Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Who Does He Look Like?

One question we've been asked a lot is "Who does Benjamin look like?" so here's a quick comparison!

He definitely has his own little look, but I think he looks more like Jackson. They look the same through the eyes and brow, and you can't tell from these pictures but I think that Benjamin might even have a dimple in his left cheek, just like biggest brother.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Welcome Home Benjamin!

While we stayed in the hospital two nights with both Jackson and Andrew, I decided a few months ago that I only wanted to stay one night, if possible, with Benjamin. It just made sense for us to stay for as short a time as possible with two little ones waiting for us at home, constant disturbances throughout the night, and less than desirable sleeping arrangements for both Justin and I. So by early afternoon the day after Benjamin was born we were both happily discharged and headed home!

We dressed Ben in his precious coming home outfit (thanks, Stefanie!) and waited for all of the discharge processes.

With the green light to leave, the grandparents picked Jackson and Andrew up from school a little early and brought them to the hospital so they could be with us for the first ride home as a family of 5.

That's a full backseat!

Benjamin has two great helpers in the back seat! He will never lack for comfort or entertainment with these two great big brothers.

 Finally home!

Once home, everybody got some snuggle time in.

Jackson has not totally warmed up, but Andrew is completely and totally in love with his baby brother. For a boy who is normally such a bruiser, it's heart-melting to see this sweet and nurturing side.

Evie now wants a baby brother or sister. You're welcome, Mel. =)

Jackson may not have had much interest in holding Benjamin, but he was very appreciative of Benjamin's gift to him and got right to work!

There's no place like home, right Ben? We are so happy to finally have you here with us!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy "Birth"day Ben!

You may remember that when Andrew was born, we had a little "birth"day party for him in the hospital. This was a big hit with big brother Jackson, and of course, now it is a tradition. The big brothers and cousin Evie really enjoyed the celebration. What's not to love about cupcakes, candles and presents? The brothers helped blow out the zero candle and cupcakes were enjoyed by all.

After cupcakes, the brothers exchanged presents. "Benjamin" picked out a transformer toy for Andrew and legos for Jackson. Well done Ben! The boys each picked out a book for Benjamin and a stuffed giraffe.

These guys are pretty proud of their baby brother. My sweet sister took these pictures and had them printed that night for the boys to take to school the next day to show off their new baby.

This picture took a little coaxing because Jackson was freaked out by my IV and the fact that one of my legs still wasn't working from the misplaced epidural. He was quite relieved to see me the next day tube free and walking around!

The birthday boy is such a party animal. =)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Benjamin's Arrival

Benjamin's induction was scheduled for 5:30 on the morning of Wednesday, September 23rd. We all did our best to get a good night's sleep and headed to the hospital dark and early. 

Before changing into my lovely hospital gown, I got one last belly pic...39 weeks exactly!

By 6:30 I was hooked up to the pitocin and by 7:30 I had my epidural. My doctor arrived around 8:00 and broke my water and things were progressing nicely. I was feeling pretty good for awhile, the mood was light and I was able to get a little rest.

But by about 10:00 that comfortable feeling started to change. As soon as I got the epidural I knew it was stronger on the left side than the right, since my left leg went numb almost immediately and my right took a while. I'm not sure what happened, but a couple of hours in, it was as if all of the anesthesia was going to that left leg and no where else because I could feel every contraction...and increasingly more intensely with each one. (I know now that all of the anesthesia really was just going to the left leg because it remained numb until about midnight that night when the rest of me was perfectly fine within a couple of hours.)

I was completely unprepared mentally for labor and delivery without a functioning epidural. Jackson and Andrew's labors had both been relatively easy and I was prepared for a three-peat. It hadn't even crossed my mind that this was a possibility. Prepared or not, by 11:00, the contractions were coming with only about 30 seconds between them and I was doing my best to breathe and count and focus (and cry) through each one with my mom coaching me through it. The anesthesiologist came back and was confident he would be able to bring me some relief. He was wrong. His best effort made absolutely no difference (except to make my left leg even more numb) and the only option was to try and replace the epidural. Thankfully I didn't have to face that since a final check at 11:15 determined that I was complete and ready to push...sans a working epidural. Mom assured me I had already made it through the worst part. She was right. 

Once Dr. South arrived and just a few pushes later, at 11:36 AM, sweet Benjamin entered the world. 

After a few moments with mom, he was whisked away for his initial once over, foot printing, and to get outfitted with all of his bracelets.

Classic picture of newborn Ben. He loves to have his hands on his face. 
Once he was properly outfitted and sufficiently pink he was returned to mom for lots of snuggles.

Very soon all of his adoring fans began to arrive to meet him, starting with his big brothers!

Andrew was immediately smitten, as were all of his grandparents and aunties.

A little while later his nurse arrived to record his official measurements and to give him his first bath. At 7lbs, 14 oz, he's still above average but our littlest baby by almost a pound! Given the circumstances of his labor and birth, I'm so so so grateful he wasn't a 9 pounder. 

Despite daddy's best effort, it was not the most enjoyable bath he will ever have...

But back in mommy's arms, all was again right in his world...and mine. Welcome to the world precious Benjamin!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Welcome Benjamin!

Welcome to the world Benjamin Thomas Malnar!
Benjamin arrived on Wednesday, September 23rd at 11:36 a.m. He is tiny compared to his brothers at birth-- weighing just 7 lbs, 14 oz and is 20.5 inches long. He's absolutely perfect and we are all already so in love!

5 minutes old!
Happy but tired mommy!
Proud Daddy!

Our family of 5!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last Days as a Family of 4

I officially went on maternity leave last Friday. The timing of my temporary exit is a little strange since my department is moving to new office space in just a couple of weeks. This meant that I had to completely pack my office and turn in my key before leaving. I will just be out until the end of November, at which time I will return part-time until January...but it felt very final!
Turning in my key.
Grammy and Pop arrived on Saturday to get settled in and to learn the routines so they could pick up our slack while they stay with us for the next couple of weeks. With some extra adults around, we were able to get a last family picture as a family of 4! 
Andrew might miss his special "seat" on top of my bump, but I won't!
Benjamin gets to join this manly bunch! Oh how I love my boys!

Grammy, Pop and I accomplished what felt like a hundred errands on Monday, and then I declared Tuesday as my lady of leisure day. I had a relaxing morning and then met Justin for a last lunch date.

The boys normally have soccer on Wednesday, but since we were going to be otherwise occupied on Wednesday this week, we were able to switch them to Tuesday night instead. This meant they had the largest cheering section since Grammy, Pop, Nana, Aunt Melly and Evie had all arrived for Ben's arrival.

I think this picture pretty much sums up how ready I was to get the show on the road!

We are all ready to meet you Ben!