Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A chip off the old block?

So we get lots of "who do you think Hank looks like?"....at this point I think it is too soon to tell, I think he has features from both of us, but I don't see the spitting image of either of us yet. But here's some pictures of us at the same age, so you can judge for yourself!

Baby Hank at 3 weeks....

Kim as a baby....

Johnny as a baby....

Happy 3 week birthday!

It is hard to believe that Hank is already 3 weeks old! He has changed so much already. I look back at pictures of him in the hospital and can't believe how big he is already. At his 2 week appointment he was up to 9 lbs 4 oz which is up a whole pound from where he was when we left the hospital, and in just 10 days! My boy loves to eat! He's in the 65th percentile for both height and weight, and healthy as can be. He is such a strong boy already. He is dying to hold his head up on his own, and works at it all the time.

We are slowly adjusting to our "new normal" now that we are a family of 3. I still have many moments when I just can't believe that Hank is here and is here to stay! Everyone keeps asking about how the cats are adjusting to the newest member of the family. We were pretty nervous about their reaction, and fully expected to have jealousy issues (aka peeing all over the house) ; however, they have been great! Their behavior has actually improved since Hank's arrival, no more fighting, peeing, staying out after dark etc. Hopefully, this behavior continues!

Hank and I are slowly trying to establish some kind of routine during our days (and nights). He eats about every 3 hours, so I'm up typically twice at night. I think I'm adjusting to the new sleep schedule, as I am not as tired during the day as I was just a week ago. While Hank has his fussy moments, overall he is a mellow, happy baby. When he's not eating, sleeping, pooping (which is 97% of the time) we play on the floor, have tummy time, sing songs, read books, go for walks in the park, and have even gone on a few errands together. The first time we left the house seemed daunting and overwhelming, but each trip out gets a little easier. I'm not going to lie-being a mother is hands-down the most challenging thing I've ever done, but with hard work comes great rewards. When I look at Hank's sweet face, it makes everything worthwhile.

Here are some pictures of the past few weeks.....

Out in the park watching Dad play disc golf

Playtime on the floor when Daddy gets home from work
We are learning to love bathtime!
He's such a long boy! He loves to roll from one side to the other...
Naptime with mommy is our favorite time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Welcome Baby Hank!

I've been meaning to update about Hank's arrival for a few days now, but as many of you know being a new mommy is a very time consuming job!Hank arrived right on time with 30 minutes to spare on November 2nd via c-section after a long 24 hours in labor. The birth plan was out the window in the first 10 minutes! My water broke the night before which meant thatI had to be admitted to the hospital even though labor had not started yet. The whole next day was long as I had frequent, regular contractions but was progressing very, very slowly. The nurses had me up walking the halls all afternoon trying to move the baby down, and get things going. As the day went on the pain was getting more and more intense-I had a plan not to get the epidural
until 5 cm dialated; however after 24 hours in labor I never made it there. About 5:00 I got the epidural, and it was amazing!I highly recommend it! By 10:00 that night, I was still not progressing very quickly and the baby was starting to show signs of distress. The call was made by my midwife to do the c-section.

It's funny because the one thing I wanted to avoid was the c-section, but when the time came to make the decision it was the easiest decision of my life. I was worried about the baby, and I was exhausted-it was time. The whole surgery was a blur, and the full body epidural was the most bizarre experience of my life, but the one thing that kept me going through it all was that I only had moments until I knew if the baby I was carrying for 10 months was a boy or a girl! The suspense was incredible, and they let Johnny make the call as soon as the baby was pulled out of my belly! That moment when he yelled "it's a boy!!!" is one I will never forget.

Henry James Ritger aka Hank arrived at 11:22 pm on November 2nd, 2009-his due date. He weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and was 22 inches long. He had dirty blond hair that sometimes looks a little red depending on the light and dark dark blue/grey eyes. He is perfect! We spent the next 3 days in the hospital, Northside was wonderful, they call it a baby factory for a reason-they really know their stuff! I have had a very speedy recovery from the c-section. I was up and out of bed the next day, and off pain medication in 2 days. By the time I got home I was feeling good with hardly any pain. I still have to follow doctor's orders for the first 2 weeks with no driving, lots of resting and time off my feet which has been challenging for me.

So, Hank has been home about a week now and we are working on getting into a routine with each other. Daddy is back at work this week, so we're on our own. He is a very mellow baby, hardly ever cries, and with a little work has taken to breast feeding like a champ. He sleeps in about 3-4 hour stretches right now, and I have to get up about once a night to feed him. I am pretty exhausted, but we take a nap together in the afternoons and that seems to help. We aren't really sure who he looks like yet, some people say he looks like mom and others say dad. I think it will be a while before we can really tell. We are so lucky to have such a happy and healthy baby!

Welcome to the family Baby Hank! Here's a few pictures of his first week!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

I figured I'd post an update since we get about 10-15 inquiries a day as to whether or not Baby Ritger has joined us in the world! Tomorrow, November 2nd, is my official due date so either this baby is going to arrive promptly on time or will unfortunately be "tardy for the party" as we say in Atlanta.

At my last doctor's appointment last week there was no change from the previous 5 weeks. They have predicted I will be birthing a small toddler-estimates at this point are 8 1/2 to 9 lbs. Given the large nature of the baby, my small frame, and my desire to avoid and c-section if at all possible they are planning to set an induction for this week once the baby is officially "overdue" (isn't that a library term?). I go back Tuesday morning, assuming the baby hasn't decided to join us by then, and will have a stress test done and possibly an ultrasound to determine the exact size of the baby, and if there is any fetal distress given the cramped nature of his or her living environment. Based on all that, an induction will be put on the calendar-it could be that they will admit me Tuesday and get things going, or will let me wait until the end of the week to see if anything happens on its own. They assured me they will not let me go beyond 41 weeks.

So, here we are...I ate the eggplant parmigiana that was "guaranteed" to put me into labor within 48 hours-check it out here http://www.scalinis.com/Bambino.htm. No such luck. I've tried to be on my feet as much as possible. We had a beautiful fall day here finally, and we went for a long walk in Piedmont Park-forgetting it was Pride weekend, but that always makes for fantastic people watching. Tomorrow is the full moon, so maybe thats the ticket!

I'm officially on maternity leave now, and not really sure what to do with myself. Luckily, I am a very patient person and while I am more than ready to meet Baby Ritger, I also believe that all great things in life are worth waiting for...right?

A few pictures from our walk in the park today...I like to call them "Kim at max capacity".
40 weeks pregnant