Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benjamin Asher Has Arrived!

Benjamin Asher was born Friday, December 28th at 7:12PM. He is 8 lbs 6 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long. Mom, Dad and Baby are all doing well. We can't wait to post more pics and the birth story soon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Looks Like I Will Be Going Back To Work Tomorrow!

Well, it doesn't look like this baby will be here during my extended state holiday time off. Well darn! That would have been convenient. Looks like I have to endure some more looks and stares and questions "Are you stil here?" The good news is that most state employees will take tomorrow and Friday hopefully I can hide in my cubicle and go unnoticed for a bit. I never thought I would say this, but I am actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow since I have been bored to tears here at home! I also had planned to take New Year's Eve off (my due date) since Caleb will be off....but I may just go in now...this sitting around at home business is for the birds!

Oh...and in case you were wondering (stop reading if you don't want too much information), I started losing bits of my mucous plug on Christmas Eve. I've lost a little bit each day. At least my cervix is opening some! That's progress being made. However, I was kind of hoping that I would lose it all at once and immediately go into labor like 30 minutes later. Hasn't happened! Wishful thinking! The thing about mucous plugs is that they are no indicator of when labor will start. Some people go weeks without it or pieces of it. I knew this, yet remained hopeful. Oh well....this little guy will come when he is good and ready....and I just need to be at peace about that. Easier said than done!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Caleb worked today and is scheduled to work tomorrow, too. When he got home, he REALLY wanted to celebrate Christmas so that we could "play" with our gifts tomorrow. It turned out to be a really nice Christmas....just the two of us and our dogs. The big surprise of the night was that Caleb gave me a FrameLight Photography Photo shoot when our little one arrives. I was completely surprised!

Here are a couple pictures from our Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve (39 Weeks)

I know! I'm a dork! I went out and actually bought the Santa hat just for this picture! BUT, I thought it added a nice touch....AND it actually made me feel better. While I was out shopping for my Santa Hat (and some other last minute Caleb Christmas presents), I got a FABULOUS spa pedicure. It was so nice just to have some alone time to be pampered. I woke up in a really sour mood this morning (took it out on my poor dogs) and was afraid that I was going to be all grinch-like for today and tomorrow. But, the pedicure really helped. On my way home, I stopped by Moe's and grabbed a taco with their "spiciest" salsa. Why not, right?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Story of My Life.....for at least the next week or two!

I started reading a section in this book someone from work lent to me. The chapter is entitled "Coming into the Homestretch". I think that it best describes how I am feeling right about now:

"I can honestly say that I have never met a woman who within a month of her due date wasn't ready to have an end to this maternity marathon. No matter how chipper and enthusiastic they might have been for the preceding eight (nine) months, even the best of them get cranky and impatient. And who can blame them? They can hardly breathe anymore, they have grown too large for all but their biggest clothes, they aren't sleeping very well, they have chronic heartburn and indigestion and they are keenly aware that somehow, someway, that baby is going to have to come out of their bodies, soon! They usually have also come to realize that it is easier to care for a baby that is inside you than one that is outside.

There isn't really much to do at this point. Presumably, you will have had your baby shower. You will also have completed your childbirth preparedness classes. And, aside from putting your shower gifts away, your baby's room is probably pretty much organized. If you have been working outside the home, chances are you have already begun your maternity leave or will be doing so soon. You may find that you have the unfamiliar sensation of having time on your hands, time that you fill with alternating bouts of boredom, excitement and fear.

As if all this anticipation weren't enough to keep you agitated, you will be increasingly irritated by the well-intentioned comments of nearly every person you brush by. They will say things like, 'Wow! You're huge! When is that baby going to be born?" Or every week when you go to get a manicure or to do your grocery shopping, the clerk will say, 'You mean you still haven't had that baby yet?' Your mother and mother-in-law will call you every single day on the pretense of just calling to chat, but really to see if you are in labor and have neglected to tell them. Talk about the watched pot never boiling....This may seem like the longest yard, but if you want to be reminded that you are almost finished, look ahead to the next chapter: It's about going to the hospital."

Story of my life.... patiently as possible!

I'm sure some of you think that I have had this baby...since there has not been a post in a while. Sorry to disappoint you....Caleb and I are still here...sitting around, twittling our thumbs and hoping that at any moment the contractions will begin....but nothing yet.

I do have an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing noteable. Looks like our little guy is content right where he is.

Last night, our friends from MD (Joe and Christina) came to visit. Caleb cooked a great steak dinner and my first-attempt at fudge did not turn out as bad as we thought it would. I did, however, have an issue with the Santa Snacks I "tried" to make. I managed to drop the entire 9 by 13 glass pan on the floor....upside down.....which resulted in all the gooey christmas cookie ingredients strewn all over the floor....and a big dent in our hardwood floor.....oooops!

