Wyatt: 7 Months

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Wyatt turned seven months last Thursday and we are having SO much fun with him. His laughter is infectious and the cutest sound on the planet. 

Every day he is more and more alert to the world around him and loves exploring new people and places. He’s a little squirmy wormy and does not sit still. 

Weight:  18 pounds

Length: 27.5 inches

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Hair: light brown and he has gotten so much more hair this past month!

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man. Stink Bink. 

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Likes: Rolling! This guy loves to roll and roll and roll. Don’t blame him since it’s his only mode or transportation! He also still loves all books and singing his favorite songs. Touching our faces and putting his fingers in our mouths. He loves taking walks in our new lillebaby, especially forward facing so he can check everything and everyone out. 

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Dislikes: Sleeping in his crib. 

Clothing and Diapers: 3-6 month and size 3 diapers. 

Sleep: I refer to him as “The Baby Who Refuses to Sleep”. Naps are few and far between and he refuses to sleep in his crib. We try. We try crying it out, controlled crying out, a very in depth routine, different bed times. And nothing works. He will only fall asleep in his rock n play. I don’t know what we will do when he grows out of it!

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Feeding: Breastfed every three hours and eats two solids a day. Usually a fruit or veggie puree that I mix up in the morning and oatmeal at night. So far he has tried sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, peas, butternut squash, avocado, and rice and oatmeal cereal. He likes everything.

He wasn’t too sure of the sourish taste of the apples at first and made this hilarious face. But still ate all of them!

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Milestones: Rolling freely front back to belly and belly to back over and over. Sitting up by himself for about 20 seconds. Grabbing at everything. Shaking his rattles and bell toys with glee.

Attended his first swim lesson! We are going every Tuesday morning for six weeks and he loved it! I hope he’s a little fishy like I was growing up.  He also is showing all signs of teething and gets rather fussy some days but no actual teeth cutting through yet. I also think he’s so close to crawling. My guess is by the end of May. 

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Favorite Things: Cloth books, board books, singing, Mickey Mouse Hot Dog singing doll, bell rattle, panda toy, activity center, Seaseme Street pop up toy, cold teething keys, baby einstein guitar, play cell phone, playing with his feet and sucking on everything!

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What I want to remember:

 

How happy he is all the time! Seriously, he’s such a happy baby and delights in the smallest things. I’m grateful for how I can make him happy by just making a silly face or doing a silly dance for him. 

Reading to him before bedtime.

How fortunate I feel to still be nursing him. 

The way he wacks himself in the stomach when he’s SUPER excited. 

Our first Easter with him.

How excited he was to be requainted with his favorite toy from his newborn days, his panda.

How much fun we had at swim lessons. 

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Dear Wyatt,

I don’t know how it’s possible, but every day I love you more. I love your curiosity and the joy that you experience with every little moment and new experience. The days are going by too fast. How are you already more than half of they way to your first birthday? I’m so lucky to spend the days with you. We are learning new things together, like how to let you cry on your own a little, even though it tears me apart. The fact that you are now eating solids and sleeping in your own room (although in your beloved rock n play) makes me realize that you are not completely dependent on me anymore and it’s so very bittersweet. You’ll always be my special little baby boy and I’ll always be here for you as you experiment with your independence. I can tell that you can’t wait to do more things on your own. I will be standing by watching you with the biggest smile on my face and in my heart. 

Love always,

Mommy

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

Birthday and Easter Celebrations

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We had a fabulous holiday weekend! On Saturday, my Birthday, we attended an Easter party at my Pop-Pop’s retirement community. There we met the Easter bunny and got free portraits taken with real live bunnies borrowed from an Amish farm. I had no idea we were going to get such professional photos taken and was blown away by the results. I love my little Wyatt with the bunny, I’m going to be a proud mama here, isn’t he the cutest???

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Later that day we celebrated my birthday at my parent’s house. Wyatt was very interested in the candles! It was a perfect low key celebration. 

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Sunday morning, the Easter bunny was a little late getting things going. (I hear he was also celebrating a birthday with cosmos like me the night before). But I was very happy to present Wyatt’s first Easter basket. We filled it with books, a Jellycat piggy, a fun ball, a rattle chick, and tons of plastic Easter eggs.

