Fatherhood

Posts filed under Fatherhood

WebNursery is Up

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Lily's WebNursery is up, with the photos visible. It seems that only two of the poses are showing; I'm working on that.

Lily is still up to her adorable ways. Last night she took a nap on my chest (I was somewhat shy of full consciousness, myself), and Princess decided that she wanted to join us, too:

Lillian Newborn 104

Sleeping with two Princesses
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

(Princess has been doing so well with Lily being here. She is sometimes curious of the new, little creature living with her; but for the most part, she ignores her. It is obvious that she misses getting the majority of the attention, but she still gets enough to know that we still love her.)

I can't get over how precious Lily is when she is asleep. Her sleep poses just fascinate me. Here are two from today:

Lillian Newborn 109

Lillian Newborn 112

Lily is cute even while sleeping
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian’s First Foto Prints

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

Today Lillian's First Foto prints came in the mail. Here are a couple of my favorites. First, the most adorable picture, ever:

Lillian First Foto 004

Next, a picture I'm quickly falling in love with - Lily laying on my hand:

Lillian First Foto 002

Lillian's First Foto poses. See the entire set.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lily’s First Pediatrician Appointment

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

This morning, after her feeding, Lily and I got ready to go in for her first pediatrician appointment. She was wide awake after being fed and changed:

Lillian Newborn 093

But by the time I had her all covered up, she was sleeping comfortably:

Lillian Newborn 098

Getting ready to ride in the car for her first pediatrician appointment
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Her appointment went really well. She was in the 50th percentile for her weight, height, and head circumference; and everything looked great: her cord, skin tone, alertness, scare response, head/muscle control, and everything else.

Probably most encouraging, she weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz, which means that she has gained 7oz since leaving the hospital two days ago, when she weighed 7 lbs 7 oz!

Stephanie is doing well, if still tired. Lily fed once last night, sleeping four hours on either side of that feeding, so we were able to get a little longer sleep. Steph wasn't feeling up to dealing with the stairs this morning, so she stayed home while I took Lily in for her appointment. Otherwise, she seems to be doing well. Her pain meds are keeping her mostly comfortable, though she has a couple periods through the day when she is less comfortable. Fortunately, she's been able to nap between feedings, so each day gets a little bit better.

Quick Lily Update

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

We've made it relatively smoothly through our first night at home. Steph and Lily seem to have taken to the glider in the nursery for feedings, and Lily seems to like to sleep in the bassinet in the living room during the day:

Lillian Newborn 070

Lily sleeping snug and sound in the bassinet she got from Aunt Jen
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Last night I went to sleep around quarter till ten while Steph expressed some milk to help with some milk relief. Before turning in to bed, we laid Lily down for her first night in her cradle - the same cradle that I and my sister both slept in. She seemed quite comfortable:

Lillian Newborn 056

Lillian Newborn 058

Lily spending her first night in the crib her Daddy and her Auntie JuJu slept in
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I woke up this morning around quarter till seven, rather well-rested, even with the two feedings Lily took during the night. Steph was still very tired (as is to be expected!), so while she took in-between-feeding naps this morning, Lily and I spent some time together:

Lillian Newborn 071

Lily taking a nap on Daddy's chest
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

This afternoon, I am going to try to get some of the housework caught up. Tomorrow morning is Lily's first appointment with her Pediatrician.

Home From The Hospital

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

Today has been a busy and exciting day. After a very early morning (around 4:00 am) feeding and another one around 7:00, we began preparations to leave the hospital to head home. I got most of the rest of our things loaded in the car (I had taken a few things out yesterday evening) and then we ate breakfast. We took care of the last-minute paperwork and tests, and then got Lily ready for her First Foto hospital photos (WebNursery link coming in 3-5 days). Lily looked absolutely adorable in her pink princess dress she got from her Aunt Jenny:

Lillian Newborn 023

Lillian all dressed up for her First Photo hospital baby photos.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

L ily is so amazingly photogenic; all her poses turned out fabulously.We ordered enough photos to have plenty to give out. For most family, it won't be an 8x10, but it will be more than just a wallet photo. I wish we could do more, but I think you will all be quite pleased!