But, back to Joe and Christina. It was so good to have them come and visit. I don't know what yesterday would have been like if we didn't have something to do...someone to prepare for. It was really nice to see them! They even made our little guy a personalized onsie! Of course, they had to explain the joke to me....but I soon "got" it! hehehe....

Also, we are planning to go to Dos Tacquitos. This Mexican restaurant is infamous for sending people into labor around the Raleigh area. Supposedly, I need to eat the steak tacos....I'll let you know how that turns out! Caleb is about fed up with all my "ways to naturally induce".

Speaking of ways to induce labor yourself, I made the comment to Caleb that he could take the speed bumps in our neighborhood a little faster since they say bumpy rides can help. Then, I said (as a joke), "You never the end of this week, I may be on the back of your motorcycle." He looked at me and said, " wouldn't fit on my motorcycle!" I almost's not like I was really going to get on the thing! He tried to cover up what he said by adding, "Because the back seat is really small." TOO LATE! It's funny now to me, though!

Caleb has been wonderful throughout this whole pregnancy. I don't know how he puts up with me!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

KIRK KNOWS SOMETHING! (What do you think it could be?)

(Posted for Caleb because he thinks I'm nuts AND superstitious....hehehehe)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"You're Still Here?"

I was trying really hard not to become "one of those" pregnant women....the one that is really nice to everyone's face but absolutely can't stand the questions "Are you still here? You haven't had that baby, yet? Blah Blah Blah...." I thought that since I was trying to work right until my due date then I would have to try to have a good attitude and not let it get to me. The only problem is....the questions started coming so much earlier than I anticipated. I still have two weeks people!! In fact, I might even be around when you all get back from your LONG Christmas break. Wouldn't that be great??

The worst was the comment from this one lady that I work with (who has NEVER talked to me before). She was walking in front of me. Stopped...turned around and said "You're still here? When is that baby due?"..."Two weeks," I replied.....Here's the best part....."Are you sure you're not carrying two babies in there instead of one?"

Wow! I didn't think it was possible for someone to make a fat joke like that!

I shot her this cold look and simply stated, "I'm sure. Thanks!" Then she tried to cover it all up by saying "But it's all baby, though." TOO LATE, LADY!

Needless to say, I am ready to stop working. I still have things that I would really like to finish up before I leave for 12 weeks, but if I don't get to them, it won't be the end of the world.

Anyway....I'm still here....and I plan to still be pregnant until my due date and possibly beyond. No point getting all excited too early (I'll let you know if I lose my mucous plug or something really cool like that!) Other than that, I'm actually sleeping pretty well (Now that the temps are back down where they are supposed to be this time of year). I'm enjoying the Christmas music again and the "To Do List" is getting much smaller every day...which makes me really happy.

Oh! and the cutest thing happened this morning. I slept for about 4 hours straight (1:30-5:30 AM). When I woke up and went into the bathroom, I looked at my belly in the mirror. This was the first time that it was actually contorted. It was lop-sided because our little guy was sleeping all the way over to one side. He had the hiccups, so I could see him moving up and down. I could see his little if he had found a really comfortable spot in my belly and had not moved for 4 hours either. It was really cute in an ugly-contorted-pregnant belly way!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Benke Christmas! (38 Weeks!!!)

This week-end, my dad, stepmother Jill, and brothers Philip and Scott came to visit. We were able to celebrate Christmas early....which was a lot of fun. We spent a relaxing afternoon together watching the Panthers actually win a game, chowing down some pizza and ROTELLE (not together) and exchanging gifts. I was able to show off the nursery and we made sure to get a few pictures.

Here's the belly at 38 weeks. I can't believe I start my 39th week tomorrow! WOW! Everyone keeps says "Any day now" and "Why didn't you answer your phone? We thought you were having the baby!!" But, this week-end I felt really good. I walked a TON (last minute Christmas shopping) and not many Braxton Hicks contractions (I had more last week). So, now I have this feeling that I am not going anytime soon. Last week, when I felt so miserable, I thought that maybe there was a chance that I was going to go early. Not now though. I feel like I have all this energy....and like he's just camping out! Only time will tell....

Christmas With The Thompkins!

Last week-end, my mom, stepfather and brother came to visit. I wasn't feeling very good the next couple of days, so I didn't get a chance to post pictures of their visit. We had a really good time....and I am so happy that we were able to visit before this little one arrives. We were able to celebrate Christmas, make Christmas cookies and string up the Christmas lights. It was a very nice visit.

Here are some pictures from that (I was 37 weeks along):

Mom and Paul

Andrew and Paul helped string the lights!

Riley- he was always in the way when we made the cookies. He ended up getting covered in flour!

