Friday, August 21, 2009

One Week!

Benjamin is one week old today! Man, it goes by fast. We have had a great week. Derek and I are loving being mommy and daddy. I could just sit and stare at him... he's such a miracle. My days are spent feeding the baby, sleeping, and eating. That's about all I do on a regular basis. I'm loving having this moment right now to update the blog. I'm pretty sure either my mom or Derek is about to tell me I need to go take a shower so I'm ready to go to bed the next time Benjamin eats. They are making sure I'm taken care of.

My mom has been awesome this week. She has taken care of me so I can take of Benjamin. She's brought me drinks while I'm nursing him, vacuumed the floor, cleaned our bathroom, given the dog a bath, taken the dog for walks, kept the kitchen clean, cooked some meals for us, labeled garage sale items for me... I would be going crazy without her.

Derek is an awesome dad. Last night he sat up rocking Benjamin for over an hour when he didn't want to sleep, changed countless diapers, read from the Bible while I fed Benjamin, given me lots of hugs when my hormones take over and the tears poor out... He's really great with the little guy. I'm so blessed to have such an amazing husband who loves me and our son very well.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our first week at home...

My men.

Such a sweet baby!

Sound asleep after a good feeding... limp as a noodle.

me & Ben

I just want to pinch his little cheeks!

A good friend of ours, Lindy Willis, is a photographer. We had her take these back in July. I just thought they'd be fun to post... you know before and after shots.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Benjamin Hughes Hall

After 18 hours of labor, Benjamin Hughes entered the world on August 14, 2009. Everything went so well... such an answer to prayer! I started feeling contractions on Thursday morning. They were short and nothing worth paying too much attention to until about 10 pm. I think that's when labor actually started. I took a benadryl and tried to sleep, but the contractions were just too painful at that point. Still too short to do anything much about, but enough to keep me awake!

I was really frustrated by Friday morning, thinking that things weren't progressing and not really knowing what to do. My doctor said to come into the office and get checked. To my surprise, I was already dilated to 5 cm and my water broke in the office! They took me straight over to the hospital.

The nurses told me, most women would hate me if they could see my at 5 cm. I was still laughing, whereas most are screaming in pain. We got all checked in, and Derek and I just hung out for the next few hours. I sat on the birthing ball and he would rub my back anytime a contraction would come. By 7 centimeters, I was definitely starting to feel a lot more uncomfortable. I had an IV combination of Stadol and Phenergan. That totally knocked me out within about 5 minutes.

I slept pretty soundly from 7 to about 9 centimeters. I feel like that is only possible because I prayed for the decision to get an epidural to be an easy one. By the time I woke up good, it was already time to push. No sense in getting the epidural at that point! I will say that pushing a baby out is the hardest thing I have ever physically done. But, it was an amazing experience.

Derek got to announce that he is a boy! We were both surprised at a boy... for some reason we really thought girl. I have to say, though, that I couldn't be happier. Of course we had a boy. Somehow it just seems right.

I had no idea how amazing it is to have a child. I just have such an overwhelming love for him. His little cry absolutely breaks my heart... I just want to cry with him! Though so far he hasn't cried much. He's been very sleepy today, but I have a feeling that won't last long.

So here we sit. Benjamin is sleeping soundly in my lap while I type this. I can hardly take my eyes off him! Derek and I feel so blessed by this gift from God. I know I'm hormonal, but I could just sit and cry buckets of tears of gratitude for this life that has been entrusted to us. Our prayer is that we would be able to give him a vision of the glory of God and that he would point others to Christ.

Here's a few pictures...


Thursday, August 13, 2009


There are moments that I think I will go crazy if I try to read one more thing about pregnancy and babies. Really, people have been doing this since the beginning of time... and mostly without the help of Dr. Sears or The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding... I'm telling myself that it's all going to be okay. We'll figure this out. We don't have to be perfect.

