Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Few of my Favorite things

ahh I'm remembering Charlotte's wedding now. "Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes" =)

I thought I would write down a few highlights of Christmas for posterity and when Ben comes asking why he can't do long division... oh and excuse the fuzzy photos my camera is a half step above free-hand sketching.
This is Grandpa White letting Ben help put the puzzle together.

This is Baby Ben showing more interest in the tv.
This is Grandpa forgetting Ben is 3 1/2 months, got sucked into the tv, let go of Ben who was remarkably standing with little assistance- me not knowing Grandpa let go but trying to get an up-close shot and instead caught the moment of Ben TIM-BERRR-ing to the ground.....
This is the future President making those hard decisions! Not hard like the one's THIS administration feels are hard "This is one of the toughest decisions I've had to make while in office, should I leave early to join my family in Hawaii or stay until the tax resolution is resolved?" Seriously. I WISH I was mis-quoting!
No...Benjamin B. Clark dreams of an American flowing once more with MORE milk and honey!
So I came home from work one day and Tom had some of our first love letters and card to each other on our Christmas Tree- I LOVED IT! so every time we got a card we added it to our tree. Can everyone see theirs? Oh and Yesss..we really need to get an angel or star and retire our impromptu wedding bears! Though if you look close you can see there's a little ornament of "baby's first Christmas" hanging in-between us!
Tom's mom made each one of their stockings and growing up his was the Baby Jesus, as he was/is the only boy in his family. Well when we got married his mom made me one and I have Mary. Then when Ben was born we sent back Tom's and she took out Thomas and put on Benjamin and then made Tom into Joseph! So next baby (girl ;) will just have to an angel! And then we're done! hehe
And lastly this is Ben saying HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This is TomTom’s and mine 3rd Christmas together, 2nd Christmas Married, and 1st Christmas as parents.

Tom and I have been going over 2011 a TON lately and we keep just shaking our heads in gratitude and thanksgiving.  2011 started out with the 3 whammies- my dad almost died, found out we were pregnant, and Tom lost his job (not including me blowing up Tom’s car engine and needing huge repairs). And through it all we were blessed and more blessed and spoiled! If there’s anything I can attest its: HEAVENLY FATHER IS ALWAYS AWARE AND READY TO BLESS US! PAY YOUR TITHING, DOUBLE YOUR FASTS, AND PRAY AS A COUPLE!

As we are closing 2011 I’m SOOOO thankful and overjoyed #1. My Dad is alive. 2.) Our Son is HEALTHY (and sooo flippin adorable). 3.) Tom has found great employments (and jobs he enjoys too!) Okay really, I am truly grateful for so many things!

During 2011 there were times I wasn’t sure how we were going to eat but we never went hungry. There were times I had no idea how all the bills were going to be met but we stuck to our premarital goal of NO DEBT and instead budgeting and every bill was paid. Neither of us had a clue as to how we were even going to buy diapers (or anything for that matter) for our unborn baby but again due to the out-pouring from family, friends, ward members, co-workers, etc. we have yet to spend a cent on diapers, was given a fantastic car seat, stroller, baby swing, tons of clothes, play pin, 2 cribs, toys, lots of baby books, maturity clothes, etc, etc, etc. I never want to forget every generosity given.

I spent the majority of the year taking meds to control outrageous nausea, stomach aches, constipation, etc but I KNOW I’d go through it all again to have my Ben (Tom spent the majority of the year patiently listening to my whining and/or running to the pharmacy to get my next refill).

A couple months ago while another miracle was happening I realized very clearly and humbly how “paying it forward” works. I have come to see that while I will STILL try my darn-est to pay back the kindness’ given- it might just be that by the time Tom and I are able to give generously it will mean giving to a younger generation as those who have given to us will be gone.

Baby Ben- he’s grown SO much. He has his next 4 month shots next week and will get weighed but I’m guessing he’s..ohhh….14 lbs?? I have no idea. Lol He’s not chubby though he has his mom’s double-chin.

His colic hasn’t gotten better in the least and has actually been extra irritable the last couple weeks as he’s beginning to teethe. Baby IB Profen helps a TON. In fact, he was sick today, slept almost all day, and again I am SO thankful for modern day medicine.

I keep seeing newborns wherever I go and I keep owwing and ahhhing and tugging on Tom’s arm (when he’s with me) and his response? “We already have one of those.” Lol I simply miss how little Ben was, Mr. 5lbs nothing when we brought him home and how he’d curl up into a grapefruit on my chest. Of course I see mom’s everywhere too with 6 month 9 month, etc and I see how little Ben is so I’m okay…for now ;) CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW FAR I’M COME IN A YEAR??? I can hardly believe it myself. Me, miss kicking and screaming NOOOO, I DON’T want kids and the responsibility and blab blab la.

Baby Ben will be starring as Baby Jesus in our families’ nativity with Madison as Mary and Seth as Joseph and the triplets as the Wise Men. I’m excited!

Thank you for all the Christmas cards! I LOVE THEM ALL!!! I so wanted/want to have a family photo done  (I guess I simply need to budget for one! ;)
I hope everyone has a sweet, heartfelt Christmas with your families. I really hope you all know that while we may a few miles apart of a a couple thousand I think about you all so much!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a Ride

I don't know about the rest of you but DANG- its already been quite a day- overall in a good way.
I had a fantastic talk with Bek on the phone which was a big treat. I tried taking a quick shower but Ben wasn't having it so once I got at least my hair washed and some conditioner in it I jumped out and grabbed Ben and we took a shower together. (I'm sure he'll love reading this when he's older!) lol
After I got him dressed and feed him he slept for just a couple minutes only to wake up so upset and screaming. After a good 15 minutes I had to just walk away for a minute, I mean it was 11:45 and I was starving so I put some soup on the stove and that's when Ben went into the height of crying. I picked him up and gave him some boob and just talked to him to let him know Mommy will always be here, I'm not ingoring him, I never ignore him but love him greatly and am only trying to get some food in my belly so I can feed him and sometimes Mommy needs to shower and eat and go the bathroom even explaining as simple and best I could that giving into basic functions don't equal Mommy not caring. Of course I'm sure all he understands is Mom is here and Mom isn't here and where the CRAP is she???

He just looked up at me with his kind eyes and I asked him how he liked Earth like so far? He smiled. I asked him if he remembered Heavenly Father and Great Grandma and Grandpas and all other ancestors? He looked at me in a way almost to say, "you have no idea."
Ya- its weird, 12 weeks. Baby Benjamin is 12 weeks old. It's hard to believe. Life definately moves faster with children.

He's still having a difficult time shaking colic. I recognize he IS better than what he was a month ago but for Ben it hasn't been a simple peak at 6 weeks and descend.... It's been a steep, unforgiving climb that got SO bad I had toes amputated-off toes and was on constant oxygen tanks- kind of peak and I wish I could say once he reached the summit he was ready to come down...nah he's to switch-back between elevations for the last few weeks, always keeping mom on her toes...the ones that were left that is! ;)

