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Riley at 2.5

If I’m going to get back in the swing of writing, I’d really like to be documenting my big kid’s life more. Don’t get me wrong – her life is WELL documented from a photographic standpoint. But I find that I stopped writing things down when the “baby book” phase ended and she turned 1. (Side note: we didn’t have a true baby book, but had a calendar that encouraged documenting a few things each month along with all of the classic “firsts”).

So without further ado, Riley at 2 and a half is …

  • The sweetest, happiest little person I’ve ever met.
  • Insanely demanding, whiny, and unreasonable.
  • She loves: books, music, dancing, coloring with markers, “cooking” in her kitchen (usually sushi, pancakes, and pizza), playing in her sand table, playing on the playground, talking about her friends
  • She hates: trying new foods, eating full meals, being told “no,” naps
  • Some funny (or just fun) things she has said recently:
    • Momma, I help you blow the lawn?
    • Don’t put lotion on my haircut! (referring to her painted toenails)
    • This is you birthmark? We go to the store, you buy me a birthmark?
    • That’s so silly. That’s silly buying birthmarks at the store. We buy grapes at the store! Grapes and avocado at the store.
    • *pointing to my brother’s mustache that he has had her entire life* What’s this? This? It’s my mustache You mustache? Yeah *touching her lip* I no have a mustache. I only have eyebrows.
    • She calls Lucky Charms “yucky charms”
  • Her favorite foods are: Lucky Charms, chili, and Wegmans’ peach applesauce pouches.
  • She had a growth spurt in the last few months. Now she wears 3T clothing and size 5 shoes.
  • Her favorite color is pink (go figure)
  • She potty trained in 1 weekend and has had a grand total of 4 accidents in her life (it’s been just over a month). She stays dry at nap time and almost always overnight, though we still do pull ups overnight because she won’t poop on the potty and just waits for her pull up.
  • She is sick all. the. time. I am fairly certain she had fewer than 10 truly healthy days between November and May. We just recently got a week or two of healthy and now we’re right back in another cold/cough. Whenever she has a cold she goes on a preventative/steroid inhaler that makes her impulsive and a little angry. I can’t wait for her to have longer healthy stretches so we don’t have to worry about whether she’s going to impulsively smack us in the face all day.
  • She is so sweet to her baby sister. She reads her books, strokes her face, and hugs her at any opportunity.
  • When Kellan was born, Riley went through about an 8 week phase of being, for lack of a better word, bad. She was clearly reeling from the sudden decrease in attention. I’m glad she took it out on us rather than the baby but it was a tough season! She would throw food at every meal and say no to literally every request, but then she came out of it and was back to her laid back, happy, generally compliant self. Thank God.
  • She wants so badly to be independent, but still needs help with things like dressing and going to the bathroom. That’s hard for her but she gets more independent every day!
  • In April (2 years 5 months), she learned how to go down stairs by herself, and she has been gaining independence at a rapid pace since then.


She’s here! 4 months later …

WELL I am obviously getting progressively worse at documenting these things with age. So though this is about 4 months late … it’s a girl!!

Kellan was born on February 6, 2019. She came via C-section and her birth story is something. I think I’ll put it up as a separate post for posterity. She’s a joy. Her sister is in love (for the most part). I can’t believe she is already 4 months old!


Kellan is a happy little chunk. Like her big sister, she really struggled to get the hang of breastfeeding. She also took 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight despite eating well and getting supplementation the whole time. I guess my kids just take 3 weeks to bounce back. I suspect they both took on a lot of water weight during the lead up to my C-sections, so I think that inflated the weight loss quite a bit. As you can see, she’s not wasting away.

