Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Dear Hailey,

When we first brought you home, you were two weeks old and tiny! We have already had lots of fun and learning experiences as parents with you. I have learned to cherish 4 hrs of sleep at night. If that, even. I looove and look forward to my shower every morning now to wake me up from a long and tiring night. You eat really well, which makes us happy. You also have a very good sense of day and night, which makes us very happy. Sometimes you stay up for almost 4 hours during the day! You are just content to lay on your blanket and stare off into space.
You hardly ever cry, and when you do, you scream first just to let us know you are there. I think I've only ever heard you cry-cry like...three times. I am very grateful.
We finally found some clothes that fit you! Shout out to the Carter's brand - I really love those onesies. One month old and still wearing newborn size!
We can really tell you are growing, though, and we love it. Your neck is getting so strong. You can even turn your head to the other side during tummy time! You can also roll onto your side from your back, but that's not hard, especially when you are getting your diaper changed.
It's nice to finally hit the one month mark (/two weeks for us) where things are starting to fall into a schedule. It takes a lot of stress off of me. I like being able to get into a routine. Granted, you may throw us a few curve balls every now and then, but what baby doesn't!
One last thing...I still can't believe it was already a month ago when the Dr was telling me to head on over to the hospital to induce me. I was in so much shock. I can remember every detail of that week, from the dr's appt right up to being discharged from the hospital....without our baby. Two weeks of visiting you in the NICU, two weeks of getting to know very nice nurses and making friends, two weeks of scrubbing in for 5 minutes every time we entered the NICU, two weeks of not having baby Hailey home with us.
And now, here you are, and we couldn't be happier (and tired-er!). We love you very much!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Hello, I know it's been a little while since I've posted about anything interesting. I'm sure you all are dying to know how our first week with Hailey went, along with adorable pictures. Well, I'm not posting right now to do that. I'm just posting right now to tell you I am still alive, we all are here, Hailey really still is cute as ever, and oh, thank you everyone for your input on breastfeeding tips. It really helped!

Also, shout-out to my cuzz Brittney for getting married yesterday. I just love her and her new husband Ryan!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Need Help

To All My Mother Friends:

I need your help.

Here is my dilemma:
As we know, Hailey was in the NICU for 2 weeks. For those two weeks, I pumped. Because I pumped, I was able to get my supply up to quite a bit - about 5-6 ounces a session. To be honest, I am very proud of my supply. I love having the excess milk to store in the freezer for when I have to go back to work.

The lactation consultant at the hospital said that when I start breastfeeding Hailey, I would have to pump afterward every time because Hailey obviously doesn't drink 5-6 ounces yet and I need to empty out my breasts each time. For me, that just drags out each feeding session - nursing and then pumping. It didn't sound appealing to me.

So I decided that I would just skip the nursing and just pump only. Hailey was already used to a bottle, so I figured it would be the easiest.

And it has been. I mean, we've only had her home for, what, 5 days? But still, I would love to just go to straight breastfeeding so I wouldn't have to sit there for 20 minutes and pump and hope that Hailey doesn't decide she wants to start crying while I am indisposed.

But here's the deal, and this is where I need your help. If I go back to breastfeeding (Hailey is already really good at latching and eating her fill, at least the few times we have tried it), and if I don't pump afterward, I know that is going to reduce my supply just down to what she needs. Question is, will my supply come back up as she grows and needs more? I know mothers have a really good supply for the first 3 months and then it drops off, so I am really afraid that if I go to breastfeeding and reduce my supply to just what Hailey needs and not what 20 minutes at the pump gets, I won't be able to get my supply back up. I really do need that extra milk storage for when I go back to work.

Question number two, because I can get 3 oz per side, Hailey only needs to eat at one side and be good. Should I still pump out the other breast or just leave it until Hailey is hungry again and use that side? Will this cause any clogged ducts, engorgement, mastitis? I don't want that, nobody does.

I really am afraid of screwing myself up. I know this is sort of like a TMI for everyone, but it really is legit that I just want to know what I should do, want to know what you have done, want to know the facts, want to know what will make it easiest (ha) for my sanity and for Hailey's. But mostly mine.

So, any advice you have would be great. Leave a comment here, or message me on Facebook, or text me or call me. Don't be offended it I don't take your advice, but I sure would love to listen to what you have to say anyway because frankly, I just want to know what's out there.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Here's one thing that I'll share with you guys that has been on my mind...

I think bringing Hailey home at two weeks from the NICU really has its disadvantages. Don't get me wrong. I am trying to stay on the positive side, but there are just some things that can't be ignored.

Number one: The NICU had her on their schedule. Now we have to get her used to ours vs being able to start her off from the beginning with ours.

Number two: I wasn't able to be up there 24/7 to nurse her, so she got very used to taking a bottle. She latches on OK, and I know that takes time, but is it so bad of me to seriously consider exclusively pumping and bottlefeeding her instead?

Speaking of that, Number three: Because I have had to exclusively pump for 2 weeks, my boobs overproduce WAY more than Hailey will ever eat in one sitting right now. That is hard when figuring out how much she needs to eat, because I have no clue how much she gets out of me, not to mention she doesn't nurse for very long anyway, and then I have to pump everything else out, and then I have to guess on what to bottlefeed her the rest. It's easier to just pump it all out and bottlefeed from the get-go. When you get to nurse your newborn from the very beginning, they usually get what they need and your body only produces what the baby needs.

