Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moving target

Check out a sampling of Henri's three month photo shoot! I wish he'd been smilier, but he happens to be very serious when it comes to posing!

(and since I didn't have a blog when he was born, here are his newborn photos!

The past couple of nights have been just spectacularly difficult. Like scream-into-a-pillow difficult. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of nighttime parenting...just when I thought Henri and I were getting into a routine...WHAM-O! The target moves again, the game plan changes. I honestly don't want to dwell on them too much because I'm hoping they are anomalies - something to do with a growth spurt or some other developmental change - not part of a new trend. Besides, just when I think it can't get any worse, the little dumpling smiles at me and what can I do but smile back?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just for kicks...

Baby Nathan and Baby me! I would say Little H is about as perfect a blend as one could expect! Nathan's chin and expressions - my features and, well, opinions :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yummy fingers!

Just wanted to share this cute pic I took tonight while Henri and I were putting away laundry. He's such a good helper, haha!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I have to say, odd as this may seem, I just love it when Henri poops. It may be stinky, require immediate clean-up and occasionally ruin a onesie, but I don't mind those things at all. Little H went through a stage where he was only having a poop every other day - sometimes even less frequently - and he would get pretty miserable. This morning, he had two within 30 minutes of each other and was over the moon about it. I'd rather have a stinky, happy baby than one who is clean and grumpy any day of the week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baptism by fire

During the past 24 hours, I have had to repeatedly list to myself all the things I love about my son. I know that may sound horrible, but having a high-need baby can really put one through the ringer. Here's just a small sampling of Henri's, for lack of a better word, "preferences."

  • He loves to be held facing the world - his back to my tummy. Unless he's a nanosecond from falling asleep, he will throw a holy fit if you try to hold him any other way. This can make burping him after a meal extremely difficult and getting him to sleep at night nothing short of a full-body workout. Oh and did I mention you have to stay on the move? Swaying in place doesn't count.
  • It's next to impossible to get him to turn his head to his right while he's lying down. We think this is because of how he was squished in utero, but outside the womb, it's resulting in a flat spot on the left side of his head, behind his ear. The physical therapist gave us all kinds of stretches to do but, well, Henri is not a fan. As I'm sure you can imagine.
  • Tummy time is only acceptable in the mornings. It gets less and less fun as the day goes on.
  • Car rides are okay as long as someone (*cough* me) is keeping up a running conversation or reading aloud to everyone in the car and the car is moving.
Sometimes it's easy to look at these as fun little quirks. And at least they are part of what make my baby unique. I guess Nathan was quite the particular little thing, too - apples and trees, am I right?
So onto the list of things I just adore about my little bear cub.

  • He loves baths, especially when he takes them with me. There is just nothing better in Henri's world than splashing around in the tub.
  • He's learned how to put his lips together and blow bubbles with a really good "mmmbbbbbbbbbppppppppz" sound. He heard me doing it last week and picked it up in no time.
  • He smiles at the ceiling fans. He thinks they're silly 'cause all they do is go round and round.
  • He gets really excited when we're playing on the floor and one of the cats walks up. He stares with his mouth open in a little round "o."
  • He is a morning person *and* a night owl. He will NOT go to bed before Nathan leaves for work, which means we like to sleep in. But when we do wake up in the morning, he is a little ray of sunshine, all smiles and exuberant squeals.
I'm sure I could go on and on, but I achieved a miracle tonight and got the little grizzly to sleep before 11:00, so I'm off to catch some shut-eye while I still can!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meet Henri

I was starting to feel like a terrible mother. Just about everyone I know who has children has some kind of blog devoted to them. I, on the other hand, have a blog devoted to my equestrian exploits - and I can't even keep that up to date! So I've decided to give this mommy-blogging thing a shot. I have been terrible at keeping a journal since Henri has been born (honestly, who has *time* to sit down and write when there's a needy little one calling your name?), so this is going to be a stretch, but hey, worth a shot!

So for starters, meet my son Henri. Henri was born at 3:45 in the morning on Sunday, June 5, 2011. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 8.4 ounces and measured 20 inches long. My labor was very quick and relatively painless, thanks to an expertly administered epidural. I had wanted a wholly natural birth but thanks to my little man's timing, we had to make a change in the game plan. This has become Henri's trademark - calling an audible just when you think you have something figured out.

Henri first thought about meeting the world when I was 34 weeks along. Some medication and modified bed rest stopped my pre-term labor, but it didn't stop the little guy from keeping me on my toes. I ended up dealing with prodromal labor - basically, I was in mild labor for about two weeks. Near then end, I was struggling. I was nearly fully effaced, about 3 cm dilated and I had *had it* with being pregnant. When the contractions started in again on Saturday afternoon, I called my husband, grabbed the bags and said "We're going." At the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitor and watched me for a little while and, you guessed it, no progression again. This was my third time in triage and I really didn't want to have to go home again. With tears in my eyes, I told the nurse I wanted to stay and have this baby. My doctor was still advising against inducing me. A wise move, but at the time, I was livid. Fortunately, the triage nurse had a trick up her sleeve. She still sent me home, but with 8 milligrams of morphine in my system. She told me that after a couple weeks of this on-again, off-again labor, my body was probably just exhausted and that was preventing the labor from progressing. Sure enough, once we got home, I took three hour nap/out-of-body experience. I woke up having contractions, just as the nurse promised, and at around 12:30 am my water broke and we were off to the hospital. I was so excited to be finally under way that I didn't fully realize that this was when things would get really painful. During our birthing class, we were told to expect labor to take awhile. I was prepared for a long-drawn out process, but of course, my body had already been doing that for some time. Cut to me dilating at a torrid pace and saying through gritted teeth to throw out the birthing plan and "get the epidural to me NOW!"

Looking back on it, that was the best thing I could have done for myself. I'd kind of felt like having an epidural would be "cheating" or copping out - and I didn't want to slow down my labor too much. Of course I hadn't counted on going from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what was important to me was to be able to keep my head screwed on straight and remember all the details of my son's birth. Considering the blinding pain I was in (that had come from out of nowhere), I opted for some help. And I have to say, I may not have had an epidural before, but the one I got was superb. It was nothing like I had feared. It didn't stall my labor, I could still feel and move my feet and I was able to push Henri out by myself. The hardest part was sitting still for the darn thing while off-the-chart contractions were tearing through my body.

Wow, reading all that back, I may have gone into some detail there that no one really needed to know, didn't I? Oh well. That's one thing I'm realizing about this new chapter in my life - no shame and a different idea of what constitutes "too much information."

So here we are now, fifteen weeks later. Henri weighs a little over 13.5 pounds and is 24 inches long. He can sit propped against my lap, blow bubbles and pass his pacifier (or "Mute Button") from one hand to another. He loves to take baths, ham for the camera and be carried around the house like the little prince he is. He is learning to tolerate the Moby wrap and tummy time and occasionally likes to sit in his bouncy seat and watch me unload the dishwasher. He is definitely a high-need baby with a mind of his own and a list of particulars a mile long but we love him more than life itself and are so glad our Heavenly Father chose us to raise one of His precious sons.