My little family!

My little family!

Friday, January 25, 2013

11 days old, 10 pounds, endless amounts of love.

A family of four.
11 days gone in the blink of an eye. 
A perfect, dream-worthy newborn who fits so seamlessly in our lives, it's as though he's been here all along. 
A 19 month old talking-running-crazy toddler so in love with her brother, it literally brings tears to my eyes.
A husband so extraordinary he stepped it up when needed most and made me fall in love with him in a whole new way.

Let's rewind....

On January 14, 2013... after weeks upon weeks of contractions, Josh & I went to the hospital around 11:00 AM. Just like Layla's birth-day, it was a calm and collected morning. We checked in, went back to a room where I was put on an IV (which took 3 attempts due to dehydration), answered a zillion questions, played and talked about what we thought Benny would look like.. and off we were to surgery. Josh's mom & Layla stayed behind. My parent's waited in the waiting room. I had my spinal, got numb, cried over the anticipation, cried over being short of breath, cried because I needed Josh. Then Josh came in the room and surgery began. You don't feel much, if anything at all. It took longer then Layla's C-Section so I began to worry. Then...

At 1:39 PM... I heard his first cries. Long. Loud. Important. Like he had something to say. And I heard the giggles. 

"That's a BIG baby!" "He's perfect and HUGE!" "I can't believe that big baby came out of your BELLY!"

I looked at Josh and begged him to go check on our sweet boy. And that's when we found out we had a 10.0 pound BABY. A turkey. A perfect gem. Josh took pictures with his cell phone and with the camera. He showed me and I cried. He looked a little like Layla (which I later realized he looked exactly like Layla). The doctor continued surgery and suddenly the brought Benjamin over and laid him on my chest. It was so insanely magical, so beautiful, so special. I didn't have this with Layla -- during the remainder of the surgery, I was able to lay (completely numb and terrified i would drop him) with Benjamin on my chest. 

After surgery, we were wheeled to the recovery room. It was there that I was able to immediately nurse Benny. I was nervous (although I had breastfed Layla for 11 1/2 months) that I wouldn't remember how to nurse -- but as it turns out, little man was a PRO. He nursed on both sides for 30 minutes each. ONE SOLID HOUR OF NURSING. It was so cool. I was also able to drink water again for the first time which was SO good. I sat in recovery for a while because it took some time for feeling to come back to my legs (a very strange feeling, to say the least). Eventually I went to my room - (room 215) - much smaller then my last room. On my way to the room, I wheeled past my parents, Layla, Josh's mom. It was so cool. I got set up in my room and they all came in. I was in a lot of pain but felt pretty good. Layla was confused and crying which was impossible for me to watch. I cried a lot and eventually asked that they took her home because it was so hard for me not to climb out of bed and pick her up and kiss her cheeks. It was a confusing time for her but she was a champ.

The next 4 days (Monday-Thursday) were spent visiting with family & friends, nursing Benny a zillion times (he loves to eat), regaining strength, spoiling Layla as much as possible and eating late night dinners with my sister (who was always the last one to leave which was awesome). We took so many pictures but I'll only post the pictures from my cell phone until I get the chance to upload my camera. 

By 5 AM on Tuesday morning, I was out of bed moving. I definitely got better, faster, this time around. Benny did great - slept a bunch, ate a bunch. I sent him to the nursery the entire time we were there at night and he went LONG periods of time without eating at night (which has been his way of life so far.. praise Moses). The hospital stay was nice and quiet and relaxing. We had less visitors this time around and I actually loved it. Not that I didn't LOVE when people visited - but the quiet mornings spent with Benny & myself.. priceless. Josh slept over at the hospital the first night but I told him to sleep home after that because he needed rest. 

Thursday, January 17th (one week ago today) we came home. Discharge was easy. Benny weighed 9.3 pounds after we left (normal for babes to lose some weight). We were out of there by 11 AM - Benny did great in the carseat and car. We decided to stop and pick up my prescriptions on the way home. He didn't like when the car stopped but otherwise no crying. As soon as we got home, I felt better. Layla ran to us with open arms. As soon as she saw the carseat, she smiled. She looked inside, looked at me, and smiled again. She then said "Here ya go!" which in Layla speak means "Give him to me!" I asked her if she wants to hold him and she proudly shouted "YEH!" I couldn't believe it. Within 10 seconds of getting home, she showed major interest so I quickly unbuckled Benny and she held him. I cried tears of pure joy. While in the hospital, Layla had a tough time - she kissed Benny a lot but otherwise just wanted me. But at home? She was perfect. She held him for a long time, gave him back to me, and played with her books. It was great. 

