Friday, December 7, 2012

Big Brother Ben(nett)

Overall, Bennett has handled the transition from only child to oldest child fairly well. Overall.

There were some things that I wasn't prepared for during this hospital stay...We had told Bennett that when Silas was born he would stay at Grandma & Papa's house and that he would come to the hospital to see us. We had even shown him video from when he was born. What we didn't realize was that he spent the night at Grandma & Papa's the night before Silas was born and then came up to the hospital, so I think he thought it was all over. He didn't understand why we weren't coming home right then. When he left the hospital the first night, he cried and screamed, "I want my mommy back!" all the way out of our room, through the whole hospital and all the way to Matt's parent's house. It. was. awful.

We Silas had given Bennett a remote control fire truck and a book about being a big brother at the hospital, but when Bennett got back to Matt's parent's house, he wanted nothing to do with the book or any talk about being a big brother. He did get over that within a few days for the most part.

The day after Silas was born, we had pictures taken at the hospital, so we wanted Bennett to be there. Matt's mom dropped him off and we decided that we wouldn't push him to take pictures with Silas if he didn't want to. We only got one picture of them together and Silas is screaming in it, but that's okay.

Bennett loved Silas from the start! He has never acted out against Silas. The first few weeks were a little rocky with us, but he's said Silas is his best friend since he was a few days old. We had a lot of trouble with him flat out ignoring us, throwing giant fits (that we had never seen like that before) and lots of disobeying. We tried to be understanding. I mean, the poor boy's whole world just changed, but eventually enough was enough and strict, but loving parenting had to happen. It wasn't too long before our sweet boy was back.

Some things are obviously different. We don't get to spend much one-on-one time together. We try, but it's hard. He's had to become more independent. Bedtime was tough for quite a while. I normally lay down with him until he falls asleep and I can't do that when Matt's at work. It took a little more than a month, but he can finally go to sleep on his own now.

The biggest change is probably that he now prefers to be called "Ben". When we named him, we said that "Ben" could be a nickname. I was thinking like...once he went to school or something. Nope. He went to church the Sunday after Silas was born and someone (who shall remain nameless...just kidding, I'm not mad...but you know who you are...) called him "Ben". He came home and said, "Mom, do you know what my name is?" Yep, it's Bennett. "No. I'm Ben." Heart. Broken. I tried just calling him Bennett anyway, but still, two months later, he insists that it's "Just Ben" several times a day. I've decided that I can call him Ben sometimes, but generally I still call him Bennett.

He's really good at helping out when I need things. He will get me diapers and bring me a pacifier or help put one in Silas' mouth if I can't get to him right away. One time, I was in the kitchen and Silas was crying in the living room. I heard Bennett telling him to be quiet and then Silas' crying was muffled. I rushed in to find Bennett's hand over Silas' mouth and nose! I told him why he couldn't do that and he said, "I just wanted him to stop crying." Another time, he put a blanket over Silas' face when he was crying. I finally decided that I just needed to be completely honest with him and tell him that if Silas has a blanket (or anything else) over his face, he could die. I was not ready for Bennett's response. He started weeping. He apologized over and over for the rest of the day! I guess the reality was a little harsh for my poor 2-yr-old, but you know what? He hasn't put anything over his mouth or nose since!

He really does love Silas so much. Several times a day, he will lay by him, kiss him and tell him he loves him or tell me that they are best friends. He's so sweet. He'll tell me that someday he's going to teach him how to crawl and walk and talk. He really is a great big brother!

Silas' Birth Story

Oh, hey! It's been too long since I've updated the blog. I guess having a baby will do that to you! I've been telling myself that it's okay not to update, I've been busy with the boys, but this blog is kind of like a baby book and I'm sure that I will forget all these things I'd like to remember. So. I blog.

Be warned that I'm going to share Silas' birth story (just in case you didn't get the hint from the title of this post). I'll spare some gory details, but there will be details, so if you don't want to read them, well...don't. I'm mainly writing so that I'll remember, but I know that I always enjoy hearing or reading people's birth stories, so I'll share.

