Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Benton's Birth Story - more pictures, dog drama, and a bittersweet homecoming

Anna Clare and her sweet friend, Anna Bentley

The hospital's celebratory steak dinner


We had a great hospital experience, and I was not ready to go home. Just like with the girls, I wished we could've stayed a few more days. It was nice to be waited on hand and foot and to have an excuse to do nothing except hold our baby and visit with family and friends. But on Saturday, it was time to be kicked out.

His sweet coming home gown that Mitzi made.  Precious!

Saturday morning Steve and I were visiting with company in our room. Anna Clare was spending the weekend with my parents, and GG and Nick took Owen across the state to a friend's hunting camp. That gave us some quiet time in the hopital and our first night at home alone. The girls would be home Sunday afternoon.

Steve's cell phone rang that morning and across the room I heard GG on the other end say, "She's ok....BUT". Steve walked out in the hall to finish the conversation and I did not panic (very unlike me!). He came back in and said, "Owen was bitten by a dog. In the forehead. She's at the ER and needs stitches." Wow. Y'all would be very proud of me because I was actually pretty calm and did not even cry.

GG and Nick were devastated because it happened under their care. The dog was the camp owner's daughter's dog...a Labradoodle that Owen had been playing with the night before. Since we've always had dogs she's never been afraid of them, but we're not quite sure what happened that morning. Anyway, GG was upset and told us if we wanted her stitched up here, they would bring her home but they needed to head this way now. The lady they were staying with knew the ER doctor (small town hospital) and said he was wonderful, so we told her to go ahead and have it done there. We assurred them that it could've happened to anyone and under any one's care, including ours.

I really was at peace and was just thankful the dog had not bitten her in the eye or someplace worse. I kept telling myself it could've been so much worse. We asked GG to send us a picture and she told us she'd rather not till it was bandaged up :)

I sent her a text and told her I was not upset and that I knew Owen was in good hands. I knew she was probably nervous about how we would react and the last thing she needed was an irate daughter-in-law to make the situation worse. I'm telling you, God was at work. He filled me with a peace and I knew she would be just fine.

She said Owen was so very brave and did great while the the doctor stitched her up. Afterwards, she sent us this picture...

I was so proud of my sweet, brave girl. I also couldn't wait for her to get home so I could get my hands on her! It didn't slow her down a bit and she still managed to have a blast at the hunting camp.

Here are some pictures she sent us the next day (the day they were coming home). The swelling was what I was not prepared for and I have to be honest, when I saw her in person, I cried. She looked like a totally different child and it made my heart ache.

And without the bandage...

The lowest point for me was when she looked in the mirror and said, "I don't like myself. I don't like the way I look." Then I lost it. But she was such a trooper. Steve took her by preschool a couple of days later so her friends could see her and she did great. AND the important thing is that there was no infection and you can tell if you've seen her in person or recent pictures of her, she looks GREAT! It is healing so nicely and I really don't think you will even be able to see it as she gets older and grows. Praise the Lord! We are so grateful.

Back to the hospital...(sorry I had no idea this would be so long)

I should also mention at this point that Wilson, our Jack Russell, took a major turn for the worse a few days before we went to the hospital. Steve had taken him to the vet the week before but they couldn't seem to find anything wrong besides old age. He would be turning 13 in February. That week he would hardly eat or drink anything and just laid on his bed. It was so pitiful.

Steve and I both knew he was dying and it was so sad to comprehend. Steve gave Wilson to me for my birthday in 1999. We weren't even engaged yet. Even though he was technically a gift for me, he was always Steve's dog. He adored Steve and followed him everywhere he went. Steve even gave him mouth to mouth after he almost drowned several years ago. I am not kidding. He would've died without it and almost did. They were buddies to say the very least.

While we were in the hospital, Steve went home several times to check on him and each time, he looked worse and worse. Early Saturday morning, he went into our yard and prepared a grave for him, knowing that his death was inevitable. I can't imagine how hard that was. He said, "I know I should have him put down, but I just can't do it. He doesn't seem to be in pain, and I just want him to go in peace at home."

He left the hospital at lunch to check on him again and he was still hanging on. On the way back to the hospital, he stopped at Five Guys to pick us up some lunch. When he got back to the room, we realized that they had totally messed up our order. Imagine my shock when he picked up the phone, called them, and told the poor guy that answered that they really needed to "slow down and take their time." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry because if you know my husband, you know that NOTHING upsets him. I thought he was about to snap. He hung up and said, "I'm sorry. We're in the hospital with a newborn, our daughter is across the state and had to have 10 stitches, and my dog is about to die." We just had to laugh.

We loaded up to bring our son home that rainy afternoon. It had been a very long day and even I, the hospital queen, was ready to go home.

When we pulled into the driveway, Steve went into Wilson's room in the garage to check on him while I stayed in the car, scared. When he turned around I saw the tears in his eyes and I knew. Wilson was gone. But he had died in his bed in his sleep. And he was at peace. Steve went out in the rain and buried him and I just held our baby boy and cried. What an incredibly emotional day it had been. He was such a great dog and we still go outside sometimes expecting him to come running up wagging his tail. It was so very sad, but we were also thankful that Owen was going to be ok, Anna Clare was safe as well, and we were finally home with our precious son.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Benton's Birth Story-Pictures!

In completely random order...

The first thing Dr. Nicholls said was, "He's a big boy!"  And he was!

Let me get my hands on him!

First pic as a family of five :)

The girls' hands on their sweet baby brother

Proud Big Sisters!

Love this one

Daddy and his son

Letting friends know he was here!

KK and Benton

"the Papa face"

Sweet Aunt Erin

Not sure what Anna Clare was thinking here :)

I didn't cry when he was born. I felt nothing but pure joy but didn't cry. In fact, I didn't cry when the girls were born either, which is surprising because I cry at the drop of a hat. But that first night when they brought Benton to me to nurse about midnight and Steve was sleeping soundly on that oh-so-comfortable hospital couch, I held my sweet baby boy and sobbed. I still tear up just thinking about it. I cried and cried and just kept thanking God over and over for this precious gift. A gift that I didn't know if we'd ever have and one that I certainly didn't deserve. I cried in praise and thanksgiving and joy and happiness. May God always receive the glory for Benton's precious life.

Be back with some very eventful happenings while we were in the hospital and some going home pics!