August. 

It’s that time of year again. 4 years ago in August, Aida was born. And she died. I’ve been thinking of her a lot the last few weeks. And sadness has been creeping up on me. I wonder to myself how it will be this year when the 19th rolls around with Owen in my life. Some times I believe he will get me through it. 

I dread August. It’s the worst month of the year for me. I wish some times it would be a month like January or February when the weather is cold and grey. But August is beautiful & warm. I don’t know how to commemorate her birthday this year. I’ve struggled every year what was appropriate. I think I’ll just continue asking for donations to Sick Kids in name of her. Let her legend give back to sick babies. 

I miss her each and every day. I wish she could be here with Owen. I imagine her being a proud big sister. Helping me take care of him. Giving him kisses on his beautiful cheeks. I imagine all the things we are missing.

This year my heart allowed me to have a photo of her on our wall. My heart broke too badly to ever do it before. And so for the first time, I also share with you a photo of my little girl. It amazes me how much her and Owen look alike. It pains me and yet mostly comforts me. 

  

Seven Months Old!

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I can’t believe now how the time has gone! This kid is really growing fast. Owen’s been doing great. He’s more animated than he has been before. Lots of energy. His favourite thing to do is stand. Preferably on me! And bounce. Lots of bouncing and jumping. Preferably on me. :)

He’s finally learned to roll from his back to his stomach. He’s tolerating tummy time more but it’s not his favourite thing to do yet. He’s decided to forget how to roll from tummy to back so, when he gets stuck he screams. 

He spends a lot of time saying “dada” & “baba” and variations of it but no “mama” yet. As much as I try and teach him every day ☺️ he does how ever say “mam” every so often so I’m sure that is soon to come.

He learned to clap last week. Spent about two days clapping but hasn’t done it since. I notice that happens when he learns some thing new. He stops for a while and picks it back up again. 

Aunt Flo! Yup – she came back, that bitch. Had my first cycle near end of July. It was heavy but to my surprise not too bad. I almost had no cramps. After my first pregnancy, I had horrible periods for almost a year. I bled heavily, lots of clots and horrible cramps. I was expecting the same. Not that I’m complaining.  

We have just been hanging out lots and spending time outdoors. We just came back from a trip to Ottawa. A trip with a baby is soooo different to when it was just my husband and I but we enjoyed it none the less. It was so good to get away from the house for a little while. The walls end up closing in on you day in & day out. 

He’s been doing great health wise and everything. We are waiting for his allergist appointment on the 25th of this month. Im nervous for it & although unlikely I have a sliver of hope that he doesn’t actually have a peanut allergy. Odds are not in his favour based on his topical reaction. 

Nothing much else to update but some cute photos!
Xo

    
    

Sleep Regression & Peanut Allergy

Two major things have developed over the past two weeks. One of them is that we believe Owen has developed a peanut allergy. The other is he’s sleep regressed.

We decided based on the new guidelines of introducing peanuts around 6 months to try it out on Owen. We hemmed and hawed when to and how and I’m glad we decided to test on his skin first. Within about 5 minutes, he developed hives. We were both really surprised. I tested it on his neck again the following day and he broke out in hives, again. Neither one of us have a history of peanut allergies in our families and we’ve been eating peanuts around him with reckless abandon and he’s never reacted. And we were never that careful. After doing some reading online, it seems that contact reaction indicates a possibility of a high allergy to peanuts. For now, we eliminate the use of peanuts in our house until we have him tested on August 25th with a pediatric allergist to find out it’s severity and to also check for other allergies.

Turns out, children who have Eczema as babies (which Owen has a mild case of), they are at high risk for food allergies. And of those children with both eczema and food allergy, 75% of them develop asthma later in childhood. I can’t describe how upsetting this all is for me. I know it’s not the end of the world and we have an epi pen now just incase but I want to protect this little boy as much as I can. He’s my precious cargo. I can’t loose another child in my life time. It scares me to think that I could loose him to exposure to peanuts! Or perhaps some other foods as well. I know the odds are very low but the odds are there and as far as odds are concerned, we were never very lucky. So, it scares me. I know that the results with the allergist will be an allergy so I’m going to start accepting it. What worries me is what other allergies could he have? I have a friend whos’ son has severe Eczema and he has allergies to peanuts, sesame seeds, eggs, and the list goes on. I just hope that won’t be our little Owen.

