Monday, March 26, 2012

First Trip

This weekend we took Ben to a wedding in Minot, which is 100 miles from here.  It went fine, but I admit the weekend was exhausting for me and it was hard not to enjoy the wedding in the carefree manner that I am used to.  Justin was in the wedding party, so I had to orchestrate everything myself.  I ended up spending the whole ceremony in the bathroom of the church, and although I had pumped a few bottles I still had to nurse at the reception.  I had to do so in the bathroom because the reception wasn't at a hotel where I could dash up to our room.  There was a little sitting area attached to the bathroom so that was nice but it was still akward.  Other women either looked embarassed or rather grossed out by the sight of me (I kept covered the whole time by the way!  I have this apron thing designed for nursing in public) or else had no issue at all and stopped to talk and tell me about their adventures in baby raising.  I guess, looking back, I would not have been grossed out but I would probably have averted my eyes and moved along if I saw someone else in that situation.  There were many other guests with babies so that helped.  The highlight of my night, besides all the compliments about Ben's cuteness, was indulging in my first alcoholic beverages since June.  Well, my first except for the few glasses of wine I might have had over the holidays!  I had one Bud Light and one shot of the homemade liquor that was being swilled by everyone all night.  I didn't get a buzz so I guess my tolerance has survived to an extent. 

Chaos almost ensued when we ran out of diapers even though I felt like we brought a massive quantity and Justin had to go to a grocery store at 8 am on Sunday morning because Ben was wearing our last one.  I am glad to say, though, that he never soiled his cute wedding outfit!  That made me happy because I love that little outfit!  He also never soiled my clothes or anyone elses.  That would have been embarassing. wasn't a great weekend but it could have been alot worse.  I really am starting to feel like a walking zombie.  I need to sleep more and I know this is something everyone endures but it is starting to wear me down.  I am waiting for the "it gets better" moment that everyone talks about.  It is hard for me to sleep when the baby sleeps like everyone says I should do because that is the only time I can eat, shower, etc.  I need to eat so Ben can eat after all!  He seems to want to eat all the time lately.  Some days it is in intervals of less than two hours.  This boy better have packed on crazy poundage at his next appointment for the quantity he is eating! 

Ben's first wedding!

Here are a few more pictures...

I love when he makes faces like this!  What do you think of my crazy pajama pants?

We have another looming adventure coming family's annual Ski vacation to Big Sky.  Back when this trip was scheduled I thought my due date was mid-February and an overdue baby was the last thing I thought would happen to me.  I thought we would have a 6 week old and now we have a 2 to 3 week old.  I also thought I would have a normal delivery and not a c-section and had planned on being on the slopes with everyone else.  The rest of the family is there skiing as I write this.  We had planned on going there tomorrow but we are questioning the wisdom of this decision.  I guess we will decide later today when we will do.  The drive seems overwhelming and endless right now but on the other hand Ben is usually very content when he is in his car seat and moving in the car or in his stroller so maybe a day spent with him chilling out in the back seat while I listen to my ipod would be kind of nice. 

My parents left for the trip early at the end of last week so they could visit.

Here is Grandpa Tim and his buddies Allan and Ben! 

Ben was a fussy pain all through the day, fussing whenever I put him down and only sleeping for 10 minute intervals and eating (and as a result peeing and pooping) constantly.  As soon as they showed up he was peaceful, snuggly, and perfect. Go figure! 

If we go to Montana you probably won't be hearing from me for the rest of the week.  If we don't go, you will probably be reading sad, baby blues laced posts about how I miss the old days and how I doubt my parenting abilities.  Either way, you may not want to look at this blog until next week! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Too Soon!

This morning, Ben and I both had doctor's appointments.  Mine was to check to make sure my incision was healing fine and it is.  I was given the clearance to drive and lift Benjamin's car seat with him in it.  I can pretty much do anything I want except things that require strenuous abdominal muscle use.  Ben's was a usualy baby check.  He has gained 10 oz. since the home visit nurse came 5 days ago...the little piglet.  He has passed his birth weight now so I am ready for the big growth to begin!  Hopefully his stomach will get bigger so it can hold more milk so I can sleep more! 

Now that I have the approval I can drive Ben around town with me.  I was nervous but I took him on our first solo outing this afternoon.  We went to Old Navy so I could look for a dress to wear for a wedding this weekend that would be nursing friendly.  By nursing friendly I mean that it can't have a zipper up the back and preferably it should have straps that can be lowered easily so I don't have to take the whole thing off to feed him.  Also, I was casually looking for a cheap one piece swimming suit to bring on a family ski trip to Montana next week because I will be using a hot tub there (can't wait! They are off limits during pregnancy!) and I am not feeling confident about wearing a two piece yet even if it is just in front of family. 

