21 Week Update + Q&A: Vivienne

March 17, 2017

I thought it was time for a little update on life and our last couple of weeks with Vivienne. Although I would love to do these more often, life  has been so crazy lately. Isn’t it for all moms though? Today, Vivienne is 21 weeks old and next week, she will be officially 5 months. I can’t even handle how much time is flying by. 5 months already?? Unfortunately, due to us being in the hospital at exactly 4 months old and dealing with RSV for a couple weeks after, I was unable to do a proper update that month. If you missed the blog post about our first trip to the ER, read about it here. I hope no mother has to call 911, but my only advise is to also never be afraid to call if you think something is wrong. An emergency team is available for you and that’s why we pay our taxes, for immediate support if we need it. Although now looking back knowing it was the start of Vivienne having RSV, how was I supposed to know? No one prepares you for these type of situations or your baby’s first sickness. I am so grateful for my husband’s words that day and for reminding me to be strong and calm for her. A true blessing on that day for me.

Vivienne is back to her smiling, laughing, and happy self. Thank goodness. It was a sad couple of weeks, and dealing with RSV is no easy task. I took a couple of days off of work to be with her and we didn’t travel to Tahoe and Sonoma as planned. The last thing we wanted to do was travel with a sick baby, to cold weather. Thank you to everyone who reached out via text, email, and Instagram; sharing your personal stories and giving me tips on what will make her more comfortable. It was truly appreciated and I am so grateful for the support system on social media.

Notice how real these photos are: messy blanket, propped up crib (RSV days)

For those of you who may be dealing with RSV currently and are not sure what to do, below are some tips from my experience.

  1. The first symptom I noticed was a little cough the same morning we went to the ER. Don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician to get your newborn in there as soon as possible for testing. Although they can not prescribe medication to a baby, you can diagnose her and start helping her feel more comfortable.
  2. Elevate his/her crib. Your baby will be coughing, sneezing, and potentially coughing up a lot of mucus. Be sure to elevate the mattress (using a pillow or rolled up towel) to help reduce the risk of choking.
  3. Saline drops and Nose Frida. We did this quite often to help clear her throat, always before a feeding and bed.
  4. Tylenol. When she was really unhappy and had a fever the first two days, Tylenol helped ease the pain and bring down her fever.
  5. Although Vivienne ate great while she had RSV, it is common for babies to not eat as well which can cause dehydration. So just be cautious and make sure your baby is eating. Clearing his/her throat (with saline and Nose Frida) before a feeding will make it easier for them.
  6. When your baby is diagnosed with RSV, prepare for 2-4 weeks of an unhappy baby. Vivienne was sick for about 2 weeks or so, which is a long time. Mentally prepare to stay home and get that baby better.
  7. Every day I was constantly washing everything that she touched. Toys, stuffed animals, clothing, blankets. I honestly feel like this helped her get healthy quicker- no spreading of germs.
  8. Wash your hands constantly. I try to be more mellow, but especially during this time… wash your hands!

I do hope this was helpful. 🙂

As promised, I wanted to answer a couple of questions I received recently about Vivienne, motherhood, and our plans for the future. Always feel free to send me questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in a timely manner or via updates.

How long do you plan to breastfeed? My plan as always is not to have a plan, but my thoughts are to do at least 6 months but no more than a year. Give or take. If we are at 1 year and I feel the need to continue for another month or two, then I will. I just personally do not want to breastfeed a baby that can ask for my boob. To each their own.

How was your first experience being in the hospital with Vivienne? Read about our hospital stay, here. PCH was wonderful but I don’t want to do that again any time soon.

What’s your favorite book to read to her? currently, my mom and me but we have a lot of books.

Do you time your outings around her nap schedule? We do. I sometimes feel like a slave to her nap schedule. Other than the car, she does not sleep anywhere but in her crib, swaddled, with a sound machine. I think she is extremely alert and will stay up and grow cranky… so we stick well to her nap schedule.

How often does she nap? Vivienne naps 4 times a day before bedtime at 7pm.

How long does she sleep for at night? When she got sick, she was back in her bassinet next to our bed so I could watch her closely and was getting up for comfort 3x a night. Now, she is back in her crib and sleeping 7pm-5am normally.

Do you plan on having more kids and if so, when? We are planning for one more child, girl or boy, and evaluating the best time for when Vivienne turns one this Fall. It depends on a lot of circumstances. Yet, everything can change.

Has the arrival of your newborn impacted your marriage? Do you have tips on how you still make each other feel special? If anything, Vivienne has brought us closer. Our favorite thing right now is watching her every move and getting so excited when we see big changes. Which is almost daily. I think this is a whole other blog post to be honest. I will never sit here and say my marriage is perfect. Even though social media makes it easy to appear that way; we still go through hard times like every couple. Marriage is hard work and we will always be working on improving ourselves together and as individuals. Some tips: showing appreciation for the extra help with Vivienne on days that we most need it (work, doing something for ourselves, even showering etc.) and taking time to go on dates. We took a little time to do this when she was first born and I feel it is so important to get away and continue to date each other.

When do you stop swaddling? Do you have a transition plan? They say you can stop swaddling when your baby starts to roll over. I feel Vivienne is on the cusp of this yet I don’t actually have a transition plan set for her. I’ve heard great things about Baby Merlin’s magic suit but haven’t thought too much about it. I just personally can not imagine putting Vivienne down for a nap without the swaddle! How on earth will she fall asleep? Any thoughts or tips on this would be greatly appreciated 🙂

What is Vivienne’s latest milestone? This little girl still loves her hands but intensely stares at them now. She can roll from tummy time to her back and is starting to roll back to side, borderline rolling to her front. She is going to be such a chatter box from how she is already “talking” away. She very rarely cries and is just the happiest and sweetest little girl.

Photography by @Amaes_photography

Loungewear and onesie by Kickee Pants.