I feel like the first word that will come out of Ben's mouth will be "cute". I think Greg and I tell Ben how cute he is about 100 times a day (each). I'm not sure I can stop myself either. Check out some of the cuteness I have captured this week:
My parents could not be more excited to be grandparents - and Ben is SO lucky to have such caring, awesome people in his life. I absolutely loved introducing Ben to my mom and dad - I think he will have such a special relationship with them :)
I have had a hard time putting the camera down this week. I think I have tripled the amount of photos I've had stored on my iPhone in the past 5 days! One thing I noticed about the pictures as I have scrolled through is just how many different spots Ben has been able to go to sleep/pass out in. It's so adorable. Ben is in the sleepy newborn baby stage where I have to wake him up every couple of hours to eat, but in between feeding and his brief moments of being awake, check out a few of his favorite spots:
On the couch with Maxwell.
In his "Rock & Play" sleeper in our bedroom.
On our bed (with us next to him to supervise).
In his swing.
On one of us.
Wrapped up in a burrito in his crib. (Picture taken from
While I have been stuck in a state of total mommy-bliss, I realized I had forgotten to make the most important blog update of the year: BEN HAS ARRIVED!
7 lbs, 11 oz, 19.5 inches long born at 7:28 am on September 24th!
From the very SECOND I laid eyes on him, I was hooked. Total love at first sight, which is not something I ever would have expected myself to say in my pre-Ben days. I have not been able to take my eyes off him since.
More details and pictures soon, but for now I have to return to my new job of obsessing over my kid.
Over the weekend, it seemed like I was experiencing all kinds of early-labor symptoms. Today = nothing....and at the moment I'm okay with it! I am still experiencing some lower back pain, which could be pregnancy/labor related and could be accident related (or both), so I decided that working from home the next few days was the way to go. (Have I mentioned how much I love my job and the flexibility it allows me to do this? I'm so lucky). It seems that all of our friends and family members are on baby watch, which is awesome :) I can remember each and every one of my friends who have been where I am right now and how much I was anticipating the births of their babies! There is NOTHING like waiting for a human being to arrive!
Now that this is MY baby that is on the way, I have to admit that I'm starting to get nervous. I made the mistake of watching an episode of "A Baby Story" today, which almost gave me a panic attack. (I do not advise anyone to watch that show for the first time the week they will be in labor). I promptly turned it off and gave myself a pep talk that I WILL get through it and that there are plenty of drugs waiting for me.
Today, it is the responsibility of being a parent that I cannot quite wrap my mind around. Yes, there is the stuff that I have probably mentioned a lot before on this blog - things like worrying about the sleep and freedom we will be lacking for awhile and the general adjustment of caring for someone else 24/7, but it's so much more than that.
I think I'm having a hard time imagining myself as a mom. I have ZERO problem imagining Greg has a dad, as I feel he will be a complete and total natural, but I picture myself being awkward (Miranda-ish) and unable to relate to this new role.
The good news is that by all accounts from everyone I know, becoming a parent is a truly rewarding experience, and one that will change me forever. It gives me GREAT confidence to see how well all of my friends have transitioned into motherhood. You all, (not to mention my mom, mother in law and sister in law) serve as such fantastic role models to me! I feel lucky that even if things are a little confusing or hard to figure out, I have such a massive support system ready and waiting to help me when I need it.
THANK YOU to all of you for being so supportive and encouraging to us this year! I cannot believe we are at the end already :)
I figure since part of the reason I am blogging is so I can look back on this year and remember the whole "Journey to Ben", I should blog about what happened on my way home from work yesterday.
The last couple days had been pretty good, considering the fact that I had accepted that Ben would be late. I had had a productive day at the office and was planning to spend the evening with Rachel, Peter, and a 1/2 a glass of red wine. As I was sitting at a stop light, honestly feeling as though there was absolutely NOTHING else I needed to do to prepare for this baby (whenever he should arrive), I was rear ended (HARD) and pushed into the car in front of me.
