Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Ben naps in his crib for the first time:
Ben just hanging out, being a big boy:
The last two weeks have been crazy, with family visiting and the holiday season beginning. Thanksgiving week, Benny met his great-grandparents, Mommy's grandparents. He also met his Great Aunt Susan, cousins Lauren and Jennifer, and his Auntie Megan. He loved all the extra attention and spent very little time in Mommy's arms while family members passed him around. Ben enjoyed Thanksgiving as evidenced by his crying during the meal (as if to say, hook me up with some turkey, Ma!) and even ventured out on Black Friday for a little window shopping downtown. He loved his Baby Bjorn and cuddling with Daddy, but got tired of it at about the same time that we did. We went home, and met friends, George and Anna for some more cuddle time. The Turner family came to town and spent time with us as well, and all of us had lots of fun playing games like "Pass the baby" and "Whose turn is it to change Benny's diaper?"
At the end of the week, my big boy turned 1 month old. It's still so surreal when I back out of the day-to-day happenings and think about my baby boy being on the other side of the tummy for a whole month. When I think of all the diapers changed and the hours of sleep lost to feeding, burping and comforting my little guy, it seems like he's been here forever, but when I think back to the day he was born, it's hard to believe November went by so fast. Either way, I wonder how I ever lived without this precious boy. He has been such a fantastic addition to our lives - I'm totally OK with the fact that 4 hours of sleep is now considered a full night and all of my clothes have spit-up stains on the shoulders. On his 1 month birthday, Mommy went out to run some errands and couldn't resist the urge to pick up Pooh Bear cupcakes to celebrate. Of course, Benny couldn't eat his, but Mommy did and enjoyed it very much. I'm sure Benny even enjoyed some later in his midnight feeding so it wasn't totally ridiculous to get my newborn a cupcake.
Over the last two weeks, Ben has been working hard on tummy time and strength training and is now holding up his head for longer periods of time. He also pushes up with his arms and hands and will use his little legs to stand when he's fully supported as if to say, "I'm outta here, I've got places to go!" It seems like he's ready to just get up and walk away, he's always so busy with movement. He has also begun imitating certain hand movements like opening and closing his fists. We play a lot on his activity mat and on the fluffy rug in his bedroom and he really enjoys this time with us. He chats and coos while we play and read books and is really becoming more interactive every day. He also smiles when he is amused, and Mommy even caught him smiling and giggling at the tray on his swing today. He studied it intently for a minute or two, and then broke out in a big Benny Boo Bear smile and laughed as if it told a joke. It was a very sweet moment.
Other notable happenings include his growth! My little guy was 8 pounds, 11 ounces at birth and measured 21.5 inches. He lost a lot of weight and dipped down to 7 pounds, 10 ounces but has since made up for lost time with his unbelievable growth. All of those hourly (yes, hourly) feedings have paid off - my little chunker weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces last Friday, and measured a very tall 23 inches. I don't know what percentile that puts him in, but I am so proud of him! This is quite unfortunate for his duckie sleeper however. He did not fit in it and I imagine he will start outgrowing all of his newborn outfits soon. He's also outgrown the newborn diapers so we're finishing up what we've got and are graduating to size 1. What a big boy!
Monday, November 24, 2008
For more ultimate cuteness and a video clip, check out Lena's blog at: http://levirichards.blogspot.com/
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Benjamin at 2 weeks old: wearing Daddy's least favorite outfit
My feet: let me show you them
So we've made it through the first 2 weeks and lived to tell the tale. Benjamin has been such a good baby, it's hard to complain about any of it. Since he was born, he does very little besides sleep, eat, poop and burp. He does all of these things like clockwork, which makes him pretty predictable and easy to live with. He does not fuss just to hear himself, and is easy to calm down once you give him what he wants. Very Type B - he takes after Daddy for sure.
