Friday, 25 July 2014

First try for #2

Today is Deb's first IUI. We have three tries left including today. 

Well I started this post Friday July 25th. Here is the lowdown. 

Deb had her IUI on Friday afternoon. Everything went well. The sperm count was about 76 million with 42% high motility. (I need to find the sheet to confirm the numbers). In the end I think our count was 12.1 million high active sperm. Not the best we've had but not too shabby. 

Being on this side of things is very different. Our pregnancy test day is August 8. And so the TWW has started again. 

Correction on numbers. Count was 72 mil per ml with 43 rapid, and 2 slow. To equal 12.3 million.  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Impromptu shelf

Yesterday I got a wind to clean. So I was also rearranging stuff. When we moved furniture to accommodate toy storage shelves in the living room a love seat got moved by the window. This then partially blocked the book case that was at the end of our dresser/change table that doubled as a shelf for wipes and stuff. 

With organizing everything I figured the bookcase worked better somewhere else however that removed a very accustomed to shelf. So when Deb got home I asked her to build a shelf. I love having a handy wife that can do things like this on the fly, and has the supplies on hand.  So here is the newest shelf. 

It works like a charm an the diaper genie can now fit under it which frees up some floor space. 

Also here are a couple favourite photos from the latest smiles pictures. 

For all the latest photos see the smiles tab up top. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

First night of sick

The night before last was my first night of Spencer being outright sick. He woke to at 2:00 and I went to him and he was soaked. Originally I thought I hadn't put on his diaper properly and it leaked. I put him on the change table and noticed it wasn't pee. He was cover in sick as was the crib and bedding. I woke deb up for a little assistance. She held him while I cleaned up and changed sheets and what not.  

Once everything and everyone was clean I went to nursery/rock him back to sleep and deb went back to bed. He wouldn't settle and I put him on his side and once again got sick. All over the snoogle, my lap and the floor.  Once again I get debs attention for help. She held him and changed his outfit again while I wiped him down and the snoogle and cleaned the floor as best I could. Poor little guy.

We aren't sure if it was the heat, his latest vaccines or new foods we have tried. We suspect it might be the tuna we have him. So for now we have him back to basic diet and we will start to introduce new foods slowly again. We were getting a little careless with the two to three day rule. 

Today he had his first eye appointment. Do far looking not to bad. However he might be a little far sighted and have a slight stigmatism. He has an appointment booked for closer to one year and he will have his pupils dilated to allow the doctor to see more in his eyes. Overall so far his re health is good though which is good to hear. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

CD1 - here we go again.

Well yesterday I started this post but I guess it didn't save. This is probably why I usually write them in my word copy and the put it into my blog. But bring able to write posts on my phone while rocking with Spencer or what have you it is a plus. The putting himself to sleep is a hit or miss and a work in progress. 

Alas here is the news. Yesterday was Debs cycle day 1 for her first try. My Sherpa duties are starting. First off was calling in her cycle day one to the fertility clinic and arranging shipment of the remaining sperm from Toronto. I should have thought of that sooner as we might have been able to get shared shipping and saved some money. 

I got the call today. Deb is to start testing for ovulation on day 15 of her cycle. She has fairly long cycles. I hope we don't miss it though. And her IUI is slated for the afternoons time when it happens. It's getting exciting. 

On another pleasant note we found out Spencer's godparents are pregnant. Yay.  That is fantastic news. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Because Avocado is supposed to be good for babies we gave it a try. To me they taste like green margarine. And deb isn't too fond of them either. But to Spencer they are a hit. 

Next try is green beans. He seems to be a fan of green veggies. So that is fantastic. 

Yesterday was the big day of crying. I am still a sad about our two dogs but it was a necessary evil. Yesterday morning I kind of asked for a sign that we are doing the right thing and not more than 10 minutes later Gizmo had a seizure. It was time. They were both in pain for various reasons thunder was mostly because of his teeth but his muscle spasms (or seizures) were happening more frequent too. Like any grief it will come in waves I think. Our third dog is starting to realize they are missing and is slightly sulking. It is hard to know what happened but not be able to explain it to Tuffy. Alas it is done, our house is quieter, our hearts are sullen, but Spencer can enjoy more freedom on the floor. And we don't have to guard him from the dogs. They were loved and will be missed. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Emotionally Spent.

I don't know how single moms can do this. I have support and that is the only reason I've made it this far. I'm not the best house mom, not the worst either. I know Deb would be over and above. Even when her energy is gone she can keep going. I feel I'm not living up to her expectations or mine. Yes I generally keep the kitchen kept because when it isn't everything in there takes seven times as long to do anything. (Weekends that kind of goes to pot though)  I make the dinners for us and Cherry and Randy most evenings. I try to keep the house tidy, that sometimes falls behind. Laundry is maintained and usually put away. But I don't seem to make time to do the extra stuff like clean the fridge from crumbs and spills. I haven't gotten to the pantry that had a powder formula accident a while back. Bathrooms get done but usually a little too long between cleanings. I have barely vacuumed the floors enough; they are in dire need of being done. These are the things that I know Deb wouldn't stop until try are done. Yet I can't find the motivation or the lock of time to get them done. 

