Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Been... One Week

... plus a few days. We finally got out of the broom closet disguised as a hospital room last Monday, and so far, things have been going well. Ben continues to be a wonderful baby. He really doesn't cry all that much, just when he needs something. We haven't experienced many inconsolable crying jags so far. His weight dipped down to 7-4, but was back up to 7-12 on Monday, so he is doing great in that department. We did discover that he has a clogged tear duct in his left eye, so he's getting some ointment in his eyes until that clears up, nothing major. He is sleeping very well at night, much to our delight.

Joshua is doing better than we ever imagined he would. He LOVES his baby brother, constantly wanting to give him hugs and kisses, especially when he is crying. He hasn't shown a hint of jealousy yet, and hasn't intentionally done anything to hurt the little guy (although he did go Three Stooges in an attempt to point out that Ben has eyeballs). Josh loves to help us out, wiping away the bubbles during Ben's bath, throwing away diapers... now if we can just teach him to change them too!

With one small exception, Brenda is doing well. Her incision did end up developing that seroma, as we had feared in the hospital, but it appears to be healing quickly, about 1/2 cm in each direction each day. Please keep this in your prayers that it will continue to heal rapidly (the last one took about 8 weeks). They are treating it differently this time around. Last time the doctor opened a large portion of the incision to allow drainage, and packed it with gauze every other day. This time the doctor (a different one) opened a much smaller area, less than an inch, and we are packing gauze 2X per day. That task is actually falling to me, and while it may sound gross that I am using a long Q-tip to stuff gauze ribbon into a hole in my wife's abdomen, it really isn't that bad. Still, if you had told me a few weeks ago that I would be doing what I am doing, I would have laughed at you. So anyways, apart from this minor setback, Brenda is doing well. She is choosing to keep an upbeat attitude about everything, focusing on the many blessings that God has given us in this situation. She is also happy that she is already only 10 pounds away from her pre-pregnancy weight, just 11 days after giving birth (and she's lookin' darn good if I must say so myself).

Not much to report about me or Copper. I feel like I am bonding a lot more with Josh the past couple weeks, as I have pretty much been his primary caregiver. We have been able to play a lot more together, and it has just been really cool to spend this much time with him. He is growing into such a cool little dude in so many ways... but more on that later.

Don't forget to check out the photo site, we'll try to keep it updated as often as possible...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thank You

Not to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, but Brenda and I would like to thank a few people. Things would have been MUCH more difficult if we did not have someone to watch Josh, and my mom did an awesome job of keeping Joshua safe and happy for the 4 days we were gone. Joshua seemed to have a great time with Grandma and I don't think he wanted her to leave! Big thanks also to Brenda's sister for being with Brenda on Friday morning/afternoon while she went through the initial recovery process. This allowed me to spend more initial time with the baby, and Brenda had someone to help her as well. Lori waited something like 3-4 hours in a small waiting room before being called into action... she's a trooper! And we definitely want to thank all of the wonderful people that will be bringing us meals over the next couple weeks, and Valerie for putting that all together. Not having to make dinner (and probably lunch) for the next couple weeks will be a huge help to us. I'm sure I am missing other people, but anyone else that has helped us out along the way, we appreciate you as well. Thanks everyone!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Welcome Baby Ben!

What an exciting last few days it has been for the Maple Family. On Friday morning, we welcomed the one who will complete our family... Benjamin Richard Maple.

In my last post (written just hours before leaving for the hospital), I mentioned that I was having some stomach pains, and that it was probably just nervous tension. Well, I was wrong. I was having contractions, and they were actually coming on pretty quickly, about 3 to 7 minutes apart. But we went to the hospital as scheduled, and the fact that I was going into labor didn't hurt or hold up anything. After 2 hours of pre-op stuff (blood tests, fetal monitoring and lots of paperwork), I was wheeled into the OR and we were underway.

Our beautiful little boy was born at 11:47 a.m. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 oz, and was 21 1/4 inches long. Andrew's first comment as soon as he saw the doctors lift Ben from my stomach was "Whoa, he has A LOT of hair!" And that he does! I was able to see him, hold him and nurse him in that first hour after he was born, which was something I missed out on with Joshua, so that was very special to me. Right from the get-go he was a professional at nursing. It only took a few minutes to get him latched on the first time, and we never looked back. My milk had already come in by the time Ben was 2 days old because he was such a champ.

We ended up staying in the hospital the full 4 days, because my c-section incision had started to drain. It looked for a while that I was going to be going through all of the same nonsense I did with my last incision. But, thankfully, after everything was drained, my incision closed itself back up and everything appears to be just fine. I have been told to take it even easier than a normal C-Section recovery, so I basically have to sit on the couch and do nothing for the next 2 weeks. For anyone who knows me, you know how UNrelaxing that will be! But I also have to take care of myself, so I'm going to have to force myself to let others help me as much as possible.

I have been feeling great, and my pain really hasn't been too horrible. I am so happy to be home and to have my whole family back together again. Please keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks as we adjust to life as a family of 4.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

First Real Haircut

Well, Joshua was starting to look a little mangy, and it had gone far beyond what Mommy was willing to try to tackle, so I finally broke down and took him to get his first professional haircut today. I took him to Snip-Its, a kids haircutting place over by the Chandler Mall. He can be pretty difficult in these kinds of situations, so I was a little nervous about whether or not he would cooperate. I came armed with a bag of M&M's. Bribery is a wonderful thing! Josh was such a good boy for his haircut. He didn't want to wear the apron, and neither the haircutter or myself were going to fight with him over that. As soon as he started getting squirmy (which was pretty much right away) I broke out the treats and we practiced our colors while the hair stylist went to work. I can't say enough nice things about this place. They really know how to handle kids, and have plenty of their own tricks of distraction up their sleeves. Each haircutting station is stocked with animal crackers, lollypops, bubbles and a TV that can play videos. The stylists also are great at dealing with kiddos, and make it a point to do a good job, and get it done speedily (with 2 year olds you're working on a very short clock!). I tried to get some pictures, but none of them are really any good. It's hard to distract and take pictures at the same time. So you'll have to take my word for it that Joshua looks so handsome with his new haircut!