Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is Life....

And this happens, more like hundreds of times per day.

Bennett has a big brother who loves to help.....

He thought the toys would help stop the crying....he just might be on to something.

I am one lucky mama.

Yep. Super lucky.

This is life.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Birth

How do you even begin to tell the story of when life in it's most fresh and purest form enters the world and is placed in your arms. You can't, there simply are not enough tender, sweet words to express those moments....but bare with me as I try to do my best.

As many of you know, Bennett's birth story began around 28 weeks. I was faced with the actual thought that at any minute, any day, my barely ripe baby could be forced to meet the raw world before his prime. Since that time in the doctors office, my pregnancy felt like an uphill battle in which we fought tooth and nail to keep our baby safe, secure, and happy in the womb. We would get bad news, and then worse news....and then good news....and bad news.  It was enough to drive a normal non pregnant person insane....then throw in the "pregnant mama bear" and your picture should be pretty clear as to what I felt like some days. However, much to our relief and thanks to many prayers our Benny boy hung on and proved that the one true Healer and giver of life was bigger than the said to be "issues".

So we made it to 37 weeks...and then 38, and this point my fluid levels again dropped, my feet turned into puffy little marshmallows and my OB decided by 39 weeks if he didn't come before, we needed to meet our Bennett. So we scheduled an induction for Saturday, September 8th at 6:30 in the morning.....

All along my OB was thinking that I would for sure go into labor on my own since I was having all of the signs of labor, it was as if my body was ready but my womb wanted to hug baby tight just a wee bit more. Fine by me, I was just thankful to be able to say we made it to 39 weeks!!! 

Truth be told, induction scared me.  I wanted to be able to feel my body take over as it prepared to give birth, I wanted to be able to walk and roam the halls, to labor in the jacuzzi just as I had with Cole. And just when I couldn't take it any longer I wanted that sweet epidural nectar so that I could relax and enjoy meeting my baby. But as I have learned throughout the course of this pregnancy, life doesn't always happen as you picture it in your mind. It happens as God has it to happen. And this birth proved nonetheless.

Friday night I couldn't sleep. I was full of nerves, excitement, name it I was feeling it. My alarm went off at 5 AM, and I leaped out of bed faster than I had at any one point during the last 9 months. I showered and made sure we had everything lined up to go.....that was until I looked at my phone and saw that I had missed a phone call. At that point my heart sunk, I just knew today was not going to be the day. Turns out it had been one crazy Friday night and the labor and delivery was booked solid... 


I'll be honest, at first I cried a deflated cry. But then I tried to look on the bright side and see that I got one more day to spend with my family of 3 and one more night to try and get a restful sleep. So we spent the day meandering all over NW 23rd, eating way more sugar than we probably should have.....but soaking each other in. Let me tell you, it turned out to be a sweet, sweet treat. Pretty much perfection. And would you believe my head hit my pillow that night and I slept like I hadn't slept in a long, long time. I woke up refreshed and ready to have my baby!

We showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am, and they quickly got us all set up to check baby one last time before they began the actual induction. It wasn't until about 9:45 before they gave me my first dose of pitocin. At that point I was already 4 centimeters dilated, 75% effaced, and my cervix was soft. The nurse kept telling me, "you are going to go fast...prepare yourself, your baby will be in your arms before you know it. " So I prepared myself....and after 2 hours and not many painful contractions I began to get discouraged. They checked me again and I was still at a 4 but was completely effaced and my cervix had moved forward just as it should be. At about noon my Dr. came in to break my water and they all kept saying "your gonna go fast, prepare yourself. " Not believing them at that point I actually prepared myself to be in labor well into the night.....that is until that first contraction started about 15 minutes after my water was broke.....

And then it began, my body taking over....It was like a tidal wave that engulfed every breath of my being. I began to shake so much that it scared me, my nurse reassured me that it was my body preparing itself for delivery. I don't remember much other than the fact that every time a contraction hit me, I needed something to grip and brace myself against. Usually it was my bed frame, sometimes it was Kyle's hand (his poor, poor hand.). About an hour later the nurse heard my moaning and said, it's epidural time. I'm sure I looked like a mad woman as I nodded and pleaded for relief.

I had previously spoken with the anesthesiologist about giving me the lighter epidural so that I could have movement and feeling in my legs. As she administered my epidural the contractions were coming on powerful and frequent...I kept waiting for that Aaaaaahhhhh, relief moment....but it didn't seem to come. So they upped my dosage again, and again....and again. Finally, I could no longer feel the cramping pain of the contractions....but I also could no longer feel or move my legs, and my right eye began to feel droopy. Apparently, they had to give me way more than anticipated since my contractions were coming on so strong and quick. 

