Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The First Two Weeks

I'm not going to lie, the first couple weeks at home with a newborn are very hard! The sleep deprivation is especially tough. However, every time I look at this precious face, it is all worth it.

The snuggling is pretty wonderful as well :).

My Mom (aka "Bunny") stayed with us for the first week, which was extremely helpful!! It was really sad to see her go, but she has been back for a few visits since :).

Here is Bunny helping Ava with her Tummy Time.

During the first two weeks, Ava wanted to eat roughly every two hours, and sometimes more often...she really likes to eat! Luckily, even though she woke up often to eat at night, Ava definitely knew the difference between night and day. At night, she goes right back to sleep once she eats, which is wonderful! Also, even though she slept during the day like any newborn, she was a very alert baby (which meant less naps for her Mom).

Some more pics from our first two weeks...

This is Ava's "Jersey Shore" picture...notice the hair and the fist bumping :).

Here she is on the way to her two-week doctor's appointment. She was 9 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 3/8 inches long (90th percentile in both height and weight). The doctor said she looked great!

Overall, the first two weeks were a complete blur, and the fact that I am a Mom was (and still is) very surreal! I can't wait to see this little girl grow up, but I am determined to enjoy every stage and age.

Meeting the Dogs

Before Ava was born, we were very curious about how the dogs would react to the baby. Luckily we had nothing to worry about, because Stella and Louie love their little sister :).

To prepare for bringing Ava home, Josh brought one of her blankets from the hospital back to house when he made a trip home. We had also read that it is best for the "Pack Leader"...aka bring in the baby in the door. So, when we got home, I came in first and Josh waited a few minutes so the dogs could calm down a bit. Then he brought in their new sister.

The dogs were very curious about what Dad brought home! It was so sweet to see them with her.

Things have gone very well with the dogs since that initial meeting. Stella smells Ava on occasion, and pretty much just leaves her alone. On the other hand, Louie is super protective of her and wants to know where Ava is at all times. He comes into the nursery with me at night when I nurse her, and sits at my feet the whole time. He also gets very concerned when Ava cries, and even comes to find me if I am in the other room.

I can't wait to see Ava interact with her "siblings" as she gets older :).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ava's Birthday

February 3, 2012 will forever have a special place in my heart, because it was the day our precious baby girl was born.

Before I forget all the details, I want to get her birth story down on "paper."

The action started on Thursday, February 2. Early that morning, I started having back cramps, but didn't think too much of it. Since I was a couple days past my due date, and Ava was measuring pretty big, my doctor had already scheduled me to have a "cervical ripening" gel put on that Thursday morning. So, I went to the hospital at 10:00 a.m., they administered the gel, and I was monitored for two hours. At that point, I wasn't having any contractions, so they sent me home.

Around 2:00 p.m., I started having bad pains in my lower back. However, I wasn't having any pains or contraction-like feelings in my stomach, so I didn't know if they were true contractions or not. I called my friend Lolly, who is a labor and delivery nurse, to get her input, and she said to go ahead and time the pains. Sure enough, they were already at about 15 minutes apart. I called Josh to let him know what was going on, and said I would keep him posted if they got closer together. Within a couple hours, the contractions were about 8 minutes apart, so I called him back and told him it was time for him to come home. At this point, I knew we were going to have a baby very soon :).

I called my parents to let them know that it was time to head up to Dallas, and waited until the contractions were about 5 minutes apart to call my doctor. At 8:20 p.m., we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital!

This is the last picture of me pregnant with Ava. Look at that HUGE belly!

By 10:00 p.m., I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced, and my contractions were about 2.5 minutes apart. Then, my water broke and things got "real." That was when the pain became really unbearable and it was time for an epidural!! It is also when my Mom arrived, which was good because it took FOREVER for the anesthesiologist to arrive to give the epidural. I finally got the epidural about an hour later, and I swear that was the longest hour of my life. I don't know how women give birth with no drugs.

Once I had the epidural, everything was MUCH better. In fact, my biggest complaint after the epidural was that I was starving! By that point, my Dad and Stepmom as well as Josh's Mom and Sister had arrived to the hospital. However, the nurse said it could be several more hours until it was time to push, so our family went home for a bit and we tried to get some rest. The rest didn't last that long, because at 3:00 a.m., I was fully dilated and effaced. They let me "labor down" for another hour, and then it was time to get ready to push!! They called Dr. Crochet, and we called our parents.

I started pushing at about 5:15 a.m., but after an hour Ava hadn't made much progress. I also developed a fever and Ava's heart rate started to go up. As a result, the doctor decided it was time for a C-section, which I was prepared for since Ava was so big. Josh put on his scrubs (which looked very cute on him), they got me ready to go, and we headed in for the C-section.

Everything went well, but it took a lot longer than I had expected. But all the waiting and discomfort was well worth it when the doctor finally pulled Ava out at 7:17 a.m. and we heard that wonderful cry! I couldn't see her yet, but my tears were already flowing. It was such a surreal moment. A moment I will never, ever forget.

The nurses checked her out...she was 21 inches long, weighed in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces, and had tons of hair!

Once they checked her out, Josh got to hold his baby girl for the first time :).

Our first family photo...I'm still a bit out of it.

Here are my favorite photos from our hospital stay...

First bath. She really liked having her hair washed!

Josh captured her first "smile" on camera.

Sleeping on Daddy's chest. I love this one!

Meeting her Grampsie.

And her Nana.

In this one, my Dad is explaining how much smaller I was when I was a newborn.

We had to take at least one with a bow on :).

Ava with her Bunny and Nello.

With her Papa.

And Grammy.

And with most of her Aunts and Uncles (she will get to meet her Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jesse next week!)...

Aunt Tori

Uncle Todd

Aunt "Bee"

Aunt Hannah

Aunt Sarabeth

Aunt Lily

And, of course, her "Aunt" Jill

She is one lucky lady to have so many fun Aunts!

Ava had lots of other visitors as well...

Lewis and Truc

Russ and Tessa

Rachel and Jesse

Sorry, we didn't get pictures of Lane, Lolly, Sarah, and Derek.

Some other favorite pics...

She is going to have big feet like her parents :).

Thanks to Hannah for taking this one. I love it!

Our hospital stay went by pretty quickly (except for the last day, because it took FOREVER for the lady to come by for the hearing test), and we were discharged on Monday afternoon.

We got her in the car...

And it was time to take our little cupcake home...which was extremely exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time!

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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