Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and post something. Since our trip to the Russian River in August, we spent a month in Canada – where Cam met Mike’s parents for the first time (!) and we were able to see some family and close friends. Mike’s parents flew back home with us and will be staying here until March. It’s a full house over here, complete with starting a bathroom renovation and trying to navigate life somewhat returning to normal after so many months of covid.
All of this to say, it’s been busyyy.
Excitedly, Grandparents staying with you means… built in BABYSITTERS! Mike and I were able to steal away just the two of us for the first time since before Cam was born. Whoo!
We took an ease-in approach to spending our first time away from Cam and booked one night at the Hotel Los Gatos, about 15 minutes away from our house. (This came at the great encouragement of our friends / neighbors who urged us to abort our original plan of staying at the hotel down the street from our home and stay somewhere a little nicer, with a little more distance, to disconnect more. Thanks, Ally & Rob!)
We checked in, dropped off our overnight bags, and walked to an amazing craft cocktail bar Soda Works (another recommendation from Ally actually – love good neighbors!). Here we indulged in boozy, bourbon-y drinks and a great charcuterie plate. Sharing an app and sipping on drinks brought me back to so many great vacations we’ve had (like Portland and Chicago and Sebastopol). Mike and I really thrive in trendy restaurants. 😉
Of course we hit up the hot tub when we got back; and even took a dip in the pool. Fall in November, folks – still warm enough to swim!
We had dinner reservations at the hotel restaurant Dio Deka, an upscale Mediterranean place. In true date date fashion, we spilt a bottle of wine; ordered and spilt spanakopita, lamb chops, orzo, and French fries. It was all so satisfying and delicious, I almost didn’t noticed the 2.5 hours (!!) we were there. Albeit a little longer than I prefer for dinner, I’m glad we dined here as it came highly recommended.
Being new(ish) parents, we were the most excited about sleeping in!!!! After dinner, we lasted for exactly 5 minutes watching a Friends rerun before crashing …ONLY to wake up a few hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Waaaahhh. My well-rested dreams were dashed. I think I finally fell asleep again around 3:30am, only to wake up just before 6am. What?! I refused to get out of bed that early when I didn’t have Cam there commanding my attention and needing blueberries and waffles. Mercifully I was able to get a bit more sleep (until 9am, which is basically 1pm in “non-parent time”).
We had a lavish morning of coffees and breakfast sandwiches by the pool, and then another soak in the hot tub. It was so.glorious. and the perfect end to our first time away from Cam. Not surprisedly, we missed our little guy and were happy to return home for snuggles and love.
I generally find it hard to believe that a year and some change ago I was preparing for a c-section to meet our little Camaroni.
This post rounds out a year of Cam updates on my blog; his first 365 days documented here every 3 months or so. In a way, these posts have been how people have gotten to know him. They have served a dual purpose: an artifact for us and a close to real-time way for friends and family to read about what Cam is like.
March 2020 will always be a standout month for us. It is the month we became parents. Of course it is also a time that bears significance for the world…
Life is (still) different from what we were used to. And because of that, Cam’s first Christmas was just the 3 of us. I can explain it as wonderfully weird. Weird because we didn’t imagine friends and family being physically absent during Baby’s First Christmas. Wonderful because … it was Baby’s First Christmas! We managed to incorporate a few family traditions while also sampling new tastes for the holiday.
You know we had to get matching jams to sleep and wake up in on 12/25. I remember my sister and I opening new jams on Christmas Eve (matching before it was trendy, mind you) so there were sweet ties to the past doing this with Cam. Mike and I also prepped his mom’s famous Land of Nod bread to bake for breakfast.
In a pandemic plot twist, we were actually able to join a tradition we typically miss. Most years we are in Canada for Christmas and I miss opening presents with my stepdad’s family on Christmas Eve. In 2020 though, everyone was virtual. (I might need the family to set up a computer for me to join from afar in the years to come.:) Cam was spoiled with sweet gifts while Mike and I indulged in a charcuterie.
Christmas charcuterie!!!? Sounds like a new tradition to me.
On Christmas we woke up and opened more gifts, munching on Land of Nod and sipping coffee. Of course this was all before 9am because kids wake up so early! Hah. The next few days were spent cozied up watching Christmas movies (all THREE of The Santa Claus movies in rotation), getting endless Cam cuddles, and generally enjoying the magic of the holidays with a little one.
Excitedly Cam was able to meet his cousins a few days later (!!!) when Mike’s sister and her family had an overnight layover in San Francisco en route to Melbourne. We met them outside and stay distanced at a park near their hotel. What a strange time. Overall we were grateful that we at least got to see them but it was hard when Ella wanted to hold and play with her baby cousin and she couldn’t. How do you really explain what a pandemic is to kids? Waaaah.
Over the holidays, Cam was waking up almost every night around 8pm. What!? Since we didn’t have work the next morning, we broke the Parenting Rules and let him come downstairs to watch movies with us but we knew the habit couldn’t last.
It turns out he had outgrown his early 5pm/5:30pm bedtime and could hang for about an hour longer. Since then he’s stuck to a mostly consistent schedule of waking up between 6am – 7am, taking his first nap 2 hours later (between 8 – 9am) for about an hour and then his second/last nap 3 hours after (between 12pm – 1pm). He goes to sleep for the night 4 hours after he wakes up from his last nap, which is typically around 6pm. I love having him awake for the extra hour because it’s usually the only time all 3 of us spend together (aside from the weekends). It’s actually hard to imagine life pre-pandemic and how long day care/office hours were. If Cam went to day care – like we had planned before covid – I would have dropped him off at 7am and picked him up around 5pm; leaving about one hour to spend with him all day. The positives of the pandemic are very few and far between but spending so much time with Cam is at the top of our list. (I think I write that in all of these updates.)
We had some really nice weather in the early part of the year – even by California standards – and were able to walk to a local park and have a few picnics. Soaking up the sun on a sprawling blanket? Count me in every time. And twice on Sundays when it includes a trip to the Farmer’s Market for pastries (which has become a family favorite).
Cam experienced his first Inauguration Day and, whew, what a slice of history. Obviously he didn’t know what was going on but it was a really emotional day for me. Such hope for his future and our country. God bless!
Around this time, Cam also discovered we have stairs. He LOVES to climb on everything. Mike’s parents (Nannie & Grandpy) got him a kid-sized chair that he scurries up on – smiles huge at us like “look at me being so big and the cutest ever” – and tries to get up on the couch.
Cam has a few party tricks now. My favorite being when we say “YAAAAAY!” he starts aggressively clapping. He takes clapping very seriously and has the look of pure determination in his eyes as he slaps his little baby hands together.
It tickles me that we don’t even call it clapping though… I will literally say to him, “can you do ‘yay?'” and that is his cue.
Ya know how they say you learn what your babies different cries mean? Cam doesn’t really cry that much but he does his “baby grunts” and we (kind of) know what each one means. There is the low, throaty excited grunt. And his quick, almost squawk like I-want-this-grunt. He also sometimes just shouts really loud but closes his eye when he does it. Like he knows, this is going to be real loud and I’m ready for it.
