Monday, November 24, 2008

3 whole weeks!

Benny in his second week, being super cute:

This week was a quiet one for Ben and I. We did a lot of lounging around the house, watching TV and playing together. On Tuesday I decided I was brave enough to leave the house alone with Ben, so we went to the bank. This was the first time we rode together without me sitting next to him in the backseat. Not surprisingly, all went well. Later that day, we traveled to several stores with Grammy and had lots of fun. Ben loves the car, and riding in shopping carts. This is good for Mommy, who is getting sort of stir crazy sitting at home day after day.

On Friday, Ben went to his second well-baby visit at his doctor's office. He got another clean bill of health, weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces. He is almost up to his birth weight and the doctor was pleased with this. He returns in two more weeks for another weigh-in.

This week Ben confirmed that he can smile intentionally, and often does when Mommy and Daddy chat with him and sing him songs. He is a happy baby. He continues to attend to us for longer periods of time and seems to be truly entertained by us making funny faces and speaking baby talk to him. We also noticed that his gross motor skills are starting to come together - he grabs toward us when we get close to him. This has resulted in fistfuls of hair and nearly broken necklaces. We also started some "tummy time" sessions with him this week, and he is a seasoned pro, especially considering that the little guy lifted his head off Daddy's chest minutes after he was born. He got an activity mat over the weekend to keep him busy during tummy time and loves it. Our little strength trainer even managed to flip himself from front to back while elevated on the activity mat's pillow.

Ben had his first play date on Saturday and had a great time. Ben and Levi (future BFFs) layed next to each other on the couch and wiggled around for 15 minutes or so. It was so interesting to watch Ben while he watched Levi - he really observed while Levi squirmed around and began squirming himself. He also grabbed toward Levi, and Levi grabbed back, and the little guys ended up holding hands for a few moments. Ben also succeeded in placing his hand in Levi's mouth, which thoroughly confused Levi initially, but he went with it once he realized it wasn't his hand. The whole 15 minutes was painfully adorable, and resulted in yet another photo and movie opportunity:

For more ultimate cuteness and a video clip, check out Lena's blog at:
Week two to three was a good week. Today, Ben's Auntie Megan and great-grandparents have flown into town and will meet him this afternoon. Wednesday, his Great Aunt Susan and cousins will also be here to love on him. Thursday will be Benny Boo's first Thanksgiving (and first holiday since the little guy was a day late for Halloween) and Friday, his Turner family will be back in town to see what a big boy he's grown into in the last three weeks and to celebrate his ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY! I can't believe how fast this month has gone - my little guy is growing up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2 weeks and counting...

Benjamin at 13 days old: playing toys with Mommy

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

Benjamin Maddox is here!

Benjamin Maddox was born on November 1st at 11:03 am and weighed in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. We are so happy he is finally here!

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 :)

Check Spelling