Ok this post isn’t so much about Ben as it is about Rebecca and I, and our life with Ben.  Sure, I am a naive, first time dad.  I didn’t exactly know what to expect after we brought our son home from the hospital.  Well, he’s almost 6 weeks old and I am starting to figure it out.  The biggest challenge so far seems to be time management.  I can’t believe how much time this guy takes up.  Anyway, on to the point of this post…

One Month Old with Mom and Dad I’ve always heard that when people have a baby, their friends send over dinners for them.  I thought that seemed nice enough, but hardly all that big a deal.  I figured that when we came home with Ben we’d be sitting around a lot (since he can’t to much) and we’d have time to cook.  Also I thought, that the gift of food thing must be great for families where “dad” can’t cook.  In my case, I can cook, and love to.  So I wouldn’t mind making dinner each night for Rebecca since she’d be busy feeding Ben.  WRONG!!!!  Wow was I wrong.  And luckily, my friends and family knew better.  They sent over food.  Lots of food.  Not only was I too busy to cook for the first few weeks, but I was just too exhausted to do it.  One little child can be completely draining.  So these meals are a very kind gift and I am thankful to everyone who helped us out.  If you are in a position to bring dinner to a new family, please please please do it.  They will love you for it.  In addition, my advice to any expecting parent – cook in advance and freeze food.  We froze chicken cutlets, meatloaf, soup, and more.  Combine that with all of the great meals our friends sent over and we didn’t cook a meal for the first 3 weeks.  And we had a few in week 4 too!  I’m not kidding.  Rebecca and I realized that, except for picking up some essentials like milk, we didn’t go shopping for a month!

THANKS to all of our friends for the help and support.  Also, here’s a picture of us with Ben – he’s one month old here.

On Saturday, Feb 16th, at around 4:30 am Rebecca woke me up.  While she told me that “something was going on”, she also told me that we shouldn’t get too excited.  This could pass and it could easily be another week before child birth.  A half hour later she told me she was hungry.  I got her some snacks and after a few minutes she decided that this wasn’t hunger pains, she was having some minor contractions/cramps.  Still, we knew this could this could pass. 

DSC02851Before long, the small contractions seemed to be at a regular pace, maybe 12 minutes apart and we figured that, just in case, we should get a suitcase together.  We knew that the longer we stayed home, the happier Rebecca and I would be.  Sometime around 6:30 (I think), we called the Dr’s office.  As expected, they told us to relax at home.

I took this picture of Rebecca around 7:30 am.  She was acting pretty funny and decided that she needed to clean and vacuum the house before we left!  At this point her contractions were around 5 minutes apart!  Another call to the doctor.  Since we live only 5 minutes from the hospital, she told us that we could come in if we want, or stay home for a while longer.  Eventually we left and around 8:30 we got to Bryn Mawr Hospital.

 

Upon arrival, we met our delivery nurse, Karyn.  She also introduced us to Carissa, a student nurse who would help out for the day.  Karyn checked out Rebecca and warned us that we could be there a while, she was only 1.5 centimeters dilated.  We immediately questioned if we came in too early.  Around an hour later, Rebecca was really starting to complain about the pain.  The nurses and I calmed her and kept her on track.  But even the nurse was getting concerned about Rebecca’s pain level.  During the next examination, Karyn’s face lit up and she said (I am paraphrasing) “No wonder you are in so much pain, you are 7.5 centimeters dilated!”  That was an unexpected change in about 1 hour!  At that point, things got pretty busy and exciting.  Rebecca’s contractions got pretty intense but she was really strong and I was very impressed.  Pretty soon Karyn informed us that it was “now or never” for the epidural.  One or two contractions later and the decision was obvious to us!  “Bring on the epidural” (I won’t repeat what Rebecca really said!).  I have to say that I think the epidural was a good idea.  Things really calmed down after that and in about an hour, Dr Craparo brought  Benjamin Harry Schwam into the world. 

Ben 1 Minute It was a pretty fast delivery (we were at the hospital at 8:30 and he was born at 12:22) and we had a Karyn, Rebecca, Ben, Me, Dr Craparogreat experience.  I can’t say enough good   things about our team.  They were very helpful and caring.  Karyn took care of Rebecca all morning.  She is an awesome nurse and we are very thankful to her.  Carissa told us that Benjamin was the first baby she ever saw delivered naturally.  No matter how many deliveries she takes part in after this, we know that Ben will always be her first.  The doctor is kind of like a closer in baseball.  The nurses play the whole game and in the last inning the doctor comes in to win the game.  Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Craparo was terrific and did a great job. she is very warm, skilled and confident and that is very reassuring to expecting parents.  We owe them all our gratitude…THANKS!

It’s hard to believe that little Ben is 3 weeks old today!  I don’t know if this is cool, but I’m going to quote myself (someone has too!).  Years ago I wrote a song for my friends called The Good Times.  The last verse is as follows:



Sometimes it seems like years since the first day we met.
Years full of memories we never will forget.
Sometimes it’s like I just met you yesterday.
But time goes by so fast we better not let it slip away.


Ben on his I think of that verse a lot, including now.  Ben is so tiny, he’s just a little guy at the beginning of his life.Ben at 3 Weeks   But sometimes it seems like he’s been with us forever.  Already he just feels like a regular member of the family. 


Ben’s a pretty cool kid, if I do say so myself.  I think he cries a lot, but from what I have heard from other people, we are pretty lucky.  He actually sleeps a lot too.  Unfortunately, he is still a little confused and wants to party all night and sleep all day. We are working on that.  Since he arrived, he’s had lots of visitors and many friends and family have sent gifts and warm wishes.  I find the expressions of love from so many people very touching.  It’s a great feeling to know that so many people care. 


I am really surprised (yes, I was warned) about how little time I have to get things accomplished these days.  I really expected to have more “down time” when I could do day to day things and keep up with my blogging.  But I find that mostly during the down time, I just want to take a nap.  This little 7 lb guy can really drain you!


In the next few blog posts, I’ll be sharing photos and stories about Ben.

I am proud to announce that our little boy has arrived.  Benjamin Harry Schwam was born on Saturday Feb 16th at 12:22 pm.  He’s 19 & 3/4 inches and he was 6lbs, 5 oz.  He’s totally cute and he has red hair, which is awesome but was quite unexpected.  Not only that, he’s got a lot of hair and I’m a little jealous.  He’s doing great and so is his Mom.  Rebecca did a great job! 

So now I’ll have lot’s of “Daddy” stuff to blog about.  Until I find some energy to do so, check out these pictures…

Here’s a picture of Rebecca and me, with Ben.  It’s just after he was born.

Rebecca, Me, and Ben just after he was born.

Here’s a close-up of Ben.  He’s been with us for a few hours in this photo. 

DSC02865

This one shows off his hair pretty well.

DSC02879