 

Aaaaaand the dreaded sleep regression we didn’t think would happen to our little boy. Owen has gone from waking once in a 11-12 hour night to twice a night and most often screaming his face off at bed time. Yup. A big part of this is that he started waking around 10pm and I thought it was a few one offs so I fed him. Maybe a growth spurt. But this has been going on for weeks. And on cue, he wakes around 10-10:30 and pretty much wakes every 4 hours. My step daughter has also been here every day since July 1st as part of our two weeks vacation with her and so we are running into his room (they share a room) so that he wont wake her. Usually we’d let him squirm and chatter and fuss in his crib to put himself back to sleep. But since she’s been here we’ve been running in to grab him and he has spent every morning from about 4am in our bed until 6-6:30. Not good. She will be leaving tomorrow for all of the summer and that’s when we start the dreaded Sleep Training! He’s great with his naps (which he’s down to twice a day now – yay!) and bed time is all over the map in terms of how he goes down. Whether he cries to sleep or just passes out peacefully after his bottle. This also is decided on when his second nap ends. The longer he stays awake before bed the easier it’s been to get him down. The shorter, he freaks OUT.

The method we’ve decided on based on a friend’s recent success is based on CIO. It’s for 3 nights. First night you put them down wide awake and let them CIO…stay in his room, sleeping on the floor so he doesn’t see us and “shhhhhhhh” him to sleep. This goes on all night and by night 3 he should be able to get himself to sleep and back to sleep through out the night. My friend has had major success after her sister-in-law did with her two kids too so, we’ve decided to try the same. I really hope it works out for Owen too. I’ll be sure to update!

xo

Mourning my Boobs

Owen took his last bottle of breast milk today. I kept counting down the frozen bags in the freezer and I felt a little bit better about the situation knowing I still had some breast milk to give to him. I built up a lot of anticipation for the final bottle, a true end to me providing my son with the best nutrition possible but in the end, I didn’t feel anything much about it.
Owen drank about 2 out of 4 ounces. He has been really fussy with the bottle and not always finishing them this past week so we poured half of the final bottle of breast milk down the sink. There was a part of me that mourned that too – as I always did if we ever wasted breast milk – but it was fleeting. I stopped pumping, that was my choice. I have so much more time now to enjoy with Owen and to take care of myself and spend time with my family and take Owen out into the world. So for that, I don’t regret.

I still have pangs of sadness that breast feeding didn’t work out. It’s some thing that I was so passionate about and that held so much importance to me. I’m envious of those who can nurse their babies and every once in a while I get this urge to nurse and then remember that I left that behind.

It took about until the second week until my breast didn’t feel full of milk or sore and could still express a few drops of milk. My breast feel more squishy and more jiggly than they were before. At least this is what I believe. Perhaps I’m used to full, round breast from the past six months or more but I swear, they’re different.

My next step is to get back into shape. I am about 18lbs heavier than I was before my first pregnancy some 4 years ago. I don’t feel comfortable or attractive in my skin. I don’t feel attractive anymore in general. I’ve lost what feels like half of my hair. My skin has broken out and I produce more oils than I did even before. I look like I’ve aged. And the weight adds another element of I feel ugly. I need to find time to start working on me again.

xo

Six Months!

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My baby boy is half a year old! The time has felt both slow and fast at different times. I can’t believe my Maternity leave is half over and someone else is going to take care of my baby while I go back to work. I haven’t spent more than a few moments pondering that so I don’t know how I feel about it. A part of me is looking forward to going back to my job and the other half wishes I could stay home with him. If I could swing a part time job and daycare, it would be pretty awesome. But at this point in time, I need my full salary back and I like where I work. 

Owen has been doing great! He’s been working on how to sit up on his own. For a while he kept folding over in half but this week he seems to be getting it and he can sit unassisted for 5-10 seconds and sit pretty well. He’s working very hard on not toppling over but he always does and it’s so funny! 

He’s been babbling lots lately. He is saying “dada dada” and ” didi didi” every chance he gets. My husband is tickled pink of course that he’s saying Dada. Even if it’s not directly to him.