I'm feeling less overwhelmed about all the baby "essentials". The list really has gotten ridiculously long. Pac 'n plays, bouncy seats, carriers, swaddling blankets, snap 'n go's, exersaucers, strollers & car seats to be used once they grow out of the infant ones, jogging strollers, play gyms, high chairs, cribs... I admit, most of this we do have. Oh, and one more thing. A Moby wrap. This I'm pretty excited about.

It's one very long piece of fabric that comes with instructions on how to wrap a baby to carry them around. It' s a little intimidating, so I practiced on my dog. You know, better to drop him than the baby. (just kidding... I was very careful not to drop him) Anyway, he loved it. We're definitely going to have some jealousy issues once the baby comes. Here's a picture of me with Charlie in the Moby wrap. A little hard to get on with my belly and all, but still effective.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Baby Moon

11 days until my due date! Things are progressing toward this baby coming. I'm dilated 1 centimeter and 75% effaced. The doctor has been running some extra tests because the baby is a little small. So far, everything has come back perfectly fine. Derek and I were both around 7 lbs 5 oz, so I think we just grow them small! Last measure the baby was weighing 6 lbs 1 oz... 20th percentile. Seems to me like having a baby on the small side could have it's advantages!

Last week, Derek and I went on a little vacation down to San Antonio. We stayed at a Hyatt resort, spent a lot of time by the pool, went to the River Walk and the Japanese Tea Gardens. Here are some pictures from our "babymoon". We really had a great time relaxing and just enjoying each other before our two becomes three!

Japanese Tea Gardens:

Here I am at 37 weeks. I'm definitely starting to feel pretty heavy and uncomfortable!

Pool Time!

Derek... gotta love $3 push pops!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collage of Shower Pictures

Time is getting close to welcome baby Hall! My due date is 18 days away. It's hard to believe we're so close! I have to admit, though, that December feels like a LONG time ago at this point. That's when we first found out I was pregnant!

We have been so blessed by three more baby showers! Here are just a few pictures from those. Some from a shower in Austin that was mostly church friends and family, some from a shower the ladies I work with threw, and some from a shower in Texarkana.

Austin Baby Shower - Shaunna & me

Winnie the Pooh!

Austin... cupcakes from Hey Cupcake! Yum.

Work Shower: Elaine, Laura, me, Louise, Lynn, Debi, Ronnah, Carolyn, Mary, Jenn & Jessica
(Such sweet women! They threw an awesome shower for me and Baby Hall. Plus, what a treat to spend work hours eating cake and opening gifts!)

Cutting the cake... it was really yummy with raspberry filling

Austin Baby Shower: hostesses + mom
Stacy, Kaely, mom, me, Natalie, and Kristen
Another fabulous shower! We really are so blessed to have such amazing friends. This baby will definitely not lack being loved!

Derek came to help load gifts.

Texarkana Baby Shower!
Derek's family was able to come for this one. His Aunt Judy, mom, and grandmother are to my left. A couple of sweet women from my parent's church threw this shower for me in June. It was a great time of catching up with old friends and spending time with family.

mom & me



The nursery is done! We went with greens and browns. I think this will work well, whether we have ourselves a little boy or a girl! We bought a few new things, refinished and repurposed some old things, bought some things second-hand... It's all come together very nicely! I love just sitting and rocking and looking around at everything. I suppose I have the nesting bug pretty bad!

The crib before mattress and bedding.

Just beginning to sort things out...

All put together now... Derek's mom and aunt made the bed skirt and the bumper pads. They turned out great!

Our second-hand changing table and my Pottery Barn chalk & pin boards. Derek was making just a little bit of fun that I had to have the Pottery Barn ones! They're just so stinkin' perfect, though!

We're hoping this baby loves to read since we both do. The armoire we bought used and Derek repainted it. I added the Anthropologie knobs... I could go crazy with Anthropologie knobs. I really have to restrain myself!

Derek deserves some relaxing after all his hard work putting this room together. He really did the grunt work. I just did the fun parts! The rocking chair is SOOOO comfortable! My parents, grandmother and aunts/uncles went together to buy this for us.

So that's the tour!