I had my 40 week OB appointment on Tuesday, October 9th. I was one day overdue &the nurse told me that I was too perky for being overdue. I was really feeling okay, other than being anxious to meet our little boy. As the nurse took my blood pressure, she was talking to me about how I was feeling and the excitement of having a new baby. I always get a little excited when this particular nurse chats with me, apparently, because my blood pressure had been elevated when talking with her at several previous appointments and was always normal later in the appointment. This time was no exception and my blood pressure was 140/80.

After the doctor checked my cervix and it was still only dilated to 2cm (as it had been for the previous two weeks), she decided that since I was overdue and my blood pressure was elevated we should go ahead and induce labor. I told her that I thought my blood pressure would be better if she took it again, but really was just glad to know when Silas would be coming. Plus, this particular doctor was the same one who delivered Bennett and I really wanted her to be able to deliver Silas. We scheduled the induction for the next day, October 10th, when she was on call.

Since we were already in Des Moines and we had brought our hospital bags with us just in case I went into labor, we decided to spend the night in town. Bennett was already at Matt's parent's house so Matt and I went to lunch and talked about what we thought Silas would look like and be like and then stopped by Target to pick up some last minute items we needed.

Matt & I stayed at my parent's house that night since we had to be at the hospital at 6 (they live closer to the hospital and my mom was coming with us in the morning). We all tried to go to bed early, but I think I only got a few hours of sleep. I was just so anxious!

The next morning we arrived at the hospital & got settled into our delivery room. About 7:00, my doctor came in and checked my cervix (still at a 2) and broke my water. Shortly after we started the Pitocin and I think it was about 9:15-9:30 that things started to get more painful. Eventually, I was allowed to get out of bed, but because I was being induced, I had to be monitored the whole time, so I had to stay right next to the bed and by the machines. I was feeling the contractions in front and in back (he was positioned a little sideways), so I just wanted to sit on a birthing ball and have Matt push on my lower back. Every time I would lean forward, the monitor for Silas would slip and they would lose his heart rate. I was told that I couldn't lean forward. That was pretty frustrating because leaning forward was the only thing relieving the pain from the contractions. I also had to have my blood pressure monitored like every fifteen minutes since that was the reason I was being induced, but it was perfectly fine throughout my whole labor.

My nurse left the room sometime during this, too. I remember because I kept thinking that I would like some pain medication, but was trying to push myself to go longer. I had been told that second labors generally go quicker, but my labor with Bennett was about 13.5 hours from when my water broke and I didn't think it would be that much quicker, so I kept comparing my pain with what I felt when I was in labor with Bennett at that time. I told myself that I should make it to 10:30 before asking for meds and I remember the nurse coming back in sometime after that. I asked for IV medication because I was afraid to get the epidural too early and was sure I wasn't very far along.

The nurse told me that she doesn't like to check her patients very often because it doesn't really make a difference until you are fully dilated, but my doctor asked her to check me before giving me the IV meds. So, at about 10:45, I was at a 4.

The IV meds only lasted about 30 minutes this time and once again, when I was ready for to ask for the epidural, my nurse had stepped out of the room, so I tried to go a little longer without. I was definitely in more pain than I had ever been with Bennett and was remembering things from our birthing refresher class to help me with the pain. I felt myself trying to clench my hands and curling up my toes, so I forced myself to open my hands and stretch my legs out. Matt was a little confused about how to hold my hand while it was completely outstretched, but he figured it out, haha! I also started spontaneously doing that crazy breathing that you see in the movies. Hey, it actually helped a little. At some point, I had my mom call for the nurse to tell her that I was ready for the epidural.

When she came back in to prepare things for the epi, she told me that my platelet count was 101 and it had to be at least 100 in order to get an epidural, so I had just barely made the cut. I think that I would have lost it at that point if she had told me that I couldn't have one. I was thinking I was probably only dilated to a 5 or 6 and she wasn't going to check me. She left the room again to get something and while she was gone, I had the urge to vomit. This was totally new, too. I never threw up in labor with Bennett, so we were totally unprepared for this. Matt had to grab a garbage can because we didn't have anything else to use.

