Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sleep Training Update Nights 1 through 5 (Thursday-Tuesday)

Ryenn Rose: 6 1/2 Months old right before bedtime

We are almost a week into sleep training and I wanted to let my readers know how it all went.
We started last Thursday night as planned.
She has a later bedtime than most babies so I started her nighttime routine at about 8:15pm

I gave her a bath, put on a fresh diaper with diaper cream, put lotion on her body and put her in her pajamas. Then we went into her nursery and I sat with her in the rocking chair and read her a book. I read to her for about 10 minutes.
Then I got up, turned on the white noise sound machine, gave her her pacifier and laid her down in the dock-a-tot in her crib. I turned out the lights so only a very dim night-light was on, and I told her goodnight and walked out and closed the door.

I waited anxiously for the crying to begin. And by some miracle of miracles, she did not cry. I watched her in the baby monitor and she laid there for a few minutes then fell asleep.

This is not normal for most babies, I know. Usually from what I hear you can expect them to cry right as you lay them down and leave the room. Then the countdown should begin. It's recommended you wait 2-3 minutes the first round. I had decided my minute countdown would be every 2, 4 6, then 10 minutes max.

But Ryenn did not cry right away. She fell asleep. I was in shock! The only reason I can think she didn't fuss this first night was because she's used to being put in her crib to sleep for naps at daycare and she's used to being put in her dock-o-tot at night when it's officially bedtime. So being in her nursery in her crib did not phase her, I guess.

Ryenn only woke up once this first night. Around 4am she woke up and cried so I waited the 2 minutes, went in her room and gave her her paci, and she fell right back asleep.
Night 2 was about the same. She fell asleep with no fuss and woke up twice in the night. Even waiting for 2 minutes while she cried was really hard. But I would go in there, give her her paci and she would fall back asleep. I didnt have to go longer than 2 minutes until night 4. On the 4th night she woke up around 3am and would not fall back asleep. The first time I went in her room I was in her room for 15 minutes trying to soothe her and get her to go back asleep. I should have left her after a few minutes and not have stayed in there that long. But it was really hard to walk away when she was crying and upset.
Finally after about 15 minutes she settled down so I left her room. Within minutes she was crying again. So I waited 4 minutes and went back into her room. The third time after I left her, she started crying AGAIN so I waited 6 minutes. It takes all the strength you have to hear your baby crying and not tend to her right away. It's complete torture. I laid in bed just watching the minutes tick by until I could go in her room and save her.
But luckily, right at the 6 minute mark before I got up to go into her room, she stopped crying! And she fell asleep! I could not believe it. She didnt have her pacifier in or anything She fell asleep just completely on her own.

The nights following this night, she slept through the entire night without crying. It's like crying it out for just 6 minutes somehow taught her to self soothe.
My mommy friends told me it takes 3-4 nights and then they should have the hang of it and they will be "sleep trained." I think I just got really lucky that I didnt have to go through too much of the crying stage.

I will keep you posted on how the transition goes next week (I think we'll start Monday night) on sleeping in her crib without the dock-a-tot.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tonight We Start Sleep Training

Ryenn napping in her crib at 8 weeks old

Hi everyone!! Tonight we are going to officially start the process of sleep training baby Ryenn. I've been telling everyone I know and thinking about it all week. I'm sure I'm building this up way too much in my head, but I'm just so nervous.
Ryenn has slept in our room with us since she was born. And now she's 6 1/2 months old so you can understand why this is such a big deal to me.
But I know now is the perfect time to begin so I'm both nervous and ready for it at the same time.

