Friday, April 27, 2007

Can you tell we like this outfit?

Tessa with Ducky- 9 days old. We will continue to take pictures with Ducky as she gets older to see how much she has grown!

We finally got our official hospital picture in the mail- eyes open and everything! The little bandaid on her hand is from her IV :(

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I love my doggy Hayden and he loves me too. The other doggy doesn't like to cuddle me as much but she still thinks I'm pretty cool~ Tessa

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First Doctor's Appointment

We had an exciting morning, we got to get out of the house. Yay! Tessa had her 1 week pediatrician appointment. Yes she is one week old which makes me sad :-(

In the past week she has gained a whopping 1/2 lb, so now weighs exactly 8lbs. Whoah! No wonder I am so dang hungry and thirsty all the time. She got checked head to toe and seems to be in perfect health! We are now allowed to go outside, and doctor said we can go out in public but not very often. Hopefully tomorrow will be a nice day and we can all take the stroller around the neighborhood!

She is still eating and sleeping very well and my number one problem is keeping up with my own appetite and avoiding low blood sugar crashes. Jer and I are going to try to come up with a bunch of high protein mini meals/snacks for me, because eating a granola bar seems to be a futile effort. Any suggestions?

:) LB

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hi everyone, this is Tessa! I thought I would write my own blog today and tell you all about the things I have been doing the last two days

I sat in a weird contraption

And then I went for a ride in it!

I met my dogs, Hayden and Rosie. They were very excited to see me.
Rosie cried for a long time but we are all better now.

Hayden loves me alot

This is my cousin Mark who came to see me today.
He brought me flowers he picked out himself.

This is my Aunt Becky. She likes to cuddle little baby girls.

This is my Mamaw and all her grandchildren-- me, Mark and Bob

Bob helped Dad build another weird contraption

Oh and here's that mommy lady
That's about all. We are doing good and I really like to eat and sleep. Bye for now!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tessa's Birth- the Full Story

So I thought it would be great to sit down and record the whole birth, especially before I start to forget! (which I already have a little). I will try to leave out the gory details but hey, to a certain extent that's the way this works right? :)

Things got started...
On Tuesday 4/17 I got up and ready for work like any morning. Jeremy had started driving me in just the day before in case I would need to be picked up during the day. Good decision! On the car ride to work (8am) I felt what I would call 'crampy' but I've been feeling that way alot lately.

About 9am after sitting at my desk for a bit I began to note the consistency of the cramps, and at about 10am logged onto (awesome tool!!) to begin tracking. At that time they were happening 10 min apart. So I waited it out and worked quietly at my desk. I ate lunch with my coworkers like normal- a labor salad!- and don't know if any of my lunch friends observed that I was picking at my food and kinda quiet :)

Contractions continued at 10 min apart and Jeremy came to get me at about 1:30. I only let my boss and one other coworker know what was going on. My other coworkers may not have even noticed when I quietly snuck out. I was still not convinced this was the real deal and assumed I would be back on Wednesday! On the way home I was suddenly ravenously hungry so we swung by Chick-Fil-A for a sandwich- yum!

Things continued at home...
When we got home I was starting to feel them for frequently and laid down on the couch. Jeremy logged into and I would call out when one started and ended and he tracked. When they were 5 min apart I got into the bathtub which was SO NICE. It felt really great! Jeremy normally plays his guitar while I'm in the tub but I had to put a stop to that so we could concentrate.

After the tub I finally decided it was the real thing and I should prepare myself for the hospital. We had discussed eating a light high protein dinner because I knew it would be a long time until food again, but just as Jeremy was starting to think about cooking I told him we couldn't wait any longer. Contractions were 3 min apart a getting stronger so we called the doc and headed that way. The 20 min ride to St.Francis seemed alot longer!

And off to the hospital......
When we arrived at the hospital the nurse asked if we would like to make bets on my dilation. My guess was 2 or 3 but no, we were 5 cm upon checkin! We were very lucky that of the 5 docs in our ob/gyn practice we actually got my regular doctor, Dr. Bowers. He came in to review our birth plan and was happy with all of our choices. We were admitted at 7pm, and Doc Bowers asked if I would like my water broken to move things faster or let it go itself. Since there was no reason to use extra measures we said no.