This past week we made a very difficult decision. We have three dogs. Two of them are getting up there in age, 14 ish years old. One of them is getting very grumpy in his old age. He randomly snaps at people, ontop of that his seizures are getting a lottle more frequent. We can't risk him snapping  at Spencer. His counterpart is his sister. They have never been apart for more than a few hours in their 14 years. Her health isn't in the best of shape either and  she is starting to get testy. And without her brother I think her heat would be broken and health would deteriorate even further quicker. With that being said we have decided to put them both down. 

Theoretically they could live another few years. It is debatable on the quality of life it would be. This has been the hardest decision to make. But the safety of Spencer is the most important. 

The knowledge that their last trip to the bet is tomorrow is sending me into an emotional downward spiral. 

Today Spencer has had a bad day. I think his teeth are trying to come in. He usually naps for well over an hour and today he has been lucky to get 40 minutes. His waking time he has been grumpy too and this has been making me feel even worse. I have limited patience right now and can't seem to keep him happy. I know most babies have days like this and some more than others. I just can't imagine myself surviving a lot of days like this. 

Each time I hit this emotional low because I can't get things done it is like a tally in my head and each time is worse.  Each time I feel like a worse mom and a worse wife. Each melt down I feel this should be my last, otherwise I'm not doing my job and will make a horrible Sherpa, I won't be able to handle the first major stress as a mom when Spencer gets older. I won't be able to hold my ground in disapline and then Spencer will turn into a spoiled brat. Ill just turn into a permanent mess. 

Spencer is a great little one. Yes he has his off days like everyone does. I can't imagine my life without him.  These lows just happen, sometimes out of the blue, and it is hard to get out of them. I feel bad for getting into them as they are my fault alone. I should be able to do it all. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Six Month Discharge

Just a quick note.  Yesterday Spencer had his, hopefully, last physiotherapy session.  The therapist said that his neck is fixed from Torticollis.  His neck lifts each way with equal strength, and so we are free from doing the stretches on his neck which weren't pleasant.  His file will remain open for 6 months.  If he seems to be leaning too much for extended periods then we can bring him back to see her.  If she doesn't hear from us in 6 months, she will close the file.  He will always have a tendency to lean to the right, but she said that is ok.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Six Whole Months (07/01/14) Part 3

Other notables about Spencer
Favorite cuddle object -  He still loves anything soft and cuddly.  Some of his favorites are a green blanket we have that has a stuffed teddy head in the middle, a soft stuffed red ball that is also a rattle, and soft blankets that he does a cute move we call “smooshy face” into.  

Favorite security object – He doesn’t have one per se, but if anything it would be his suckies (pacifiers), or his green teddy blanket.

Favorite song or luliby – Still Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Walking in Memphis by Cher. 

Favorite food – So far favorites are wax beans, cereal, and honeydew melon. 

Other favorites – watching the live fish in our fishtank, bouncing; whether it be mom’s bouncing him, in his exersaucer, or in the jolly jumper, going for walks in the stroller or backpack, and going into the hot tub. 
Favorite game – Monkey’s bouncing on the bed.  We lay him on the bed and bounce him a little.  We use this to distract him from us doing his neck stretch, he giggles through the whole thing. 

Reflections from the heart – You are a peach to have as a baby.  We couldn’t have asked for happier little man.  Soft things are still a favorite for you, and you are going to be such a water baby, as you LOVE being in the hot tub.  (Please don’t fret, we only keep it at about 98-99 degrees.)  You seem to set your own pace.  When you’re ready to start a routine you start your own.  Napping in your lamb swing used to be the place to be, but once you could roll to your side, you wanted to nap in your crib.  You seem to know when there is a change to be made and are usually a step ahead of your mums.  Every milestone you get to, you seem like a perfect little man, you are forever learning and growing, and trying to be as independent as possible.  You think, look, learn, and bounce where possible.  Alas, we love you very much, and you are too cute for words.  We are blessed to have you. 

Other updates - recently Xytex notified me that there is a group for people that have children by our donor and one of them wanted to contact me.  Through a series of emails we now have joined a Facebook group that is for Spencer’s Diblings (Donor Siblings), and have been able to see pictures of 18 of his diblings.  It is fantastic to see his extended family.  

For a huge photo fix, if you like, I have added a tab to the top of my page that is for most of Spencer’s Smiles photo shoots.  