He’s weaned off the fourth nap and napping three times a day now. One morning, one over lunch and one mid afternoon. His bed time has moved up to 6pm from 7-7:30 and sleeps 12 hours still waking up once to feed. Some nights twice. He has been having some shitty nights where he gets up a few times within the first couple of hours. He now sobs to sleep nearly every night and he needs to be rocked to sleep. My hubby suggests we need to let him CIO to soothe himself as its a learned behaviour now. So we will try that. It’s exhausting and now only I can calm him down quickly. That leaves me with bed times and wondering what will happen when I am not home in the evening. 

He’s doing great on formula. I switched him to the Step 2 Enfamil and believe it’s making him constipated so I think Inshould go back to step 1 and maybe we stay there. He can get his additional nutrients through solids. But I need to consult with either his Doctor or Enfamil if it’s absolutely necessary to have him on Stage 2. It’s more calcium and iron…which are culprits. 

He hasn’t had the greatest appetite with solids lately. I’m lucky to get two meals in him in a day. Not sure if that’s from constipation, teething or just a phase?

He’s otherwise doing great! We have lots of fun and laugh lots. He’s entertaining and cute as hell!

I’d like to touch on Breast Feeding & Parenting with a new Baby after a loss. I have these random thoughts and want to share with you guys but then life takes over. I hope to get back to blogging more regular soon. There is so much more going on deep inside that Id like to share. 

Ok until next time!

Xo 

    
 

The Last Drop

pumpYesterday, I put my pump away. I expressed my last few drops of milk yesterday afternoon & then based on how my breast were feeling, decided it was a good time to put my pump away for good. I spent 4.5 months wishing for this day to arrive.

It was a very difficult decision to make as I weaned off each and every pump and at the same time, I felt relief. I hated pumping. Loathed. I loved what I was doing for Owen but I hated how pumping made me feel. Bitter sweet is the best way to describe how I’m feeling today. I am deeply saddened that breast feeding failed and that my dream of getting him back onto the breast ended. I grieve for taking away the best thing Owen could have but I knew I couldn’t pump for a year. I couldn’t be tied to my pump every three hours and not enjoy my time with my boy. I say to myself nearly every day…if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now about breast feeding, I’d do it all over again. I’d go back to the day he was born and do it all again. That’s how strong and important it was for me to be able to breast feed him.

Infertility was such a struggle for me and I just thought some thing as natural as breast feeding would just work. Nothing comes easy for me. I don’t know why I’m ever surprised that I keep on struggling in life.

 I have bags of milk in the freezer to use up so in the end I’ll have fed him breast milk through to six months, which I’m proud of. I am proud of myself for what I’ve done. I would do it all over again, just as I did. I wanted the best I could give to him as long as I possibly could feel happy with.

He’s on formula now and I am so happy to say that we finally found a formula that he will happily eat. We went through numerous tubs of formula, wasting so much money! Enfamil A+ in concentrate liquid. I urge anyone who’s baby is having a hard time with formula taste to try the liquid stuff. I didn’t bother trying thinking it would be the same but had a coupon for a free pack and I’m so glad I got it. It tastes like sweetened heavy milk with out that strange stale cardboard aftertaste and smell that the powder stuff has. Powder is the most economical followed by the concentrate. The premixed stuff is twice as expensive as the concentrate so I wouldn’t recommend that unless you need it for odd times for convenience factor. This came at the best time, right before I started to wean off the last two pumps. I was really stressed about Owen eating only formula. Owen’s thriving and doing so well. I’ll be updating on his progress in my 6 month post next week. Until then! XO

5 Months

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I can’t believe my little peanut is five months old…he’s approaching the half year mark. Where the heck has the time gone? It feels like forever ago I brought that new baby home. 

We’ve been really enjoying each others company lately. Lots of walks and outings. Trying to keep busy and from being bored. He loves new faces and places so the best thing is to get out of the house. 

Owen is starting to reach out to us for affection which is just the sweetest thing. There’s nothing like when your baby wants to cuddle and caress you back. He wants to stand pretty much every waking moment which has kept me quite busy. Thankfully he’s sitting in his bouncer better these days. I even catch him gazing at it from across the room. So he spends some time in it daily. I think he’s over the whole play mat thing. 

