Thursday, April 7, 2011

Smith is ONE WEEK old

I snapped some photos today of baby Smith on his 1 week birthday. He seems so little… weighing in at 7lbs even on Monday. We know these days are going to fly and, soon, he’ll be a big boy. For now, we’re enjoying our precious little newborn.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bringing Home Baby (April 2nd)

On the afternoon of April 2nd, Brian and Bennett arrived at the hospital to pack up Mommy and Smith. Bennett still agreed that Smith was a keeper and that we needed to take him home (whew, good thing for you, Smith). Bennett really enjoyed all of the gadgetry in the hospital room (a bed that moves when you push buttons, a refrigerator at his level, a meal tray for eating his snack, mommy’s large water bottle, an extra bed for jumping, etc)… so he was full of energy and quite enthusiastic. He watched and “helped” as I got Smith dressed in his coming-home outfit (a sleeper and matching hat with turtles on it). Bennett loves turtles right now (thanks to our recent trip to Cabela’s), so he was really excited that Smith would be wearing “toe-tles” home on his outfit.

We arrived home by early evening and had our first dinner together as a family of FOUR. Brian and I enjoyed yummy barbeque that our friends, the Kolkhorsts, brought over; Bennett had one of his favorite mealtime staples… bean & cheese quesadillas, green beans and marshmallows; and Smith slept through the whole thing. It felt so warm and complete to have both boys together with us at home. We are so blessed to be resting at home peacefully, with visits from great friends, family and neighbors.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brothers Get to Meet

Bennett got to meet his baby brother yesterday, April 1st. He did SO WELL and it’s such an amazing experience to watch him interact with Smith. These guys are BROTHERS, and that means so much more than either of them can begin to comprehend at this point in their very young lives. For Brian and me, the experience has been very moving. The look in Bennett’s eyes when he’s checking out his brother is priceless. He already wants to be involved in every process… “uh-oh” (the baby’s blanket has come loose), “eat” (it’s time to watch the baby nurse), “8,10” (it’s time to count his toes again and make sure they’re all there), “hold” (Bennett wants to hold the baby on his lap), “touch” (watch out baby Smith, Bennett is still learning just how gentle he needs to be), and the list goes on and on and on.

We put quite a bit of thought into the process of introducing Bennett to the new baby. We wanted him to feel like we all, as a family, were accpeting and taking on this new baby. When Brian and Bennett arrived at the hospital, baby Smith was in the nursery hanging out with his fellow newborn friends. Bennett and Daddy came to the room to play and hang out for awhile. I was missing Bennett terribly, so it was good to see him and catch up without any distractions. Our friend, Char, had brought mylar balloons to the hospital, which she knew Bennett would love... and he did. He went immediately to them and carried them around for the longest time. After awhile, we decided that we wanted to show our balloons to the new baby, so Daddy went to get him from the nursery. Bennett was quite excited to share his balloons with Smith and to welcome him into our family. The whole thing was just so sweet.

A few days leading up to Smith’s birth, we began telling Bennett that his baby brother would bring him a surprise when he came out of mommy’s belly. He gets very excited about “surprises” right now and we figured this would be just one more element to help make the introduction as smooth as possible. So, on the night of March 30th, after prayers and story time, I decided to ask Bennett for any input into this “surprise” that Smith would bring. He had a VERY specific idea… “Choo-choo TRACK.” I responded with, “oh, okay, you want baby Smith to bring you a choo-choo train.” He looked at me like I was deaf, shook his head and said “noooooo… choo-choo TRACK.” It all began to make sense. He already has choo-choo TRAINS that he pushes all over the place. He apparently really wants a TRACK for his trains. I shared this story with Brian and we both got a good chuckle. Then, the next morning, Brian came into Bennett’s room as we were rocking and he was waking. He asked Bennett the same question and he got the same answer… “choo-choo TRACK.” So… being the good daddy that Brian is, he set out to meet Bennett’s request. Needless to say, Bennett now has a spectacular choo-choo train table, complete with TRACKS, tunnels, more train cars, etc. that will hopefully keep him occupied during times when Mommy needs to nurse the baby and tend to other baby needs. Bennett is one excited big brother (at least for now)!

…And He’s Here! (March 31st)

On Thursday, March 31st at 3:58pm, Smith Henry Frazier arrived into the world! He weighed 7 lbs 4oz and was 19.5 inches long. At first glance, he resembles his big brother, Bennett… but upon closer inspection, he definitely has his own unique characteristics. He has a little bit of dark black hair (which I fully expect will fall out in no time, leaving me a bald baby for the next 18 months), long fingers and big feet. He’s been such an easy baby so far (knock on wood)… I mean REALLY easy. He sleeps a lot, is nursing well and really only cries when he’s getting his diaper changed. This has left his mommy with an opportunity to recover and FINALLY get some rest.

So… how did it all happen? I had been growing increasingly uncomfortable over the past week or so, with headaches becoming an obstacle (which were concerning my doctor), inability to sleep, many contractions, lots of pressure, etc. At my most recent doctor’s appointment on Monday, March 28th, I was 50% effaced and dilated to 3. My body was clearly progressing toward labor on its own, and I was miserable living through the side effects. I continued giving myself pep talks to get through every hour of every day until the afternoon of March 30th, when I had a total meltdown. I had reached the end and it was time for the baby to come out. I tried getting some sleep that night, without much luck. At 2am, Brian was awake with me (frustrated that he wasn’t able to sleep either) and we decided we would call the doctor first thing in the morning and ask to be induced. Assuming she would be fine with this plan (since she was already concerned about my headaches and history of preeclampsia), we got up early, showered, packed our hospital bags and made some arrangements for the day. When Bennett woke up, we spent lots of time as a family hanging out in his room, reading books and talking about what it meant to be a big brother. Brian took Bennett to “school” (Mom’s Day Out) at 9am while I called my doctor. After receiving the green light from her, we were on our way to the hospital… it was BIRTH DAY! While I was very nervous, I was also very excited to get some relief and to finally meet this baby boy.

The hospital is a busy place this time of year, so the process of getting checked in and settled in a room took a little while. By 1pm, I had my IV, baby monitors were on and the doctor arrived to break my water. From that point forward, everything went very quickly. I continued to have stronger contractions and dilate on my own, finally got an epidural, was given a small dose of pitocin, and then it was time to push. At 3:58pm, after 38 weeks in my belly, Smith Henry entered the world screaming and peeing all over my doctor! And our lives will never be the same. We are so excited to welcome baby Smith and feel very blessed that he’s healthy and perfect.

Brian and I had previously decided to invite his sister, Allison, to be in the room with us to photograph this special day. She gladly accepted the responsibility… and the honor of being one of the first to meet the baby and welcome him into the world. We also discussed the idea of inviting our mothers to be in the room with us. The challenge was that Brian’s mom would be traveling from late March through early April (first on a tour of the Holy Land, and then on a trip to Georgia with friends), and my mom was really our backup plan for Bennett if we were needing to go to the hospital in the night. In order to avoid too much coordination, we figured we would just see how the day came together and extend the invites at the time if it was feasible. On March 31st, Brian’s mom was traveling back from her trip to the Holy Land (and would obviously not be able to make it), but my mom was elated by the invitation and very excited to join us. So… Smith’s welcoming committee consisted of Mommy, Daddy, Nana (Janet) and Aunt Allison.

Here are some pictures of Smith's big arrival day.