Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LOTS of pictures of Ellie J

So, I've been telling myself (and family members - oops!) for over a week I'd get some pictures of Ellie up since we came home from the hospital. Finally working on that... I've only taken a few hundred pictures already, so I'm just going to share some of the best faces and important events. Sorry it took so long, but Ellie typically only gives me a few opportunities to get things done each day, and the blog wasn't really priority number 1 right away... Enjoy!

So, first we start off with a few Bennett family traditions. This is the Bennett bassinet. Steve, some of his sisters, and every grandchild so far has slept in this bassinet when they were first born. Ellie continues the tradition.
Ellie is really good at grabbing things with her hands, especially when she's upset, which means that often times her hats and hairbands end up pretty low on her eyes...
Another tradition on the Bennett side is that Grandma comes and stays for at least a few days to help out while Mom rests some. We really appreciated Reva coming and helping us. She also paints the toe nails of any female grandchildren before she goes home.
Next are just some fun pictures I took of Ellie.

Here she's wearing one of the really cute flowers that the Robert Clan sent us. Thanks!

One of the really cute outfits Aunt Julie sent from Japan.And Ellie in her carseat when we went to the Yakima Arboretum Friday August 20th while Reva was visiting. We love our carseat (thanks again Aunt Julie) and our cover (thanks again to the Roberts)!

This was the first playtime Ellie had - mostly because it's the first time she'd been very awake while we were home, on Monday the 16th. The Elephant blanket is from Aunt Kathy and it's great for playtime!She cracks me up with her funny faces every day. Especially when she goes cross-eyed.And Ellie enjoying her swing that the Gregorys gave us. We love this swing and she is starting to use it more! Thank goodness for our swing and bouncy seat so I can get things done even if she's not napping.

Precious Daddy time. I love watching Steve with Ellie. He is so loving and such a great Daddy.

This was Ellie's 3rd bath. The first one she protested, the second she seemed to enjoy, and this one she tried to sleep through! PS she has a bellybutton now instead of her blue cord stump. Much cuter...And a few more adorable faces.

I have some really great pictures on my phone that won't be great quality, but I'll try to get up before too long.

Just as a quick update as well: Ellie had her first check ups and is healthy and doing well. She still goes through diapers like crazy, but is putting on weight. In fact, we weighed her last night (well, Steve holding her, then without her) and she is over 9 lbs now! We double checked with me holding her because we couldn't believe it! But she is already so much longer and her head is fusing and getting bigger with chubbier cheeks every day. She already holds up and basically controls her head, will push herself up off my lap when she's laying against me, and gets halfway to rolling over. She also does hilarious things like projectile poop at us during diaper changes and spit out her vitamins on us. She is such a happy baby for the most part and we are loving every day with her! She is quirky and likes to sleep on her sides not her back, so we try to let her nap with us on her sides when she gets cranky about being on her back all the time. She also likes to sleep using her arms as pillows just like an adult which always makes me smile. She's already in the crib because she was shoving herself into the top of the bassinet at night by scooting along using her feet, she hasn't lost any of her hair, and she still makes great hilarious faces. She is also a clean freak about her diapers. She won't eat if they're too dirty, and we found out when she had a little diaper rash that she hates diaper cream - we think because she feels like it's a dirty diaper. Thanks to a suggestion from Aunt Kathy, we switched to baby powder and she is much happier making us much happier.

Here is what she looked like today napping in her bouncy chair.
We can't believe how much she's already grown and changed!

Ellie's Birth Story

So, this is probably more information than anyone wants, or they already have it, but because this is as close as we come to journaling, I am going to write about all we went through to get Ellie here in hopes of having this to look back on some. I don't have as many details as Steve, because I was on some really good pain killers for much of the time leading up to Ellie's birth, but some of those details we'd rather forget anyway. As Steve already provided most birth pictures, I'll just add a few more from the time we were at the hospital.

