Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome Baby Ava Mahalet!
May 5th 2010
6:22 am
5 lbs 14 oz

I find I'm just too tired at the moment to express everything I would like to. I keep starting and deleting because I just sound too matter-of-fact or silly so for now I think I can handle a list of things I want to remember.

1. I'm so glad we opted for a scheduled c-section. I was so afraid of labor. Especially having never done it.

2. I am so grateful I got to be in the OR and watch Ava be born. It was awesome. My dad was there too and that was awesome.

3. Following Ava to the nursery, feeding her there, giving her a bath with Zar, all of this definitely beats laying paralyzed alone and nauseous downstairs, as was my
experience with Ella. Ava's birthmom did much better than I did.

4. Before she was born we took a weight poll; birthmom guessed 6 even, I guessed 6 lbs, 2 oz, and it went up from there, so birthmom won, with me a close second.

5. Everyone was so nuts over Ava's hair and general cuteness. She was the star of the nursery.

6. I'm so glad, after a crazy emotional long day that I went home the first night to get some sleep. I would've been a mess otherwise. Plus I had no bed. Well turns out I did but the nurses kept threatening to kick me out in the middle of the night so I chose not to risk it. When the room was still empty the next day I stopped asking if I could stay there and just took it over.

7. Despite having a room, Birthmom and I just hung out all day on day 2, watching movies and snoozing in her room. At that point she hadn't been ready to hold Ava yet but still wanted us there with her.

8. I spent night 2 in my claimed "bonding room" and Ava did so well, I was so encouraged. She woke up at 1 to eat and within 15 minutes she was changed and fed and burped and back to sleep. At four it was the same story and I set my alarm to wake us up at 6:30 for one more feeding before they took her to see her pediatrician. I kept thinking once I was home and not using a plastic flat pillow I would get such excellent sleep! No big thing! And I bragged about it, which was a mistake.

9. Birthmom and I both got a big ole kick out of the hospital photographer assuming we were a couple and calling us "so cute together". Only laughing hurt Birthmom's incision so she had to just chuckle holding a pillow.

10. Ava was discharged on day 3 after snoozing for three days straight. Birthmom had a chance to spend time with her alone and hold her before we left, only at one point Ava started crying and birthmom called my cell phone to come back. She let me get a picture of us holding her together and did so well. She is just so motivated to get her life back that it made things so much easier I think, the on-going recovery itself, the pain, both physical and emotional and then watching me walk out with her baby. Strong girl.

11. I was surprised at how many of the nurses remembered the night Charlotte was born, and remembered me and loved hearing how well Charlotte did after we went home. I showed them pictures which was fun. Then I told most of them I would be back in October in the same situation so be ready for that. And it was comforting for them to just say "okay, hope it goes as well as last time!" and not freak out and shake their heads and say "how awful! Poor you!" Because it's just my crazy life and it is what it is. It's normal to me and it was normal to them.

12. I missed Ella a lot while I was spending time at the hospital, but she just is at that age where she goes so nuts sometimes that she didn't get to spend much time in the hospital with us. Although she did know to give baby sister kisses on the head and expect applause. She also threw a few tantrums.

13. Ava went to grandmas once she was discharged and we hung out and took her on her first shopping trip up to Four and Twenty Sailors so grandma could pick out a very special blankie for her. Both Charlotte and Ella had blankets from Four and Twenty, and Charlotte's burial blanket and dress also came from there.

14. It was so fun and exciting to see our families just as excited over Ava (and maybe more) than they would be if I had just birthed her myself. And for my nephew Jaydon to now be asking everyone he meets "Do you know my cousin Ava?"

15. We are figuring out our nighttime routine. She is still doing her 2.5 to 3 hour schedule which is great. My plan is to go to bed at 9:30 along with Ella, and Zar, who stays up on couch for hours for his me time, should have Ava with him through her 11 pm feeding. Then she can stay in her downstairs cradle with him until he come to bed and places her in the self rocking cradle thing in Charlottes's room, and then if I'm lucky she sleeps til 2, and then until 5, and then until 8. So far she wakes up a lot missing her binky and I'm in and out of bed and she always ends up in the borrowed snuggle nest in our bed, where she seems to sleep much better than in the cradle, but I'm afraid of her getting addicted to sleeping with mom, but it's so much easier, so for these first few weeks, we are just going to do what it takes to make it through. My theory is after having Ella I was drugged up and so incredibly exhausted for the first while that I don't really remember her feeding situation, as my first memory of her sleeping habits was eating at 10 and waking up at 8. Which can't be right. But this time I'm pregnant and can't even use zip-fizz. So that's rough.

16. I am so amazed this has happened. I never would've guessed when I made my New Years resolution to some how "Have" a baby in 2010, that by May I would have my new daughter, Ella's little sister, and I am so grateful. It is a miracle and I am so grateful to birthmom, to Bonnie and Ruthie for introducing us, our families for being so supportive, Morgan for doing our social work and being so encouraging, my OB for taking us on and being so patient, and to God for making everything fall painlessly (for me) into place. I am just filled with gratitude and truly I stand all amazed.

17. I'm the luckiest mom ever. God knew we needed this little girl, Ella needs this little sister, and she is and will be so incredibly loved. When Charlotte was first diagnosed five years ago, I was so afraid and upset that we were going to be a "sad family". A tragic family. And now I know so much more, there are so few sad families, compared to what I thought. We aren't sad. Tragic families like mine see more miracles than you would ever believe. And Ava is one of them.
(and yes, during this post I have fed Ava, changed two diapers and an outfit and been so relieved that Ella finally fell asleep after a long no-nap stretch.)


alliemich said...

Congratulations!! She is beautiful!! Get some rest, you are in for a ride :)

Jen I said...

That's so beautiful. Congratulations!

Lacey said...

Congrats on your new baby girl!! And that hair is to die for!!

Julie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I keep checking your blog to see pictures of your family!!!! So happy for you guys!!!
cousin Julie

Heather said...

Welcome to the world, little Ava! What a cutie.

Will be thinking Ava, and you, and of her birth mom during this transition. Every blessing to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Erin, you and Zar are an inspiration to so many. We love you both, and all your darling girls.


Stefanie Miller said...

What a beauty! Congratulations, I am so happy for you! What an interesting situation to be taking care of a brand new baby and be pregnant!! I hope you are over any morning sickness... Love to you all!

AussieJenn said...

Congratulations on the newest family member. Ava is gorgeous.

Shannon said...

Oh Erin! Ava is beyond gorgeous! I am so stinkin excited for you! What an incredible blessing she is! Kennedy can't stop talking about her. You have such an incredible family.

cowgirltn said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful

Susan said...

Wonderful! Joyful news! So happy for you.