3 months of Olivia!

You can read previous updates here:

Olivia was 12 weeks old last Friday and will be 3 months old on Saturday.

Ironically enough, I started typing up this blog post while she is napping on me in the boba carrier after a VERY crappy night of sleep the night before and a very fussy day on Wednesday. Probably one of the worst we’ve had. On Tuesday night little miss was up every 1.5 hours and I got around 4 hours of sleep. Wednesday night was a bit better though and I’m finishing up typing this blog post on Thursday evening so we’ll see how Thursday night goes 🙂

Her adorable pouty face 🙂

So, since we last chatted at Olivia’s 10 week update she has once again changed so much! I was just reading through it and sadly her sleep has actually gotten worse, whomp whomp! Olivia was an absolutely amazing newborn sleeper. She slept 4 hours in a row from the time she was born and slept 6 hours straight when she was 4 weeks old, but over the last few weeks her night time sleep has really been on the decline. I would say now she’s averaging more like 3.5 – 4 hour stretches on the regular with the occasional 5 – 5.5 hour stretch thrown in. I can’t even remember the last time she slept for 6 hours straight! And after the first longer stretch she’s up between every 1.5 – 2.5 hours. While we plan to sleep train, I believe 12 weeks is too young for sleep training so for right now I am trying to soothe her back to sleep in other ways than by feeding her as at 3 months old and almost 14 lbs she really does not need to eat every 1.5 – 2 hours overnight anymore. Starting with the least intervention (shushing her and not touching her) all the way up to picking her up and rocking her back to sleep. I lay her down drowsy but awake as much as I can but at night I just kind of want to put her in a deep sleep and be done with it so it’s hard!

Right now nighttime sleep is ~8pm to ~8am with anywhere from 2-5 wake ups in the 12 hour period (would love to get it consistently down to 2!) I am working on moving her bedtime back a bit to ~7:30pm. We don’t want it any earlier than that or else she would not be able to see Eric when he gets home from work.

Olivia sleeps in the crib in her own room now but is still sleeping in the baby nest my grandma made. She wears the Love to Dream 50/50 swaddle for night sleeping and is still being swaddled up during daytime naps, though she almost always breaks her little hands free. In the photo below I really didn’t mind that she’d broken her hand free since she was using it to hold her pacifier in 😉 Saves mommy from replacing it multiple times!

I am still following a schedule of trying to get her down for a nap ever 1.5 hours of awake time. Her naps are actually pretty great. Almost all of her naps are in her crib and she will usually have one long nap of 1.5 – 2 hours per day. The other naps are in the 45 minute range. She usually still has one nap per day where I am baby wearing her.

Over the last couple of weeks Olivia has started smiling SO much. She also has started really interacting with us. For example, the other day I was holding her on my lap facing me after she ate and she would smile and make a little grunt and I would throw my head back and laugh, as soon as I brought my face back down and made eye contact with her she would do it again. I even tested her and kept my head back longer and she didn’t make the smile/noise again until I looked at her. So cute.

She is also reaching and grabbing for more and more of her toys and kicking her little feet like crazy! I am sure she is going to be grabbing her feet with her hands very soon.

Two big milestone things that happened over the last couple of weeks is Olivia rolled from her tummy onto her back twice (both times when naked – she only seems to enjoy tummy time if she is naked ha ha) and she also laughed for the first time when I went to get her up after her afternoon nap the other day. It was hands down the most amazing thing I have witnessed so far as a parent. Baby giggles are THE BEST.

She has outgrown her baby bathtub and so far baths in the big tub have not been her favourite. We’re going to keep trying though and hopefully soon she will love baths in the big tub just as much as she loved baths in her baby bath. Stay tuned!

Also, Olivia had her first two visits to the chiropractor! She didn’t really like the adjustments themselves very much BUT they did help her go poop after 2 days of being constipated. I know breastfed babies can go several days without pooping, but I just don’t think that can be very comfortable and I think she was quite uncomfortable based on how she was acting so I’m glad the chiropractor got things moving.