Even though I was amped up on epidural and could no longer feel the cramping what happened next startled me. I began to feel an immense pressure in the buttocks region. IMMENSE PRESSURE! So much that it still brought me to my death grip position every time a contraction hit. I was still shaking uncontrollably and the only relief I had was when my dear sister came behind me and massaged my neck and upper back, oh man, was that one heavenly back massage--Joy, you are amazing! We decided now was the time to clear out our room, as I felt the time was drawing near. I began to cry as I could hardly comprehend that soon my sweet boy would be here, at time I thought would never come. My nurse kept telling me to let her know as soon as I continued to feel the pressure in between sooner said than done. Within 10 minutes I went from a 5 to a 7 and boy could I feel it.....

My nurse reassured me that the time was very near and that I needed to let her know if anything changed. She no sooner left the room when I felt like my baby was bearing down and ready to shove his little noggin' into the world. I must have looked at my mom with wild eyes as I started yelling, "I need my Dr. he's coming! He's coming!" Tears started flowing heavily and Kyle could no longer ease my shaking, I was a sobbing mess as I was sure my baby was going to be born and no one was going to be there to catch him. My mom ran out to the hall, and my nurse came busting in the five minutes I went from 7 to 10...the time had come. 

My nurse quickly prepared the room for delivery all the while I was still balling and asking where my doctor was, apparently she was upstairs and they were having a hard time getting a hold of her. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity....yet also like the blink of an eye, my doctor came running in the room. Jokingly she asked if she even had time to "suit" up because with Cole he came shooting out before she could even tie up her scrubs! We laughed and I tried to calm myself down. I wanted to be present and I wanted to soak in every second of the moment we had been praying so hard for.

The next 25 minutes were a blur. I pushed, I cried, I moaned, I cried, I growled, I cried. I just remember trying to make each and every push count. At one point I overheard my nurse softly say to my doctor that she thought the umbilical cord was around Bennett's neck. Enough said, that was my when my mama bear instinct kicked in and I told myself I wanted him out with the next couple of pushes, I needed to know for sure that my baby was safe and placed securely in my arms.

I cannot even describe in words what happened next, I felt him move through the birthing canal, my doctor told me to look down, and as I did I watched my baby enter the world like a brave little soul. It was that instantaneous, movie-like moment when the baby's cry pierces the air of life and the whole room breathes a sigh of relief. My baby was home. There was no cord around his neck, he was perfect...that moment in time was sweet, sweet perfection at its finest. He was placed on my chest and I couldn't stop touching that warm, soft, butter-like skin. His cry was like the most melodious music I had ever heard, and those tiny toes and tiny fingers grabbed me like none other. The sweet breath of new baby tugged at every corner and crevice of my heart.

This was serious love. 

My heart had never felt so completely full and so completely overjoyed as it did in that moment. I couldn't stop thinking of Cole's big blue eyes, and how this wrinkled-pink-bundle-of- sweetness had captivated me just as he had nearly two years ago. In that moment, my world was complete. I had my two baby boys to hold and snuggle whenever I wanted and they were safe, healthy and thriving. praise Jesus!

The roller coaster ride, the tears, the 2-3 doctor appointments a week, the waiting, the worrying, the praying and hoping had all been worth it for that single precious moment.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bennett Lee Marston has ARRIVED!

Born Sunday, September 9th at 3:59pm
6lbs 5oz, 20 1/4 in long
Nothing short of pure sweetness

Mom and Dad are captivated

Big brother adores him and can't stop giving him "loves"

Lots and lots of tender kisses are to be had

*Birth story will follow as soon as I can carve out some time to put it all in words*

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tomorrow, life will change as we know it

Tomorrow is the BIG day, I didn't go into labor naturally (yet) as my doctor suspected. My feet are about triple their size. Cole was a wreck today. I had one last ultrasound appointment. I passed, hooray! So we celebrated by finding the nearest Dairy Queen and indulging in one last Oreo blizzard while bearing a belly the size of a watermelon!

As I sit here, I am still in shock that our lives are about to change yet again. We are about to become a family of 4! Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have a tiny, wrinkled, freshly-pink-from-the-womb baby in my arms. I think I might need my husband to pinch me, I feel as though I spent so much time worried about making it this far that I never really let my heart wander to the idea that we would actually make it this far. 

But we did by the hand of God, and could not be more excited! 

Tomorrow will start bright and early and most likely end well into the dark of the night, but I'm sure I will breathe a sigh of relief as I finally get to kiss those sweet baby cheeks, and nestle him into the nook of my neck. Ah, to hold a baby (my baby) again.

