12 months

Maeve is one year and 3 days old today.

It is incredible to look back on pictures and video of her in her first few days of life.  How incredible to see how much a child grows, changes and learns in such a short amount of time.

I most certainly miss my tiny little baby girl.  So new, fresh, sweet, innocent.  Those early months were truly just filled with pure love and happiness.  I was euphoric. We made so many memories this summer and fall.  Family trips, camping, spending quality time together just basking in the joy of finally having our little family.  Maeve has always been a happy, content baby. Up for anything as long as she felt she was part of the action.

At the six month mark my post pregnancy hormones started to take a dip.  Winter hit and I was faced with my normal seasonal low coming on.  Maeve was a teething machine from 4-9 months with the stretch from 6-9 being the hardest.  She was a terrible sleeper and everyone was tired and stressed.  Sleep training attempts failed, my patience was tested, i was not happy most of the time.  I didn’t feel like the mom I wanted to be or had previously been.  I was definitely suffering from some late PPD.  We worked through the challenges slowly and I focused on looking for the good aspects of each day. We gave sleep training a 3rd try.  This is when everything started to turn around.  Maeve was finally on a break from teething and everyone was emotionally strong enough to work on more independence at night time. She learned to crawl on New Year’s day.  She took her first steps at the beginning of March (10 months 7 days).  She has just been learning non stop since then and life is back on track.

These days I spend all of my time in awe of her. Everyday I wonder how I can live with aching love in my heart.  It’s hard to contain.  I feel like I am on the verge of tears (of love and happiness) at any given moment.

Maeve is such a happy baby and I hear wonderful things from everyone that meets and knows her.  She dances every time she hears music.  She hugs and kisses all of the other kids she meets.  She doesn’t need time to warm up to them, she just instantly loves every friend she meets. I get the most compliments on her personality from the ladies that watch her at the Y while I work out.  They just love her and it makes my heart very happy. She waves at everyone.  No matter what gender, colour, ability. Everyone is a good and a friend that is she happy to meet and interact with.  It warms my heart to see the pureness of her heart at this young age.  This is a quality you don’t see in most people and I hope this is a trait she will keep as she grows up.  She loves to clap and blow kiss.

The rate at which she is learning is staggering!  I know all parents are in awe of their children and are proud of everything they do but this child is honestly so smart.  She is curious and up to trying everything.  She watches you and instantly it’s her turn to try to do it too.

In the last week she has learned where her belly button is, where her toes are, how to tell us she is “all done” (sign language hand motions).  Just today she blew my mind when she was breastfeeding and then did the hand action of “all done”, unlatched, got down and started playing. WHAAA??!

We gave her a kitchen set for her birthday and she knows to get the pot – with the lid – the frying pan and utensils and she “stirs the pots and pans” on the stove top. HOW?!?! how can she have a toy for 8 hours and know this?  Yes, she watches me cook pretty much every meal from the high chair but that learning curve is STEEP people.

She “talks” all day.  This kid wants to talk so badly.  We are on pins and needles waiting to see what her actual first word(s) will be.  Right now, however, she is mimicking tones like crazy.  It is babble for sure but the formation of sounds are so much like words or short two or three word sentences.  I don’t really know how to describe it properly. It sounds like words but it’s not words.  You definitely do a double a take like, “that sounded like… this or that… didn’t it”?!  If you’re thinking were crazy, overly proud parents that are grasping at straws, we’re not the only people of have heard it. LOL.

These days the adventures are non stop and we continue to just be so grateful for IVF and the magic it was able to bring to our lives.   I am so happy we didn’t give up hope (although there were many MANY times I wanted to).  I am happy we persevered.   We had a vision of a family and we powered through many terrible days and we are now living the best days of our lives.

xox

She sleeps!

I said we were done with sleep training, and we were, up until a week ago.

Maeve was 10 and a half months old and sleeping with Chris in the spare room. She would start in her crib and at her 10 p.m. wake up Chris would take her to bed. Then, over the course of a night, she’d be up 3 or 4 times. Each time Chris would bring her to me, I would feed her, cuddle her, and take her back to him. In the beginning she would go back to sleep. Just before a week ago she would instantly start writhing around and cry bloody murder when I put her back in bed with Chris. This would start a game of crying, bouncing back and forth between bed rooms, crying in the swing and finally sleeping the last hour or so in the swing.  Naps were the same. If we were home for naps we’d have crying and getting up in the crib and naps always ended up happening in the swing.  