O M G
I am happy to report that my air bag did not deploy and my belly didn't hit anything, but talk about being a little emotionally rattled! (Imagine the horrified look on the guy's face when he realized he had just plowed into a 40-week pregnant woman).
After we all pulled into a parking lot, gave our statements to the police, and exchanged our information, (not to mention the witness who saw the whole thing go down, saw I was pregnant, and also called the police and requested the fire truck with sirens blaring to come make sure I was okay), I called my doctor to see what she thought I should do. She told me to get someone to take me to the hospital immediately for 4 hours of observation (which immediately worried me and made me cry).
Greg came straight home from work and off to the hospital we went. Imagine our surprise to find ourselves checking into Labor and Delivery, ON MY DUE DATE, to NOT have a baby.
(Belly looks enormous from this angle)!
Anyway....they monitored Ben's heart rate and my contractions for 4 long hours to make sure things looked okay. They felt okay releasing me at that point, but I was told to call back if I experience any additional pain (you know, because at 40 weeks pain is so uncommon...). The one positive thing of this whole ordeal was that I got to meet a bunch of nurses on the floor, (one of whom specifically requested that we ask for her when it's baby time - she was awesome) and ask a lot of questions about what we could expect later this week when we are back.
Monitoring. Top line is baby's heart rate, bottom is my contractions.
And then we went home.
I am a little on the sore side today, but happy to know that Ben is doing well. I am extremely irritated that in the midst of "when will my baby arrive", I now also have to deal with taking my car to the shop, not having a car to drive, and dealing with insurance companies....but in the end, I know that the fact that we are healthy is ALL that matters.
And as for Greg, I couldn't be luckier to have him for my husband. He took me to get husband/wife pedicures this afternoon to cheer me up, much to the delight of the ladies at Happy Nails (where I have only gone solo thus far). When they asked him if he was excited to be having a boy, he exclaimed, (loud enough for everyone there to hear):
"Oh yeah! I can't WAIT until the day we can get father/son pedi's together"!
The entire place erupted in laughter and I fell even more in love with him for knowing exactly what to do to make me feel better.
And for the record, he freaking loved it. Massage chair, someone rubbing his feet and FOOTBALL of all things playing on the flat screen they have up on the wall made for a happy Greg :)
How far along: 40 weeks Weight gain: 30 lbs How big is baby: 7.5 pounds and 20 inches long (although, who really knows at this point...!) Greg and I asked our moms what our measurements were at birth. I was 7 lbs, 1/2 an ounce and we think 20 inches long (there may have been an error on my birth certificate, LOL). Greg was 7 lbs, 7 oz and 19 inches long. Wondering if Ben will be similar in size? Maternity clothes: Yep. Stretch marks: Still in the clear! Sleep: Still annoyed by the frequent (as in hourly) bathroom trips and heartburn, but I still wake up feeling rested. Sleeping on my stomach is something that will be an option for me again soooo soon. Yippie! Best moment this week: Hmmm. "Best". I spent a lot of this week mildly annoyed that things didn't seem to be progressing, but in between pity parties, I did squeeze in a few fun things :) Over the weekend, Greg and I watched our friend Collin skydive and then had a lunch and movie date. (Contagion was a great movie - I highly recommend it)! My friends Lisa and Rachel came over and hung out for awhile on Sunday evening - always fun! Also, my friend Kim took me out to dinner on Wednesday night, which was super nice of her. I swear, I have been SO spoiled throughout this pregnancy. I know I say it a lot, but I feel so incredibly lucky by the amazing support system Greg and I (and soon Ben) have. Movement: Yes - and uncomfortable again. In fact, this is the foot that I am constantly feeling dig into my right ribs:
Food Cravings: My appetite is still about half what it was during most of my pregnancy. Labor Signs: Ha. I think that most first time moms can relate to what I'm going through, in that I'm having a hard time determining what is and is not a labor sign. From what I'm told, I will KNOW when what I'm experiencing is "real" and when it's just a "pre-labor" symptom. I do know, however, that I'm experiencing a lot more braxton hicks lately and a lot of cramping and back aches. I have also progressed since last week's appointment in that I'm slightly dilated (maybe 1/2 - 1 cm) and 50% effaced. After about 4 hours of appointments yesterday (weekly check up, ultrasound, fetal heart rate monitoring, etc.) I went to my friend Willow for a labor-inducing massage. She basically focused on pressure points on my feet, ankles and legs that DEFINITELY made me have contractions while I was there. I had some cramping throughout the evening as well, but that is about it. Maybe it will kick start something soon? Belly button in or out: Sometimes out, sometimes flat - always disgusting. What I miss: I know that I am not the most patient person in the world....but making someone like me wait potentially another week for their baby is a mild form of torture ;) I can tell Greg is getting anxious as well! For now, we will continue to wait... What I'm looking forward to: This week is going to be the week, that much I know for sure. Unless Ben decides to arrive on his own, I'm scheduled for induction next Friday!