This week he began grabbing things, and the little guy has quite a grip. This is fine when he is playing toys or just hanging out, but not so much during feeding time, if you know what I mean. We are working on a hands-off nursing session but no luck yet. He also managed to flip himself from front to back in bed one night. We placed him in a Boppy and went to sleep, and when we awoke, he was face down in it, happy as a clam. I have no idea how he worked this one out, as he is barely two weeks old AND was completely swaddled and had no arms or legs to get this done. He is a determined little guy for sure. Needless to say, this was the last night he napped with the Boppy. Back to the flat sleep positioner for Benjamin! Other notable happenings include facial expressions. When he sleeps, as I'm sure most newborns do, he makes lots of funny faces. He will cycle from sad, to mad, to amused, to happy, and back to sad, all within 30 seconds. He'll do this for 10 minutes or so, and it's hilarious to watch. We call it: Benjamin going through his programming. When he is awake, he definitely has his sad and mad face mastered at appropriate times, but doesn't really express happiness yet. Although I'm pretty sure he smiled at me last night while we played and sang songs (badly). We looked it up, and he's really not supposed to smile intentionally for another few weeks, so it could have been a coincidence, but I'd like to think he was really amused at Mommy's rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Attending to faces and items in the environment has also begun this week. Ben will maintain eye contact with us if he is held close enough to our faces, and seems genuinely interested in what we have to tell him. He loves listening to us chat, and is a great outlet for sharing thoughts and gossiping. He also noticed his mobile and a few toys we play with and is adorable to watch as he gazes up at his rotating bears above his swing. He watches each one go by like it is a brand-new bear, and this will keep him busy for a minute or two. Sometimes when he begins to fuss, he'll catch a glimpse of his bear friends, and forget why he was upset. It's adorable.
Benjamin went on a couple of trips into the outside world this week. He accompanied Mommy and Grammy to a La Leche League meeting and the doctor's office on Wednesday. He slept through the whole thing. Mommy would have preferred sleeping through both activities as well. The meeting was a very strange experience, but Mommy picked up some good nursing tips that have worked like a charm. Mommy also got a clean bill of health at the doctor's office, which was fantastic news. On Saturday, Benny's 2 week old birthday, we traveled to Target (Ben's favorite) and the grocery store to stock up on items for the week. He also slept through this outing, but attracted a lot of attention along the way. He LOVES riding in the car and being pushed around in a shopping cart. He stirs a little bit when the cart stops to pick up an item, so we've learned to keep it in constant motion in order to keep him napping and happy.
Today is my official due date - November 16th. It's amazing to think that he could have stayed larval for two more weeks, and hard to believe that I wouldn't have exploded carrying this big boy 14 days longer. He would have been a cool 10 pounds, considering his birth weight. Today is also a milestone developmentally, because he is now officially "full term" so his developmental clock starts now. However, I don't think that will be a problem for Benny Boo - he is already doing things that should come much later and it has both pleased us and scared us equally as much. I think we need to start baby-proofing the house now - this kid will be an early walker! The last two weeks have exceeded our expectations of parenthood and we are completely in love with this little creature and endlessly amused by his Peanut Antics. We are looking forward to the rest of parenthood, but also savoring the early moments with our little guy. Everyone was right - it does go by fast.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The birth story:
At 9:30 on Saturday morning, we got a visit from the doctor who had a change in plans. She informed us that my blood work came back with a very low platelet count, and it was unfortunately too low for me to receive an epidural or a spinal for pain relief. Unfortunately, I was still considered unfavorable for induction, but because pain relief was no longer an option, a 2-3 day labor did not seem like an option anymore. She further informed that even if she induced, I only had a 50% chance of delivering. She presented the option of an emergency Cesarean section that would have to be performed under general anesthesia meaning I would not be awake for the birth and Jacob would not be allowed in the operating room. We opted for this because it seemed like the safest route to get our Peanut out in a healthy manner. At 10:30 am I was cathed, prepped, and wheeled down to the operating room for surgery. At 11:03, our son was born. He required positive pressure to get him breathing, as he did not get the hang of it on his own, but was otherwise very healthy. It was later said that when the incision was made, his ear was the first thing the doctor saw, so he was in no way engaged or ready for his birth. We were lucky that the doctors acted quickly to ensure that both he and I were safe.
Benjamin was taken to a room for vitals to be checked and to be cleaned up, and Jacob got to meet him at that time. He was also able to provide skin-to-skin contact for Benjamin in his first minutes of life since I was being sewn up and wheeled to recovery. I got to meet him about 2.5 hours later in our hospital room, and we've been inseparable ever since. His first day was met with lots of hugs and kisses from family members, and he did fantastically with all of the excitement. I struggled a bit more, as I was coming out of the anesthesia for most of the day and do not remember most of what was said or done during that time. I do, however, remember this:
It isn't a very good picture, but it's the moment that I met my baby Benjamin. I remember thinking that he is perfect, and he continues to be that way.