That night, Nonnie (my sister in law, Danielle's, mom) brought us over an amazing home cooked meal. Eggplant parm, ziti, salad and bread. It was SO great... and a reminder that the best gift is always food <3 Thanks Nonnie!!!

Our first night - a newborn sleeping beside me (in a brand new deluxe Rock & Play Sleeper, thanks Shari & Brian) - the worry of no sleep. And then.. he slept. A lot. I had to set my alarm to wake myself to feed him. COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF LAYLA. With my sweet girl, I was up every 2 hours like clock-work. I got no sleep. By the time I was done feeding her, changing her and cleaning up - I slept for a few minutes before she was up again to eat. Not my dear boy. He sleeps. And sleeps. And sleeps some more. This trend has continued into day. There are plenty of times I need to wake him to eat during the day, as well. I think it's his size? Or complete luck? I don't know. I was worried the first few days but now I'm counting my lucky stars. I know it may change soon but for now? I'm sleeping and it's glorious. 

Friday, Layla left for school and quickly returned after she puked all over Josh's brand new Mercedes (uh - thank God for a local car wash that made his car look new again). She returned home and acted normal (we think it was motion sickness?) so our plans changed slightly but we made it work. 

(Lots of visitors throughout all of these days but they are all blending in my head)

Saturday, Josh's Dad & Sister came to visit. It was great to have them, although unfortunately Josh's sister got sick soon after arriving and went to a hotel to recover. (Poor thing - I'm SO ready for this flu & cold season to be GONE!!). Lots of relaxing, lots of cuddles, lots of Layla goofballness. 

Sunday, in the morning, I had a local salon (Blo-Out Blow Dry Bar) come to my house. I know it sounds insane but I wanted good hair and there was no way I was making it to a salon. I'm so glad I did it - it was awesome. She blew out my hair in the comfort of my bathroom while I stayed in my pajamas. She made me feel prettier then I felt in a while. After naps, the photographer arrived and it was time for Benny's newborn pictures with B. Side Photography!! We had so much fun and Beth was amazing. We took a zillion family photos and a zillion Benny photos and I can't wait to see them all -- I hope we got some cute shots and I don't look like a pregnant mama (my belly is going down everyday but still is resembling a pregnant woman - a perk of carrying a 10 pound baby, I suppose). 

Monday, with the amazing help of my in laws, we cleaned the entire house and prepared for Benjamin's Bris. By 1 PM, Layla woke up from her nap and it was time to start preparing. My mom showed up to help. By 2 PM, the food arrived. And soon after, guests came. It was a perfect afternoon. We had about 50 people show up (which was fabulous for a Monday afternoon). The food was amazing (Famous Deli Sandwiches and Hesh's cake, obviously). The service was so beautiful. Benny survived. It was a great night and something I'll never forget. I am so lucky to have the best family & friends in the world who are so lovely and supportive of my little family. 

That night, I went to bed and started with chills. Oh no. Then body aches. Seriously? By Tuesday morning, I felt pretty awful but with my medicine felt (slightly) better. I took it easy but needed sleep. I was devastated because Tuesday morning was B's first doctor's appointment. Like a champ, Josh took the baby alone. He was so nervous and I'm so proud of him. We ultimately found out that Benny was growing great, looked good, but was jaundice. (We suspected because his color was yellow). The doctor sent Josh straight to hospital to get a bilirubin check. I was devested. I couldn't believe I wasn't there  and i couldn't help. Josh came home first so I could feed him and then they were off. We later found out Benjamin had Breastmilk Jaundice. Long story short, they asked that I stopped breastfeeding for 24 hours to see if it helped. Slap in the face. I was (am?) devested because it's so important to get breastfeeding down perfectly before switching to bottles. Luckily, he took to the bottle immediately and formula didn't bother him. I pump while he gets the bottle and now my freezer is already full of 20 bags of breastmilk (a perk of this otherwise horrific situation). We also introduced the pacifier and he is in love (not surprised). I am limiting it because he's really good at finding his fingers but i don't mind and he realllly calms down when he has it. 

