Friday, August 31, 2018

Life with Bennett {Week 1}

It's hard to believe we have known our sweet boy for a whole week already!

 If you’re new here and wondering, what the heck is wrong with this baby, you may want to read about my condition here, as well as Lucas’s first week of life here. The good news is that Bennett’s first week has been a lot easier on me than Lucas’s was, because I know what to expect this time around. This is not my first rodeo, friends! 

Here's a day-by-day breakdown of Bennett’s big week in the NICU!


Bennett arrived at 1:13 AM! I know I still need to write up his birth story, but everything went really well! We got to snuggle with him for a little bit before he was taken to the NICU for breathing issues. By the time Trav and I got to see him in the NICU around 4 AM, he had a c-pap to help him breathe and he was also under a whole bunch of bili lights.

His bili was 5.85 at birth, but quickly rose to 9.12 by the end of the day Friday!

Ella and Lucas came up to see me in the hospital, but they would have to wait one more day to see Bennett (siblings under 18 are only allowed on Saturdays and Sundays). 

Lucas loved looking out the window in my room for crane trucks...

...and Ella loved the wheelchair!

When Ella and Lucas went home, they both got cupcakes for Bennett's BIRTHday! 

Meanwhile, Trav and I visited our sweet boy as much as possible...

...and snuggled when he was allowed to have a break from his lights! 

He also got to lose the c-pap mid-afternoon and has been breathing great ever since! 

Bennett also got his footprints made!

And we kept the 0 birthday cupcake tradition going!


Saturday was a very exciting day because Ella and Lucas got to meet Bennett!!!

It was also fun to bring Lucas back to the very same NICU where he spent his first 12 days of life! Some of the nurses and doctors even remembered him!

Bennett also got an IV in his head which kind freaked me out...but the nurses were running out of places to put it! And they also wrapped up his arm so he wouldn't mess with the IV! (Spoiler alert: he managed to pull the IV out anyway!)

The reason Bennett had that IV was because he got something called IVIg on Saturday night! It is used to help with bilirubin, and it somehow prevents the antibodies from attacking Bennett's red blood cells. You can read more about IVIg here!

I was discharged from the hospital, which was awful because it meant leaving Bennett behind in the NICU. Not my favorite thing to do. On top of that, Bennett's bili went up to 12.8. Days 3-5 are my least favorite, both with Lucas and with Bennett. 


Bennett's bili tricked us and started to come down, so the nurses began to take him off of some lights!


Bennett's bill continued to drop and we all were getting really excited! That IVIg was working!!

We also met Ella's preschool teachers! She is going to have a great year in the 4s class!

My mom also got to visit Bennett in the NICU!


Ugh. Bennett's bili crept back up to a freaking 14.12, so back under triple lights he went. 

He also had to be put in an incubator, which is so ridiculous...but with the lights, he had to be in an environment where they can control the temperature. And an incubator was all they had available this day! (The NICU was totally NUTS Tuesday and Wednesday! Babies were moving around, going to surgery, coming in, was crazy in there!)

Back at home, we took a trip to Lowe’s to pick out some new plants, since the deer keep eating and killing our current ones! 


Bennett's bill started to drop again, so we were able to hold him for short periods of time with the bill blanket on! He looked like a little glow worm!

We also planted our new plants...Ella is quite the gardener! She loved watering the new plants with “plant food.” Lucas just liked digging in the dirt. 

I “paid” my dad for planting our new plants by letting him feed Bennett on his way back to Virginia!

Well, it took him a whole week, but Bennett finally mastered pulling off his googles that he has to wear under the lights! So the nurse got him a different kind made him look like a little dinosaur!

Bennett actually was able to come off ALL his lights this afternoon, and even got to wear real clothes!!! 

Next steps are: checking his bili tomorrow morning, as well as checking his hemoglobin and hematocrit. I'm shocked he hasn't needed a blood transfusion yet, as the MFM said he would probably need one as soon as he was born! But Bennett has held off on that (and I think the IVIg also helped with this as well)! As soon as all of his labs come back good and his bili is stable, he can come home! We are hoping it will be in the next few days!!! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

It’s A Boy!

We welcomed Bennett Michael into our family this past Friday, August 24!

He was a healthy weight at 6 pounds, 2 ounces!
As expected, he is in the NICU with some bilirubin issues, just like his big brother was! But, he is doing much better than expected and we hope to have him home with us soon! He is the cutest little thing, and we are all so in love with him!

I'll be back soon to write about his birth story and his first week re-cap! Get ready for a whole year of Life with Bennett posts! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bumpdate {weeks 31-35}

Long time, no talk! I totally didn't mean to take a 3 week break from this little space, but I honestly haven't felt like blogging lately. I've been living at the doctor's office and getting things ready for this baby, so blogging has taken a back seat. I hope to post at least once a week from here on out though, as life is about to get exciting for us very soon! So I thought I'd check in with one last bump date!

