Thursday, February 28, 2013

3 Months Old!

Calvin is 3 months old! Time has flown, but it also feels in a way like he's always been here. I suppose that's because I couldn't imagine my life without him.

These days, Calvin is such a wonderfully happy baby. He smiles easily, and has been laughing for at least a few weeks now. It's so contagious! He cracks us up regularly; it's just so adorable! Things that make him laugh include funny voices/ sounds, big hand gestures, and when we laugh. To hear him laugh makes my heart burst!
Mr. Chuckles!
My happy-go-lucky baby enjoys TV (don't worry, we won't let that get out of hand), tummy time (as long as he's not hungry), cuddling with mama and exploring his world (often he's happiest being held facing out - he doesn't want to miss anything!). He loves music and dancing - how awesome it is to put on a vinyl record and rock it out with my baby!
checking out a DVD
Calvin frequently sleeps through the night; otherwise, he wakes only once, which I know is such a blessing. He rolled over for the first time (tummy to back) a couple of weeks ago, and he's just starting to take notice when we're eating - he's looking at our food and watching as it goes into our mouths. It may be a long wait to 6 months before he can start any solids!
Can I try that banana?
At his doctor's appointment this week (for sniffles and a cough - probably bronchiolitis - homeboy weighed in at 12lbs, 3.4oz, which is up 2lbs, 5oz in just 1 month! Since it wasn't a well-baby visit, we didn't get his length or percentiles, but I am impressed with his weight gain. It's easy to see how's he's changed - he's got a little tummy now and chunky monkey thighs. I knew he had a growth spurt!
the sticker says it all  :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Looking good, homeboy!

Now that Calvin is just about 3 months old, his appearance has changed so much from when he was a newborn. Cal was born quite skinny, without much meat on his tiny bones (he weighed 6lbs, 15oz)... A little surprising, considering everyone thought he'd be big. But, he was just a smidgen bigger than I was at birth, and Brian was small too.
just 1 day old
For a while, I called him chicken legs - they were so skinny - and my slender boy had no belly to speak of. But, it seems he's really catching up, because now he has the cutest chubby little thighs, and an adorable little Buddha belly that I can't resist kissing every time I see it.
Cal modeling his sick kicks
As for his hair, he was born with a pretty decent amount, but these days there isn't too much of it left on his little noggin. And he has a bald stripe across the back of his head where it's rubbed off, like the Velveteen Rabbit. :). But it'll grow back eventually... When? I am not sure. If he's anything like his parents, though, soon he'll be sporting a nice, incredibly thick head of hair.
look at all that newborn hair
Calvin's eye color is still very much up in the air at this point. Most sources indicate that final eye color sometimes isn't established until 6-9 months, so he's still got a ways to go. In some light, they look brownish, in others they look blue. Often times, actually, they seem to be a dark teal, which is quite striking. In daylight, the truest light, at this point they look blue with a slight bit of brown around the pupils. Whatever color he ends up with will be gorgeous, I know.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Fourth Trimester?

Although it is by nature a misnomer, many people refer to the first three months of a child's life as the fourth trimester.  Essentially this means that the first three months are a virtual extension of a baby's life inside the mother's womb, as far as their needs go.  
My little fourth trimester newborn
Now that Calvin is just about 3 months old (on Feb. 28!), I'm reflecting back on his first three months.  Only for the first month would I say that Cal was in fourth trimester mode.  He was a pretty chill baby from the start, but also frequently needy (as breastfed newborns tend to be).
Just a few days old
Right from the start two truths emerged: Calvin loves to eat, and loves to be held.  This made for a pretty rigorous 6 weeks of maternity leave for me, not that I minded, but it was quite a change to get used to, considering I'm a first-time mama.  It didn't take long, though, for us both to get to know each other and find our groove.
We're pros now!
Nursing and lots of physical contact (through holding/ wearing Cal) have been crucially important to me from the start.  I don't necessarily subscribe fully to any particular baby care theory out there, and I don't feel any need to label how I choose to care for Cal.  But I feel that these two things especially contribute to a happy, peaceful baby, and for me, our bonding skyrockets when he's in my arms (whether nursing or not).  Since I'm a working mom, and I obviously can't hold and nurse him while we're apart, I try to make up for it in the evenings and weekends.  Our time together is so precious!  Mothering has felt very natural for me, for which I am so grateful.
Yay babywearing!
On a lighter note, I have to mention (at Brian's request) that Calvin loves to pass gas.  Sometimes after a fart, he'll smile and even giggle!  He's definitely Brian's son.  And it's pretty hilarious when he simultaneously coughs and farts - we have a cat who does that, too.  :D

Catching Up, Part 2: Milestones and Stats

Continuing our catch-up, here are some updates about Calvin from the last (almost) 3 months.

Cal's been very strong from the start, despite his small size - around 1 month old he had gotten quite good at holding up his head; since, he's been working on his head control, which is really quite fine tuned these days.  And he's a tummy time pro (provided he's in the mood for it), holding up his head and upper body for quite good stretches of time - just last night it was about 10 minutes!
Calvin @ 1 month
Holidays: Calvin's first Christmas (2012) was lovely, spent with family, despite missing very much those who should still be here.  Calvin's first smile (caught on "film") happened on Christmas morning - he was just a few days shy of 1 month old.  What an amazing gift!