Recently he’s added pounding the floor with both hands and making …gorilla noises? to his lofty hand gestures. Mike and I often join in the pounding which cracks him up, and then, in turn, makes us laugh.
Since we’re still working from home, we decided to unconventionally hang a swing for him in our room. Under other circumstances, it would have gone outside but sometimes when we’re double booked for meetings, we need to put Cam somewhere that he can’t really move from – and that he enjoys so our colleagues don’t hear him cry (or frustrated grunt) while we are trying to present. Luckily Cam loves the swing and it dose the trick every time. He’s joined many Upwork meetings swinging peacefully behind me.
Aside from swings, Cam loves; Trash Truck on Netflix, goat cheese (still), watermelon, pureed soups or food with a bit of spice to them, playing with cars and trains (complete with the “buuurrrrummm” sound), typing on dad’s keyboard, mom’s snuggles and silly antics, being INDEPENDENT, bath time, and going on walks, especially if there is a pitstop at the parks for a ride in the “outside” swings.
Recently, Cam went from his signature army crawl to mastering the regular, on all fours crawl, after lots of practice with my mom. He has started to pull himself up on everything and has done a few seconds of free standing but isn’t quite walking. He likes books but is a speed reader so you have to talk fast.
Cam continues to be a good sleeper, aside from a 6-7 day rebellious stint he played where he would immediately pull himself up to standing the second we put him in his crib and start crying and crying. It seemed to come on out of nowhere and gave me a good scare that my easy sleeper had vanished. Luckily he’s back into his regular good-sleeping grove, more or less. I have a theory that he sleeps way better if we give him a big portion of oatmeal for dinner… Keep the oats in full stock over here!
He’s just the happiest, sweetest little baby and I feel like the luckiest person to be his mom. I love you.
Cam is 9 months old! Christmas is in 5 days! An hour might feel long but, stacked up, they are flying by.
Nine months seems big because he’s now spent as much time “outside” as he did growing inside me. 18 months of knowing this little guy. ♡
Cam has changed so much since my last post. Around 6 months old he started sitting up fully all by himself. I don’t know why but it is sooooo cute to see him sitting up. He seems so small and so big at the same time.
His 2 bottom teeth also officially cut through, which are – you guessed it – adorable! I feel like I am waiting every day for the next ones to come in but nothing more yet.
In early October, we celebrated our first Canadian Thanksgiving with Cam. Since 2013 we’ve gotten together with friends to drink Canadian beer and eat poutine. It’s usually a big event; last year we even told everyone I was pregnant during Canadian Thanksgiving because so many of our friends are in the same place at once. Of course, because of COVID, this year was a much smaller gathering. We only had 2 friends and their little one over so we could all sit outside, far apart. Nonetheless it was still really nice to spend an afternoon with friends.
The other big event in October was obviously baby’s first Halloween! Cam had 4 (!) outfit changes that day to squeeze in all of his cute Halloween wear and his costume. We were able to keep up with another loved tradition this year and had my uncle, aunt, and cousins over for pumpkin carving; which marked our 10th year doing so!! I loveeee traditions and was really glad we were able to keep this one alive. And it was relatively covid friendly being that we all stay outdoors, 6 feet apart, and wore masks. I’m also happy that Cam was able to get in on the action. He loved playing with some of the carving tools.
In a year that has taken a lot from us, Halloween was a really special day. Not only did we get to spend time with my family and keep at least one tradition alive through 2020… but we also created a new (hopefully) lasting tradition with our neighbors. We live in a little tucked away cove and decided as a community to go all out for Halloween. There are only 5 kiddos on the street so we figured why not make it really special for them? Neighbors decorated houses and cars and created the best goodie bags that were all left outside for socially distant pick ups. After trick or treating – which, side note, score for me and Mike since Cam is too young to eat any treats – a bunch of us grabbed camping chairs and sat in a giant circle outside. This was only our 2nd Halloween in this house but I guess no one has really done anything in the past. Well, not anymore! Everyone kept commenting about how much fun the evening was and how we plan to go all out every year. What a sliver (and chocolate?) lining in a hard year – a new festive tradition with neighbors!
Oh and Camden was an avocado; Mike and I? his toast escorts. A fun, simple, (last minute…) family costume.
It’s crazy what a slower pace of life we’re experiencing now. This year has really taught us to savor moments, which is particularly fitting and sweet with a little babe. We started a Sunday ritual of grabbing coffees and going to pick up pastries at our favorite place. With yummy morning treats in hand, we stroll down the still-quiet streets of a downtown area to a section that has been blocked off and scattered with Adirondack chairs.
After disinfecting the chairs, we take Cam out of the stroller, bundle him up in a blanket, and enjoy our breakfast with him snuggled in one of our laps. It’s something that we probably would have taken for granted in life before COVID… but given the time and the limit of things you can safely do outside your house, it’s become something really nice to look forward to doing together.
When Cam was about 7 months he decided he was DONE sitting in his bassinet in the stroller. We upgraded him to another seat attachment where he can sit more up right and he loves looking around at the world. He usually takes a morning walk with dad and an afternoon walk with mom, cozied up with blankets and tagalong plush toys.
A bigger development around this time was the 3rd nap drop. Dunnn-dun-DUNNNNN….
Seemingly overnight he wouldn’t fall asleep during his last ~2:30pm nap. “Should we drop it?” Mike and I nervously asked each other. Listen, Cam has never been the best napper – if we get an hour from him, we’re congratulating him (and ourselves) – but to lose a nap altogether, while we are both working full-time from home with him sounded stress inducing. Luckily my mom, who comes down 3x/week to help us, was able to adjust and stay longer on these days. Whew. Truth be told, Cam sometimes has slightly better naps now that he is down to 2 a day. So…. we’re managing. Also, THANKS MOM!
We also discovered that Cam HATES formula. Like don’t even get it near him. My milk supply took a random dip in the beginning of November and, since Cam was over 6 months, we decided to introduce formula to him. LOLOLOLOOOOLLLL If only it were that easy. I had NO idea your baby might not like formula. Nipple confusion? Not taking a bottle? I heard about all of that. But no one told me, “oh hey you know how they say breast is best and not to give your baby anything but it for the first 6 months? well they might not like anything.else. after those 6 months of exclusively being breastfed, soooo, good luck!”
Ugh. Luckily after a hard week where Cam basically starved himself before drinking a sip of formula, my supply made a comeback. We’ve been going pretty steady since – aside from a day or two where it seems low – so I am just hoping we can make it until he is a year, when he can have regular milk.
Which, speaking of dairy, we discovered Cam loves goat cheese! And basically anything else that isn’t baby food. Because of the cooler weather, we’ve been having a lot of soup and Cam will happily slurp down broth while scoffing at baby food. He also LOVES water and drinks out of these cute doggy sip cups our neighbors gave us.
