Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Time Flies...

July 18th: My mom arrives.
July 23rd: We have a baby.
July 25th: We are released from the hospital and I spend the next two weeks-ish healing from the C-section (I am really bad at holding still and letting people do things for me...hence the extended heal time.)
August 8th: My entire family arrives for our fun-filled Hazard Family Reunion 2012.
August 9th - 12th: We have a ton of fun going swimming, playing at the park, taking updated family pictures, bouncing on blow-up toys, making s'mores, having a family dance, playing Guitar Hero, and talking.
August 12th: Even more family and friends arrive as we bless Patton and my brother's little girl, Darcy. Almost everybody leaves after the blessing. It is sad to say goodbye.
August 13th: We spend the day with Logan, Rachel, and Maren and drive them to the airport that afternoon. That night Matt and I have our first (and only) night alone as a family of four. We watch a movie. It is quiet... 
August 14th: Mary comes to help us recover the house from all of our fun. (THANK YOU!!)
August 16th: I drop Matt off to go to JRTC in Louisiana for the next two weeks. Mary leaves two hours later. I am alone for the first time with two little boys. I am terrified.
August 17th - 20th: I attempt to hold onto sanity while Bennett attempts to readjust to normal life. It is rough water and we almost don't make it.
August 21st: Bennett aquires a double ear infection and the stomach flu. We are up all night. He throws up on the "back to school" isle at Wal-Mart--lots of witnesses. Strangely though, this sickness seems to snap him back to reality and he decides to be less of a Juvenal delinquent. Mom is THRILLED!!!!
August 22nd: Life finally takes on a regular routine and I feel like I have a handle on things. We are happy.
August 23rd: Patton turns one month old. What the...? When did that happen?!

It has been a c.r.a.z.y month, but lots of fun. There are about a million and one pictures I could post from this time, and maybe one day I will...probably the day I find our camera cord...but for now here are a few I stole from Allison's camera.

 Family picture in our tie-dyed T-shirts. 
Wait, where's Bennett?... the top, of course.

Family picture in our tie-dyed T-shirts, for real this time.

 Mary and Wayne (Maimie and Pop, respectively) with Patton on his blessing day.

 Nancy and Greg (Grandma and Grandpa, respectively) with Patton on his blessing day.

 The parents and grandparents. This little boy is very loved.

Our new family. 
And yes, Bennett is naked.
(I would like to take this opportunity to say that Bennett actually had on a very handsome little outfit before we took this picture. I just don't know what happened to it...) 

The Aunts. 
Allison took most of these amazing blessing day pictures with her mad photo skills, and Courtney made the adorable little blanket Patton was blessed in. What great sisters :)

Here are some more pictures of the cutie on his blessing day. 

 Patton's blessing blanket.
(P.S- Patton is NOT named after the war general. Just to be clear. We actually got the name from a headstone in a cemetery...which we realize is weird in it's own right.)

Blue eyes

 He is seriously so chill. Which is good. I need chill from at least one of my kids.

I just love this boy!!!

I will try to be better at keeping up this blog now. It was just a little overwhelming there for awhile.
So long for now!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The A-Typical Birth Story of Patton Fife Hargrave

Hi, it's me. That woman who used to blog all about life. Matt has been doing an excellent job of keeping us afloat with all the current events around here, but now that I am feeling a little more up to speed I will contribute my part. (Note: crying is a common theme throughout this story. If emotional women scare you, this post is not the one for you.)

As mentioned on here in earlier blog posts, we always knew this baby would be delivered by c-section. My body, it turns out, has a remarkably hard time growing and pushing out humans. Who knew? So even though my actual due date was July 30th, we knew we would really get to meet our little boy on July 23, 2012.

My mom flew in from Oklahoma (where she was helping with my brother and sister-in-law's new baby) a few days before the scheduled date, and we spent time doing some last minute shopping and  preparations. Bennett, on the other hand, used this time to become a monster.