But colic aside Ben is wonderful! He came out so observant and doesn't let up on checking everything out. I've said it once I'll say it again I'm so excited and curious as to what vocation he will go into later.
Yesterday I gathered up all his new born clothes and replaced them with the 3-6 month old stuff. It was sad. Seeing how his tiny new born outfit Tom and I picked out for him to wear home from the hospital and how we thought it was gonna be small for him but it was hanging off him for weeks and now...the pants are major high-waters! lol so in the storage bin they went and saving for next baby boy.
Tom and I are still waiting on the switch to him working full time at RV Kuhn's, he's started training a bit but he hasn't been given a date. It's a little ...weird (lack of better word) he works in production doing tons of large print projects and they want to move him to an assistant job which is so different and not neccessarily what he wants to do. Production has a lot less responsibility and answering to people, heck I totally feel the same! But the change(s) will mean some big changes for our family too so I'm excited.
He loves his dad. He loves his mommy too but he loves his daddy! Tom works almost everyday including random Sunday evenings when Apple has manitory updates. Actually Thanksgiving day was his first full day off since he requested time off when his mom came and for Ben's blessing. Tom denies it when he hears me mentioning it to anyone but he has made several comments lately how he's excited for Baby Aurora to get here too! NOT so excited he's wanting to make that happen NOW but let's just say I called it when Ben was born that I KNEW/KNOW it will be Tom who will be the one pressuring for another baby...and sooner than later I suspect too.
It's interesting I had yet another woman ask me how I'm getting along through the newborn stage after church on Sunday....the only thing I said was "that's a loaded question." Then she proceeded to tell me how she "hated" the newborn stage and didn't want to hold her first for the first 2 weeks and refused to tell her baby she loved him, etc. I didn't say anything, just listened. Me being me totally jumps to judgmental conclusions but I don't really know so I'll just say- that has NOT been my experience. Even with colic I love having a small baby to hold AND the baby prefers me cause I'm the mommy, not aunt, or mommy's friend but Mommy! It's so awesome.
I REALLY want to have a family photo done. (Charlotte- yours looks so nice!) I'm not sure what I have left to sale to make that happen but I think its important Tom and I try to make it happen soon PLUS Ben's acne is gone (even though I've been breaking out).
Just an FYI my first blog post for my new blog (still keeping this one) is almost ready. I'll be emailing you all when its ready. Basically, its a blog of me analyzing my favorite music...we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Highs and Lows

At present Baby Ben is putting himself to sleep. I’ve had him do this since he was born. Tom’s at an Apple training thing from 6:30pm till…whenever. I’m not asleep though I really should make myself. The last couple weeks have been totally all over the place, I’ve enjoyed sweet high moments and endured some hair-pulling lows, as I’m sure we ALL have, right?

The Good News: Ben has been coming out of colic HAL-O-LUUU-YAH! It started the Tuesday after his blessing on the 8th. I came home from work and he was so calm stayed that way through Saturday it was like my baby woke up and was content and only fussed when he was hungry or tired but stopped the whole “just cause” crying. Then…last Sunday it was a whole different story and it was a BIG lesson learned that “coming down from colic” doesn’t mean completely over for EVER! It took a few days but for the most part he is back to calm(er) baby.

He’s so smiley now and coos especially in the early morning when he’s also the most happy even if I’m not ready to wake up but he’s so cute it’s hard to think about sleeping through these tiny moments and missing it. But I have to admit when he frowns its the MOST CUTE. I know that sounds terrible but gosh it really is so cute! Its hard to get a picture of it cause we all know the cute frown is proceeded by a big cry!

Sleeping: He goes down almost the same time every night 7:30-8:00pm after I give him a really warm bath and wrap him up. He continues to wake up the same times almost on the dot since he was born too: 1:30, 3:30, 5:45, 7:45 and then we are either up or sometimes I can get him to stay somewhat quiet while I sleep another hour or two. When he does wake up for a feeding I grab him or Tom (though I try to let him sleep) and I nurse in bed. I try to put him back into his crib after he eats but it’s hard to stay awake to put him back without it causing me to have a hard time falling back to sleep, you know? Like this past week I ended up not able to fall back asleep from his 3:30 feeding until after 6:30…it SUCKED! -That happened two nights in a row. Needless to say, by the third night I didn’t care enough to put him back in his crib. It’s also amazingly annoying how that happens- your brain, your body, everything is sooo tired so why in the CRAP can’t I pass out upon hitting the pillow again? Strange.

For the most part I have been good at putting him back in his crib more and more. I’m not sure when I should hope to expect Baby Ben to start having fewer interruptions or even dream for the day he’ll start sleeping all the way through the night? I just hope its sooner than later.

HE’S GETTING SO BIG! The last check-up he had was October 31st and he weighed 10 lbs 2 oz and was in the 25% percent tile. Now I think he’s 12 lbs??? Whatever it is its TOO big. With only the exception of colic I wish he could stay small and exactly how he is for much longer, it’s just so sweet having a little bebe.

Music: I always told myself I would be diligent at having classical music playing all the time when I had kids and it’s ONE thing that HAS gone according to plan! I just know that research has shown over and over again the link between classical music listening and math/science skills and comprehension! Now, Tom’s genes are already math and science prone and yet mine are NOT even with the amount of music I studied and listened to BUTTTT I have just always concluded how scary the further lack of skills I’d have if I hadn’t had music be such a big part of my life! Anyway, Ben is so interesting to watch when I have the classical station or cd playing. Though I can’t REALLY know I DO like to think he is taking it all in and dissecting each measure! 

The Bad News: I miss my husband. He works a LOT. This last week he had two 14 hr days in a row. He works every Saturday, and has mandatory update trainings at least 2 Sunday evenings a month. He had 2 days off last month. I honestly think about and mourn for Military/Army/Navy/etc. wives every time he has a marathon work day/week. I feel SO happy and relieved that as much as I gripe and self-pity about missing him he STILL comes home every day, half dead from exhaustion but ALIVE!

 I am also incredibly, ridiculously, and SINCERELY lucky and spoiled. When he comes home there is no Nintendo, Wii, computer gaming, cable or whatever he runs to. Of course my husband needs cave time yet his cave time is a short email-check and done. Instead, like last night he called on his way home to offer to do whatever I asked or needed when he got home, and again, this after a very long week for him!!  

I kinda hope we never get any of those devices! Though there are more days than not I wish we had some basic cable- I love some kind of SOUND going on in the house and I have exhausted our movie collection and possibly the public library’s too! And the time that Dave Ramsey is on is when Ben is sleeping so I have to hear it on my iPod when I work.

DANELLE for sending me bottles! It’s been such a huge help!!! Though I know it is “law” that a place of work provide a “safe place” for a woman to pump milk- that place doesn’t really exist in a sporting goods store. Lol I mean there are manager offices each store has several managers for different departments and they all share the same office so how totally Not cool would that be if I played the “law card” and asked for their “safe place” to pump, pushing out the men/women??? Nah, I’ll stick with a bathroom stall, not so classy and yes I am very careful to not touch ANYTHING but I feel fine.

On a Final Note: HAPPY Thanksgiving to everyone! Gosh I thought the first year together with Tom through the holidays was awesome, but that got shattered by our first married holidays together and now it’s topped with our baby’s first holidays! It really is such a sweet and wonderful time. We are in good health, we have steady income, we live in the most beautiful spot on earth, we live in the most FREE land anywhere, and I am so blessed with the endless support of my husband, my family and the greatest friends a person could ask for! I love you all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time it was and what a time it was, it was

Firstly, I love my baby.

