Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...... oh my!

We took Ben to the zoo this past Sunday. It was a beautiful day but very warm. Ben loved seeing all the animals but didn't have a lot patience for waiting his turn. His favorites were the elephants, giraffes, and zebras. The other thing that he loved was going on the train and riding on the carousel. I'm glad that Jason was with me to help keep up with him. He loved running ahead and wandering around. I think the next time we go it will be a weekday when it isn't so crowded.


Sorry this is SO late!

Ben's first Easter egg hunt.

Riding a pony at the church Easter Festival.

Ben LOVED the pony.

Our second Easter egg hunt with Mom's Club.

We had a very busy Easter season at our house. Ben had three easter baskets, two egg hunts, and rode a pony for the first time.

The week started with going to the church's Easter Festival. They had a petting zoo, inflatables, and pony rides!! Ben had a blast. We ended the day with his first Easter egg hunt. He did really well. He grabbed the first few eggs and put them in his basket. After that, he would pick up the eggs shake them and throw them down again.

On Easter we had brunch at my parents house with some family friends. My parents got Ben the pony you see in the pictures. He LOVED it!! He kept dragging it around the house with him.

The last thing we did was have a Spring Party with the Mom's Club. Ben wasn't really as interested in finding the eggs this time. He was much more entertained by finding big sticks. Boys!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ben's Barnyard Birthday

Ben's new tricycle from Grandma and Grandfather

Grandma got in the jumpy with the kids!!!

The tractor from Grammy and Papa Bear

We had Ben's 2nd birthday party the other weekend. It was a barnyard theme because Ben is in love with cows and horses. We also decided to get a jumpy since Ben loves to bounce. We had a just a few children and family over to house for pizza (Ben's favorite food) and cake. The kids had a blast jumping. It was an easy and relaxing party.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Miracles Do Happen......I have one.

Benjamin Robert was born April 13, 2007.

My husband and I were so excited when we found out we were pregnant!! At twenty weeks, we found out that we were having a boy and starting painting the room, buying clothes, and getting ready for the big day. At 32 weeks I started having what felt like chest pains. I didn’t think too much about it because this was my first child and thought he was pressing on my lungs. I mentioned it to my doctor who said that I should have called immediately and if they happen again to call. At that same visit I had some protein in my urine. During the middle of the night the chest pains came back worse than before. We left for the hospital at 2:00am.

My doctor reviewed my blood tests when he came on that morning and he told me that I had the HELLP syndrome, which is a condition where your liver enzymes elevate and your platelet count drops down very low. This was very dangerous for me and the baby. I was given steroid shots to speed up lung development and was put on magnesium sulfate (worst stuff of earth; makes you feel like you have the flu 10x). The NICU came down to let us know what to expect about babies born around 32 weeks. I felt very lucky to be at our hospital, because it is has one of the best NIC units in the country.

My doctor went off duty and a new one came on the next morning. She felt that they could not wait and had to deliver as soon as possible. They scheduled a C-section and it was kind of surreal. I knew this was happening, but could not believe it was happening to me. My husband and family were close by and I was comforted that God has a plan for all of us.

Next, they wheeled me off to the operating room and prepped me for surgery. During the c-section I was waiting for that moment when you hear the baby cry. My moment never came. Ben needed help to breathe when he first came out. He had an APGAR of 1 and 9. He weighed 2lb 14 oz, but had a precious face and we saw right away how beautiful he was. After only a brief glimpse, I really couldn’t see anything except blankets, tubes, and wires. I didn’t get to “see” him again for another 24 hours. It was the hardest 24 hours of my life.

I was able to see Ben for the first Saturday evening. It was an overwhelming moment. He was still connected to a ton of tubes and wires. I couldn’t hold him yet, but he did grab my finger. We also learned that he had another condition called IUGR -intrauterine growth restriction which was why he was so small at birth. He progressed well over the next few days and was off all by breathing treatments by four days old. When he was about 10 days old I got to do kangaroo care. This is when you hold the baby skin-to-skin. It was truly amazing to feel him nuzzle into the nap of my neck. It was in that moment that felt like I became a mother.

Ben about two weeks old.

Ben graduated to an open crib and was doing well on gaining weight and feeding. I started to breastfeed after about three weeks twice a day. As Ben’s feeding volume increased, he started having bradycardia and apnea moments. They would decrease his feeds and get better, which continued for a few weeks. Once he was incident free for five days were cleared to go home after 37 days in the NICU.

Ben came home on a heart monitor that he wore 24/7 and had home health care for the first two weeks. He was on a few different prescriptions every day and was on a strict feeding schedule. Each day got easier and better. He was off his monitor by the end of August; eating remained to be our biggest challenge. Ben had severe acid reflux.

Today, you would look at Ben and never know that he was a preemie. He is on the regular growth chart at 90th percentile for height!! We feel that God has blessed our family with the miracle of Ben’s life. We think that he is perfect in every way and are so glad to have him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Breath of Fresh Air

How do you like the new layout? I was so ready for change so I had Erin help me out. She did a fabulous job if I do say so myself! She was great to work with and would recommend her to anyone.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun with Farm Friends

Yesterday, one of our favorite store, Learning Express, had a free petting zoo outside their store. Grammy (my mom) came along for the visit with the animals. Ben LOVED it!! He kept running around to the different animals as fast as he could. He had no fear in touching the animals. I'm not sure that is such a great thing but the animals didn't seem to mind fingers in their faces. With each animal Ben would bend down so he could look right at their face. It was very sweet. I can't wait to the weather is nice again so we can make a trip to the zoo.