October 29, 2008

Austin is 2 weeks old!

(Again, started this one yesterday but didn't get a chance to finish it!)

I can't believe my little boy is 2 weeks old today! I feel like he's changed and grown so much already! He's definitely more alert and awake for longer each day (and night unfortunately). He's already starting to look different and he's definitely filling out his clothes better. He's still wearing newborns but they are getting too short and he fits into a few of his 0-3 months outfits too.

Austin loves his pacifier and no matter how bad Ryan and I don't want him to become too attached to it, we can't help but give it to him when it consoles him so well. Ryan wants to patent a pacifier with an elastic band going around the back of the head, however, since we are putting it back in his mouth over and over again each day after it falls out. :)

We have 2 nicknames for Austin already, treefrog and the angry conductor. We call him treefrog because he loves to fall asleep on my or Ryan's chest with his arms and legs tucked underneath him like a little frog. He will lie there perfectly still for an hour and it almost looks like he's velcroed to us. Our other nickname, angry conductor, came to us after watching him sleep. If he's asleep and we touch him his arms immediately fly up in the air and his little fists shake like he's mad. He also does it when he's asleep and he hears a loud noise. I'll have to get a video of it sometime soon so everyone can see what we mean. It's really cute!

Austin is also starting to like his playgym now that his eyes can focus better and he's more awake and alert. He will lie there and look around and squirm for about 30 minutes before getting too frusterated from all the stimulation. The animals also love his playgym so we have to put it away after each use so it doesn't become a doggy chew toy or kitty bed! :) Lucy has already discovered the boppy pillow and thinkgs it's her new bed. (Don't worry, we change and wash the covers after Lucy enjoys her naps!)

October 27, 2008

Due Date

I just realized that today is my actual due date. So weird to think that technically I'm still supposed to be pregnant right now. Just wanted to say thank you to Austin for deciding to come early!!!

Silly Daddy!

Friday night Ryan and I decided to take shifts when Austin woke up so both of us could get some good sleep. I got up for the first shift, fed and changed Austin, and then pumped and prepared a bottle for Ryan to feed him when he woke up.

At 5am, Austin woke back up screaming and Ryan didn't budge. I tapped him and he moved around in bed a little and then sat up cradling a pillow in his arms. I said to Ryan, "Are you going to get him or should I?" Ryan stood up still half asleep and with the pillow nestled in his arms said "I've got him right here!" I was really confused because Austin was obviously across the room in his crib crying to be fed.

About that time Ryan woke up a little more and looked down at the pillow in his arms and realized it wasn't a baby afterall! We were so tired and both barely awake at the time, but we got a huge laugh out of this Saturday morning!!

Daily Austin Pictures!

Austin's 2 week Dr. visit

FYI-I'm typing with one hand b/c Austin loves to sleep on mommy, so bear with me & please excuse the shortcuts and spelling mistakes!!

Austin went back to the pediatrician today for his 2 week check-up. He was sooo good and barely let out a whimper the whole time we were there! Our little boy is growing fast and weighed in at 8 lbs. 4 oz.! Dr. Moll was shocked but very pleased at his progress. I worried we were overfeeding him but the doctor said he was doing wonderful!! Everything else checked out well and Austin's got a clean bill of health so far! Our next visit is December 9th where he'll get his booster shots. I have a feeling he'll be a little more vocal this next time around!

October 25, 2008

Trip to the pumpkin patch!

Today Ryan and I took Austin to Mini Miracles organic farm in Taylors to stroll through their pumpkin patch and pick our Halloween pumpkin! Austin pretty much slept the whole time but we had a good time and took lots of great pictures! We were lucky that the weather was nice and warm for our outing and we picked a great pumpkin and got some yummy cider to take home with us!
During our visit there was a woman with her three kids who offered to take our picture for us and was asking questions about Austin. When she found out he was just approaching 2 weeks old she said "So did y'all adopt or is he yours?" I was a little confused by the comment and said, "No, he's ours." Then the woman said "Wow! You look great for having a baby that young!" I have to admit, this completely made my day...but I still think the woman must have serious vision problems!!! :)

October 24, 2008

At-home visit

Today a nurse from St. Francis came by for an at-home visit with me and Austin. This is a complementary service that St. Francis offers to all new mothers and was very informative and convenient. Austin checked out very well and weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. This is up 7 oz. since Tuesday! He's already outgrown the preemie outfits he wore just a few days ago and he's fitting more snuggly in his newborn clothes. I can tell his face and belly are filling out more and he's definitely getting longer. We're so proud our little boy is growing big and strong!

