Before it gets too late and I forget the details I wanted to update you all on the new arrival. Benjamin Harrison Wright was born on December 5th and weighed 6 lbs 2 oz. He was 19 inches long and had a full head of jet black straight hair, just like his brother. He was officially 24 days early but came to us as healthy as a full term baby.
The week prior to Ben’s arrival was a whirlwind. Monday and Tuesday were relatively normal and Kelly’s Braxton-Hicks contractions were increasing but not at an alarming rate. On Wednesday I got together with some of my flag football teammates for a few beers after I put Mason to bed. I realized that this would be one of the last times I had a chance to go out without worrying about a phone call from Kelly saying she was in labor. Then Thursday came and I repeated the night out by dressing up like Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction and heading the to Movember Gala Parte. It was a ridiculous event and a great way to wrap up the month of fundraising. Thanks again to those who contributed! Friday was Kelly’s birthday and I spent the day doing some volunteer work and then hurried home to decorate the house and put together the Christmas tree before she got home. It was a low-key night as we had made plans to celebrate with friends on Sunday. We watched a movie and retired early since we had a busy next day planned. We had no clue just how busy it would be.
Saturday brought the annual Santa Derrell pictures for Blue Dog Rescue group. We’ve been doing the event now for 4 years and every year it gets better. This year was the best turnout yet and several co-workers and friends came out with their pooches to take a picture. I think I was successfully able to quell the fears of several young children who had previously experienced a paralyzing fear of jolly ‘ole St. Nick. Mason is to be thanked for this ability, since dealing with the few fears or reservations that he has really helped me communicate with the kiddos. As for the dogs, well they just pee when they’re scared, so I made sure I was wearing some waterproof shoes. At one point during the event I looked around to find Mason and Kelly who had been eating lunch with Jeff and Amy. I quickly found Mason sliding down the slide and wondered how he had gotten up there. Then I saw Kelly, awkwardly climbing down the kiddie ladder she had climbed up to help Mason. On the list of things you probably shouldn’t do while in your 9th month of pregnancy I think that’s probably in the top 20- right behind power cleans and bench presses.
After the event finished I quickly drove to the office and dropped off the cake I had ordered from Mad Cakes in the fridge to keep it hidden from Kelly. I would be forced to eat the entire double chocolate chip cake all by myself over the following week… oh darn. I then headed home to relieve Kelly who was exhausted after chasing Mason around. I took him to run a couple errands and we got home around 6pm. At this point Kelly informed me that she had been having some more contractions (they had become pretty standard at this point) and they were only 45 minutes apart. Now, I had been planning to go the Big Boi show here in Austin that night and was going to be leaving in 45 minutes. I decided that Sir Lucious Leftfoot would forgive me for not making the show and told Kelly that I was going to stay home just in case her labor was the real thing. Being the concerned wife that she is she said “You should just go. I’ll feel really dumb if I wake up tomorrow and it was nothing and you miss the show.” Good point, Kelly, but you wouldn’t feel as bad as I would if I somehow missed the birth of my second child. I called my buddy who had a ticket waiting for me and told him I wouldn’t be making it and he understood. Then we waited.
We didn’t wait very long. The contractions moved from 45 to 30 minutes, then 20 and then ever-so quickly to 8 minutes. During this time we had decided to go to the hospital. After our last experience we didn’t want to take any chances and risk another late epidural preceded by hours of back labor. Kelly had called Amy and Jeff (who she had asked earlier in the day to be a super backup in case the baby came this weekend) and told them the news. Amy put down the beer she had been hoping to enjoy and was at the house in no time. We really can’t thank them enough for helping us out on such short notice. In the absence of any immediate family it’s so good to know what kind of friends we have here in Austin. You are our extended family too and we love you guys! With Amy at the house to watch Mason we hastily packed our bags for the hospital. We got the essentials… or at least Kelly did. I was so flustered that as we arrived at the hospital around 9pm and got checked into the assessment room Kelly asked if I had remembered the nice camera. I said yes and then immediately realized that I had grabbed it and threw on the lens cap and then left it sitting on the dining room table. You know those movies where the character has a flashback of a specific image and the camera does that long pan out and then zooms in on the image sitting in some obscure locale? Well, that actually happens and I am living proof.
