Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Ben

It's not just Lilly's World anymore.

One week ago today, I was in the hospital getting ready to welcome my sweet baby boy into the world. Benjamin Nicholas was born at 8:05 am on Monday morning April 16, 2012, at 8 pounds 12 ounces, 21.5 inches. He was a week and a half early.

Early last Monday morning at 3:30 I woke up having intense pains, 3 minutes apart. I think either our new comfy bedding kept me sleeping through the early contractions, or that labor must have come on really quickly. I jumped in the shower and washed my hair before realizing I wouldn't have time to dry it, things were speeding up and intense! I called out to Jon to wake up and call the doctor, and minutes later we were in the car headed to the hospital.

Lilly was with her grandparents for the past week, coming home that night, so we didn't have to worry about her. Every day that she had been gone, I thought I'd have the baby, even though it was early. Finally I was just so ready to come home, that Sunday night when I went to sleep it was the first time I thought: "I won't have the baby for a few more days"; I was so excited to see Lilly the next night, and planned a long list of things to do during the day Monday - grocery shopping, cleaning, filing, etc. Jon had a crazy week, with 5 operations scheduled from Monday to Wednesday. So of course that's when I go into labor.

We arrived at the hospital a little after 4; Jon parked in the parking garage because I didn't just want to get dropped off by myself at the ER. Every contraction was more and more intense, but I was just happy to be in labor. It's funny because through the pregnancy, and especially the past few days of feeling random contractions and other things, I had been pretty whiny and vocal about being uncomfortable, but during the real labor, I think I just breathed through the contractions and everything seemed very manageable - I wasn't yelling or screaming or anything. It took a while to check in at the ER, and by 5 we were upstairs getting into the room. My water broke as I got into the bed, and the pain got a little more intense. After blood work and waiting awhile, I got an epidural. I was 5 cm dilated at 5, and was 6 at 6:30. The nurses said they wouldn't check for awhile, but when my doctor arrived at 7:45 he checked me and I was at 10 cm, ready to push. He came back a few minutes later in scrubs and after 3 big pushes, he told me to stop - the baby was coming out on his own. Within 5 minutes, start to finish, baby Ben was in the world.

I'm awful at pregnancy - mentally, physically, I'm not myself and feel horrible. But apparently I'm great at labor and delivery. Lilly took a little longer from the first contraction to her arrival, but even she just took 20 minutes to push and she was 9 pounds 8 ounces.

It took a little while to get the cord blood banking stuff done, and the nurses were cleaning Ben, and finally they handed me my little boy.

Lilly was driving back from Savannah with her grandparents, and arrived at the house late that night. Jon brought her to the hospital the next day to meet her brother. She was thrilled.

Lilly is the best big sister. She's adjusted so well; we had a picture waiting at the house when she arrived that I had drawn (stick figures) of Mommy, Daddy, Lilly and Ben - and for Lilly it's just that easy - this is our family, Ben belongs here, and she's going to take care of her little brother. She's enjoyed taking on extra responsibilities - in fact she loves it - going to get his pacifier, giving him bottles and burping him, making sure she knows where he is at all times.

Ben is the sweetest little boy. I can't tell who he resembles yet but he looks a lot like Lilly did at the beginning (which looks nothing like her now) - but he has dark eyes, huge sweet lips, and the softest skin. He feels so little compared to her though - she was just a little bigger and he's so long and skinny, he feels more fragile. He's been doing great though, adjusting to life outside - he's on somewhat of a regular eating/sleeping schedule, although he likes to be up late at night like he was in my belly. He is definitely loud when he's uncomfortable (wet diaper, hungry, etc) - but we are in love yet again and are grateful that God has blessed us with two perfect children.


awalton said...

Congratulations Cathleen! You have such a beautiful family!

Becca said...

Wow, you must be good at labor & delivery!! Well done, mommy!!! He's beautiful, just like his big sister. Congratulations to you all!

Lil'Sis said...

Congrats, he's beautiful just like the rest of the family, wonderful pics thanks for sharing....Lilly looks very happy to be watching over him:)