Oh my, this was a big mistake.  I think I must have gone temporarily insane to think that trying on swimwear two weeks after having a baby was a good idea.  Actually, it was way too soon to be trying on any clothing at all.  I have been feeling good about my recovery and have lost about 25 pounds from my last pre-delivery weigh-in.  And yes, I gained more than the recommended 25-30 pounds for my height.  Trying on clothes was a BIG step back.  Wow, that was not fun.  I left without swimwear.  Maybe I will just wear my crappy maternity suit that I wore to swim laps at the Y.  The dress I ended up with is basically a black beach cover up but I think I can make it work with some stand out shoes and jewelry.  I am kind of looking forward to wearing heels again.  And I can even reach my own toes to paint them!  I am so glad I am not pregnant anymore.  At least for now. 

One positive note about Old Navy and at TJ Maxx I was ushered directly into the big handicap accessible dressing room.  That was pretty nice!

A few pictures...

This was taken during a mini fuss fest but it is funny because he looks like he is smiling and winking. 

Justin pulled up his socks to look like baby tube socks!  They just need some baseball stripes!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reflections on the First Week Home

Yesterday was the one week anniversary of our return home with Benjamin Dennis and I am glad that the first week has passed.  Conditions have improved in many areas since then and I feel alot more confident.  I still recall that first clumsy diaper change and that first frustrating night where I hardly slept at all and was terrified about my nursing capabilities.  I recall feeling a rush of emotion when thinking about the helpful nurses in the hospital wheeling him into the room at night and making sure all was well before leaving me alone with him and returning to help me as soon as I pressed the call button and wishing one of them would materialize in my house at 3 a.m. 

Here are the things that have been better than expected...

1.  Although I would love a full night of sleep, Ben sleeps alot.  This means that I still have time to do things, such as write blog posts, do laundry (even though I am not supposed to be climbing the stairs until I get the doctor's approval at my 2 week post surgery appointment) and feed myself.  I think that life might get more difficult in this area as he gets older and sleeps less and gets more mobile.

2.  I have heard alot of women in life and on the internet say that they were too frazzled and busy to shower and even brush their teeth during the early days with a newborn.  I have been able to take a shower every day even when I have been in the house alone.  This has been possible because of the previously mentioned sleeping.  And I enjoy every minute of these showers!

3.  Nursing has not been as difficult or painful as I thought it would be.  It really isn't painful at all now that the initial trial period is over.  The difficult part is how often it has to be done.  I am already wondering how I can start pumping and stockpiling for the day when I want to be away from him for more than 3 hours.  Another good part is that it is making me lose weight like crazy which I love. 

Here are some things that have been about like what I expected. 

1.  The endless pile of diapers.  Holy crap. 

2.  I knew I would have a mourning period for my old, carefree life.  Yesterday I was pretty sad because it was St. Patrick's Day.  Being during Spring Break, I was usually skiing on this day, soaking up the mountain sun and drinking green beer at the various bars at the base of the mountain after the lifts closed.  If I wasn't doing that, I was usually doing something else fun that involved friends and drinking.  Yesterday I was inundated with Facebook footage of everyone in the world except me (I know that's not true but it felt like it) out enjoying the summer-like weather, wearing stupid green outfits and having a day of debauchery.  Meanwhile, Justin went out and had fun with his dart team and right after he left Ben commenced with several hours of unexplainable fussing that I couldn't fix.  It was a low point.  I told myself over and over that I knew this was going to happen from time to time and tried not to think about it.  I took Ben out around the neihborhood in the stroller and that was enjoyable. 

Things that have been harder than I expected. 

1.  The big one...the one that everyone talks about...the sleep issue.  I am not completely  Some days I am though.  I haven't had a good night of sleep since the night before the induction.  Actually, that night was a bad night too because I was anxious so I guess I haven't had a good night of sleep since the 5th of March.  Not that overdue pregnancy sleep is good.  When I am up at night my eyelids can barely stay open.  Before appointments, I try to document feeding and diaper times for a day or two in case the doctor or nurse asks, and one night I was up between 1 and 2:30 a.m.  The next morning I truly could not remember what went on during that time after the initial feeding at 1.  I was delerious apparently!  Awesome.  I did have a genius idea to keep my ipod near the rocking chair so I have something to look forward to during nightly feedings.  That helps quite a bit.  Poor Ben is going to grow up tangled in my headphones! 

