Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Life With Bennett: No one could have prepared me for this...

This sweet boy has stolen my heart...

Plank Photography
And while people have always told me that there is no love quite like the love you have for your children...I was in no way prepared for the feelings that overcame me the day this little guy came into the world. 

Sure...I knew I loved him from the minute I found out I was pregnant...but it was still an abstract sort of love. It was still the "idea" of a baby and the idea of being a mommy.

At our 20 week ultrasound seeing our baby, looking like a baby and knowing that HE would be joining our family in 4 months only made this love grow...

But again...this love was still so abstract. I knew were were going to be mommy and daddy to a sweet little boy that I couldn't wait to meet...but I had never met him, so while I loved him...I had no idea to what extent I would love him once he was here.

On March 30th, Bennett Oliver Smith came into our lives like a wrecking ball to the heart...his first 30 minutes of life were scary and unsettling. I had only held my sweet little boy in my arms for seconds before he was whisked away, but all it took were those few seconds for me to realize that there was nothing in the world I wouldn't do for my son and my heart ached with worry and fear.

Hearing our little boy cry for the first time was such an emotional that filled me with relief and oh so much love.

When they finally brought him to me nothing else in the world mattered...I was smitten and couldn't take my eyes of this perfect little human that we created.

Over the last few weeks I have cried more tears than I have ever cried in my life...and while I am sure the massive amounts of hormones coursing through my body have something to do with it...these tears are mostly due to the fact that I am so damn happy.

I don't think I realized until that moment when I first held my baby how much I wanted and needed to be a mom. My heart is so full of love and joy when I look into his eyes. My heart nearly explodes out of my chest every time he does something we deem cute (which is every single second!)

Our lives before this had always been filled with so much love and happiness...but our lil' man filled a hole I didn't even know existed. Becoming mommy and daddy to this little miracle is the greatest joy I have ever had in my life...and I feel so lucky to have been given this precious gift.

So please excuse me while I snuggle up with my baby and cry these happy tears and thank God every day that he chose this sweet little boy to be ours <3

Saturday, April 15, 2017

March Book Review

I had big plans for March...

My last month before baby AND Spring Break? I definitely planned to make the most of this month and read several books...

Spoiler alert...I did not. I actually only read 2 books this month...and the second was not finished until a few days into April...but in my defense Lil' B's arrival was a bit of a surprise and labor was a little quicker than I anticipated so I didn't get any reading done at the hospital #AmateurHour

And while I didn't technically finish book #2 in March the majority of it was read in March, and it's my New Year's I make the rules :)

 I mentioned this book in February's book review and I was about half-way through. While I enjoyed the book I have to say it took me FOREVER to finally finish. In my was a LONG book and I was tired. Staying awake at night was tough...and weekends were spent finishing the nursery and finishing all the last minute things before baby. 

I haven't met a JoJo Moyes book that I haven't liked and this one was no exception. It's not my favorite of hers, but one I enjoyed none the less. I love historical fiction, and I especially love it when it's about a time period/event that I don't have a lot of prior knowledge with. I almost feel like I am learning and becoming more worldly, and enjoying myself at the same time :)

Sophia Kinsella is one that doesn't usually disappoint me...but something about this book druuuuuggggg ooooonnn forever for me. I am not sure if it is because my mind was busy thinking about baby's arrival...and then I finished it once he was born. I suppose my mind was not in a place to enjoy a book...even one as simple and mindless as this one :) I wouldn't say it's the worst, but I have read better. 

April is off to a good start...I have an ebook downloaded and it's been my best friend during the never ending nursing sessions and somethings at 2AM when lil' man decides he won't sleep unless I am holding him :) 

I have a feeling I will get through at least 2 books in April, but I won't make any promises!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bennett Oliver Smith: Birth Story

I have been wanting to write Bennett's birth story for days now, but I have been having a  hard time trying figure out where to begin. How can I put into words a day that changed our lives so completely? How can I even begin to convey what a meaningful day this was for us in a blog post? Becoming Bennett's mommy and daddy was an experience that no one could have prepared us for, so I will do my best to do it justice...

It all began on a dark and stormy night, which is not just me being dramatic...there was lots of rain and was even a tornado watch! I had plans with my girlfriends for our weekly girl's dinner. Since I was going to be out for the evening AJ had his brother come over to keg the beer they had brewed a few weeks earlier.

At dinner the girls and I were talking about baby's arrival and how I was getting anxious not knowing when it would happen...and knowing it could be any day now or it could be 2 weeks from now. I had a few contractions throughout dinner...but I had been having some inconsistent contractions all week so I didn't pay them any attention. 

