Monday, November 12, 2012

Ava May... The Details Of Her Birth Day

I'm officially a Mother.

And this new Momma is exhausted, hormonal and sleep deprived to say the least.

But amongst the endless feedings, diaper changes, and cuddle time, I have surprisingly found the time to blog!  

And this post is all about the arrival of our sweet angel, Ava.  And what an angel baby she is!

7:00 pm:  I sat at my friend and co-worker Sydney's bridal shower, chatting with other co-workers and women about my upcoming due date 2 weeks later.  The compliments of how great I looked for being 38 weeks pregnant were accepted graciously, even though I felt like a 5,000 pound whale.  We took silly pictures of my huge belly and joked that the next time they would see me, would be at Sydney's wedding in November and I would have a baby!

10:00 pm:  I rigged up my camera in the kitchen and set the timer to snap the ever famous belly pic of myself at 38 weeks.  Hoping that it would be the last time I took that "in front of the pantry door" picture.  I even changed up my outfit in hopes that that would magically get things going ;)
Like any other night, the husband and I went to bed, anticipating the first winter storm that was to arrive early that next morning.  

12:00 am: I woke up to go to the bathroom, an event that I had become all too familiar with, and felt what I thought were my ever present Braxton Hicks contractions.  After lying back down in bed, something felt different, and my friend Braxton Hicks was letting me know just how different by contracting my insides stronger, and longer than usual.  Thinking nothing of it, I fell back asleep until 4 am when I no longer could sleep through the pain.  Little did I know, at that point, Braxton Hicks had said goodbye and had left me with what were the beginnings of real labor contractions.

4:00-6:00 am: I got out of bed and began to wander the house... I paced the hall a few times, got a drink of water, ate a bowl of cereal (I was STARVING) and crawled back in bed.  That lasted a whole 5 minutes and I ended up back in the living room playing on Pinterest.  All while timing these so called "real labor contractions" (and yes, I did have to google "real labor contractions" to be sure that was what I was feeling) Sleep was out of the question by this point, and the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart.  

6:15 am:  Jace woke up and realized I wasn't in bed.  He called out for me and from the living room, I answered with a soft, "I'm here... just timing contractions." He came out to me and asked what I thought we should do.  I suggested that we should probably head down to the hospital and have them check me out.  I was pretty hesitant however, I wasn't positive that I was really in labor, and the last thing I wanted was to get all the way down to Provo just to have them send us home.  I told Jace I was going to take a shower first, to see if that changed anything, and then we'd decide what to do.  Well, the shower definitely changed things... the contractions came even stronger and more intense, and closer together.  I knew then, that it was the real deal, and that we were going to have a baby that day.  I managed to finish getting ready, stopping in the process to sit down and breathe through the contractions, we grabbed our bags and quickly left the house.

7:15 am:  We arrived at Jace's parents house to drop off Jett.  Jace and his dad gave me a priesthood blessing, and we were on our way to Provo.

8:00 am:  We arrived at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where they admitted me into Labor & Delivery.  While waiting for the nurse to come into our room, my nerves and emotions took over, and I began to cry.  I wanted so badly for them to keep me, I wanted to have my baby girl join us that day... but I was afraid the nurse wouldn't find any new progress with me and send us home.  Jace comforted me and told me that everything would be okay :)

8:30 am:  The nurse came in to check my progression, finding that I was dilated to 4cm and was 90% effaced!  She said they were definitely going to keep me and that we would be having a baby that day.  I couldn't believe my ears... I was shocked!  We were so excited that we would finally be meeting our baby girl that day!  After 9 months of anticipation, the day had come.  The nurse hooked me up to my IV and placed the monitors on my belly to watch my contractions, and then, it started snowing.  The first snowfall of the season and we got to watch it out the huge windows of the delivery room.  What a wonderful day to have a baby!

9:30 am:  My mom showed up, excited for the events of the day and excited to meet her 15th grand baby :)  My contractions by that time were 2-4 minutes apart, strong, intense and nothing I had ever felt before.  I was in labor.  I had gone into labor on my own which I never thought would happen to me.  And 2 weeks early even!  As weird as it sounds, I was grateful that I got to experience those real labor contractions.  I felt strong and at the same time humbled to know that my body was doing everything it was supposed to.  I knew that I could do it, as hard as I knew it would be, it was my divine nature to give birth and become a mother.  I felt at peace.

