Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sleep, Solids, and "Totsicles"

Things are going very well on the sleep front! The boys go down quite easily after our nighttime bath, bottle, storytime routine around 7pm. They get up for one night feeding around 2-3am and then go back to sleep until around 7am. We feel quite fortunate for this and really can't take any credit for it. The day sleep is now starting to become more organized now too. The boys typically go down for their first nap of the day by 8:30am and sleep for two hours. They go down for their second nap around 12:30-1pm and typically sleep for 1.5-2 hours. In the late afternoon around 4-5pm they take a short nap around 0.5-1 hour. Although we did work on sleep training, I also feel that most of this success is attributed to the boys. After a couple of bad weeks of sleep training I gave up on coordinating the boys' schedules and put each baby down for a nap individually, which gives me the opportunity to do a little cuddling as part of our nap routine, and helps the boys go down for their naps. All in all I feel very fortunate to have such great little sleepers who as a result are quite happy, little boys!

In the next couple of weeks we are going to start solids. We got the go ahead from the pedi at the 4 month appointment, but have been waiting for the boys to tell us when they are ready. Also, I was hoping to hold off on starting solids until closer to 6 months given the new data that's out regarding allergies, childhood obesity, and diabetes. The boys are over 5 months now and are starting to seem interested in food. We've been putting them in their high chairs at the dining room table when we eat, so they can get used to sitting in them and because they like to be a part of everything now. Both of the boys have lost the tongue-thrust reflex and can hold their heads up well. Both seem to stare at our food when we are eating. Silas regularly eats 8oz at a feeding and doesn't necessarily seemed satisfied after the feeding. So, we feel that these signs are the boys telling us that they're ready to start some food and plan to get going on that in the next couple of weeks.

I plan to make baby food, particularly because of the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits this time of year. I am considering starting with oatmeal and skipping the rice cereal, but our pedi told us we could skip cereal altogether and start with vegetables or fruits. A good friend recommended the following website: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/. I'd love to hear suggestions and/or advice from all of you!

We have 3 embryos frozen at our reproductive clinic and had to decide if we were going to continue storing them (the first year of storage was included in our IVF shared risk plan). When we started IVF we opted to donate any leftover embryos to science because throwing them out seems wasteful and donating them to other couples is something that my husband isn't comfortable with. I thought I was 100% comfortable donating them to science (I am a scientist afterall), but here I sit unable to sign the forms to authorize the donation. It's not that we plan to transfer the embryos to anyone (me included) and have always planned to only have two living children, but I can't seem to let them go. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Liam and Silas were among the 5 blasts that resulted from IVF #2 and if things had been different they could've been one of the ones that was frozen and not transferred (blech that makes me sick to think about). I can't help but wonder about those three embryos ... I wonder who's among them? I wonder if there's a little girl among them? I wonder if I will regret letting them go? I told J that I needed a couple of weeks to wrap my brain around the reality that these three embryos will never have a chance. Deep down I know the fate of these three embryos, yet it still hurts my heart. Has anyone else struggled with this decision? Please share your experience with me.

On a more positive note I'll share a couple of photos of the boys...

Boys playing on the playmat:


The boys in their puppy robes after bathtime:



Fourth of July Parade:


23 comments:

Kelly said...

They are sleeping great from what it sounds like! That helps for a happy mom and happy babies! :) We did the cereal and then fruit and veggie protocol but it's totally up to you. I started mine at 4 months as well. On the 3 embryos... I would have a hard time doing anything with them myself. It's so sad the whole thing when you really think about it. Well happy too with the results but so hard to let the rest go. KWIM?? Whatever you decide, I'm sure it won't be easy! (((Niki)))

aleutianrunner said...

I have the same issue with the embryo's. It is a hard decision especially after seeing what they produce. I am with J on not donating to other couples not because I don't want to help them, but because my children would have other biological siblings out there and I don't know how I'd feel about that after the fact. I believe that when the time comes to decide we will just know what we should do. PS: the boys are so darn cute and getting so big:)

Expectant Duck said...

They look so cute and seem like sleeping champs, I'm sure we will get there some day.

I wonder too about our little embrios, I wonder what little people they are, but, I know that we will never do surrogacy again so we are in quite a pickle.

cmatsukes said...

I am glad the boys are doing well they are so cute and I think the solid food thing comes when they are just not getting enough from formula and not satisfied babies makes for a cranky baby. The embryos I would donate them to another couple I would feel that would be much better then to science why not let them be persons that is the greatest gift you can give and not knowing where they are I feel you should not worry about that just that you gave another couple the happiness these two boys gave you should help you make the decision easy.
It would be called paying it forward. Just my opinion you have to make your own desicion and feel comfortable with it hope you can make a desicion you can both live with. Good Luck.

Dora said...

I started with fruits and vegetables for Sunshine. My mother asked if she could give her some banana on Mothers Day (she was 5 mos), and I said yes, but then I waited a couple of more weeks before giving her solids regularly. I added rice cereal (I mix it with fruit) after a few weeks mainly because my mother was pestering me about it. I'm not so anxious for her to really get into complex carbs. (Personally, I think too many of us girls turn to complex carbs for comfort.)

As for your totsicles, I think you should pay for another year of storage. Whatever you decide to do with them, you should be ready. I know it's expensive, but your peace of mind is important. You know that my girl is a former totsicle donated to me, but I would NEVER tell someone what I think they should do with their embryos. I just don't want you to feel you've rushed your decision.