Once the anesthesiologist came in the room (around 11:45), Matt left to get some lunch. I remember the doctor was looking at a door on a cupboard in the delivery room that had come off it's hinges and said, "I can fix that." to which I replied, "You'd better come fix me first!". The epidural was awesome. I had a "perfect" epi with Bennett (couldn't feel the contractions, could still get on my hands and knees when I needed to turn him, felt an urge to push and could walk shortly after) and this epidural was the same. It wasn't long before I was feeling awesome relief.

Matt came back from lunch and my mom left to get some. Very shortly after she left, I started getting the chills. I let my nurse know and she decided to check me. Surprise! I was at a 9! It was about 12:15. I tried to call my mom to let her know not to spend too much time in the cafeteria, but she wasn't answering her phone. I also texted some family members to let them know that he would be coming fairly soon. Our original plan was to let them know when I was fully dilated and they could head to the hospital then, but Matt's mom was babysitting and we wanted to give her a chance to get things arranged to come. We had all figured that I wouldn't be ready to push until after he had gone home.

The nurse let my doctor know that it wouldn't be too much longer. I started to feel a lot of pressure and began to need to push, but my doctor wasn't there yet. I did some little pushes to relieve some pressure and eventually the doctor came in. They had me laying flat on my back and were getting my legs into the stirrups when I realized that I was going to have to vomit again. I kept telling them that I needed to sit up to throw up and they must not have heard me. Matt finally helped me sit up just in time. I was a little afraid I was going to vomit all over myself, laying flat on my back (sorry if this is TMI, but really...). I guess it was 1:30 when I started pushing and about 6 pushes and 4 minutes later, our handsome Silas was here! Much different than the hour and 22 minutes (and episiotomy) that I had with Bennett!

Mr. Silas was 8lbs, 10oz and 21" long, born at 1:34 pm on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 with lots of dark hair, just like I knew he would have. His APGAR scores were 9/9. We spent a few minutes as just the three of us (my mom went to the waiting room) and then Bennett came and joined us. He brought me a red heart balloon that said "I Love You", was happy to meet his brother and wasn't scared at all of all the machines and everything like I thought he might be. After we'd introduced Bennett and Silas, our parents joined us and the rest of our families came up to the hospital later.

Silas' birth was quite a bit different than my experience with Bennett. For one, I was induced with Silas. It really wasn't as awful as I had worried an induction would be. Yes, the contractions were painful, but I got my epidural pretty early with Bennett, so I don't have a whole lot to compare it to. Especially since I went through transition without an epi with Silas. The nurse and I decided that my active labor time with Silas was about 4.5 hours and it was much longer with Bennett. Also, Bennett had a little bit of a fever when he was born and so they took him to the nursery before I left the delivery room for the mommy/baby floor. This time, I got to carry Silas with me in the wheelchair to the nursery.

Recovery was quite a bit easier, too! [This is a lot of information to blog, but I know I'm going to wonder about this later and I don't want to forget, so bear with me.] I did bleed quite a bit more with Silas, but I didn't have an episiotomy, so I was in a lot less pain afterwards.

I'll write about how Bennett dealt with the addition in another post soon!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Two and a Half!

You are two and a half years old today! Oh man, the last 30 months have flown by!

I've said it before and I'm sure that I'll say it again, but being your mom is best and most difficult thing I've ever done. You are so spirited and strong-willed, sweet and caring, crazy and silly. You bring a smile to the face of anyone you meet.

You are very into imaginary play right now. You love to pretend about "creatures". You are always finding imaginary snakes, caterpillars and other animals. You like to have picnics under the table and have pretend "campouts" by bringing as many blankets and pillows as you can find into the middle of the living room. You like to pretend that Daddy and I are your grandsons.

You say some hysterical things. You frequently say that things are going to be "awesome". You will say that things are or are not your "favorite" if you want them or do not want them. You call the TV "television" and your potty chair is a "potty toilet". Today you kept telling us that your "Baby Siyas (Silas) hurts". I think you've heard me use that as an excuse for not playing on the floor with you a lot lately.

