Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Ben!

5 years ago today, I was awakened about 4:30 in the morning by something that felt like a balloon pooping.

It was my water breaking.

I was very thankful that it happened at home, and not at work, since I was not planning to see my new little guy for a few weeks.  Even though I had already given birth to two babies already, I was not sure what to do.  Ben was scheduled to be born on April 6 via c-section, just like both of his big brothers (thanks to John for being breech).  I had never been "in labor" before or even felt a real contraction, so it was all new to me.

I called the Doctor on call since I knew they would have to move up the c-section and he told me to go to the hospital to get checked out.  They had to verify that my water really broke.  Apparently some women have false alarms on that, but I don't know how.  When your water breaks, it is pretty apparent.

They verified that Ben was ready to be born so they started to move the schedule around to get the surgical team assembled.  Since we had a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome,with a VSD they wanted to be ready to check out his heart once he arrived.

A student and teacher showed up to put in my epidural.  I was not very happy about that, but I realize that students eventually need to practice on real people to learn.  They put in the first shot to numb the area, and she told me I was going to feel a little bee sting.  That was no bee sting, it was more like a snake bite, and I let her know that.  After at least one unsuccessful attempt to  insert the epidural, I heard someone say "snake bite", as they went to try again,  but by now my back was numb.  Quite frankly, I am glad I can still walk after that episode since it took 3 tries to get it in.  Hopefully the student learned what not to do next time.

Finally the Doctors showed up and it was time to meet Ben.  I tend to have a very hard time during c-sections with nausea and even after the anti nausea medicine I was starting to feel poorly.  the Anesthesiologist tipped the table so I was laying slightly on my left side and it was like magic.  The nausea went away.

They brought Ben to me and I saw his sweet little round face and did see his Down syndrome right away, but it did not stop me from instantly loving him. It took him a while to cry, but they told me he was fine.  They wrapped him up, and took us all directly to a room where a tech checked out his heart.  That was the hardest part, watching my sweet new baby screaming while they dug on his chest with the wand.  I just wanted to snuggle him and let him know everything was OK.

As it turned out everything was OK. and Grandma showed up with John and Noah, and just as he wanted, John was the first one to hold little Ben.  Noah was second. 

 The boys got to take him down for a bath.  They were excited to get to help. 

The pictures show that Ben was not as excited about his bath as the boys were. 

At that point we did not know what life with Ben would hold, and we were scared.  Any diagnosis is scary, but when you look into that sweet face you know you will love this little bundle no matter what they can or can not do.  For me, I think I took the bar for Ben, and laid it on the ground.  I did not have any expectations, which is why every thing Ben did seemed like such a miracle. But soon the miracles were happening so fast, I realized we need to get the bar off the ground and start working with Ben to help him meet and shatter his goals. His progress has been amazing. 

 Here are some of the things I love about 5 year old Ben:
I love how you use your imagination to play with your toys.  (Duck, Duck, Goose)
I love how much you like to read and how you read things wherever we go.
I love how I have to kiss your owies in just the right spot, or you make be do it over until I get it right.
I love how much you love Signing Time and signing when we just can't figure out what you want.
I love how much you love sports.
I love how much you enjoy school.
I love how you "referee" basketball games. 
I love how well you listen to your teachers.
I love how much you love music and how you ask for "Ice, Ice Baby" every time we get in the van.
I love how you sing at church as loud as you can when you know the song. 
I lover you sense of humor.
I love your laugh.
I love how you like to snuggle
I love how you like tickles.
I love how you love babies.
I love listening to you sing.
I love watching your do the Months of the Year Macarena.
I love your mad Temple Run skills.
I love how well you use your iPad for learning (and fun)
I love how you love "sketti and BALLS".
I love how you say please and thank you.
I love how you want to do things yourself and you keep trying to you get things figured out.
I love you for being just who you are.

 We love you big guy!
  Happy 5th Birthday Ben!