Size of baby: Bunch of carrots. At my ultrasound on Monday, they estimated baby to weigh around 6 pounds, 1 ounce. 
Weight gain: +44 pounds. I don't even know how this happened. I am so huge. 
Maternity clothes: The only thing that’s comfortable is maternity dresses with shorts underneath. Even yoga pants are not that comfortable at this point.
Gender: leaning towards boy.

Movement: Yes although I feel like he/she has slowed down a little bit. Movements are more like large flips and rolls, rather than kicks and punches. 
Cravings: Same stuff, but cereal is making a comeback. 
Symptoms: Hard to change positions (sitting or laying down to standing). Peeing all of the time. Can’t stand up for very long and my back hurts if I’ve been standing for more than 5 minutes. Cannot bend over at all. Oh and my gums have been super bloody when I brush my teeth. 
Sleep: Ok, but I wake up way too often to pee, my hips hurt, and I am ready to go at like 5 AM. 
Labor signs: Just some minor contractions and cramping.
ISO: Had my last MCA scan on Monday. Baby is looking great, but they still want to induce soon. Better out than in at this point. I don’t know what I will do with all of my free time now that I don’t have to go to the MFM every week!
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, sushi, not worrying about things.
Best moment this week: Nesting like crazy to get ready for this baby! And seeing him/her one last time on the ultrasound screen!

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby!!!!! 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Ella Grace {4.5 years}

Dear Ella,

Today you are another half year older! Daddy makes fun of me for celebrating half birthdays, but if there's anything I've learned, especially with some events this past week (click here to see what I am talking about!), it's that every child needs to be celebrated and every day with them is so important! So today, we are celebrating YOU sweet girl!

You are at least 40 inches tall and 40 pounds, although I haven't officially measured you recently. You wear 5T clothes, but some 4T and even 3T stuff still fits. You wear size 10 shoes, but I  just got your some new shoes for school and the 10s were too small! So you are starting to fit into size 11! Crazy!

Dare I say, nap time might be coming to an end. Most of my friends with kids your age are pretty jealous that you still "nap," but if we're being honest, you just have quiet time every afternoon. You do sleep maybe once or twice a week during this time, but for the most part, you play with your stuffed animals and sing songs for two hours. Whatever, I'll take it, because at least you seem to be happy and Mommy gets that nice little afternoon break! :) At night, you sleep fantastically from about 7:30 PM until 7 or so in the morning. You don't come out of your room until your clock turns green at 7:30 though, so thank you for that!

You had a great end of year at preschool, as you finished up the fours class! You learned to ride a bike (with training wheels), write your name really well (as well as Mom, Dad and Lucas), and cut on a line with scissors! You also took swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer and gained so much confidence in the water. You love to practice swimming without your puddle jumper and it makes me happy to see that you love the water! 

You still really, really love Paw Patrol, especially Skye. You are totally obsessed with her, and spend a good chunk of your nap time each day "talking" to her! You want to be a helicopter pilot when you grow up, just like Skye. You've recently been really into Peppa Pig and have been requesting to watch that each afternoon after your nap time is over. You also LOVE the Pinaklicious book series and are constantly searching for one you haven't read yet every time we go to the library. 

You still LOVE your baby brother, as shown in the picture below. He is constantly doing crazy things (see picture above), but you do a great job of not encouraging his trouble-making behaviors! He has learned so many things from you, like a love for Paw Patrol, how to say ABCD, how to count to 2 (ha!), and of course he is learning to get a word in edgewise since you are quite the talker. You do a great job of sharing your toys with him, even when he is demanding and snatches something right out of your hands. You are also so excited to be a big sister all over again very, very soon! You have been such a trooper coming with me to most of the 8,000 doctor's appointments we've had this summer and I am so proud of your patience in the waiting room! You love going to the doctor "with all the elevators" (MFM) because you get to see the baby on the TV every time! You think the regular OB doctor is boring because we just listen to the you call that office the "heartbeat doctor." You are totally 100% convinced this baby is a boy and tell everyone who will listen you are getting a baby BROTHER in September! We will see if you're right very soon! 

You are still pretty funny and you say some pretty hilarious things. The other night, a cockroach was in the bathtub (AHHHH!) and we both started screaming and freaking out until Daddy came to kill it. You still wouldn't get in the tub because Daddy left it's "antenner" on accident. You were so freaked out about the "antenner." I was dying laughing. You also have special names for your clothes: ruffle pants are "wiggly pants," your jeggings are "soft jeans," and you love to wear "a dress as a shirt." (Thank you, 2T dresses that are so big, we can still get away with this!) You have become very opinionated with what you wear, and I can no longer buy just whatever for you...I have to run it by you first to see if you like it. You've recently become OBSESSED with headbands and I can't get you to take them off! I feel like you look so much older. 

Thank you for being such a light and joy in our lives, Ella! We don't know what we would do without you! Helper, Big Sister, Daughter, Smart have many titles, but we are so glad you are OURS most of all! We love you!