Secondly, this is a typical Jessica blog so I’ll just tell ya right now, it won’t be short (I simply don’t have it in me to tell ANY story or update in a paragraph or two) so if you need to use the restroom or get a coke- now is that time.
Baby Ben’s blessing story starts back on Halloween when he had his 2 month check-up including 4 immunizations, 3 shots and one oral. He screamed, oh gosh he whimpered and I thought I was gonna lose it like I did when he got the "big cut" but I was braver. For the rest of the day he was very sleepy and not his usual crying, Mr. Fussy self but I was just fine with it. The Doctor recommended to try Zantac twice day thinking it may or may not help with his colic. The next day was my first day back to merchandising- I was stupid enough to think I wouldn’t need to take my pump and experienced what it means to be so full I’m heavily leaking with ice-berg hard boobs, thus I HAD to pause and run over to Ash’s to feed him where I found he had been sleeping the whole morning and afternoon…two days in a row?? Weird. Anyway, I finished work which went fine especially since I didn’t sweat like I did when I was 40lbs heavier! I got home, Ben woke up, he was looking so calm I whipped out my camera and took a couple of photos only to stop and ask him if he was feeling okay, feeling his overly warm forehead when he whimpered again and then threw up a pools’ amount of milk. I was shocked and worried. Then I cried like I did when got circumcised! Luckily, he wasn’t sick too long. His fever broke the next morning though his diarrhea lasted much longer (Bek you were right, after I got off the phone with you about what to expect from baby diarrhea he had it). Here is the photo right before he threw up.
Tom’s mom, Tamaralynn flew in Friday night and stayed with us until this morning. I have to say I really REALLY lucked-out in the in-law department. Tamara is very sweet, passive and doesn’t intrude or judge (or maybe she’s just super good at hiding it ;) She was very sweet with Ben. I feel lucky Ben has TWO grandmas who love him and are interested in his life!
Saturday was a marathon day, starting with Ben struggling the whole night before with gas. As much as I want to be martyr-ish about my lack of sleep, I still feel terrible about HIS restlessness and I just think his pain has to be worse than my annoyance. Anyway, I was up with him from 12:30am-8:30am and then once I was sure Tamara was up Tom and I came out of the room and started a big breakfast including French toast made from French bread, bacon (it was on a super sale and it was a special occasion so I got it, not that I’m against bacon, nooo its just so expensive!) Also, we made orange juice that I like to puree in the blender to give it a yummy froth, over-easy eggs for Tamara, scrambled for Tom and I ate my typical cheesy-eggs with salsa.
We left the apartment around 11am and drove down town parked free at the Institute building near PSU (Ben crying, screaming the entire 20 min drive) and walked over to the Saturday Market so Tamara could experience Portlandia. We walked over to Voodoo Donuts, but the line was in its typical hour wait so we kept walking (Voodoo Donuts is a big hit in Pdx, it’s been talked about in several Food magazines and on Food Network.  I’ve personally never had one for obvious reasons but I have yet to hear a single review where someone wasn’t underwhelmed. Then we stopped into Safeway to grab a quick something where we saw a Portland Trail Blazer. I couldn’t tell you which one but the man was HUGE. I’m talkin the tallest man, wholly moley!
Then we got back to the car, changed Ben, feed him, put him back in his car set and he cried, screamed the entire drive again until he got to Multnomah Falls. Tamara REALLY wanted to visit the beautiful waterfall and this was the waterfall Tom took me to when we were dating and he admitted later he was testing me out to see how I would handle the heights b/c he wanted to propose on the bridge, knowing how much I LOVE water and waterfalls but I had a mini freak-out while we were there so he decided that wouldn’t be a good idea.
{side note: not sure everyone knows this but I HATE heights, I HATE them. Spiders make me shiver and I get scared, scream and want nothing to touch me including my clothing when I see them but heights? I get dizzy, my legs get wobbly and I feel like I’m gonna black-out.}
Well I was 100% planning on letting Tom and Tamara just do the hike up to the top on their own while I took a nap in the car but truth be told I had gotten super chilled from walking around Pdx in the rain that I thought it would be good for me to get some exercise to warm up by just walking to the bridge and yes, all the while being super attentive momma bear making sure Ben’s head, ears, legs, feet, hands, BODY was well covered and warm as it was very chilly!
IF you fell you wouldn’t just get hurt, it would be a complete miracle if you didn’t die and I’m NOT exaggerating about this- I was mortified seeing parents going with small children, there’s NO FREAKIN WAY I will do that with my kids- it would be like ASKING for my kids to die!
By the 3rd switch-back I was huffing and puffing. Tom was VERY aware so we stopped at a turn and strapped Baby Ben to him. I had a very mini freak-out when Tom took him because I was horrified that if Tom fell he’d die with ALL my family! So ya, I totally teared-up and Tom reassured me he was going to be extra safe! I didn’t think too much about the heights as we were hiking cause I was focusing MORE on breathing, I mean it was totally the most exercise I had since before Ben was born. We kept on with Tom walking on the outside and giving me encouragement.
By the 6th switch-back I started to really get scared and then dizzy and then I had to stop and just squat down facing the mountain as I cried and tried not to completely have a full on panic attack in front of my mother-in-law and anyone else who walked by. For me, it’s not the fear of how high up you are but it’s a fear of falling (it should be called Fear of Falling and not Heights) and it goes from fearing you’re gonna fall to feeling it’s inevitable so I might as well get it over with and just jump, and there’s a physical sensation that absolutely puts me in the “height” of panicking which is a feeling of a pulling from my chest as if someone is grabbing my shirt and pulling me down. It’s terrifying to say the least. I wasn’t sure what to do cause I was scared either direction I turned either uphill or down. Like, I felt if I started walking down I would actually be more scared from looking down and by looking up would help me so I kept going. It wasn’t long until we were at the top. I didn’t go to the look-out bridge, I didn’t need to- I had already had one panic attack and besides I HAD reached the top!
It took over an hour to climb up and about 45 minutes to walk down. Ben slept the whole way and yep…cried just about the whole way home (an hour). Tom’s mom took us out for sushi. Tom LOVES sushi. I feel blah about it. I mean Dax took us out to Sushi a few times and I really have had just about all kinds but to me #1.) Its rice and I don’t eat it sooo there’s no point. #2.) It all really does taste the same no matter whats in it. Kinda like Mexican food that way- it ALL is the same ingredients and no matter how "authentic" it is it always tastes kinda boring to me which leads me to #3.) Its kinda bland. I’d rather have something with basil and garlic and onion! Mhmm
Saturday I picked up some gas drops for Ben, having tried …4(?) attempts to pick up some Mylicon for Ben at Babies R Us (we have a gift card) but it was always  sold out but there was a ton of the Babies’s R Us brand and I thought well its worth trying. That night I ended up giving him 3 doses -10pm, 2:30am, 5:50am obviously I couldn’t tell a bit of difference!
Sunday, I stressed, I had stressed since he was born about how the crap to time everything just right so he wouldn’t scream through his blessing. I had people tell me, "whatever happens will happen!" I asked Tom to PLEASE make sure the microphone was on before he started so no one would miss it. And before hand I feed Ben, changed his pants, his clothes and feed him again right before we went into Sacrament meeting, knowing he had only had just micro naps (his typical daily routine). I ran into friends before S.M., met my sister-in-law in the Mother’s lounge and another guest, came out to find a ton more friends and family packed in the lobby! It was sooo sweet to feel the support of so many including one of my bosses from the office, Vica! I’m DIEING to know what she thought about her first Mormon Sacrament Meeting experience!
Tom said that when he took Ben up he didn’t even look once at the men around him that he was only aware of Ben J His blessing consisted of being blessed a strong missionary, of being able to go to the Temple with a worthy bride, that he will be a good example to his family and peers, he will be patient, and have a love for people. I really love the patience and love of others!
After S.M. I had lots of people, one after another come up, visitors and ward members alike it reminded me of our reception -trying SO hard to make sure we acknowledged everyone but not being able to....its frustrating, I just don’t want anyone to feel I didn’t care about them enough to talk to them!!!

I was SO sleep deprived and frazzled I completely forgot about family pictures afterwards and remembered AFTER we had gotten home, quickly changed then drove to my parents' in Salem for dinner! Ben slept for about 7 minutes during that 40 car ride and then didn’t nap for more than 5 minutes at my parents’.

Dinner was wonderful. My mom and dad knocked themselves out deep-cleaning the house and providing a very filling meal.
Ben’s cousins were very sweet. Madison and Seth asked so many times to hold him even right after they had ;) and the triplets were so curious about the small baby!
Ben….I was so sure he was gonna pass-out on the way home but he didn’t. I tried to sleep but I kept opening my eyes to check on him to find him just staring at me almost like he was watching to see when I would fall asleep. lol He even had a hard time falling asleep last night. I’m sure the amount of being passed around in conjunction with his colic temperament equaled an overly simulated baybay.

So this morning Tom’s mom left and for the most part Baby Ben has had some nice naps. I SWORE I was gonna nap with him but earlier I just watched him sleep deeply and I just fell in love with him again and ya he’s woken up and just cried and fussed until the next nap but I love him just the same.
Post Script:
It’s now been a week of him taking Zantac- I can’t say its realllllyyyy helped, it’s hard to gauge cause I think he’s come down like 10% in the crying all day sooo its like, it is really the meds or a coincidence? Or is he finally coming out of colic slowly? Or something else??? Not sure but I do recognize there has been a slight difference and I’ll take it!!! Last night his gas, while there was still a lot, seemed to have been less sooo maybe that other stuff is working or maybe he just had less? The battle continues!

Thanks for reading!          

Sunday, October 30, 2011

T'was The Night of Rambling Updates...

T'was the night before Ben's 8 week birthday when all through the house not a thing was in order not even a blouse... Okay its not that messy. Gosh where to start?