Wednesday 11th August: The night before I'd started having some pain right at the top of my uterus behind my ribs, but ignored it and went to bed. The pain woke me up at 6:30 Wednesday morning and I dealt with it until Steve got up and we got ready because I had a doctor's appointment at 10:15 anyway. I refused to take anything by the time Steve and I were ready to do something about the pain because I was hoping the doctor would give me something and I was afraid I'd have to wait to take it if I'd just taken something else. We went to the doctor's office, and what a day to be behind schedule. I sat crying in the waiting room for an hour getting concerned looks from the nurses as they called other patients back. Finally a little after 11:00 we got called back and they put me in a nice quiet dark room with a recliner to wait for the physician's assistant instead of an exam room. By this time, I didn't know it, but my BP was 170 over 105 because of pain and being upset. (I only got more upset that we weren't seeing the doctor as he was supposed to be examining me and deciding whether or not we could induce... we found this out later). The nurse practitioner asked me some questions and told us to go to the ER just in case something was wrong. On the way out, the receptionist told us to ignore her and go to the delivery center as our doctor was there and he would be expecting us after she called him. On a funny note, when we told all that to the doctor, he told us that anyone who has even had sex recently gets sent up to the delivery center because the ER won't touch pregnant women...

Anyway, the doctor thought I probably had gallstones, and that because of my pain and BP, our only option was to deliver so that they could treat the gallstones with a special diet and in 4 weeks to surgery. Happy joy joy. But, ok, Ellie was coming! Then, they decided that perhaps the pain and BP spike were from pregnancy induced hypertension, which should go away after we deliver. Even better! A baby and no post-pregnancy surgery! So, they checked my cervix (worst pain of my life by the way) and found out (as I knew) that Ellie hadn't dropped and we were nowhere near ready to deliver, or even be induced. So I got a 12 hour round of medication to thin my cervix and get us ready to be induced the next morning. All the while they were doing periodic BP measurements and blood work to keep track of what was going inside with the pain as I was on nubain (spelling?) - BEST STUFF EVER. Basically, I got no sleep that night. But, I am highly susceptible to medications, so I was highly entertaining for Steve... You'd have to ask him about details, but I do remember at one point telling him that if I said something strange it was because I was no longer sure what he was really saying and what I was imagining as I slipped in and out of sleep. He told me to go to bed.

The next morning, around 6:00 AM another blood draw, followed by a not-so-happy looking doctor. He told us that they now thought I had toxemia. I may have the gallstones or hypertension as well (if you're going to go, go big!) but, I definitely had the toxemia. My platelets had dropped from 150,000+ to under 90,000 since I'd been admitted. As a result, we couldn't wait to induce, which didn't matter because I hadn't progressed AT ALL on the meds from the night before. If we waited, I would have clotting issues and be in danger. In fact, the last blood draw was simply to see if I had to get platelets before they could operate, and if not, then we were going into the OR as soon as possible. At this point, on little sleep, lots of drugs, in pain (I got to enjoy contractions ever since they gave me the drugs the night before), and now hearing I was going to have a C-section (and then have to come back after 4 weeks of special diet to have my gallbladder removed depending on the results of my ultrasound after the C-section) I lost it. The doctor apologized that things weren't going to our plan, and they gave us some time to wait for blood tests to come back.

Thank goodness for the Priesthood. I was so upset and just beyond what I could handle by that point. I asked Steve to give me a blessing, and when the nurses came back in they were totally thrown by how suddenly calm and accepting of the situation I was. I am so grateful for Steve and the fact that he is worthy to hold and exercise Priesthood powers.

So, my platelets were still around 90,000 so we didn't need any blood transfusions and they started getting us ready for surgery. Steve got scrubs and a chair to wait in till he could enter the OR. I was terrified that he couldn't be there with my while I got my epidural - I hate needles. But it was a little shot that hurt less than all of my many blood draws.

All I'll say about the C-section is that it was strange. I could feel pressure of everything going on, but no pain, and didn't even know when they'd started. The two anesthesiologists were so kind and comforting that I wasn't afraid at all after things got going. Steve was in there soon, then gone as the anesthesiologists sent him back to the room for the camera since we didn't know we could bring it in. Oh, it was really funny to hear the anesthesiologists warn Steve he might get queasy, and when responded that he'd done C-sections, they started talking about operating on cows. And continued this conversation (the two men were totally riveted and making jokes with Steve about it the whole time) the whole time. And after only about 10 minutes, Ellie was here. They gave Steve fair warning for pictures, and then we heard her. I had worried about how people say that the first time they see their child they are instantly bonded, I just couldn't imagine that. But when I first heard her cry, nothing else mattered. Not the awful past couple of days, or the surgery, nothing, but that she was here and healthy.