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Wyatt was extremely intrigued and couldn’t wait to dig in!

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Timbbbbber!!!

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He liked the Easter eggs the best. We spent the rest of the morning dumping out the eggs over and over again. 

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Next we headed over to my parent’s house where Wyatt was presented with another basket of Easter goodies! Our little guy isn’t spoiled one little bit!

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We then drove down to Philly for Easter with Ryan’s family. Wyatt made quite the entrance as he had an accident all over his fancy Easter outfit. So after a quick and very messy change, we enjoyed more Easter goodies, including this Mickey Doll that sings The Hot Dog song. Wyatt is in love. Mommy will soon lose her mind! 

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It was great to get all the MacDonald kiddos in one place to celebrate! 

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How did you celebrate Easter?

 

 

Wyatt: 6 Months

wyatt6months1 wyatt6months2              IMG_3866  Wyatt turned six months on Monday and we just had his check up this morning.

Six months! How can it be that our little man has been in our lives for half of a year?  

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He has grown so much, both physically and developmentally this past month. He’s starting to look and act more like a little boy each day. My baby is growing up!

Overall he is a very happy and smiley baby. He brightens up our days with his huge toothless grin and loves to “flirt” with almost everyone. 

IMG_3902 Weight:  17 pounds 3.5 ounces

Length: 27.25 inches

Hair: brown

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man. Mr. Stinky 

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Likes: Singing and music. He loves the Hot Dog Song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, (even if he’s never seen the show) He goes legit berserk whenever we play the song on our phones. He also loves just rolling around on the floor and exploring. 

Dislikes: Going down for a nap, going to bed at night, and waking up from a nap. He basically hates to sleep. I don’t get it. 

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Clothing and Diapers: He’s mostly all in 3-6 month clothing and size 2 diapers and still using cloth diapers about 50% of the time. 

Sleep: It’s feeling pretty non existant. Some nights I feel like I’m dealing with a dictating newborn again. At night he’s up every 2-3 hours and the only thing that calms him down is the boob. I’m tired. He’s tired. Everyone is cranky. We have a solid bedtime routine. He is sleepy at night. He CAN self soothe. We have a lovely crib for him to sleep in. He rolls over onto his belly and gets very frustrated that he can’t roll back. Starts screaming and he ends up in his co-sleeper or in the rock n play by 12. 

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Feeding: He eats every 3 hours.  Still exclusively breast-fed. On Sunday we fed him his first solids: banana! He was very intrigued and it was a very messy and fun experience. 

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Wyatt’s First Food: Banana! from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo.

Milestones: Holding up his head very well. Almost sitting up. Rolling over a lot, but still hasn’t fully mastered rolling over from belly to back. Playing in his activity center. Eating bananas. “Talking” more. Blowing raspberries. Lots of drool but no teeth yet. Reaching his arms up to be picked up. 

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Favorite Things: Hot Dog Song, Peekaboo books, Mr. Brown Can Moo book, bear sleepy stuffed animal, jelly cat kitty tail book, wubanubs, pulling of socks, eating feet, balls, playing peekaboo, rolling over, soothing teething keys. Playing with his feet.

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What I want to remember:

How happy he is to see Daddy when he comes home from work.

They way he reaches up to us to be picked up now.

How his giggles are the best sound ever. 

The rare moments he still wants me to hold him whiles he’s napping. 

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Dear Wyatt,

You are turning into a little guy with such a happy and fun personality. You think life is just so much fun that you never want to miss a beat or close your eyes to sleep. Waking up to your big beautiful smile everyday makes my life worth living, even after sleepless nights. You help me relax and realize that life is short and full of new things. I hope that I’m doing everything I can to provide you with the best babyhood. The days are going by too fast. I love you so much little guy. I can’t wait to get outside and experience Spring with you. 

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Down By the Bay with Wyatt from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo.

   
  

   
        

Live on Huffington Post….

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I’m excited to announce that I am now a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post!

(So excited that I cried when I found out and when I told my mom, she thought I was announcing another pregnancy, my face was that happy.)

It was very important for me to share my experience with postpartum depression and I’m glad that this is my first piece that is live on Huffington Post Parents. 

Thank you for all of your support regarding my experience. It was hard to hit publish on this piece, but my hope is that other women experiencing similar thoughts will feel less shame, speak up, and get help.