So I labored for several hours pretty well using the techniques we had used. I walked around, sat on my yoga ball (which was really nice- I recommend!), and tried to avoid laying down. Mom, Dad and Erin showed up at the hospital and we had a pretty nice time in the room for a while. It was nice to listen to the extremely random music selections on Jer's Ipod (think Abba followed by Garth Brooks)

Things got tough....
At 6-7 cm my water broke and things weren't quite as jovial as the pain came on. When my water broke they noticed it was brownish, meaning Tessa had taken her first poo in utero (called meconiam) and odds are she would ingest some on her way out. They told us that the NICU team would be there at delivery to pump it out of her.

Soon after that is when I started to turn all Exorcist from the pain (pea soup spewing and all :) My labor nurse said it was my last opportunity to get an epidural as I was dialated to 8cm, so I caved. As you know I really had wanted to go as natural as possible so I got a little upset. As the story goes on I'm glad that I made that choice and don't regret it. The nurse consoled me by saying that waiting until 8cm to get it was a great thing and we had made the best choice by not getting one earier.

There was a minor scary moment when I got the epi. My blood pressure plummeted and I almost fainted and when the nurse rolled me on my side the tape from the epi on my back stuck to the bed and started to pull it out. At the same time Tessa's heartate dropped quite a bit. It was all hands on deck for a minute or two then all was okay. From then on I wore an oxogyn mask to keep things in check.

I was then at 10cm and the nurse agreed we should start pushing but it would still be a while. So we started pushing at about 2:15am. Jeremy did a great job of helping the nurses hold up my legs and counting. I pushed through every contraction for a long time, and rested and sometimes even joked around in between.

My major concern with the epi was that I was be too numb to push, which is something I've heard horror stories about. I'm happy to say it didn't turn out that way. I could still feel the contractions a little and was able to push just fine. Whew!

At about 4am the nurse said I needed to start pushing harder as Tessa's head appeared to be pretty big and might be getting stuck (this is the part where I am grateful I had the epi). She said if we went on much longer the doc might call for a c-section. A senior nurse then came in and worked some sort of magic with her hands, squeezing the head out a little.

So finally after all that time it was time for the doctor to come. I guess I didn't realize how much the labor nurses really do before the doc even shows up. And I have to give major love to our nurse Anna. She was amazing and funny and really supportive. I was sad to see her go come morning time :(

An army of people came including the NICU nurses and we were ready to go! Several pushes later she arrived at 4:41 am. Jeremy unfortunately didn't get to cut the cord as she was wisked to the nurses to pump the poo out of her lungs. She finally gave a good cry and the room rejoiced! We saw her for just a few minutes and they took her off the NICU.

I had a tear but didn't even realize it, and had to have a few stitches. They cleaned me up and at about 6am we were okay to wheel to the NICU to see Tessa. Anna was impressed at the mobility in my legs and said I was willing it to happen so I could get to the NICU sooner.

And afterward....
Tessa spent alot of Wednesday coughing up amniotic fluid. They gave her an IV and started antiotics as a precaution. They watched her breathing and coughing carefully and she was doing better every time we saw her.

The NICU nurses agreed not to give her formula or sugar water until we had had a good run at breastfeeding. Finally she took to it sometime Wednesday afternoon and again we rejoiced! They offered to give her formula overnight so I could sleep and I refused (the lactation consultant later gave me major props!), so they woke me up every two hours during the night and boy was that NICU room a long walk!

Because she was eating and breathing so well they released her to the regular nursery on Thursday afternoon. She had to get one more good round of antibiotics Friday morning before we could go. The pediatrician was super happy with her progress and we were all released to go home on Friday afternoon.

That brings us up to speed! We are home now and all doing very well. She is eating like a madwoman and I am healing suprisingly well too...I guess I thought I would still be in a lot of pain at this point but not really too bad.