You are wearing some size 2T shirts and a few size 3T shirts, but are still in some 18-24 month pants and you can fit in a few 2T pants if they have adjustable waists. You've only gained .2 of a lb in the last 6 months and weigh about 27lbs. You were able to wear a lot of the same summer clothes this past summer that you wore last summer.

You still know all your colors and quite a few shapes. You can count to 12 or 13 consistently and can recognize some letters. I know that if I worked with you on it, you'd know more. That will be on the agenda for the next 6 months. You have several songs and books memorized. Some of your favorites songs are "Fishers of Men" and different songs from your favorite PBS shows. You love to read Eric Carle books.

You stopped taking naps for good last May, so you go to bed at 7:30 now. You generally sleep at least 12 hours, but lately you've been sleeping a little longer than that. You would never ever ask to go to sleep. You have way too much fun being awake. Every night we read a few books in your bed, listen to scripture lullabies and then I lay in bed with you until you fall asleep. This is one of our favorite times of day. You snuggle up and love to rub my back and play with my hair while you fall asleep.

Sometimes, you can be pretty mean to me and Daddy. We understand. Being two is tough. I want to be real here, because someday I'll want to look back and remember these things. Sometimes, when you are very upset with us, and we tell you we love you, you say "No! You don't love me!" Sometimes you hit us and kick us. Sometimes you scream when we want you to do something you don't want to do. Sometimes we don't know how to respond to you.

But most  of the are kind and sweet. We say "I love you, Bennett" and you say "I love you so much!". Most of the time you will choose to obey when we lay out the choices (You can obey and _____ or you can disobey and get a time out. The choice is up to you). Most of the time you love to hug and kiss and cuddle.

You definitely need to be reminded of how much we love you. There have been times when you are in the middle of a tantrum and we've spent a lot of time disciplining you, that we tell you all the reasons that we love you and you calm down. You need to be reassured and affirmed.

You are pretty excited about your little brother who should be coming soon. I don't think you get it completely, but you love babies. Your whole demeanor completely changes when you get near them. You become so gentle and your voice gets soft. You say "shh, it's okay" when they cry and love to kiss them. Sometimes you'll talk to my belly and tell Silas that you love him.

Bennett, you are such a gift. We are so grateful that God has given you to us and can't imagine life without you. We can't wait to see you grow more and more and to see you as the best big brother ever. We love you so much!


37 weeks & 5 days!

Due Date: October 8th, 2012

Weight Gain: +39 lbs- I only gained 1lb last week! My appointment this week was in Clive and I normally go to the Ankeny office. The Clive scale weighs heavier than the Ankeny scale, so it's possible that I didn't gain anything this week. That's perfectly fine. I'm still at about what I gained with Bennett.

Sleep:  Sleep has been a little better this past week than it was last week. I'm still not sleeping much, but more than I was.

Gender: Boy

Feeling:  Pretty good. I'm starting to get a lot more pressure and I hate the waiting game, but overall I'm doing well. Even though I have things around here pretty much ready and even have my hospital bags packed, I don't think it's hit me that we will have this baby in the next few weeks. I still think it's months away!

Movement: He's slowing down a bit. I'm sure he's running out of room in there! I need to remember to ask my OB this week if she thinks he'll be big like Bennett (he was 8lb, 13oz & 21.5"). I'm not scared of a big baby, just curious.

Belly: I think I got some new stretch marks this week. I have plenty from Bennett, but I have a few that are bright red, so I'm thinking they're a gift from Silas. Not like I was planning on wearing a bikini anyway...

Next Appointment: Tuesday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

36 Weeks & 4 Days!

Due Date: October 8th, 2012

Weight Gain: +38 lbs...yeaaaah, lets not talk about this so much, mmk? Really, I think I'd gained more than this at this point with Bennett. I'm not too concerned, although I'm ready to be able to be active again without paying for it later.

