would seem I only have toys for big brother in my diaper bag right now. She really doesn’t mind…



After her nap I couldn’t pass up taking a picture of her hair. Kind of hard to see in the photo. But it was cute.


Speaking of hair, I tried to get a clip in her hair the other day. As you can see, it’s not really my specialty. I put her down for a nap and forgot about the clip until I went to get her up and realized that it was missing. After a moment of panicking (the girl loves to put everything in her mouth) I thankfully found it underneath her crib. After Josh’s bean-up-the-nose experience, I’m a little nervous.


Grandma had to crochet her a smaller blankie a few weeks ago because her other blankie was pretty big and she kept rolling around in it during her naps until she was caught up in it really tight like a cocoon. This smaller blankie has done the trick and she hasn’t been getting stuck in it.


My youngest nephew (pictured after this next picture) loves to play with Rachel and the other day I had to decline his request to hold her (probably because I was too busy with other things and unable to sit with him). So he dressed up Rachel instead. As you can tell, she wasn’t very amused.


He isn’t always denied his requests to hold her…


All my nephews just love her so much. They love Josh as well and play with him tirelessly. It’s such a joy to watch!


Rachel with her Aunty. She’ll be incredibly different when they see each other again in a few years (*sniff sniff*).


With Grandpa in the swing. Rachel’s pretty much up for anything these days. She was enjoying this more than I was able to capture in the picture!



An update on weaning her: It didn’t happen. My mom came for two days in a row and I left with Josh and just let my mom keep offering her the bottle, sippy cup, or whatever she wouldn’t refuse. By the end of the second day she wasn’t taking anything or even opening her mouth. It. Was. Stressful. And oh, the look Rachel gave me when I walked in the door at the end of those days! She looked so betrayed. Since I was still able to nurse her, I wasn’t at a point where I wanted to let her starve for a few days until she gave in and took the formula. So we picked back up where we left off. It hasn’t been so bad… she’s sleeping through the night and nursing 5-6 times a day. But I do look forward to transitioning her to cow’s milk at a year old.

9 month stats: 17#4oz. 27 1/4 inches at her last drs appt. Just moved into size 4 diapers. Fits in 9 and 12 month clothes, although I keep squeezing her into 6 month clothes because I just don’t have a ton of bigger clothes. Loves solids, and eats 3-4 servings a day. Still not loving the sippy cup, but it’s offered to her (with water in it) with her solids. She has mastered picking up puffs and loves doing that. She is accepting most of mom’s homemade baby food! Hooray!

So thankful for this joyful little person God placed in our care! We love our Little Rachel! (Her Daddy started calling her this when she was tiny and it just sort of stuck, even though she’s not very ‘little’ anymore!).







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10 Months

Josh’s passed the 10 month mark a few weeks ago, so I figured I’d better get this update out before I forget what’s happened this month!

It’s been a busy month. My mom broke her leg and ended up needing surgery the same week to secure the broken bone. She’s able to hop around a little and even recently drove herself to work, but there are still many things she cannot do. So we’ve been making trips to my parents house to help out when we can.

All three of us got sick with a nasty cold earlier this month, and I think it hit me the hardest. It’s been over 3 weeks and I still have a sore throat. Josh got a nasty cough that lasted for about two weeks. Except for my sore throat we are all better, thankfully!

We also refinished two pieces of furniture, which was a blast! Check out my blog posts on the dresser and the coffee table makeovers if you’re interested.

This month, Josh has slowly been turning more and more into a toddler. (Mind you, he’s still not crawling, although he does this funny shuffle-crawl.) My easy going boy is a bit more demanding these days. He throws a mini tantrum whenever I take something away from him, and he waves his arms and squawks loudly when he is ‘displeased.’ When he’s in his walker, he’s a little maniac, running around and banging into walls, or racing off to something he knows he can’t touch (like the oven). It’s pretty amusing.

"Mom, why won't this door open?"

“Mom, why won’t this door open?”

We do in fact provide him with real toys. But loves the non-toys most. Like this nasty bulb syringe.

We do in fact provide him with real toys, but he loves the non-toys most. Like this nasty bulb syringe.

He still continues to have a longer attention span than me, and loves touching different textures. He’s been obsessed with that for several months now. He likes to see how things work. For instance, out of the huge pile of toys in the living room, his favorite thing is the clasp on a toy box we have. We find him lifting the latch up and down and inspecting it from all sorts of angles. And in his crib, there are these little silky ties that secure the crib bumpers to the crib. I’ve double and even triple knotted those things and he always finds a way to untie them.


