Year 1

This page covers Brenden’s birth through first birthday. As always, you can get more Brenden info in my Brenden blog posts.

May 8, 2009 We took him for his nine-month checkup last week, and the doctor says all is well! He measured 30.5 inches (97th percentile) and weighed 20.6 lbs (around 50th percentile). He is a skilled crawler now and has been spotted standing on his own for a few seconds at a time. Words he says on occasion include “Mama”, “Dada”, “baba” (bottle), and “night-night”. He’s gotten pretty good at self-feeding Cheerios and bits of other puffed cereal-type foods. We’re working on getting him to drink from a sippy cup or regular cup to supplement his fluid intake, although he still drinks 24-30 ounces of formula each day as well. Normal bedtime is around 8:00pm. On a good night he’ll sleep straight through until 7:00 or 7:30am.

April 10, 2009 I’m definitely out of practice on B’s page. Here’s a quick update. He weighs around 21 pounds. In the last couple of weeks he has started both crawling and pulling up. He loves pulling up so much that he would rather do it than play with his toys. Since he’s SOOO active, he’s not gaining weight quite as fast even though he takes 4 8oz bottles plus 3 solid meals a day. His diet includes a variety of veggies and fruits, pretty much everything we’ve offered except for bananas, which he HATES just like his mother. Cheerios and yogurt bites are big hits as well. His first tooth, one of the bottom incisors, came through about a week ago, and its next-door neighbor should bust through soon. I think those are the main milestones. He’s a very happy little guy most of the time who loves people and loves to play.

Feb 23, 2009 Oops, I forgot to give you a report on his six-month checkup. The best and most important news involves his head, which is now round enough that the doctor doesn’t think he needs a corrective helmet! Woohoo! He got several vaccinations, and he’s now so squirmy that Jenny and I have to hold him still while they inject him. We hate that. Length 28.5 inches. Weight 18.2 pounds. He’s still 97th percentile or so in height, but he’s down to 50th percentile or so in weight. In other words, he’s becoming tall and skinny like his daddy. We think his weight leveled off a bit because he wasn’t getting enough breastmilk but we didn’t know it. Now that he’s on formula and we know he’s getting enough, I think his weight will resume rising normally.

Feb 11, 2009 Wow, it’s been a while! Sorry for the lack of updates. Brenden is looking more and more like a little boy these days, with chubby little cheeks, strong legs, and great personality. We’ll know his official stats on Thursday after his checkup, but he’s probably around 19 pounds and 28-29 inches. His weight growth has slowed because he rolls around and squirms so much. His legs are strong enough to support his body weight, but he’s a long way from having the balance to stand alone. Any week now we think he’ll start crawling. He can get on all fours already. The coordination to move arms and feet isn’t quite there yet.

His dietary repertoire is growing weekly and already includes carrots, peas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, yogurt, rice and oatmeal cereal, and avocados. Generally bedtime is between 8:00 and 9:00pm followed by a full night’s sleep. At 5:30am he wakes up for early breakfast and then sleeps for another couple hours. After 6 months of breastfeeding we switched over to bottles to make sure he got enough to eat. He can now down a full 8oz bottle and then eat a serving of applesauce 30 minutes later.

Dec 13, 2008 Brenden reached some important milestones this week. First, he rolled over from front to back a few times. Between that ability and the strength of his neck, his risk of SIDS should be dropping, assuming the cause of SIDS is suffocation rather than toxic mattress gases as some folks in New Zealand think.

Second, Jenny heard him laugh. He’s been smiling, cooing, squealing, and making other fun baby noises for a while now, but never a real laugh until now.

Third, he tried solid food for the first time Thursday! Milk alone doesn’t seem to satisfy him anymore, which makes sense considering how big he is. So we mixed up some rice cereal. I’ve never handled rice cereal before. The first batch is so runny that calling it solid food seems laughable. But he seemed to like it and didn’t mind eating from a spoon. As expected, it’s quite messy, even without him getting it all over his hands and then spreading it around. But I’m excited and proud that he’s making such good progress. In another couple of months he’ll probably outgrow his carseat and need a bigger one, so we need to start looking into those as well.

Dec 6, 2008 Brenden had a good 4-month checkup. He got a couple more vaccines and was judged very healthy. Dr. Fowers increased his Prevacid dose to account for his growth. He weighs just under 17lbs (16.8), which is around the 75th percentile, and is 27.25 inches long, which is around the 97th percentile. So for now he’s tall and thin like me. Go, little dude, go!

Unfortunately he has developed a mild case of flat head syndrome, formally known as positional plagiocephaly. Since he sleeps on his back to help prevent SIDS and spends much of his other time on his back in a car seat, stroller, or bouncy seat, the back of his head has flattened a bit. If it gets worse by his 6-month appointment, he might have to get a little custom-made helmet to reshape his head. Instead, we’re trying to keep him upright more, changing his sleeping position a bit, and getting him a special head pillow to take the pressure off the area when he’s in his carseat.