They moved the curtain around me so I could watch them clean her up, and then Steve brought her over so we could spend a few minutes as a new family. Then, he was off to the room with (still unnamed) Ellie and our doctor spent about an hour closing me up. I have to admit, the last 24 hours or so had been so crazy that I slept off and on through the rest of surgery. Then back to the room to get to hold our baby girl for the first time.

We had a list of names, and two complete names and one half name we really liked, but I realized the full names we had didn't work and that our half name - Ellie was what she should be. I was worried as we'd talked about middle names for Ellie a number of times and never liked one, but we both noticed Jaylin on our list, and it took us all of about 30 seconds to name her.

The only other interesting things to mention are that Ellie was in no mood to be up and eating on her own those first few days. She wouldn't wake up for: PKU, shots, exams, lactation consultants, nurses, etc. Every once in a while she'd wake up hungry, which actually was great for me to recover, but she was down to 6 lbs 7 oz on Sunday morning, so we had to give her some formula whenever she would be willing to eat and start waking her up to feed her for a while. Funny thing is, she's so stubborn the only way we could wake her up to feed her was to strip her down to her diaper and wait for her to wake up from being cold... And yet, even eating so little, our pediatrician gave her the "pooper or the year award" because she had (and still has) so many dirty diapers in that first 24 hours. So funny.

All of our nurses were great, and we had a couple that I remember especially (even though we had a ton of them being there for 5 days) because they were so especially kind. Jen and Mom came to visit the day she was born, our friend Annie D. came the next day and brought us some really cute clothes, and Dad and Kerry came on Saturday. Reva also arrived that day and came and saw Ellie before heading to our house to rest up before staying to help us with Ellie for a week. We are so grateful she came to help out! We were also visited before Ellie arrived by two men from a Richland ward.

Oh, and we found out later that the toxemia caused all the problems, so no more surgeries for a while we hope! There are other things I could add about recovery and such, but I figure I can forget some of those details so that I want to have more kids... lol Dad said that my Grandmother always talked about how childbirth was the worst pain you'd ever experience and the quickest you'd ever forget. I already agree. Although I've gotten lots of comments about how ridiculously quickly I've healed up. My biggest issue for the last week or so has simply been wanting to be able to do things I'm not allowed to until 6 weeks after surgery. Oh well, Steve and I agree, even when Ellie is inconsolably fussy - Ellie is worth all of it.

Thanks to my great Visiting Teaching partner Laurie H and her kids for welcoming us home with this cute sign when we brought Ellie home Sunday the 15th.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcoming Ellie Jaylin Bennett

Lots of pictures, very few words that is what this blog will be. Its Friday and I've just run home to take care of some things. Nicolle and Ellie don't get to come home till Sunday, but there has been lots of picture requests.

Ellie was born Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 9:02 am. This is about as close to that moment as I could get. Ellie had to come via C-section. I have to admit I was really surprised at how quick it happened, they brought me in after Nicolle received her epidural. From the time I entered the OR till I left with Ellie was 10 minutes or less

After she was born they took her to the cleaning table to wipe her off, clean her airway, clip the umbilical and all that other technical stuff.

2 weeks early, but she definitely has a good pair of lungs on her as this video shows. This is about 3 minutes after she was born.

Getting all checked out to make sure everything is working right. Our pediatrician has checked her out twice now and she says she is completely healthy in every way.

Here she is getting that first diaper (WHAT a milestone I know). This is about 5 minutes after she was born, still letting us know she's alive.

Diaper on, hat one, and starting to calm down a bit. Getting ready to go meet Mom for the first time.

My first time getting to hold Ellie, and Mom's first good look at her. The anesthesiologist who took this pic claims that photography was his minor in college, if so the guy was definitely looking ahead. Since I'm wearing a mask, this is probably the best family picture I will ever be part of.

One of the nice things about Kadlec hospital is that you get to take your baby straight back to your room, were they have all the things you need to take care of the little one; so no waiting for your kid to show up in the nursery. I carried little Ellie out of the OR and straight to our room, this is about 10 minutes after she was born.

They even weight the baby in your room. Here's Ellie getting her official weight, 7lbs 5 oz. This is also the best shot we got of her with her eyes open.

It took about an hour for the doctors to stitch Nicolle up, our OB is also a plastic surgeon so he is very precise and particular about his C-section work. That gave me a solid 30 mins of Daddy-Daughter time, precious but I must have set a Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most times a person has thought "I'm a parent, holy shit." in a day let alone in a mere 30 mins. Finally, after all that Mom got to hold Ellie for the first time.
I think this is the first time in 3 years of marriage that I have taken Nicolle's picture without her wanting to murder me Spanish Inquisition style.

