While we were patiently waiting (and waiting, and waiting … ) for Ben to make his arrival earlier this Summer I had labor on the brain and shared Owen and Charlie’s Birth Stories. I fully intended to share Baby Three’s (a.k.a. Ben’s) story soon after his arrival, but then things got a bit … um … busy around the Stahl household. My former ‘blog’ time (8pm – bedtime) was replaced with feeding a newborn, walking, bouncing, changing diapers, etc while trying to keep him happy and/or asleep. I took a million pictures during this time, but they stayed on my camera or on a file in our computer. I hardly even had a chance to look at any of them.
Well … ‘Baby Three’, Ben, is almost 6 months old now. SIX!!! As in … half an entire YEAR!! I figured I better share it now or face the fact that he may be in preschool before I get around to telling the story. And I know you’re all dying to hear it (ha! sorry … bear with me on this one).
So here we go (and be warned, there are about a million pictures coming your way …):
Don’t you just want to hug and squeeze him?!? There’s something about knowing that this might be your last …. that ‘Baby’ Ben might be your baby forever. Tears …
And, also, that’s not a definite statement by any means. If it were my choice, we’d probably have one more (though the chaos and sleeplessness in our house lately is steering me the other way), but Matt is not on board with that idea. At. All. Right now.
But … let’s get to the story, shall we?
Ben’s due date was May 18th. This was one day before Owen’s due date (four years ago). Owen was due May 19th, and was born 5 days later on the 24th. I knew it was entirely possible that Ben might be 6 days late, and thus share a birthday with Owen, but I was fully expecting him to arrive earlier.
Here was my math … Owen was 5 days late, then Charlie was 3 days late, so Ben should be 1 day late (patterns … I’ve always been good at ’em). Actually, I was thinking that I might have an on-time baby this time … or maybe even a couple days early. Never did I think he’d be the latest of them all.
I was wrong.
His due date, a Sunday, came and went with not this slightest sign of action. So … we carried on, and I tried hard to be active (hoping to cause this baby to decide to make an appearance).
I made my way up the ropes course with the boys when he was 2 days late:
(sorry for the bad iphone, then instagram filtered picture …)
I went in for my doctor appointment when I was 4 days late, and there was still no progress when she checked. They had told me all along that they wouldn’t let me go longer than 41 weeks, but I then found out that because of the holiday weekend (Memorial Day), and an already-booked-Tuesday, they wouldn’t induce until the following Wednesday (41w 3d !!!). This was a big difference to me. And so I cried a bit in the car on the way home.
Back to trying to get this baby out with my own tricks …
Someone told me that they induced labor by walking around the neighborhood with one foot on the curb, and one off the curb. At five days late, I tried that at the park … for at least a half hour. In circles.
The others at the park were confused by this hugely pregnant lady walking strangely in circles …
Then, at six days late, came Owen’s 4th birthday. We made plans to go out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants by the lake, then get Yogurt Lab for dessert, and eat it by the lake with Grandma. The night before Owen’s birthday, as much as I wanted this baby to make an appearance, I was also secretly hoping we’d be able to keep our plans … for Owen’s sake.
And we did keep those plans …
It was a beautiful day, and we ate lunch outside by the lake. Fish & chips were a hit!
We made yogurt sundaes, ate ’em by the lake, and headed home for cake from Grandma. And took our last ‘family of 4 picture’:
Looking back on it, Matt and I should have probably showered for this picture, huh? I guess we weren’t thinking it would be the official ‘last family of four picture’.
With the cake down … My mom and I started planting some flowers in my window boxes outside, and finally … finally (!!!) I felt some contractions!!! Wooo Hooo!!! I didn’t tell anyone just yet … didn’t want to jinx it. I just kept planting flowers and kept track of how far apart they were.
Around 5pm or so, my mom left and I told her that I just ‘had a feeling’ we’d be calling her to come back tonight. I was right …
Matt took the boys to a neighbors’ bonfire and I laid on the couch monitoring my contractions. I told him that my guess was that we’d be leaving for the hospital by midnight. I was right again …
He put the boys to bed, and then we watched Covert Affairs for awhile (we only watch two shows .. Modern Family and Covert Affairs on USA … odd, I know). My contractions sort of stalled out at 10 minutes apart for a long time, but Matt convinced me to call anyway. They were painful and fairly long each, but still only 10 minutes apart. I was super worried after my quick delivery with Charlie, that I’d be delivering this one in the car. From my calculations … once we called and got the ‘okay’ to come in, it would be at least an hour before we could get to the hospital. 25 minutes for my mom to get to our house … 25 minutes for us to drive to the hospital … 10 minutes to park, walk, and take the elevator to labor & delivery.
At 11:30 doc gave the okay to come in! Yes! Things were on the move! Finally!!
We called my mom and she got to our house quickly. We met her at the garage door and basically opened the door, let her in, gave her a hug, and jumped into our minivan (yep, I said … minivan … that’s another whole story). We drove quickly to the hospital, parked, and walked in. We passed the guard on duty who asked us if we knew where we were going.