Nov 22, 2008 Brenden’s 4-month birthday is coming up soon, and his 4-month checkup is scheduled for Dec 5. He was sleeping through the night for a while, which was really nice, but lately he’s been waking up a few times. A growth spurt might be the culprit. He’s looking more like a baby and less like a newborn, if that makes sense. Although he still spits up a lot, he’s in a good mood most of the time and lots of fun to hang with. He’s more and more vocal these days – talking, sighing, cooing, squealing, you name it, just no English yet. We’ve started reading to him (The Very Hungry Caterpillar is on heavy rotation) before bedtime and then singing him a song. I’ll definitely post another update after his next checkup if not sooner.

Oct 9, 2008 I finally put together another gallery of pictures. This one has both Brenden and Reagan over the last month or so.

Oct 2, 2008 Brenden had his 2 month checkup on Wed. He’s at 13lbs and 23.75 inches long. Wow! That puts him around the 75th-80th percentile for both weight and length. His head is also proportionately big. Everything looks good, the doctor said. He got three vaccines, one oral and two injected. Naturally the injections made him scream, which was hard to watch, but he recovered quickly because he’s tough. We’ve taken lots more pictures but I haven’t made the time to put them up here. We’re talking about using Shutterfly as a picture management tool so you guys can get high-res versions. He’s becoming much more interactive, smiling and laughing and recognizing some voices, which is tons of fun.

September 23, 2008 I have lots of great pictures of Brenden and Reagan but haven’t gathered and processed them for posting. I’ll try to put together a slideshow during my time off this week. The best news is that Brenden has slept through the night twice within the last week or so! The first time was last Monday night, and he did it again (sort of) the night before last. Jenny was very thankful. He’s still growing quickly, and we figure he’s between 11 and 12 pounds already. It’s kinda scary how much he looks like me but also really exciting.

The bad news is that his reflux seems to have gotten worse over the last few days, resulting in lots of fussiness. We think he might have outgrown his Zantac dosage, or that maybe it wasn’t the right drug. The doctor switched him over to Prevacid, so we’re trying it and hoping/praying it will work better. We’ve put him in the nursery at church a few times with fairly good results. I’m so thankful for the nursery workers! Sunday night one of them was Michelle Browne, who did our premarital counseling nearly 6 years ago. Apparently she taught us well.

September 11, 2008 We got Brenden’s Zantac on Monday, and it does seem to be helping. He’s much less fussy and doesn’t spit up as much. We’re very pleased to have more “happy baby” moments instead of having to spend so much time trying to soothe him without having the right tools. A couple nights ago he slept for over 5 hours straight, so we hope for a full night’s sleep within a few weeks. Other things that might be helping include holding him upright for a bit after each feeding, letting him sleep in his bouncy seat so he’s angled up, and swaddling him tightly. His new sleep sack looks like a tiny blue straightjacket, but it makes him happy. Also, as you probably read on the main page, Brenden’s cousin Reagan was born on Monday! We have some good pictures of her that we’ll try to post soon.

September 6, 2008 Brenden got a checkup on Friday. He’s up to 10lb 6oz! He got his first Hep B shot then instead of at birth since we’re trying to be cautious about his vaccination schedule due to possible side effects. The doctor diagnosed him with acid reflux and prescribed some medicine, but unfortunately none of the nearby pharmacies had it. We expect to get it on Monday and hope it will soothe his poor stomach. Jenny’s parents watched him for us while we went out alone for dinner. The other BIG news is that Brenden’s cousin Reagan should be here within the next few days! We are all extremely excited and can’t wait to meet her!

September 2, 2008 Brenden is already one month old! He’s getting stronger by the day and still has a great appetite and seems healthy. He doesn’t follow any kind of schedule, which makes life more difficult, but we hope it will come with time. Spitting up is a problem, so we’re experimenting with Jenny’s diet, sleeping positions, and a mysterious liquid called gripewater. Jenny got to see him smile, which is an important milestone for us. He seems to recognize us a bit more than before, especially when he’s not screaming. Here are some pics:

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August 22, 2008
Here are some new pics of bathtime in his new tub. First, washing the face:

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Bathtime isn’t so bad when Mommy uses warm water instead of a cold washcloth like before!

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Mommy, I have a question.

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August 21, 2008
For their first solo outing, Jenny took Brenden to a lactation center at Harris Methodist on Wednesday. They gave her some great nursing tips. During the visit, they weighed Brenden: 9lb4oz. That means he’s still on a roughly 2oz/day pace. At that rate he should be around 45lbs by his first birthday. Yikes! Let’s hope he slows down a bit! =) Actually, I checked a growth chart, and he’s slightly above average in weight and more than slightly above average in length. Looks like he might end up tall and skinny like his daddy.

Also, now that his cord has fallen off, we’ve started bathing him in a baby bathtub. Since he gets to relax in warm water instead of getting a cold sponge bath, he likes bathtime MUCH better now. I’ll try to post some pics soon.