Six Whole Months (07/01/14) Part 2

Because I haven’t posted in so long and there seems to be so much information about Spencer’s development missing, and this post has turned out to be much longer than a post should be to give readers a break point for a quick read I have broken this post into a few sections. 

Milestones checklist From CDC website
Social and Emotional -  
Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger.  He definitely recognizes immediate family, his first arm reaches went out to Poppi (Randy).  He is pretty friendly to new women, in fact he is a little flirt to women.  Strangers that are men can make him cry.  I think we need to expose him to more men.  He is pretty good with the ladies at church that like to hold him and talk to him, but if a random man says hello to him he cries a little too often. 

Likes to play with others, especially parents – loves to play, Yaya (Cherry) is his favorite person to giggle with right now.  He loves anticipation games like going in for a tickle or bounce. 

Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy – He is a very happy baby over all.  His chemical melt downs are if he gets too tired or hungry and that is understandable.  He also responds to other peoples smile which is great. 

Likes to look at self in a mirror – Baby in the mirror has been a great game for a long while now.  It is also one of his physio exercises to tilt him in a mirror to get him to right his head. 

Responds to sounds by making sounds – We talk all the time.  He loves it.  His current favorite noise right now is the brmmm brmmm noise.  When he is upset that is when we hear the Maaaa word.  We occasionally get a hiii back with saying hi to him repetitively. 

Strings vowels together when babbling (ah, eh, oh) and likes talking with parents while making sounds – His vowel sounds have been chatting for a long while now, we occasionally get the combo of Agoo.  Same as above we have long conversations of me parroting back to him.  He also recognizes questions like Do you want up, do you want to have a shower etc. 

Responds to his own name – Yes, for a little over a month now I think. 

Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure – He definitely giggles and squeals with joy.  That is the best noise every, hearing him giggle.  When I am trying to get a little more sleep and cuddle with him in the morning, if he is ready to get up he fusses and cries until I get out of bed.  He then knows that I will be getting ready and we will head downstairs to play and have breakfast. 

Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with m, b) -  As mentioned above, when he is upset Maaa comes out.  When he is just babbling brmmm comes out with varying tones behind it.  Baa still seems elusive though, but I guess we don’t say that one very often.  However he found brmmm by himself.  New sounds from him are fun to hear and encourage. 

Cognitive (Learning, thinking, problem-solving
Looks around at things nearby – He has always been a curious looker.  Everything he sees he seems to contemplate what it means and what is happening. 

Brings things to mouth – This started around 3 months and has progressively gotten better.  It was around 20 weeks that he was able to pick up his suckie and get it into his mouth correctly.  That is now a favorite game, kind of like a rubix cube.  He takes it out, turns it around moves it between hands and then repositions it in his mouth correctly.  Or he turns it to chew on the handle part as a teether kind of thing. 

Shows curiosity about thins and tries to get things that are out of reach – Ever since he could roll onto his side he has been trying to get to things that are for him, or some that are not.  We now need to watch how close his exersaucer is to things as he has a long reach and tries to get the table cloth or cords and the like. 

Begins to pass tings from one hand to the other -  This has been happening for a while now, his favorite, as mentioned, is his suckie, but he now does it with other toys as well. 

Movement/Phisical Development
Rolls over in both directions (Front to back and back to front) – Spencer’s first witnessed roll was from back to front on May 28.  For a while he was able to go from his back to his side but he seemed afraid to continue.  To get to his side he would lift his legs in the air and lean them over to use gravity to pull him to his side.  At his last physio appointment I was concerned that he was favoring going one way, but since then he has developed going both directions.  He can now go from front to back and back to front both directions which is great mobility.  Unfortunately due to the dogs we can’t leave him on the floor unsupervised, so floor time is slightly limited.  But I’m working more of it into our daily routine.  Since floor time has been incorporated, we put together alphabet floor mats to make cleaning a bit easier and to give him a little cushion for rolling. 

Begins to sit without support – June 18th was when Spencer was able to sit without support.  He is getting better at this and can now correct his position as he is slightly leaning.  It was a great day to celebrate.  Before his June physio we didn’t really think to start his sitting skills, but she showed what to do to assist his development with that and it worked fairly quickly after that. 

When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce – Standing has been Spencer’s favorite activity for a long time, around 13 when he could stand with just us holding his hands for balance.  He is now learning the bounce technique when we are helping him.  He is also starting the stepping motion which is fun.  His balance still needs a fair amount of work though, and I think that is understandable. 

Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward – This is just starting to develop.  Not so much as rocking, most like army crawl of ooching forward.  His arms and legs aren’t quite coordinated to support himself up yet.  