10:30 am: The anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural, (as empowered as those contractions made me feel, I had my fair share of them and was ready to feel comfortable and relaxed).  I was pretty nervous for the epidural... having heard stories, some good and some bad, of what epidurals would feel like, I was afraid of the unknown.  My sweet husband stayed right in front of me the whole time, letting me squeeze his hand, and whispering in my ear how great I was doing.  He was my rock during that process (and during the events that followed) and I'm forever grateful for the wonderful husband and man that he is.  After all was said and done, the epidural really wasn't that bad!!  I was surprised at how easy it was actually, and the way I felt afterward, was totally worth it!  I was finally able to rest and relax.  And wait some more :)

11:30 am:  My sweet mother-in-law showed up with breakfast/lunch for the husband who hadn't eaten anything all morning and my nurse came in to check my progress again.  She found that I was now dilated to 6cm!  Things were moving right along and I was relieved that my body was progressing so well :)

12:30 pm:  My dad and sister arrived, both giddy with excitement.  Some may agree to disagree, but it was so wonderful to have my family there to support me!  And what a great support system they were... they were amazing in every way.  I felt so blessed to have my loved ones experience such a special moment with Jace and I.

2:00 pm:  The nurse came back to check me again and found that I was still at 6cm.  She called my OB to have him come break my water, in hopes that that would get things moving along a little faster. 

3:30 pm:  While watching Ellen, the anesthesiologist came back in to give me a second dose of drugs as it was starting to wear off a bit.  For that I was ever grateful!

4:00 pm:  My nurse once again came to check my progress, I was finally at 10cm but Baby's heart rate was acting funny, so she put an oxygen mask on me to help balance it out.  I thought at that point I would start pushing, as 10cm dilated is when that usually begins, but the nurse found while checking me, that Baby Girl was face up.  She called my OB to have him come check for himself and address the situation further.

4:15 pm:  My doctor did in fact find that Baby was face up and recommended that I hold tight for awhile, in hopes that my contractions would move her further down and she would turn herself over.  He said that by doing that, it would cut down the amount of time I would have to push.  If she didn't turn herself over within the hour or so, he would try to turn her over himself when pushing began.  Needless to say, I was a little freaked out at this point.  Thoughts of having to have a C section after coming so far on my own, flooded my mind, and I began to feel scared and somewhat frustrated.  But we were still hopeful that everything would continue to work out.

5:45 pm:  My OB came back, checked me again and found that Baby Girl did in fact, turn herself over while moving further down in to the birth canal!  Hallelujah!  We were all relieved and my doctor said I could start pushing!

5:45-6:45pm:  With my mom on one side of me, my sister on the other and my sweetheart at my head, coaching and counting, I pushed.  And pushed, and pushed.  There's a reason why they call it LABOR.  That was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life.  And I did it consistently for an entire hour.  I was so tired, had nothing to eat all day, and began to feel dizzy and light headed, the room was spinning... I felt like I was going to pass out.  The nurse immediately gave me a dose of glucose water through my IV to see if that would help.  Thank goodness it did!

6:45 pm:  My OB came in and it was time to rock and roll.  He gowned up while my nurses got me ready for delivery.  

18 short minutes later, Ava May Helean was born at 7:03 pm, weighing 6lbs 8oz and measuring 18 inches long.  

There simply are no words to describe that moment when I first saw my precious baby girl, and heard her sweet cry.  I was overcome with emotion.  I felt relieved that it was all over and grateful that I held a perfect, sweet angel straight from Heaven in my arms.  I looked up at my darling husband, who had tears in his eyes, and together we cried as we marveled at the precious gift from God we had just been given.  

So here we are, two and a half weeks later, with a beautiful, perfect angel baby at the center of our universe.  Those were the fastest two and a half weeks of my life!  We feel so incredibly blessed to have a happy, healthy baby girl join our family.  

She is such a dream and we have never been so in love :)