Yesterday marked the one week birthday of my little Miss Ava Grace, who was born on Dec 2nd, measuring in at a grand ole 6 lbs 12oz and 20.5 inches long. I can’t believe that she is here! All the pregnancy woes and difficulties, the continuous hiccups and samurai kicks, the workouts and healthy diet, all to produce this teeny little creature who will now call me “mommy.” It is so surreal.
I had Ava by planned c section due to my seizure disorder. The main positive about a “planned” c section is that I can prepare for a known arrival date, as opposed to natural delivery where the baby can come at any time (despite an estimated due date). For weeks I’ve been preparing for the big day, for example, by cooking and freezing meals, setting up my winter wonderland decorations (another post soon to come), and fully setting up Ava’s pink & gray nursery. The night before the c section, I was a bundle of nerves. In an effort to “chill out”, I took a warm bath, drank some tea, and listen to Christmas music. I also took the opportunity to write a letter to Ava describing how I felt and how excited I was to meet her 🙂 I plan on including it in her baby book so she can always know how excited her mommy was the night before she was born.
At around 4 am, Sean and I got ready to head to the hospital. Amazingly, I was as cool as a cucumber. I even took a selfie to document my last belly shot with Ava. We arrived at the hospital, registered, I changed, and waited in bed. But when the anesthesiologist entered my room in order to discuss my epidural, the enormity of the day hit me full force and I was a “hot mess.” Oh boy. I started to get really nervous and overly anxious, especially as I walked to the surgery room to get my epidural. I have had a life long fear of epidurals and have always wondered why there are so few pain management options for laboring women. The idea of a needle in my back is less than appealing…
SELFIE alert! On the morning of Ava’s arrival
Well, needless to say I freaked out quite a bit and was able to request a “pre-medicine” to calm my nerves. It really helped. I then was instructed to sit up on the surgical table so that they could administer the epidural–a small shot in my spinal sack, but without a catheter. The shot was MAJORLY uncomfortable. Not to the point of crying but it was a few minutes of pure torture, particularly since the doctor began to play “let’s explore Allison’s vertebrae with a needle” (due to my bedrest, my back was a bit swollen and it was hard to locate my spinal sack). Oh yay. But it was over in a few minutes and I suppose the benefit of being awake with no pain outweighed being asleep and missing my baby’s entry into the world.
The c section began quickly (probably as soon as they raised the curtain). Sean was right by my side, dressed in scrubs, waiting for our little Lima bean. Then, all of a sudden, we heard the “cry.” I was flooded with so many emotions and began immediately balling when I heard Ava’s sweet whimpers. Those first cries symbolize so much: her arrival to the world (there’s no turning back now, haha) and her good health (thank God). Sean was the first one to hold her. Then I got to see her rosy face. There are no words that can describe the overall experience: seeing my husband hold our daughter was such a memorable moment–the start of a lifelong bond between two special people in my life.
The c section went so quickly! Time flew by!
Then my eyes got heavy…The anesthesiologist gave me a medicine to put me in a sleepy/twilight state while the doctor stitched me up.
The rest of the day was a blur. But you couldn’t take Ava out of my arms. I just wanted to hold her and to smell her. If softness could have a scent, it would be the one that she has. Sweet sweat and milk. The light fragrance of a clean diaper. My personal definition of perfection.
She’s so cute!
I only stayed in the hospital for a few days. I was able to leave on my third day. While in the hospital, which had amazing amenities and nurses, I was able to work with a lactation consultant at almost EVERY feeding with Ava. The hospital is very pro-breastfeeding, to the point that they assume that that is what you are going to do and you have to request a bottle if you plan to formula feed. This type of support seems so rare, and seven days out, I’m happy to report that Ava and I are in a good flow (no pun intended)–breastfeeding is going extremely well and I’m so glad at I’m doing it.
Little facts about Ava:
Likes: eating, suckling, being held. After feeding time, she enters a coma like state and literally passes out with milk dripping out her mouth, as if she fell out before completing her last gulp. To be honest, sometimes I pass out as well!
This is NOT a staged picture. This is real life. Ava and I fell out after her feeding. The sleepiness was contagious (see my dog, Tyrion). Breastfeeding has become a family activity.
Dislikes: diaper and wardrobe changes (aka, being naked and cold)!
Eats: every two hours, but she’ll often go longer when she pities her sleep deprived mom.
Poops: I don’t think I can even count…
Cool things: she smiles and smizes every day. I live for those smiles.
Best friend: our dog, Tyrion. He has become her body guard and so obviously has become protective of her.
Tyrion hardly leaves Ava’s side
Mommy or Daddy?: Sean and I have settled on the allocation of the following features–Ava has my nose and lips while she has Sean’s eyes and hair. I also claim her long dainty fingers 😉
*We also think that she is the smartest, most advanced baby ever born (as do most parents believe about their own children…haha)
Ava’s first week has been pretty amazing. Happy birthday sweet pea 🙂