Ava is almost a month old and it’s 100% true what everyone says! I feel as if I don’t even remember life before being her mom. How does that happen?!
My due date was actually September 5th, but she decided to arrive August 25th. I went in for my 38th week appointment on a Monday. The appointment went 100% normal – she said I was dilated and partially effaced, but never hinted that she would be born only a few days later. She actually scheduled me to be induced August 30th. I was having spurts of high blood pressure, which can be harmful for babies, so she decided to schedule a date. I was pretty excited about having a scheduled date [hiiii all Type A friends] since I could plan everything out.
On Thursday [the 24th], I woke up and went to work as normal. I was feeling more pressure than normal. To anyone that hasn’t been pregnant, that is the only way I can describe it. I wasn’t having contractions, but it was just pressure that hurt more than normal. [sorry to any teachers out there for using a word to describe the same word] I actually planned on having a birth photographer be in the room, so I spoke with her on my way home from work. She asked about my 38 week appointment and basically joked saying I could have the baby that night.
Thursday night I woke up around 11 pm feeling A LOT more “pressure,” just this time it seemed pretty regular and wasn’t going away. I hadn’t downloaded a contractor app yet, so I downloaded one and the pressure was happening every 4-5 minutes. Around midnight, I woke up Sean and we decided to go to the hospital. Also, I’d like to point out if you’re having regular contractions or your water breaks, PLEASE EAT AND DRINK BEFORE. I knew you couldn’t eat during labor, but I didn’t know you couldn’t drink.
When we arrived, they took me to the triage room to make sure I was in fact in labor. I was in there for about an hour and a half while they got a room ready for me. Once they moved me to my delivery room, I progressed really fast and the contractions where becoming SUPER painful. I’ve never loved anyone more than the anesthesiologist [halfway kidding….but I had dilated to 6 cm by the time he came in.]
I pushed for about an hour and half and then she was here. I wish I had words to describe what it felt like holding her for the first time. I always say there are moments in life where I feel as if I can hear God say, “I love you.” When the nurse handed Ava to me I just felt like God was saying, “I love you and I trust you.” Holding her and knowing she is a gift from him that we were entrusted to raise truly felt like the greatest honor in life.
I ended up having a very mild fever during labor, so they took Ava up to the NICU to be monitored for 48 hours…..which turned into 8 days. During her first couple hours upstairs, she actually ended up holding her breath [know as Brady episodes]. It’s basically where the brain forgets to tell the lungs to breathe, so the baby will hold their breath until 1. the brain reminds them to breathe or 2. they are manually stimulated [by a nurse] and reminded to breathe. Ava was in the second category…..talk about scary. To hear the words that your baby wasn’t breathing as a new parent is an emotion I don’t wish upon anyone. Once this occurred, the NICU nurses and doctors said she had to be 5 days free of any episodes before she would be able to come home. Oh, and I forgot to mention. While all of this was happening, Hurricane Harvey decided to hit Houston, and MAN did it make an impact and linger. We were actually stuck at the hospital for 5 of the 8 days as we couldn’t get in our neighborhood. We were VERY and I mean so very fortunate our house was high and dry [as so many weren’t].
As emotionally draining as the NICU is, I know God had a plan for her arriving early and had a plan for her to be in the hospital just a little longer. If she would have come a day or two later, we would have been stuck in our home without the assistance of any nurses or doctors. I also know how blessed I am that she was only there 8 days. While she was there, she shared a room with a baby born at 28 weeks and that would be “lucky” to come home mid-October.
Now that we are home and getting settled with our new routine, I can’t imagine my life without her. We are just so in love with her and truly loving parenthood.