When Ryenn was born she was just like any other newborn baby and it was very hard to get her to sleep peacefully through the night. Mostly because I had to wake her up every 2 hours to nurse, and the hard part was putting her back down to sleep after nursing her.  We first started with the bassinet next to our bed.  Sometimes she would sleep great in it, other times she would start crying the moment you laid her down. Since the bassinet didn't seem to be working, we tried the Rock N Play. This was 6 months ago, and back before the recall and all the recent reports came out of babies rolling over and dying in them. Terrible! If I had known this of course we would have never tried.
But I will say, the first few weeks, Ryenn would ONLY sleep in her Rock N Play at night. It was the only thing that would put her to sleep.
I would not do this again with a second baby because it's just too risky with all the new developments that just came out.
Those first few months after Ryenn was born are such a blur, but I want to say Ryenn probably slept in her Rock N Play for 2-3 weeks. After just a few weeks she got sick of the Rock N Play and it wasnt working for her anymore. So thank the heavens above for the Dock-o-Tot. We placed the dock-o-tot in bed between us (you really need a King size bed I feel for this to work comfortably) and Ryenn slept in her Dock-o-Tot every night from that point on. I love the Dock-o-Tot so much. When she woke up in the middle of the night I could easily pick her up and nurse her, and lay her back down with minimal effort. She was safe in the cocoon like shape so I knew she would't roll off the bed.... and I think she felt very safe and cozy in it. She loved it. And I felt good about her sleeping in it because she was flat on her back.

Tonight when we transfer her to the crib I'm going to do a week of her sleeping in her dock-o-tot in the crib. I think that'll make the transition of her sleeping in a new bedroom, a little more familiar.
I have no idea or what to expect with how she will react to a new bedroom.

Right now I put her to bed around 9pm and I lay her down in her dock-o-tot in our bed and she fusses a little but then falls right to sleep. It is a breeze! Pray for me that all goes well these next few nights and Ryenn doesn't freak out. I will keep you posted daily on our routine and how it's going!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Baby Products I Loved (First 6 Months)

Now that I have 6 months of being a mom under my belt, I feel I can discuss what baby products worked for me and things that I loved! As a first time mom, you have NO idea what things you will actually need and use (and I know that every baby can be different) but these products below are items that I used a TON and really felt were necessary with a newborn baby.

1. Boppy Lounger: I feel this is a #1 necessity with a newborn. We LOVED this for Ryenn and still use it now. This baby pillow is the perfect lounger for your baby to lay and hang out on. We would place Ryenn on this thing on our couch or our bed and she would just hang out while we sat with her and watched tv. I dont even know what else we would put our baby in when we werent holding her if it wasnt for this Boppy. It's easy to carry around if you are going over to family or friends' house and want something for the baby to lay on.

2. Dock-A-Tot: I love love LOVE our Dock-o-Tot. This is probably controversial but Ryenn has slept in her Dock-o-Tot every night since she was born. We put the Dock-o-Tot in bed with us and she slept in between us and she loved it. I like it because it's like a little cocoon that she stays safe and snug in, but she's still laying flat on her back, which is recommended for baby sleeping. We also brought the Dock-o-Tot when we traveled to my in-laws and she could just sleep next to me in any bed. Of course sleeping decisions are entirely up to you, I'm just letting you know what worked for us.

3. Bottle Warmer: I received a lot of advice on the bottle warmer and pros and cons of using one. A lot of moms warned me that if your baby gets too used to a warm bottle, they won't drink their milk when it's cold or room temperature which can make it difficult when you are not home. But even before I started using the bottle warmer, Ryenn preferred a very warm bottle. When you're nursing, the milk comes out warm, so I don't think it's that big of a deal that your baby expects warm milk. Our first method was to place the bottle in a cup of hot water to warm it up. But sometimes that took forever so I finally took the bottle warmer out and tried it out. And I LOVED it! You can warm up the bottle in just a few minutes and you aren't wasting water by running hot water over your cold bottle. It's very simple to use and I love how fast it works. A 6 oz bottle warms up in 4 minutes!

4. Bathtub: I started out with this bathtub when Ryenn was first born. And while it worked perfectly when she was very little and we'd give her baths in the sink, once Ryenn got bigger and started splashing around more, I felt this tub worked out a lot better.  There's a little insert that goes in when baby is very young and cant really lay in a big tub of water safely. And then you take the insert out once she gets bigger, and it's a perfect size tub for her to grow into. I loved this tub because it fit in our kitchen sink nicely and also in our actual bathtub.

5. Bouncer: Ryenn hated this for probably the first 3 months and we almost returned it to the store. Luckily we didn't because by month 4 she was totally into it. It became routine to place her in this bouncer every night by the dinner table while we ate. This bouncer is light enough to move around the house wherever you might need it. You can have it in the kitchen while you cook, in the bathroom while you shower.... etc. There's little straps and a buckle to hold her in place so she can't slide out. This is essential to have so you can get stuff done around the house and your baby has somewhere to hang out in.