After her modeling session, we changed Lily into the Bennett Family dressing gown. For those who don't know the story of this gown: it is almost 80 years old, and was worn home from the hospital by my father and all of his brothers and sisters. All of their children, and all of their children, have also worn the dressing gown home from the hospital. We are proud to have Lily continue this tradition. And I couldn't imagine the gown having looked any cuter on anyone:

Lillian Newborn 046

Lillian prepared to leave the hospital, wearing the 80-year-old dressing gown worn by every child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of her Great Grandma Bennett.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Both Lily and Stephanie were checked a final time, and both were declared fit to go home. The lactation consultant who taught our breastfeeding class stopped in to see us, and let Steph know that she and Lily were doing a great job. (In fact, they have done so well that Stephanie's milk had come in fully by yesterday evening, and Steph never did experience any of the infamous engorgement or initial pain - of course, Lily has been nursing 20 minutes from each side every three hours or more, so not much is left to cause any pain!)

Having been declared ready to go home, we made our way down to the entrance, got Steph situated and Lily secured for the first time in her car seat, and headed off.

Let me take a moment to talk about our experience at St. John's Mercy Medical Center. Steph and I could not have been happier with the medical treatment, staff, and facilities; nor could we have imagined a better place to have our baby. At all times, Steph had an attending nurse and a nurse's aide, and Lily had an attending nurse of her own. All of the nursing staff and doctors were incredibly attentive, patient, and informative. (My only complaint - which has absolutely nothing to do with medical care - involves the coffee bar. Almost every time I went downstairs for coffee - even during posted hours of operation - the coffee bar was unattended. Given that my usual need for coffee was exacerbated by little sleep we were getting, I was less than happy with this situation.) Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I couldn't imagine having our next baby (which will not be coming any time soon - don't worry!) anywhere else.

We made it home and got both Steph and Lily up the stairs. I called Steph's OB to give him our pharmacy information so that he could call in her prescriptions, and then changed Lily's newest dirty diaper. I swaddled her and put her down to nap in the bassinet in the living room, and then got Steph and I some lunch.

After lunch, I went to pick up Steph's scripts, and when I came home she was feeding again. Apparently, she really likes mommy's nourishment, as not only was this an early feeding, but she also took it with relish:

Lillian Newborn 055

Got (Mommy) Milk?
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

So now the real fun begins: developing our family routines and bonding. Fortunately, I have another week and a half before I have to go back to work, so I can be here to help alleviate as much work as possible for Steph. I will continue to upload as many photos as I can take, so keep checking my Flickr photos.

What’s In A Name?

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Family, Fatherhood

Many have asked why we named our daughter Lillian Nicole. Here is a glimpse into our thought process.

Lillian_birth 050

Lillian Nicole
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

We believed it to be very important to give our children names with significant meanings. We believe in the power of speaking life over and into our children. Therefore, we wanted to give our children names that would reinforce the character and values we desire for them.

Lillian is of Latin origin, and means Lily. In the Bible, the lily symbolizes innocence, purity, beauty, and resurrection. Here is a thorough overview of the symbolism of the lily:

The lily's scepter or trumpet shape makes it a symbol of royalty. Its white color indicates purity, innocence, hope, and virtue...

We hope and desire for these virtues to describe the character of our daughter, and by God's grace, they will.

Nicole is the namesake of Lily's Aunt, Angela Nicole. The name is of Greek origin, and means, "the people's victory", or "victory of the people". We chose this name both to honor her namesake, and also to be the encouragement we speak into Lily - that through virtuous character by the grace of God, she will be victorious in her life and will bring glory to God.

