Thursday, July 23, 2009

Benjamin's Story

“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!” The Doxology was running through my head soon after giving birth to little Benjamin. It was as smooth of a birth experience that I could imagine and we had a healthy baby and I just wanted to thank the Lord for his great blessings! Here's the story of Benjamin's birth – if you are not one of those “Birth Story” people, I totally understand! Feel free to just scroll through the pictures and skip the story!

I'd had encouraging news from the midwife on Tuesday morning that I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced. My midwife recommended trying castor oil to get labor started considering how far I'd come already. I decided I wouldn't try it until I was actually overdue on Saturday. As the afternoon wore on I saw further signs of impending labor (I'll spare you the details) and I started to get antsy. I asked Jon to come home a little early from work and we decided that maybe castor oil was worth a try. Yeah, not so much. Maybe technically it worked, but it was not worth it and I should have just sat back and relaxed because of all the other signs that labor was near.
I started the castor oil at 4:30, but didn't actually begin contractions until 2am. I waited awhile before waking Jon up – I wanted to let him get as much sleep as possible. At about 2:35 I gently nudged him and said, “I think we should get up and get all our stuff pulled together. No rush, but I don't want to suddenly be frantic.” He said okay and went back to sleep. Less then 10 minutes later I nudged again and said, “Okay, we really need to get up and go.” It ended up being maybe a little more frienzied than I had anticipated, complicated by the lingering effects of the stupid castor oil, but overall it went smoothly. Our neighbor came down from upstairs and camped out on the couch so we didn't have to wake Jonah. I left her with the phone number of a friend down the street who could pick him up around 8am. I think we made it to the hospital around 3:45 – having four contractions during the less than 10-minute trip.

I was quickly admitted and brought up to the maternity ward where I met my nurse and midwife. How refreshing it was to only have two people involved in the entire birth process compared to our experience with Jonah when countless people were coming and going all day (and all night) long. The only hitch in my idea of the perfect birth was that I wasn't able to receive an epidural as quickly as I hoped. The anesthesiologist was occupied in surgery and I didn't get my relief until about 7am. That said, Jon and I both felt that I dealt with the hard contractions fairly well. I used my breathing and “singing” techniques – deep inhale, then a long “ohhhh” sung louder and higher as the pain increased. Shortly after the epidural the midwife broke my water and labor continued to progress.

Here I am - completely numb and ready to push, but waiting to feel something before I start pushing.

Once I was comfortably settled with my epidural Jon headed to the cafeteria for breakfast, which made me quite jealous as I was hungry and hadn't had much for dinner (stupid castor oil again). I flipped on the TV for a few minutes while he was gone and was easily reminded of why we don't have a TV. It did feel ironic, though, to flip past “A Baby Story” and watch someone in labor as I was in labor. By 8:15 some contractions were still bothering me enough that I couldn't rest, so I got a booster to my epidural. Man, I must have hit the epidural mother load! I catnapped a little bit and by 10am I was fully dilated and ready to push, but I couldn't feel ANYTHING. I decided to just wait and let my contractions do the work of pushing Benjamin out without wasting my energy on pushing. By 11 I still didn't feel the urge to push at all, but I could kind of feel contractions on my right side and I decided it was time to get the party started. Wow, what a “night and day” difference from my experience of two hours of pushing with Jonah! I officially started pushing at 11:06. I pushed through four contractions feeling absolutely nothing and Benjamin arrived (face up!) within 17 minutes. I didn't even break a sweat! It was unbelievable! I had three small stitches (still feeling nothing) while I held and examined our new baby boy.
Just born!

In less than half an hour of his birth he was nursing and nursed well for 45 minutes before they took him to the nursery to perform more tests and give him a bath. He nursed again after that, but he was having some problems with low blood sugar. They ended up giving him a bottle of formula in the nursery while I rested.
The first nursing - 20 minutes after birth.

Jon left at 12:30 to pick up Jonah and take him home for his nap. It worked out perfectly. They came for a short visit in the evening and introductions went very well. Jonah was so excited to see Benjamin and wanted to hold him right away and give him hugs and kisses.
The Taylor boys.

Jonah and Benjamin's first moments together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Welcome Benjamin Park Taylor!

Benjamin Park Taylor
Born July 22, 2009
11:23 am
Weight: 8lbs. 13oz.
Length: 20 inches
Here he is very shortly after birth.
Here he is all cleaned up and very sleepy. Check out the hair!

Here he is getting checked out in his first few moments of life in the outside world.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm 'onna do it selfie.

This is what Jonah accomplished by himself while I was in the bathroom this morning. In true toddler fashion he is getting more and more interested in doing things by himself, saying, "I'm 'onna do it selfie." (I'm gonna do it by myself.) He tries to put his pants on by himself while I am trying to keep his pants off and change his diaper. Having him do things by himself would be fabulous if he could actually do them, but usually he can't actually do it and the effort causes frustration on both our parts. Just part of growing up, right?
A fun new addition to Jonah's vocabulary recently is "okay". He adds it at the end of sentences to inform you of what he's about to do - most often it's something he knows we'll probably tell him not to do. "I'm 'onna climb up, okay?" "I'm 'onna jump off, okay?" "I'm 'onna get a snack, okay?" "I'm 'onna drive, okay?" "I'm 'onna run, okay?" It's actually kind of convenient because it gives us a chance to say, "No, don't climb up your crib." "No, don't jump off the chair." "No, we're not having snacks right now."


Last week when Jon was away on a trip Jonah and I drove out to visit Paul's family in Dayton, OH. Google maps said the trip would take 7 hours. I figured on 10, but it actually took us 12 hours between stoping a lot and having to turn around and find an alternate route due to an accident and road closings. It was a really long day, but Jonah did remarkably well and I felt fine for the whole trip. I was very determined to cut our time on the trip back and we made it in eight and a half hours.

Of course we had to get the obligitory "cousins in the tub" shot. Hopefully this won't be too embarassing to them later in life. (I cropped out the bare bottom.) Jonah and Evelyn had such a great time together - as much as a 7-month-old and a 21-month-old can. She loved watching him and cooing at him and he was very excited about her, too. He always wanted to know, "Where's Baby Ev-wyn?" And he had to observe and comment on everything she was doing. Baby Ev-wyn sleeping. Baby Ev-wyn eating. Baby Ev-wyn crying. Shhh, shhhh, no cry Baby Ev-wyn. Baby Ev-wyn sneeze. Bless you Baby. I share (with) Baby Ev-wyn.
Here she is - a precious, beautiful, smiley, happy baby girl. Such a joy to be around.

Jonah was very gentle with Evelyn and always wanted to give her huggies and kissies. He shared toys with her and invited her to watch Elmo with him. There were lots of reasons to go visit Paul, but I especially wanted to get in some extended baby time for Jonah to have a little taste of what babies are like - even though a 7-month-old is quite different from a newborn. I think it may have helped in preparing him for big brotherhood. I also think he might be catching on a little more to the baby in the belly idea. This week at my doctor appointment I asked him where the baby was and he said, "Um, he's riding in Mommy's belly button."

Cousins chillin' in the chair.

"What do you have in that sippy, Jonah, and how do I get some?"