We watched Shrek the 3rd. This is Kirk's interpretation of Puss in Boots! I think he's cuter!!

Also, my mom was able to go to my neighborhood shower. The ladies on the block threw a baby shower for myself and my neighbor Shinny who lives two doors down. She is due on December 29th with a little girl...AND her husband works with mine....which is a cool coincidence. Here's a pic from the shower.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let The Dinners Be Frozen!!!!

Let me just pat myself on the back....and while I'm at it, I'll pat Caleb on the back, too!

All along, I have had in my head that I was going to make about 10 meals to freeze so that we had them once the baby was born. It was a nice thought....but honestly, I didn't know if it was actually going to happen! Well.....drum roll happened! Caleb and I made the meals today! The dinners are in the freezer!

Also, tonight we had our Young Adult Christmas party. It was a Chili Cook-Off. The guys cooked tons of chili and we all got to judge them. As Casey would say "It was a Christmas Party....with a meaty twist!" I am proud to say that Caleb's chili won! It was really, really good! Maybe I'm just biased because my pregnancy craving has been for taco/cheesy foods. Caleb made a southwestern chili that rocked! Also, Sarah let me drink my soda out of a wine glass tonight. What more could you ask for? Oh! I know! How about the birth of this little boy. That would be nice!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ouch! That Hurts!....I still love you, though!

This little person inside of me has been kicking me ALL day....and his little kicks are hard!

I am ready for my belly back! I hope he comes soon. But, we are pretty resigned to the fact that he will not be here until January....why get your hopes up, right?


I actually feel much better. I am no longer swollen on my right side....which is a huge relief! I think I just over-did it last week-end when my mom, stepfather and brother came to visit. I just let meyself get really dehydrated.

I am still getting up about every hour on the hour at night....but it's tolerable.

Also, every night this week, I have had a dream about breastfeeding our little guy. I even see him in my dreams....and, he looks the same in each one....which I thought was cool. I'll let you know when he's born if he looks anything like what I have pictured!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

37 Weeks = Full Term

Here I all of my puffiness!

Revenue Baby Shower!

My co-workers gave me a surprise shower. I had no clue. My boss stopped me in the hallway about 11:45 and said, "I hope you don't have plans for lunch!" (I didn't...I never do!) Then, one by one, my co-workers walked past me....each carrying a crock pot or some other treat!

They all chipped in and my boss designed a Money Tree. They said that if I plant it the dollar bills will turn into $5's...and if I water it daily, they will become $10's.

It was a really nice shower! I am so grateful for everyone who was ableto be a part of it.

The Money all of its glory!

Here are the female members of my work group (the guys only stuck around for the food!)

(My boss, Stephanie, Tabetha, Myself, The Money Tree, Our Christmas Tree, Elizabeth, Silvia)

Counting Down.....

I have officially become extremely uncomfortable. I know it's because I have been bragging about how nice this pregnancy has seemed to be so far.

Yesterday at work, I was hot all day and swollen and gross. I was planning to work late to make up some comp time, but left at 5 instead. I was able to make myself some dinner (Caleb is on nights now)....then I went to bed at 7:30! I slept for 4 hours straight....but that was the end of that! From about midnight on, I was up pretty much every hour on the hour. I either had to go to the bathroom (story of my life) or I woke up because I was uncomfortable with a head-ache or I was too hot and clammy. I ended up taking a shower, taking some tylenol, checking for a fever, drinking tons of water (I think I was dehydrated), trying an ice pack, eating some cheerios, changing my name it! Nothing seemed to work. At around 5 AM, I called in sick to work. That seemed to work!! hehe...once I called in sick, I was able to sleep for another couple of hours straight. Caleb came home and took care of the dogs, which allowed me to sleep from about 5 AM- 9:30 AM.

Now, I'm at work. The head-ache is still lingering....but I think it is just because it's about 75 degrees outside and about 85 degrees inside.

Oh....and there is definitely something going on with the belly. Though I do not think that I have "dropped", I definitely feel like the baby/belly has pushed it's about to dive off the deep end. I sure hope that all of this "lousy-feelingness" means that we are coming closer and closer to delivery day!

Again, I have been very fortunate with this pregnancy...but it has reached a point where I am just not comfortable anymore....and would really like to have this little boy sooner rather than later!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bad News.....for Caleb!!

So, I am now officially full-term....which is VERY exciting. Except, I am really afraid that these last three weeks are going to be the worst three weeks of the entire pregnancy!

I woke up Sunday morning with a swollen right arm and hand. My ankles were swollen, too! They are all still swollen today! Not fun! I feel so puffy and gross all the time. Walking is a real effort! I park in the parking deck for work...and it's amazing how much slower I have to walk now. Like this morning, a friend of mine was walking in with me....we were having a good conversation, but I had to interrupt her and say, "Please feel free to go on without me....I can't keep up with you anymore!" This coming from the girl who was always the front of the pack while running...this from the girl who actually likes to work out. How embarrassing!