Yesterday, we went back for a 2nd bilirubin test and while it went down slightly, they asked that I continue to pump for another 24 hours and he gets formula. UH. So we did.

Last night, he slept decent but has a hard time falling asleep after his bottles (versus falling asleep comfortably at the boob). He is still needing to be woken up at night to feed and sometimes during the day. So insane. So not complaining. 

And now..... here we are. Layla just woke up from a nap in bed with Josh because she cried in her crib. She also woke up at 6 AM (waaaay too early, she usually wakes up between 7 & 8 AM so I'm not sure what that's about). 

I'm learning. I'm discovering this new life. There are moments of pure joy. Every morning, Layla can't wait to hold and kiss him. Every night, after Layla goes to sleep and Benny eats, I get a few minutes with Josh. I asked (begged) Josh's mom to extend her stay a bit so she'll be here until a week from today (rather then leaving Monday). I'm thankful for the days Layla goes to school but miss her by the time mid-morning roles around. I'm so nervous about his bilirubin (we go to get it tested again tomorrow). I'm terrified to watch both of them at the same time by myself, despite knowing I'll be okay. I'm thankful for the perfect days when Layla plays happily by herself and I'm able to feed Benny and they both nap at the same time. 

I'm just so lucky. This perfect, squishy, sleepy, adorable baby boy is ours. And this little family we have created is happy. And there are moments of insanity. And our house is a disaster because there are toys and boxes and gifts and diapers everywhere. 

And I wouldn't change it. Any of it. Because this is ours. This is us. 

So now, here we are..... four more days before Josh has to go back to work (NOOOOOO!!!) 

We are about to take Layla out for a lunch date while Josh's mama watches the baby boy. <3

I'll be writing weekly, if possible. I am annoyed at myself for keeping HORRIBLE track of gifts I have received so far (so if you read this, and you gave me a gift, and I don't send you a thank you - I'm SO SO SO sorry) - but I'm slowly getting it together and soon I'll perfect this whole mother-of-two-under-two things ;)

Cheers and enjoy the pictures!
Layla Jules & Benjamin Sawyer's Mama

(I wrote this yesterday -- just an update -- today, Benny's bilirubin was 14.5 - he's in the clear!! No more testing needed!! He's still slightly yellow but I like to think he has a nice sun tan) ;) 

...ok, apologies for the major picture overload!!

Benjamin Sawyer

10 pounds of perfection


Layla (1 day old) & Benny (1 day old) - they really look alike!!

He thinks I'm funny ;)

Baby smiles! 

Layla's first time meeting her baby brother. She's clutching the baby doll "Benny gave her" - so cute.



FaceTime with Aunt Ray & Uncle Jason while they were on vacation in Antigua - amazing!!


2nd going home outfit because he peed all over his first ;) Silly boys!

Time to go HOME!!! Birth: Nailed It! (Bought from Etsy)

Smooches for my girly who visited me everyday in the hospital.

Layla's coming home & Benny's coming home... tell me they aren't twins?!

The second we walked in the door she wanted to hold her baby brother - this was her first of a billion kisses. Melt.


Typical morning in our house.

Mustache pacifier. Is there anything better...?!

My love.

First try with a pacifier... he's addicted. It's bigger then his face.

His Bris outfit. He peed all over it within a few minutes and needed a change. Wah.

One week old!!

Grandma & Benny!

Late night FaceTime with Dada while we were in the hospital - I love this.

Early morning with my sweet boy in the hospital. I loved our bonding time so much.

Aunt Kim & Benjamin in serious conversation.

After his first bath - fresh, clean, happy.

Abbey & Benjamin!

Max, Benjamin and the Batman shoes that he bought for his new baby cousin!

So amazing.

A lunch date yesterday with our girl - yum!

After his second bath. So serious!

Love his little face.

His first playdate with our neighbor's new baby, Layla! They are 5 days apart and already in love!

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