It all began on Thursday morning... contractions lasted from about 6am-4pm... all day, 6 minutes apart, but not very strong or painful. Then they disappeared. I was super bummed. They returned the next evening, Friday night, about 11pm... they lasted through the night, every 5 minutes... and started to get pretty painful by morning. I spent most of the night on the recliner timing contractions and dozing off to sleep in between them. In the morning, we called our parents and told them we thought this was it. Yet again, the contractions slowed. By the time we made it to the hospital they were 8 minutes apart and less painful. Which was OK since our car broke down as we pulled in to the parking garage. We had other problems to solve before a baby came... or maybe not! The nurse in triage called Dr. Barrett and she told me even though I was almost 5 cm, the contractions weren't close enough together to get me moving, so I could go home and wait it out, walk the halls, or she would be happy to come in and break my water... OH, the decisions. So, we called the two people we always rely on opinions for... our own moms! Both my mom and Patrick's mom didn't hesitate to say, "DO IT! Let her break that water!" I think they were pretty pumped to meet their 3rd (for the Zimmerman's) and 10th (for the Bentley's) grandchild.
So, they moved me to a delivery room, I put my gown on, they started my IV (my least favorite part of delivering a baby, may I add, especially after a few tries), and Dr. Barrett arrived pretty soon after to break my water. We soon discovered that our sweet baby had already pooped... really? So, she didn't want to wait too long to get him out. After about 30 minutes she started the pitocin and things revved up. THE PAIN! Man, you just totally forget that feeling, but it is like nothing else. Again, for the 3rd time, I am proud to say that I made it all the way to 8cm without an epidural. After the epidural was started I rested for a very short time, laid in crazy positions to get the baby off my coccyx bone (that was making me cry even with the epidural), and within the hour was 10 cm and ready to push. Unfortunatley the NICU had to be present because the baby had pooped and they had to take him from me right away to suck out his lungs and throat and make sure he didn't ingest any. After 11 minutes of pushing, HE was here. As always, it is super exciting to not know the sex of your baby. When he came out, Dr. Barrett flipped him over and Patrick yelled, "It's a boy!" much to his surprise!! I was pretty sure it was a boy and Patrick was pretty certain it was a girl, so what a surprise to find out we now had 3 little boys. While they were cleaning him off, Dr. Barrett applauded me for my delivery, told me I didn't have one complication and that I should have babies professionally! Ha. I laughed so hard.
From across the room they yelled his weight to me and I was SHOCKED... my babies are growing 2 lbs with each one... what will happen with the next one?!! Then they gave him to me to hold... and I got to meet his sweet face for the first time. Just beautiful. This never gets old. What beauty in this gift of life!
My parents were on their way with the boys and Patrick's parents were shooed away EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE RIGHT OUTSIDE the room! Patrick insisted that the boys meet their brother first. SO funny. About 5 minutes later the boys arrived and Patrick brought them in to meet their brother. Although a little hesitant, they were both so excited to meet their new baby. Gabriel was most concerned about the IV in my arm and he asked me about a million times if we really got to take the baby home... and Anthony just wanted to kiss him, kiss him, kiss him. It was super sweet. Patrick then brought the boys to the waiting room and Gabriel announced that they had a new little brother! My parents, Patrick's parents, my brother and A BIG surprise: Patrick's sister, Jeanne, joined us in the delivery room to celebrate! It was a great afternoon... especially after I ate lunch! All that pain makes ya hungry.
Adam is truly a BIG boy, but still has petite features like Gabriel did... he reminds me a lot of Gabriel as a newborn, but still has his own little look. Big blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and yes... he has the same crazy thing going on with his butt that the other two boys have... it's fused at the top of ALL three of their little butts (but Adam has a double fuse!). So crazy. You would have to see it to believe it. It's not in the genes (on either side)!
Anyway, the past 3 weeks have been quite a ride. Of course, there is the healing, the emotions, the adjusting, the night feedings, the diapers, the umbilical cord healing, the crying... and all the rest, but I would have to say... after you do it once and even twice, the third time around is less stressful and more relaxed with less surprises and more enjoyment of a new person being a part of your family.
I would not in a million years have guessed 5 years ago when I married Patrick that 5 years later I would be the mommy of three little boys. I am the girl who was a ballerina growing up. I am the girl who refused to wear nothing but big bows, the color lavendar, and lipstick. There are many surprises in life... this has been one of mine. And quite honestly, I love it. I am honored to have been granted three boys... who I have been entrusted to help form into young gentlemen. What a gift!
So, for now, I ask for prayers. This has been hard. Actually for the first time a few days ago all three of the boys were crying at the same time... I looked up to Jesus and asked, "Are you sure about this? Really? Cause I can think of a lot of other ways to be sanctified!" I am pretty sure he just gave a little laugh back at me. But, really, I ask for patience more than ever. And for the wisdom I need to turn them into gentlemen. And the energy to play up to their speed. And the ability to detach from a tidy house. Cause the clean house just ain't happenin' my friends.
I also am feeling more grateful than ever to have the gift of being a stay at home mom. So many people do not have that gift and as each year with children passes I am realizing with more clarity how they would not be given fair opportunity to be formed into the Catholic soldiers God intended them to be without us being present to them as often as we can and this fact leads to many sacrifices. It is the ins and outs of the daily routine that allows us to form the manners, the virtues, the gentleness, the toughness, the attitude of forgiveness, and a heart that loves to laugh and have fun. They have to be taught to live it in each and every circumstance of their day and they have to be around people who live it. So, it leaves me with high expectations for myself and Patrick as well... which always leaves us challenging ourselves to be more like Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for Adam Joseph, another soul to bring us joy and make us better and more like You.
The BIG mama just days before. Oh, that belly was HUGE. Whew!
I could run a marathon without that thing attached now.
Right before we left for the hospital. I was enduring contractions... and trying to smile!
He's here! Sweet Baby Bentley Boy #3.
"Hi, I'm your Mommy! I can tell you like me already."
Boys coming to meet their brother for the first time.
Our first family of five picture! Everyone looks pretty happy.
And I look so much lighter... can you tell?
Aunt Jeanne comes to visit from VA. What an awesome aunt!
Way to travel all those hours for us! We love you.
Below: Just hanging out at the hospital for two days.
Ahhh, love when they sleep. And love when they all three sleep at the same time!