I should have known to take cover as soon as I found out we were having a boy. Everyone said "Life will be sooo different with a boy"... little did I know it would start with conception. This pregnancy was SO insanely different than the girls' pregnancies. With the girls I had NO issues, they went smoothly right up until delivery with both of them.
...Then came Bennett. My sweet boy, our last baby. Right from the start I had slightly high blood pressure but it was completely controlled with the lowest dosage of meds. Then came the Gestational Diabetes....oh joy. I adapted and moved on telling myself that I could do anything for a few months for the health of my baby. Then came the PUPPS rash...dear lordy I just about scratched my skin off....literally! I would wake up scratching until I bled...and continued to scratch anyway...INSANE!
On Tuesday Oct. 4th I went in for my normal weekly OB appointment and found out I was spilling a small amount of protein in my urine. This meant that I was at the beginning of Pre-eclamsia. This made me really uneasy but again, I have known many people who have had it and made it a few more weeks after diagnosis. I tried not to panic, put my feet up and attempted modified bed rest. I had to go back for a recheck on Thursday and found out I was spilling a lot more protein...not good. They handed me a giant jug and said "Pee in this for the next 24 hours and bring it to the hospital tomorrow." ....ummm ok, that's not at all weird or embarrassing. haha So Friday I bring my refrigerated jug of pee back and wait. I was still doing a modified bed rest in the mean time.
This is where it gets crazy. Monday I got a call from my OB saying to pack my bag just in case and to come in to be checked out. Panic as we realize we have NO ONE to watch the kids. My mom was in NY, my dad was 2 hours away and not packed at all since I was only 35 weeks 5 days along. Cliff's mom was 4 hours away and not prepared to leave at the drop of a hat either. I called our good friend Kelly and hoped beyond hope that she could take the girls until my dad arrived. YES! She was home and willing to be subjected to two more crazy kids on her day off. Off to my doc we went. I figured that they were going to put me on hospital bedrest to keep my bp down for at least 2 days until I hit 36 weeks.....little did we know.
I showed up at my appointment, was poked and prodded and peed in a cup. The doctor informed me VERY seriously that I had HELLP syndrome and I wouldn't be going home. He actually said "Ok, it is 2 o'clock now...I will be over at the hospital in a few minutes so you will be having this baby between 3:30 and 5 but by 5 you will be holding him. "WHAT!?!?!" My brain was still in pregnancy mode. I was no where near mentally ready to have him here yet. I was still enjoying the last weeks of my last pregnancy. I still had 4 weeks to go with just me and my little man. What on earth was going on? No labor for me, straight to c-section...my biggest fear/disappointment coming true. I think I am the only human in the universe that actually enjoys the labor process. It gives my brain a chance to wrap around the fact that the baby is coming. I get a huge sense of accomplishment and it is a very bonding experience for Cliff and I.
All of a sudden I was in a gown being prepped and wheeled into the OR. Spinal in, sheet up to block my view, Cliff walked in all "suited up" and before I knew it I heard the most glorious scream in the universe. He was ok, breathing on his own with apgars of 8 and 9. He was here...
We finally had our son...
He was in our room for awhile so my dad and Cliff's mom got to come give him a squish before his first bath CUTE!
He was doing awesome but they had to take him to the NICU for testing due to possible side effects from me having HELLP syndrome. Turns out he did have really low white blood cell numbers and they wouldn't let him return to my room. I spent the next 5 days visiting him in the NICU then going back to my room without him. Prepare for photo overload!
My dad's hand...
Cliff was living a double life running between the hospital and home for important daily events for the girls like going to school, dinner and bedtimes. He was just a smidgen tired I think. He was such a trooper and so insanely helpful without ever uttering a word of complaint. I think he is just happy to have another boy in the house. Like he said "Ok buddy, now I have someone to paddle through the estrogen ocean with." ...nice
Some nights he would go home and get the girls, make them dinner and bring them up to the hospital to see me. It was a long 5 days to be a broken family and I missed my girls something fierce.
Who was watching the girls the rest of the time you may ask? Well, Cliff's mom and my dad were at the house doing EVERYTHING that we couldn't. They took care of cooking, cleaning and the girls. They loved on the girls, got Natalie off the bus, made lunches, gave out lots of hugs and overall just jumped into our lives for us. I cannot imagine what we would have done if they hadn't been able to come so fast... Thank goodness for family!
Finally, FINALLY Bennett and I seemed to turn a corner and we were finally allowed to go home on Saturday. My platelets, kidneys and liver enzymes normalized (enough) and his white blood count went up and we were sprung!
I got home and took him straight to meet his big sisters. They LOVED him. Natalie immediately wanted to hold him and said "Sweet baby, so sweet, awwww baby Bennett" all while kissing him. Then she broke out singing Happy birthday to him. Swooooon!
Look at his little grin. Say it with me...Awwwwwwww!
Alyssa quickly molded right into her big sister role. She holds him, sings to him, feeds him and loves on him so sweetly it makes me gush with yumminess.
Why yes my son IS in a pink mini pack in play.... I say use what you have.
See? I put a blue blanket down. Does he even notice? I highly doubt it...moving on.
My mom arrived on Sunday (or Monday...wow, the days kind of ran together there) after missing the birth and hospital stay due to being in NY visiting family. She finally got to meet her grandson...
I'm kind of lucky I ever got him back out of her arms. ;)
She was here for a week and a half taking care of all things cleaning. YAY for the magic sink and washing machine. I didn't even know I owned that many clothes...pretty sure I have never seen them all clean at the same time. Now I have all these clean clothes, no laundry pile....and no where to put them all. Aw well.
We are now two weeks postpartum and life is slowly returning to some semblance of "normal". I feel great besides getting worn out really fast, the girls are slowly adjusting and Bennett is doing fantastic! I wish I had known how easy it was to live with just one baby when I had just one. Bennett is the easiest part of my day. sigh
A few more eye candy photos for your enjoyment.
Alyssa wearing her toddler sized moby wrap. AWESOME!
His serious face... HA!
With the arrival of Bennett (yes we call him Bennett and not Ben) my life finally feels complete. There is a sense of calm in my heart and content in the house. I think of days down the road and I see us traveling and doing things as a family of 5. I no longer say "well, when we are done having kids." I can now just look to the future and KNOW who is in it. It is fulfilling and wonderful and amazing to go from being a couple who dealt with infertility and the huge weight of possibly never having children of our own to being where we are today. We do not take it for granted and thank the skies every single day that we are where we are today.
We have our wonderful girls...
...and now we have our son.
Life is good.
Born 10/10/11 at 4:55pm
17 inches long