At 4 months old, Kellan …

  • Is very smiley, especially when looking at faces up close. She laughs when you bring her toes up to her cheeks or when you do a gasping laugh.
  • Is SO chill. She only cries when there’s something wrong (over tired, over hungry, needs a diaper change, or is trying to work out a poop). She’s happy to be in her car seat (unlike her sister at that age) and generally doesn’t complain.
  • Loves her playmat just like Riley did! She can hang out on her back on the playmat for a good chunk of time, talking to, grabbing, and eating her animal friends. She seems partial to the zebra. I get it.
  • Eating: When she is with me, she exclusively breastfeeds. She is super predictable and eats every 3 hours during the day. We just weaned off of the nipple shield a week ago, and she suddenly got 50% faster/more efficient (cue the anxiety that something was wrong – but my boobs are emptying and she is satisfied so she must just be better at nursing now). She has had 4 colds already (ugh daycare germs) and really struggles to nurse when she’s congested. She does NOT like bottles and tends to hold out to nurse. She gets 3 bottles at daycare – yesterday they were 3oz, 3oz, and 2oz. Last week she took 4 oz bottles which was amazing. Prior to that, she was taking a max of 10oz while away from me for 10+ hours. She tends to eat twice over night – around 10:30 and then anywhere between 2 and 5. Sometimes she skips the early morning feed and will go straight from 10:30-6:30 or so.
  • Sleep: Kellan sleeps like a champ at night, in a bassinet in our room. We put her down sometime between 6:30 and 8pm (depending on her rest-of-the-day schedule), and she falls asleep on her own with minimal fussing. She naps 3 times a day, and will fall asleep on her own then too (in the Merlin suit). I nurse her to sleep at night but she isn’t reliant on it which is great. Here’s hoping we keep that up. She never took a binky, and recently found her hand to suck on. Jury’s out on whether she’ll turn into a finger/thumb sucker to self soothe. Either way, she’s able to self soothe to sleep when she has the suit on.
  • Play/communication: Kellan loves to coo and babble with people and with her hanging animal friends. She is obsessed with watching whatever her sister is doing, and tends to find her hilarious. She is very mellow and will just chill with her hanging toys and watch what’s happening around her.
  • Motor: Kellan likes tummy time if she’s propped up on a pillow (like putting the boppy under her arms). She’s not such a fan if she’s directly on the floor. She doesn’t really push up with her arms at all, but holds her head up well/has good neck strength. She is able to grasp hanging toys and bring them to her mouth, brings her hands together at midline, and can get her hand in her mouth to suck on pretty well.
  • Health: Kellan started out life with super sensitive skin like her sister. We were pretty worried she would end up with significant eczema and probably food allergies (Riley has a laundry list of severe/anaphylactic food allergies). I had to cut out dairy and soy as her poop tested positive for blood around 2 months. At this point, I’ve added back soy with no problem but am still avoiding dairy. We recently had her tested via blood test for all of Riley’s allergies (milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and fish) plus soy. And they all came back negative! Her skin has been relatively clear (she tends to get a little rashy with colds) – no cradle cap (knock on wood), yeast infections, or widespread eczema like her sister. She has, however, had at least 3 colds and seems to be starting in on her 4th. Riley was healthy for the first 6 months of her life, though I suppose that is because she didn’t go to daycare until 6 months. Kellan was home for almost 4 months, but Riley was obviously bringing the daycare germs home with her. Here’s hoping the summer season brings with it fewer germs and healthier kids.

Kellan looked SO much like Riley when she was born – they have the same giant cheeks, tiny mouth, and button nose. But it turns out that their eyes are very different! Kellan’s look a lot like mine. They’re blue for now but seem a little darker than her sister’s, and I wonder if they’ll change. She’s such a chunky, happy baby. She’s just starting to get some stranger anxiety.

Just a few weeks ago we started cloth diapering Kellan. We used disposables with Riley and with Kellan for the first few months, but I have been curious about cloth and had the opportunity to buy a used lot of diapers for a really good price so I went for it. It’s been easier than I expected! I don’t have any misconceptions about the fact that cloth and disposable actually have an almost equal environmental impact, just in different ways … but it does feel nice to be generating less waste. Also they’re cute.

I’ll be back with her birth story soon!

11 weeks-16 weeks

I’ve been meaning to write this for 4 weeks, but … toddler.

Anyway, things are still going well. The 12 week scan was a giant relief, especially after a miscarriage and then dicey start to this pregnancy.