6. Nose Frida: Ryenn got her first cold and cough about 2 weeks into daycare. We had suspected this would happen and we tried to mentally prepare for it beforehand. Seeing your little baby sick was so sad and no fun whatsoever. She was so stuffed up and obviously babies can't blow their own little noses yet so that's where the Nose Frida comes in. It's a totally gross concept, but it really is a genius product. You basically suck the snot out of your baby's nose! One end goes in her nostril, and the other end goes in your mouth and you inhale the best you can to pull the snot out. Don't worry, there's a filter in the tube so you shouldn't come in any contact with the boogers. We would drop a few saline drops in her nose, let that sit for a bit, then do the Nose Frida. I mostly made my husband do it because Ryenn would cry her eyes out when it happened. It's kind of hard to watch. It broke my heart. But as soon as he was done, she was fine and less stuffed up. Not all babies react this way, but be prepared, your baby may act like it's the worst thing that's ever happened to her.

What are some of your favorites that I missed? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas! (And our 2018 Christmas Card)

Merry Merry Christmas!!!
I hope you are all having a very happy holiday today.
Today I'm sharing our Christmas card! You can only imagine how excited I was to do Christmas cards this year with our new little baby.
I had so many visions in my mind on making it so cute and perfect. But guess what.... these first 3 months of mommy-hood are NOT easy. haha I could barely find the time to shower, let alone plan a cute Christmas photo-shoot.
I finally settled with the idea of going to a cute Christmas Tree farm next to our house. Can I call it a farm? It's really just an open field where Christmas trees are brought in. But they make it look super cute.
We went one cold winter night in November, dressed Ryenn up, Will and I tried to look festive and we met our two friends Steph and Matt there to take the photos for us.
As I arrived, I soon realized we were not the only ones with this genius idea to take Christmas photos there, and I felt much better seeing photo-shoots happening all around us! haha

We quickly took Ryenn out of her car seat...posed with her as best we could... and took some super fun but quick photos.

I really didn't want her to get too cold so I was rushing as fast as I could.
Luckily, we did get some cute ones and I picked this one to be our Christmas card! Ryenn is only about 7-8 weeks here. So so cute!!!

Here are some other photos from that night if you want to check them out!

This Christmas we are up in California spending the weekend with Will's side of the family. We did Christmas here in Reno a few days ago with my family. Which was a lot of fun. We pretended it was Christmas morning, and everyone came over to our new house, and we opened gifts, played Christmas music, and made a yummy breakfast casserole. It was a nice faux Christmas!

I am happy to be here now with Will's family just enjoying our first Christmas holiday with Ryenn. Everything feels a bit more special and exciting with her now. I love it!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving - What I'm Thankful For

Thanksgiving Day 2018, Baby Ryenn is 10 weeks old.

Hi everyone! And Happy Thanksgiving!!
This year I have so much to be thankful for.
Of course, most importantly, is our baby girl born just two months ago. She is my biggest blessing and I fall more in love with her every day.
Thanksgiving Eve I was watching the movie "The Waitress" and if you've never seen in, right at the end of the movie Keri Russell's character has a baby girl. And the moment she looks at her, her whole world and outlook on life changes and she's just in complete love. I could relate so much to that moment. It's exactly how I felt when I delivered Ryenn and placed her on my chest.
Such unconditional love.

This Thanksgiving we stayed in Reno and hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house. My parents, my aunt and uncle, Will's mom and my half sister all came over. We made turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn and bread. Usually when we host Thanksgiving Will does most of the cooking. He's really good at it and this year he kind of has to do most of the work  since I'll be busy feeding and watching Ryenn.

I'm so thankful to have a loving and supportive family, mine and my family's good health, a roof over my head, a steady job and endless love from family and friends.
Every night I pray to God and thank him for all his blessings and on Thanksgiving, it's extra important to say aloud all that we are thankful for.

I hope my readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Welcome Baby Ryenn Rose

Hi everyone!
Our baby girl has arrived!
Ryenn Rose.