And, as you can see from the picture below, he is not playing with the toy below but rather inspecting the bottom of it. I wonder if this kid is going to grow up to be a mechanical engineer or something?


His front top two teeth came in over the last month. Teething for Josh isn’t too awfully bad — a few doses of Tylenol or Ibuprofen here or there, but generally he tends to sleep and eat well through it. I’m really thankful for that!

You can kind of see his upper teeth here.

You can kind of see one of his upper teeth here.

He’s transitioned to wanting only almost all finger foods this week. I love it because (even if it is terribly messy) I don’t have to sit there and shove food in his mouth and he can eat it at his own pace. He loves it! He gets everything from quinoa to avocados to meatballs to bananas to fried eggs to cheerios. Overall I’m just glad he’s not a picky eater. If he’s fairly hungry, he’ll still let me spoon feed him baby food too. So we’ve got options, which is really nice.

Sometimes when the lighting looks good I'll go and grab my camera. This is just a random "good lighting" pic, nothing more.

Sometimes when the lighting looks good I’ll go and grab my camera. This is just a random “good lighting” pic.

There’s a measles epidemic in California right now which has me a little worried since Josh won’t be able to get his MMR until he’s a year old. The Measles is so incredibly contagious. There’s only a few cases in our area for now, and I’m hoping it stays that way!

I’m really looking forward to transitioning Josh to cow’s milk in a month or two. We are both really over formula. And he just doesn’t really like it — to the point where I really have to cajole him (translation: sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ over and over and over….) into taking enough to stay hydrated. He also doesn’t like water too much either, and will never take more than 1/2 oz at a time. He still has really wet diapers so I’m not worrying about it, but at the same time it would be nice if he just guzzled down his beverage for once!

Another reason he doesn't drink much water: The sippy cup is just SO INTERESTING and a huge distraction for him.

Another reason he doesn’t drink much water: Every sippy cup is just SO INTERESTING and a huge distraction for him.

He still naps pretty well, and takes two naps a day. He’ll nap anywhere from 1-3 hours a nap. His naps seems to be getting shorter later, which is nice. He goes to bed usually between 6:30-7 pm and wakes up between 7-7:30 am. And yes, I still give him a bottle every night. He usually guzzles down 6 oz. If only he drank more during the day…

All in all, things are going pretty well. We just love this little guy to pieces and love to watch him learn and grow.

Josh with my mom the first day she broke her leg.

Josh with my mom the first day she broke her leg.

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We Made it to 6 Months!

Josh turned 6 months old last week!

Life with an infant has gone from being incredibly hard (the first 6 weeks– COLIC!) to seeing some glimpses of hope for better sleep in the future (3-4 months) to now daily routines and schedules. Life finally feels like there is some cadence to it. Feeding times, naps, and night time have smoothed out tremendously in the last few weeks. I don’t know if this has to do with introducing solids (which happened at 5 months) or switching over to formula (which happened just prior to 6 months) or if it’s just that he’s 6 months now, and this is what babies do at 6 months. Whatever, the reason, I’m really enjoying these days (and especially the better sleep)!

Josh gets a bottle usually at 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm and right before bedtime–usually around 6:30-7 pm. He also gets a bottle in the middle of the night, which is anywhere from 1-4:30 am. I would try to cut that one out but he’s taking usually 5 oz, which tells me he’s hungry! I give him solids 3x/day, oatmeal (mixed with frozen breast milk), a veggie/meat combo for lunch, and a fruit/veggie combo at dinner. I space out his meals so that he’s getting solids in between his bottles. Lately I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect bib because the soft plastic ones I bought at Babies R Us just weren’t doing the job (I figure that if I have to change his outfit after he eats, the bib is failing us!). I ordered some silicone ones from Amazon; hopefully they’ll come soon and we can try them out.

Josh seems to be growing like a weed lately and just yesterday I noticed that he seemed to be taking up the entire changing table! When did that happen? He’s growing out of most of his 3-6 month clothes and his 6 month sleepers are getting tight. 9 month sleepers, I discovered, are still too big and he just lies in his crib (instead of sleeping) and chews on them since they’re so big. I need to get some 6-9 month sleepers soon.

He’s loving mainly his Jumparoo and walker right now. I’m really wanting to build a swing set in the back yard and put up one of those infant swings. We don’t have any swing-worthy trees in our smallish backyard, so last night I talked with hubby about building the swing set. We went outside and brainstormed for a while — we’ll have to remove a deck that we have (that is pretty much not doing anything other than threatening to rot) and clear out some rocks, but other than that I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to do (which is easy for me to say since it’ll be my husband doing most of it).

