Happy Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mother’s Day (a day late) to my beautiful wife and Ben’s mom!

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Back in the baby in a box days

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First time holding Benjamin

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Ben celebrates Mother’s Day with his mom and grandmothers

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Standing Benjamin

It seems even babies who can’t see know when you have your video camera out, otherwise I would be able to share with you a very exciting video of Benjamin going from the floor to standing up without any support! He did it a couple of times in a row last night but we couldn’t get him to repeat it once we had a camera on him. So you will just need to take my word for it.

He also has been letting go of things and standing unsupported for longer than ever before. It made us so happy to see him standing clapping and smiling today for like 20 seconds. Normally he will wobble over pretty fast, or lunge towards us, or make a fun game of falling on his bum.

Ben is also in nonstop motion – climbing up his giant stuffed dog onto the couch or moving around his toys or the furniture in a cruising/rolling/falling/climbing combo. Good thing he’s tough though – he ends up banging his head a lot.

Ben standing up and drinking

He’s leaning on me here but you get the idea

The same but different

Once upon a time, in June 2011, before Benjamin’s fungal infection made itself fully apparent, we were under the impression that he would be coming home soon. So with that in mind, my amazing family and friends threw me an awesome baby shower. The weird thing about having a baby shower when you have a preemie is that all of the cute little baby things look… huge. To keep this in proper perspective, in June 2011 Ben weighed less than 5.5lbs and was still wearing preemie clothes. So when I opened up clothes that were larger versions of preemie clothes he owned, I cracked up. I’m pretty sure everyone who was there thought I was either crazy or had had one too many cocktails. Thankfully, when Joe came home from the hospital later that evening and we sorted through our gifts, he found the giant versions of preemie clothes as funny- if not funnier- than I did.

Now, a year and a half and 16 pounds later, Benjamin can just fit into those 18 month versions of his preemie clothes. (Ben weighs over 21lbs right now- holy growth spurt batman!)

Smiling Benjamin laying on a white blanket

Growing slowly, but growing all the same.

Preemie Benjamin in hospital on cpap

This photo was taken in May of 2011 and Ben weighed 3.3lbs.

Slow progress – but there are zebras to laugh at

Look! The third post this week! I know! “But Joe, you didn’t write like… forever, and now you are writing all the time.” Yeah, yeah, I know that too. It might not last, I won’t lie, but I told myself I wanted to make an effort to write more and you lucky(?) folks are the beneficiaries(?) of that.

And why haven’t I been writing? Well, the blog is called “All About Benjamin” and to be honest, over the last few months telling you all about Benjamin might have been a bit boring for you and a bit depressing for me. No, nothing bad has been happening with him. Outside of a couple of colds, Ben has been doing well. But his developmental progress has been so slow there is not much to tell you. I get worried about it, and a little sad and it didn’t sound like something fun to write about (though here we are).

When we first started the blog we used it to share the day-to-day and sometimes hour-to-hour updates and a bit of a pressure valve where we could write all the scary medical stuff down and give ourselves a little distance from it. But mostly it has been a place to share Ben’s successes (and cute photos). Maybe it’s ok not to feel like we always need to be cheerleaders with good news and talk about other stuff too (but of course still post cute photos of Ben).

So first things – on the development side, here are the facts… Ben is still not crawling really, or walking without holding on – but he can pull himself up onto things and cruise like a champ. Ben doesn’t have any words yet, but babbles and laughs (a lot). Ben can’t handle food any more solid than a puree (and some days that is too much for him too) but he is so much better with milk and can drink it out of sippy cups. Ben thinks zebras are very funny.


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Ok I know even here, when I said I wouldn’t feel the need to always cheerlead, I am putting happy spins on everything. There is obviously progress and Ben is an amazing little guy. I’m just frustrated. I want to see Ben doing the things the other kids his age are  doing. I want to know that he can talk and walk rather than just hoping he will.

And before you say it – I know, I know I know. I know we are super lucky to even be where we are today. I know Ben has a lot of challenges to overcome and that he’s doing great. It won’t stop me from wanting more though…

How much wood would a Benjamin chuck?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a real update post. Benjamin is doing well these days and continues to be the most cheerful, giggly baby in existence. It’s downright maddening trying to feed him a bottle and he’ll decide it’s funny and just laugh and laugh without drinking anything. And he’s just be too cute to be annoyed at though.

But his feedings are actually pretty good, even if the doctors are not thrilled with his weight gain yet. We’ve begun adding olive oil to his solids now too to add extra calories – maybe that will help.

The exciting news lately is the other night we found Ben standing up in his crib (yelling) – which is a big step since he hadn’t pulled himself up yet. But then we noticed blood just spilling from his mouth all over the place! He was gnawing on the crib rail and cut his gum a little – we stopped it pretty quick but it was scary seeing all that blood. Plus you should have seen the teeth marks he left on the rail! We have since lowered the mattress and added a gummy rail protector.

This all comes as he’s getting three new teeth all at once, too!

He is standing so much better and getting the hand of walking with a push cart. It definitely seems that he’s going to skip right over crawling as predicted.

In other news, Benjamin is loving Music Together classes he started last week with his momma.