On another note, the boys are SO DELICIOUS! Give them a smooch for me!

niobe said...

Omigosh, what gorgeous, gorgeous boys you have!

On the embryos thing -- our choice was to give the extras to another couple and we're in the process of finalizing all the legal paperwork.

It's such a personal thing, but the way I look at it is that, while our family is complete, I want to give the embryos a chance at life and to give another couple a chance at a family.

So many people gave so much to help us to find our way to Cole and Ruby.

I see donating the embryos to another couple as a way of paying it forward...

Maureen said...

I went right to fruits and veggies with both of my boys. And neither of them had any baby food. Mash it with a fork or stick it through the blender (but mainly mash it with a fork). My older son's first food was avacado followed by sweet potato (there were among my second's first foods as well). My second's was a fist full of mashed potatoes he grabbed off my husband's plate, followed by yogurt the next morning he grabbed out of his brother's bowl (who had put it on his tray because he didn't think the baby would touch it). I decided he was ready to eat if he was feeding himself and that I better get around to doing it systematically if I were to have a clue about allergies if he were to react (I'll give myself a fair minus on that account, he got a lot of his first tastes of certain foods by swiping them)

Tiffany said...

Your boys are growing so fast, and are SO cute. We had the same struggle with our five remaining blasts. When the year was up we decided to keep them because it was just too soon to make a decision, hopefully next year we will have decided once and for all. I wish you peace in whatever you decide to do. I dream of a little girl, so I feel that someday we might be ready for that and I am afraid to make such a decision right now.

Anonymous said...

We have 8 totsicles still on ice and I am still going to keep paying the fees until I am sure we are done. My RE told me that he suggests even after you are sure about what you want to do with them, you should still pay for 1 more year and wait an additional year past that to make your move, just so you are very sure.

Also I wanted to say that I think donating them to science is a very worthy option as well and the one that we will probably end up going with. It think using them for research IS paying it forward and none of us IVF'ers would have the wonderful blessings we have today were it not for research and science. It would help people if you were to do that too.
Lisa

meinsideout said...

SO good to hear from you! The boys sound like they are doing so well - good job mama!

We are going to hold off on solids until at least 6 months - I had very bad allergies when I was small and I would like to prevent that as much as possible. I am also going to try and make their food once they start - so I look forward to hearing what you do!

王名仁 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Saffy said...

They've grown so big and beautiful (in a manly way :) ). Gosh I can't believe that they're big enough to be moving onto grown up food.

We skipped cereal too - and that website you referred to was helpful for us also. We tried D on fruit first but she actually preferred veggie flavours. The term solids actually cracked me up at first because it so isn't solids as we know them :)

As for your 3 on ice? I don't know what to say because I haven't been in those shoes. I can send you a hug though >:D<

Niki said...

Thanks for the compliments and advice on starting solids! I also appreciate everyone's understanding of the difficult decision to donate our embryos to science. Although I think donating our embryos to another couple is a wonderful gift and a way to pay it forward, it is not an option for us. My husband is adamantly opposed to donating our embryos to another couple. Because he's a very private person and I respect his privacy I won't discuss his reasons here. I completely agree with Lisa that donating our embryos to science is still a way to pay it forward and in the end will help other couples in need. Again I appreciate your understanding of this very sensitive issue.

SMK said...

Niki!

WOW those boys are gorgeous! I can't believe what good little sleepers they are. The totsicles situation is a very personal situation and I think maybe just praying and talking about your options with J is a great idea. I also have a very private husband who is adamantly opposed to certain things with respect to fertility. I know that whatever decision you come to will be the right one. Take care of yourself and your family.. hugs and kisses to the 4 of you! :)

Kelly said...

Niki-We could never donate them either if we had them. Just could not deal with children of ours out there somewhere and a chance meeting with the ones we are raising. Way too big for me so I totally understand!!

Kelly said...

FYI---5 posts from the bottom is adult spam!!!

Jill said...

cute pics of the boys! They are getting so big - and you are so good at getting pics of them with you. I feel like I am never in the pics with mine.

I make my own baby food and love it! I use the Magic Bullet to puree. It works well and very very easy clean up. That website you mentioned is the one I used and also borrowed a book from a friend. I do feed my boys jarred baby food sometimes and they eat it like it's fast food so there is definitely something different about jarred and homemade.

About the 3 embryos- sorry you have to make that decision. When I think what could have been with us it makes me sick to think of not having one of our boys. I feel for you in having to make this choice - it's such a personal decision.

Whitney said...

I also have the same problem with my 6 frozens. I keep paying the storage fee b/c I am not ready to give them up yet, even though I won't be able to carry any more babies (I had one miracle baby due to IVF last year and had a very complicated, scary pregnancy). I say keep them until you feel ready to let them go.

Anonymous said...

I am not an IVF'er so probably should not say anything but :-))
I know that if you want to donate embryos to another couple you can also choose "open adoption" so you can get updates and meet the kids one day if you want to or your boys want to.
I think I would pay for another year of storage.
Good luck and I wish a piece of mind.

ALEX

淑蔡承均dgd周真淑ii淑 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share this!

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/98595549.html

Niki said...

Anonymous, thanks for sharing that! I read that earlier today and think its great! :)

Stephanie Jean-Louis said...

I can't remember where I read about this, but would it be an option to transfer the embryos to you at a point in your cycle when it would be impossible for them to implant? P.S. Your boys are adorable :) Oh, smashed avocado is a great first food too! My daughter loved it and will now eat a whole avocado in one sitting.