November was my birthday and, to celebrate, we took a Friday off from work and headed to the coast. We hit up a favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz (are you sensing a theme to what we love to do? Coffee + pastries all day every day) and walked along West Cliff. Ah, what a lovely day it was! The path wasn’t crowded. The weather wasn’t cold. Cam had fun watching the waves crash.
Although one of the funky things about COVID is having to use the restroom while you are out. I knew I would have to pee at some point but didn’t have a game plan for how to do that… LUCKILY we found a public restroom at a beach nearby and arrived right as they were unlocking the doors. We felt safe using it since we were the first ones there. I was also able to feed Cam in the car in a relatively secluded spot, which was nice.
After, we walked a bit more and then headed home via our favorite local BBQ spot to get lunch to eat by the fireplace. Cozy vibes all the way. Oh, and I also got a Biden WIN for my birthday, which was a pretty damn good gift.
For Cam’s 8 month birthday 🙂 we took him to a local park to go down a slide and on the swings for the first time. It doesn’t sound too extravagant of an afternoon but it was good fun for all of us. Cam loved the swing and would kick his little legs like he was walking when we pushed him. And for us, it’s always fun to see your baby try something new!
Thanksgiving was a small affair this year with only our “bubble.” Next year I hope the holidays are closer to what we’re used to them being – big, merry, celebrations with lots of family and friends; packed rooms, hug, and kisses! But until we can safely get to that point, we’re just so thankful to be spending the holidays with our little guy. He is such a happy, mellow, sweet baby.
Cam usually goes to bed very early but we had one night in early December, he squeezed in a late nap and we were able to take him out to see some neighborhood Christmas lights before his pushed-back bedtime. There is something magical about seeing the holidays through your baby’s eyes. I can’t wait to open presents with Cam on Christmas morning!!
I think the biggest thing to happen in the past 3 months is Cam scooting all around now! Just recently he’s picked up major speed and can army crawl across the living room in seconds. He is also a man on a mission when we are Facetiming family and he wants the iPad.
He also loves walking around in his walker and pulling dish towels down from their hanging spots.
He cracks up when I say “give me that baby back baby back baby back riiiib,” and pretend munch on his (baby back) ribs. Or if I say “give me that TURKEY THIGH!” and nibble his thigh. And it should be noted that I do all of this in the most animated, outrageous voices. What is it about babies that makes us all so magnificently weird?
I love signing to him the theme song to Somebody Feed Phil, one of my favorite shows, and curling up with him on his play mat while he explores toys and books. He is quick with the touch and feel reads, and knows where all of the textured things are – his tiny fingers quickly grabbing at them as we turn the pages. Daddy’s keyboard is another favorite, where he sits in Mike’s lap and types on a saved notepad reserved for him. So far he’s pasted in some actual code that Mike had copied to the clipboard and has spelled out a few words (all on accident, of course).
Cam is slow to smile for strangers but warms up and gives a cheeky little grin eventually. He seems particularly smitten with his aunt Wendy and always reserves a big smile for her when he sees her while video chatting. He loves his Go Go (my mom) and snuggles into her at the start of their days together.
Cam also likes to “wrestle” and we spend a lot of time on the couch or on our bed with him trying to attack/basically eat my face and me laughing/yelling/trying to escape those little jaws. He’s a belly sleeper. Most mornings we wake up to his fists cupped tightly around his crib like he is trying to break free, which makes me laugh.
He opens his mouth wide right when he sees his toothbrush or a syringe of Tylenol, if he is teething. He loves baths. He doesn’t like like getting dressed after them, though. Sometimes he thinks sneezes are funny. He always likes a good game of peak-a-boo but requires full commitment. No hiding behind your hands. You have to make a real effort and duck down behind something or it just isn’t fun.
Cam’s favorite toy of all time is “his cube” — which if you recognize the words, “the cube. is fun. for everyonnnneee,” you know… You know.
It is fun seeing his personality develop; what he loves and what he passes on. Overall he is just fun! I love spending time with him.
Cam turned 6 months last month and I can’t believe our baby is half a year old! You can read about his first 3 months here and here.
When Cam was around 3 months he became much more aware of objects and toys. He started grabbing for almost everything and eventually mastered switching things back and forth between his little hands but I can’t remember exactly when that started. One of his favorite things to look at was/is my morning cup of coffee. …Maybe he already knows the greatness of that black magic 😉 but probably just loves looking at all of the colors and swirls. Plus, he sees me with it everyday so is likely intrigued by that fact alone.
Cam also LOVES screens but I think all babies do? I had a theory that it is because he sees me and Mike on our phones often so he thinks, that must be fascinating! But Mike thinks it’s just because screens are interesting and we gravitate towards them. Either way, I try not to be on my phone around him too much. Mostly because I want to be present and in the moment but also because I’m sure there are better things for babies to be looking at!
Around 4 months we started a more strict bedtime routine, which was as follows:
bath (one of my favorite parts of the day! Cam is so calm and happy in there + Mike and I bathe him together most nights and we are completely enthralled by our perfect, happy, splashing baby)
get into jams and sleep sack
books with dad
feed with mom
Then sometimes I would walk around until he fell asleep and others times I would put him in his bassinet with a pacifier, hoping he was sleepy enough to fall asleep. This actually wasn’t all too bad until his pacifier popped out and he couldn’t put himself back to sleep without it. And yes, that typically happened in the middle of the night. Multiple times. I had to fish around his bassinet in the dark to find the pacifier and then try to find his mouth. It was exhausting. And I knew it wasn’t sustainable soooo at exactly 4.5 months, we sleep-trained Cam.
If I’m asked one piece of advice from new parents it will be this: sleep train your baby.
We decided to go with the extinction method, which is a bit controversial because it is basically letting your child cry themselves to sleep. I read a few books about sleep training before we started and my take was: it’s hard to let your baby cry it out but in the long run, it’s what is best for them. It is how babies learn to put themselves to sleep, which means parents also get the rest they need.
At this point, I was going back to work in 6 weeks and didn’t want to try to function on broken sleep. So, one Wednesday we decided it was time. We also went full on and took his pacifier away too. It was the hardest evening! Cam cried for just over an hour, loud screams with real tears. I had to sit outside for most of it, rereading the evidence that sleep-training does not emotionally scar your child.
Eventually he did fall asleep. And LUCKILY for us that was the worst of it. The next night he cried for about ~20 minutes, and on the third night he was already used to the drill. The next week he transitioned to his crib and we’ve been generally coasting in the sleep department ever since. YAY YAY YAY!
About a week before he turned 5 months he started rolling over from his back to his tummy like a pro. During the first days that he was mastering his new skill, both of our parents and my grandparents were able to see him roll over during our video chats. We would put the iPad behind Cam, up towards the corner of his mat when he was on his back and then the sounds of family encouragement got him to flip every time. It was so special for me to have my dad see him do this on our call because it’s almost impossible to get that man to commit to Factiming. 😉
Around this time Cam also decided he had opinions about our daily walks. Suddenly he wasn’t my sleepy baby on a walk, letting me venture out all the way to the park near by our house and back; about a 45 minute walk (the same walk I did multiple times a week with him when I was pregnant). He started crying and protesting being in the stroller, cutting our walks down to about 15 minutes. Occasionally I could do our normal loop, but it was hit or miss. And then wild fire season started aggressively early and the smoke kept us inside for the last 2 weeks of my maternity leave.