Josh’s other favorite thing to do is to read. He LOVES books! All kinds. I probably read to him about 20 books a day. I also have him lay on a blanket and play with a few toys while I read to him from an old chapter book written in the 1920’s called Milly-Molly-Mandy that my sister loaned me. I wasn’t sure if he’d like it but he looks at the pictures and listens quietly while I read a few chapters a day. What a kid. I was telling my mother in law that he’s definitely his father’s child — when I was young I could barely sit still for anything and just wanted to be outside running around and playing. My husband loved to be indoors reading whatever books he could get his hands on.

The best part of this 6 months stage is the better sleep. We put Josh down around 7 pm and usually don’t hear a peep out of him until the early/later morning. He rarely cries when I put him down, also. I’ve gotten more sleep in the last 2 weeks than I think I have in probably the first 3 months.

There are some things we are working on. We had a disastrous trip to the mountains a few weeks ago because Mr. Josh refused to sleep in his new port a crib. It was so bad that we just ended up packing up and coming home at 4 am! (Mainly due to me– I had only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before and hadn’t slept AT ALL that night = one wreck of a mama). So now I’m making him take naps in it. So far, so good. Soon I’ll be putting him in it at bedtime and I’ll alternate it with his crib for sleep at night. Maybe I’ll put the port a crib in different rooms of the house too so that he can really get used to being in different places during various times of the day.

He had his vaccines last Friday and I was so nervous that we were in for a horrible time after (like what happened after his 4 month vaccines–screaming for 2 hours no matter what we did, and WITH Tylenol on board). But when I asked the nurse giving the shots if there was a Rotovirus vaccine included, she said that he was all done with those. I had really felt that his discomfort before seemed to be gut-related, so I felt some hope at the time that he would do better this time. Surprisingly, he cried less than he ever had previously with vaccines, and was happy as a clam after. I panicked once at home and gave him Ibuprofen (which he can have now that he’s 6 months) even though he seemed fine — if you had been here after his 4 month vaccines you would understand! But there was no screaming for hours later on in the evening, and in fact he looked happier than ever. Hooray! He slept great that night also.

As far as growth percentages go, nothing’s really changed! 85% for head, 50% for height, and 15% for weight. As you can see below he really hated being on the cold scale when he got weighed at the Pediatrician’s office.



And here are a few more pictures. Please excuse the pacifiers. The kid drools about ten gallons a day, and having his pacifier in cuts down on the amount of bib and outfit changes I have to make due to sopping wet, drool-soaked clothes! Hope you enjoy the upcoming weekend!





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Moving Forward

It’s taken me a while to muster up the courage to write this blog post. For a while I’ve been thinking that maybe I just wanted to have a more private life, and that I didn’t really want to broadcast on this blog the latest, the greatest, the saddest or the baddest happening in my life. Maybe I should stop blogging altogether, I thought.

Looking back, I didn’t blog much (okay, actually not at all) before, during and after we went through IVF. At the time, I felt that I couldn’t. I was realized that this was mostly due to the crippling fear I had that it wouldn’t work.

But then the Lord gave us Josh. A blessing greater than I could have ever surmised.

Since I find myself wanting to retreat from this blog again, you might have guessed why: We’re headed towards a frozen embryo transfer (FET) soon.

It seems a little soon,” you might say. And as Josh is a handful of days away from turning 6 months old, you would be quite correct. It is early. We had hoped to wait longer, so that my body could have more time to recover and so that I could keep nursing Josh for at least a year. But things didn’t turn out as planned (when do they ever?). If you read my blog much, you might remember my post about never ending PMS symptoms. At the time I felt pregnant. For a month I had nausea, heartburn, fatigue, bloating, cramping, spotting… which finally resulted in my first postpartum period, 30 days later. I felt relieved, as it meant my month of PMS torture was finally over. But at the same time, my heart sank. I knew that it meant my (aggressive) endometriosis would be able rear it’s ugly head again, and conceivably soon. In the past, I’ve gotten endometriomas (chocolate cysts) in just two months. That’s right– in just two cycles I had been diagnosed with two endometriomas and scheduled for surgery. And since I’ve had surgery three times, I’m not into waiting it out  to see how it goes. I’ve got 4 other embryos to think about, and I don’t want to risk having to have a hysterectomy or having multiple surgeries that might impair their ability to implant and grow. Our IVF doctor, taking the aggressive nature of my endometriosis into consideration, thinks it’s a wise plan of action to do the FET soon.