Well I think within the hour of finishing my last blog everything changed. EVERYTHING! Ben went from only crying right before poops to crying all evening long EVERY evening. I read and read and talked to everyone and though there is NO definition for "colic" there are some basic standards called "the 3 C's" 1. Cries for at least 3 hours. 2.) Cries for at least 3 days a week 3.) Cries for at least 3 weeks. Its MORE than safe to give Baby Ben a passing grade WITH honors for this achievement. In fact, for the first 3 weeks he cried from 4pm-11pm (and even past 12:30am once or twice) EVERRRRY single night. THEN sometime a week and a half ago he started crying both evenings and days. Thank God, and I DO, he hasn't been too difficult during the night. How HAVE the nights been? Well let me tell ya.... he'd maintain the schedule as described in the last blog with the exception that from 4am on he'd be sooo restless with bouts of frantic kicking, punching and short bursts of cries and finally after several hours of that he'd finally get relief of LARGE gas explosions around the early morning hours. I tried 2 different natural gas, colic, stomach relief drops to NO avail. I stopped eating dairy (cheddar cheese being one of three food items I have been eating next to extra chunky peanut butter and chocolate chips...I'm WAY too ashamed to admit how many bags I go through a week.) Believe me I go up and down the isles in the grocery store and NOTHING sounds appetizing, I just don't get it. I love vegetables, I love meat, I love lots of stuff but even the off-limit foods have no appeal but come on....pb and chocolate is NOT healthy!

Okay, so I called the Dr. earlier this week- he told me that statically dairy is usually not the reason for colic, gas, stomach issues (which is what I have read as appose to popular thinking that dairy will help or stop it) but nonetheless I was willing to cut off my limbs to have more than 10 mins of quiet here and there (that's how long his average naps have been seriously) so I've cut it out and haven't seen a significant difference, I'd say screw it but I can't afford cheese anyway so might as well stay off it for a little longer. lol THEN I was advised to try mycolin drops..I think I'm spelling that wrong, I DO know the correct spelling but at present I'm so immensely stretched to my limits I just can't think. I was told from several sources they have a 50/50 success rate...I went to the store and EVERY bottle of EVERY brand were sold out. I did have one day this last week, can't even remember which it was when Baby Ben was once again the baby I knew who slept for hours upon hours. He was so content and slept most of the day that I actually ended up not being able to stand it, I got his out of bed TWICE to give him hugs and kisses cause I missed him so much. The next day, back to Purgatory.

On top of everything my husband has been working long days between his two jobs, some times 12 hours+ involving 2 hrs of commuting. Thus, by the time he gets home he's obviously exhausted and needing rest and cave time but his cave woman is about to go made and burn down the dwelling so he's pushed to his limits from taking over and nursing me. There was one day this past week where I was so frustrated and tired and at my wits-end he had to just undress me and put me to bed (without a bottle ;)

On a good note it is rather the inevitable he will be offered full time with RV Kuhn's including benefits pretty soon! It will be like Christmas, let me tell ya, how awesome it will be to have that chunk of $$$ (paying for private insurance) freed up to go toward my student loans! AND Tom being Tom is still planning on maintaining his other job with Apple. they told him as long as he works 15 hours a week they will keep him on. It means he'll work Saturdays and probably 2 nights during the work week. UGH But he's doing it for us. It allows our  phone bills to be next to nothing and again, working ourselves crazy to get out of debt!

Speaking of working I start back up with Adidas this week. Can't stay I'm super excited about it even with Ben's all-day colic-ness. My mom, bless her heart, will be taking care of my bebe and though I will only be working 6 days a month I know from experience I will be asked if I can take on more cause..tis the season and special seasonal/annual projects I am usually always involved with are coming up. It makes me nervous. I know my boss is very understanding and has given me an out if I need to drop a store or even two but me being me I want to see I how much I can take before I drop anything. Oh and the reason I;m keeping my Adidas job is due to paying student loans. I know most of you have them too so I know I'm complaining to the choir here about how crappy it is to be paying 450+ a month and how it SUCKS. According to projected payback schedules they will get to over 700 a month in the next few years. Pretty insane.

I keep getting asked how I like being a Mom. I always answer the same, "I enjoy being a Mommy but not so much being a Mom. The difference being a Mommy means experiencing all the sweet moments and a Mom means all the the responsibility." Baby Ben doesn't know anything about debt or responsibilities or mom needing to get the grocery shopping done as fast as she can while he sleeps, needing to run into the Post Office or ANYWHERE without planning on what it will mean to take the simple trip with him, all he knows is when he's hungry, when something hurts and when his mom is and isn't there. So while I feel like I already learned my lesson about getting into debt, I feel like its now 100% solidified how I would ever go there again cause it means I am giving up being there for him 100%. I'm also grateful for a husband who has been working so hard free us from the student loans, none of which were his, sacrificing his own time away from college to do so in the hope and effort once we are debt free we will get him through school PAYING AS WE GO! Is it slow and tedious, you bet. Are we aware of the loss of gain that could be ours if we just bit the bullet and put him through school so he could be making more sooner? Of course. We know how MOST people do things but we are trying a different route.
Okay well that's the news from the Clark home, "where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average! "

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mommy & Baby 1st Month Update

First: An update on our Lil Ben! Baby Ben is just so dang sweet. He turned 1 month on Wednesday- AHHH. He smiled for the first time awake last week and since I’ve only got one other smile. I just can’t wait till he starts smiling all the time cause its so interesting how his face just totally changes in the sweetest way when he’s smiling!

He has spit-up a total of 3 times. We are ridiculously so spoiled by how easy going he is, seriously; I completely recognize how blessed we are to have such good a baby. He honestly cries for one reason- 9 out of 10 cries are from him working on some gas/poopies. And even then the crying fits don’t last very long and once he’s pooped he’s good. And the 1 of out 10 cries are him fussing out he doesn’t like to fall asleep without being in my arms. It’s soooo sweet but anyone with arms or things to do knows how it can be trying. Oh and he’s moved up into Stage 1 diapers from NB- I finally put my foot down about not using up the last package of NB diapers when he pee-pee’d threw them 2 nights and 2 days in a row. Ahhh its getting SO big! He popped out a double chin last week, it seemed just over night. It’s so cute.

He’s not yet sleeping through the night but I’m hoping it’s coming soon. He is up at the same times every night that I have grown use to it and wake up just minutes or even seconds before he does. He wakes and is up from 11:45pm-12:15am, 1:45AM-2:45AM, (and sometimes 1:45am-3:30am) 4:00am-4:15am, 5:30-5:45 or 6am for a few minutes, 7:20am for a few minutes, 8:30am and is up or I’ll try to sleep another hour if he allows! lol 

Overall, I am so excited to have a baby during the holidays! I really love having a calm, special, little baby boy, WAY MORE than I ever expected. He is just so dang adorable- I can’t express how proud I am to have a lil Tom. I wouldn’t change a THING! (well maybe change that I hope his gas and poopies are painful- its tough to not be able to do much but comfort him). I remember Bek knowing a woman in her old ward who’s newborn had kidney stones! I remember how horrible that sounded then and NOW it worries me more than you know. I mean, kidney stones are still the most painful ailment I know and to imagine a baby having them, and going through that pain when HONESTLY NO amount of painkiller does crap!!!!! Its just so heartbreaking. I just hope it doesn’t happen with Baby Ben or ANY baby for that matter!! Ah

Secondly: How I’m doing. Well..hmm. My incision is doing fine- I’d take a pic but…you’d all see my pubes and I’m sure you DON’T want to see that! Lol The incision is fine- it itches like mad. I think my only post-op complaint is really such a small one. I still have pain when I sit-up from bed (any kind of sitting-up exercise for that matter). But really I feel fine. And I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I am thankful for how everything went- YES nothing happened when and how I wanted (except that my husband and my mom were 10000% perfect in support throughout the labor) BUTTTT now I honestly hope I always have c-sections! Haha Yet, another complete 180 degree opinion change I’ve made through the course of being pregnant/delivery. I guess my big concern with IT I were to continue to have c-sections is that I know each one following is rougher on your uterus. I could be totally wrong but I know personally three women whom 1 couldn’t have anymore children after the 2nd because the surgery destroyed hers and another while CAN have more children has been “strongly advised” not to for the same reason. I think 3 kids is plenty though so we’ll see.