Cam is still breastfeeding and I’m realizing the time we spend in his rocking chair after feeds is really sweet. After eating, he sits on my lap and looks all around; grabbing for objects nearby or scratching the material of his rocking chair. I hold him up on my legs to practice standing. I talk to him and he coos back. He’s typically pretty happy because he’s full and well-rested after a nap.
I was most looking forward to Cam trying solids! So far he’s tried sweet potatoes, avocado, banana, carrots, a kale & pear combo, and winter squash. Surprisingly winter squash seems to be his favorite, although he isn’t entirely all to interested in food…
I went back to work right before Cam turned 6 months but because of COIVD, Mike and I are working from home and Cam isn’t in daycare. My mom comes down to watch him 3 days a week and we take shifts the other 2 days. It’s a mixup of shifts and scrambling to get things down during nap time but we’re getting better at it every week. As I know everyone can relate, we are ready for this pandemic to be put to an end… particularly so Cam can meet the rest of his family!
Here we are, 3 months since Cam was born! We are now officially out of the newborn stage. The saying “the days are long but the years are short” is already ringing true.
The world feels heavy right now. Devastatingly police brutality and systematic racism are major problems here in the States. And we are still dealing with the wrath of COVID. I am desperately grasping at thinking of this year as a cocoon year of sorts; 2020 feels stifling but I have to believe we will come out of it changed. For the better. (I’m looking at you, November.)
It’s weird because I’m simultaneously waiting for 2020 to be over but also relishing in these sweet months with Cam. I know this is a time I will reflect on and want back, despite how isolating and scary things might feel some days.
To be honest, I can’t help but feel jealous of moms who had their babies before COVID and got to experience a “normal” mat leave. If I’m not careful with my thoughts, my mind drifts to all of the things we are missing out on; like friends and family visiting (and helping!), weekend getaways, and even something as simple as going for a leisurely coffee as a family.
I am endlessly thankful for our health. And at least we have technology. Cam has continued to meet and chat with family either over Facetime or in person with masks and socially distancing. Here are some pictures we have for the baby book. What a crazy time!
(If you look closely in the background of photos taken in our house, you will notice we still have a fair bit of work to do as far as renovations go! We’ll get baseboards one day.)
Given COVID, we have still spent the majority of our time at home. Mike went back to work this past week so now it’s just me and Cam during the day. One of the few sliver linings of COIVD is that Mike is working from home so we get to see him a lot more than we would have if he was back in the office (ha!!! office life… seems like such a distant way of life now).
The day before Mike returned to work things got real wild and we drove to another trail to take a walk. We grabbed coffee/tea at Peet’s before parking and walking around Almaden Lake Park. The sun was shining, the trail was beautiful, kids were there playing soccer with masks on……..
Cam pretty much slept the whole time but it was so nice to get out and do something different.
Speaking of sleep, Cam is still a pretty good sleeper. We wake up between 1 – 2x/night. This seems solid for his age in my opinion. I’m still trucking away reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and if I massively reduce the ~300 pages I’ve read so far, it breaks down to the following:
The more sleep your baby gets, the more your baby will sleep. This might sound counterintuitive but the reasoning is that if your baby is overtired, they will have a difficult time falling asleep and go into “sleep debt,” which should be avoided that at all costs! Cam isn’t the best napper – often opting for 20 – 45 minute power naps 3 – 4 times a day – but he is a really good nighttime sleeper soooo small wins?
Another key point is an early bedtime (the author suggests really early like 6pm or 6:30pm) is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Sleep is compared to food, in the terms of you wouldn’t deprive your child of food when hungry and the same is true for sleep. Don’t deprive your child of sleep when they are tired! Basically be a good parent and put your child to bed EARLY. I agree with this in theory but in practice, we’ve found Cam does not go to sleep before ~8pm. If we try to put him down earlier, it is a nap and he’s up shortly after. I have heard counter advice to the early bedtime that says before 4 months, babies will fall asleep easier between 8pm – 10pm, so we’ve kept bedtime later for now.
Once you have an early bedtime established (ideally around 6 weeks but, as mentioned, this isn’t our story), you can start building in the scheduled mid-morning nap around 3-4 months, and then the mid-day nap. Eventually I will have to figure out how to get Cam on a better nap schedule…
Sleeping while in motion (in the car or a stroller) is “junk sleep” and can’t be counted as a decent nap. This is a downer but we’ve started putting Cam upstairs in his bassinet for naps now and, although they are short, at least he is (hopefully) getting good quality sleep.
Apparently the key to unlocking all of this sleep magic is to put your baby down when he is drowsy but still awake. Then, ideally, your baby might fuss for a few minutes but quickly self-soothe to sleep. It’s hit or miss if this works for us. Sometimes we catch Cam at that perfect point and he is able to put himself to sleep, other times he falls asleep nursing or while we are rocking him. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason! I hope to eventually get in more of a routine at bedtime so we can anticipate his sleep schedule better but, so far, we’re taking it day by day, nap by nap…
Extinction is what you have to do when you spoil your baby (probably like we are doing) and they don’t self-soothe. It is just letting your baby cry until they fall sleep. The author basically says “you shouldn’t feel bad about your baby crying themselves to sleep because you are allowing them to learn how to sleep well.” I try to remember this advice but so far we haven’t left Cam to cry longer than ~5 minutes and even that short amount of time was hard. We’ll see if we have to use the extinction method as we’ve been pretty passive on a sleep schedule. We agreed at 3 months, we’re cracking down though. Stay tuned…
What else? I started writing in a notebook that I will give to Cam one day. I only have a few entries so far, and I started it on a whim, but want to continue writing in it until he is at least one. Most of it is really just about how much I love him =) and what we did that day (which is a lot of the same thing because of COVID) but I still think it will be nice for him to have when he is older. I would love to have something to read from my parents about those early days.
We’ve started reading a lot more to him, and set up a little play area in our living room with his soft books and some toys. My mom-voice is probably so annoying for Mike to hear during these readings. Ha. Oh well! (I also love saying “oh Camaroniiiiii” in a pretty theatrical voice that I’m sure is only funny to Cam. Which is it. Btw. Funny. To Cam. He laughs when I do it. …Or he did, once;)
In other news, I’ve essentially given up on trying to enjoy any alcoholic beverage. Mike and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary (!) and I indulged in 2 cocktails, thinking the babe was sound asleep. Of course he woke up shortly after and was starving. It was stressful frantically defrosting bags of milk while trying to gauge how hungry he was and if we should pull another one out of the freezer. That instance plus having to do a lot of prework for a drink has lead me to the conclusion that it is basically not worth it at this juncture. I keep saying a glass of wine is meant to be enjoyed, not to be a source of stress where you are constantly checking the clock and the baby monitor! Maybe when he starts eating solids I will feel more comfortable about having a drink, but for now sparkling water for me it is. (I’ve also joked that Cam’s 1st bday – when I think I will likely stop breastfeeding – will be like my second 21st bday; shots, shots, shots…!) (Kidding) (Kind of)
Cam has started to giggle/laugh and it is the bessssttttttt ever. His smile is so cute I can’t handle it. I love talking to him and will do anything to make him laugh, no matter how ridiculous I look. He also loves our ceiling fan downstairs and we often joke that it is his best friend, since there’s no one else around (#SIPjokes). Around 10 weeks he let out his first excited squeal while staring at the fan going round and round and it was so stinkin’ cute.
