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Welcome Ava Joanne

Hello there again. It feels a long while since I’ve popped in here with anything real exciting to share. There aren’t a lot of DIY projects to be done in our apartment space and now time to accomplish anything (like this blog post I’m typing one handed) is limited because — I Had A Baby!

Please join us in welcoming little miss Ava Joanne born July 26th, 2017 // 9.5 pounds // 22 inches long. Here’s her birth story:

If you were following along on Instagram you know that this baby did not want to come out into the world! The week prior to her due date my husband and I were all pumped up and ready for the go moment. I was having extended times of contractions and I tried to encourage them by walking hills and doing squats, but I couldn’t get them to continue! Once my due date passed us by, each day felt like an eternity! There was this nagging feeling that there was something “to do” (have a baby?), but I couldn’t start any new tasks because I didn’t know if I could finish them. I did read a lengthy novel by a favorite author (Pandemic, by A.G. Riddle), but I even finished that before she came!

Shy a week past my due date I had an ultrasound and nonstress test to make sure baby girl was doing alright. She was! Just as cozy as could be. My small town hospital doctor told me that if I needed an induction she couldn’t schedule me for another whole week, unless one if her gals went into labor naturally. (Thoughts: I’m going to be pregnant foreeevveerrr)

On a Wednesday morning (still one week past my due date), my doctor called and asked if I could come in and be induced right away while the birthing center was quiet. I didn’t even think twice and said, “YES.” Yes yes yes! Lets do this thing! I called my husband and told him to get on the road home from work (which is a 1.5 hr drive!) In the meantime I used my anxious energy to clean our apartment, get my son’s diaper bag and schedule situated with my mom, and finalize my hospital bag. I choked up saying goodbye to my little boy who wouldn’t be my only baby the next time I saw him. He would be a big brother. And I had no idea what that would look like.

By 1145am we were checked into the hospital. While I was still getting the birth center’s information explained to me by my nurse and the birth center director (my high school friend’s sweetest mom!), my doctor came in and broke my water! She did it so quick and nonchalant saying, “There. Now they can’t send you home!” So around noon I suppose I “started labor” at around 4 cm dilated and water broken! I really didn’t want to go on pitocin so I walked, lunged, squatted, and birthing ball bounced around the room for the following hours as my contractions increased. Whenever my doctor came to check on me, I had dilated further and had no need to get pitocin.

By 6pm my contractions were very strong and painful. I had the sweetest nurse coaching me through them like a saint as my husband let me crush his hand in my death grip. Near 7pm my doctor said I had reached 10cm and could push that baby out! I, on the other hand, though completely amazed I had reached 10cm without pain killers, was completely overwhelmed at the thought of pushing that baby out without any and pretty much I said, “no way jose, get me the anesthesiologist ASAP.”

To my great relief, they didn’t argue with me. And no joke I held that baby in for another hour (it unfortunately took him uncomfortably forever for some reason) while he sorted me out with the drugs. Around 8pm my doctor and her two nurses came back in and I was ready to push. I was SO glad to feel nothing. With my last little guy I still felt a lot of pain during pushing even with my epidural. This time I could feel the contractions and move my feet some, but there was no pain. And that baby girl came out in 45 minutes!

As they put her on my chest my husband and I shared beautiful tears of joy that this much anticipated gift of a daughter, Ava Joanne, was finally here.
She weighed in at 9.5 lbs! I had no idea she was such a big girl! About 21 inches long. And with the most incredible dark head of hair we’ve seen! We couldn’t get over that we made a baby with all that hair!

That night in recovery I spent most the entire time just staring at her instead of sleeping. I took in her newness and the idea that I was no longer just a mama of my little guy Reuben. That I was a mama to this little sweetheart too. When she first came out I didn’t know how I was going to be able to share my mama love with her too, but over the course of the night, cuddling, touching her hair, and breathing her in, my well of mama love grew and I loved her deeply.

We took some private time with Reuben as we introduced baby sister. His response was pretty typical for that age, “Ok, so what?” Also, he would not take a picture with all of us sitting down haha, so this next one was very candid as we tried to get him to smile!

Here’s Ava with her great grandmother Joanne, her middle namesake. <3

Here are some more pictures we’ve taken at home of this sweetie pie.

So much squishy baby! Now here’s to finding sleep where I can in between all those cuddles and toddler chasing!

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