00:01 Laura: So today, we thought we would talk about our sweet baby boy, he is six months, and honestly, it’s crazy that Niles turned 6 months already.
00:13 Laura: But we just thought we would kinda do a little recap.
00:16 Michael: Yeah, the first six months of his life.
00:19 Michael: So starting off, if you haven’t listened to our previous posts about Niles, we will link them here, we have his birth story, all that kind of fun stuff. But for this, we just thought we would talk just about what’s been happening for the past six months.
00:34 Laura: Yeah, so I think that the craziest thing is that we’ve been in quarantine for about half of his life, so literally the day I was supposed to return to work, is the day that quarantine started. So I have been able to be home with him this entire time. Michael’s been able to be at home with him this entire time. So while it’s been sort of not what we expected, it’s been a huge blessing to be able to just be here and really be able to see and experience everything for these full six months.
01:09 Michael: Yeah. And at the very beginning, Niles did have RSV. And I’m not sure if we talked about that our last time, but that was kind of our first real… I wanna say gut check, of being parents is that we’re in charge of this other life. Not that we had anything to do with it, it was just…
01:27 Laura: Yeah, so RSV is a respiratory thing if you don’t know. And apparently it is very serious in infants. So he had just a cough. It wasn’t super worrisome.
01:40 Michael: A lot of snot.
01:43 Laura: Awesome.
01:43 Michael: Yeah.
01:44 Laura: So we had a doctor’s appointment anyways. And so at the doctor’s appointment we are like, “Hey, he’s been coughing”, and they are like, “Oh my goodness, let’s check him for RSV.” And it came up positive, and so they were like, “You really just need to monitor him and just let us know if he gets a fever at all or if anything changes, come back and we wanna see you again in two days,” or something like that.
02:09 Michael: Yeah, it was two or three days.
02:11 Laura: And so, we went back… Well, actually at that first appointment… We had no idea what they were talking about, and it was really like, “Okay, well is there anything we need to be paying attention to other than a fever? And the doctor looked at me, as this brand new mom… He was two months at that point?
02:33 Michael: I think he was less than that. A month and a half.
02:37 Laura: Month and a half, maybe. And he looked at me, he goes, “Well, there’s nothing really that you can prepare for, except that overnight he just might stop breathing.” And so, I just broke down…
02:51 Michael: Shocked.
02:52 Laura: I couldn’t believe that. So basically we didn’t sleep and just stared at our baby. It was really scary. But he didn’t have any fever, he seemed to be fine, he was coughing a little bit, but it seemed okay. And so we went back to that appointment two days later and again he seemed fine, and they were like, “Well you know what, we really wanna drain… ”
03:14 Michael: Well, like, “Just clear his fluids.” So they took something to stick up his nose and they tried to clear out as much as possible and they listened to him again after 15 minutes. Oh no, they gave him like a steam bath, to clear out everything. So they did that and then they listened again a second time, about half an hour later, and they decided that it was hit or… Or they couldn’t really decide, so they said, “Just go to the hospital anyways and have them do their proper clearing.”
03:45 Laura: So they looked at us and they said, “You need to go to the ER.”
03:47 Michael: Yeah.
03:47 Laura: And so now I’m like, “What? It really didn’t seem like it was this crazy thing.
03:53 Michael: Terrible thing, yeah.
03:55 Laura: But the doctor said that they had had over 10 other patients that have had to had overnight stays in the Pediatric ER, just that week. And so now we’re kind of freaking out and Michael and I are pretty level-headed. Michael is a crazy eternal optimist. So we’re really trying to stay level-headed and just like, “Okay, he’s just going to the hospital to get drained, everything is fine.” And so we go there, we’re in a hospital, they are acting very normal, everything is okay.
They hook him up to this machine. It seems like everything is okay, and then the nurse comes in and she’s like, “I’m gonna check with the doctor to see if he’s allowed to go home.” And so I’m like, “Wait, what?” I thought we were just coming here with a simple procedure, and so we just kept getting hit with this, “Wait, what?” And we were, they came back, we were able to go home. And honestly, he was totally fine, but it was this really scary moment.