She was born September 26th at 5:58pm.
She weighs 6 lbs 11 oz and is 18.5 inches long.

She came exactly a week early. Which was shocking to me because I really had this gut feeling she would come late. I'm so happy she came when she did, this way I wasn't 40+ weeks pregnant and totally over it.

Our Birth Story
On Tuesday, September 25, I woke up like it was any other day. I went to work and felt totally normal. I had a lunch meeting with a client and I always walk there. It's a few blocks away from my office so walking is usually easy peasy. As I was walking back from lunch I remember thinking to myself "Wow, this is sort of an intense walk." since walking back was mostly uphill. Well sure enough, an hour after I returned from work I started to feel contractions. It was this cramp like feeling in my stomach and it started coming every 25 minutes. I texted all my mommy friends and asked them if what I was feeling were contractions and they all said it sounded like it!

I came home from work and the contractions were getting even more painful and started coming every 10 minutes. I called my doctor to let her know, and the on-call nurse told me that I didn't need to go into the hospital until they are about 3-5 minutes apart. The rest of the night I stayed home and would log how often I felt the contractions. The entire night the contractions came every 8 minutes and didn't get any faster than that.  I was basically sleeping in 8 minute increments, if that's even possible. I would fall asleep, then wake up 8 minutes later with another contraction, and log the time in my phone. The contractions hurt really bad. I would just cringe and breathe through each one and within seconds it would be done. The pain is pretty awful but I truly believe as women we are strong enough to handle it and we know this is what our body is supposed to be doing, and we just deal with it.

The next morning came and the contractions were closer together at about 5 minutes apart so I knew I could finally go into the hospital. Will and I grabbed my hospital bag, stopped for Starbucks on the way, and headed to the hospital.  I knew I wanted to eat breakfast in case the hospital wouldn't give me any food once I was in labor. We also called our parents to let them know and my mother in law immediately jumped in her car to drive down to Reno. She lives about 3 hours away.

We got to the hospital around 8am and they took me into the first room where they do an initial check to see how dilated you are. The nurse checked me and I was already 5cm dilated!! She seemed surprised that I was already at 5cm.

Soon after they took me to my labor and delivery room and the waiting for baby girl to arrive began.
I handled the contractions without any meds for a few hours. By 12:30 I asked for the epidural and they came in and gave me one. I'll be honest, I was not a fan of the epidural. It caused me to have anxiety (which I hear is totally normal) and I began to cry out of panic of losing the feeling in my legs. My left leg got so numb compared to my right leg and I just got more and more freaked out in my mind that I couldn't move or feel my left leg whatsoever. If I have a second baby, I will opt out of the epidural and deliver naturally. Even though it's going to hurt so bad, I think I'd rather deal with that pain then the panic I felt with the epidural.

Anywhoo....I began pushing right around 5pm with the help of my nurse. In our room was Will, my mom and Will's mom, Bonnie. I hadn't even seen my doctor yet because I guess the doctor doesn't come in until right when you are about to deliver or are fully dilated. I had Will on one side and Bonnie and my mom on the other side. And Will and his mom would help push my legs up every time I went to push. Pushing wasn't so bad. Probably because I couldn't feel anything, I just remember it being uncomfortable because you are folding your body in half and pushing so hard... it's like a work out! The nurse kept hinting that I wasn't doing the best job pushing, so I assumed I would be pushing  for a few hours to get the hang of it. My doctor came in at 5:45pm and told me she wanted to check-in and see how pushing was going and I would probably have to have another doctor deliver the baby because she was off at 6. She said "But let's see how you're doing. Let me see you push."
So I began pushing for her and with the third push I heard Bonnie yelling "The baby is coming!! She's coming!!" Then my doctor shouts "Wait! Stop pushing! I need to put my scrubs on! I'm not ready!!" So in my mind, I stopped pushing and I remember just feeling baby's shoulders just sitting there in me about to come out. I thought I stopped pushing, but since I didn't have a lot of feeling down there I may have kept pushing. Either Ryenn came flying out all on her own! Two nurses who just happened to be walking by and heard the commotion came running in to help. I remember looking up at the ceiling, and there was mirror, and I just saw this little baby laying there.
They cleaned her up quick and asked who wanted to cut the umbilical cord. Will didn't want to because he gets really squimish at that kind of stuff and I knew my mom wouldn't do it, so I asked Bonnie if she wanted to. She hesitated then the doctor said "Or you could do it!" And I said, "Really? Okay!" and I cut the umbilical cord myself!