Baby-Blues. I feel for the most part I have been feeling the opposite of baby-blues. Meaning, I haven’t been having any kind of not wanting to leave the house but instead I can’t seem to get out enough! I try to get out at least once a day and for at least an hour if not longer. I do my best to time Ben’s naps so doesn’t have his fussy-poops while in the stores, etc. Also, I feel blessed I haven’t had any issues with not connecting with my baby. I do however have been having one sign of post-pardon and that is I absolutely hate having those freaky worries about Ben getting hurt, getting stolen, dropping him on accident, or Heaven forbid he gets SIDS. Bek said while they are TOTALLY normal and part of being a mom, to try to get those icky thoughts out as fast as they can come in and also use prayer to help subdue them. It works.

As far as any depression feelings. While I am still weepy at times (though the weepiness has gone away a TON) I’m feeling depressed about the loneliness that has come from the sudden change of working full time to now having very little human interaction.

I miss Bek living just 20 minutes away. I’m sure if she still lived here I’d be driving her NUTS with regular visits! I miss so many friends that are gone now. I miss my good friend Sara Fitzsimmons

Weight. Well I dropped 35 lbs without an ounce of effort the first 2 weeks and then it totally stopped. While I haven’t checked the scales in over a week due to not wanting to obsess AND I haven’t felt any changes either. I know it’s only been a month but I’m still worried. Worried cause I have an up-hill battle from here especially since my appetite has come back, not WAY hungry but normal hungry. Also, and this might sound SO weird to those of you who don’t know this yet about me but since ….2005? I go on weird food kick(?) I guess you would call it.

Basically, I get one food in my head and it’s the ONLY thing I want to eat for 2-3 meals a day for 6 weeks to 4 months at a time. I’ve gone on all kinds of kicks. Nally’s Chili, Turkey sandwiches, then when I changed my diet in ’08 the cravings changed to Costco sausages & kraut, deviled eggs (my poor roommate put up with that smell for MANY moths!) I literally would go through 3 dozen eggs in 6 days and a large jar of Best Foods in a week! NOT EXAGGERATING! I’ve gone on salad kicks- LOVE salads, scramble eggs with an absurd amount of cheese and salsa, and then back to earlier craving. I’ve asked two doctors about why I eat this way and if its some kind of issue but both doctors weren’t worried and said as long as I wasn’t eating 3 dozen eggs a day for weeks then I should be fine! Anyway, the reason I’m even bringing this up is while I’m on a food kick life is fine its when I stop wanting something but don’t have another that sounds good that life SUCKS! I call it my limbo stage. It doesn’t happen between every change but when it does it lasts for anywhere from a week to a few months- I’ve been on it since Ben was born and the only thing that sounds even remotely good is Peanut Butter (another food kick item) and Ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate chips. EVEN if there weren’t any foods off the table in my diet, I’m telling you nothing sounds good. I’ve done things in the past to hurry along the process- even gagging down deviled eggs in the attempt to crave them again- it has worked and not worked. Sooo for now its PB and C.chips and I WONDER WHY my weight isn’t shedding! Haha There IS a blessing in all this too! I have gone on egg kicks and I think they saved me during the most poorest of times (eggs are so cheap) I just wish I would hit that one again! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baby Shower I & II

Well, first off Bek threw me a fantastic, over-the-top, out of this world Baby Shower on Saturday.
This was the second baby shower thrown for me. The first one was given by my visiting teachers and it was planned and given on September 8th and b/c Baby Ben was early it happened without me! lol I was relieved to be honest. I LOVE being center of attention when I WANT to be center of attention but I have issues with receiving gifts- I do, I admit it. I simply feel GUILTY! I just know how hard times are and I just feel so overwhelmed with people's desire and sacrifice to give.
So, its not surprising I was dreading this second shower either. And to top it off I was SO exhausted I just didn't know I was gonna be able to get through it without having a major melt-down (which happened the night before) and/or collapsing! Seriously, I heard myself slurring words a ton and at one moment as I was reading out loud to the quests the title of a book I received and I had to trice look at the word: "Shapes" before I could remember if the word WAS "shapes" "sharp" or "sharks" haha I WAS going to take my "Thursday Nap" but..instead I took Baby Ben on a stroller walk to Ashley's and back (over 3.5 miles and 4 hours).
Bek, my sister-in-law AND Bek's mom together made a really fun party. My mom took pictures and I will add them as soon as she gets a new computer and can send them to me. Aleece (my s-i-l) made a nursery rhyme cake that I just can't describe well enough you just have to see it. She's become QUITE the cake maker!
Then Bek's mom made four different spice levels of chili and gave them witty nursery rhyme names! Again I have pictures coming!!!
We had a wonderful turn out ESPECIALLY with it being Conference Weekend AND Tom and I were SO overwhelmed ONCE again with everyone's generosity! It make us both pretty emotional how loved and well taken care of we have been from family, friends, and most of all The Lord!
Okay highlights- Bek made a book of Ben's birth for us! I LOVE IT SO MUCHHHH!!! Like, She used our pictures and included the birth story in it too! I was SOOO planning on asking her HOW to do that some time soon (since she is SO good at making them for her kids) I just think its SO special!
Also, as you all know my mom was super convinced we were having a girl and she made HANDS down the most beautifully crafted quilt with like a hundred hrs? Probably more of hand-stitching, also included a blanket, pillow, wall hanging, toy,....and maybe something else I'm forgetting so when Baby Ben was born she was obviously super bummed BUT she then started on a boy quilt, blanket, etc immediately so for the shower she had everything but the quilt made and YES again, I need to add pictures because they are just SO sweet and made with CARE and LOVE! Ashley got me a year subscription to Food Network's mag and again I was just soooo happy! lol I had just earlier that day been trying to figure out how to hint to my mom how that's what I wanted for my birthday! Emily made the fantastic quilt that we've used just about everyday- so soft, so cute, so sturdy- its gonna hold up! And Emily's mom made one of those kid towels with a hood- I have to say I LOVE it WAY more than the store cute ducky one! PLUS the color is a perfect green- a rich, saturated deep green! Such great taste!
Babe Ben received all kinds of cute items like a bib for every holiday, an University of Oregon hoody, lots and lots of MUCH needed diapers (seriously we were actually out of ours and were NEEDING to got down to Salem to use the one's at my parents house!) We were just so dang spoiled!
Thank you to EVERYONE! Amanda and Danelle have sent like...5 packages throughout the pregnancy and after of wonderful items! Bek also had diapers and wipes shipped to our apartment when Ben was born when all we had was the one package we got from Amanda- (that's how unprepared we were!) I had friends come totally out of their way too! Like Michele who had here baby..wait I can to do the math. She was exactly 5 weeks ahead of me, Morgan was exactly 2 weeks ahead of me. Michele had her baby 2 weeks early, so her baby is 2 months old! okay that was almost painful! lol Anyway she came to the party THO I would have loved to have met her bay-bay! My aunts and cousin's wife came up from Eugene, and friends from my old ward growing up where there- old ward meaning from when I was born thru 8 yrs old!
Thank you Tigard 2nd Ward. Thank you Brush Hills Ward, Thank you Jan Rae Ward, Thank you Amanda, Danelle, Rebecca, Emily, Ashley, Mom, Emily's Mom, Family, neighbors, co-workers, State of Oregon, Michele, and especially everyone who was emotionally supportive throughout the pregnancy! I love you ALL!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hot Boobs

Don't be too alarmed, this isn't some GRAPHIC blog about my breasts! Okay it is, come on you all know ME!
I have HOT boobs. Its normal I know to feel as if your boobs, specifically your nips, could bake a cake in half the time than an oven- while in the beginning stages of breast feeding but holy cow that information doesn't change its ouchiness. Sometimes they are so hot to the touch I worry lil Ben's tongue will get scorched. They are so hot... (how hot are they?) Frodo could have saved himself a lot of time and heartache by simply destroying the ring on my ta-ta's! Wow I think my tiredness has taken me to a new level of crassness and DORKhood...I made a Lord of The Ring reference, SICK!