I got home from dinner about 7:45, and AJ and Brian had finished kegging their beer and were playing darts and enjoying a few beers in the garage. I hung out there for a few minutes just chatting...and smelling their beer :) It had been a long day, so I decided to head inside to get ready for bed, but before going inside I jokingly said to AJ "Don't drink too many beers know my water could break at any time" We then laughed about this and I headed upstairs to get ready for bed.

As usual my first stop was the bathroom, and once I was finished I stood up and felt a gush of water. My first thought was "oh crap, I peed on myself" but then I realized the water wasn't stopping. I panicked and thought "Did my water just break?!?" After a few seconds of shock I realized that it had in fact broken...only minutes after joking with AJ that it could break at any time...

I immediately grabbed my phone and called AJ...after several rings he finally picked up and I said "Do you remember how I said my water could break at any time? did" His reaction was silence and then "shut up...are you serious?" 

He then rushed upstairs and the look on his face was that of absolute terror...Here was this guy who is always so calm, cool, and collected, looking absolutely terrified. Luckily, I wasn't having any contractions yet and I for some reason remained really calm. 

I sent AJ to pack himself a bag and to grab my bag (luckily I had already gotten everything ready for myself) As he was doing this I was searching for the number for my doctor to see how soon we needed to get to the hospital. Since I wasn't having any contractions I didn't want to go too soon and end up there sitting around forever. After digging through all my pre-registration paperwork we FINALLY found the number we needed to call. We left a message for the doctor and hoped she would call back quickly.

I decided to hop in the shower while waiting for the doctor to call back. From what we had learned at our child birth classes it was likely going to be several more hours and I needed a distraction...and clean hair :)

While I was in the shower the doctor called back and told AJ that I could finish my shower and get cleaned up, but we should probably head to the hospital when I finished. I got out of the shower, blow dried my hair, and packed a few last minute things, and while doing this I felt my first contraction. It wasn't terrible, but it definitely stopped me in my tracks.

After calling the doctor we called my parents to let them know they needed to come get our other baby, Gracie, and they showed up a few minutes before we left the hospital. My mom, of course got emotional and started crying...and I surprisingly didn't. I think I was still in denial at what was happening.

At this point it was about 10:00PM and we were finally walking out the door when I had another contraction that was quite a bit stronger than the one freaked me out a little and I told AJ "we better hurry"

Luckily, the hospital is only a couple of miles from our house, so when we hit EVERY.SINGLE.STOPLIGHT it still only took us about 10 minutes and I luckily didn't have another contraction on the ride to the hospital.

Like I mentioned before, it was raining, so AJ dropped me off at the entrance and I went in to get checked in while he parked the car and brought in our bags. I got to the front desk and the lady quickly got my paper work together and while she was doing this I had another minor contraction. AJ walked in, we finished up the paper work and they came around the corner with a wheelchair and we headed upstairs.

Once we got upstairs they took us to our room and told me to get changed into a gown and that the nurse would be right in. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, and hadn't had another contraction so AJ and I were hanging out in the room when reality finally hit us...we were going to have a baby VERY soon! We both were excited and terrified at the same time...but glad to be at the hospital ready to get going.

Our last selfie as a party of two :)
A few minutes later Gloria, our nurse, came in and started asking me questions and getting things ready. I had another contraction during this, and it was difficult to answer her questions, so AJ took over. She then had me get in bed so she could start my IV and finish checking me in.

Before my IV she wanted to check to see how far I had progressed and at that point I was at about 3.5 cm and about 80% effaced which hadn't changed from my appointment the week before.

After that, the contractions picked up...BIG TIME. They started coming every minute to minute in a half...and being chained to the bed made them worse (she said I couldn't get up and walk around until I was all checked in- which made me question why we had pre-registered?)

As the contractions picked up intensity and got closer together I started to panic a little...they hurt...REALLY bad and I wasn't sure how much more I could take. I then had a big contraction...the mother of all contractions and I started throwing up. I had tears in my eyes and told AJ "I don't think I can do this" The next hour went by painfully slow and was filled with contraction after contraction and I asked Gloria when I could get my epidural...she said that I had progressed far enough to get it, but I wasn't officially checked in yet...and that I had to wait for some blood work to come back to make sure it was safe for me to get an epidural...and when she said that I panicked thinking about the outcome if they said I couldn't get one! I have always considered myself to be pretty tough, but labor contractions were no match for my pain tolerance.

Around midnight, after about two hours of contraction after contraction the anesthesiologist finally wheeled his tool box in and I wanted to jump up and hug him! The nurse finally let me sit up in bed to get prepared. I ended up having 3 contractions while I was getting my epidural, but the change of position made them much more bearable. The laboring pre-epidural was nothing like I had been led to expect at our child-birth classes...I was stuck in bed, there was no exercise ball or walking the hallways...and laying in bed during a contraction is no cake walk.