Eating has been fun. At least the solids. He’s tried Oatmeal 👍, Squash 👍, Avocados 👍👍, Carrots (meh) & Green Beans 👎🏻

Yucky food baby faces are always funny. Here is the reaction to Green Beans. Incidentally my favourite veggie. 

  
 

We still have the Formula fight. It’s hard for Owen to totally accept its a part of his diet. I’m forever trying new brands. He will think it’s the best thing since…well, breast milk…and eventually decide he no longer is interested. I’ve wasted so much formula, it should be illegal. It also makes weaning heartbreaking because of the guilt I feel. I still regret how things went with breast feeding. It’s depressing. I wish we had everything worked out from the beginning. I think I’ll always regret how it all worked out in the end. I’m still pumping twice a day now. I’m able to pumpt around 20 ounces a day. I am weaning off domparidone and plan on weaning off pumping this month. By end of June Id like Owen to be on formula only. I am sure once he’s on it, he won’t reject formula as he does now. It will become his norm. And if it doesn’t, I’ll be getting on the guilt train no doubt. We feeding him Similac Advance and recently tried Enfamil liquid. So far he likes this the most but liquid is bloody expensive. I’m willing to try the powder Enfamil once we are done with the Similac. I wish this was easier than it is. 

We are enjoying the summer and making sure to get out for a lot of walks. I need to loose weight. I gained more after loosing the baby weight so, time to walk it off and stay away from the cookies 😉😊

20 Weeks Old

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I think about how old Owen is now and can’t help but think he’s as old as half of my pregnancy. That seems like such a long time ago now. I almost forget what it was like being pregnant with him. I was so worried my entire pregnancy that I had a hard time enjoying and being in the moment. Nothing I could have done would have changed how challenging being pregnant was for me but I’ve always wished I could have been naive as I was with my first pregnancy. 

Solids & feeding: Owen is nearly 5 months old and thriving! We started him on solids late last week. He’s been eating a bit of avocado each day and he loves it! We’ve given him sweet potato with chicken too and he thought it was OK. I’ll continue with Avocado for now and think about what’s next. I don’t want him started on all the sweet stuff yet. I’m also just taking it slowly on him so his tummy gets used to it. He still poops only once a week. I thought with a bit of solids this past week he’d go a little more often but seems as if he’s squirrelling his poop up for an epic event!

  
Breastfeeding: OK I have to mention, I was going to post an update that would go along the lines of “OMG this kid is breastfeeding again!!” But sadly that only lasted 3 days. I don’t know what made him do it. And I don’t understand why he didn’t want to for more than 3 days. I was cautious but getting so excited. I was talking about how to increase my supply again. And then day 4 came upon us and when I sent to feed him in the morning he latched on and off a few times and just started screaming at me. So I figured we were just having a bad day. But the next day and the one after that were no better. To a point now that if I put him into cradle position he starts to cry and scream because he doesn’t want to be breast fed. I cannot tell you how sad it all makes me. Sad that I was this close to living my feeding dreams and now that he can’t stand for me to hold him close. Now I need to work on getting his trust back so I can cuddle him in cradle again. There is nothing more rejecting than your baby screaming at you because they don’t want your breast anywhere near them. What I would give to rewind back to the day we left the hospital, knowing all that I know. 

If I had one piece of breastfeeding advice it would be: do your home work. Read about it, learn it. Know what to do if things aren’t going quite right. BF was one thing I wanted to do badly and I’m having a hard time letting go. 

Formula has been dramatic too. We have gone through so many brands. Every time Owen refuses a bottle of formula, my heart aches and I wish I could give him milk only. It’s also what keeps me guilted into pumping. He has started to refuse Hipp brand. I have three boxes in my pantry and he won’t touch it anymore. So on advice of a friend we bought Similac Advance and he seems to tolerate it well. It’s supposed to be closest to breast milk. At this point I will feed him what ever formula he is happy with because what I want is for him to be happy. We will try HIPP again some day but for right now, I’m done fighting this kid. 