PAUSE- I just heard Ben crap his pants from across the room and possibly even the neighbors heard it too. I gotta go change him....
Okay back. Before Tom left for work I promised him and myself I would go to sleep b/c I haven't taken a nap since... last Thursday actually and lil Ben has been up every hour of the night, every other night for days now. Needless to say I'm not running on fumes. FUMES WERE YESTERDAY now the car is empty and I've gotten out and have been pushing it! Honestly, I can't blame anyone but me though. Taking naps are hard for me. My mom said that she never had a hard time getting us to nap or putting us down for the night, maybe cause we played a LOT! We were always outside playing (at least as a 6 yr old it felt like all day) Anyway, napping became hard as a teen and an adult. I just couldn't nap on Sunday's after church, I just always wanted to do something else- like tv watchin' or make yet ANOTHER batch of chocolate chip cookies. (you all know how well that worked out for me). So with lil Ben its no different. I would rather be in "go-mode" cleaning, organizing, out and about with him, anything. However, something always gives and in this case my sanity. I know.
So I tried to nap. I got out of the shower, Tom left for work, Baby Ben had been asleep for about an hour of his first long naps so yaaah...I should have been able to get plenty of sleep but nooope.
Point in case #2 i'm losing it. As I was typing this my Relief Society President came over. I can't tell the difference between noon and 1pm on the clock anymore! wah haha I answered the door in my robe and towel on my head, she could just deal with it (which she did cause she's nice!)

Okay Baby Ben is asleep again and I really am gonna attempt to take a nap BUT not until I tell ONE story!

Last Thursday Baby Ben got the BIG SNIP! I wasn't even in the room with him and I was teary. Tom stayed with him and afterwards said he did really well and really hardly cried. Okay SOoooo fast forward a couple hours last Thursday. Tom was at work, Ben's diaper needed to be changed, I was prepared to change him and put a massive amount of Vaseline on his parts are softly as possible. How'd it actually play out? As I took off his diaper and was wiping his bum he started peeing not toward me but back on himself and into his cut- he immediately started screaming and kicking! You know how strong babies are! I couldn't control him- he was kicking so hard he was his little guy with your foot, thighs, hands, etc! Blood was everywhere, I tried to hold his arms AND legs AND put on Vaseline (note: putting Vaseline on dry skin, easy. Putting Vaseline on anything damp...IMPOSSIBLE!) I worked as fast I could, trying to sing softly to Baby Ben at the same time but by the end he had blood on the outside of his diaper, my hands, his legs, his hands and soooo upset. I was a mess I texted Tom in sobs and he immediately called me and while I was calming Ben down he calmed me down. It was tough. For the next few days EVERYTIME Ben's diaper needed to be changed Tom and I tagged-teamed it. I was lovely hold his arms and sing to him and Tom would hold his legs and do the changing and adding Vaseline. I think Sunday was the first day Ben seemed good enough to be changed without any discomfort!

It's so funny. We don't live any other Law of Moses but this one...right? And please, I'm NOT saying I'm against it by any means! I just understand MORE how my mom refused to have her third son cut because it was just too hard and sad for Momma bear. (the rest of that story is my dad refused not to have it done and took Scott in himself). I'm sure Scott is relieved you all know this! lol

Okay and Ben woke up after just 10 minutes....SEE I don't know if napping is really gonna be in the cards today! Even if I WERE trying to sleep, his sleeping today is like his nighttime sleeping- waking up way too often from mom to even doze off.

Lastly, I just wanted to throw out what my Ben's personality is like. For starters, he LOVES music. We have had a good handful of experiences where he is absolutely in that screaming stage of inconsolableness but when I sing "Adelvice" From the Song of Music (I don't like show tunes or musicals though kid...your mom and dad can't stand them!!!!) He is also very assertive. When there's any kind of noise he's looking around for it- a car engine, birds chirping, whatever.

Oh and he's SUPER sensitive to any kind of confrontational tones. I was watching The Simpson's and anytime Homer would shout "D'oh" Ben would shake and give his scowl. And the other day I was watching a drama on hulu and a couple was arguing and Ben's eyes got really big and he just did NOT like it. It just reaffirms how sweet and tender newborn spirits are and how important it is to Tom and me to be continuously aware of how we are with each other and our tones in any settling. It has made it more difficult to listen to Rush though. I LOVE listening to Rush! But now, Lil Ben just hears the intensity (whether sarcastic or not) and doesn't like it. I don't want my lil guy hearing anything that might be preceived as scary, Chineese, Communistic rederic, poor little guy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Labor Day

Right now my little cutie pie is just hanging out next to me. He just got a bath and some yummy milk and now now he's just listening to some music with mommy while I type this out!I know a few of you have already heard the story now but I HAVE to write it down for my own sanity's sake.

Tom and I had gone to church that Sunday, September 4th, I taught the lesson in our Sunday School class (14-15 yr olds). IF anyone were to tell me I'd have a baby in a little over 24 hrs and by c-section I never would had believed them!

Our after church activities were pretty lame. The weekend before Tom and I had both gotten the "nesting bug" and we worked all weekend rearranging our apartment including getting the play-pin set up and picking out a baby girl/baby boy out fits for bringing our little one home from the hospital. So Sept 4th was spent finishing up a few odds and ends around the apartment- nothing big, nothing exhausting just tiding up.

We crashed around 11pm and I was wakened by the sound of my own voice saying "Tom, I think I just pee'd the bed!" as I was reaching down (as if your hand could really stop liquid from going anywhere!) I immediately got up and sat on the toilet expecting to see pee or even diaherra but I didn't see either. I also immediately reminded Amanda's birth story and how her water broke before she was in labor and while in bed. I jumped into the shower and as I was rising off I had more gushing coming out without me being able to control it at all and THEN I was like crap....its totally my waters! I called for Tom but not loud as it was midnight and I didn't want to scare him awake or wake the neighbors for that matter either.

As I stepped out of the shower a big gust came out and I grabbed a towel and pet it between my legs and went back to the bedroom. I took a few times trying to wake up Tom (when he's out, he's OUT!) I just stood there it felt like forever when I'm sure it was only 6 seconds but when there's a towel between your legs and stuff is uncontrollably coming out and NOT stopping and you're beginning to get scared and shaking- it feels like FOREVER! Finally I spoke up louder giving him a good shake and said, "Tom, I think my water broke." THEN he woke saying, "Are you Serious!!??" He got out of bed as fast as if we had a house fire and gave me a hug first thing. I told him I should call Bek and ask her what to do, or at least confirm I should wait but her calls where being sent to voicemail.

I went back to the bathroom and sat on the toilet while I told him what was happening and he called the hospital which was a good idea even though I told him "no no I'm suppose to wait until I'm having contractions 5 minutes apart for at least a couple hours so we have time." But he didn't like that so he called and our hospital which we had been to the day before to drop off our paper work, but it was completely full and they directed us to Meridian Park just 10 minutes away instead of 25 so it worked out great! BEcause I honestly thought the hospital was gonna confirm my water was broke and then send us home to wait for contractions to get heavy I didn't take a REAL shower which was my first regret.

Before we left I wrapped up another towel in between my legs and Tom said a prayer then we were on our way.The walk from the car into the hospital was probably the funniest part. I had to stop several times as what I can only describe as a feeling like a pools worth of water was coming out of me and the hope a bath towel was gonna be able to do the job! This leads me to the FIRST COMPLAINT that no one ever told me!!!! When your water breaks its not just a one time occurance, it continous all day (well in my case all day) and there's no rhymn or reason when he gushes it just does. So you feel SOOOOOoooo unclean and icky on top of everything else!

The hosiptal staff immediately took me to a room and slapped on a hopsital band at which time I asked "Am I being admitted?" And the nurse replied, "Yep, the next time you leave you'll be leaving with your baby" Then I think I started to freak out even more. At that point we called my mom and then I tried Bek again. I also sent out a text to which Ashley replied and gave encouraging words. I was admitted because of the Group-B strep and b/c the barrier was ruptured between protected baby and baby possibily getting infected I had to stay a get on the anti-biotic immediately. They asked me what my plan was for pain management and I told them nothing was off the table and explained my reasoning. The nurse was worked with me 90% time told me I had a couple of options before an epidural. Some kind of drug that would given thru my IV, it wouldn't last long but it would take the edge off but that she only gives it at most twice b/c the second dose doesn't last nearly as long nor does it help as much...