Parenthood has gone really well so far. We had the help of Jacob's family for the first week, which was fantastic, and my family has helped a lot in the first week and now that Jacob's family is back at home. Without that, the transition into parenthood would have been much harder - even with a perfect baby. He is a very laid back little guy who only cries when he needs something, and is easy to soothe once he's been satisfied. We struggled with breast feeding in the first few days but have the hang of it now. He's been to the doctor for his first check-up and is still healthy and gaining the weight back that he lost initially and is just doing very well. We are so thankful to have him - poopy diapers and all!
I've continued to heal after the c-section and am almost back to normal. My pre-eclampsia, diabetes, hypertension and low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) have gone away and I've lost close to 30 pounds in 10 days. I feel great and continue to get stronger and can't wait to have my old self back! It's been a long 40 weeks since that chart started in February and I am so glad it's over, but would do it again in a heartbeat. Benjamin is such a blessing and we're so lucky to have him here :)
Friday, October 31, 2008
Over the last week, Mom's health has rapidly declined. Up until now, I've kept most health-related updates to a minimum but throughout this pregnancy, I've been labeled "high-risk". It began because we were blessed with Peanut on the heels of a miscarriage but as the weeks wore on, different issues arose. We dealt with food poisoning at 19-20 weeks, a gestational diabetes diagnosis at 26 weeks, and a pregnancy-induced hypertension diagnosis at 36 weeks. The hypertension was classified as severe this afternoon, and paired with a low platelet count and severe swelling, we are headed down the pre-eclampsia road to boot. I am truly exhausted by all of it. I had hopes of an uneventful, boring pregnancy where my biggest issue would be maintaining a reasonable weight gain, and things have gotten so far from that, I only learned today what my total weight gain has been (and hell no, I am not sharing). Through the weeks and months, I've gotten more and more sedentary as bed rest requires, and have watched my tiny stretch marks and vericose veins grow into red, blue and purple zig-zags that cover my belly, breasts, sides and now legs. I was very sad about seeing them for the first time, but now I look at them as a badge of honor and a reminder of the difficulties we endured through the last 9 months. Honestly, I hope they fade, but if they don't, they will be my little reminders of our adventure with Peanut in 2008. It's hard to believe that I began the year running 30 miles per week and feeling fantastic, and here I sit in a hospital bed, with multiple diagnoses and a big round belly full of baby human.
That being said, I would do it all again for Peanut. I already love him more than the sun, moon and stars, and about as much as I love Lilly Bean. I think about him all day, every day and wonder who he will look like, which blanket will be his favorite, what kind of personality will he have. The wonder and excitement that has consumed this 40 week countdown is all coming to a head this weekend and that really hit home when the doctor proclaimed - "You are not leaving here without a newborn in your arms".
We started this journey with a conversation in late October 2007 about starting a family. When it was first brought up, Dad needed to process what he was hearing because it was such a shock and nothing we'd ever discussed before. Mom pitched the idea and let him get used to it for awhile before he agreed to give it a shot. The bottom line was, November was the first month we actively tried to bring Peanut to life. Now here we are, on November 1st, waiting to meet the son we've wanted for over a year. We have been so lucky to bring this idea to life in a little 8 pound boy in a year's time. And with everything we've been through during that year, his arrival will just be that much sweeter. So it's official - the Turners are going to become parents this weekend if all goes as planned, and we are exhausted, nervous, queasy, elated, and incredibly anxious to hold this little creature and kiss 10 baby fingers and 10 baby toes. It's been 40 weeks and counting since we knew you, Peanut, but we've loved you long before that. Can't wait to tell you face-to-smooshy baby face.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I've been reading a lot about baby development and learned that Peanut is no longer an embryo but is now a fetus. Happy Milestone, Peanut! At 10 weeks, fingers and toes seperate, and all of the essential internal organs are there. There are even fingernails. I'm excited about the idea that those little tiny fingers have fingernails already. I look forward to seeing fingers at the next ultrasound, and I think we will - I'll be 13 weeks by then.