The biggest downside to doing the embryo transfer soon is that I had to wean Josh. I found it quite an easy thing to talk about and a much harder thing to actually do. Now, before I go on, I must say that nursing Josh has not been an easy feat. I didn’t write about it on this blog, but I dealt with Josh’s tongue-tie, multiple block ducts, never ending milk blisters, a mastitis scare (basically fever, chills and body aches that self resolved), low milk supply, and lots and lots of Josh crying with frustration while nursing. Often times, I would cry too. Despite all of the hardships that came along with nursing, I found it unbelievably hard to give up. I planned to make it as non-traumatic as possible–starting with one bottle a day with something like 3/4 breast milk and 1/4 formula, while slowly adjusting the ratio over time so that it was only formula, and slowly substituting nursing with bottle feedings over the course of a month. But Josh would have none of it. By the third day of my “plan” (remember, my plans don’t work out very often) Josh was completely refusing the bottle, even if it was solely breast milk. So, I had to force the issue and had to wait it out until he was thirsty enough to A) take the bottle, and B) take the formula all by itself. I felt awful during this process and cried buckets of tears. It was also a hit to my body to go from nursing 6-7 times a day to not at all. Talk about dropping prolactin levels! I prayed and asked God to not let Josh go 3 days or something horrible like refusing the bottle and without fluids. And to my great relief, he didn’t! He actually didn’t go any great length of time at all. I nursed him Friday night (his last time nursing) and when he woke up crying at 4 am, I gave him a bottle with formula and he took 2-3 oz. He sucked it down and sat happily in my lap while doing so. Now he is really cuddly and even cries sometimes if I don’t get the bottle in his mouth fast enough, taking anywhere from 4-5 oz at a time. So, although things didn’t go according to my plan, they still went remarkably well and sped up the process much faster than I could have imagined. And for all my attempts over the past 6 months to give Josh a bottle here and there, and to give him formula occasionally — well, let’s just say that it was pretty much pointless in the end.

I’m not sure when the embryo transfer will be (probably in the next month or two?) but I covet your prayers. I’m surrounded by fears again — such as: What if I don’t get pregnant? Or if I do get pregnant: What if I have another incredibly painful pregnancy, this time with a toddler to care for also? What if it’s twins and I deliver prematurely? What if it’s twins and one of them dies? And on and on the worries can build. But it’s just another opportunity to seek the Lord, to ask for another child, to rest and to not spin these worries out of control. I have to look around me and see all that He has done, and how greatly I have been blessed!

And now that I have gotten over my initial fear by letting people know about our plans to do an embryo transfer soon, I will do my best to keep you updated. The hardest part about this is not getting pregnant and then having someone ask you about it. But conversely, there is the great joy in also telling an inquiring person that it worked and that you’re pregnant! We just don’t know what the Lord has in store for us. Either way, I’m counting on Him to carry us through it.

Thanks for praying!

And why not end with some happy pictures of our little guy? (The first two taken by my talented friend Katherine while I was over at her house.)

IMG_3206 IMG_3228 DSC_0067 DSC_0069


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First Two Weeks

We took Joshua to his new pediatrician yesterday for his two week check up and received the news: Joshua was up 12 oz from his birth weight! As a first time mommy who’s sort of unsure of her milk supply, this felt like a huge accomplishment. Sure, he felt a little chunkier and he was having tons of wet diapers, but it was nice to know for sure that all was going well in the feeding department.

This picture's kind of blurry and Joshua looks dramatic, but this was the only one we got of him on the scale.

Joshua being dramatic while being weighed. 😉

So here’s a recap of the last two weeks, starting with some of the drama that took place while still in our postpartum room at the hospital.

–Right after Joshua was born, his newborn nurse noticed right away that he was mildly tongue tied. We were very surprised to learn that because it’s hereditary and neither of us know anyone in our family that had it. I wasn’t sure how he would latch because of it and decided to keep an eye on it. From there on out, every time I fed him I called a lactation consultant or my nurse to come in and make sure that he looked like he was latching well. I did NOT want to go home uncertain of whether my baby could suck properly or not. Everyone seemed to think he was latching “ok” — but I had my doubts. Especially when he started crying non-stop and crying with nursing. I know colostrum only goes so far, but he seemed to be starving. By the second night I requested that the nurse bring me some formula so that I could see if he was able to suck the formula out of the bottle. And so began a major fight– it turns out that we were staying at a “breast feeding friendly” hospital and that formula is a big no-no. In fact, it’s viewed to be so incredibly evil that if you want to give your baby formula while at the hospital, you have to listen to your nurse educate you on the long list of evils about formula, you have to sign some sort of “waiver” AND the nurse has to call the pediatrician to get an order for the formula. The first nurse reassured me that my baby was doing fine and that we didn’t need formula, and that it was awful stuff, etc. So I listened to her and decided to wait it out. But then Joshua just got more and more unhappy, despite me try to feed him every two hours. I asked the next nurse on for formula and around the formula merry-go-round we went. Again I listened to the evils of formula and was just extremely annoyed and concerned for my baby. I told her I could have my husband run out and bring me some formula and there actually would be little that she could do about it! Then I requested that she check a blood sugar on my baby, because he had been jittery for quite a while. She obliged and his blood sugar was 49. I wasn’t impressed, and told her to do what she needed to do, but I wanted the formula. She left and miraculously, she had called her manager while she was out and got the whole formula protocol waived, meaning that I didn’t have to sign anything and didn’t need a silly order. She brought the formula in and I quickly discovered that no, my baby could not get the formula through the nipple without some significant cheek support. I didn’t want to jeopardize breast feeding too much, so I gave him a little formula– just enough to keep him happy.

