Friday, July 26, 2013

7lbs 9oz and 21.5inches of love

Bennett Bernard entered the world at 9:08pm on June 28th, 2013 at Baptist East Hospital in Louisville, KY and hubs and I officially became PARENTS!  The idea that we actually have a son is still sinking in, but we are absolutely thrilled to have our little sidekick.

Alright -- so let's take a look back on how he came to be shall we??
Forewarning, this will be long and detailed, and the bulk of it is for my sheer memory so one day when Bennett asks me about it, I'll have it documented. Hubs and I kept notes on our phones to help us remember how the day progressed ... So I did have a little help to get most of the story and not a photographic timed memory :0).  And if you have the time to read my rambling sorry for the drawn out story! WHEW!

So here goes nothing ... 
Baby Bennett here is how you came to join the world my sweet boy:

At my last couple of doctor's appointments your dad and I were CERTAIN we would see some progression that would lead to us meeting our main dude, but at every appointment we left feeling discouraged. Every time I was checked the doctors were seeing no progress and you were showing no signs that you were ready to meet the world. I swear, if we hadn't sent you your eviction notice you'd still be in there.  And I can't say I really blame you ... after all you were warm and cozy and that still seems to be all you ever want :)  But your parents were antsy and wanted our little man in our arms, not my belly!

At our last ultrasound (scheduled on June 26th) Bennett was measuring 8lbs 9oz. The doctors say ultrasounds can be close to guessing birth weight give or take a pound -- which potentially meant I could be be delivering a near 10lb baby! HOLY HORROR.

Induction was scheduled to begin on Thursday evening, June 27, 2013.  Thursday was a blur. I was a mix of emotions and did everything humanly possible I could think of to try and settle my mind, to no avail. I couldn't relax ... I was ABOUT TO HAVE MY BABY! A 9 month wait was about to be OVER. So much to comprehend and wrap my head around. Your daddy was in the same boat. He went to work that day, but came home early because he said he couldn't focus on a single thing ... and who could blame him? I don't think we had a single conversation for the next 4 hours that didn't involve "What's about to happen" or "What will he look like" or "When do you think he'll be born", etc.

We were instructed by our doctor to call the hospital around 6 o'clock to check bed availability, but to plan on coming in sometime between 8pm and midnight.  So, at exactly 5:59 (I was a little over excited) I phoned the hospital to check when we should arrive. The nurse checked their charts and asked if we could arrive at 7pm ... 7pm?!?!?! WHAT! That was one hour earlier than we were told!  You bet your bottom dollar we can make that happen ma'am! 

40 weeks 2 days

Let's be real ... our bags had been packed for nearly a month and a half ... we were beyond ready.  So your daddy and I frantically gathered all of our belongings, pillows, and everything under the sun we absolutely NEEDED (which in reality we needed almost none of it) and headed towards the hospital.  We made sure to take a photo op before we left the house so we would always remember just HOW BIG your mommy was...and how READY your daddy was :)

We snagged some Panera on our way ... and this was an EXCELLENT choice ... as I wouldn't have any food for a long while and would need that extra energy. Once we made it to the hospital, we were checked into our room (Lucky #13) got everything settled, and it was finally time for the show to begin. At 9:15 pm my first round of cytotec was administered by our nurse Jodi.  

Your dad was glued to the TV for the next several hours in his cozy hospital pullout bed-chair watching the 2013 NBA draft (he still owes me immense Thank You's for letting him screen the draft while I labored the night away ... don't you agree ladies?!).  Kind of ironically cool however ... the first pick in the draft was a player by the name of Anthony BENNETT ... it had to have been a sign that our name for you was meant to be. I'm sticking with that. Shear PERFECTION.

What a cool cat (I guess??) ... I think I'll buy you his jersey one day.