I am ready...or should I say, we all are ready.  In honor of all this readiness here are some lasts. The last picture of me and my belly, and the last rundown of my pregnancy thus far.

How far along? 39 weeks exactly
Total weight gain/loss: about 34 lbs...yikes!
Maternity clothes? Still mixing and matching maternity with non maternity....skirts, and flowy dresses are my friends.
Stretch marks? No, knock on wood that none pop up over night!
Sleep: has been rough, every time I move as much as a finger I get heartburn, have to pee, or get a contraction.
Best moment this week: Hearing that I would get to meet my little guy so soon!
Have you told family and friends: Of course.
Miss Anything? My ankles.
Movement: He likes to ram his head down low, kick my ribs, and squirm when I eat watermelon.
Food cravings: cheese and tomato sandwiches, yogurt with granola and peach slices, iced tea, watermelon, and of course soft serve.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: You think? 
Gender prediction: Girl....but as you all know I was so wrong!
Labor Signs:  painful contractions and the bloody show all made their debut this week, 3 cent dilated, 70% effaced, and a very soft cervix!
Belly Button in or out? Not really out or's just kind of flat.

Wedding rings on or off? touchy subject....they are both off and I am oh so sad. I commented to my MIL today as we were at the grocery store that I feel like people look at me and think I could be on the next episode of Teen Mom.
Happy or Moody most of the time: I've cried a lot,  but I blame it on the hormones because I am actually quite happy!
Weekly Wisdom: In everything give thanks and pray, pray, pray.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Keeping us on our toes

That's right, this little one in my belly has kept us guessing, praying, anticipating, praying, waiting, praying, longing, praying, and thinking....could this really be the day? The day that we get to meet those kicks and toes in person? We have been on a journey like none other waiting for Cole's little brother. A journey that has brought us flat-faced humbled before our Lord as we seemed to take one step forward and then two steps back. A journey that made us realize just how truly out of control we are with life in general, but how our all consuming God can speak life into existence. A journey that has grown us as a couple, as parents, and as children of God. I so look forward to the next leg of this journey...and so we wait, we wait for the perfect timing to meet our littlest man.

I can't believe my time with this big belly is almost up. Aside from all of the drama that it brought, I truly tried to enjoy carrying my little one close to my heart. Up until a couple of days ago I actually felt pretty good, and then it was like my body gave up and said heck with holding it together you need to tough out the last few days like everyone else. My doctor was convinced she would be delivering my boy several weeks ago....again, he surprised us and stayed close with me. I was off being monitored and then put back on as it seemed my fluids would drop, go back up, then baby boy would measure fine and then drop back another week...seriously kid. I have spent more time at the doctors office that it could be considered a full time job.  Yesterday, I finally had a meltdown all the way to my ultrasound appointment.  I was so tired of driving back in forth, waiting forever in the waiting room, and then having to stay for additional testing because he did or didn't do something....but most of all I felt like I was missing out on precious time with the one little boy I already had at home. It frustrated me that I couldn't soak up the last few days uninterrupted with him before we rock his world with a baby brother. I felt guilty that we don't have a solid place to call home yet, that he has to often wake up from his naps to find that I am not there, that he feels the needs to cling to my leg and cry if I walk out of his sight just for a moment, but mostly I felt I had no way of prepping him for the change that would soon be taking place in his little world.

Thank the Lord for family and friends that help put my emotions into perspective, and for a husband that calmly reassures me that I don't have a triple chin...even when I'm convinced there may be a fourth chin lurking under there somewhere.

So here we wait, if this little boy doesn't come sometime within the next 48 hours he will be forced out on Saturday.  With the drop of my fluids, my doctor felt it would be best to get him out sooner rather than later. My body seems to be ready and well prepped, and after a long night of painful contractions I actually thought he would be in my arms by now....but no, I think he is in there smirking and chuckling to himself as he sends me a gentle reminder in the way of a heel to my rib that he is not ready to evacuate just yet. Fine by me little one, I count every day longer a blessing that you will come that much stronger. But boy oh boy am I anxious to meet you!

Tomorrow I am officially 39 weeks...a huge feat in my eyes. I cannot thank the Lord enough for helping me carry him this far! I am so incredibly excited that the suspense of this little man will be over in just a few short days. If I am still swollen and pregnant come tomorrow I will try and do a belly update to document the end of this nearly 10 month journey.  Thank you to all who have remained faithful in prayer for our little man, we cannot wait to formally introduce him to the world!