As for me, things weren't quite as good, but nothing too worrisome we hope. My blood pressure was pretty high, higher than it had been during the entire pregnancy, which is a cause for some concern. The nurse said she was going to call my OB and talk to them to see if I needed to come in for further workup sooner than my 6 week appointment. She rechecked it again before she left while I was lying down and it was lower, so hopefully it's nothing serious. She also noted the swelling in my face, ankles and feet and said it is common to have a lot of swelling after delivery due to the amount of Pitocin used. She made me feel at ease about a lot of other concerns and so far the only worry is the rise in blood pressure.

Everything else during the visit was great. Austin is eating on the right schedule and having plenty of wet and dirty diapers each day. She could tell he was jaundiced but said it didn't look too bad. We hope to get an accurate reading after our 2 week visit to the pediatrician on Monday.

There's not much else to report at the moment but I'll keep everyone posted and we hope to have some new pictures up shortly!

October 23, 2008

Our first week with Austin

Austin is now 1 week and 1 day old and I just wanted to take a minute to say what a great baby we have!!!! Austin has made it so easy on Ryan and myself, the new and sometimes uncertain parents. He is making learning how to be a mommy and daddy so easy on us and so enjoyable. He only gets fussy when he's hungry and a quick feeding and burping will do the trick. He also gets a little fussy when we change his diaper or clothes and that's just because he doesn't much like feeling cold. Other than that, he is perfectly content!

When not in my arms or Ryan's, Austin spends a lot of time in his swing and vibrating chair. He will sleep there for 2-3 hours while I tidy up the house, take a quick shower or make something to eat. Me and Austin spend a lot of the time in the glider as well. He really seems to enjoy the rocking motion and it's the perfect place for feedings. He also really loves being on his tummy so we often lie tummy to tummy and he dozes off almost immediately.

Austin is eating about every 3 hours and we change his diaper about 10-12 times a day. On average we get a little baby shower at least once a day. :) We put Austin down in his crib around midnight when Ryan and I are finally ready for bed and after he's had a good feeding and diaper change. He usually sleeps soundly until about 2:30 am. It takes me about 45 minutes to feed and diaper him and he's back asleep a little after 3am. Around 5-6am he wakes up again ready to eat and with a wet diaper. We go through the same ritual and he's in his bed dreaming again about the time the sun is coming up. About 9am he wake up again and I get up and start the day with about 5-6 hours of good sleep behind me. It's less sleep than I'm used to but more than I expected to get with a newborn in our bedroom!!

Ryan has gone back to work full-time now and I'm not sure who hates it most, me or him! Ryan is such an amazing dad and he loves Austin more than I think he could have ever realized and I know he misses him so much when he's away. Everyday he tells me how happy he is and what a joy it's been having Austin in our lives. At any noise or squeal Ryan is at Austin's side and he will hold him for hours and hate to give him up. Ryan also enjoys changing diapers, much to my surprise, and does it very well. I think diaper changing time is Ryan's special bonding time with Austin since I usually take care of all the feedings.

Overall, we know we have been very blessed to have this little miracle in our lives and we thank God everyday for bringing him to us. Parenthood is amazing and we can't wait to watch our baby boy grow up right before our eyes, as long as he doesn't grow up too fast!

October 22, 2008

A few more pictures...

Happy Birth Day Sofia!

