We’ve been home with Baby Brother for a couple of days now, and of course we can’t imagine life without him. Looking through these pictures, there is a sweetness in knowing that I recognize him now. That little face becomes more and more familiar every day, as if we’ve always known him. Just the way time passes these first few weeks, the present feels so much more like a memory.
Benjamin was born after the most beautiful day of laboring. Friends took care of the girls and the dog, allowing me to labor at home- resting as needed, eating what I wanted, and treasuring the time to myself to experience the day. Matt came home as the contractions progressed, and we strolled through our neighborhood before heading to the hospital.
Since this was my third time delivering at our hospital, we were lucky to be welcomed back by staff who had worked with us before. We felt so well taken care of! And best of all, my nurse midwife was able to arrange things so she could be there with me even though she wasn’t originally scheduled to be. With Matt and the caring staff around me, Benjamin arrived after 30 minutes or so of intense pushing. He was nearly born with his amniotic sac intact, which felt like some kind of good omen :)
For me, experiencing the contractions, one at a time, during the first stage of labor felt calm and natural- even empowering. Every contraction had an added element of excitement, knowing they were each bringing me one step closer to delivery. And the moment he was born? There is nothing like that immediate sense of relief and accomplishment. Add to that those first few moments of meeting our little baby boy, and it’s clear why it was a moment I’ll treasure all my life.
I’ve always loved the name Benjamin, but it wasn’t until we saw him that we knew it was the name that suited him best. And his middle name? Sometimes he just looks so much like his dad that it was a no- brainer :) I hope he’ll see himself in the stories of the scriptural Benjamins and aspire to make something of the name himself.
Meeting the girls
Because of current visitor rules at the hospital, the girls didn't officially meet Benjamin until we brought him home. Though they'd both been anxiously awaiting his birth (playing "going to the hospital" and counting down on their calendar), it was cute to see how their different personalities approached their new baby brother. Emma wanted to hold him immediately while Annie kept her distance at first. They're both smitten, even as we all figure out how we each fit into our new family of five.
There is something about bringing home a baby to his siblings- it felt the most like bringing him home to our family. It will be a while before we're back to our (new) normal, but the last two weeks together, all five of us closed off to the world, have added to that feeling that makes a house a home and strengthened those bonds that make a family.