Number four: Was she fussy during the night at the NICU or is it from being here now and lots of stimulation and such? She was an angel whenever we saw her. But then again, we weren't there during the night.

So many things that I wonder about that I just thought I'd share with you.
We love our daughter.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Yes, she is home, and we are very excited about it.

We are also very scared. Well, I am.
I'm not so concerned about her breathing just so much as the whole idea of taking care of a tiny, helpless newborn and having absolutely no clue what to do.

When should I feed her? Should I set a schedule or let her tell me when she's ready?
Is she getting enough to eat?
How do I manage all this extra frozen breastmilk?
Should I have extras on hand just in case she doesn't do well on the breast?
Are we changing her diaper too often?
Is she too hot in those blankets? Is she warm enough?

So many questions. I know. We've only had her home for 6 hours, but still!
These things will come with time. We are not perfect. Every parent started out like this.
I can do it.

Just breathe.

Also, I don't have pictures on the computer yet. They are all on my phone currently and I have not transferred them yet.

But there you have it.

Welcome Home, Hailey!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Want My Baby Back Baby Back

I just want my baby to come home. I want her lungs to grow strong and to breathe OK and be at home with us.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Story: Hailey LuAnn Benson

Hailey LuAnn Benson
Feb. 28, 2012
5lbs 10oz
19" long
Born at 37 weeks

I am sure you guys have been anxiously awaiting this long awaited story. I shall now tell it to you.

It all began on Wed. Feb. 22 at what I thought was going to be my normal 36 week appointment. I had been very healthy throughout my whole pregnancy, so you can imagine my shock/surprise when the dr said my blood pressure was up. He said he wanted me on bed rest and if I couldn't keep my blood pressure down, he'd have to induce me next week. He also sent me to Timp Hospital lab to get my blood drawn and do a 24 hr urine collection. How fun.

I called into work on Wednesday just because going to work while trying to collect your urine and refrigerate it just isn't the most convenient thing. I still had the intention of working Thurs and Fri though.

I turned in my pee on Thurs morning and went to work Thurs afternoon, all the while monitoring my blood pressure. Dr called me Thurs evening to check up on me and to tell me about my blood test results. Platelets were fine, but liver enzymes were elevated. He'll have to wait and see what the protein levels were in my urine and after hearing my blood pressure results, no more work. Period. End of statement.

I was devastated.

I was able to keep my blood pressure down all weekend by resting and relaxing, hoping and praying that I wouldn't have to be induced the next week. I got a call from Dr on Sunday evening. Actually, several calls. I didn't have my phone on me and apparently he really needed to get a hold of me.

Urine results: protein levels were way too high. Make sure I come in for an appointment on Monday. Yes, sir, I obliged.

I showed up Monday afternoon to my appointment. He called the perinatologist and discussed my situation with them. He came back in the room and said, "We need to deliver."

Heart pounds.
I'm thinking, So we'll do it in a couple days, right?

Dr asks, "Is your husband at work?"


"When does he get off?"

In about a half hour.

"Ok. I'm going to call the hospital. Go on and head over."

This is where it takes a moment to register. You mean tonight?
Yes, sir, I obliged.

And I went out to my car and cried. No, not cried. Bawled. Wept. I was scared!! I wasn't ready for this yet! I wasn't ready for labor and delivery and to be a mom! I was supposed to have 3 more weeks of me time before the big day came!

So I went to the hospital that evening, got there around 5pm. Dr's orders were to start me on two doses of Prepidil gel (to ripen the cervix) - one at 8pm, the other at 2am, 6 hours later. Yes, it was a 12 hour process. And it really sucked.

(last pregnancy picture before delivering!)

Luckily, Hailey was actually already in a really good position when we started. I was already a 1 1/2, almost 2cm, and effaced about 90%.

After 12 hrs of an uncomfortable bed and contractions that I could find no relief for, I was still at a 2. Time to start the Pitocin!

Dr came in right after they started the Pitocin and broke my water and told them to stop the Pitocin. I progressed all on my own from there - about a centimeter an hour. That's right. I was at the hospital a full 24 hours before I even delivered.

I pushed for maybe 20 minutes. She was so small! She had trouble breathing, which we figured would be the case since we were delivering her early.

(First family photo!)

She has been in the NICU since, getting help with her breathing so her lungs can continue developing, but she is coming along beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, she is a BEAUTIFUL baby. She has so much dark hair, a cute nose and, I'm not biased at all! :)

(First she was on a c-pap machine)

(Scott finally got to hold her!)

(Next, she was put on a ventilator to help her body focus
more on other things and not so much on trying to breathe)

(Now she is just on normal oxygen with a high flow to help
keep her lungs open)

(She also had jaundice for a little bit and had to be put
under the lights. She looks like a little tanning diva!)

We visit her every day, and we hold her every day. I also get the pleasure of pumping every day and taking my milk to her. Pumping. Is not fun.

We are a happy family. We hope to have Hailey home with us soon, and even if that means another week or two in the NICU, I am fine with that, so long as she is getting the help she needs to get fully developed and strong enough to function on her own. We love her very, very much and are very happy to be parents now. Let the fun adventures begin!

P.S. I found this picture. Look at that family resemblance!