I know kids tend to act out when they sense new changes in their lives, but was rough. I mean like, total potty training reversal (day and night), spitting, hitting, running away behavior that just left us completely frustrated and mortified. Because even though we knew this was "normal" it was so totally NOT normal or OK for our sweet, easy-going little guy to act this way!! And to be honest, it totally stressed me out. I have heard other mothers say how guilty they felt for having another child, and I never understood that until this horrible week. It was like we had spent the last three years building this perfect world for Bennett, where everything was about him and his schedule, and then we just turned the whole thing upside down without even asking him how he felt about it. But at the same time I knew he needed to realize that we do not act this way, regardless of the situation. And that the world really doesn't revolve around him. It was such a fine line to walk between being understanding and being firm. It was very, very hard.

July 23rd was a Monday. Around 10:00 in the morning on the previous Saturday though, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions that didn't go away. Ever. It was weird, because with Bennett the only contractions I had were when I went into labor. At first we thought maybe that was happening again, and we seriously considered going to the hospital. But once we realized they were never getting stronger or closer together we just let it ride...for the next two days. Ugh.

The morning of July 23rd Matt and I got up at 3:45am and got ready to leave. My mom got up to say good-bye and we were just going to sneak out, but Bennett heard us and woke up. I went in his room to tuck him back into bed, and realized this would be the last time I would do this with him without another little boy needing my attention as well. So I was brave in front of Bennett, telling him how we were going to the hospital to help Patton out of my tummy and how excited we were. But as soon as I closed that door and got in the car, I lost it.

And I sobbed uncontrollably for the next hour.

I cried out of guilt over having another baby, and melancholy of knowing that Bennett is growing up, and fear of the unknown future, and the pain of my Braxton Hicks contractions, and sadness over Matt deploying again, and nervousness of the c-section, and worry of balancing two kids, and anxiety that I would not be able to love this new baby. And I cried out of good, old fashioned exhaustion. I cried and cried and Matt held my hand and told me it was going to be OK a million times. I know this is not the typical, "We were so excited to meet our new little guy!" story you usually read about on people's blogs. But that is how I felt. I was not excited. I was just nervous. And scared.

After signing Matt out of work for the next week, and trying to calm myself down, we headed to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) and checked in at 5:00am. They took us to our room, where they took my vitals and we waited for the nurses to come wheel me into surgery.

OK. So with natural childbirth, you never know the actual date of your delivery. It's a surprise. Then, once you start having real contractions, your endorphins kick in and you have to start focusing on the pain and breathing. You have to get to the hospital. Each contraction gets longer and harder, and you are forced to focus on your goal. There is a point to your pain, and a finish line. And then it's time to push, and the nurses and doctors are there coaching you through, and they announce that they can see the head! And you push, and you push. And suddenly a brand new, little baby comes screaming into the world. And you know you did that. That that baby belongs to you. And it hurts so much, but it is so, so worth it!!

This intense process is a wonderful thing, and one which I have been privileged to experience. However, there is absolutely no way I could have delivered this 8 pound, 10 ounce baby naturally. Especially since that was his weight at being delivered a whole week early. If I had tried, he probably would have been in the 9 pound region and almost certainly an emergency C-section anyway. And in that respect, I will be forever grateful for modern medicine and the miracle of allowing people like me to still deliver children. But to be totally honest, this c-section birth wasn't the same dramatic, emotional experience as a natural birth.

They wheeled me into the operating room around 8:00am, where they had me sit on the edge of the operating table while they gave me a spinal block. THIS is the part I was most nervous for. Matt wasn't allowed to be in the room yet, so a very kind nurse held my head and stroked my hair while I fought off the instinct to run screaming from the room. In the end, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn't exactly pleasant either. Once they were done, they laid me back on the table and began draping my body in a giant blue tent. The nurses and doctors were amazing and made sure I was very comfortable the entire time. Whenever I said I could feel a little something here or there, they made sure they gave me more drugs and oxygen...which is probably why by the time Matt came in I was a little loopy. (It doesn't take much.) The rest of the surgery went extremely well. I remember a lot of pressure and tugging, but no pain. And then, like magic, I heard the sound of a baby crying. And I cried too, because Patton Fife Hargrave had finally joined our family. And it was still scary that all of this was actually happening, but it was good. 