Bath time is another favorite. He is so chill when we put him in the water. Cam is a SNUGGLE BUG and loves to be held. He likes his pacifier but spits it out on accident sometimes, so mom & dad spend a lot of time rushing to try to put it back in his mouth before he wakes up. One of my favorite parts of the day is getting him from a nap, when he is so happy to see me get out of the bassinet and curls into my shoulder for some sleepy extra love. We’re still going on daily walks, which is probably more for our benefit than his.
Cam is starting to be quite chatty and loves telling us stories through lots of grunts, arm waving, and furrowed eyebrows. He has found his hands and loves to suck on them. I think he is pre-teething because the drool is unreal over here. We’ve been playing some throwback jams and dancing around with him. I think my best hits have been Mambo Number Five and Miami. Mike and I have discovered we have very different taste in music…
Overall things have been tricky given COVID – and the general adjustment to having a new little roommate – but Cam is “the best baby ever,” to directly quote me and Mike basically everyday. He is so fun to hang out with and watch grow. I can’t wait to share him with our friends & family. Until then we’ll just be here snuggling, chatting, listening, and loving our favorite guy.
I wrote the following while breastfeeding (one handed, on my phone) and instead of trying to string them together in some coherent post (because, honestly… no time!), I’m just going to leave them as fragmented thoughts and feelings from those early days.
So many texts and messages left unread… the notification icon serving as a reminder to respond; send a picture, tell his name, birthweight, how we were adjusting.
We don’t really have a sleep strategy right now. Aside from a tired glance at each other around 9pm asking if we should start thinking about going upstairs, and, if so, who should take the first shift. Until we learn another way, we are sleeping in 2 hour shifts. Sometimes one of us is successful at getting Cam swaddled and to sleep in the bassinet so we are able to sleep a little longer – and at the same time – butthis is rare so far.
For me, the nights are hard. This has already been tested and true for my personality though. I’ve been a home-sickness sufferer my whole life and nights are always the worst. It’s weird because I am technically home but feel the weight of sadness still creeping in sometimes… To be fair, I guess my home is completely different than what it was before and now night time is basically battle time. **Cam became an all-star sleeper probably around 3 weeks so I am happy to report my sad nights were very short-lived!**
Of course the playing field isn’t level when one of you has to breastfeed essentially every 2 hours, but we are trying to grasp some resemblance of fairness.
“Rested” is a word for the future and a feeling of the past. Survival is the new mantra. Sleep 20 minutes to get you through the next 60. Don’t look in the mirror.
You don’t know true reward until you’ve tasted that sweet, sweet glorious coffee after another night endured.
It’s strange when nights are broken up into 2 hour increments (and whole days in 6 hour chunks… until you get your next dose of pain meds). The stretches of time in the middle of the night are pure maddening magic. Nothing compares to being bone tired and hearing Cam hungry cry. Then negotiating how to move my body in the least painful way to feed him. One leg up, grab on for support, rock forward and hope there is enough ofph to propell me forward. Scoot my butt back. Inch by inch. Pain in my incision if I move too fast. Deep breaths and lots of groaning but finally in position to expose a chaffed nipple. Latch. Suck, suck, suck. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Breatheeeeee. They say breastfeeding gets easier
Oh the sweet soul candy hours I spend in the early morning staring at my new baby. My heart explodes a thousand times a night for this kid. The sight of his perfect button nose. His little curved lip. Those moments of brief eye contact turn me upside down and inside out. My baby.
Mike’s snoring is becoming a favorite sound of mine; with each inhale and exhale another minute is added to my sleep stock. Yes babe, keeeeeeep on sleeeeeping. I’ll match your 1.5 hours for my own soon enough.
Then you wake up, have a cup of coffee and eggs that were scrambled in butter and start a new day.
Happiness. I’ve been thinking about the difference between real-time happiness and in-the-past happiness. For me, “in-the-past happiness” is something that time and distance produce. Space from the moment is what allows you to register that you were, in fact, happy then. Real-time happiness is when you know while you are living something: I am happy.
I am a semi-regular offender of experiencing happiness in the past and it pains me. But sometimes it is easier to realize how much brighter and beautiful and happier it all was in retrospect.
In a day and age when living in the moment is held as highly as eating well and exercising enough, I feel twinges of guilt when my happiness is sourced from memories instead of the actual moment. And I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be the case for the 4th trimester.
The 4th trimester is commonly referred to as the first 3 months of life with your new baby. It is a time laced with adjustment. From those tortuous sleepless nights to the magical bonding with your baby, these months are unique. Despite the lack of sleep, it is obviously a time to be cherished. A time of happiness.
But my question is: can it be more real-time happiness than in-the-past happiness? I’m hoping to work hard at making it as real-time happiness as possible. I don’t want to look back to know that I am happy now. (Could this be a sliver lining of a global pandemic? Having the time to think about all of this…?)
Our son is 6 weeks old – halfway through the 4th trimester – and he hasn’t been held by anyone but me, my husband, and a handful of doctors and nurses. This is not what we expected. Every day is limited to what we can do in our home, aside from our daily walk(s). Some may say this is true of most days with newborns – to which I probably agree – but ours are limited by not just a baby but also the government.
Days are tedious. But, as I’m trying to remind myself constantly, they are also joyful. Every day I get to spend another 24 hours with only my husband and my son. We’re in the middle of the Great Pause and I’m navigating it by soaking in the first few months of my baby’s life at home. …Literally government mandated to stay at home. What a bizarre, beautiful, perplexing thing.
Despite the fear of COVID-19 and the monotony of social distancing casting it’s shadows on our days, I know these short months are so special. I am grateful – and want to be present– for these moments filled to the brim with my boys.
Right now, at 6 weeks in, our days look a bit like this: Most days Cam wakes up between 5am – 6am for a diaper change and a feed. After this we either put him back down in his cradle or remove all of the pillows on our bed and let him sleep with us for “morning cuddles.” I love starting the day with our morning cuddles, despite actually sleeping way better if he goes back down in his cradle. Babies are loud and squirmy when they sleep, which makes sharing a bed with them decidedly less restful.