I plan to write a separate post about maternity leave and how being at home has been for me mentally and emotionally, however I will say that even though some days are very very hard, and I struggle with the lack of structure, I am still incredibly grateful for the 12 months of (partially paid!) maternity leave I get. I literally could not even fathom being back at work right now with our current sleep and also I couldn’t imagine having her in daycare full time right now. I am so grateful I get this very special time with my girl.

Olivia weighed 13 lbs 6.4oz just after hitting 12 weeks. She was in the 97th percentile when born but has now seemed to even out to a more ‘average’ size for her age.

She is one well accessorized babe thanks to her crafty Great-Grandma (GG). Shoes, hat and bib all courtesy of GG. 

She is an absolute joy and lights up our life. No matter how hard of a day we have, I never ever forget how lucky we are to have her. We love her so very much!

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Our Infertility Story

I tried to write this blog post several times over the last 10ish months and also wrote it in my head at least a million times. But I just couldn’t bring myself to share it until I had my baby in my arms. A part of me still didn’t believe that we were really getting a baby after all we went through even after seeing her on the ultrasound machine and feeling her move. Even as my belly grew bigger and bigger and bigger. Even when I went on maternity leave from work for a year.

But now I’ve had a sweet sweet baby girl in my arms for 12 weeks and sometimes I still have to squeeze my eyes shut super tight and wonder if this is real or not. But I finally feel ready to share this story. 

And, today (February 19) is also the one year anniversary of our IUI procedure which gave us Olivia, so it seemed like the right day to finally share this. 

**

In January 2015, after 10 years, I stopped taking birth control. We weren’t quite ready to start trying for our family yet, but I wanted my body to get ready. As some of you may remember we went on an amazing trip to Maui in April 2015 and that is when we officially started trying.

Since stopping my birth control in January I hadn’t had a cycle. However, we knew that sometimes it takes the body time to get regulated, especially after so long on birth control. We were trying to be patient. In May of that year I started having other symptoms – terrible hot flashes and night sweats. Basically like I was going through menopause. It was awful.

After multiple visits to my family doctor and blood tests to try and figure out what was going on I was referred to an OBGYN in the fall of 2015. The OB sent me for MORE blood tests and in November 2015 I was given the diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) and referred to the fertility clinic in Kelowna. The way they come up with this diagnosis is based on hormone levels. My FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) levels were at post-menopausal levels.

We were still living in Kamloops at this point so this clinic was about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive away from us. We were referred in November 2015 and had our first appointment at the end of January 2016, at that point they tested my AMH (Anti-Mullerin Hormone) level, which gives an estimate of remaining egg supply. A normal range is 1.5-4 and my number was 0.08. Translation: at the ripe ‘old’ age of 27 I had very, very, very few eggs.

The recommendation from the fertility clinic was to move directly to donor eggs. They didn’t believe there was any point in even trying with my own eggs.

I’m sure you can imagine how devastating this news was. We decided to take a few months to process. Only a month after this appointment an amazing career opportunity was presented to me and we decided to make a big move. The fertility stuff was placed on the back burner for awhile.

During the summer of 2016 we were finally ready to start trying and I started my first cycle of medications with the goal of trying an IUI. After 6 days of injections my hormone levels indicated that nothing was happening so we canceled the cycle. Well, 12 days after my last injection my body was showing signs of ovulation and I got blood work done and sure enough the tests indicated my body was recruiting follicles and about to ovulate.

This seemed promising so we headed into another round of medications right off that cycle. However, my doctor was pretty sure the high estrogen / cycle starting so late after stopping the medications was just a coincidence. And sure enough, after another round of medications my estrogen was still super low and our second cycle was canceled.

At this point we decided to take a break and regroup. I requested a referral to a clinic in Vancouver. The Medical Director at this clinic is one of the most renowned IVF doctors in Canada. I was so excited and felt sure she would be able to help me. I was putting all my eggs in one basket (pun intended).

After waiting over the month for a phone consult I ended up devastated. Once she heard my very high FSH numbers I was basically written off. I was told that no amount of drugs could make my body make an egg and when I told her about success stories I had read and heard about online she said they were hard to believe… I remember I ended that call feeling so defeated.

