It's hard for me to believe that little Benjamin is already a week old. I have been meaning to sit down and post some pictures ever since I got home from the hospital, but what with two other little ones to take care of, and the running around we've been doing to get the paperwork started on Benjamin's travel documents, it's been hard to find the time. And when I do have a few minutes (or a few hours) of peace and quiet, it's much more tempting to snuggle my sleeping baby or take a nap myself! Rusty has been doing a great job helping me out around the house and playing Mr. Mom with the older two. And we have had help from our neighbor, Ana, as well. So, we are surviving. It will take some time to settle into our new "normal" as a family of five, but so far, things are going better than I expected. The boys are absolutely thrilled with their new brother, smothering him with kisses and always begging for a turn to hold him. I worried that Stephen, especially, would be jealous of the new baby, but he seemed to accept Benjamin as part of our family from the beginning and is always the first to run and tell me when he hears him crying.
I am working on writing down the details of Benjamin's birth while they are still fresh in my mind. I have now given birth to three babies on three different continents, and each one was a unique experience! I wouldn't say that this was my easiest birth, although it was short (only about 5 hours of active labor), but it's definitely been my easiest recovery. Aside from the normal tiredness and soreness, I feel pretty great -- none of the utter exhaustion I had after my prodromal labor with Alex or the debilitating back pain that lasted for almost two weeks after Stephen was born.
So, more on the whole "giving birth in Portugal" experience later. For now, enjoy some pictures of the first week with our newest blessing:
|Outside the Santa Maria hospital, just before being admitted.|
|One of the first pictures we have of little Benjamin -- he was about 5 hours old (it's a long story).|
|Our first "family of five" photo!|
|We even had visitors in the hospital (besides Rusty and the boys)! Celestina from church and her two daughters, Amanda and Noémia, stopped by after church on Sunday.|
|Leaving the hospital on Monday afternoon|
|We have had a steady stream of visitors since arriving home -- our neighbor, Ana (shown here), her friend, Bella, and the Neves family from church.|
|Big brother lovin's|
|A good dream|
|First bath at home -- he wasn't too happy with me, but I swear I was more gentle than that dang nurse at the hospital!|