Between 8am – 9am we head downstairs and, in-between pulling shots of espresso and toasting bagels, we take turns dancing around the kitchen with Cam. Then it’s time for his morning nap, which is usually downstairs in his vibrating seat. (Although I am reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and it says for meaningful sleep babies should be in their crib and not be moving. Ek! We’ll work on that eventually…)
The next 7 – 9 hours are spent changing diapers (usually Mike), breastfeeding and pumping (obviously me), going on walks (sometimes 2-3 a day), managing to feed ourselves lunch / clean up (so many dishes), and soothing Cam (which means STANDING with him – why do babies prefer to be held standing vs. sitting and how do they know the second you sit down? HOW?!).
All of the sudden it is dinner time and it’s a shot in the dark on who will be cooking it, if Cam will be awake, or if we will be eating in shifts. We’ve had all sorts of evenings. I’ve managed eating a burger one-handed while feeding him but we’ve also had nights where we’ve cooked, ate without a babe hanging on either of us, and even tag-teamed the kitchen after. Once timing even worked out where I fed him and pumped right before our pizza was ready… meaning I was able to have a beer with dinner.
Every other night we give Cam a bath, which he seems to really like. And then it’s time for bed – something we haven’t figured out the exact science to yet. Typically though, I feed him and then shower while Mike burps him and tries to get him down in the cradle. Sometimes he’s successful and it’s early enough for us to watch a show together before going to sleep ourselves but other times Cam is wide awake when I out and needs some extra calories before snoozing.
I’d say 60% of the time we get a decent night sleep. Cam’s longest stretch so far has been 7 hours (!) but it is typically around 5 hours from the initial time we put him down to the first time he wakes up, and then about 3 hours, and then down to ~2 hours (this is our morning cuddle stretch). We have certainly had our hard nights, but thankfully these are more of a rarity than a regular practice.
Just this week Cam started giving us small social smiles and OMGTHEYARETHEBEST. He has a good appetite and is able to take a bottle now with pumped milk. Initially he loved his pacifier but now he makes a face like we are trying to poison him when we put it in his mouth. He LOVES being on his side. Tummy time is usually spent on one of our chests and he can hold his head up for a decent amount of time. He also strains his head up from our shoulder when he is hungry or tired and then inevitably slams it back down when he his neck muscles give way. For some reason Mike and I both find this slightly amusing.
When he wakes up, he does the cutest “baby stretches,” as we call them. Like he’s had the longest day at work and just needs to stretch it out. When we take him out of his cradle and unzip his swaddle (more on that in another post), we like to say “FREEDOOOMMM!!” because he instantly pops his arms out to the sides. Cam has the uncanny ability to be crashed out on a walk but wake up right when we hit our driveway, basically every.single.time. He has a hungry cry and an I’m-bored-cry. His hungry cry is as ferocious as you’d expect it to be. His favorite sleep spot is dad’s chest, where he sprawls out like a starfish. Socks are hard to put on but once secured in place, he doesn’t seem to mind them. Diaper changes aren’t a big thing to him, like he knows “yeah yeah this is just apart of the deal, isn’t it?”
He’s our little light and the best thing about our days.
Earlier in my pregnancy, I imagined this post to be about laboring at home with our doula before going to the hospital for a natural childbirth. Our reality of brining our baby into the world was very different. Instead of a natural childbirth, I was scheduled for a c-section because our baby was breech. This meant our doula wouldn’t be able to be there for my delivery, as only one person is allowed in the OR.
We were still planning on having her come to the hospital for support before and after, until, of course, the Bay Area went on a mandatory shelter in place because of COVID-19. On top of this, hospitals put restrictions on the number of visitors that could come to the hospital. One support person (obviously Mike) was allowed to be there with me. No one else; doula, family, or friends!
Like I said… a completely different birth experience than I imagined BUT I am happy to report, an overall positive one nonetheless.
The morning of my c-section, Mike and I woke up early so I could capitalize on my last hour of being able to drink something before the 2 hour NO FLUIDS rule before surgery. I got a decent amount of sleep the night before, all things considered, but still had a big cup of black coffee in bed while finishing season 2 of The Crown. We were scheduled for a 1pm surgery with an arrival time of 11am, which meant time for one last short walk before going to the hospital. I didn’t know how my recovery would go, and when I would be able to get out and walk again, so taking a stroll was definitely something I wanted to do. I got a little emotional on our walk because – as corny as it may sound – I started thinking about all of the strong women and mamas that I know. I actually began listing their names, one by one in my head, and just knowing that their thoughts, love, and strength was with me that day brought tears to my eyes.
When we got back to the house, we packed up the car* and headed to the hospital. What a different experience it was than going into labor naturally must be! The morning, and the car ride, were both pretty calm and controlled; none of the “drive faster!!!” or “grab the bag, it’s time!” stereotypical birthing scenes we see in the movies! Instead I had the chance to call both of my parents on the drive (which again, made me a little teary eyed because I know they were both nervous for me).
After dousing our hands with sanitizer and walking down eerily quiet hallways (birth during a pandemic), we checked into Labor & Delivery. Through mild small talk and anxious half laughs, we were led to a small room. For the next ~2 hours various medical staff came in, checked on me, introduced themselves, took my vitals, inserted an IV, shaved my legs (not joking), answered my questions, and tried to console me when I started to cry. It was all very emotional and a bit overwhelming for me (!) but everyone was calm, patient, and very kind.
At 1:30pm it was go-time. We walked to the operating room but Mike had to wait outside while I got my spinal tab. The OR is as bright, cold, and sterile as you imagine it would be. I was sat on a table that was way smaller than I expected and (you guessed it!) started crying. I could see Mike sitting outside from the window and it made me EVEN MORE emotional. I didn’t like that he could see me because I imagined it had to be hard watching your partner get prepped for a major surgery and there was nothing you could really do from outside the room.
Luckily the team who performed my c-section was AMAZING (and all women, which felt pretty badass!). They continuously comforted me in between doing a round robin of introductions. There were about 8 medical staff, who introduced themselves via their name and their role during the procedure. I found this to be a little amusing (although I know it makes sense for them to do it) because it reminded me of an office meeting – like, okay… let’s start with a round of introductions, shall we?
I particularly loved my anesthesiologist, which was comforting given she was sticking a needle in my spine. I forgot her name now but she expertly walked me through each next step – what to expect physically but not going into too much detail, because …gross. My spinal tap was done before I knew it. I was instructed to lay down and put my arms out into a T. I was suddenly so cold, I started shivering uncontrollably. I actually read about this happening to a lot of women so was prepared for it but was still thankful when they put a blanket to cover my arms that had warm air shooting through it. Nothing better than feeling nice and cozy in the operating room, amiright?
Next Mike got to come in (yay!) and there were a lot of questions on what I could and could not feel. And yes, it is as freaky as you expect to try to move your legs and not have them budge. That was probably my one moment of real panic. I quickly gasped “is this normal?!” and was reassured that it was. My catheter was put in place, something that I had been dreading but obviously didn’t feel at all, considering I couldn’t even move my legs… Although I will say there are some poorly designed lights in hospitals that are rimmed with a mirror. Not great for an abdomen surgery that you are awake for.
At some point, while I was avoiding glancing up because of the small, but very-much-so-there mirror, my abdomen was cut into.