August 16, 2008
Brenden got his two-week checkup yesterday and got another A+. His weight was 8lbs10oz, already 10oz over his birth weight. He had also grown 1.5″ to 21.75″. He feels a bit larger when I pick him up. His arm and leg muscles have gained strength as well, which makes diaper and wardrobe changes more of a challenge. Wednesday marked the first time we left him alone with someone else. He stayed with Grammy for a little while during Jenny’s doctor appointment. Saturday night we plan to leave him for a couple hours during our first Date Night. We’ll try to resist the urge to check in with Grammy, but it will be difficult!

August 12, 2008
Brenden got his first snail mail on Monday: his Social Security card! His birth certificate will take a couple more weeks, but this is the first legal recognition of his existence. He didn’t seem as excited about it as I was.

August 8, 2008
Apparently Brenden is a prodigy and has already figured out how to roll onto his right side. Look for him in the 2012 Olympics. Check out this cute napping shot:

Napping in the crib

Also, we took his for his first walk around the lake Thursday night. He seemed to really like his stroller (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and was wide awake for the first half, taking in the view I suppose.

Brenden is ready to go!

We had the whole crew: Jenny, Brenden, and Holly. (try getting a leash on Jedda the cat!) Doesn’t Jenny look great? Yes, she just gave birth last week!

First Walk

But by the time we started the home stretch, he was out for the count.

August 5, 2008
I created a photo gallery of Brenden’s first week, including labor, nursery, relatives, leaving the hospital, life at home, and his first bath. Enjoy!

August 4, 2008
Today was B’s first checkup, and he got an A+! He left the hospital at 7lbs 5oz and is already back up to 7lb 11oz after 3 days, gaining 2oz per day on average. At that rate, he should return to his birth weight several days early. He might have weighed even more had he not decided to poop as I got him undressed for weighing. Everything the doctor checked looked good – skin, eyes, ears, hips, cord, and manly areas.

We’ve had him home for 3 nights now, including Sunday night on our own. Overall we’re all doing well. He has a great appetite, and now that Jenny’s milk has come in, he’s taking advantage of an all-you-can-eat buffet. We try to feed him at least every 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours, more often if he seems hungry. Each day he has a few hours of alert time, during which we or a relative or friend plays with him or he entertains himself by watching the fish in his bouncy seat. Jenny is still surprisingly mobile and got down and up the stairs for Brenden’s doctor appointment with little trouble. She has a checkup with her OB on Tuesday.

August 1, 2008
Two and a half days after delivery, Jenny and I got to bring him home! He did pretty well in the hospital, with a good appetite and no major problems. His blood sugar was a bit low at first but returned to normal by Wednesday afternoon. Jenny recovered rapidly from her c-section and was up walking around in less than a day thanks to some good drugs. All grandparents and Aunt Lisa, who was on duty Friday, were on hand to help us carry everything to the car and take lots of pictures. It was a very strange feeling to drive away from the hospital with a baby, our baby, in the back seat. We started getting set up at home with help from the parents. Jenny’s folks stayed with us Friday night to help out, and we all started settling into a bit of a routine. Brenden is a very good-natured baby, laid-back with a sweet little cry. He eats and sleeps well, and most of the time it’s not too difficult to figure out what’s wrong when he cries.

Here is his going-home outfit, which is the same one I wore almost 30 years ago when my parents brought me home.

The carseat was a bit weird at first, but soon he decided he liked it.

Brenden in his carseat

July 30, 2008

Brenden is born! Jenny started having strong contractions the morning of Tuesday, July 29. We went to the hospital with frequent contractions around lunchtime, thinking Tuesday might be the day! After waiting a bit for a room to open, walking the halls and stopping every few minutes to contract, we finally set up shop in room 220. She was still only dilated to 2cm, but her water had broken, so the nurse told us we would get to stay.

Over the next few hours the contractions got more and more intense. Jenny took it like a champ until they finally gave her an epidural around 6:00pm. As we feared, Jenny’s doctor was leaving for vacation and couldn’t stay with us until the end, so his partner officially took over, but our awesome nurse Teri agreed to stay long after her shift ended to help us out. Unfortunately, our labor stalled around 7 cm, and Brenden’s heart rate started climbing to the high end of the acceptable range due to the prolonged stress and discomfort. Finally around 1:30am we went in for a c-section.

Brenden was born at 1:51am, weighing 8lbs even, measuring 20 1/4 inches long. He came out bluish-gray due to a lot of gunk in his lungs and didn’t breathe on his own for a couple of minutes. It was obviously torturous for us, but the nurses finally cleared enough of the gunk out for him to cry and breathe. The medical team did an excellent job. Finally he had stabilized enough for me to hold him, show him to Jenny, and then carry him to the nursery to show the exhausted but ecstatic family.

Me and Brenden in nursery right after birth

In the nursery

Mommy and baby

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