Baby Sofia Claire Bondurant was born to proud parents Charley & Stefania at 10:45 am on October 22, 2008! Here's a picture of their beautiful little girl and Austin's future girlfriend! :)

Austin's follow-up visit

Again, I'm pretty late with this post but things have been busy and we've had a lot of visitors this week!! However, yesterday we went back to Parkside for Austin's follow-up and things were pretty good. We met with Dr. Moll this time and I think we've decided that we like him the best. He sat down with us for almost 30 minutes and just answered any questions we had. He even talked about the practice and explained how it got started and how all the physicians met. He seems so knowledgable and you can tell he really loves children and his job. I hope we can continue to see him for all of Austin's upcoming visits.

But back to Austin, they did the blood test again and his bilirubins have gone down to 15.3, yay! Since they are going down, no action needs to be taken right now and he'll be rechecked at our 2 week visit Monday. We will just keep exposing him to the sunlight several times a day and hope it continues to do its work!

October 21, 2008

Austin's 1st Doctor's Visit

(I started this post yesterday but got distracted so I am resuming as if I finished writing it yesterday.)

This morning was Austin's first visit at Parkside Pediatrics. We met 2 of the 4 pediatricians at this practice in the hospital and visited with the third one today. So far we are very impressed and really like all three doctors a lot.

Well, our sweet little boy decided to make a poopy diaper right as we went back to our room at which time we had to change it in front of the watchful nurse. I didn't realize how nervous it would be to have a medical professional watch you undress your child and change his diaper! Anyway, we went to weigh Austin and he weighed in at 7lbs. 7.2oz. They said he is gaining weight back very well and should reach his birthweight soon. His temp. was fine and heartbeat was strong. Austin measured 20 inches at this visit which is 2 whole inches taller than at birth!! We hope this growth spurt continues so he has a chance to be tall like his daddy!

Austin was very good during this visit and impressed the doctors and nurses. However, since he left the hospital with a little jaundice, they had to stick his heel and draw some blood. He didn't mind the stick so much but really hated the nurse squeezing on his foot to collect the blood. He screamed bloody murder for about 5 minutes, but as soon as she was done he immediately quieted down and was calm again.

After we left the doctor's office, Ryan dropped me and Austin off at the house and he went into work. They doctors called about an hour later to give us the result of his tests. I missed the call because I was in the middle of feeding Austin and when I called back they said Ryan was on the other line scheduling an appointment. I waited anxiously for a minute and called Ryan at work to get the news. Much to our dismay, his bilirubins had gone up to 16.5 which is considered high-intermediate risk. It is still too soon to start phototheraphy, but they suggested we expose him to direct sunlight for 15 minutes at a time, three times a day and try to get him as much indirect sunlight as possible. We have also been timing his feedings to exactly 3 hours apart to encourage bowel movements which dispels the bilirubins from his body. We have another appointment tomorrow at 1:30 to do a re-check. Please keep your fingers crossed that Austin's jaundice goes down and he gets back to normal as soon as possible!!

October 20, 2008

What you've all been waiting for....more pictures!!

Post from the new Mommy!

I know it's been awhile since my last post as things have been a bit busier than normal around here, but I'm back and ready to share with the world the miracle that we were blessed with just last week.

Austin entered this world to a very anxious mommy and daddy on October 15th at 1:00am. I had woken up on the 14th around 9am with cramps that just wouldn't go away. Ryan had actually slept in that morning and just as he was getting out of the shower and getting ready for work, I told him he might want to wait about 30 more minutes before going in...just in case. I didn't really think I was in labor (and neither did Ryan) because the cramping was happening every 3-4 minutes and wasn't that painful.....yet. However, when they kept coming even after an hour I decided to call my Doctor's office to talk to a nurse. The nurse told me to wait another hour and if they didn't go away to go ahead and go to the hospital. She said that if they were consistent and that close together that I needed to be checked out. She said they may send me home or they may keep me, but better to be safe than sorry. Ryan and I hurried and got ready and tried to quickly straighten up the house until I was doubled over in pain every few minutes and could hardly talk or stand through a contraction.