My pants are definitely too tight to wear at this point, so I'm really thanking the textile gods for elastic waistbands this week. I've been sporting exercise clothes all week and getting away with it, but am about to start a new job and will have to go back to dress pants soon. I still look like I had three helpings of Thanksgiving Dinner for lunch, so I'll be glad when a real baby belly starts developing. The look I'm going for is pregnant, not fat. With the weight struggle I've had for the past 5 years, the getting bigger thing is definitely going to be hard for me. I've trained myself to believe that anything but a flat or relatively flat tummy is unacceptable. The good news is, since the double lines, I've been eating a lot healthier and controlled my portions to a little bit, all day long. I'm hoping this new routine will serve me well now and in the long run. We'll see about routines when Peanut gets here, which coincidentally, will be around Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So this is the chart that started it all. Don't worry about the details - the message is that I am quite pregnant from the red crosshairs forward. We didn't find out until 15 days later, though I sorta figured the cycle would end in two pink lines when I noticed my temps never dropped. The 4th and final 2 week wait turned into the beginning of a 40 week wait to parenthood.
March 7th: The first of the last set of POSITIVES!
So this greeted me on Friday morning instead of what we've lovingly started to call Aunt Flo. It's faint, but after inspection under every lamp, window and angle possible, we determined this is definitely a positive test. I should know - I have about 35 negatives in my bathroom cabinet to compare. Oh, and the peeing on a stick madness did not stop with this one - I have about three packs worth of positives in another cabinet, all increasingly darker. If you've ever peed on a stick, you understand the addiction. The Turners officially made a human.
The next few weeks were full of mixed feelings. The select few of you who have been following this saga since December know we recently suffered an early miscarriage that was nothing short of devastating. I lost my first bean at 6 weeks, so I knew I wouldn't be comfortable until I passed that mile-marker. We didn't mention the news to anyone and engaged in a new (but different) 2 week wait to the finish line. Fortunately we sailed through that week, although not without incident. Nausea. The whole thing about morning sickness is a total joke - I felt like I was on a tiny boat from Week 4 to about Week 7. It was OK though - it meant this bean was making itself at home and I was OK with that.
March 24th: Introducing Peanut Turner
My new doctor is really cool. I called her after Week 6 came and she agreed to have me come in and have an ultrasound done, just to confirm that everything was progressing well. Typically, the first ultrasound is done around week 9 or 10, so this was very nice of her, and it saved us from a lot of unecessary anxiety. I didn't sleep the night before, and I arrived at the doctor's office expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. The last ultrasound I had did not go well, so in my mind, I had to prepare myself for seeing a screen full of fuzzy grey noise. Instead I got this.
That little white seahorse is our baby. I saw it immediately and breathed for the first time in 6 weeks. The tech showed me the tiny baby, the yolk sac, and even let me see and hear the heartbeat. Keep in mind, that little tiny baby is virtually microscopic, but it had the strongest heartbeat ever at around 100 beats per minute. I can't say I didn't get a little emotional, but I'm a walking hormonal tragedy anyway so this is not new behavior. Anyway, that's my baby's first picture. Fabulous.
This picture gave us the confidence to start breaking the news to the family. The next few weeks were more of the same - being on a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean, craving pickles and other salty items, and going back and forth between monster bitch and the sweetest wife ever. The stereotypes are all true.
April 8th: Peanut gets comfy
So here is Peanut looking less like a seahorse, more like a Peanut, and still not really human. Granted, this is the worst ultrasound picture ever, but after hours of staring at it (no, I'm not exaggerating) I think I've made out a head, some legs, and maybe an arm. I've been told I'm way off, but we can still dream, right? By the way, Peanut is the little white item inside the black item. Measuring in at an inch and a half, Peanut is right on schedule. This shot was done at 8 weeks, 5 days with Peanut literally measuring 8 weeks, 1 day. My baby takes after me, just a little smaller than average. The heart was racing away at about 150 beats per minute, which is right on target for a baby measuring an inch and a half in length. We didn't get to hear it this time, ironically, my doctor is on maternity leave, so we had her replacement rush in, show us our human, and leave, all within 7 minutes. My doctor should be back in June, so we won't have Speedy Gonzalez for too much longer.
From 8 weeks to 10, things have been a lot easier, so I hope that lasts. The "morning" sickness is gone, and the belly bump is just starting to set in. It's unfortunate that my pants don't button anymore but I've learned some neat tricks involving rubber bands, safety pins, and tube tops for your belly that have all worked pretty well. When I found out I was pregnant in December, I stopped running religiously and from January to conception of Peanut, I pretty much did nothing and ate ice cream, so I can't blame it all on the baby. I'm starting to get more comfortable with the idea that I can maintain this pregnancy because Peanut has shown me nothing but a strong heartbeat and continued growth, but we still won't make our official announcement for a few more weeks.
So there it is - from a chart to a human in 10 weeks. Impressive.