She's here! { Ava's birth story }

September 5, 2013

Four days old. Quite possibly the most wonderful Monday morning of my life waking up to this!

You've probably guessed by now that our little bundle finally arrived! Ava (or "Bean" as we affectionately call her since she looks just like one when all swaddled up) joined us Friday, August 16th at 8:17am safe and sound and perfect in every way. Words can't express the overwhelming love in my heart for this little being. I always suspected that parenthood felt something like this, but you just truly can't imagine it until it's real. Although the last couple of weeks have been challenging in many ways, I already understand what an amazing life-altering decision we made when we said it was time to grow our family.

 With Daddy on a lazy morning during our first week of life.

For those of you interested, Ava's (somewhat wordy) birth story:

First let me say that I could write an entire post on my frustration in the last couple weeks of pregnancy. I was definitely blessed with a smooth experience overall (except for heartburn and the inability to sleep, like, ever), but I truly believed that I would go early (yes, I know most first time moms go late) and I was deathly afraid of being induced. There were literally tears the day we scheduled our induction. I wanted everything to happen as naturally as possible, and in my head -- whether warranted or not -- induction made things ripe for complication. Fear is an obnoxiously powerful emotion.

I could easily dedicate another post to all of the wives tales on natural induction. Jokes, people. Jokes. Baby comes when and only when baby is ready. Period. Thursday night I went on my thousandth loooooooooong walk with a very supportive friend, I cleaned bathrooms, ate pineapple and I cussed like a stranded sailor. I think Eric was convinced our baby would come out yelling four letter words.

Per usual, I went to bed unhappy and ungrateful. Surrious attitude problem given the blessings of a healthy baby on the way and three thousand months of mild pregnancy. That was around 11:15pm.

A few minutes after midnight, that was me you heard yelling, "My water just broke!" as I shot straight up in bed. Naturally, I decided to take a leisurely shower while Eric called our doctor, who was on call as luck would have it. Then we thought it best to finally pack our bags (What week do they tell you to do that? 32?), grabbed some snacks for me to inhale since you're only allowed ice chips during labor and headed to the hospital. I couldn't really feel any contractions for the first 20 minutes after my water broke. Once they started, though relatively mild, they were only 1.5-2 minutes apart. To my delight dismay, within an hour they were more or less right on top of each other and were a teeeeeeny bit more than mild (sarcasm). By the time my mom arrived two hours later, Eric met her at the door with, "Don't try to talk to her and definitely don't touch her."

Quite the bundle of fun, this girl.

My intentions for a natural labor were fading fast. I'd been 3cm dilated at my doctor's appointment two days prior and was now only at 4cm three and a half unfriendly hours into the big event. My body had little to no opportunity to relax with the contractions being so close together and I was exhausted. Not to mention a bit hangry. Unfortunately, you just can't know what to plan for when it comes to pregnancy and labor. That part of the whole process made me crazy...not to mention crazy nervous. Would the discomfort get even more intense? Could I make it another three hours? Four? Seven? Twelve??? I decided no. Cue anesthesiologist....who arrived another 30 minutes later. By this point, I'm thinking of all the strong women that endured natural labor (specifically my own mom, who labored with me for 21 hours!) and feeling extreme guilt for not being strong enough to tough it out.

Pretty sure those delivery room nurses take bets on how long people will last.

It was a huge relief for Eric when I opted for the epi. He was so extremely supportive of my intention to go natural, but I know it hurt him to see me uncomfortable. Plus, you know, hangry women in pain are no joke.

Twenty minutes after the epi was administered, I could barely tell when I was contracting. The pain literally disappeared. I could relax!!! And you know what? The nurse checked an hour later and I was fully dilated. That's all it took. (Not that I'm advocating for or against natural birth. All of our bodies are different!) My dad arrived shortly after and we all just waited for little Ava Bean to make her way down on her own. It was really a special morning having my husband and my parents in the room, talking and joking, watching the sun come up, and anticipating the arrival of the most beautiful human I've ever laid eyes on. By 7:45am the doctor declared that we were ready to start pushing, which I did like a CHAMP because I was so ready to meet our baby. Thirty short minutes later, Eric declared that it was a girl and she was in my arms (and already feeding!! Hooray!!).

I'm sobbing while I type this, remembering the emotions as we saw her for the first time. Her perfect little round face, tired eyes, head of hair (holy hair! The heartburn wives tale might be true). I pray that the memory of that moment will never, ever fade.

A typical mid-afternoon around here. There's a rule about mommies sleeping when babies sleep, you know!

I'm still working hard to figure this whole parenting thing out, so posts may be spotty for the next few weeks, but I am eager to get back to it. For those of you that are new to BIA, welcome! Promise to try to keep the baby talk and photos to a minimum. (Though I can't promise the same for IG and Facebook followers. Those baby photo forces are hard to resist!)

Now off to change my millionth diaper.... ox
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