We arrived at the hospital around noon and they took us to labor & delivery to be checked out. The nurse checked me and I was still only 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced and the contractions were close together but still very irregular. She said that we would most likely get sent home and they would give me a shot for the pain and we would probably make it until my scheduled induction that Thursday. I was immediately crushed and disappointed and a little embarassed that I thought this could actually be "it." However, the nurse said the doctor on call from my practice still wanted to come and see me before we were released.

After about 2 hours, the doctor finally arrived and checked me again. In less than an hour I had dilated to 3-4 cm. and he said that baby was on his way!! I was so excited and kind of gave the nurse a smirk like "I told you so!" We were immediately admitted and wheeled into our room where we would spend the next few days. Ryan brought up our bags and we got settled in and were prepared to wait for our little guy to make his entrance.

By about 4pm the contractions were getting very intense and I was not feeling too hot. Ryan was doing the best he could to console me but all I wanted to do was close my eyes and grunt through the pain. Around 5pm the doctor came back into the room and said he was going to break my water. Surprisingly it didn't hurt at all, but it made my contractions come stronger and harder almost immediately. He checked me again and I had made it to 5cm. He was surprised how quickly things were moving and said he expected me to go fast.

About a half hour after my water was broken, the nurse came in and said those magic little words, "Would you like an epidural now?" I had been contracting for 8 solid hours and I almost jumped out of the bed and yelled "bring it on!" The anasthesiologist was there in 20 minutes, the epidural was placed, and I was as happy as could be in less than half an hour!! Unfortunatley, this seemed to slow things down and after waiting, for what seemed like forever, the doctor checked me again at 7pm and I hadn't progressed at all. He ordered petocin be administered by IV and boy did it kick things up a notch!! By 8:30pm I was 100% effaced and 9.5 cm. dilated! Luckily, my parents were getting impatient waiting in Columbia and had already started driving because they told us baby would be here by 11pm!

Around 9:30 I was fully dilated and baby was very low but I still wasn't feeling any pressure to push so we waited awhile longer to see if things would progress. The epidural was intense and I felt nothing in my pelvic area and my legs felt like dead weight. I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction and I couldn't even feel the pressure from baby's head.

By 10:30 everyone was getting impatient and the epidural had worn down just enough to give me a little more sensation. Me, Ryan and the nurse were in the room and I started pushing during each contraction for 30 seconds to see if we could move baby's head down. Pushing was tiring, uncomfortable and made me feel like I had to throw up. It was almost worse than the contractions. They kept telling me how to push but I couldn't feel what I was doing. The nurse would say "Great, just like that!" but to be honest, I couldn't tell the difference from one push to the next....I just did what I thought was pushing and hoped to hear that each push was a successful one. This went on for over 2 hours. I began to get really hot and they checked my temperature. I had a fever of 102 (enter Ryan's joke about More Cowbell) so they gave me tylenol. My arms started to go numb from my shoulders down and I could no longer hold my legs back while pushing. The nurse began to get worried and grabbed the doctor from his cushy lounge. He ordered my epidural (which had worn off pretty good by now) turned down even more so that I could push better. I started feeling each contraction and it felt like my entire stomach was one giant knot getting tighter and tighter by the second. The harder I pushed, the tighter the knot got. I was exhausted and in pain and baby was still snug and secure inside and barely budging. At this time we were getting worried that he just couldn't fit but the doctor wanted to try the vacuum first to see if this might help.

The next thing I knew, 9 people were in the room and I didn't even really care that I was totally exposed to a bunch of strangers. You definitely lose a lot of modesty when you're having a baby! There was me, Ryan, my nurse, the doctor, the doctor's assistant, a surgical assistant, 2 nurses from the NICU and a recorder. The doctor inserted the vacuum. Everyone in the room was yelling at me, "PUSH! Push harder! Just like that. Ok, not like that. Right, just like that! PUSH PUSH PUSH PUSH!!!" Ryan was to the side with the video camera filming with one hand and holding my leg back with the other. He kept saying "You're doing great baby, you're doing so good, keep it up!" He was holding his breath and pushing with me and trying not to pass out from all the excitement. With each push baby's head would peek out and then slide back in when I quit. Ryan was so giddy and jumping up and down. Seeing his excitement was purely what kept me going and kept me pushing when I thought I couldn't push anymore.