04:52 Michael: Yeah, and he’d had it for, I would have say, five days or so, prior to that first visit, because they were visiting once a week, and so, we’d noticed something, but again, it was pretty mild, so we didn’t… Maybe it was four days, I can’t remember. But they said the window of the turnaround time was five to seven days…
05:10 Laura: How serious.
05:11 Michael: Was where you need to watch it. So they were right in the middle when they were monitoring how he was doing.
05:15 Laura: And so he just got over it.
05:16 Michael: Yeah, it just…
05:17 Laura: Yeah, but honestly, we were so used to going to the doctor at that point because when he was first born, he weighed eight pounds eight ounces, and it took him… Three months?
05:33 Michael: No.
05:33 Laura: No, two months, to get back to eight pounds eight ounces. It just took him a long time to get back to his birth weight. Am I exaggerating there? Michael is looking at me like I’m crazy.
05:41 Michael: I think it was a month and a half.
05:44 Laura: It felt like for ever.
05:45 Michael: It was over four weeks, and they’re like, “By four weeks he should be back,” and they’re making this big deal about it. And I think in hindsight, it was just to make sure that he was eating properly and eating enough to keep his energy up when he needs to and to nap when he needs to.
06:01 Laura: Honestly, looking back at pictures, he was skinny. He was a teeny little baby.
06:03 Michael: He was, he was pretty skinny.
06:06 Laura: And now he is chubby and cute.
06:07 Michael: Yeah.
06:09 Laura: But it did, it took him a long time. I tried to be able to just breastfeed him, but because it was such a struggle to get him back to his birth weight, after seeing the lactation consultant and going to the doctor weekly, he also had his tongue-tie clipped and a lip clip to see if that would help, and nothing was really helping, and so they told us to just go ahead and add some formula so that he could get some meat on his bones. And so it felt like such a big deal but we just added formula and he was fine and he started gaining weight, so that was great. And now he’s eating solid foods, and he’s even chubbier.
06:50 Michael: Three times a day, he’s now, three times.
06:52 Laura: Yeah, and we’ve done egg and we’ve done peanut butter, we’re trying to get the allergies out of the way.
06:57 Michael: That’s right.
06:58 Laura: And so now he’s just a cute happy chubby little baby.
07:01 Michael: Yeah, and it’s like, at least for the first four months, they were saying after we got past the first month-and-a-half, they’re like, “Give him everything he’ll eat. Just keep feeding him until… ” So I feel like when we calculated all it up, it was over 32 ounces of what he’s eating every day, so now I think it’s a little less because of all that other food he’s added in but…
07:24 Laura: Yeah, we mentioned on, we had another blog post on what we loved…
07:27 Michael: The 10 things, yeah.
07:28 Laura: That we registered for, we’ve been trying really hard to keep our baby items very minimal. We just don’t want a ton of stuff…
07:37 Michael: Our house is small.
07:39 Laura: Our house is small, he’s small, he doesn’t need a lot.
07:41 Michael: He doesn’t need a bunch of stuff.
07:43 Laura: And so we’re trying to be very conscious about the items that we bring into our house, but one thing that we are just obsessed with that we love is the Hatch baby scale, and while we were really stressed and overwhelmed with him not gaining weight and not knowing how much he was eating when I was breastfeeding, it was just a really good peace of mind to be able to weigh him and know how much he had just eaten.
08:03 Michael: Yeah, and it had gotten us out of a few appointments there as well because…
08:08 Laura: That’s true.
08:08 Michael: They were checking in so regularly that they…
08:11 Laura: We were literally…
08:12 Michael: We told them, we’re like, “Hey, we have this scale” and they, like, “Oh okay, yeah, that should be fine, just let us know.” So we called in and…
08:19 Laura: Right, we were literally going to the doctor, weekly, if not more than that…
08:22 Michael: Yeah, it was more than.