Ellie is blurry in this pic, but I read in By-laws for New Parents that every parent is required to post pics of every cute thing their baby does: (e.g. smiling, laughing, yawning, stretching).

Once Mom got there, Ellie got around to doing the thing she does second best in the world: eat. She nursed for a solid hour once Mom got there. After that she got around to doing her best skill: sleep. She slept for a solid 6 hrs that afternoon, guess it was hard work for her too. During that time she slept through: a hepatitis B vaccine, multiple diaper changes, a pediatrician's checkup, and multiple attempted feedings. A deep sleeper, yeah she's our kid for sure.

That evening Nicolle's mom and sister came down for a visit. Here's Ellie being held by Grandma Loretta.

And here's Ellie with her AUNT Jennifer. We told Jennifer that Ellie is a girl, but I guess she felt she had to double check to be sure......

Another family picture, see I told you the one with me in the mask would be the best ever for our family.....
Daddies little girl

A happy moment, but it was this moment that it hit me; we thought we had bought everything we'd need to be ready for this little girl......

But we only have 5838 days 16 hrs and 29 minutes till Ellie can start to date. I've got some purchases to make.......

So we are parents, excited, in love, overwhelmed, and freaked out. We are changing diapers today, but it won't be long before she is changing our diapers I'm sure (especially me, whoever said that 30 is just a number is full of more crap than Obama's campaign promises.) The countdown till she is smarter than us begins now, but for now at least there is ONE thing we can do better than she can.....
Dear heavens what a couple of days its been.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Anniversary Trip

Steve and I decided we would shove all of the excitement we might want on our anniversary into the very first few hours of the day... Or rather, our little girl decided that for us. I know, she's not even here yet and she's already dictating our schedule.

Neither of us could seem to get tired enough to go to bed last night, so we began our anniversary by playing Mario Party 8 on the Wii. Something we spent a lot of time doing when we first got married and were in Moscow and hadn't done in a while. It's a pretty fun game, even if Steve won. We finally decided to go to bed after we'd finished playing (who are we kidding, we're night owls even when we're tired).

Normally when we lay down to go to bed, and in the evening in general as of late, our little girl is SUPER active. Like, move my stomach all over the place and bounce my scriptures up and down when I read them at night. However, I realized as we went to bed last night that she hadn't been very active - at all.

When I laid down, still nothing. Huh, that's weird... So after a few minutes of unusual quiet from the baby, we started to prod and push at her. She pretty much hates this and moves around a lot of the time even if we just rest a hand on her. But, nothing. After several minutes we finally got one or two tiny sluggish movements. Well, we'd read that if she suddenly decreased her activity, we needed to let the doctor know right away in case anything was wrong - but what do you do to let the doctor know at 2:00 AM?

So we decided to be cautious and call the hospital and ask them what they thought we should do. 10 minutes later, we had our hospital bags in the car, were dressed, Steve had a Mountain Dew in hand, and we were on our way to Tri-Cities. (They told us to come in to monitor her just in case...)

So we arrived, were greeted at the ER entrance by an obviously bored and friendly, chatty receptionist (she talked to us about the youtube video she'd just finished watching...) and then waited. Apparently they have a policy at the hospital that late at night when the building is mostly deserted pregnant women aren't allowed to walk through the hallways to the birthing center - just in case. So, we waited until a nurse came and pushed me through the hallways in a wheelchair, so I could stand up and walk in to the birthing center when we got there...

Got hooked up to some monitors, and then watched them carefully as the nurse explained what we should be looking for with the baby's heartbeat. A half hour later, she passed with flying colors. She also apparently still HATES heart-rate monitors and was VERY active while they were watching her heartbeat which was a relief to me to feel stronger movements again.

We got to leave and finally arrived home to say happy anniversary and go to bed at 4:30 this morning... Needless to say, we enjoyed a lazy day of sleeping in and taking it slow. We celebrated by enjoying time together, playing cribbage, eating corn from our garden, and buying and enjoying a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. We hope to go to dinner another night this week as it will be a while before we can go to a nice dinner again.

Oh, the other news was that while I was being monitored the nurse said I had a couple of small contractions - if they say so... So..... Hopefully not too much longer before our little girl arrives!