Praise God that everything turned out so well for us in the end. Even the unexpected things-- the epidural, the NICU stay-- all turned out well in the end. I know we have alot of wonderful friends and family supporting us and praying for us and we couldn't have done it without you. We are truly blessed :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mama I'm Going Home

Hello all!

Well things are going great here. Yesterday afternoon Tessa was released from the NICU and we were all moved up to the normal postpardum floor and normal nursery. She spent the night in our room which was nice because the night before I had to walk about 1.5 miles to the NICU every two hours to feed :( We had a great night! Still eating well and everyone was very sleepy.

And guess what? The doctor came in this morning and said that all of her labs have come back and she will be going home with us today! Yay!!! Praise God- her little NICU scare was really nothing at all.

We are all very excited about going home, although I have to say the staff at St. Francis have been nothing but awesome awesome. I am going to miss a couple of our nurses! Jeremy reports that there are two very confused and restless wiener dogs at home who are tired of hanging out alone....I wonder what they will think of her :)

More to come, for now some more pictures....

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Tessa Betty Bennington

Born 4/18/07 at 4:41 am

7 lbs, 8 oz

21 inches

a head full of dark brown hair :)

Tessa made her debut Wednesday morning after a really good labor that started at about 8am on Tuesday (although I bet my coworkers didn't know that ;) I will post a full 'birth story' sometime very soon but I'll just say it was awesome and the hospital staff here is amazing!

Tessa swallowed some amniotic fluid and meconiam (newborn baby poo she made in utero) on her way out so she had to go to the NICU nursery right away. She was breathing hard and coughing alot yesterday morning but is now doing great. They are still holding her there in the NICU because she is on antibiotics but she is no longer on O2 nor in a warmer. And the best news is that she is nursing very well!! She has been eating every 2.5-3 hrs and so far we are doing well with breastfeeding.

She is a really calm baby so far, only gets upset when the nurses take her blood or poke her too much. It's hard to tell who she looks like right now, except all pink with brown hair :) Our family photographer (my mom) has been capturing some great pics- we'll keep posting them!

Enjoy and stay tuned for more updates!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't Forget

Remember a LONG time ago when we found out Bam Bam was a Pebbles that we started an expect net baby pool. I almost forgot!

Now that it's almost baby time let's check in on everyone's guesses. I sure do like Jackie and Tom's dates :) But wish I knew how to change my own guess of going 5 days over...hope I haven't doomed myself!
game name: bambinobennington

Monday, April 16, 2007

Getting Closer

belly shot- 9 days until due date

Well we had a pretty active weekend, opting to get out on the town rather than rest, in an attempt to get things moving along! We grocery shopped, went to an anniversary party, went out for Greek food with friends (opah!), and spent yesterday walking the mall with mom and dad. I'm kinda tired now, but determined to do my best keep things moving this week so we can go on time! :)

I've also been enjoying 'labor salads' which are an internet craze and supposed to induce labor. Does it work? Probably not but they are tasty and healthy anyway so why not? Something about the walnut oils and balsamic vinegar causing a magical reaction in the body :) Sounds good right?:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Red Cabbage
  • Walnuts
  • Gorgonzola Cheese (just a sprinkle- got to watch the unpastuerized cheeses!)
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nothing Doing

Well I'm just settling in after returning from our 38 wk doctor's appointment, and a bombardment of questions from EVERY coworker on the baby's status :-)

And there's not much to report! Things have changed very little from last week so we're still in the 'wait and see' game. Here's the rundown:

  • My feet are still pretty big but water weight gain and blood pressure are good. My BP has returned to it's 'beautiful' baseline of 110/70!
  • Doc couldn't tell if she was head down so we got another ultrasound! She was very smushed though so it was hard to see anything, and sorry we got no good pictures to post :( The pictures she gave us are of unidentifiable smashed body parts. We did see her touching her toes with her hands though! Yes- she is still a girl, head down, and dropped.
  • **TMI stats** I am still not quite 1cm dilated and very high. Doc reminded us these stats really don't mean much and labor could start whenever. We did, however, discuss what happens if we go over. He will allow us to go over one full week and then induce using Pitocin... which is pretty standard. If I have any hope of going natural I really don't want to be it's time to start walking, squatting on my yoga ball, drinking red raspberry tea and engaging in those other activities to bring on labor ;)