08:22 Laura: Because I also had lactation consultant appointments, so we were going to the doctor a lot in that first month and so to be able to just call in and say, “Hey, here’s how much he’s weighing today” was really nice.
08:34 Michael: Yeah, and I don’t think I realized, prior to this, you’re talking about all the doctor’s visits you go to, and a lot of… I don’t know if it was just my mind, but I was thinking prior to the pregnancy, there’s obviously a lot of appointments you have to monitor, but there was probably more in the last, in the first…
08:52 Laura: Oh, yeah.
08:53 Michael: Two to three months than there was in the whole pregnancy [08:56] ____.
08:56 Laura: Right.
08:56 Michael: And it’s just…
08:57 Laura: Well, we had… It’s because he wasn’t gaining weight and it’s because I decided to do these lactation consultant appointments and it was because he had RSV, so we ran into some…
09:08 Michael: A lot it.
09:09 Laura: And the tongue-tie, and then we also have another appointment, he, when he was first born, he had a hole in his heart. That sounds awful to say out loud, but he had to get an echo in the doctor’s office. They said to go and have it checked in on, so this week, we’re also going to the cardiologist. Gosh, he has a lot of issues, this baby.
09:36 Michael: And he had a small muscular VSD, I think is what it was called.
09:39 Laura: Yeah.
09:39 Michael: So it’s something that, even when they did it on the echo, they said, “Hey, most of these, 99% of the cases they clear up as the child’s growing because then all the muscles in the heart grows in size and that just blocks the hole or covers it up.” So…
09:55 Laura: Yeah. And so, yeah, there were a lot of things that went wrong, but he is such a happy baby. He’s a…
10:02 Michael: If you watch our Insta stories, he’s been laughing really well recently, so go ahead and… [chuckle]
10:07 Laura: It is cool how much they change and he’s like kinda has a personality now, he reacts to things and will smile at you and giggle and track you, he’s more social.
10:18 Michael: Yeah.
10:19 Laura: And it’s a cool thing to be experiencing, but anyways.
10:24 Michael: And really, after those first two to three months, things have kind of felt like they’ve gotten to normal almost.
10:31 Laura: Yeah.
10:32 Michael: There hasn’t really been any issues. He seems to be pretty healthy. As we said, he’s eating a lot now. And yeah, it’s…
10:39 Laura: I would say that one of the things that people ask us a lot is what was the most surprising thing, and my answer is always how normal things become. I mean, it’s just, it honestly is just crazy just that you can just bring a whole life into your house and it can just feel so normal so quickly. I just can’t even imagine life before this kid.
11:00 Michael: Yeah.
11:00 Laura: I, and it’s just…
11:01 Michael: That was only six months ago. [chuckle]
11:02 Laura: And Niles turned 6 months, and it just feels so normal so quickly, it just, you just start doing it.
11:10 Michael: Yeah, yeah.
11:11 Laura: Anyways, what has been surprising to you as a parent?
11:14 Michael: I would say how… I don’t know how easy, not how easy…
11:22 Laura: We have an easy baby.
11:23 Michael: How…
11:24 Laura: We can just say it.
11:25 Michael: Well, how you can train him to be on a schedule.
11:29 Laura: Yes.
11:30 Michael: We’ve talked about this multiple times as well, but we follow someone here in Richmond called Little Z’s Sleep, they have a whole program…
11:37 Laura: We’re fully obsessed with Becca from Little Z’s Sleep. She was a game changer. My best friend gave us a newborn course, she’s a sleep consultant, so she gave us her newborn course right when we first told her that we were pregnant and we just did everything that she told us to do, and Niles is a fantastic sleeper. He naps really well, he sleeps, he’s been sleeping through the night since three months, like consistently, not waking up at all since he was three months old, which is crazy, and now he sleeps 12 hours a night every night 7:00 to 7:00, and he hasn’t woken up once.
12:14 Michael: Yeah, sometimes he’ll wake himself up in the night, and then 30 seconds later, he’s put himself back down to sleep.
12:22 Laura: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean but that’s… Adults do that.
12:25 Michael: And that’s totally normal, yeah.
