Saturday, February 28, 2009


I'm supposed to be tracking every wet diaper, every dirty diaper and every time Ben eats and for how long. After about three days of carrying around a notebook and pen all over the house, I quit. I'm not sure what I'll tell the pediatrician at our two week appointment. A friend suggested I say "a thousand" when he asks about how many diapers we've gone through. I can say that he eats about 12 times every 24 hours, give or take a couple. I think as long as he continues to gain enough weight, I won't be in trouble for not keeping track. We'll see on Friday.

Here are some pictures of Ben in a great yard sale find outfit from the Gap. I love the back pocket.

Friday, February 27, 2009


We cannot thank our parents enough for how much they helped in the first few days. At one point today, I was sitting on the couch with an ice cream cone and had both dads bringing in firewood, one mom was doing laundry and the other doing dishes. They've been great. I just have to remember to not hold back when people offer to help. It's not hard when they distract me with ice cream.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I bought a way too expensive breast pump months ago, and I'm still figuring out how to use it best. I've tried to pump about every day or every other day so I have plenty stored for when I finally decide to leave Ben alone for more than 15 minutes. I took the pump out to show mom and Brooke in these pictures. It's a little intimidating looking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

first walk outside

Our house sits in the middle of ten acres with two pastures, a barn, chicken coup, corral, garden and five acres of woods with a walking (four-wheeling) path cut through it. It was a beautiful day today, so Ben and I walked around and I told him all about the farm. He slept through most of it, except when Josh used the wood pile as a changing table and put Ben on the four-wheeler.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

baby clothes

I can't believe how obsessed with baby clothes I've become. Ben already has a way better wardrobe than anything I've ever had. I'm sure he owns more clothes than he could possibly wear before he'll grow out of them. Today I tried to put a sweater and jeans on him, but until his umbilical cord falls off, I think we're going to have to stick to sleepers and snap up outfits.

Monday, February 23, 2009

first trip to the doctor

This morning we had our first appointment with Dr. Mace, the brain surgeon, followed by our first pediatrician appointment with Dr. McNeal. The surgeon did a great job of answering our questions about Ben's surgery. Last week, the pediatricians discussed Ben's irregular head shape with us, and ordered a CT scan. During the scan, they found prematurely fused bone plates in his skull and asked we immediately schedule an appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon. This morning we met with Dr. Mace at the Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute and he shared with us a 3D image of Ben's skull and the images from the CT scan taken last week. The top ridge down Ben's skull has prematurely fused together, causing his head to be narrow and elongated. This is called craniosynostosis. When Ben's three months old (in May), he will need surgery to correct this. There are a few different methods, but the suggested method by Dr. Mace is to make a single incision across the top of his skull and remove a section of the bone. After, Ben should require no future surgery and his head and brain should develop normally. He will most likely not need a helmet, and we will need to treat the top of his head like an extra large soft spot until it heals. He will have to stay at the hospital for several days and he has to be put completely under for the surgery. Josh or I will also donate blood prior to the surgery, so if he needs a transfusion, it will be from one of us.

It is so scary to think about Ben having brain surgery, but the surgeon seems wonderful and our pediatrician has had several children with the same condition use Dr. Mace for the same procedure. Long-term, Ben may always have a little bit differently shaped head, but it shouldn't be very noticeable within a few years, and he shouldn't have any brain development problems associated with this condition.

At his pediatrician appointment today, he weighs 6 lbs 14 oz. The doctor was concerned about his color, so we had to go back to Cox South to have his blood taken. By that time, we were all pretty exhausted and my incision was killing me from all of the walking. Later that afternoon we found out his jaundice test came back negative and he's as perfect as ever.

I've included a few pictures from our first day out of the house.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

first bath

Ben's hair was getting really oily (probably from me touching his head all of the time), so we gave him his first sponge bath today. He wasn't a fan.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


We were finally able to leave the hospital today. I had to have my staples taken out and get taped back together. I was really scared about this all week, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was more like an uncomfortable pinching feeling and not the excruciating pain I expected. Ben weighs 6 lbs. 10 oz. which officially makes him the smallest baby I've ever been around. The pediatrician who did the discharge papers emphasized that he needs to at least be 6 lbs. 12 oz. at his weight check on Monday. I'm not sure what the "or else" was to that, but she was pretty serious about it.

Before we left, Ben smiled at Josh and I for the first time today! Granted, he was sleeping and it was sort of a half-smile reflex, it still counts. I was terribly excited.

On the way home, we didn't have the "oh my gosh, what are we doing?" moment. I think we were just so happy to be out of that grey dingy hospital room, that we couldn't think of much else. I was pretty medicated still, too.