By 3AM I was having very little, very contractions. So they started me on slow drip of potosin at 4AM. My mom arrived around...gosh I can't remember 7:30-8ish which was also the time I had my first "check."

Okay here's #2 of what no one ever tells you. Being checked to see how far dilated you are sucks SO bad! I found it hurt way worse than the contractions themselves. I asked the nurse if they would get less painful as I dilated more but she shook her head and said I wish they did but they will hurt everytime AND they did!!!

Okay, so at 8am I was having contractions every few minutes and they were increasing in severity. I was checked by a nurse and I was at 1 centimeter. At that point Dr. Farley showed up and explained that due to the combination of having premature eruption while my body was not ready, unlike if I had gone full term having off and on contractions but since my body wasn't more ready and I was only at a 1 at 8am having been on potosin for 4 hours he suspected at that point I would be 40% likely ending up needing a c-section. Oh and also b/c looking at the baby's heart monitor he/she was not getting enough oxygen during the contractions so they put me on oxygen for awhile.

At around 1pm I was still having contractions every few 2-5 minutes with the occasional 15 minute pauses between then now and then. I also got checked again, that time it was by Dr. Farley who Bek confirmed does have "sausage fingers" and it totally made me cry pretty good. The verdict? 1.5centimeters and 20% effaced.  When I heard that I knew I needed A.) Some kind of drugs. B.) A Blessing. I got the first dose around 2:30 though I had been trying to wait until I was more dilated or till 4pm (just b/c 4 was my personal goal) but by 2:30pm by contractions where at the level of making me weepy. Whatever it was put the nurse put into my IV just minutes before I got a blessing felt like taking Perocet. You get a high feeling while still very aware of the contractions but it took off the edge.

Evan's parents came and together Matt and Tom gave me a blessing and afterwards Tom leaned down and whispered, "We're having a boy." After the company left and my mom left to use the restroom Tom told me he had the impression a few times throughout the prayer to say, "He" but felt like it was very special and intimate so it didn't say the word out loud. We were both very happy!

Contractions continued to be fairly steady for the next several hours again with the occasional hic-ups of them slowing down to every 15 minutes now and then. During the hours of 3-6:30 are kinda fuzzy. I remember contractions got to the point where I was more and more weepy and had been since my first IV shot- it last about 40 min and then was gone. I remember thinking I would try to wait until 4pm until I got another shot and I think I gave up at 3pm. The second shot felt a little like a waste of time just as I had been warned. It last only minutes, and wasn't nearly as effective.

I got checked for the third and last time around 6pm. That time I sobbed. It sucked soooo much. Not only did he check me but he shoved an inner contraction monitor inside as the outside one wasn't picking up my contractions. When Dr. Farley was done I asked him if he shoved a baby in? It was brutal. The verdict? Dilated to a high 2 not quite a 3 and 80% effaced. Dr. Farley suggested I think about getting an epidural and then they would up the potosin and really get contractions going but also it looked like the baby was having issues again and I needed to be put on oxygen again. He left the room for a second and then when he came back he and the nurse watched the monitor things and I said "okay that last contraction was about a 7 on the pain scale, what does the monitor say it was?" The nurse said, "I don't want to do that to you. Everyone has their own level of pain tolerance." Then I said, "okay so where am I am in the pain tolerance?" And she said, "Well you said that was a 7? The monitor is picking it up as a minor contraction."

I really started getting frustrated and scared at that moment. Like, the whole time I had been having what I considered "BAD period cramps" the most severe the contractions ever got felt like my worse cramps BUT my worse cramps never came on every 2-5 minutes and lasting all day long! I would have normally drugged up and gone to bed to sleep through them so to hear I wasn't even in the thick of it and it was gonna get really bad soon- scared the FREAK out of me! Seriously! The nurse talked to me about an epidural and asked if I wanted to think about it for awhile. She left the room and I just cried and said I want it now! When she came back in I told her I wanted it now! She said, "Actually Dr. Farley needs to talk to you." And he came in just a minute later.

Dr. Farley stood over my bed as I had the oxygen mask on and explained that he was looking at the monitors and everytime I was having even the slightest of contractions baby wasn't handling them well at all and since I had been on potosin for about 15 hours and only at 3 centimeters at most he felt it was in baby and mine best interest I got into surgery right away.

Let me tell you, I completely fell apart people! I felt...I felt a hundred things at once. I was so disappointed. Like, I wasn't so much scared of surgery as I was so frustrated that I was SO willing to go through birth. I had the two best cheer leaders with me all day. Tom never even complained or attempted to sleep and my mom talked me through just about every contraction I was verbally and physically reacting to. Also, I do NOT think I am a wuss when it comes to pain! For crying out loud I've survived 3 kidney stones and 2 spinal headaches- both absolutely HORRIBLE. Not just "painful" but I honestly promise each one got to the level of you would rather just die; as in I was praying and pleading Heavenly Father would just take me if it was His will. Needless to say I wouldn't curse them on ANYONE NOT ANYONE!!!! So to be told what I was crying about was just the beginning contractions was like soo undaunting. So I just burst out in tears and sobs. Tom just held me and rocked me whispering how much he loved me and how he felt like this was truly a blessing. I don't remember exact words but I know what he said was beautiful and truly comforting. My mom came over and hugged me and told me if she could do it for me she would!

I remember I started going into shock pretty much immediately. Dr. Farley introduced the surgeon and then the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself and I said, "I just want to tell you I had a horrific spinal tap that went wrong a few years ago and I just need you to tell me you won't give me a spinal headache." The guy said, "Well I'll tell you no one does anything wrong on purpose. I don't do anything wrong. I can't promise you won't react a certain way. I'll do my job correctly." .....I remember wanting to kick that guy in the nuts! Like, hello!!! Here I am very obviously visually upset and scared and needing REASSURANCE and instead he showed me his alter-ego. ugh.

I think from the minute Dr. Farley said "we need to go into surgery" to the minute I was being wheeled away was like 10 minutes. They started wheeling me away and had Tom stay and get into scrubs and told him they would come back for him when I was ready. I hated being away from him even if was only a couple minutes.

They took me to the operating room and moved me onto a different bed . Had me sit up as a nurse helped me stay upright. I was shaking so hard. I kept trying to take deep breaths to try to relax but I couldn't get a grip, I just shook and my teeth shattered terribly.The anesthesiologist all of a sudden became NICE and was talking me through what he was doing behind me. The first poke was like a bee sting to numb me up then a second behind it- it felt very much like a spinal tap. Its hard to describe. It feels unhuman, that is its a feeling I don't think any human is suppose to experience. Before I could really think about it my toes were cold feeling then my knees and then like 3 ppl were laying me down and one side okay if you have the ability try lifting your hips, it was the last thing I moved and then nothing. The more I tried to move anything the more claustrophobic I became so I tried to not think about it. Instead I just stared at the door waiting for Tom to come thru it. I laid there completely naked except my boobs covered with my gown while I knew everything else was open for God and Country. Its so humiliating BUT I AM grateful for modern medicine! and even though my legs and body weren't shaking anymore the rest of me from chest up just shook.

Then Tom came in and sat on a stool to the left of me, the anesthesiologist behind me, a nurse to the right of me, a screen inches from me face in front of me. Then I listened as each nurse and doctor, surgeon, etc. stated their name, date, and what operation they were taking part in. I listened while every surgical tool was counted and recorded on a white board. Then it started.

I was told I was feel pressure. Pressure isn't the right word. Man-handling is the correct term. I listened while scissors cut into my own flesh. I am someone who really enjoys watching surgeries but when its your own and you can't move it makes your imagination run wild! I imagined a sudden flood coming in and water rising and the only way I could avoid fate would be with my arms as my guts floated next to me....haha yep, that's honestly what I was thinking about! lol And I kept thinking about Benjamin. That name was front and center in my mind and I just knew Tom was gonna ask me "Well what should we call him?" And I knew that when I answered Benjamin he would know it was right too.

