23 March 2012

Family Date Night

In case anyone wondered, I made it through my first day alone with the boys. Part of my motivation was knowing that for our 30 minutes of exercise this evening, we were going to walk along the Jordan River Parkway instead of just around our neighborhood. Exciting! I had lots of stale bread I'd been saving up to feed the ducks, and we had a freebie coupon to The Sweet Tooth Fairy, aka all the ingredients you need for a happy Tribe.
We love Family Date Night. This was Benjy's first time along for the ride, and he was very good company. Sam was so excited to go ride in "poopy Daddy truck" to feed the ducks.

We finally taught him to smile without looking like a shark

There were ducks and Canada geese aplenty hanging out on the river. We noticed that mallards are poor sports about missing out on a piece of bread. If another mallard beats them to the food, the loser will chase the other one and peck its bum, just out of spite!

 This little boy loves his daddy

And when Daddy is around, he tolerates Mommy :0)

One duck actually snuck up on us. It swam out of the river, climbed up the bank, and waddled onto the little bridge trying to get some food. Sadly, we didn't see it until we'd finished all the bread!

It took some self-control, but Sam managed not to chase the duck

This picture doesn't do justice to the sheer number of ducks that were fighting over our bread

After we fed the ducks, we finished our walk so we could record our 30 minutes of exercise. We drove to Sweet Tooth Fairy on the way home. I'd been dying to try out their new Samoa cupcake. No, it didn't taste exactly like the Girl Scout cookie, but it was amazing nonetheless. We ate our treats at home instead of at the store, because really, who can eat a cupcake without milk? Not I. 
Benjy let me make it halfway through my cupcake before insisting that he needed a snack, too. Ah, babies.

One last picture, showing off my freakishly long fingers as I feed the ducks. Benjy has apparently inherited my overlong digits.


My mom left yesterday. I was a bit of a wreck on the drive home from the airport. An emotional wreck, not  a car wreck. I held it together well enough to drive. When she came to visit when Sam was born, she left us in SLC with only 4 days until we rejoined her and the rest of the family in Anchorage for the summer, but I still bawled like baby Sammy. I was terrified of those four days, because I had no idea what I was doing. This time around, I don't know how long it will be until I get to see her again, and I cried purely because I knew I would miss her company.
There is just something special about your bond with your mother after you have children of your own. It's why I hope to have a daughter some day. When Sam and Benjy have children, their wives will probably want their own mothers there to take care of them in the aftermath, and I'll be more on the sidelines. But someday I want to be able to commiserate about the delivery and breastfeeding and all that new baby stuff with someone I brought into the world.
I am beginning to understand the amount of sacrifice it takes to be a good parent. I'm so blessed to have had good parents, both of whom sacrificed for me and my sister- and who continue to do so today. Mom, I know it wasn't easy to sleep on our hide-a-bed for two weeks, or live out of your suitcase because we only have so many sets of plastic drawers in our house (ha ha). We appreciate what you did for us more than we can say. Thanks, Dad, for letting her stay with us for so long without complaint. We hope you get to meet Benjy soon!
All the pictures of Mom and the boys are on her camera, so until she e-mails them to me (chop chop, Mom, you've been home for 24 hours now), this post will just have to end with a picture of Benjy:

10 March 2012

It's a Benjybenjybenjy!

The newest member of our family was born on March 6th. Welcome, Benjamin! We call him Benjy, or "Benjybenjybenjy" when we're crooning to him to try to soothe him. We are so excited he is here! 
This is the last belly picture we took, at 37 weeks. 

My due date was March 5th, and with no baby by the morning of the 6th, I went in to my OB for yet another check. My doctor happily announced that I had progressed to being 5 cm dilated (or halfway done), and said "I think you need to get to the hospital now." I was a little shocked. He explained that because I'd tested positive for group B strep, I would need antibiotics before the baby was born. As I had made it "halfway" through labor on my own, when the actual contractions kicked in we probably wouldn't have time for the antibiotics to work. My doctor decided to just take control of the delivery time, and as I was sick to death of being pregnant, I went along with his plan willingly. He told me to get to the hospital around 1pm, which gave me 2 hours (two! hours!) to figure out what to do with Sam, get my house ready for my mom, and for Ryan to find a sub for his classes. I freaked out a little. But still managed to make it to the grocery store to buy milk so we'd have some to drink when we got out of the hospital.
My good friend Rachel offered to take Sam, and he was beyond excited to have a playdate with her daughter. He didn't even mind that Mommy left! And our dear friend Elisa, who only works a half day on Tuesdays, said she would pick Sam up from Rachel's and take care of his dinner and getting him to bed at our house so his routine wouldn't be too messed up. Then she was able to get off work on Wednesday so she could stay overnight with Sam. Our hero! It was the first night I've ever spent away from Sam, so I was relieved to know that he was in good hands.
It was totally bizarre to drive myself to the hospital. Lucky thing we live just a few minutes away, or I would have totally psyched myself out on the drive. Ryan was able to find another teacher for his last class, and made it to the hospital before anything exciting happened.

Here I am just hanging out, getting the antibiotics. No contractions, no pain, just watching a movie and waiting for the doctor to come break my water.

 Breaking my water didn't speed up the contractions enough, so I got a dose of Pitocin. The sweet nurses allowed me to talk myself into getting an epidural before I got overwhelmed by the pain, which really was a great decision. Instead of a resident giving me the epidural, like when I had Sammy, I had a "for real" anesthesiologist administer it to me. This guy was a pro. It was awesome. Now I know for sure that the epidural I had with Sam didn't work very effectively (I'd always suspected that).

Contractions have started. "Support person" has arrived. We are in business!

It took a good ninety minutes of pushing to get Benjy out and in my arms. I was considerably more in control of myself than last time, which was nice. I was able to be somewhat polite to Ryan and the nurse, and never collapsed into hysterics claiming that I was going to die. About two pushes before Benjy emerged, I did say something like "Ow ow ow there's a frickin head coming out of me!" because really, who wants to be completely calm while there is a head coming out of their crotch? A little insanity is definitely indicated.
Because of the angle at which I was sitting, I was able to watch Benjy's head and body slide out, which was so cool! Babies are messy! But cute, for all that.

Saying hello for the first time

Benjy was 8.5 lbs, 20.5 in. long, making him a pound heavier and an inch longer than his big brother. Sheesh. If I have another kid, it had better not end up being a 9.5 lb baby. I can't even imagine what it would be like to deliver something that big.

First picture with Mommy and Daddy

Staying in the hospital for a long time is a bummer, but our nurses did a great job of speeding up the process so we could go home early. Benjy was born at 11pm on Tuesday, and we got out by 5pm on Wednesday. Since he is our second kid, they decided we were "competent" enough to go home after one night. Oh, if only they knew...

On Wednesday morning, Ryan headed home to pick up Sam and Elisa so they could meet the new addition. It was so special to watch Sam meet his brother. He climbed up on the bed next to me and gently patted Benjy's head, saying "Hi baby brudder." We let him "hold" the baby, and he was fascinated by the tiny person. Now, at home, when Benjy is sitting in his bouncy chair, Sam will come over, stroke Benjy's head, and say "Hi Benjy!" He is very sweet to his little brother, and has only had a few moments of obvious sibling jealousy. 

First family picture! I cannot believe how swollen my face still is! Sam is wearing his special "big brother" shirt.

My mom arrived on Thursday night to help restock our fridge, show Sammy some extra lovin', and generally be a lifesaver. She is going to be here for two weeks! Hopefully by then I am marginally competent at managing two children. We are all so happy that she is here.

Welcome home, little Benjamin. We're so excited to watch you grow!