The epidural had  been one of the things giving me the most anxiety going into it...but after those contractions it felt like nothing! He started with a shot to numb the area, and while this stung/burned a bit, it was something I could handle, and I didn't even feel the actual epidural. It then took another 15 minutes or so for the epidural to completely kick in...however immediately the contractions became much less intense and MUCH more bearable. These were more what I expected from the early labor contractions...

Shortly after the nurse checked my progress again and we were all surprised to hear that I was at 6.5cm and almost 100% effaced! This made me feel a little better about being such a baby about my contractions ;)

After the epidural kicked in I called my mom to let her know that we were checked in, that I had my epidural and that things were progressing. I then asked her if she would come up and sit with me for a bit. My mom of course agreed and was there about 20 minutes later and I was feeling GOOD thanks to the miracle that is an epidural! We texted some updates to family members, thinking it would still be several more hours before baby arrived.

Over the next few hours the nurse had me change positions and continued to check my progress...and things were moving REALLY quickly. Each time she checked me I was another centimeter dilated...and by 4 AM she told me it was time to push...WHAT?!?!?

My mom immediately got up and said she was going to wait in the waiting room...and at that moment I burst into tears. I looked at AJ and said "I need my mom, is it okay if she stays?" We had originally planned on it just being the two of us in the delivery room, but in that moment I knew I wanted and needed my mom to stay, and AJ of course agreed that she should stay.

The next 2 hours were spent pushing, making jokes, doing the wave, and singing songs (yes, it was a damn comedy show in the delivery room. I tend to get really silly when I am nervous!)

Finally, the doctor on call showed up...and while it wasn't Dr. Blevins, it was another doctor I had seen before and liked, so I immediately felt comfortable. She told me that we were so close to baby time and I just needed to give her a few good pushes. #ChallengeAccepted

A few big pushes later and Bennett Oliver was born! They immediately put him on my chest...and within seconds I knew something wasn't quite right. He wasn't crying and the doctor urgently said "we need to cut the cord now" and then one of the nurses turned to another nurse and said "we need to call the pic-nurse now" and at this point things started to happen really fast.

They took Bennett from me and rushed him to the warmer on the other side of the room...he still wasn't crying and I could see the urgency in the nurses actions. They began working on him and trying to get him to cry.  I of course freaked out and kept asking "what's wrong with him, why isn't he crying" and I was trying to position myself so I could see him. My doctor told me I needed to sit still and that baby was going to be just fine. She said he was just stunned....The nurses said he was in fact breathing and he was pinking up, but he still wasn't crying. He then started to pee all over the nurses...but still no crying. Everyone kept reassuring me he was fine, but seeing them put the oxygen mask on my teeny little baby broke my heart into a million little pieces. 

I sent my mom and AJ over to snap some photos of Bennett so I could see him..waiting 30 minutes was agonizing!
I immediately sent AJ over to be with him and my mom stayed by my side...and in that moment while she was reassuring me that he would be just fine I was so grateful she was there with me and I knew that there had been a reason I had asked her to stay.

I will be forever grateful that my husband snapped this photo of me meeting our little guy for the first time...the chaos in the delivery room made pictures the furthest thing from my mind.
After an agonizing 5 minutes I finally heard the sweet, sweet, sound I had been waiting to hear. His loud powerful cry was music to this mama's ears. I immediately started crying tears of relief.
 It was still another 25 minutes before they brought him to me...but the moment they laid him on my chest the nightmare was forgotten. My sweet baby boy was healthy and in my arms FINALLY!

And to think that I was worried about the gestational diabetes and having a 10lb baby! The nurses all praised me for being so diligent with my diet and keeping myself and baby healthy.

About an hour later I reluctantly handed him over so we could get his height and weight and while I knew he was a bit early, I was so shocked by how tiny he was. 6lbs 12 oz and 19.5" tall (although they said that he would likely measure a little shorter after the impressive cone head of his went down!)

The absolute BEST moment of my life :)
All in all, minus the little hiccup of the delay in crying I couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery was really quick and water broke at 8:00PM...contractions started around 10PM...I got my epidural around midnight...and started pushing at 4:00AM...and at 5:25AM Bennett Oliver made his dramatic entrance into the world, and in that moment our lives were forever changed for the better.

A few hours after Bennett was born we took a family selfie...I didn't remember my mom taking the picture of the 3 of us before she left, so this isn't our first (or our last) family selfie :)
These past two weeks, while exhausting, have been the very best days of my life. Most days I find myself just staring at my sweet boy and crying tears of happiness. How did I get so lucky to be this little boy's mama?
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

39 Weeks: Welcome to the world, Bennett Oliver Smith

Lil' man just couldn't wait a day longer to meet his mommy and daddy...and we are sure glad he didn't! At 38 weeks 5 days Bennett Oliver made a quick and dramatic entrance into the world!