The rest is a blur. I am told they brought him around to my head so I could see him, but I don't remember that. I just remember waking up for a few minutes in the recovery room where Matt and a nurse were looking at a very large, chubby, dark-headed baby and telling me it was Patton. I was obviously still drugged, because I told them both that they had the wrong baby. This child looked nothing like the skinny little bald boy I delivered back in 2009! But on a more serious note, it really was a little hard for me to immediately bond with Patton.

It had all just happened so fast between going in to the operating room pregnant, and leaving with a baby 30 minutes later...I guess that because of the efficiency of the surgery, it was just too surreal to really think of this new little baby as our new little baby. And trust me, I felt plenty of guilt over thinking this. I mean, what mother doesn't just instantly love her child? And on top of that, I was pretty much out of commission for 24 hours after the surgery to do anything but feed Patton (who totally rocks at nursing, by the way) and throw up excessive amounts into little blue cups--all of which left very little time for any real bonding between us.

After I was feeling a little better, Matt and I talked it over and we decided that as great as it would be to have him in the hospital with me all the time, it was more important at that moment for Matt to be home with Bennett as much as possible. He was really struggling with me being gone for so long and all the changes in his life, so we tried our best to keep things as normal as possible. So Matt would come and bring others with him to visit during the day (Bennett, my mom, his mom and dad, etc.) but at night he would go home and it would be just me and Patton.

And that was the best thing that could have ever happened. Because during this time I fell in love. It finally became real to me that we had another little boy. That he really was ours. And that I really could do this.

And I sobbed uncontrollably.

I cried out joy over having another one of Heavenly Father's children in our home, and happiness of knowing that Bennett is growing up to be such a good boy. And the future was still unknown and Matt is still deploying, but it wasn't scary anymore. We could do it. And the pain of my incision was manageable (barely), and the worry of balancing two kids faded. And the anxiety that I would not be able to love this new baby suddenly turned into such a pure, intense joy that he was in our family that I just let the tears come. And I cried and cried out of good, old fashioned happiness.

And that's the way it has been ever since. Just happy. Just perfect.

Of course, there have still been rough times. My c-section has taken a lot longer to recover from than I initially thought, and we have already had one walk-in appointment at the doctor's, and last night we visited the emergency room (don't worry, I'm fine). I have also had to sleep on the couch since we've been home from the hospital since I can't yet climb into and out of our ginormous master bed with this incision. But other than that, we are so very happy. My mom and Matt have been taking excellent care of me, Bennett is leveling out and I dare say he is almost completely back to our normal happy boy. And Patton is the easiest baby in the World to take care of. He is such a sweetheart, only fussing a little when he is hungry and happy to simply sit and look around the room with his dark blue eyes. Bennett is absolutely wonderful with him, exclaiming every few minutes or so that His Patton has the "cutest little feet!" or asking to hold him (again) because he "loves His Patton so, so much."

We all love Our Patton so, so much.
We are so blessed.

Now we just need to figure out how to be a family of four :)       

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Latest Going On's

 So I have the greatest wife ever!  Just gave birth a week ago and she let me go with my Dad to a SASS shoot in marble Falls...Here is Ironsights doing his thing

 Texas Warhorse did pretty good himself!  (I actually only missed one target all day)

 Here is Patton Fife doing his thing!  This one is kinda like, "yeah I'm lookin' at you!  What'cha gonna do about it?!"  the eyebrow raise is very much a "Hargrave" thing...

 Patton & Daddy just hanging out!  he is quite the little cuddler

 Bennett + Mud = a very happy / messy boy!

So it finally happened WE FINISHED THE TREE HOUSE!!!  It only took 3yrs and 1x deployment but Bennett and all his little friends can now climb up and down all on their own!  And it is very much mother approved for safety!