After several hours of letting the cytotec do it's magic ... a second round was administered at 1:15 am and I had still made very little progress ... only 0-1 cm dilated.  The nurse advised me to take an Ambien, because it would help me relax and be able to sleep a little.  She kept mentioning I would need my rest the next day, so I obliged.  I snoozed off into a slumber and woke up sort of dazed and confused around 4:30 am.  Embarrassing details aside ... As instructed, I buzzed the nurse and told her I was heading to the bathroom.  She came in and asked if my water had broken (mind you I was on sleeping pills ... so I was a bit out of it ... and Shane well ... Shane had been sawing logs for quite some time ...).  She checked me and sure enough (AND THANK HEAVENS, I hadn't wet the bed ...) my water had broken.  Things seemed to be progressing quicker than we thought! Wooohooo! Baby Bennett was on his WAYYYY! 

Finally, nearly an hour and 15 minutes later, enough commotion and nurses in the room finally stirred the sleeping giant and Shane woke up to hear the exciting news around 5:45 am.  The doctor ordered me to start my patocin at 6:00 am.  And at 6:45 am they cranked it up. 7 am brought a shift change and MORE contractions. Intense contractions. By 10 am my contractions were strong, extremely consistent, and I was starting to get uncomfortable. It was doable and not nearly as bad as I had expected them to be ... but yes, I was feeling it. My nurse at the time (Michelle ... LOVED her) mentioned my contractions were so close together and if I was in pain I was more than ready to get the epidural if I wanted it. She also made mention ... I would receive no medal for waiting. And if once I told her I was ready -- it would likely take up to 1 hour to get me prepped, get the doc and administer the drugs. So low and behold ... I made the decision to get the drugs :) .... around 11 am I'd received my epidural, my legs were numb, my family was hanging with us and I was thinking this labor thing is a breeze :) 

Let's skip over a bunch of details and fast forward to nearly 7 hours later ... 6 pm.  The nurses checked me and no great news. Aside from the fact that my contractions were nearly 30 seconds apart and were super strong ... I simply wasn't progressing. Dilation just didn't seem to want to happen for me, and Bennett had now been inside me with my water broken for close to 14 hours (they will only let you go for 24 hours before they take matters into their own hands). The word C-section started to come across the nurses and doctors lips. We still had time to wait it out, but with my progression pattern, they weren't hopeful.  Basically the doctor was going to give me until 8 o'clock and if I hadn't gone from 2cm to nearly 7 or 8 ... we needed to really talk about a C-section.

She had one scheduled at 9:30 pm ... so we could take the 8:30 slot and head in SUPER soon ... or we could continue to labor and see if anything happened (which we were not hopeful it would) and take the 11pm C-section slot.  Decision time.  

Bottom line, I was exhausted. I'd been laboring for quite some time, my water had been broken for a good while, and my fever and anxiety were starting to rise.  I was terrified at the thought of a C-section even though going in I said it didn't concern me at all. But I was ready. And hubs was EXTREMELY ready.  I remember holding his hand and making the decision to move forward with the 8:30 slot, I was so excited to meet my little guy - but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified to have someone cut me open!

The room started stirring with commotion. All of the grandparents were present: Grandma (Penny), Papaw (John), Granpa (Mark) and Sissy (Susan).  Great Aunts and Uncles were also there: Uncle Jeff, Aunt Lori and Aunt Toby.  Everyone was ready!  

They brought hubs his scrubs and started prepping me for the O.R.

They took me back by myself and made Shane wait in a little holding room until I was prepped and ready. Next thing I knew, hubs was by my side and operation had begun. I'll leave out all of the details and save the TMI photos for our family viewing ... but bottom line it was a bit of a rocky procedure. I lost a little too much blood, it took BUB a little too long to start breathing on his own, and the epidural didn't take as deep as it should have so I the anesthesiologist had to completely knock me out :( I didn't even get to see my little man until nearly 2 hours after he was born! WAhhhhhh.

But his daddy did an excellent job at informing me of what took place (while I dozed in and out of consciousness) and made sure to show me every video and picture that took place.  Oh how my heart burst. You are PERFECT Bennett.