How far along: 39 weeks Weight gain: 30 lbs How big is baby: About 7 pounds and 20 inches long. Maternity clothes: Yes and getting SO sick of them. It doesn't help that summer seems to have finally arrived in Seattle and I'm hot all the time. Yes folks, we've reached the complain-y part of pregnancy. Stretch marks: No..and fingers crossed I can make it to the end without them! Sleep: Decent, but I feel like I'm getting up or having to switch sides all the time. I'm lucky that I'm usually able to fall right back asleep after doing so. I'm hoping that this means I will be able to get some good chunks of sleep in between feeding/changing Ben throughout the night as well. Best moment this week: I think the best thing that happened this week was that my best friend Lisa reached the summit of Mount Rainier! Her account of her adventures have me thinking that childbirth will be a BREEZE! Lisa is someone I have always looked up to, and it didn't surprise me at all that she accomplished something SO major this last weekend! Ben is so lucky to have someone like her to take him out to do things his mom is too scared to do herself :)
As for me, this has been a pretty boring week. Since I am still supposed to keep my activity level on the low side, I have not been able to do much. I also have done literally everything I can think of to prepare for the baby. I'm so thankful that I have work to distract me until the end of my pregnancy! I did, however, get to visit with some friends this week - which is always a "best" in my book! Maureen, Rachel and Maeve stopped by for a visit over the weekend, as did Shauna, Brandon and Bronson. We had lunch with our friend Adam while he was visiting in town as well! I'm sure that Greg would much rather be out and about, doing fun activities in the sunshine (as would I), but he has done a great job at keeping me company and reminding me that this is only temporary. We both can't wait for next summer to roll around! Movement: Yep! Food Cravings: Not really. My appetite has really decreased this week... Labor Signs: I occasionally think that I feel something (cramping, contractions?) but nothing that has me feeling like labor is approaching. I think I'm just hyper-sensitive to every sensation I feel right now, especially because I'm hoping for labor signs at this point. My doctor confirmed this morning that my cervix is "closed and thick". Dang it. This does not necessarily mean that labor is far away, but it definitely means that nothing is in the works at this moment! Belly button in or out: Out/Flat depending on his position What I miss: Cold weather - I'm so ready for Fall! What I'm looking forward to: Baby time.
Over the weekend, we were lucky enough to get a visit from Shauna, Brandon and their new little guy, Bronson. Greg had not had the chance to meet him yet, but as soon as he did, the two became fast friends. Greg is going to be a FANTASTIC father! He was able to jiggle, bounce and sing Bronson to sleep so quickly after he became fussy - I seriously cannot wait until I get the chance to see him with Ben!
I've been cleaning up my work files in order to better organize myself before I take my leave, and I came across a list of baby names that I apparently had distracted myself with one random day. The file is dated back in 2008 - ha! And look what was on there :)
Thankfully, I have great insurance. MAN - I feel like I'm at doctor's appointments all the time lately. Because I am.