I quickly headed home (yes, I left my wife in labor at the hospital but I swear she ordered me to go) grabbed the camera and was back in exactly 24 minutes. It’s about a 15 minute drive to the hospital if you drive the speed limit. Thank you APD for your lack of presence on Duval Road that night! I got back to the hospital just as the anesthesiologist was about to arrive and Kelly had her epidural about 15 minutes later. At this point the very pushy nurse kept telling me to sit down. I reassured her (firmly) that I would not be passing out and that I was more comfortable being next to my wife. She begrudgingly granted me to do this and the epidural went smoothly. We napped for a little bit while they gave Kelly a couple rounds of antibiotics. With the baby coming so early they needed to make sure Strep B wasn’t an issue so we waited prior to beginning pushing. A little before 2am they told us it was go time. I was sound asleep and woke up quickly, got to my feet and prepped to brush back hair, let Kelly crush my hand, and try not to say anything annoying. Instead, I got a light-headed and dizzy feeling, watery mouth, and broke out into a sweat. Best intentions, right? Kelly immediately realized that something wasn’t right and told me to sit down after she saw me remove my long sleeve shirt and start wiping my head. I’ve never passed out before but now I know what it feels like just before you do. Fortunately for me the pushy nurse wasn’t there to give me the “I told you so” face and I recovered after 5 minutes and a glass of water.
This is the too much information section so skip ahead if you don’t want details. Okay… My wife has a super-uterus. I’m serious. If you could harness the power of that thing I’m pretty sure we could solve the world’s energy crisis. President Obama- I hope you’re reading this. Get your top scientists on this! I thought Mason’s birth went quickly and a 6 hour delivery your first time around is pretty impressive. But she topped it this time. Kelly gave three sets of three pushes for 10 seconds each, with about 2 minutes rest between each. For those of you who aren’t quick with math that’s 90 seconds of actual pushing over the course of less than 6 minutes. Less than 6 minutes of pushing and the doctor, who had just arrived to check and see if she was ready to deliver, had to tell her to stop pushing because he wasn’t ready to start catching. The doc quickly got ready and with one more semi-Herculean push Ben was in the doctor’s arms and at 1:56am I was steadying my hand to cut an umbilical chord for the second time in 17 months. Oh boy. I cried a little this time around, knowing what an awesome experience it is to watch a child grow, and somehow even though he peed on the doctor twice (which is the reason that Mason was not named Ben) Kelly named him Benjamin anyway. His middle name, Harrison, comes from my dad, Harry, much likes Mason’s middle name, Charles, comes from his grandpa Mac.
Ben looked much like Mason at birth but is already noticeably different. He’s growing bigger and stronger every day and has proven to be as voracious of an eater as Mason was. He sleeps about 20 hours a day right now and is constantly getting hugs and kisses on the head from his big brother. Mason has been kind and gentle with Ben and seems to have realized that he’s here to stay at this point. Kelly and I are already anticipating their first communication and the brotherly love that will grow in the years to come.
While we were bunked up in the hospital, our friend Cindy was taking great care of Mason on Monday and Tuesday. This was after a full day with the Leers on Sunday where he got to enjoy Uncle Jeff’s world famous french toast. Thank you for all the help, Cindy! We really couldn’t have done it without you. All the teachers at Mason’s school remarked at how well he was behaving and adjusting considering the big changes going on around him and I know a lot of it had to do with your care for him.
A lot has gone on since Ben’s birth and I promise to get everyone caught up on Christmas, New Years, and all the awesomeness we’ve experienced since then. But, much like Jen Sterger’s allegations, this post has already reached its statute of limitations and we haven’t even gotten to the pictures yet. One thing about this whole Favre scandal… In the words of the ESPN Monday Night Football crew… C’mon Man!! You’re a married man with kids and grand-kids and you’re sexting reporters and massage therapists? C’mon Man!! Cheating is wrong and Tiger Woods has lost his family because of it, but this is wrong AND creepy. And that’s my sports-related rant for this post.
First group picture (with the good camera) after Ben was born. Kelly looks like she’s ready for a night on the town and is making the hospital gown look trendy. Mugatu would be proud!
Ben’s departure from the hospital was timely. I’m not sure what it was about this time around but we really didn’t have to wait for much at all at the hospital. This could be attributed to better hospital practices, less births while we were there, or our knowledge of the process. Probably a little bit of all of those.
Jim and Ruth Rogers happened to be in town the weekend after Ben was born and they stopped by baring gifts for the boys. It was good to see them and we were happy they got a chance to meet the boys. Mason is looking forward to his first fishing trip, Jim!
What a huge smile. He really likes putting on mom’s boots backwards. He tried to walk around like that and then got upset when we tried to take the boot off. For anyone who’s wondering, this will be the only pair of Uggs Mason or Ben will be wearing. I don’t care what Tom Brady comes up with, Uggs belong on women’s feet. Period.
Ben was not a fan of getting his head measured. I wonder what they take head measurements for? There must be some valid scientific/medical purpose but I keep waiting for them to say “Your son’s head is abnormally large. He’s going to need special hats come baseball season.” Turns out Ben is pretty normal so I guess we can hold off on buying stock in New Era baseball caps.