Sleep:  Sleep? What's that? My new routine is to go to bed, toss and turn for an hour or so, get up and watch TV for another hour, go back to bed to toss and turn, fall asleep & wake up 3-4 times to use the restroom. It's fantastic. Everyone keeps saying that it's preparing me for the sleepless nights after Silas comes, but I'm mourning the loss of sleep now.

Gender: Boy

Feeling:  Ehhh...not as bad as I was a few weeks ago. I'm swelling & not sleeping. Matt, Bennett & I walked two blocks to a park and back the other day and the next day I had so much pelvic pain. I remember lots of pressure when I was pregnant with Bennett, but not pain like this. I'd definitely like him to cook for a few more weeks, but I'm ready when he is! I also pulled a muscle by slipping on a puddle of water yesterday &have been having lots of problems with that. I've had lots of prayers today and am amazingly feeling a lot better than I was this morning. I'm praying that it fully heals before I go into labor!

Movement: He has a few select times that he's pretty active and then I think he must be pretty sleepy the rest of the time.  Sometimes that makes me nervous, but if I push on my belly, he generally pushes back.

Belly: Large. It's large. I'm enjoying my new maternity clothes. It's nice to be "comfortable".

Next Appointment: We're down to weekly appointments now, so my next one is this coming Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Guy

Amazingly, with all of these pregnancy hormones, I have yet to run into the "will-I-have-enough-love-for-more-than-one-child" irrational thought. I am, however, starting to mourn the loss of the relationship that Bennett &I have right now. It's generally just Bennett & me for 60+ hours a week &obviously adding another little person to the mix will change things.

 Honestly, Bennett is awesome with babies. I've been watching a little baby a few days a week this summer & Bennett is fantastic with him. He's so gentle and caring. He helps me get diapers & always tries to bring the baby a toy when he's fussy. I know that things will be different when his brother doesn't go home at the end of the day, but we've been talking about that a lot &I'm not anticipating many issues with Bennett vs. least not until Silas can voice his opinion on things.  If anything, I think that Bennett will act out against me.

 I do wonder what he will think about me loving on another little person like I love him. I try really hard while I'm babysitting not to sing the special songs that Bennett and I sing together, or call the baby any special names that I have for Bennett, but I'm not going to be as careful about those sorts of things with Silas.

 Last night, I asked Bennett if there were any special things that he wanted to do with just me before Silas comes. I know that he doesn't really understand what's about to happen, but I want to try to fill the next few weeks with fun things that he & I can do that we won't be able to do as easily for a while with a baby. He told me that he wants to pick out a dinosaur for Baby Silas before he comes. Sure, bud, we can pick out a dinosaur for Silas...but what about you? Then we talked about how Silas won't go "home" like the baby who comes now, because this will be his home & Mommy & Daddy will be Silas' mommy & daddy. Who knows how much of this he's really getting, but I can try, right?

 Then Bennett prayed and thanked God for his little brother. "Dear God. This is my mommy, and this is Baby Silas. Thank you for my brother." I died. I'm so excited for Bennett to have a built-in playmate. I just hope that I can get life balanced enough to be able to still do special things alone with Bennett too.

This post is all over the place. Really, I'm just going to miss all the one-on-one time with this amazing little boy. If anyone has suggestions for things for us to do before Silas comes, I'd really appreciate the input!

33 Weeks & 2 Days

Due Date: October 8th, 2012

Weight Gain: +31 lbs...yikes! I've gained 18 lbs since my 26 week appointment! I think it's just catching up to me since I didn't gain as much in the first two trimesters. I'm definitely feeling the sudden weight gain, though. 
Sleep: Not a whole lot. I think pregnancy insomnia has officially set in. Combine that with having to use the bathroom 2-3 times a night & my pelvic pain issues (see below), I'm not getting a whole lot of sleep. I guess I'm just getting ready for the next year or so.

Gender: Boy

Feeling: With my weakened ab muscles (a gift from Bennett) and the sudden weight gain, my pelvis has been killing me. Like, I cry at least once a day because of the pain. It's pretty bad at night. Matt was laughing at me la st night because I had to psych myself out before rolling over. My OB recommended that I get a support belt to see if that will help with the pain. It came in the mail yesterday, so I'm hoping for some relief from that. 