I had my 38 week appointment this morning, and surprise-surprise, I'm only measuring at 36 weeks. Both my doctor and I were a little confused, as last week another doctor measured me at 38 weeks...but I guess there is room for error when 2 different people are doing the measuring. While she was pleased at the results from last weekend's ultrasound, she still ordered another one for this afternoon. Ben was moving a TON during my appointment this morning, which she was happy to see. Now that I'm an old pro at the ultrasound appointments, I'm thinking nothing of the fact that I will be going in for another one today.
We discussed labor a little more. I told her that both Greg and I aren't interested in seeing...well, anything...during the birth. She laughed and said that was fine, but also told me that seeing it all happening is the coolest thing in the world. I guess it makes sense that she feels that way, since she has chosen a profession where she sees it All. The. Time. (Hilary, do you and John feel the same...I'm thinking no)?
I had the option to have her "check me" (for dilation), but I passed. I think that it would only make the waiting that much harder, especially because it basically means nothing in terms of when labor will happen. Maybe I will have her check next week?
I found out that my doctor had to reschedule her trip that had her leaving town on my due date for 4 days, and instead she is out of town NEXT weekend! This is good news if Ben decides to arrive on time, or a few days late :)
Finally, I asked her if due to my fluid level increase, I could start getting active again - walking, moderate yoga, ANYTHING. She said no. Since I have proven that for me, increased activity = lower amniotic fluid and lots of rest = higher amniotic fluid, I need to continue on with that.
So, I guess this means that I'm going into a beautiful, sunny (yet too warm if you ask me) 3-day weekend with absolutely nothing on the agenda but some R&R. Could be worse ;)
How far along: 38 weeks Weight gain: 28 lbs - down 1 from last week. How big is baby: 6.8 pounds and over 19.5 inches long. Maternity clothes: Yes. SO looking forward to wearing some of my non-maternity clothes (hopefully) soon. Stretch marks: No Sleep: Sleep has been good, but less-good this week. Overall, I really have lucked out with this throughout my pregnancy....but lately I've found myself waking up and staying awake more often. I'm not sure if it's a physical discomfort issue, or if my mind is preoccupied with the baby coming so soon. Probably both. Best moment this week: Speaking of sleep, I spent a lot of this last weekend napping :) After visiting with Shauna, I got a glimpse into what the first few days is like after bringing home a brand new baby. I hope to get as much rest as possible in these last days/weeks leading up to delivery. I think the best moment this week was meeting baby Bronson. Another best was the ultrasound I had done over the weekend (last Saturday). They really are staying on top of my low amniotic fluid issue, and I'm happy to report that I'm now at a 12.4 (much better than my low of 8.7 which was what caused all of this additional testing and check ups). They also conducted a Biophysical Profile to measure how Ben is doing, and he received 8 out of 8 points! They gave him 2 points for the good fluid level, 2 points for "tone" (opening and closing his hands - he was even grabbing his toes!), 2 points for how well he was practicing his breathing and 2 points for movement. Also in the "best" category? Nightly foot rubs, courtesy of Greg :) Movement: Yes. It's nice because it really does not hurt anymore, I'm more just surprised by his sometimes sudden movements. Food Cravings: Not really, no. I'm trying to shift my mind into my post-baby food mindset, where I hopefully will not give in to my cravings as easily as I have been able to during pregnancy ;) Labor Signs: Some mild-moderate cramping here and there and some low back pain, but otherwise, no. Belly button in or out: Out....but there are times, depending on Ben's position, that it's flat again. What I miss: I don't really miss anything too much right now. Trying to enjoy the moment before everything changes! What I'm looking forward to: Now that Ben is full term, I am REALLY looking forward to his arrival! I am still nervous about what my labor and delivery will be like (not to mention everything that follows), but it's more of a curious-nervous than anything else :) Greg and I are officially on baby watch!