How far along?
38 weeks 5 days...looks like he got the early gene from his mama :)

How big is baby?
6lbs 12 oz, 19.5" long

What's baby up to this week?
Baby spent the week listening to my voice and continuing to develop his brain.

I had a sudden burst of energy this weekend and the need to nest ALLTHETHINGS! I always thought nesting was a made up thing...but when I thought I needed to clean up and organized the garage...I knew it was real. Thank goodness for a husband who humored me because we got everything completed prior to Bennett's arrival. 

I also had all sorts of inconsistent contractions all week, and just when I started to think that we needed to start timing them they would stop. 

Maternity Clothes?
I officially made it through with only having to purchase a pair of jeans, a pair of leggings, a pair of dress pants and a handful of tops and tank tops and mixing those with dresses and cardigans that I already owned.

I was lucky to sleep pretty great throughout the pregnancy. I was up a few times in the middle of the night this week with contractions, but they always went away and I was able to fall back asleep easily.

Missing Anything?
Not running this week was hard, but I went on a few walks which was nice for the fresh air...and clearly it worked to move things along :)

Nothing really...I didn't have much of an appetite.

Sunday night AJ made his famous chili (my favorite) and after a few bites I was super nauseous and sick to my stomach. It tasted funny and just didn't sit right and I couldn't finish it.
I then spent 10 minutes digging through the fridge trying to find something that sounded good...because with GD I can't just not eat...which is what I really wanted to do :(

I had a little anxiety on Saturday because we still had SO MUCH  WE HAD TO DO (in my crazy mind) and we started several projects but couldn't finish until Sunday...I had myself convinced I was going to go into labor Saturday night and leave the house a mess :) Luckily, we got everything done and ready before my water broke Wednesday night! 

Pushes, nudges, and lots of reminders that he was running out of space.

Throughout the pregnancy I felt like he was always moving and kicking me...and now that he is here I can see that this was true! He kicks his legs constantly...even when he is sound asleep. Future runner in the making? #IThinkYes

Best Moment of the week
Meeting our sweet baby boy! 

Pregnancy Brain Moments
Nothing specific, but I had a lot more trouble staying focused on anything for a long period of time. 

Looking forward to?
The next 18 weeks with my lil' man! I plan to soak up every single second! 

Projects/Baby Gear purchased?
We bought a deep freeze this weekend, moved our bedroom around (so the pack n' play would fit better) and moved our bedroom TV into the living room...I was a nesting fool! 

No Jazzercise...but I did go on several long walks. I wanted to be one of those super-human pregnant ladies that was able to run up until the very end, but between my shins/calves and my hips/pelvis it just isn't in the cards.

People always say that being active during pregnancy makes for a quick and easy delivery...and I have to say in my case this was so true!

For the next 6 weeks I plan to take it easy and spend all my time soaking up these priceless moments with my little guy! I can't wait to get back to running...but I will be taking it easy and listening to my body so I can come back strong and injury free.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Life Lately: March

To say March was our most exciting month so far might be a bit of an understatement...This month was filled with lots of fun and excitement and our BEST surprise yet!

In March we were showered with lots of love and baby goodies by my wonderful staff! My team went above and beyond to throw a wonderful shower for me and Baby Smith.

We attended a breast feeding class...and let's just say that sweet little doll will never be able to unsee some of the things she saw ;) 

We celebrated Finley's 4th birthday-How is this even possible? I swear she was just born yesterday! 

We spent lots of time assembling baby stuff

AJ worked from home several days during my spring break...and he clearly got a lot done ;) 

Gracie and I both got hair-cuts over spring break...but she is the only one that got a tacky bow-tie ;)

I spent an afternoon with this sassy pants learning about all things baby....

She showed me how to take proper care of a baby and even offered to come over when the baby was born to teach me how to change his diaper. 

We rounded out Spring Break with a visit to our pediatrician. As first time parents I am sure we had some of the most ridiculous questions...but she humored us anyway :) 

We spent an entire day finishing up the nursery and finally getting things hung on the wall

Over the last few months I have been buying things and just putting them in his room and figured whatever we didn't end up using I could take back...

I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but we ended up finding a place for every little thing I purchased....

The finished product was even better than I had imagined! 

We spent many eventing snuggling up and watching TV anticipating Baby Smith's arrival

And while baby wasn't due until April 7th...he surprised us by showing up a little bit early!

Our little April baby ended up being a March baby by just a few days! 

March was a pretty great month :)

And I am sure April...and all the months following this will be just as wonderful! Our little party of 2 is now a party of 3...and I can't wait for all the adventures headed our way!