It was a matter of a few minutes before the surgeon said, "okay in about 30 seconds we're gonna know if this baby is a boy or a you want us to tell you or dad, would you like to look first?" Tom looked at me in a very "can I Jess? Can I?" -way it was super cute! and I smiled and nodded and then the surgeon said, "okay dad, go ahead and stand up and tell mom what you have!" I didn't hear any baby sounds, it was so quiet I was shocked they pulled out our baby so fast and thought it was super cool he wasn't crying. I thought about how there was a baby on the other side of the sheet and it was ours!Tom stood up and looked over and then down at me with tears in his eyes and said, "We have a son." Then they lowered the shield and I looked at our baby. I immediately thought HE looks like me and I want to have a girl soon! lol

They handed Ben to a nurse to took him over to be checked out and Tom followed as the doctors pressure down on my belly and pushed out the rest of the water and placenta and whatever else. Tom just stood over little Ben in awe and amazement then they brought him over to me and I held him on my chest for a couple minutes. Tom leaned in and said "he's ours for eternity" and kissed my forehead.

Foreword: Benjamin is the best newborn I could have asked for. He really isn't fussy or cranky. He's a sweetie pie and smart! I'm not sure if its normal or not but he's a little over a week old now and has yet to spit up once?! He gets hic ups at least 3X a day just like when he was in my belly. Tom and I are very happy and can't believe how we just love him soooo much! We fought his arrival for so long and now we can't imagine him NOT with us!
Me recovery is going pretty good. It was pretty bad on for a few days and then Tom put his foot down about not letting me sit up without him getting up and doing the work for me- it made all the difference and I can feel its really helped in my healing faster. And I agree with him, I feel now that all is done that having the c-section really was a wonderful blessing and I'm happy no harm came Ben or me!

Monday, August 29, 2011


I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this before but from the start of this pregnancy Tom has been calling me, my body, baby, stomach, all of it "Baby-Bumper". Which is pretty dang cute in it's self AND since I'm not big on the over-used nick-names of: Preggo, Preggers, Pregorific, etc. They've been done. To me, its like hearing "Who let the dogs out?" still. And I think only my dad uses that phrase now and then in a cute attempt to be "cool" and in the NOW! hehe
So I just wanted to share our weekend's excursions with all of you!
I had started preparing Saturday's errand list on Thursday by making a big grocery list with exactly what we were getting from which stores and how much it would come to. I do this for a few reasons; #1.) to figure out the best prices for individual items and b/c I'm thinking of the not-so-distant-future of super BROKE-hood and trying to stock-up now on essentials! I had text Tom on Friday afternoon asking him if he wanted to go pick out the "bringing home baby from the hospital- outfits" the next day and he responded a very excited text- this coming from the man who really does NOT like shopping but has been doing it with me for the past few months as he insists he lifts everything, I can't remember the last time I carried a bad of groceries to the car and from the car to our place. :)

Okay, so we got up at 8AM and we were the first customers walking into Baby's R Us at 9AM. We looked and looked at boy clothes and then girl clothes- not really in-love with any particular outfits and then Tom came up with the idea that I pick out 3 girl outfits and he pick out 3 boy outfits and we then decide together which #1's from each category to choose. Oh as a side note I had gone to Gymboree with my mom a couple weekends earlier when Tom was in South Dakota for his sister's wedding and I stayed at my parents place. Anyway- I think THAT store had the cutiest newborn outfits by far BUT seeing we had been given a Baby's R Us gift card from my office- we went there! Okay so we did eventually choose 2 outfits, again we weren't super inlove with either one but its okay. We also looked around the store and I came to three conclusions; #1.) Baby's R Us is way more expensive than Target AND Macy's. #2.) I don't want one of those rocking chairs which I did register for at Target and that was also at B.R.U.- They looked like they would be destroyed within a few years of kids jumping all over it! No thank you. I am kinda liking the idea of looking for a good Lazy-Boy or something where when I need to feed baby and could do so in another room- I could fall asleep in the chair too....those other rocking chairs just aren't comfortable enough. Because I'm visual and some of you are too- I'm talking about this style:
It's just not comfortable to me. I think I totally would love a man-lazy-boy recliner/rocker. Me? like something masculan? Nooo... #3.) Conclusion- my husband has a lot of opinions and excitement for this coming baby!
Okay so from Baby's R Us we went to Winco, to Fred Meyer's to Haggen's to Safeway and finally home.

After we put away the groceries Tom got out the car seat and stroller his awesome sister, Charity (no pun-intended) gave us, which he brought back from S. Dakota (which caused lots of people coming up and wanting to see the baby that wasn't in the car seat, from air port to air port!) lol

Tom was a PRO! He showed me how the Chicco car seat works and adapts to all the ways it can be strapped into a car, along with the matching stroller. I can't stress enough how cute he was being SO enthusiastic about educating me about their user-friendliness, versatility, everything. It was like having a personal saleman teach me about the products without the creepiness PLUS and adorableness of having it be your husband so excited about your baby equipment and making sure its all up to code and our baby will be as safe as can be! We even went through the items even already been given, ie. the package of diapers from AMANDA- THANK YOU, and a ton of blankets and baby gear from DANELLE- THANK YOU!!!! And divided everything into 2 catrgories, a girl pile and a neutral/boys pile!

Let's see I also was on a cooking/baking binge. I made cream-cheese-banana-nut bread for Tom and a loaf for the missionaries, then a huge batch of potato salad for the ward bbq that evening while Tom put together the hospital bag! A while ago Tom read a book BY a Man for father's to be on all kinds of advice from how to live with a pregnant woman to How to help your woman in labor, etc. And Tom said that the book says he's suppose to pack the bag and even him suggesting him packing the bag earns him points! lol YES IT DOES/DID! I couldn't stop smiling, its just so dang cute! He also mentioned that the book says he's suppose to get my something BIG when I do have the baby; suggesting jewelry or flowers or something. I told him, yes, YES I would appreciate flowers and love that he's being all proactive about this stuff.

After the bbq I dipped into the apartment pool for the first time ever even thought we've been here for over a year, while Tom read, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" -(I think all of you KNOW how much I HEART that book, thank you Bek and Billy!) I asked Tom to read it and I'm waiting to hear his reactions when he really gets into the guts of the book!

After I got cooled-off we crashed farely soon after. It had been a LONG but FUN day!

The next morning we both woke up antsy. Not sure you all know this but we are both super neat-freaks. Okay maybe not FREAKS but pretty neat, and its awesome cause where one of us lacks in some domestic analness the other makes up for....Well...wait not that great. In fact, I get the better end of the deal on this one! I THINK I've made the bed MAYBE 5X AT MOST during our marriage while Tom makes it everyday. Bed making is where I'm a slacker- anyone who's lived with me knows I'd rather sleep on time of a made bed and then straighten it in the morning than have to make it everyday. Its because I like a made bed but HATE actually doing it that stops me! Whereas, Tom is totally ALL-Military about bed making, and....I love it! Okay and now I'm gonna just brag again- last week, whatever day, before I left for work I asked if he would take out the trash, nothing more. I got home, he had done all the dishes, made the bed- including washing the sheets, vacuumed, AND took out the trash and recycling. I'm super spoiled because these kinds of acts of service happen more than not and remind me how good I have it! Anyway, we both woke up antsy and wanted to work on getting the apartment more ready- setting up the crib and stuff.

Well instead of just setting up the crib Tom took measurements of the apartment and then made an exact floor plan then did the same with every bit of furniture and then cut them out so we could play re-arranging on paper and not wear ourselves out with doing it for reals. I did this same thing before we moved into our place so I knew where to tell our movers where to put things so we wouldn't have to remove them later!

Anyway, we came to the conclusion not to use the crib yet but that our play pin works even better now and will double as a basinett which is nice! Then Tom rearranged the living room just for fun- cause its been awhile and we both like change (well this is the kind of CHANGE I can tolerate- no big life changes, simple daily change is all I can handle hehe).

Overall, the weekend was FULL and FULFILLING! Tom's enthusiasm rubbed off on me and his desire to help has only encouraged and reassured me what a great dad and companion he will be and already is! (Tear*)