–The next morning, the pediatrician came on and was discussing discharging Joshua that day. I had already received the “all clear” from my OB to go home as well. I passed along my concerns regarding his tongue tie and mentioned that he needed a lot of cheek support to get formula through the nipple of a bottle. She asked me how I knew about “cheek support” and I just said “Well, I’m a NICU nurse.” She immediately shot back “Well, he’s NOT a NICU baby.” I was pretty emotional at this point and was fighting back tears but I just felt defeated by the staff there. All I wanted was to prevent Joshua from having to be readmitted due to something like dehydration or jaundice. I sat down and felt like giving up but told her that I thought he should have his tongue clipped before being discharged. She went about her assessment and to my surprise, at the end she said, “Yes, I think he should have his tongue clipped. It’s a really fast and pretty painless procedure–should take 5-10 minutes. I have a few discharges to do but can be back here in an hour to do it.” I was so relieved to hear this, and frankly pretty amazed considering she had seemed so against anything I had said when she first walked in the door.

–An hour later, Joshua got wheeled away in his bassinet for his procedure. And yes, this new mommy totally cried a little! Joshua was back in our room no more than 6 minutes later, and was happy as a clam. I noticed that he could now stretch his tongue out much closer to his bottom lip, and felt much more hopeful that things would go well at home.

–We came home on a Wednesday afternoon, and my milk had still not come in. By Thursday I was pretty stressed about it, and pretty much an emotional wreck thanks to postpartum hormones dropping. I was crying over nothing, and it was SO annoying! But then Joshua’s wet diapers dropped off, and when he did have a tiny wet diaper, his urine was orange. I knew this meant he was dehydrated, so I would give him little bits of formula here and there to help him get through. At the same time I was having trouble getting him to latch properly and was just overall freaked out that I was sabotaging my milk ever coming in by giving him formula (yes, I was a total stress-case). By Thursday night he had a tiny bit of orange urine in his diaper and his eyes looked extremely jaundiced. I went into the bathroom and just started crying, because he was scheduled to see the pediatrician the next day and I was afraid he would tell me that Joshua needed formula or that his bilirubin level was high. I cried out to God and asked that my milk come in. Yes, I actually prayed that! And immediately after that– God answered my prayer and my milk came in!!! During that night I nursed Joshua all I could handle and he started to have yellow stool and more urine in his diaper. At the pediatrician’s the next day, he had dropped 5% of his weight, which they were happy with (I was elated!) and told me that he looked great! I rejoiced at the news and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

–Since then, both hubby and I have been trying to figure out how to get some sleep at night. I have to admit that I dread the night coming, especially if I haven’t slept much the night before (which is pretty much always the case). We have Joshua on a schedule, which he does great with during the day. At night time though, he’s not so interested in sleeping. I try to keep him up some during the daytime (in an attempt to get his days and nights switched) but his eyes are seriously so droopy and he nods off in nothing flat! Last night he was just really fussy in general and would only sleep for about 30 minutes before waking up crying. By 5 am I had gotten one broken up hour of sleep and I was one out of sorts mama… hoping and praying that tonight goes a little better.

–Sleep or no sleep, I am absolutely loving these days. Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work, but it’s so fun to get to know him and watch him grow. And watching my hubby with him is a real treat, as tonight he read Joshua a story (Joshua looked around the room and noticed everything except the book, I think!) and he tells him these long winded stories that Joshua will probably love in about three years. It makes me chuckle. I love it too when Joshua gets this pouty bottom lip that quivers when he’s starting to get upset… okay I know we shouldn’t laugh but it totally cracks us up!

Lastly, here are some newborn pictures my talented friend took of Joshua:








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