Overall I didn’t feel much pain but could feel slight sensations. I think my physical pain tolerance is actually much higher than my emotional tolerance for these kinds of things. There was some pressure here and there but nothing unbearable. It did take a little longer than I anticipated for him to be out but then finally … his little cry!! Ah, hearing his voice for the first time was the best; it brought tears to both mine and Mike’s eyes; “our baby!!!!!!!”
The doctor held him up over the curtain so we could see him and then he was quickly whisked away to be checked out by the pediatrician. Mike was able to go over with him and “cut the chord” – which was more of a ritual than necessity since it wasn’t actually attached to me anymore.
I remember being so full of joy and pure bliss during all of this. They were still tugging on me and stitching me up, and our baby was wailing, but it was such a relief having him delivered and knowing that Mike was right there by his side.
The pediatrician asked if I wanted to do skin to skin with him next and OF COURSE I DID. She put him on my chest. He was still crying and wiggling all around. Mike was snapping some pictures. We were both instantly in love.
When I was finally fully intact again, we were wheeled out of the OR to the recovery room. We stayed there for a few hours and soaked in our little guy until it was time to go to our room. Our very tiny room. Here we stayed for the next 2 nights. For 6 meals, vital checks every 3 hours from nurses, visits both mornings from the doctor who performed my c-section, multiple pediatricians checking on and testing our baby to be sure he was healthy, HGTV on loop, endless pictures of our precious little one, many phone calls and text messages updating our friends and family, broken hours of sleep, sore nipples, … and the purest, rawest love I’ve ever felt.
Typically c-section patients are in the hospital for 3-4 nights but since I was recovering well, and COVID-19, we were able to leave after 2 nights. On the way home, we uncharastically stopped at Jack in the Box for curly fries and a Dr. Pepper. There was a cute Welcome Home sign from our neighbors** attached to our door that made me cry big, juicy, feeling-loved-on tears. We did another round of updates to family and friends, “we’re home!” and settled in as a family of 3.
*I packed WAY too much stuff, from multiple cozy outfits and fluffy socks to face moisturizer, a book (hahah), and makeup (hahahahhahahahhah). I’m not exaggerating when I say I only needed to bring snacks and drinks, an outfit to go home in, a robe, and my cell phone charger. I didn’t even need underwear because I wore the giant ones the hospital gave me.
**On top of the sweet sign, we have a neighbor who graciously made us lasagna and dropped off diapers on our front porch. Another neighbor made us banana bread that we ate for breakfast for 3 days. Multiple times during those first few days, the mamas of the neighborhood and others texted me to make sure I was doing alright. I am so, so thankful for the outreach of support in our little community, particularly because we only bought our house ~1 year agoand still felt all of the love. I’m glad our little babe will be growing up in such a supportive, loving place.
I started the third trimester right before the New Year with a raging case of sciatica. Not super fun, especially when you spend New Years Eve running through an airport 6 months pregnant to try to catch a flight… Unfortunately we didn’t make our flight and Mike and I woke up in Denver, instead of home, on the 01/01/2020.
Unexpected changes in travel plans aren’t ideal but looking back it was actually a special, cozy New Years Eve for us; and one that we will definitely remember. After missing our flight and eventually succeeding in rebooking it for the next morning … or so we thought … we devoured chicken tenders and salad on our bed at The Westin (the airport hotel we splurged for – vs. staying at the airport motel we were given vouchers for – because it was New Years Eve and we thought we had to be back to the airport by 5am the next morning). Plot twist: we realized later that our flight was actually for 7pm the following evening, not morning.
Cool cool cool…
Trying to make the best of it, we went down to the lobby/bar to ring in the New Year with a bunch of strangers… I ordered a mocktail and Mike participated in the free champagne toast the hotel offered. We people watched a bit, counted down as the ball dropped, and kissed each other into 2020. Luckily the lobby was actually quite nice, and it wasn’t a bad way to spend the evening in the slightest. PLUS officially being in 2020 meant we were that much closer to meeting our little guy.
But before he made his debut, mom & dad had some serious house renovations to do. Midway through the month Mike’s dad (Grandpy!) came to stay with us for a month and help with the renos. Oh, man how much we owe him! In about a month we had new recessed lighting downstairs, our flooring was ripped out, most of the walls had a new coat of paint on them, a wall and a closet were torn down, and new cabinets were in place to give us a more open kitchen area. I tired to help where I could but being pregnant didn’t make me the best worker. Instead I was in charge of shopping, cooking, and laundry. Plus getting in walks, yoga, and making sure I was sleeping well to keep growing the babe.
The renovation continued into February, and ordinarily a control freak who loves a spick and span household, some days were more of a test for me than others. I was also trying to make sure everything was buttoned up at work before my mat leave started. And we had 10 hours of newborn classes to squeeze in during limited time.
The month flew by in a haze of dust from the renovations and ever-growing piles of baby stuff, but we were able to get out and do a few fun things too; like attending our friend’s annual Super Bowl party!
We had a great baby shower, hosted by one of my best friend’s, Lauren. Our theme was Brunch for Baby, riffing off of my serious LOVE for blueberry muffins during my pregnancy. The menu also included yogurt parfait, eggs, hash browns, and of course a mimosa and beer-mosa bar for others to indulge in. 🙂 It was the perfect way to celebrate our baby-on-the-way with our closet friends and some family. (We had another baby shower planned for March but because of some medical stuff, that one didn’t happen… more below.)
Aside from renovations and our baby shower, I did a lot more yoga in February. My movements were slow and modified but it felt better than ever. And my sciatica was manageable with more practice and a lot of walking. Moving really helped with the pain during the day so it was essential! The only time things got really painful were in the middle of the night when I had to get up to pee (which happened without fail, like everyone says it does). My back felt so stiff and sore in those first few moments of walking after sleeping for hours. It took me a long time and many baby steps to get to the bathroom from bed and most of the time I was literally hunched over like an elderly woman.
Since we were so busy, especially on the weekends, I started a little Sunday ritual of waking up and reading for a bit in bed and then hitting the mat for a quick morning flow. If I was lucky, Mike would agree to join me on a morning walk to get a coffee nearby our house after. These mornings were some of my favorite and I know they will be sweet memories from my pregnancy.
Towards the end of the month, we found out that our little guy was breech at my 36 week appointment. I remember at our 20 week scan the technician saying he was breech. I instantly felt nauseous (almost any medical speak makes me queasy to the point where I think I actually might have a condition that has yet to be diagnosed).
Although the technician assured me many babies were breech at that stage and he still had plenty of time to flip head-down, there was a part of me that knew in my bones that this wouldn’t be the case. Because of this feeling, I told my regular doctor at my next appointment that I was nervous about our baby being breech but, after feeling around, she said she could feel his head down low. Okay, I convinced myself, nothing to worry about then!
Literally 15 seconds before our 36 week ultrasound, when she was feeling my belly again, she proclaimed that his head was still positioned downward. YES! I remember thinking to myself. In that moment I wasn’t concerned about not having the natural childbirth I was hoping for.