2.  Worrying over every noise he makes at night.  It never fails...I will be drifting off to sleep and suddenly hear a little cough or snort or some sort of slobbery spit-up type sound.  And what do I do...I get up and look at him and everything is always fine.  When will this vigilance pass?  Will it ever?  Who knows? 

3.  This baby really can destroy laundry.  We have three basinette sheets and so far two days has been the max that they have lasted without being leaked on or spit up on.  I am so glad I registered for that extra two pack! 

What will the next week hold?  Will it be harder or easier?  We will find out...

Some photos...

Open eyes! 

Brother Allan hiding under the basinette ruffle.  I gave him a new mouse to play with so he wouldn't feel left out.

 This is one of several new quilts Ben has been given.  It is one of two my grandma made him!  She really loves to make quilts.  He was mad at me for making him pose. 

Here we are in our St. Patrick's Day green.  I have been waiting several months to wear that NDSU t-shirt!  So glad I bought the medium and not the XL that would have fit me when I was 7 months pregnant!

Snuggling with Nana Mary.  What a cute little guy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Newborn Photos

I never never thought professional newborn photos would be something I really cared about doing when I had a baby.  That was before I had a baby.  So this morning I headed off to Sears for a cheap-a$$ photo shoot.  I had a coupon from the hospital and they were able to get us an appointment on short notice.  Justin's mom is visiting so she was able to come with and do the heavy lifting and driving since I am not supposed to do those things yet because of the c-section.   The photographer was mediocre as was the creativity but oh get what you pay for and the rates were not bad and they are still cute.  I was mostly interested in being able to purchase a cd with photos that I could print and distribute however I wanted and we also got an 8 x 10 and some sheets of various sizes.  The sheets have some editing like sepia tones done to them.   

What follows is an over the top presentation of every photo on the cd...this is mostly for people who are related to me who are curious about the pictures so sorry if you think it is over the top.  We had two outfits.  Well, I guess it was one outfit and one theme since he is not wearing clothes in some of them!  Sorry some of them, like this first one, are not rotated properly.  I thought I did so but it must not have saved. 

I like this one because he looks so beefy even though he's really not very chubby yet!

Almost smiling!  Except 1 week old babies don't really know how to smile...

Not crazy about the exposed diaper...

Finger toes!  This one is out because you can see his nasty cort remnant. 

Another favorite of mine...

Looks like he's up to no good!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birthday Buddies

Little Benjamin Dennis is not the only person in our family to be born on March 7...
My Great Grandmother Wilhelmina (always known casually as Mina) is my dad's mom's mom.  She was born on March 7, 1897.  She died in February of 1986.  She was a very beloved grandmother to her large family.  My dad has good memories of spending time with her has a child.  Once, she took care of him when he was sick and to pass the time she taught him how to knit!  With knitting needles!  He still has the hat that he made.  

I am not sure when this photo was taken (Looks like late 70's to me!).  It was probably for a church directory or something.  It's a nice photo, I think!  It is nice to be able to see what people looked like even if you can't remember them. 

There she is with me on my baptism day!  Nice perm, mother! 

I love this picture.  This was taken at the nursing home.  I am guessing it was probably one of the last times we saw her since we didn't live near the family when I was young.  That poor woman probably weighs about the same as my fat sister in this picture! 

The other March 7th buddy that Benjamin has is Justin's cousin, Ryan. 

They grew up as best friends, sharing their love of everything having to do with the outdoors and farming.  Justin lived in Grand Forks but would spend lots of weekends at the farm with Ryan.  He was the best man in our wedding.  He was born in 1983, like us! 

Ben had a doctors appointment this morning.  He has gained 4 oz. which I thought seemed mediocre but the doctor said they should gain about an ounce a day after leaving the hospital which was three days ago so he is up an ounce!  I am so relieved that my nursing has been enough for him.  It is crazy how much you can worry about such small amounts as ounces...think of is like taking a shot glass full of water and dumping it on the floor...that is an ounce.  It is like nothing!  Babies...they make us crazy...

A few phone uploads...

This is the typical diaper/clothing changing scene.  We have a fleece pad for that changing table but I am waiting to put it on until I get better at changing and can manage not to smear you know what everywhere. He is about to bust out of that newborn sized onesie.  I am trying to get each newborn thing worn at least once because it is so fleeting.  Even the arms are getting tight!

Here he is this morning, ready to go to the doctor!  It was his first outing since coming home besides me carrying him around outside the house so I put a real outfit on him instead of just a onesie.  He wasn't sure about wearing pants!  That blur is his legs bicycling at a frantic rate...also a common occurence. 