Is it weird that I am going to miss going to my doc's all the time? I really like all of the nurses and docs there, and it's kinda exciting to go in and check on my body changes. I guess the excitement of being pregnant very shortly gets replaced with the excitement of having a baby!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Pics

We had a very nice Easter yesterday. It was your typical Easter Sunday. We went to our home church here in Greenwood (and sat in the back since we were a little late- it was crowded!), then headed down to the farm in North Vernon for food, family and eggs!

It's safe to say this will be our last visit to NV just the two of us. Next time we will have a tagalong!

Egg Hunting in the cold!

Can I still call him my 'big' brother?

What do you mean this is a girly hat? Bob is officially scared of me by the way, because he thinks I ate a baby. A rational fear really.

Jeremy happily spent the afternoon in the garage with Andy and Dad working on mechanical issues with the riding lawnmower. Rather than tell the whole story I'll just let the picture do the talking.....

Friday, April 06, 2007

Not for the Squeamish!

I can honestly say so far there has been nothing about pregnancy or pregnancy anatomy that has grossed me out. I find the whole thing entirely fascinating even though I normally don't like blood, etc. I didn't even flinch when we watched the delivery of the placenta in class-- how cool to see the slab of tissue that sustained your baby for 10 months!

Anyway- when my stomach growled just below my boobs the other day, I got to wondering where everything must be positioned nowadays. And boy have things ever changed, look at this! And look at the bladder especially...with drinking about 140 oz of liquid a day it's no wonder I can't stop peeing!

What I think is almost more fascinating is the external view of the uterus. It's shocking to think of the stretchability of this organ, which is normally around the size of a fist. I'm amazed to think not only how big it has gotten, but that it has the capacity to return to normal within about 2 months of delivery. Check out this before and after!

I could go on in more detail about the coolness of the mucus plug and other things, but I don't want to gross anyone out. Just wanted to point out what amazing bodies we have. God really made a very efficient and versatile machine when he made the woman's body....I don't think any Purdue engineer could have done any better.

Happy Good Friday!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

37 wk doctor report

I just told my coworker I should knock on wood or something before publicizing this....but nothing seems to be happening in baby land!, so it appears we will not have an Easter baby! (knock knock)

We had another routine appointment. I'm still holding onto that crappy water weight but the doctor seems to think my weight is in a good place. I'm to keep watching the sodium and water intake, and everything else is fine! Baby's heart beat is good and she's still measuring 'average'.

**TMI section**....we have the first small signs of progression at a fingertip dialated and still 50% effaced. He said a 'fingertip' was not quite just an itty bitty bit.

Two of my pregnant friends were at the same doc's this morning to check on their babies. Brook found out she is having a girl- congrats!! We also ran into Ryan and Allison who had a picture of their little bean too, so cool! It's hard to believe Pebbles was ever that small :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

full term and feeling it

Well guess what? We are due exactly 3 weeks from today, meaning we have hit the 37 week mark now have full term baby!!

Basically all this means is that Pebbles is fully formed, and if delivered now would not be considered 'premature'. So if she were a Thanksgiving turkey you could say she is done cooking, but should baste a little longer for that nice golden brown :)

Everyone said there would come a point at which I'm so miserable I just want it to be over. I'm not *quite* there yet but getting to me next week. Things are definitely getting more and more uncomfortable, and I pretty much always have a complaint of pain somewhere in my body, and an insatiable appetite that jerks my blood sugar around all day and night. But I have resolved to stay positive and I think Jeremy will agree I'm doing a good job!....what's the good of complaining? the end we get a baby anyway so I'm guessing it will all be worth it :)

It's still hard to believe that there's a baby coming- is that weird? Especially now that she is welcome to come anytime. I can't wait to see what she will look like and maybe when I see her will be the first time I actually realize we have a kid!