After all, if the doctor said his head was down……
Turns out, like everyone, doctors can be wrong. And when ours started moving the ultrasound wand around my belly, she immediately told us she had been wrong; he actually wasn’t facing down at all. His head was nestled under my left ribs. A hard little bump that I had felt for months, assuming it was his bottom.
I started to feel very queasy at this point (I’m telling you, it’s a condition!), and then inevitably started to cry. Mike and I had gone so far as hiring a doula for the natural childbirth I was planning on having and now here we were talking about scheduling a c-section. Through my tears, my doctor told me about doing a version (or ECV) to try to flip him head down. We scheduled one for that Sunday and …
on March 1st, instead of having our baby shower with my family, we went in for the version. From what people had been telling me it is a pretty intense procedure. I was nervous but wanted to do everything in my power to try to flip him – in the hopes that it was successful but also for the peace of mind knowing that we tired.
Ultimately the version wasn’t successful. And it was intense. I was monitored for about an hour before, given a drug that relaxed my uterus (while simultaneously making my heart race, not the best when you are already nervous!), and then 2 doctors manually tried to push the baby up and into a somersault. Lots of pressure and yoga-like deep breaths!
They tried 3 times and although his little butt did move up from my pelvis, he wouldn’t tuck his chin to complete the turn. I was so tired and sore at that point that we decided not to try again; if he wanted to stay head up and come into the world via c-section, so be it. We did some more monitoring to make sure all was okay (which it was!) and then headed home for BBQ and a movie in bed.
We briefly considered trying acupuncture next but after talking about it, decided that if the version didn’t work, we weren’t going to try anymore intervention.
March was also the start of my mat leave. The first week was all walks, yoga, reading in cute coffee shops, lunch with friends, and getting stuff done like changing my oil and getting my tires rotated. This was supposed to continue into the second and third week, with a manicure and pedicure, and an epic date day with Mike sprinkled in there too. But then… COVID-19.
During the second week of my mat leave most companies already had people working from home (it was nice to have Mike home with me!) and social distancing was taking root. At this point, sadly Mike’s parents had to cancel their trip out to visit us, which was a huge blow but I still wasn’t grasping how drastic this was going to get. I went on one walk with a friend and saw my mom that week… Little did I know how much things were about to change the week my baby came into the world.
Starting the Tuesday before my scheduled c-section that Friday, the Bay Area was ordered to shelter in place for 3 weeks. No non-essential exposure to others or leaving the house. We were told we couldn’t have visitors at the hospital and I was allowed only one support person to come with me for my delivery. Obviously this made sense, given the state of affairs happening, but it was gut-wrenching not to have my mom come meet her grandson in the hospital.
I plan to post my birth story later so will skim on those details for now. The long short is that we are so blessed to be home with a healthy, adorable baby boy. This is the main thing and I am beyond thankful. I am also thankful that we have ours and our families health; we have a home to be in during these uncertain times; we have food to eat; and Mike and I have each other to support and navigate the first moments of life with a new baby. But we’re also missing being able to introduce our sweet son to his family.
This little guy has only met us and the nurses/doctors at the hospital. We’ve had to rely on video calls and sending pictures as forms of introduction to everyone else. Some Most days it’s hard not to get really down during this time. He will only be this new and small for a short amount of time, and our family can’t hold him, hug him, kiss him, or cuddle him. Plus, not knowing when all of this will end has made it more taxing… will our son be one month when he can finally meet his grandparents? 3 months? 6 months? Please don’t let it last that long.
For now, all we can do is wait and remain positive. We’re staying put in our house to do our part in flattening the curve. We’re calling and texting, emailing and FaceTiming family and friends every day. We’re going on small family walks while I recover from the c-section. We’re taking naps and baking cakes. We’re waking up with morning coffee and tea and recapping the night – did he sleep well? how are we feeling? he peed through how many onesies? – and remembering to treasure these moments even if they are far different than what we expected.
I think one of the most fun parts about being pregnant is telling everyone! I mentioned in my first trimester post that we told our immediate family early on (basically only our parents). Once I hit the 2nd trimester we slowly started telling other family and friends in creative ways.
We told part of my extended family by hosting a brunch at our house. With the craziness of the year, they actually hadn’t been to our new house yet so it was the perfect opportunity to do a reveal by saying our second bedroom was THE NURSERY! I scanned/printed a picture of our ultrasound and stuck it to the room. All in all, I don’t think anyone was actually that surprised as I passed on a glass of wine a few weeks before at a another family function haha but it was still fun to tell our news!
We told my grandparents by brining our wedding book over to their house and taped that same ultrasound picture in the back saying “Chapter Two: coming in March” – it took my grandma a second to put it together but once she did, she exclaimed “oooh, so soon!” and my grandpa “oh my!” which was pretty cute.
The big reveal for most of our friends came at Canadian Thanksgiving where I wore this custom shirt Mike made me. It was fun to see everyone’s reactions after they read the shirt, especially people who were generally surprised.
We had Mike’s parents tell a lot of the Canadian family by showing them the same picture on Thanksgiving. I wish I got to see the reactions there!
For friends and family that weren’t at Canadian Thanksgiving, I either sent them that picture too or another ultrasound one when we found out what we were having!
Which, speaking of, we found out we are having a boy! Personally I can’t imagine not finding out what we are having for planning, naming, and just general day dreaming purposes. 🙂
I always thought we would have a girl first so it was crazy to find out he’s actually a boy in there. Obviously I can’t wait to meet him. I love the idea of a little mini-Mike!
Travels + date nights
We spent a weekend in Monterey with friends, flew to Toronto for a wedding, and then to Vancouver to celebrate my birthday in October/November.
We’ve also been enjoying date nights with just the two of us. I imagine I’ll really want to ramp these up in the next few months since it will be our last chance for time alone without the baby or finding a sitter.
We’re spending a lot of time with friends too. The day after Thanksgiving we had brunch an old friend’s house, where my friend had the best idea to putting out different breads, nuts, seeds, berries, and dried fruit instead of a traditional bacon and eggs type thing. It looked so nice (I forgot to snap a pic), was nom, and a lot less prep/clean up. An all around win!
We went to a Marvelous Ms. Masiel dinner and premiere, where a group of us got together for a traditional Jewish dinner and the first episode of the new season.
We’ve also seen a few movies and I’ve been trying to take long walks with friends when able.
The growing bump
Every morning I wake up and my first thought is about this baby bump. Sometimes I can feel him kick before I even get out of bed and it’s such a sweet moment to steal while tucked away in the sheets still.
I love getting ready and scoping out my profile to see how much he’s grown.
The 2 pictures below that were taken ~6 weeks apart; one at the wedding we went to in and early November the other the night before Mike’s holiday party mid December. Talk about a risky last minute move… waiting until the day before to confirm a dress still fit.
Per usual, the holidays were busy. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family (baby name debates included, of course), attended both of our company’s holiday parties, and flew back to Toronto for Christmas.
It’s always nice to see family and make memories!
Falling in love with our little one
I mean, do I even need to explain this one? ☺️ I can’t wait until March to meet him!