Anyway, it is 76 degrees here in NC. Everyone else loves it, but not me! I refuse to turn the air conditioner on in our's DECEMBER! So, I am miserable at night and not really able to sleep. Last night I was up every hour on the hour. Again, not fun.....I know, I know...this is God's way of preparing me for a little baby who is going to have me up all the time, too...but I don't want to think about that. I like feeling sorry for myself!

Anyway, I did call the doc about the swelling and they asked me to go check my blood pressure. It was really good. Looks like I just need to deal with this swollenness and drink plenty of water and just suck it up!

On a different note, I started to drink Raspberry Leaf of many tactics/wives tales to start the process of naturally inducing myself! I can't believe that I have about 20 days until my due date. Even in the midst of all of this complaining, I am really.....REALLY excited about meeting our little man!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wanted: One Little Boy To Fill The Nursery

The nursery is painted. The sheets are washed. The changing table is organized! Every time I walk up the stairs (especially after work), I take a little detour to the nursery and think about how it will soon be filled with our little son.

Everything finally came together. Caleb and Carson were a HUGE help as Carson did most of the painting and Caleb put everything together and hung all the shelves.

After Caleb and I hung all the pictures, we sat on my hope chest (the one Caleb made me when we got engaged).....looked around the room......and prayed together. It was a really special moment. (Reminded me of the time we prayed together after closing on our house.) There was just something really intimate about being with Caleb in our unborn baby's room and offering up little prayers for him. I think it was the first time during this pregnancy where I have actually felt like a parent.

Ok.....enough of all the emotional stuff. Here's what you've really been waiting for.....THE PICTURES!!!

Everything looks a little dark because these pictures were taken at night. I absolutely love how the wall hangs over the crib turned out. The picture reads ("When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad!") The little wall hangs by the window read "Bee Thankful" and "Cute As Can Bee".

Obviously, I need a little lamp shade for the lamp. But, I found the lamp for $2.50 and couldn't resist setting it up. The bookshelf is filled with all the wonderful books we received from our Friends' Baby Book Shower here in Raleigh. On top of the bookshelf, I made a little picture collage of Kirk and Riley.

On the little shelves, we placed two pictures of us...the frames read "Honor" and "Love". The one with the white frame holds a picture of Grandparents Benke. (I told my coworker how I was still in need of little decorations for the shelves and she gave me the good idea of filling them with pictures.)

The shelf above the bookshelf holds pictures of Grandparents Thompkins and Grandparents Weir.

Lastly, here's a picture of my canvas art! I copied the ideas from Babies R Us...and instead of paying $40 per picture, I paid about $6 for both. The artwork is a little elementary....but I love it anyway! There is also a rocking chair to the right of the hope chest...but it's not white, so I didn't take a picture of it!! I love it though because it was given to us and will be used A LOT!
Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Week 36 Has Come And Gone....I am now starting my 37th week!

This Sunday, I'll be considered "Full-Term!" Mom, Paul and Andrew are coming into town to celebrate that.....and Christmas! Here's the picture of me at the the end of week 36. Our little man is still pretty high. I hope he will start to drop soon!

Group B Strep Negative

YAY! I just got the results for my Group B Strep test and they are NEGATIVE. Wahoo! This means I don't have to get antibiotics before I give birth. I can try to labor at home as long as possible without the fear that I won't get the two bags of drugs in me in time!! I am so happy about this! (Can you tell?)

Framelight Photography

We recently went to Joel and Rebecca's wedding (Joel is a long-time friend from Campbell). Rebecca is an amazing photographer who just recently launched her website:

I encourage you all to check out this link. I absolutely LOVE all the unique shots that she has captured. We can't wait until our little one is born so that we can have her capture that special moment in time for us.

Many of you know Andrew and Laura Kate from Campbell. They were married a few years ago, but recently pulled out their wedding attire and hit up some beautiful places around Raleigh for some wedding portraits. I was looking at all these beautiful pictures last night and I thought, "This makes me want to pull out my wedding dress and do the same thing. I want pictures like these!" Then...I remembered.....that I was pregnant.....hehehe...I don't think the dress would fit right about now. Rebecca is good, but she's not THAT good. She has to work with what she's got....and I'm sure my pictures would not turn out right if I tried to squeeze my pregnant self in that dress. Oh well! Maybe in a year.....

Here's one of my favorite shots from Laura Kate's shoot:

Here are some of my favorite shots of little ones:

But seriously.....please check out her link and give her a call to check out her prices and availability. You won't regret it!!