  • How far along: 16 weeks 2 days
  • My due date has changed a couple of times, just due to different calculations. When I calculated it online, I thought it was February 15th. When my RE calculated it with her IVF calculator, it was February 16th. My OB has me at February 17th (maybe based on the date of my LMP? Who even knows). We seem to have settled on February 17th, which makes the most sense given that I have consistently measured a few days behind.
  • Back at 12 weeks 1 day, I had my 12 week ultrasound. Everything looked good, and the heart rate was 170 bps. Seeing the baby in there, moving around and everything, was such a relief I can’t even describe. The baby was measuring at 11 weeks 6 days, so 2 days behind (at our 8 week ultrasound, the little bean was 3 days behind, but that was using the 2/16 due date, so it’s really still the same amount behind). Given the consistent growth, at this point my OB team is not concerned about it.
  • I also had a visit to my OB sometime around 14 weeks. My actual OB (who I was with during my first pregnancy) has injured her foot … again. She had a broken foot at the end of my last pregnancy, which lead to her not being able to do my C-section (I’m totally happy with the section and really liked the on-call doctor who did it, so no harm no foul). Anyway, I haven’t been able to see her yet this pregnancy. I saw an OB who I have met though, and got to hear the heartbeat again (this time in the high 150s/low 160s apparently). I’m seeing another OB, whom I’ve never met, in a couple of weeks.
  • Food things: The smell of literally all food cooking made me super nauseous from somewhere in the 10/11 week range until maybe a week ago. 11 weeks-13 weeks were the peak (which seems odd and late, but whatever). I’m finally starting to be able to let my poor wife cook us dinner … and even eat it!
  • Other symptoms: Nausea really kicked in around 11 weeks, and didn’t start to get better until 13 weeks (and is maybe gone now? but likes to show up randomly … I vomited while eating lunch yesterday so there’s that). I have only gotten sick 1-2 times, which is far less than with Riley, but I have overall felt worse. The exhaustion is also starting to subside finally! Look at me – it’s already almost 9 pm and I’m happily typing away! Here’s a weird new symptom though … since about 10/11 weeks, my hair has been shedding at an alarming rate. I’m talking at a 4 months postpartum kind of rate. WHY?! The very opposite happened when I was pregnant with Riley and I was really looking forward to the luscious locks … I asked the OB (worried about a thyroid issue or something hormonally off), who said that it’s actually not uncommon. Apparently the hormone changes/surges caused my follicles to all hop on the same shed cycle. She said it’ll randomize itself again, and is a similar function to what happens postpartum. It is starting to slow but definitely is still on the normal or just above side (as opposed to WAY below normal when I was pregnant with Riley), so that’s a bummer. Here’s hoping I don’t develop a noticeably receding hairline …
  • Who knows?: We told our families around 8 weeks. I ended up telling work soon after the 12 week mark so that I could get my schedule sorted out. We had professional photos taken of our family when we were at Family Week in PTown (shout out queer families – totally go if you can ever make it! Such a blast), and had Riley wear a “big sister” shirt so that we could do a little announcement. We aren’t really the type to do a formal announcement with professional photos, but the timing worked out so we used our photo shoot for multiple purposes – why not? We put that out around 15 weeks, so now the word is officially out there! We did tell Riley – she knows that the baby is growing inside Mommy but not Momma or Riley, and that when the baby is big enough and read to come out, (s)he will come home and live with us. She will basically recite that script and I’m confident she has no flipping idea what any of it means.
  • Body and clothes things: I am now wearing maternity clothes. I feel like a full month ahead of myself in terms of my body growing and showing, and I’m not a super fan of it (no one likes the “I just look fatter and not pregnant” stage). I just did an Old Navy maternity splurge today. Mostly I just need maternity pants because anything else feels restrictive or falls down.
  • What’s next?: OB appointment coming up in about 2.5 weeks, with my fetal survey ultrasound about a week later!




Look at that little bean. They have a head and a body and everything. Yeesh.

finals (26 of 40)

Would you lookit this big sister, contemplating her big adventure? Photo cred: TDM Photography



Bumpdate: 9w4d

Alright folks. My posts are going to take a very pregnant turn from here on out I think. Feel free to not read or unfollow, I really get that.

I’ll consider getting some sort of Bumpdate format going like I did with my daughter, but for now I’ll just free ball it:

  • How far along: 9 weeks 4 days
  • I had my first OB appointment today, with a midwife at the practice (my practice does a combo program for everyone – I get to choose who to deliver with though).
  • I got to hear baby’s heartbeat! It didn’t even take that long to find. I have been sooooo so anxious about this and I remember it taking a minute or two with my first pregnancy so that was a major relief. The little one’s heart is beating at a respectable 177bps today.
  • I got a bunch of bloodwork and tried to give a urine sample but failed. I got like a half centimeter’s worth of liquid in the damn cup so we’ll see if it’s enough. Talk about embarrassing first impressions (new midwife …)
  • Food things: The smell of food makes me nauseous. But also I want to eat all the carbs. I’m starting most days with some kiefer and a sausage/egg/cheese sandwich. That’s been working pretty well (I do get nauseous before that sandwich gets in my belly).
  • Other symptoms: My nausea exists and comes in waves – usually a wave before breakfast, a wave or two at some point during the day, and any time I’m a passenger in a car. I’m also exhausted. I fall asleep most nights between 8 and 9 in my chair, then head to bed at like 10:30 for the night.
  • Who knows?: We told our families around 8 weeks. 3 of my coworkers/friends have known all of the treatment details so they knew right away. I just told 2 of my closest friends this past weekend. I’m going to have to tell work soon because my patient schedule is getting really close (I’m booked through late January at this point). I’m thinking that’s a convo for next week. Sigh.
  • Of note, we have not told Riley yet. Mainly because she’s a blabbermouth/parrot. We’ll tell her when we’re ready to tell everyone.
  • What’s next?: I will get a call in the morning to schedule my 2 ultrasounds (1 at 12 weeks, 1 around 20 weeks), and then will see my OB in about 4 weeks.
  • Right this second, just after hearing the heartbeat, I’m feeling excited and relieved and I’m thinking about the future. I’m sure as time passes I’ll slip back into anxiety mode, but I’m enjoying this for now.
  • Y’all

    I meant to update Thursday after my ultrasound but life has been a whirlwind. We headed out on a road trip for a weekend 4th of July family reunion/party, and have been surrounded by extended family every second since.