I was finally ready to leave recovery and head up to the mother/baby unit that we would call home for the next couple of days.  They wheeled us onto the elevator and we strolled past the nursery window where so many of our friends and family stayed way too late to catch their first glimpse of you.  Buddy, love is one thing you will never do without. The love that poured into that hallway brings me to tears as my hands type this. You are one lucky boy.  Admiring you from the window stood: Uncle Max, Grandma, Papaw, Sissy, Granpa, Uncle Jordan and Aunt Stephanie, and Aunt MaKenzie.  It was nearly 1:00 in the morning and your family had been there for HOURS waiting to see you.

I strolled by, shouted a quick I love you Bennett and the nurses started gathering you up to bring to us for the first time.  WOW ... I was getting to meet my son for the first time.  The most surreal moment of my entire life. 

Let's keep the focus on little man and 
not my striking beauty after 25 hours of labor, okay?! ;)

So, first question: 
Was I able to hold it together long enough to even really see you? 
Uhm, NO. Not in the least. 
Waterworks were in full effect and I could barely see you through my watery eyes, but what I saw made my life complete. 
And YOU my little dude filled my heart. 

Second Question:
How'd those first few days and nights being new parents go?
Hmm, well let's see...

      - We were terrified of your Heyena noises while you ate.
      - Your Dad fell asleep sitting up at your first 3am feeding.
      - I bribed the nurse for two extra hours of sleep before being forced into       
        walking laps around the nurses station for recovery.
      - Hubs and I deemed it necessary he head to Kroger and bring back our 
        favorite coffee creamer, as caffeine in mass quantities was still not 
      - You wasted no time in demonstrating to your dad how efficient you are at 
        giving golden showers. :)
      - In hubs excitement to shower, he hopped in towel-less, and when done, 
        walked right out in front of the nurse...embarrassment level reached all 
        time high.
      - Your first couple of swaddles were grade F's.  Failures.  Laughable.  We 
        have since perfected.
      - Daddy found innovative ways to use your boppy for his own benefit when 
        you were not using.  (Now that were home I'm considering purchasing 
        one as his own...he still continues to use it.)
      - I was way too excited for your nighttime feedings...only because it meant 
        more Graham Crackers for me.  I developed a serious addiction.
      - Your first outfit took 30 minutes to put on.  Daddy's fingers too fat and 
        the sleeves too small.
      - Lesson learned on departure time - requesting wheelchair assistance to 
        arrive in 10 minutes was wishful thinking.  We left the room 30 minutes    

The next couple of days/weeks in the hospital and at home were a whirlwind. Unfortunately, my recovery was not nearly as gracious as your welcoming party. Your momma suffered from what was likely C. Diff or a stomach virus, a bad reaction to the surgical tape, and a ridiculously itchy body rash from the overdose of histamines that my body couldn't metabolize. It was not the homecoming we expected to say the least, but thank goodness it is now all behind us. 

 At the hospital and throughout your first few weeks of life, we had visitors non-stop.  Everyone wanted to get their first peek at the most amazing little boy.  You were greeted by your endless aunts and uncles (both family and friends), all of your cousins, most of your family members (you've got some that live far away ... but they will meet you soon!) and even strangers who couldn't get enough of your cuteness!  You were cuddled, kissed, and stared at more than any of those Hollywood hunks. For reals.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the hospital visits.

The Proud Grandparents!:

Your Grandma Penny

Your PaPaw John

Your Granpa Mark

Your Sissy Susan

Your Poppy Steve

The Proud Cousins!

Your Cousin Maebyn and Her identical twin sisters due to make an appearance sometime in August/September.  Maebyn even sported and I heart BUB t-shirt. Crafty girl that lil' Maebs.

Your Cousins Tatum, Brody and Emmie.  They can't wait to play with you!

So there you have it little man.  The story of the day(s) you came to be!  
We are elated that you are finally here and are so excited to start our journey as parents.  Our little family is complete (for the time being ... we may have to add a brother or sister someday).  But right now, we're ready to move forward with the greatest gift God has ever given us: YOU!

Bennett Bernard: Our Perfect Little Miracle.

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