This was in early October and I spent about a month moping. Mid-November I had a skype appointment with my old doctor from Kelowna and they agreed to try one round of IVF with me. It would begin in February as I wanted to spend the next 3 months taking my vitamins and getting my body as healthy as possible. I have a whole list of vitamins and supplements I was taking daily after doing lots and lots of research. I won’t list them all here but if anyone reading this post is in a similar situation and wants to know just leave me a comment and I’ll email you directly 🙂

I tried to put the infertility stuff we were dealing with out of my mind for those three months and just enjoy life. In December we traveled to Kauai, Hawaii for Christmas. While it was a wonderful holiday it was definitely tainted with sadness. I had decided that I would make this one last attempt to get pregnant with my own eggs and if it didn’t work I would spend the rest of 2017 saving money and getting in the mindset to move forward with donor eggs.

When we returned from Kauai I went on the Whole 30 program (to this day I have no clue if this had anything to do with us conceiving or not, but I think it’s important to note that I followed Whole30 strictly from January 9 – February 9, 2017). On January 24, out of the blue, I got a cycle on my own.

After 11.5 days of injecting myself with hormone medication four times per day my estrogen was still extremely low and the cycle was canceled. I was heartbroken but ready to move on. I did ask to go for follow-up blood work one week later just to see what was happening considering what had happened the previous summer. My doctor seemed skeptical, but agreed.

One week after my last injection I went for blood work. I remember I almost skipped it. What was the point? But I went anyways just to close the final door on this journey. Because of living in a remote community my clinic didn’t receive the results until the next day. What do you know – my estrogen was high. High enough to indicate my body was creating a follicle. I made plans to travel to Kelowna. The next day I used an at-home ovulation kit (one of the fancy, expensive ones) and it indicated that my body was at ‘peak ovulation’. Eric and I flew down to Kelowna at the last minute and spent the weekend in a hotel.

It turned out I had one follicle. And it wasn’t even that big – only 16 mm. I still remember when I ovulated because I felt some cramping in my right side that night. The next day the follicle had collapsed and they told us we could do the IUI if we wanted but they weren’t sure it would work. We opted to do it, we’d already spent so much money traveling down there and on all the medications, what was an extra $400 for the procedure?

I spent the next two weeks in agony waiting for the day I would go for my beta test. I was scheduled to go on Tuesday, March 6 and that Sunday night I couldn’t wait any longer so I dug out an old home pregnancy test I’d had from when we very first started trying.

I started shaking when I got a positive. I continued to be on edge for the entire first trimester and most of the second. As mentioned above, I honestly had trouble believing it was happening until I held our baby in my arms.

That small follicle became our healthy baby girl. Against all the odds, it worked. I still can hardly believe it myself.

The total cost of conceiving our baby (including the first two failed cycles and all costs associated with travel i.e. plane tickets, meals, hotel, car rental etc.) was just shy of $12,000. Luckily our extended health benefit plans through work covered the almost $6,000 worth of medications. The other half was travel, procedures and appointments and was paid for out of pocket because as great as our healthcare is in some ways, it does not cover appointments or procedures related to infertility.

So today is Olivia’s day. One year ago today, against all odds, she was conceived. And I will spend the entire day feeling immensely grateful for that.

She is perfect.

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10 weeks of Olivia!

You can read previous updates here:

On Friday Olivia was 10 weeks old. It truly amazes me how quickly the past 10 weeks have gone. It feels like it was November and we were waiting for her to be born just yesterday. Never in my life has time flown by so quickly. It’s true what they say, the days are sometimes (often!) long but the years are so short.

She has changed a lot since my last update. We are now on somewhat of a schedule as she goes down for a nap every 1.5 hours during the day. At night she is still sleeping for 4 – 5 hour stretches with the occasional 6 hour stretch thrown in there. She is doing almost all of her napping in her crib now, except for usually 1 nap per day where I baby wear her. I already miss those hours snuggled on the couch with her on my chest as she doesn’t really nap like that anymore.