Six Whole Months (07/01/14) Part 1

And a few days.  Where has the time gone?  Before giving birth I figured I would be documenting EVERYTHING on here, so much so my few readers would be bored with the posts.  Alas, babies take too much time, and my writing mojo seemed to be depleted.  I am hoping it is coming back.  Today is actually Canada Day and I am getting the morning off of mama duty.  Deb took Spencer to visit family elsewhere in Alberta for the morning.  My lung infection is back, the last round of antibiotics, around Mother’s Day, didn’t quite kick it and it was starting to come back with vengeance, so I tried to be proactive in going to the doctor’s this time.  I am now on a heavier set of anti’s and it seems to be helping.  Yay.  But that is why I got the morning off, so I could rest and nap and sleep in without feeling guilty and without Spencer needing me. 

It was at the six month mark that we were going to do the cry it out to get Spencer to nap in his crib instead of his lamb swing.  We didn’t really need to do that.  For a large part of his naps he goes down without a fuss.  We have such a peach of a baby.  Don’t get me wrong there are a few bad days of crying but overall he gets fed, and then knows it is nap time and watches his fish mobile till he falls asleep. 

On a hope, I am going to try and at least do the monthly updates of information.  I’m taking inspiration from

Physician’s Checkup – For Spencer’s 6 month check up; we got his latest stats.  He now weights 7.23 kg which is a pinch away from 16 pounds.  His height is 65 cm or 25.5” and his head is 42.5 cm or 16.73”.  He seems to be following the right curve of growth from birth, at around the 25th percentile, so that is good news. Our current doctor is a little flaky, she asked some very general questions like, has he found his toes, can he roll over, etc all to which I answered yes.  He found his toes ages ago.  She also asked about his feeding habits and I mentioned that we have started him on solids a little while ago due to the fact he wanted to eat every 60-90 minutes.  She didn’t seem too concerned that we started food a little earlier than the recommended 6 months. 

Spencer (and Deb) go in for the next set of vaccine’s next week.  I seem to trust their measurements, for his head and length, a little better.  Weight seems to be on par and our weekly Wii Fit weigh in’s are pretty accurate with both doctor’s scales. 

He still goes for physiotherapy once a month, for the torticollis.  Last month we got into a little trouble for not doing his neck stretches enough.  Oops.  Lately he has been doing a lot better with his stretches at home.  We also need to carry him right side down and do repetitive motion exercises with him when we can a few times a day.  Some days we are better than others, but we keep trying.  He seems to be doing much better. 

Sleep patterns – About a month ago Spencer decided that around 8:00 was his bed time.  That is when he goes down for the major sleep.  Before Deb and I go to sleep we feed him, so that is around 11:00 and he can eat usually around 100 ml or a decent feed from the breast, aka yaybie.  (The term came from a comedic bit we heard and stuck.)  Some times he will then sleep till about 6:00 but other times he wakes up around 4:30 and then again around 6:30. 

Food -  Food started a little earlier than six months.  He has done quite well.  We started him with Oat cereal.  That was a hit.  We then introduced pumpkin, liked but not quite as much as cereal.  He has now had butternut squash, peas, broccoli (that took a few days to acquire a taste for it), carrots, yellow beans (those were a big hit surprisingly), banana, honeydew melon in a food sock (that is funny to watch, he LOVES it and when you take it away to adjust the food in it, he gets upset), watermelon, and chicken.  All of which, except the cereal was made by us to puree.  We usually mix the chicken in with a vegetable as he doesn’t quite like it by itself, he will eat it, but not a favorite.  We started him with dinner, then introduced breakfast.  We have tried to introduce lunch, but so far he doesn’t seem too interested in eating mid day yet, for solid foods.

The few things that we haven’t made are as follows: he had a jar of Gerber Turkey and Sweet potato, while we were in Fernie as we didn’t travel with solids for lack of a freezer.  One night we were at a restaurant and we had brought cereal thinking it would be enough, and were dead wrong, so he got Montana’s Garlic Mashed potatoes.  I kind of fretted about the salt and garlic and miscellaneous seasoning in there, but they were a hit and he didn’t react to anything in the days following.  Just the other day at the zoo he got his first taste of Tropicana Orange Juice.  I know juice isn’t good to introduce too early, but I don’t plan on giving it to him on a regular basis, just on occasion. 

Feeding times are difficult.  He won’t usually take to the breast throughout the day, he prefers taking pumped milk from the bottle or formula.  I’m still a little short on producing enough milk.  I have even started domperidone to help milk production which has help, but I still need to supplement with formula.  He isn’t fond of taking a bottle while being held either though.  So I usually still give it to him in the swing, or laying on the change table, or I’m trying in the high chair after eating.  We are now introducing a sippy cup for milk/formula drinking.  That is still a work in progress.  So he usually takes the yaybie first thing in the morning and any times he wakes up through the night.  He occasionally takes it as he just wakes up from naps, and just before going to bed if it is me putting him to bed.  Then his additional bottles varies from day to day, some days he has a lot of 60ml bottles other days it will be 120 mls but less frequent.