He slept through most of the experience except the actual exam.  The pediatrician's office is attached to the hospital which is on a busy downtown street.  We were waiting at a crosswalk and traffic was zooming by and a huge delivery truck that was deafeningly loud passed 3 feet in front of us and he didn't wake up.  (I just had a flashback to the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus" when they realize their son is deaf at a loud parade...I don't think Ben is deaf!  He reacts to our voices!  Thank God!)  But he is awake all the time at night.  Sigh...

Monday, March 12, 2012

First Day, Just the Two of Us...and Chaos Ensues...

Well, Monday has come and Justin is at work so that means me and Ben are spending our first day home alone...EEK!  It has been a chaotic morning with alot of bodily functions and a growing pile of laundry.  The casualties include, of course, little outfits (mostly onesies), two fleece blankets, a swaddle sleeper and a basinette sheet.  Yesterday we went through 5 onesies.  In Ben's defense, many of these soilings are probably my fault more than his because I am inexperienced and he kicks and flails alot while being changed.  Also, we have been putting a piece of gauze with vaseline over his snip wound and I think it is directing pee in all directions.  Finally, last night he spit up for the first time which I had totally forgot happens to babies (He has only been drinking real milk for about two days now) so I can be blamed for that too.  Oh, that freaked me out the first time and it was just a tiny amount! 

He has been sleeping in a basinette in our room at night and I think he has been OK in the overnight hours.  It is hard for me to sleep because I still react to every little sound he makes.  Last night, after the first spit up, I kept worrying that he would spit up while lying on his back and choke.  Nightime baby maintenance is quite an adjustment but I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have him.  I know there are people out there who wait years to adopt babies or struggle through endless disappointment while doing fertility treatments who would do anything for a baby.  I thought I would get through the challenging aspects by thinking of the fun times ahead in the future but now I kind of get sad thinking that he won't always be like this. 

I just can't get enough of his soft fuzzy blonde head and his cute little baby noises! 

Tomorrow we are going to the pediatrician's office for a wellness check and on Friday a nurse is doing a free home visit to help with any nursing concerns and to weigh him and check him again.  I look forward to this because I want the reassurance that I am doing it right.  It is alot of pressure to be the only source of nourishment for someone!  The first night was so stressful.  I have heard alot of people have bad pain during the "engorgement period" (another one of those kind of gross things...look it up if you want details!) and I read online that the peak period of nursing misery is around the 20th feeding and that is when most people who give up on it early throw in the towel.  My problem wasn't was more worry about adequacy and being really exhausted.  At the hospital they said to nurse every two hours, even if you had to wake the baby to do it and that was stressful because that mean no sleeping for me!   But if I waited too long he would be frantic and screaming and had hard time focusing on the task at hand.  When he gets like that he pushes away and kicks and punches and he is really strong.  His mouth is showing all the signs of wanting to eat but his body can't relax.  Also, It has been hard doing alot of things because of recovery from the c-section.  That has been one of the most frustrating things for me.  I didn't want that blasted surgery to begin with and it has made me sad that I can't just quickly jump up to do things.  I am not supposed to drive for a certain time period (not that I want to go anywhere yet but I will soon) and I am not supposed to lift anything except the baby or climb stairs (our laundry room is in the basement...lucky Justin!)  Mostly I am just really tired.  When I had an appendectomy a few years ago the week post surgery was spent sleeping on the couch ALL day and watching entire seasons of TV shows on dvd.  So...the opposite of what I have been doing this week.  And that was just a scope surgery and not a full incision!  I am ready to be back to normal physically again. 

Now for a few pictures...I am sure most people just want to see those anyway! 

All ready to leave the hospital!  Justin picked that outfit for his first day home!

Meeting Allan...everything with Allan is going just fine.  He is mildly interested but hasn't tried to jump in the basinette with him or anything and shows no signs of animosity.  What a relief!

I swallowed my pride and posted this one even though I am not one bit comfortable with my appearance right's still a good picture.  It was beautiful the day we left the hospital...high of 72 degrees...on March N.D.  Too wierd!  It was very nice not to have to worry about bundling the little guy up!

Sweet little Ben enjoying the light of day for the first time!


The sun makes our living room really warm in the afternoons so we have been dressing him mostly in onesies and swaddling at night.  Today is cooler and very windy so he is wearing a fleece outfit and hat.  I hate when his hands and feet feel cold!

Oh, here is a link to the hospital birth announcements.

The picture looks rather distorted but it is still cute.  I think it is fun looking at the list of the other babies born during our stay...Ben's nursury buddies!

OK...I started writing this post at around 10:30 and one feeding, several phone calls, and a few soothing snuggle sessions later I am finally done and I have to feed myself.  What a morning!