12:26 Laura: Yeah.
12:27 Michael: But, so any future dads out there that wanna have your evenings back with your wife, this is a great gift because we put him down to bed at 6:30-6:45, we sit down, eat dinner, watch TV, relax, it’s amazing.
12:42 Laura: It is incredible how life-changing it is to be able to have your evening back.
12:48 Michael: Right. To get to the three-month point.
12:48 Laura: And to be able to get a full night’s sleep. It really is. I think that that’s one of the biggest fears that new parents have is, “How am I going to be able to function with no sleep?” And in the beginning I mean it is hard, but you just do it.
13:04 Michael: Right.
13:04 Laura: Like I said, it’s just crazy how normal things become, but to be able to hit that three month point and just regularly be able to get a night’s sleep is, oh my goodness, it was amazing.
13:15 Michael: Yeah.
13:16 Laura: It is amazing.
13:17 Michael: And since Niles turned 6 months, so a couple of days we’ve switched over to just two naps a day so there are two longer naps but, which actually works great for us, ’cause it means we can spend more time while he’s napping there in a set of time, one set of time so you can get work done from here and…
13:34 Laura: Like this, for example.
13:35 Michael: Yeah, exactly!
13:36 Laura: He’s upstairs sleeping!
13:37 Michael: He’s upstairs sleeping!
13:38 Laura: But yeah. Little Z Sleep, if you are a new parent or you have a new parent in your life, go follow her. Buy all of the things from her, it is so worth it.
13:46 Michael: And even if you’re not a new parent, the people that gave us this, they started at four months. So Becca goes in and talks about how… She has a program for different age groups, so there’s one up to four months and then four months to two years, I think. Anyway, something like that, but she basically talks about how you… No matter where they are in their stage you can get them kind of into a…
14:08 Laura: Sleep can be a thing.
14:09 Michael: Yes, exactly. That’s her phrase, I think, right?
14:11 Laura: Yeah, sleep is a thing.
14:12 Michael: Yeah, so check her out.
14:14 Laura: Yes, it’s amazing, but…
14:15 Michael: So yeah, I think that’s pretty much it, but we do have an Instagram specifically for our family photos so we do post some on our business page but if you wanna…
14:25 Laura: I try really hard not to super spam you with my kid, but he’s so cute!
14:29 Michael: He is… But if you want to be spammed by our kid, then you can follow us on Instagram.
14:35 Laura: The Archer family album. I’ll link it here. Yes, it’s mostly I created a separate Instagram account to be able to print Chatbooks. So we try as photographers to break out our real camera and we take monthly pictures of him, which we’ll show you some of our favorites here, but for all the millions, probably literally millions…
15:01 Michael: More than millions, yeah.
15:02 Laura: That we are taking on our phone, we just wanted to be able to have a home for them. We really believed in having pictures outside of digital screens. So we linked this Instagram account to a Chatbook, and if you hadn’t heard of them, I’ll put a discount code here too, but we get these monthly books printed where we can have it. And I’m really excited for him to grow up and be able to flip through it. I just think that it’s a fun way to just easily get pictures printed without having to try too hard.
15:31 Michael: Yeah!
15:32 Laura: So we have that. And then another product I guess that I’ve loved doing are the Promptly Journals. If you haven’t heard of that. I was really worried about keeping memories for him. I didn’t wanna do something that was over the top and I wouldn’t be able to sustain it, if we have another kid or whatever, or as he grows up, and the Promptly Journal is great, it’s just like one entry a month. And it has prompts that it has you fill out. We just include some pictures and stuff, so that’s been great too.
16:04 Michael: Yeah.
16:04 Laura: Anyways, you can go follow us there. If you wanna be able to see, we’ll link all the things we’ve talked about, but if you have any questions about parenting or whatever…
16:14 Michael: We are experts.
16:14 Laura: We are by no means experts, but we’re happy to answer any questions that you have, and enjoy a few of our favorite pictures of our sweet little boy.
16:23 Michael: Yeah, talk to you next week.