I am still pumping three times a day yielding 22 ounces a day. I freeze 4 ounces a day to have a freezer stash once I wean right off and supplement formula alternating bottles. I’ve decided yesterday I would start to wean my afternoon pump. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I spend 1.5 hours of my day pumping. It’s pretty much summer now and I don’t want to be bound to my home during the day. We are going to Chicago in July so I’d like to be weaned off the afternoon pump by then. Pumping just like nursing is an emotional process. But unlike nursing, us Pumping mommies hate doing it but we can’t stop. It’s like a drug. Gotta keep doing it! LOL

Development this week:

This kid loves to stand. Loves. He would spend half his day awake, standing. 

  
It amazes me how well he stands. He still doesn’t really like tummy time so there hasn’t been much developments on the ground. I’m guilty for not providing him all the opportunity to do so. I hate to see him struggle and cry. But I know I need to, for his sake. 

He grabs at his toy and tosses the around so much better. It’s amazing how babies can wake up one morning and totally have mastered a skill. That was both standing and grasping last week. He also loves the exersaucer. He’s still a bit small for it but he seems to love the independence and all the fun stuff he can do!

  

Mothers Day:

Mother’s Day this year was just perfect. My family is complete, I had my little boy with me. My husband did a great job making me feel special! This day for the past four years have been somber and awkward. Clearly being a mom but not having my little girl by my side. I thought about her all day but my heart was warmed seeing my boy here with me. I’m very grateful to have him fill my arms. 

   

Next up will be his five month vaccine on the 27th and then 6month check and vaccines again. We continue to build on his solids varieties and will keep you all posted on his progress!

Xo  

4 Month Update 

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Hey Everyone! 

Owen turned 4 Months on Monday & I wanted to share in all his progress. I had thought early on that I would update this blog more often but it’s proven more difficult to juggle everything in life and also taking the time to disconnect with the internet world too. I hope to have more mini updates going forward.

Growth & Health Update: At 4 Months Old, Owen weighs 14lbs & 14ounces and is 25″ Long.  He had his 4 Month Vaccinations today. Boy did he cry hard and for long. He feels heavy & robust. Which makes him seem so much less fragile than when he was a newborn. 

He’s had his first cold :( mooosh. Thankfully there was no fever but him and daddy have been sick for about a week now. His sister also had a cold this past weekend, leaving me the only healthy person in the home. Lots of coughing and Nasal Congestion. Thankfully he’s much better now. He was super cranky for a while which was challenging. It also coincided with a Stormy Period according to my Wonder Weeks App. 

Owen has a flat spot on his head. Actually he had flattening from early on but now it’s more to one side as he favors to turn left. As I had thought, doctor said his head will reform. I was feeling some heavy guilt because of it and have started lots of tummy time and other games that have him off his back. But I can’t do much for how he sleeps at night and during naps. 

His grunting have pretty much stopped. About 2 weeks ago I started to notice. Once in a while he will grunt after a really full belly but not for long. 

Feeding Update: We are still bottle feeding Owen. I’m pumping 3 times a day. Morning, Afternoon around 2pm & before bed usually around 8:30/9pm. I’m pumping on average 23 ounces a day with this schedule. It’s the same amount of milk I’ve averaged from the start. This is mind boggling because I thought I’d produce so much more when I was pumping 5 times a day! How is that not reality? Anyhow, I still hate pumping. And I still keep on doing it. I don’t have a definite time of when I’ll stop. Yet I want to quit every day. This, people, is the conundrum that I face every day. The urge to provide my own milk is so strong and yet the act of pumping feels so unnatural, uncomfortable, time consuming, isolating. Reducing my pumps to 3 times a day has freed up my time exponentially which makes me happier. I’ve relaxed about Formula so he gets 2-3 bottles a day. I was feeding him half and half until he got sick and then gave him more breast milk to get him through. But I will go back to 16ounce milk, 16 ounce formula. I’ve been freezing leftover milk so when I stop pumping, there will be a stash for him to get through a few more weeks drinking breast milk as well as the formula.  

We are feeding him a German brand, Hipp Organic which I order from the UK. Sadly we don’t get the best quality of Formula here.  Why does baby formula need corn syrup?!?! Hipp is a very reputable brand in Europe and the UK and is one of the best. It makes me feel better about feeding him formula.