“Yes, third time doing this,” I said as I was frantically trying to hurry.
Well … I was wrong. We got in the elevator and headed to the third floor and got off. We turned the corner and realized we were on the wrong floor.
“It must be 4th floor,” I told Matt. We got back in the elevator and headed up to fourth.
Yep, that wasn’t right either. Now I was panicking because my contractions were much closer together and I really wanted an epidural this time (I’m whimpy … don’t judge).
Back down to the 1st level to ask that guard where we needed to go.
Once into triage, I swear they were taking forever to come in and check me out. I might have yelled at Matt a couple times. I might have used some not-so-lady-like words. Just sayin’. Can’t be sure.
Well … 6 cm dialated was just perfect! Enough to keep me, and enough to get an epidural.
I got the epidural at 2am and the plan was to sleep for 2 hours, then check my progress, and hopefully break my water and deliver a baby shortly after.
So we ‘slept’.
Well Matt did …
Then, just after 4am, I realized my water broke and called in the nurse. She checked me, and basically said … “don’t push … or move … I’m calling the doc to get here NOW, so try not to deliver just yet.”
Huh? This epidural was great as I was fine to hang out for a minute. So unlike Charlie’s delivery.
They prepped Ben’s bed … so, of course I took a picture and instagrammed it.
The doctor arrived in an amazingly quick amount of time. I pushed through one contraction (3 times), and they told me the baby should be here on the next push. I didn’t believe them until they informed me that the head was half out.
Again … best epidural ever!!
Out the ‘baby’ came on that next push and into my arms as Matt was doing his assigned duty of calling out the gender.
“It’s a boy.”
Which I felt like I already knew, but I finally had confirmation.
And then after a good long time, some tears of joy, and lots of kisses, it was Daddy’s turn to hold the lil’ guy:
And he really was our ‘littlest’ boy (even though he was the latest … ):
And now we could finally say, “Welcome to the World, Ben!”
Also … I have this picture:
Why is Matt asleep again? Notice the time … “Hello … we just had a baby?!?”
Apparently, it was a rough night for him. Well, that and Matt just couldn’t help with the breastfeeding thing going on at the moment …
We were moved to our postnatal room after a couple hours, and sent out this picture to our family and friends:
And we took our first official ‘Mom and Ben’ picture:
Then it was finally time for his older brothers to meet him. Grandma brought them to the hospital:
If you can’t tell from the picture, the boys were not overly excited on their first visit. I should have got dressed and been sitting in a chair (not the bed) when they arrived. I think they were freaked out about seeing me in the bed. Owen wanted nothing to do with either of us, and Charlie wanted to hug me, but not Ben.
The next day was 100 times better …
They did, however, exchange presents that first day. Ben ‘bought’ Owen and Charlie something, and they each brought something for Ben.
Owen still remembers that Ben bought him that Spiderman motorcycle thing to this day.
Ben met Uncle Jim and Soon-to-be Aunt Jess:
And very soon later, Grandma and Grandpa:
and big cousins Jadalyn and Ashlyn:
The next day, we took some more family pictures (and the boys were much more excited about their new baby brother):
And lots of pictures of Ben:
And finally, on the third day we were ready to go home:
Once home, Molly was able to meet the latest addition, and as is tradition … we gave Ben the official ‘tour’ of his new home:
He looks thrilled, huh?
The boys quickly warmed up to their baby brother:
We stuck around the house for a day or so, but had to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather a couple days later. When Ben was 4 days old, we took him to one of our favorite Summer places, Lake Harriet, for a walk and Ice Cream:
Matt went back to work after that weekend, and I attempted to manage all three. I’m still figuring it out …
I’ll keep you posted if/when I figure it out.
You knew it wouldn’t be long before we all made it to Target. I took a picture (on my phone, and not very well) to document our first (of many) trips:
And we continued to adjust to life with three little boys. There were lots of fun moments like this one when they all were loving me:
And plenty of others that weren’t, well, so picture perfect. Far, far, from it.
Just less than two weeks after Ben’s arrival, and for Matt’s parent’s 40th anniversary, we all had professional pictures taken.
Not loving the dress with the post baby belly, but I am glad we got some family pictures right away:
Sitting is better (with Ben to cover my tummy):
I can’t say that picture above is the best of Ben, however.
It was a busy Summer and an even busier Fall, but I’m just in love with all my boys. And even though Ben has forgotten how to sleep this past 3 weeks or so (seriously … up all night!!), he’s still SUCH a good baby. And his brothers are absolutely in love with him! It melts my heart to see them interact with each other.
So … here we are almost 6 months later:
Writing this story, and looking back through all these pictures make me a little sad. Mostly happy, but a little sad. How did nearly six months go by already?
And speaking of time going by quickly … Owen is off to his field trip and first bus ride this morning.
Thanks for stopping by, and for reading Ben’s story. Have a wonderful weekend!!