Monday, March 16, 2009

One whole year

March 7th, 2008
It was one year ago this month that we learned about Benjamin "Peanut" Turner and what a wild ride it has been since then.  I've posted that chart before, but wanted to see it again because it is so amazing.  Like Benny, this chart is perfect.  For those not obsessed with fertility, this is a chart of my body temperature every morning of that particular cycle. Basal body temperature is a good indicator that implantation has occurred.  The chart shows that in the first days of the cycle, my temperature was pretty low.  It dipped exactly in the middle, as it's supposed to when you've ovulated, and then shot up like a rocket after Benny appeared.  Its what's called a triphasic chart, and it's rare in fertility world, but leave it to Benny to kick off his existence being perfect. 

Benny is 4 and a half months old now, but it's been just over a year since we've been together.  I'm so thankful for having had the time to blog the few entries I did during my pregnancy to remind me of the highlights of those days because those memories are fading fast.  The low points are also fading, thankfully, because the pregnancy was mostly comprised of those and are details better left forgotten anyhow.  The last 4 and a half months have been a complete whirlwind and I often sit and wonder where the time has gone.  This is sweet irony because while I was carrying that little guy, I wondered if it would ever end.  I thought I'd be the first documented case of a woman being pregnant forever, because it sure seemed that way.  Somehow we've sped through his newborn stage and are knee-deep in his infancy and I wish it would all just slow down.  

I am the type of Mama who wants to do it all and am slowly realizing that this is unpossible, as Ralph Wiggum puts it.  I can't stand a messy house, or things left undone on my desk at work, and I really love slow-cooked homemade meals.  I also love my time with Benny, breastfeeding, and playing toys.  This seems to be why the pile of laundry is taking over my house, why Jacob and I are starving, and why I am completely behind and feel incredibly incompetent at my job.  This can't all be done because there are only 24 short hours in each day, and they really whiz by when your to-do list is as long as mine.  I'm slowly learning to let go; let the laundry eat the house, catch most meals on the fly, and do the very best I can at work, but leave it there after 5 PM.  I'm learning to savor every moment with my little guy because it's going by so incredibly fast.  I feel like if I blink, I'm going to miss the whole thing.  

In these 4 and a half months, Benny has told the doctor's where they can shove their modified expectations of his developmental milestones.  The doctors informed us that he may be slow to reach milestones due to his early birth (that he totally wasn't ready for but Mama SO was).  Instead, Benny came out of the womb holding his head up, was rolling over at 1 month, and has been chatting up a storm since he realized he can make noise.  He is sitting up, eating baby food like a big boy, and has learned cause and effect and how to use it to manipulate his sucker parents.  He grabs for things he likes and draws them to his mouth, drools like nobody's business, and laughs hysterically when you play him the William Tell Overture Finale.  He still only cries when he needs something (and this includes attention, which he seems to need constantly) and is just a sweet little boy.  I love this child more than anything, and wish these sweet moments would slow down and last forever.  I'd take a lifetime of sleeplessness if I could keep my little Benjamin bite-sized.  When he is sleeping peacefully or batting his long eyelashes at me I imagine what he will be like at 13 and cringe at the thought of him being embarrassed to be seen with his parents, or the possibility that he will turn into a snotty, bratty teenager.  Babies are so pure and unspoiled, I wish they would stay that way forever.

But this is not the case.  It's really a bittersweet journey for me as a Mama.  I celebrate every milestone he reaches.  He reaches them fast and early which I guess makes it all the more startling for me, but it is wonderful and I love looking forward to new things.  I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of babyhood and childhood again through my son's beautiful blue eyes, but milestones mean he is growing up.  Growing up means he'll be totally embarrassed and put out by my suffocating hugs and smooches all over his pudgy little baby face and it's gonna break my heart.  Bittersweet.  

One whole year since that fertility chart began.  Hard to imagine that it's gone by so fast, and that we've all lived to tell the tale.  We are incredibly blessed to share our lives with such a fantastic little creature, fleeting though it may be.  In one year we went from this:

To this:

Can't wait to do the next 100 years, but let's slow it down a little, k?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Graduated from the 4th trimester!

Benjamin Maddox: 4 months, 1 day

February was a big month!  Benny got to visit the mountains (read: Avery County) on Valentine's Day weekend to get his Mimi and Poo to all himself.  He got a special visit from Mimi the following weekend, got to rest the next, and then got a visit from Auntie Lauren this past weekend.  He loved every minute of it, of course, and loved up on his visitors lots.

Benny has become very conversational in the last month.  He sits with Mom and chats about his days with Gram.  He starts talking kinda softly but by the end, he is screaming, yelling and laughing hysterically.  He is definitely a people person.  He has clocked a lot of hours in his exersaucer, or air traffic control station as we like to call it.  Benny has a pretty intense need to stand and would like to be on his feet more often than not.  Our arms got kinda tired of this, so we've really gotten our money's worth out of this thing.  He stands proudly and will concentrate on each little station and press buttons that sing songs.  He is beginning to entertain himself, which is convenient for Mom and Dad, and lots of fun to watch.

Grabbing items and pulling them toward his mouth is another new activity that he has refined in the last week or so.  It's amazing to watch these little skills come together and to watch his face light up when he does something new successfully!  

Last weekend, it snowed lots.  It snowed the week Benny was born, and a few times since then, but nothing that stuck around for long.  On Sunday night, we got at least 6 inches, and I'd swear it was even more, but we didn't stick a ruler in it . We did, however, stick Benny in it.

He didn't necessarily love it or hate it.  The wind was blowing hard when we ventured outside so he was mostly bothered by that and wanted to go inside.  Hopefully next year we will get a good snow so we can try him in it again.  I'm thinking it'll be more fun as he gets older!