Chris had knee surgery on March 26th. Maeve still slept with him but I had to go in a get her. Chris said she would rustle and then sit up. She would be quiet at first. She would stare at the door and start to babble. When I didn’t come she would start to cry.  When she could hear me get out of bed she would start bouncing and clapping. 

That was the turning point in our co-sleeping 

We determined that trying sleep training again was the best thing for all of us. Maeve was not learning the skills needed to have normal, restful sleep (for both naps and nighttime sleep) and once again we were not functioning with the few hours we were getting each night. With the development of excitement and clapping upon me getting her in the night we realized she was mature enough to know exactly what was going on.

We decided on the Ferber method once again.  This time we didn’t think “what do we do if?…” We were taking the info and sticking to it no matter what. We did decide that based on Maeve’s personality we would do pick up and put down between timed intervals. We also decided to cut nights nursing -cold turkey.  If she seemed to really need to eat Chris would offer a bottle of homo milk.

Night 1: bedtime routine – bath, nurse, books, crib. She cried for 3 mins. Chris went in. Then cried another 5, then 10. Chris went in every 10 minutes for an hour and 20 mins. She went to sleep for 10 mins and was up again. Another hour of crying with Chris going in every 10 minutes. She went to sleep around 11 p.m. She was up at 1:30a.m. Chris went through two intervals and she was back to sleep until 6 a.m. 

Night 2: same routine and this time we went through just two intervals of crying. The significant change was that when Chris put her back down and left the room her eyes were still open. She was putting herself to sleep on the second night.  Next goal- making it through the sleep transition an hour later.

The next couple of nights were one interval of crying and then right to sleep.  By nights 4-5 she was sleeping through her sleep transition. The only thing that was challenging was that she was still getting up at her habitual wake times any time between 12-2 and 3-5 a.m. Some mornings she was up at 5 a.m others 6. One morning it was 8 a.m. That was the night she cried from 3-430 a.m. :s

On nights 5-6 I was so frustrated with her still waking and crying. Why was she waking? Why couldn’t she just sit down, lie down and go to sleep? She can go to sleep from being wide awake why can’t she do that on her own?! She was sleeping 4 hours at a time max. I think I was frustrated because the sleep training companies claim “sleeping through the night in 10 days guaranteed”. It just made me feel like we were doing something wrong. (Even though I know we are following the plan to the letter).

Last night was night 7. We are at intervals of 20, 25 and 30 minutes.

She went to bed and cried her normal first interval. She slept from 7:40 until 11 p.m. In that time she rolled from her back to her tummy twice, moved her entire body from the middle of the crib to the top corner of the crib. To us this part is a huge success! She wakes and moves and keeps on sleeping. We are still struggling with the rest of the night. By common standards sleeping through the night is from midnight to 5 a.m. We went to bed at 11 p.m. From 11-12:30 – she cried. And cried. And cried. She cried all three intervals which are really long at this stage. As mentioned, 20,25,30. Why can’t she just stop crying? Well at almost the end of the third interval she did stop. Oh my goodness. She did it! Well sort of. We checked the monitor and she was not crying but was standing in the crib patting the wall. The timer went off and Chris went in to lie her down. He left and she lied there with eyes open. He watched for a while and finally I said “Just turn it off. If she cries she cries but try to sleep if she’s not crying”. We woke up to her soft cries at 5:50 a.m.  Over 5 hours. “Through the night”.

So here we are. The start of the second week. We are making big strides and still have some ways to go. Tonight will be very interesting. I am actually very curious to see if she stops crying quicker this time. Maybe she will even lie down on her own?  These amazing changes in just 7 nights are incredible. I am so proud of our little pigeon and love her so much. 

next steps, literally.

it started on march 1st but i haven’t had a the time to write.

there was magic in our extra leap year day.  so many awesome things happened this February 29th.  then on march 1st maeve made her move and took her first few steps!  she is taking so many steps at a time now.  it’s not quite walking as she’s is not fully choosing to walk when she’s moving around but i’m sure she’ll change over soon enough.

when she is interested in practicing she will lift her arms in the air so i can get her into a standing position.  she’ll walk to me and when she reaches me she gives me she gives a big hug and a super goofy smile.  she is starting to scrunch her nose up and make her jaw crooked.  it’s the most hilarious thing she’s done so far.  it’s so freaking cute but i haven’t been able to catch it on camera yet.

i wish i could add  some video but i haven’t figure that out yet.  it looks like you can only upload video if it has a URL?  so i guess i would have to post it to youtube to be able to post it here on wordpress?  any input on that would be greatly appreciate:)