We happily welcomed the New Year with our new little addition.
Calvin on New Year's Eve
And, Calvin got a couple of cute little cards on his first Valentine's Day!
Mommy's heartbreaker
He was a champ for his 2-month shots - he only cried a little (oh, to watch that little face crumple and dissolve into tears!), which was greatly abbreviated by my immediately nursing him afterward - I've read it reduces the pain and stress they experience, which I absolutely believe to be true.

Calvin began cooing and babbling around 2 months old; he loves hearing the range of noises he can make, and imitating what he hears (a cat's meow is currently popular).  Lately we've been watching a Baby Einstein video with him most evenings; he has been very talkative during these!  It's just fascinating to watch his eyes track movement across the screen, and how he reacts to the bright, high-contrast, colorful things he sees and playful music he hears.
Calvin @ 2 months
More recently, around 2.5 months he started laughing - sometimes just little chuckles, other times he is cracking up, which sends us into hysterics too!  

Other very recent developments include reaching for and grasping a toy (2.5 months), intentionally/ repeatedly kicking a hanging rattle toy while lying on his back (2.5 months), and earlier this week he rolled over for the first time! He was on his tummy and not happy about it, and so after about 30 seconds of deliberation and physical trial, he rolled onto his back!

Lastly, some size updates:

  • At birth: 6lbs, 15oz, 20" long, head circumference 13"
  • 5 days old: 6lbs, 5oz (5th percentile), 20" long (50th percentile), head circumference 15th percentile
  • 1 month old: 8lbs, 4 oz (5th percentile), 20.5" long (50th percentile), head circumference 15th percentile
  • 2 months old: 9lbs, 14oz (10th percentile), 22.5" long (30th percentile), head circumference 15th percentile
(Next appointment: 4 months - late March)

FYI, I highly doubt my posts from now on will be this long, but I had to do some "data dumping" to catch up to where we are now.  I tried to keep it as brief as I could.  Assuming you made it this far, thanks so much for reading!  :)

Catching Up, Part 1: Pregnancy and Calvin's Birth Story

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my blog.  Hope you enjoy it!

So let’s catch up, shall we?  I’ll start with a bit of background – my pregnancy and birth story.  I'll try to keep it rather brief.  :)

Mr. Calvin, as you probably know, was born on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, after, ultimately 3 years of trying, an IVF cycle, a miscarriage and then a FET cycle.  I was so indescribably grateful once I was finally pregnant and stayed that way.  My pregnancy went very smoothly overall.  I did have considerable fatigue and nausea the entire first trimester, but never actually got sick, so I was certainly thankful for that.  The second trimester was smooth sailing – just lots of hungry days.  The third trimester was quite interesting – I think of it as the opposite of the month of March – in like a lamb, out like a lion.  My belly got so big, my feet/ ankles were incredibly swollen for weeks, and the entire trimester I had the worst heartburn/ reflux of my life almost constantly, so much so that I had to resort to sleeping sitting up for the last 6 weeks.  But the whole time, I didn’t complain, not only because I knew it could be a lot worse, and because I’d wanted a baby for so long.  And I knew to be grateful, after everything we’d been through to get to that point, because I had no complications to deal with, and most of all, because my baby was healthy.

The day of his birth was just incredible.  I was scheduled for an induction because Mr. Man decided not to come out until 5 days after his due date.  We went to bed at a decent hour and tried to get some sleep, but we were too excited, so we just decided to stay up.  Around midnight, we went to the grocery store to buy cupcake ingredients – it was Brian’s idea to bake them for the L&D nurses (which they LOVED, by the way).  Then I actually began contracting on my own around 2am.  I’d been having occasional Braxton-Hicks contractions for a couple weeks prior to this, but these were stronger and regular, and I saw some bloody show, so I knew this was the real thing.  It was exciting, but not in the way it would be for most, since my induction was scheduled for just 3 hours later anyway.  So we ultimately stayed up the whole night.

We got to the hospital at about 4:30am, and I was in bed with the Pitocin flowing by 5:00am.  The drug was very effective.  When I initially checked in, I was dilated to 3cm; by 7am I was at 4-5cm. At 9am I was about the same, I believe.  The contractions were definitely getting stronger and more painful, but I was able to deep-breathe through them.  Eventually I also started squeezing Brian’s hand as well.  By 11am, I was in excruciating pain – the Pitocin sped up the labor so much – and after deliberating for a few minutes, I decided to receive an epidural.  It was the best decision I could have made, because after that, I was so comfortable and able to relax and enjoy the rest of the process.  Right after I got the epi, I was checked again, and to my surprise, I was at 8-9 cm!  No wonder I was in such pain – I was flying through the painful transition phase of labor!

While I rested, I read some of my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, listened to my labor music mix I had created, and chatted with Brian and my mom (who’d shown up by then).  By noon I was dilated to 10cm, wow!  The nurse decided, though, to let me take another hour of labor to allow the baby to move down further.  Then, I started pushing at 1:00pm, and at 1:47pm Calvin K. Donato Penzone was born, after less than 9 (or 12, if you count when I started contracting naturally) hours!  He was perfectly healthy and beautiful, and remains so.  Tears streamed down my face as they laid him on my chest, and I held my long-awaited, precious baby in my arms for the very first time.  I kissed him again and again, cuddled him close and said for him a happy little prayer to bless his life.