Even with the vacuum, I still had to push with all my might. After one push, while waiting for another contraction, I suddenly felt a twinge and then heard a "snip, snip." I looked up at Ryan after and his face confirmed my fear. I knew immediately what had been done. They didn't tell me I needed an episiotomy and it was probably for the best because once I realized what had happened I almost burst into tears. Baby was just too big and he needed assistance getting out. Apparenlty I had already torn and they wanted to prevent any further trauma. (Sorry if this is TMI for some!!)

I quickly got over the set back however, because the next thing I know, Ryan starts going crazy and with one big push baby's head was out!! I believe I pushed about 4 more times and out came his shoulders and then his tiny little body (althought it felt muuch larger!). With one big "whoosh," he was here and my stomach deflated like balloon. At this moment I heard the sweetest sound in the entire world, my baby was crying! Ryan had to quickly cut the cord and they whisked him away to the warmer where the NICU team was standing by. When they broke my water earlier in the day they had noticed it wasn't clear and feared that there was some meconium in the amniotic fluid. If this meconium is ingested by the baby it can cause a lot of problems so they had to immediately suction him and make sure nothing was in his airways before they handed him over. All this time and I still hadn't seen my baby yet. I had to remain in position while things were stitched up and he was across the room getting attention from the nurses. Ryan was able to go over there and video him and he relay all the details.

About 15 minutes later they finally brought him to me and laid him on my chest. My heart melted. All the pain, exhaustion and agony was immediately lifted and I was honestly happier then I've ever been in my entire life. Ryan was in awe and we both completely forgot what was going on below my belly button and totally focused on our new baby, Austin. Our miracle was finally here and he was healthy and beautiful. Austin Ryan Harris, born October 15th at 1:00am, 18 inches long, 7 pounds 9 ounces of pure joy!

October 16, 2008

Austin Update - Day 1

So, Austin is a day old now. He and Jennifer are doing great. She's still sore obviously, but without getting into the gruesome details (I'll let her do that if she wishes once she gets home) everything is healing and progressing very well.

Austin, was circumcized this morning. He took it a heck of a lot better than I would have. He was also weighed shortly afterwards. Not suprisingly, he lost 5 oz. from his birth weight. I attribute all 5 oz. to the circumcision, but the nurses seem to think its normal fluid weight loss after birth. :)

I've changed probably a half dozen diapers now (never changed one before). He had a "blow out" earlier today. I took the diaper off and used half a pack of wipes to clean him up. In the process, Austin decided that Daddy needed a shower and proceeded to "make it rain." I had to clean him, me, and half the room up after that. After blowing up in his diaper and peeing all over me, he seemed quite pleased with himself:

Here's a few more pictures...I'm sure once Jennifer gets to feeling like sitting and "computering" the blog will turn into a baby photo album.

Here's a picture of me and Ben with Austin and Tyler (5.5 months old). I have a feeling Tyler and Austin are going to get in a lot of trouble together:

Grandma Jo Ann with her grandson (still image from video):

Here's 3 generations of Harris's. The nose seems to be a dominant trait:

Here's the proud new Mommy with baby Austin:

The Banks' family with Jennifer, Austin, Grandma Banks, Grandpa Banks, and Aunt Catherine.

The following are a few pictures that are still images from some of the video I recorded throughout the day. I'm really glad Jennifer decided to take a while in labor so that I could figure out how to work the camcorder (all video recordings are PG-13):

Here's Daddy cutting the umbilical cord. Simply awesome....they caught me off guard so I didn't have time to really adjust the camera:

Here's Austin fresh out of the womb getting cleaned:

Mama getting to meet Austin for the first time:

Here's Austin getting his feet printed. Hopefully this'll be the only "printing" Austin will have to do in his lifetime:


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