Catching Up: Lillian’s Birth and First Days

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

UPDATE: To see the complete photo sets: Lillian's Birth, Lillian - Newborn. Also, all of Lily's pictures are in the Lillian Collection.

So far, things are going well. Lily has just been fed, and Stephanie is taking a nap, so I will try to take this opportunity to catch everyone up on things so far.

Stephanie started showing signs of imminent labor Wednesday, so I decided to go ahead and start my vacation Thursday. That afternoon at her OB appointment, her doctor told her that she was already 3 cm dilated. We scheduled an induction for Monday, but her doctor said that he was 80% sure that she would go into labor on her own before then.

Friday morning, I woke up early (about 5:15 am). After breakfast and coffee, I made a quick trip to the store for some last-minute necessities, and another quick stop at the grocery store to have some food available for Steph's sister Angie, who was on her way for a surprise, early visit.

As I was finishing the the dishes in the kitchen before making lunch around 1:00 in the afternoon, Stephanie came out of the bedroom and said, "Are you ready to have this baby?" She then told me that her water had broken! We called her doctor, who told us to go ahead on in to the hospital. We made our last-minute preparations (toiletries, pillow, etc. - most of everything we needed was already packed in the car), made the requisite phone calls to family, and headed - finally! - the the hospital.

Stephanie was checked in and situated in her LDR a little before 3:00 pm. When the nurse checked her, she was 3-4 cm dilated. She progressed through labor throughout the afternoon and evening as various family members arrived at the hospital, until she reached 8 cm and 100% effaced at around 9:00 pm.

Unfortunately, her dilation stopped progressing at this point, and Stephanie began developing a low-grade fever. At 6 cm of dilation, the nurse had told us that the baby was already showing signs of developing a cone head - a sign that she might have problems getting through the birth canal. After a couple hours at 8 cm, the nurse told us that her cervix was beginning to swell - a further sign of potential difficultly with labor. After five hours of no further dilation from 8 cm, and a fever that continued to creep up, at 2:00 am we made the decision to deliver via c-section.

Surgery prep went by quickly, and I almost forgot to grab my camera and baby book(s) from the LDR. After gowning up and waiting for the surgery team to get prepared, I was invited into the OR for the procedure. Before it even seemed to have begun, I heard our doctor announce, "here she comes!" and I looked over the sheet just in time to see our beautiful baby girl out of the womb for the first time!

Her nurses quickly began cleaning her up, and determined her 1- and 5-minute APGAR scores (8 and 9).

Lillian_birth 010

Lillian_birth 013

Lily's first cleanup and APGAR
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

The doctor began cleaning/stitching up Stephanie's incision, and commented on how fit she looked internally, and how good her tissue was - hopefully a sign that her incision will heal well. In the meantime, the nurse and I took Lily over to the scale for her official first weigh-in. Our little girl tipped the scales at a healthy 8 lbs, 6 oz:

Lillian_birth 021

Lillian's official first weigh-in
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Once the doctor was finished taking care of Stephanie, we were moved to the OB recovery room at 3:00 am for two hours of recovery. Since Steph was still recovering, I got to spend a lot of quality time holding our little blessing. Even only hours old, Lily was quite active and attentive. Even though her little eyes couldn't yet focus, it was amazing to see her recognize and respond to the sound of my voice:

Lillian_birth 025

Lillian swaddled, spending quality time with daddy
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Nana Bennett, Gee-Gee, and Aunt Angie got to come see Steph and Lily in the OB recovery room:

Lillian_birth 035

Lillian_birth 038

Lillian with Nana Bennett and Aunt Angie
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Finally, at 5:00 am, Stephanie was taken up to her postpartum room. Lillian went to the nursery for additional check-ups, and Steph and I were able to get about an hour of sleep. At 6:00 am, Lillian was brought in for her first attempt at feeding. To our great pleasure, she latched on at her first try, and has been nursing like a champ ever since!