    But y’all, there’s a baby in there. With a heartbeat. The ultrasound was uneventful and super fast. I was sooooo relieved when I immediately saw the fetal pole and the ultrasound tech found the heartbeat immediately. I don’t think I can describe the relief but I bet some/all of you can imagine.

    The details: On Thursday, I was officially 7 weeks 5 days based on my transfer (per the RE). The pregnancy was measuring at 7 weeks 2 days. At my previous ultrasound, the sac and structures were measuring 5 weeks 2 or 3 days (at what should have been 5 weeks 6 days), so we’re trucking along at a typical pace and most likely just had delayed implantation or a slow start. The heartbeat was 155 beats/minute. My RE is not changing my due date at this point, but is going to be conservative with weaning off the estrogen and progesterone to give me a couple of extra days.

    My RE is having me come back for blood work to look at my hormone levels on Tuesday, and then will start weaning me. I’m officially 8 weeks pregnant today. When I asked what my miscarriage risk looked like at this point, she said that anyone coming in with that heartbeat would have a 5% chance of miscarriage. Given that I’m a few days behind, she wanted to be a little more conservative than that, but she was really positive about how it’s going.

    This ultrasound pic is kind of awful but I don’t even care. After I get the word on weaning, I’ll be making my first OB appointment and putting IVF and my RE behind me for now. I can’t wait. I am still feeling cautions optimism but I’m so amazed to even be posting this and I’m riding that high. Baby #2 is due February 16, 2019. Here’s hoping things keep going well.


    Well, my RE gave us a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy. I am fairly certain those odds were totally made up, so there’s that.

    Having done this initial ultrasound now twice before, I kind of knew what to look for. We were in with the ultrasound tech (who I’ve had for almost all of my ultrasounds since we started fertility treatments in 2014) first, and then saw my RE. Right off the bat I was relieved because I could tell that the sac was in the uterus. They also saw a yolk sac, but no fetal pole yet. My RE said that the sac size and structures look like a normal pregnancy at about “5 and a half weeks.” According to my calculations, I thought I was 6 weeks today, though my RE had me at 5 weeks 6 days. There was no heartbeat (which I guess makes sense with no fetal pole).

    My RE said that it’s possible that the embryo took a couple of days before implanting, which would account for the lower HCG numbers as well as today’s ultrasound results. Or, this is another nonviable embryo. She said they want to have me back in 11-14 days and if at that point there is no heartbeat or it’s fallen even further behind, we’ll stop meds and assumedly talk about ending the pregnancy.

    I’m trying to stay hopeful. It seems totally feasible that the frozen embryo just took it’s time implanting. It’s going to be a very long 2 weeks. I’m scheduled to go back for another ultrasound on July 5.

    Beta 6

    Who gets 6 betas?!?!

    Well, today was my 6th. And … drumroll … my hcg is 1914. Per all of the internet beta calculators, that’s a 38 hour doubling time. Which is very much faster than 65 hours or whatever my last one was. I know I’m not out of the woods (are you ever out of the woods? Do you ever get the “out of the woods” feeling after infertility and miscarriage?), but that number is really reassuring. I guess I’ll see if it means anything tomorrow morning bright and early at my first ultrasound. Tomorrow I’ll be exactly 6 weeks. Fingers crossed …

    After tomorrow’s ultrasound we are piling in the car to go to NYC. I’m excited to see Mary Page Marlowe and mostly excited to see Tatiana Maslany (any other Orphan Black super fans out there??) and hopefully get to meet her at the stage door. Ahh! I hope we head into that car ride with good news.

    Here’s a beta hcg recap (for the very last time I truly hope):

    • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
    • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
    • 15dp5dt (5 weeks/20dpo) – 239
    • 17dp5dt (5 weeks 2 days) – 471
    • 19dp5dt (5 weeks 4 days) – 800
    • 21dp5dt (5 weeks 6 days) – 1914

    Life twists & turns, but you always end up right where you were meant to be.

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