Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rayhorns On The Rise

Benjamin Parr Rayhorn is finally here! Woo hoooo!!!  I really thought I would have him before his scheduled c-section date, but he held out to the bitter end.  He was born at 39 weeks on Friday, April 4th at 7:54 am weighing in at 8.1 pounds, and measuring 20 inches long. We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 5am, bright and early!, and the excitement of finally meeting Benjamin helped wake us up that morning at 4am. Whew!

Since this was my first scheduled c-section (I didn't know I was having one with Anna until I'd been in labor for 4ish hours), I was surprised that it took a few HOURS of prep, paperwork, etc. before actually going to the operating room.  It wasn't too bad hanging out in our suite in MGH's birthing center, but I was getting anxious!

                                                         Sweet little squishy face!!!

The c-section went well.  Since we knew what to expect this time, there was a lot less fear of the unknown and less stress.  Ethan and I were actually joking and giggling during part of it!  Seriously, I had a case of the giggles on the OR table...which felt inappropriate, but couldn't be helped. :) I'll spare you the gruesome pictures, but a nurse took a few action shots of the doctor pulling Ben out. It was pretty cool to see what was happening behind the blue curtain.  And weird.  And ok, a little gross too. 

                                            Daddy and Benjamin bonding in our birthing suite. 

Hearing Benjamin cry for the first time felt dream like, yet powerful.  It stands out even more than when I first heard Anna cry, which is, again, probably because we felt so much more prepared and comfortable this time.  I felt more "in the moment."  I was so excited to meet my baby boy!  Finally hearing him cry made me immediately get teary eyed and choked up too - so full of joy.  And even though this may be weird, the thought that clearly popped into my head when I heard Benjamin's first little cry was, "This can't be my last baby.  This can not be the last time I hear a newborn cry."  (Not being a huge fan of pregnancy, and a few other factors, I've thought many times over the past nine months - "I never want to do this again!")  So, we'll see.  hehe.  It was a very distinct impression.   

Anyway, after some bonding time in the OR, Ethan went with Benjamin to the nursery to trim the cord, give him a bath, and watch as the nurses assessed various things. Then they hung out for some father/son time while waiting for me to get put back together and return to the room.

Since I felt so overwhelmed after having Anna, and felt a little bombarded with guests (when I really just wanted to be alone with Ethan and baby), we told family/friends to wait for a phone call to come visit.  We even thought it might not be until the second day.  Well!  I felt great - emotionally and physically - and after about an hour of alone time in our room, I told Ethan, "Call some people to come visit, pronto!  And make sure Anna comes as soon as possible!"  We were ready to celebrate, and have Benjamin start to meet all his family members. 
 Mama and Benjamin walking around the room.
I had a really good experience with my c-section with Anna - physically, and a great recovery too - which is why I opted to do it again, even though they gave me the choice. I also assumed the same thing would happen that did with Anna if I had tried to have a VBAC.  (A stuck baby because of previous car accident injuries.)  This experience was even better. For major surgery, I feel pretty dang good!  I think it helps that I knew what to expect, I wasn't quite as sick with this pregnancy so I've been more active (chasing Anna around, etc.).  I also feel so much better emotionally than last time, which I think contributes too. The nurses have been so warm and helpful, the MGH Birthing Suites are great, good doctors, and the hospital stay has been nice - very nice, but I am definitely ready to go home tomorrow.
Anna visited about 5 different times while we were here and she was such a sweetie!!! She was very excited to meet Benjamin, and insists that people call him by his full name. She talked about how tiny and cute he is, and each time says that we should take him home now. I just cannot describe how great she is being with all of this. She is so kind and I don't think it's too soon to declare the title of, "World's Greatest Big Sister."  (But, really, did we expect anything less from her?  :)  Anna was very concerned for me and always asks me if I'm feeling better. She is so caring!  We are all excited to be together at home tomorrow. I've missed her tons!!  I love her so much.
She asked us if she could hold Benjamin the first day and then told us, "We have to be careful, he is very tiny." So true Miss Anna!

Ethan is in the middle of his busiest semester ever, seriously!, so although he has a week off of work, he is still a bit busy.  Only 3 more weeks!!  He has studied here in our room (and elsewhere, like across the street at the University Center), and had to go to a few classes he just couldn't miss.  But NMU is literally next door to the hospital, so it hasn't been too bad.  He's also spent some time with Anna, and helps put her to bed each night, so she doesn't feel completely abandoned.  Since I'm so much more comfortable this time around, it's been fine.  After I had Anna, I didn't want to be alone at all.  I know every pregnancy and birth is different, but I really feel like knowing what to expect has really helped with the calmness of it all this time. 

So, Benjamin hasn't really let us get to know him too well yet...he has been so sleepy. Incredibly sleepy! He doesn't even want to wake up to breastfeed, silly boy.  (And speaking of, he has a bit of a tongue issue that makes nursing pretty challenging - again! - but we're making an appointment with a lactation specialist, so hopefully that helps!)  I think his sleepy-ness is just starting to wear off. Maybe?  I have just loved snuggling with him, trying to figure out who he looks like, and enjoying this precious newborn stage. As far as looks go - He is definitely lighter complected, and his hair is lighter than Anna's was coming out.  Anna as a baby and Benjamin don't look very similar to me now, but we'll see who he turns in to.  Oh, and I'm surprised at how excited I am to have a son!   A boy!  I know I'd be happy with whichever Heavenly Father chose to send us, but I can't help but feel excited to experience both genders and see the unique personalities that each will develop.  Mi precioso bebe!   Mijo.  I love him so much already.     

Welcome to the world baby Benjamin!  Everyone is happy and healthy and full of love!


Pat & Amber said...

Aw...he is SO cute! And you look great, Angela! You and Anna Jones are going to make me look like a big whimp when I have Griffin. lol Glad everything went so well for you. You all look so happy! :)


Amy E said...

Congratulations Angela & Ethan!! He is sooo cute. I love his chubby cheeks. I wish my babies came out that chubby and big! :) Congrats. Enjoy the baby stage. I kinda miss it. I saw your Uncle Harry today at Vicki Russell's funeral. It's been so long! Love to all...

Diana said...

Congrats on Benjamin. He is beautiful and you look so good!