Postpartum depression and anxiety is much more common that you’d think. 1 in 7 women will experience symptoms. 

I, a woman who dreamed of having a baby her whole life, never thought I was go through this experience. And that made it all that much harder. It is a commonly misunderstood mental illness. It is hard to remember that we are not in control of these feelings. I never thought of harming my son and always felt a huge amount of love for him, but my anxiety and depression crippled me in many other ways. 

I spent many nights up in bed in a panic, filled with shame. Those dark and lonely moments only escalated my depression.

It wasn’t until after I started reading other women’s experiences with PPD (a much more productive way to spend my sleepless nights) that I felt safe enough to talk about how I felt. So, I am glad to now add my story and hope that at least one other woman will be up at 3 am, on the break of a panic attack, find my story and will feel less shame about talking about her feelings. 

I sought support around 6 weeks after Wyatt’s birth and felt immediate relief. Since then I have made major improvements and almost feel like myself again. 

Motherhood is hard. Let’s support each other. 

 

My Struggle With Postpartum Depression

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(This post has been hard for me to write, but I am glad to be sharing my story.)

It’s two a.m. and I’m not sleeping. Again.

My newborn son has finally fallen asleep. I have been waiting for this moment all day. I’m exhausted. I should be sleeping.

Instead, I’m sitting in bed scrolling through baby message boards on my phone, falling into a deep rabbit hole of anxiety. I type question after question: “Is he eating enough?” “Why isn’t he sleeping?” “Is his poop normal“, “Am I interacting enough?” The questions go on and on. I know I need to sleep, I know the baby will be up in a short hour. But I can’t calm my mind.

Every night I search for an answer that I know I won’t find. I search for a way to justify the way I feel or a way to convince myself what I’m feeling is normal. But I know it is true: I am suffering from postpartum depression.

I waited my entire life to have a baby. I spent my pregnancy on cloud nine researching products and organizing a perfect nursery where I sat daydreaming about life with my baby.

After the birth of my son, I was overjoyed. I had an easy delivery (as easy as a C-section can go) and after five days, I was excited to go home.

I knew I would face challenges as a new mother, but I thought the love for my son would overpower them. Those first few weeks are a blur.

I felt anxious about everything. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t bonding with my baby. I felt overwhelmed by simple tasks. I would dread the end of the day, not wanting to face another never-ending night of doom and despair.

I had an enormous support system and visitors flooded in. I’d put on a smile and say all the right things, becoming an expert at masking my inner turmoil; too afraid of the judgment I would receive if people knew the truth.

I loved my son, so I chalked my anxieties up to the “baby blues” which the internet says dissipate around six weeks. So, I waited.

Six weeks came and went. As I emerged out of the fog of the newborn days my anxiety only became sharper.

Every day would end in tears. When my husband came home and ask me how I was, I’d sob uncontrollably. My husband would ask, “What is causing this?” And I would say I felt alone, lost, and like a failure and I had no idea why.

I was unraveling.

I had scary visions. I pictured my son falling out of my arms and tumbling down the stairs and cracking his skull open. I stood at the top of the stairs, paralyzed. I pictured him cold and blue, dead in his bassinet. I’d wake up and pat the bed frantically, searching for his unresponsive body, only to turn to my left to see him sleeping peacefully.

I felt unmotivated and couldn’t get out of bed until noon. Leaving the house on my own triggered panic attacks.

I would hold my beautiful baby and try to force myself to feel the love that I knew I felt. Because I did love my son, more than I thought was possible. But there were days I would stare down at his perfect little face and feel nothing. And it tore my heart apart.

I felt like such a failure. Any mother who truly loved her child would never think these thoughts, right?

I felt selfish. If I really loved my child I would stop these negative thoughts and perceiver, right?

I was terrified to admit how I felt, afraid to sound whiny or like I was looking for pity. I wanted to be like the strong and confident mothers that I felt were all around me.

There was nothing that I wanted more than to be a mother yet I felt so alone and sad. Postpartum depression felt like I was grieving a loss of something that I never knew.

I finally hit my breaking point. One night my husband and I were chatting before bed. I started crying and couldn’t contain myself. I ran outside and crawled into the backseat of my car and wailed for ten minutes. I didn’t want my husband or my baby to see me. I didn’t want to see myself.