Movement: Lots and lots of movement. I can definitely tell that he's getting bigger & trying to stretch out.

Belly: I'm now measuring right on. I feel big & am starting to grow out of my maternity clothes. I hate having to buy more with 7 weeks to go, but I have to wear something, ya know?

Next Appointment: Next Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

27 Weeks (&2 days)

Pregnancy: 27 weeks, 2 days


Due Date: October 8th, 2012

Weight Gain: +13lbs! I'm finally gaining weight & I'm definitely okay with how much I've gained. I'm pretty sure I'd gained a lot more by this point with Bennett.
Sleep: Well, since switching Bennett to a twin bed a few months ago, sleep has been rough. At first it was because we'd changed rooms as well & are now on a different level of our house. Then Bennett's monster nightmares started. Every night at 3:30. Someone (Matt) had to go sleep in his bed for the rest of the night or he panicked. Last Friday, I took an idea that I'd seen on another blog, and changed our bathroom air freshener spray into "monster go-away spray". We spray it in Bennett's room before he goes to sleep every night & he's slept all night since! So, sleep has been good since Friday. I do periodically take 10-20 minute naps during the day or I won't make it through.

Gender: Boy

Feeling: Ehhh...I've been having a lot of round ligament and back pain in the last week or so. I don't remember having them this badly with Bennett, but I guess my muscles were probably a bit stronger before I had him, too. It's not too bad if I can avoid getting on the floor and back up multiple times a day, but really? It's not easy to avoid that with a 2-yr-old. I did give in and take some Tylenol the other night and it helped.

Movement: Lots and lots of movement. Especially when I eat certain foods. With Bennett, I ate lots of spicy foods (& sauerkraut) & Bennett LOVES those foods now. This time, I'm craving lots of sweets &that's what Silas reacts most too. It will be interesting to see if he has a giant sweet tooth.

Belly: At my 26 week appointment, I was measuring 28cm. My OB said that was normal, but yeah, it's growing.

Next Appointment: I just realized that I forgot to write it down when I left the OB's office last time! Well, I know that it's at 30 weeks &it's on a Friday. I guess I'll have to call them, haha!

Oh Heyyyyyy...

So, I didn't drop off the face of the earth. Really, I didn't. I think I've mentioned that we don't have internet at home anymore. It's just been too difficult trying to get places with wifi. Also, if &when I get there, sans Bennett, blogging is generally not the first thing on my do to list, ya know.

It's been nearly 2 whole months since I last updated, so I guess the best way to getcha all up to date is to post some of my favorite pics from the last few months.

Mother's Day with my boy.
Bennett kicking Matt out of bed.
Matt & Bennett testing out the new sprinkler
Almost 20 weeks!
Cutest ring bearer EVER. (biased? nah.)
Our family at my brother's wedding.

Bennett dancing with Aunt Andrea & Uncle Travis.
Summertime is here!
Bennett switched to a "big boy" bed.

Enjoying the view on a train ride.

22 weeks!
Our house is for sale! Buy it!

Ice cream date with Bennett.
Summer = Swimming

Bennett playing XBox with the boys.
The boys mowing the lawn

Glucola at my 26 week apt.
I passed!
Working hard on Silas' baby blanket

That pretty much catches us up, I think. We've had our house on the market for a little over a month and have yet to have a showing, so that's pretty discouraging. We know that it's all in God's timing, but we would LOVE for that timing to be for us to be out before baby boy #2 makes his appearance. Bennett is getting pretty tired of all the driving back and forth to Des Moines we're doing. &by "Bennett", I mean all of us. But seriously? That boy is getting mean in the car. I think he's just bored, but I can't take the abuse much longer.

My mom is off work for the summer &has been hosting "Grammy Camp" for Bennett on several different days. It's great time for them to spend together & and awesome little break for me. He's actually there now...hence the blog update.

I'll try to get in another pregnancy update before I head home to watch movies & knit...rough life, yeah?