Ben was way, way too small for the clothes we brought to take him home. I had been measuring so large, that we expected to have a huge baby. Apparently, he was just in a strange position and that's why I was measuring ahead. His clothes swallow him for now. I know that will change soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

birth day

We had a scheduled induction for February 18th because I had measured several weeks ahead for my dates. The actual induction was great, and not at all what I thought it would be like. I was scheduled to go in for an induction at 8:00, and five other women had inductions that morning. I was dilated barely one centimeter but they said I was about 90 percent effaced. The doctor came by and broke my water at 8:30 and it didn't hurt at all. It felt about as uncomfortable as a pap smear or an exam. After, it was the weirdest feeling. It was like I was peeing my pants but I had no ability to stop it or sensation of needing to pee. My doctor just sat down and talked to me about the day and the nurse and Josh were both in there and I had to stop in the middle of our conversation to laugh because I was soaking wet from my hips to my ankles and I felt like a nursing home patient. Josh said to just pretend I was on a float trip and peeing during a conversation. From then on, every time I had a small contraction, more fluid would come out, and they just kept changing the towels and everything under me every few minutes until it slowed down. I went through 12 towels in 3 hours!

They started the pitocin at 9:00 and I didn't really feel anything at first. The IV went into my left arm just above my wrist and it didn't hurt that bad. They also started pumping fluids in me along with the pitocin. I could tell my contractions were getting a little stronger and a little closer together. Josh would go and stand by the monitors to see when I was having a contraction and how far apart they were (they'll explain the monitors to your husband too, if he wants) - Josh was fascinated by keeping track of Ben's heartbeat and how far apart my contractions were. After about 3 hours on the Pitocin, I asked for my epidural. It felt like I was having bad pms cramps by then, and it definitely wasn't intolerable, but I didn't want to wait too long. They checked me again, and I was only dilated to a 2, but they went ahead and ordered the epidural. About a half an hour later, I was starting to have the kind of contractions that I couldn't really talk through, and I started doing some focused breathing but it still wasn't really that bad.

I was still glad I got the epidural when I did. When I got the epidural, they had me roll over on one side, but sometimes they make people sit up and lean over. Josh held my hand while they did the numbing shot and it wasn't pleasant, but it only lasted a few seconds. When they put the epidural in, my whole left leg kind of felt shocked for a split second, but then it started to take affect pretty quickly and my whole left side was completely numb. I could still feel some on my right side, but the contractions didn't hurt anymore. They had me lay on one side for a while and then on the other for a while to help distribute the meds more evenly. The left was still completely numb and that didn't change, but the right was kind of iffy, and I may have had what's called a "patchy block" where it doesn't completely take. However, I could barely tell when I was even having contractions and they kept upping the pitocin every half hour.

After couple of times during the day, Ben's heart rate started to drop just a little, so they cut back the pitocin and checked me. I was still dilated at a two each time, and I was really disappointed. They acted like it's unusual but not a huge deal and we'll just keep going. I really couldn't feel the contractions at all once they cut the pitocin back, so I slept for almost three hours. When I woke up, they checked me again and I was still at a two, but my cervix was starting to thicken and swell, so my effacement was decreasing.

Around 5:30, my doctor suggested a c-section if I continued to not progress. His shift ended soon, but I decided to wait it out a little longer to see if anything would happen. Around 8:00 the next doctor came in and checked me because the pitocin was effacing Ben's heart rate again. She checked me and said his head was pushing against my cervix, but my cervix was still at a 2, and my cervix was starting to really swell and get hard and Ben was developing a knot on his head where he had been pushing against me. They said he must be in a poor position and probably has his head tilted to one side and I won't progress any further. So I agreed they could turn off the pitocin and get me in line for a c-section.

From that point on, things did not go well. I do not respond well to anesthesia, and I ended up needing to be completely put under (so Josh wasn't allowed in the room). After, because I'm allergic to morphine, they had to use some non-typical treatment for pain relief and the whole evening just did not go that great. The most important thing is that Ben was born at 10:15 p.m.! I had been pumped so full of fluids and had such a poor reaction to some of the iv meds that I am swollen and drugged looking in all of my pictures. I still feel puffy but nothing like what's in the picture attached to this note. It's the first one taken of the 3 of us.

The next day, my doctor told me I would have had to have a c-section no matter what because of his position and because of a problem he has with his skull. This, my level of fluids, and his being in a weird position were most likely why I was measuring so far ahead for my dates.

I am so happy to be a mommy. He is so sweet and has a great temperament. We are so lucky that breastfeeding has gone so well for us. The Cox staff was great and I asked the nurses a million questions.

Because of the c-section, I can't lift anything other than Ben, and I can't drive for at least 3 weeks. The grandparents have already divided up days to come over and help and I'm sure we're going to need it.

Josh has been amazing though all of this. I won't be able to get out of bed without help for the first couple of days, so Josh is changing every diaper, doing every burping, calming him down every time he cries, and brings him to me for every feeding. I'll be a little more mobile once the IV's out, and even more so after a few days, but I still can't do much of anything other than breastfeed and tell people what to do. Every day will get a little easier and I can't believe how much Ben has changed already!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

hospital pictures

Ben had plenty of visitors at the hospital. Here are some pictures of the grandparents and our dingy hospital room. It was actually a shared room, but we took up enough space to not end up sharing. I would not have handled a shared room very well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

first pictures of Ben

Here are the first pictures of Ben taken by one of the nurses who came and got Josh's camera since he wasn't able to be in the delivery room during the c-section (because I had to be put completely under).