I gained the courage to walk back inside. I asked my husband, “Do you think something is wrong with me?” I could see the fear in his eyes; he didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I sat down and bawled, too afraid to say, “I have postpartum depression” out loud. Finally I whispered, “I need help.”

All the thoughts that had been haunting me for the past seven weeks poured out. I told him that I worry he doesn’t love me anymore because I turned into a monster since the birth of our son and that I worry my baby doesn’t love me – that I wasn’t bonding with him and never would.

The following morning I went to the doctor. Sweaty and shaking, I told her everything. She looked me in the eye and said, “I’m so glad you came.”

Relief washed over me.

She explained that more women than I think feel like this. That there is nothing to be shameful of, that motherhood is hard.

She recommended I start taking Lexapro, explaining that the side effects of having a depressed mother were certainly worse than any side effects of the drug in my milk.

I walked out of that doctor’s appointment with a confidence I hadn’t felt since before my son was born. I had a plan and I was ready to take care of myself.

It’s been four months since I started my recovery and I’m still taking one day at a time. There are still hard days that end in tears, but, the good days outnumber the bad days.

Knowing that I am taking the best care for myself, and in turn my son, gets me through.

The American Psychological Association states that 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression. It is much more common than you think. I share my story to encourage others to speak up and get help.

The more we share our stories, the more we will diminish the stigma surrounding postpartum depression.

My debut into motherhood was nothing like I expected, and it left me broken. But, my true, loving, strong self was hidden beneath those crippling thoughts. Support is out there. I only wish I would have sought it sooner.

 

 

Wyatt: 5 Months

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Wyatt turned five months on Sunday. 

I’ll continue to say this each month, but this has been my favorite stage so far! He’s full of smiles and giggles and thinks everything is funny. He can now hold his head up which makes carrying him around a lot easier (even though he’s getting so heavy!)

He has such a fun little personality and I love watching him learn new skills everyday. He’s very curious and is always alert of everything that is going on around him. 

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Weight: I’d guess around 15 pounds (you don’t go in for a 5th month doctor appointment so we won’t get his official stats until next month)

Length: I’d guess around 28 inches. He’s getting SO long.

Hair: brown (seems to be getting a little lighter maybe)

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy Guy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man. Mr. Stinky 

Likes: Singing and music. We sing to him all day long, making up crazy silly lyrics and going nuts singing the same songs over and over. He currently loves “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” He also is so proud to be holding his head up. He likes staring at picture books and checking out new toys. 

Dislikes: Going down for a nap, going to bed at night, and waking up from a nap. 

Clothing and Diapers: He’s in a mix and match of 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothing. Still in size 1 diapers. We are still using cloth diapers when we are at home. 

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Sleep: We are struggling! Most nights he’s still sleeping in his bassinet that is attached to our bed, but any day now he’s going to be too long for it. We’ve been trying to transition him to his crib, but are failing. He slept a full night in his crib once. The four-month sleep regression is no joke. He still wakes up about 1-2 times a night to eat. He’s an okay napper -taking 3 consistent naps a day. We follow the Eat, Play, Sleep, Repeat routine. 

Feeding: He eats every 3 hours (or less during the day.) Still exclusively breast-fed. Looking forward to adding some veggies next month! 

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Milestones: Holding up his head and chest during tummy time. Sitting up in his bumbo seat. Reaching out and grabbing toys and everything else in his sight. Rolling over. Laughing all the time. Almost saying “hi!”. Holding up his head when we hold him. 

IMG_2873 .He still constantly has his fingers, or whole fist in his mouth. Whenever he has something new in his hand it goes directly into his mouth and he’s also drooling a lot, but no signs of teeth.

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He loves cell phones and tries to grab and play with it during our nightly facetime dates with Grammy. 

Wyatt still can’t live without his wubanubs. He also has a few favorite stuffed animals. 

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What I want to remember:

The way he lights up when we sing to him.

How happy he is to see Daddy whenever he comes home.

His reaction to the snow. 

How excited he his when he discovers a new toy or book.

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Oh Wyatt, we are having so much fun being your mommy and daddy! I love watching you explore your world and look at everything new. Your happiness is contagious and so pure. What a joy you are.