My plan, loosely, is to wean him to formula no later than end of June which is just in time for our trip to Chicago. Pumping on vacation would suck (no pun intended 😆). If I can maintain a decent supply with just morning and night, I’ll consider pumping on. I hear getting my period could happen any time now that I’m at three pumps. Two pumps for sure would bring it back and that’s supposed to affect supply big time. I am really trying to take this day-to-day with minimal expectations. 

He poops once a week. Which is great in that I’m not changing daily poop diapers. And horrible because when it happens, it’s epic. Messy as hell. And one can hope we are at home when it happens. 

On Sleep: Owen is a great sleeper.  Happy that one thing is going really well. He sleeps from 8am to 6am with one wake up feed usually around 2am. He has slept all the way through twice last week, two days in a row. I thought it would continue that way but he went back to waking once. And that’s OK, I can’t complain. He naps a lot during the day, more than seems to be recommended for his age. But I won’t wake him or keep him up longer than he wishes. I feel like if he needs sleep, then sleep he gets. He has recently changed his nap habits too. He usually sleeps 3 one hour naps in the morning, a long 2-2.5 hour nap in the afternoon and two more shorter naps before bed. He recently dropped the 6pm nap and maybe phasing out one morning nap too but making his morning nap longer. 

On Milestones: Owen can hold his own head pretty well. Still wobbly at times but much better. 

He holds his head and chest up during tummy time and doesn’t hate it like he used to. 

He can grasp his toys and hold them well. His hand/eye coordination isn’t fluid as of yet. I’ll be happy when he can manage his own soother when I’m further than an arms reach. 

He’s chattering away a lot. Lots of new sounds. He started laughing about two weeks ago. That’s the best sound ever. He loves when I pretend to sneeze, blow raspberries and play peek-a-boo. 

He’s starting to stand on our laps. Still can’t hold it for very long but he’s giving it a real effort. 

Well that’s all I can come up with for now. Here are a few snapshots of the tyke!

   
      

The Decision to Bottle Feed

It didn’t take me long to decide to pump and bottle feed Owen. I couldn’t go on forcing my Breast on his face only to be screamed at every time. Clearly, this child wants to get the bottle. I mourn every day that I won’t be a Breast feeding mama. This also means I am pumping still and supplementing with formula. I decided not to stress myself with a rigid pump schedule so I pump 4 times a day, still producing between 20-25 ounces of milk. I’m on Domparidone to increase supply so it’s likely helping. I am starting to wean off it and will get a good idea if my supply drops. 

Now, the big question mark looming over my head is, how long do I pump? I am mostly taking this day by day, week by week. If I could maintain one or two pumps a day so he reaps the benefits, OK. Or maybe I need to be pump freed finally & liberate myself. I haven’t decided yet. Every day I want to quit. And every day I want to pump until at least 6 months. 

So, maybe I need an end game plan. Work out a weaning schedule so at six months of age he will be on Formula and Solids. I bought HiPP brand which is a German company. Their formulas are made of Organic Milk, non-GMO and doesnt contain the refined sugars. I feel better about feeding him this formula if I have to feed him any type. And I’m a lot more relaxed these days about feeding him formula. But I only ever really get that full sense of satisfaction in nourishing him when it’s my breast milk. But given the summer I’d really like to be out and about and traveling around and enjoying it I really need to detach myself from the pump for order in order for that to work. I really don’t wish for my entire year at home to be spent stuck to my pumped. I really do feel a sense of regret about how things turned out because he was able to breast-feed when he was born. I feel like Innoway my lack of knowledge and lack of doing my research on breast-feeding I really did this little guy some series in justice. I know he will be fine regardless of how he’s being fed as long as he’s being nourished but pumping and using formula was deathly not in my game plan. And I’m having a really difficult time letting go of what the game plan was.

I see all these tank tops and shirts I bought for the summer thinking I would be breast-feeding him and I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. How naïve I once was to think that something so natural would just come to me.

I still have moments where I look at them and think oh maybe I will shove my boob in his face today and see what happens. But I shy away because I don’t want to be scream at and get him really upset. 

That is my feeding update for now I will let you all know how things work out. The more I think about it the more I am wondering whether I really just want to wean him off breastmilk entirely. I figure another month or so and we will be on to solids.

I’ll send a baby update very soon!

Xo