Next thing I knew they put baby girl on my chest and it was the best moment of my life. Every single one of us was crying. I'm tearing up as I write this.
It's just the most magical moment seeing this tiny baby that you made come from you. It was surreal and magical and just the most amazing feeling I will ever feel.
I held her against my chest and looked at her beauty and I felt so happy.

And that is how baby Ryenn Rose came into this world. We are so in love and she is so beautiful and perfect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Last 2 Weeks Before Baby's Due Date

I cannot believe I'm two weeks away from baby girl's due date!! She is due October 2nd.

October 2nd: the date I've been wishing and thinking about for the last 9 months. I feel pregnancy feels exactly like 9 months. It didnt feel too long but it also didnt fly by like many said it would. I think back to January when I first found out I was pregnant and I went to the spa with friends, and it feels like forever ago! I just can't believe I'm at the end of this pregnancy journey.

Compared to most I had a very easy pregnancy. I never had morning sickness, I remember feeling nauseated only once, and I never got super tired. My first trimester I felt pretty normal. The only thing that felt different about my body were my boobs. They felt so heavy, not sore, just heavier. Second trimester wasn't too bad at all either. I was starting to get a baby bump and I found myself getting out of breath a lot easier. I needed to buy a pregnancy pillow by the second trimester to help with sleeping. Oh and the dreams second trimester! I had so many vivid dreams, it was unreal.

I remember it was 30 weeks exactly, I met up with my friend Shila at the movies to see Mamma Mia 2. I work really close to the movie theater so I walked there. And by the time I got to the movie theater I knew something in my body had changed. I felt baby drop because all of a sudden I was walking funny and I could just feel her more down there.
I even wrote a post in my Facebook Mommy group and asked why all of a sudden I felt this weird pressure. And immediately women I did not know started replying with how they felt the same thing, and it was just the baby dropping and not to worry.

If I could give all moms-to-be one tip it would be to join a Facebook Mommy group. None of your actual Facebook friends see your posts or activity within the group, and you can easily reach out to other women who are pregnant at the same time as you, due the same month as you, and ask any questions you may have. It helped ease my worries the whole pregnancy to read that whatever I was going through was normal and many other women were going through the same thing.

My third trimester is when things really got uncomfortable. I never really got a HUGE belly.
I mean, I had a baby bump, don't get me wrong, but I would say my baby bump was more on the smaller side. But even being smaller, I was still so uncomfortable the third trimester. I could only sleep on my side, so any time I needed to roll over to my other side the pain was so bad. My hips were shot! And I soon realized pregnant women don't waddle around because of their bigger bellies, they waddle around because the baby is pushing down on their vajay making it very uncomfortable to walk.

I don't have a specific date or memory from the first time I felt baby girl move. Being a first time mom, I didn't really know what I was feeling for. I kept getting this gas bubble feeling and it wasn't until like 2 weeks or so from feeling that, that I realized, "Wait...that might not be gas bubbles. That could actually be the baby moving." So once I realized that, I felt her all the time! And it was so magical and so special.
At 24 weeks I actually saw her move my belly with her kicks. I was laying in bed and could feel her moving around. So I looked at my stomach and sure enough, my stomach started moving! Oh my about surreal. I showed Will and he even saw it too.
I never want to forget how special it was to feel her moving around and I would just stare at my belly and see her moving around. I would play music for her. Mostly Taylor Swift songs at first, then I started to play Disney songs. Little Mermaid's "Part Of This World" was my favorite song to play for her. I hope she likes the music I chose.

Baby girl has just been so easy this pregnancy, I hope it's a hint of what she'll be like once she's born. I can't wait to meet her and I can't even imagine what she will look like. I love her so much already and I haven't even seen her yet.
I have a feeling she is going to come a week late. I don't see her coming early. She seems pretty comfortable in my belly.

We are moving into a new house in a week. So if she could hold off for us to move in, that would be really nice. But I know it's up to her and I just can't wait!


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