After nursing, mommy, daddy, and baby all slept for a couple of hours. Lily had another feeding around 9:00, while I went down to the cafeteria to have breakfast with Lily's Nana, Papaw, and Gee-Gee. Afterward, Lily got to spend a few minutes with everyone before they headed back to Indianapolis.

Lillian_birth 041

Lillian_birth 044

Lillian_birth 048

Lillian_birth 052

Lillian with Gee-Gee, Nana Bennett, Papaw Bennett, and one of our first family photos
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

The rest of Saturday was spent sleeping and feeding. I had my first of what are sure to be many milestones: I changed my first diaper ever, and I was peed on while changing a diaper for the first time ever. My swaddling skills improved with each diaper change and breast-feeding. Lily seemed to be getting plenty of colostrum, as she continued to nurse well, and kept leaving her daddy plenty of presents in the form of dirty and wet diapers!

After being up for more than 24 hours straight the day before, and not getting much sleep while trying to help Steph as much as possible during the day Saturday, I finally crashed Saturday evening. I slept a couple hours between the 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm feedings, but by 11:00 pm I was out for good, and didn't wake up until 7:00 am Sunday.

After breakfast, Steph finally got the chance to sleep uninterrupted for 2-3 hours, most of which time I spent with Lily sleeping on my chest while I watched tv or just sat enjoying having our little angel sleeping so contentedly against me.

Sunday was Mother's Day, and an obviously special one for us! Stephanie got a little gift from the hospital, and although I was unable to get her the flowers that I wanted to before she went into labor, I was able to find a nice bouquet in the hospital gift shop:

Mother's Day

Stephanie's Mother's Day bouquet
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Most of Sunday was spent continuing to develop our routine with Lily: changing diapers, nursing, burping, sleeping, etc. Stephanie also progressed from an ice-only diet first to clear liquids, and then finally to solid foods. She continued her physical recovery, and was able to stand up to use the restroom and was even able to take a shower in the evening.

Sunday evening saw the three of us sharing some quiet time together. After nursing, Lily finally got the chance to snuggle with mommy, since Steph had recovered well enough to hold Lily a bit on her chest. Baby and mommy got to spend some much-needed quality time together:

Lillian Newborn 016

Lillian Newborn 017

Lily and mommy having some quality time together
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Today finds us with more of the same: Lily had an early-morning feeding, and Steph and I had breakfast while Lily had another check-up in the nursery. After another feeding, Steph is getting some more very-much needed sleep. Later today Steph is going to try out the breast pump (she thinks her milk may be coming in), and if she is feeling up to it, we are going to go down to the courtyard early this evening to spend some time outside.

The normal hospital stay for a c-section recovery is four bed-nights, which means that we can be here until Wednesday morning; however, if all continues to go as well as it has been, we are planning to head home tomorrow morning. We are looking forward to getting settled in at home!

I will do my best to keep everyone updated!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

And here's why it is especially happy for us today:

Lillian_birth 053

One of our first family photos! (Lillian's birth photo set)
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian_birth 052

One of our first family photos! (Lillian's birth photo set)
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian is Born!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

I will write up a more complete description once I've had some sleep, but just to give you the overview: Lillian Nicole Bennett was born at 2:27 AM on May 12, 2007, via c-section. She weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz, and her APGAR scores were 8 and 9. Baby and mom are doing well, if exhausted.

Lillian_birth 025

Lillian's Birth Photo Set
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Labor Has Started!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood

Yesterday afternoon Stephanie had her final OB appointment, at which time we found out that she was dilated to 3 cm. We scheduled an induction for Monday, but the OB gave her an 80% chance of going into labor before then.

Stephanie woke up around 1:00 this afternoon to discover that her water had broken. We called the doctor, and he sent us straight to the hospital. She was dilated 3-4 cm at the time of admission, and just had her epidural.

I don't plan to "live blog" the labor and delivery, but for those of you with my IM contacts, check my away messages for updates.

I'll be back later, with pictures of our newborn Lily!