She is the happiest little girl. Always smiling and talking. She knows what she wants, and when she’s not getting what she wants she lets you know loud and clear but 95% of the time she is extremely happy and content. The above photo was taken when she woke up from a nap. Girl loves her sleep and is so happy after! I don’t blame her 🙂

Our days all kind of blur together right now. With the winter weather it’s been very cold and snowy so we don’t really venture out much other than for our walks at the indoor walking track. We go about 4 – 5 times per week. We’ve also started going on Tuesday’s with a group of moms who had their babies between August – November, so it’s been super fun to get to know them and their little ones!

We get lots of compliments on the matching toques my grandma made us 🙂

Olivia is now very awake and very alert! She doesn’t really nap anywhere other than at home, in the baby carrier or in the car seat when the car is moving. When out and about there is too much to see! She won’t even nap in the stroller at the track anymore. She still sleeps in a bassinet beside our bed at night but all of her daytime naps are in her crib and we’ll be getting ready to transition her to her crib at night very soon.

She has started reaching for toys and she did grab a toy and move it around for the first time this weekend. She also rolled from her back to her side for the first time in the last couple of weeks.

Olivia loves it when her daddy comes home from work and proceeds to “talk” to him for 10-15 minutes to tell him all about her day. Her babbling and goo’s and gurgles are SO CUTE.

Her favourite time of the day is still bath time. This little girl is so happy when she’s in a warm bath. We are trying to establish somewhat of a bedtime routine that looks like this: bathtime, visit with her daddy when he gets home from work, eat, get snuggled in for sleep. We try to have her down by 8:30 – 9pm however the last few days she’s been going to bed later again due to being in her third leap.

At 2 months old Olivia had her first round of immunizations and took them like a champ. She was more mad than anything! I tried to nurse her through them but by the third needle she was screaming so hard with a bright red little tomato face that nursing wasn’t happening. It was definitely her MAD scream though and she calmed down soon afterwards. Can you blame her?!

Tummy time is still not a favourite so I have started propping her up on the boppy or breastfeeding pillow for tummy time. She seems to prefer that. She has a pretty strong little neck and has been able to kind of hold it up ever since she was born – another benefit of a big baby!!

We are still a huge fan of baby wearing. Especially for those fussy evening hours. She usually has at least one nap per day in the carrier. The boba wrap is still our favourite for around the house while the Ergo 360 (pictured up above) is our favourite for walks at the track or outdoors (when it’s warm enough).

She’s started doing this thing where she sticks her left fist up in the air in her sleep. It’s pretty adorable and hilarious!

This cool dude also got some sunglasses recently as mommy and daddy are in serious talks about a sunny vacation this year so we wanted to get her used to them! Also, it can be VERY bright here on sunny winter days with all the white snow. She doesn’t love them but usually will tolerate them after whining for a bit when they first go on.

Ohhh, and I will spare you a picture of this… BUT the poop explosions are back!! We dealt with these a bit when she was only 1 – 2 weeks old and between newborn and size 1 diapers. She was in between 1 and 2 for a bit there which seemed to result in a poop explosion almost every day. She’s now fully transitioned to size 2 diapers and the poop explosions do seem to be less frequent. We’ve also tried Pampers, Costco diapers and Huggies and the brand doesn’t really seem to make a difference.

Stats:

Weight & Height 

Olivia weighs right around the 12.5 lbs mark and is 57 cm (22 inches) long. I’m not entirely sure on her weight because when we weighed her before her 2 month immunizations she was 12 lbs 12 oz but was wearing a light sleeper, a onesie and a diaper. We weighed her at home naked a few days later and she was 12 lbs 3 oz.

So even though she was a very big baby when born her weight really seems to have evened out!

Sleeping 

Around 9 weeks we started following a schedule of going down for a nap every 1.5 hours and eating ever 2.5 – 3 hours and it’s been working out very well! She is still being exclusively breast fed. At night Olivia will sleep for 4 – 5 hours stretches regularly and occasionally 6 hours. Her record sleep is 7 hours straight the night after she got her shots!

After not filling out a single thing in her baby book I’ve decided to try and make an online baby book and spent a good chunk of her naps yesterday organizing my google photos.

Any suggestions for a good place to make online photo albums where I can also add notes/information like a baby book?? 

We are so lucky to have such a happy and sweet little girl. We love her so!

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