It's hard to believe that a week has passed since we met our sweet Ava Grace. It's hard to express this feeling - although I am sure all you mommies out there relate! I feel like she was just in my belly yesterday and now she's already a week old! I wish time would stand still! This explains why I haven't blogged yet... I have been recovering and soaking up every moment, but now I want to share with you the story of Ava Grace's arrival!
Last Tuesday, January 10th, I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment. As you know, I had been on bed rest and Dr. Hamrang was seeing me every 4 or 5 days for ultrasounds and to check our progress. Although progress was slow... and I mean S-L-O-W... Ava Grace was growing like crazy in her warm little hot tub in my belly! On Tuesday, we found me still at only 1 cm and she still hadn't dropped much - her station was -3 (stations start at -5 which is totally up in my belly, to 0 which is in the middle of my pelvis, and all the way to 5 which is crowning). My ultrasound Tuesday estimated that Ava Grace would weigh over 8 lbs, though. With this consideration, even thought my doctor considered me "just on the edge of inducible," she decided it was better to take her. Imagine our surprise when the nurse came back and said, "Do y'all have plans for tomorrow? How'd you like to have this baby?" We were thrilled! Excited! Nervous! The whole bit! My induction was scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2012. We went to the hospital to pre-register and then out for a steak dinner - my last meal! :-)
After trying to get a good night's sleep we got up to a VERY rainy morning! We took one last belly shot (26 lbs total weight gain... I was shooting for 25 or less, so I was pretty satisfied) and headed for the hospital.
After arriving at the hospital at 5:30 AM they wasted no time in trying to get my labor started! They began IV fluids, an antibiotic drip, and pitocin. Every 15 minutes they upped the pitocin and my body responded with mild contractions. By 9:30 Dr. Hamrang had been by to check me and break my water. I stayed at 1.5 cm and my contractions picked up. Although I considered them painful, doctor Hamrang said I had still not achieved active labor. I asked for my epidural and continued to crank up the pitocin. I must pause here and say, THANK YOU LORD for epidurals! There are no words for how wonderful that thing is! It hurt like fire going in, but it was so worth it! It was around 2 or 3 in the afternoon before I achieved active labor, but by that point I couldn't feel a thing. Unfortunately my body still wasn't responding too well - I was still sitting around 80% and 2 cm and still station -2... s-l-o-w going! Around 5:00 we still weren't making much progress and by 6:00 we were only at 5 cm and Dr. Hamrang began to think about a c-section. She told me she would give me one more hour and if I didn't make drastic change in that hour, she was going to go ahead and take her. Around 7 I started feeling pressure and by 7:15 Dr. Hamrang came in to check me! She lifted the sheet and said, "Wow, there she is, I can see her!" I had gone from 5cm and not much else to 10cm, 100%, and station 3 in just an hour and we were ready to push! Once she decided to come, she came fast and at 7:55 we met our Ava Grace!
She had a rough trip through the birth canal and came out so smooshed! She came through my pelvis at an angle and had a crazy looking, sideways cone head, a smooshed ear, and what we thought was a big bruise on her face (more on that later), but we didn't care - we still thought she was the most beautiful little girl we'd ever seen and knew she was perfect in every way!
She weighed in at 7 lb 6 oz and 20 inches long! Her Daddy was the best coach ever - he was there for my every need and helped during labor by holding my very numb leg and feeding me ice! My mom assisted on the other side with my other very numb leg! Both were as excited as I was to meet our sweet girl, and I do mean sweet! Even after her rough trip into this world, she didn't even cry! It scared her dad and I to death, but they assured us she was pink and perfect! Her apgar was a 9 and she was just happy to be with us and so alert! After a clean up and some bonding time, we brought in grandparents to meet the new addition!
Here are Ava Grace and Papaw (my daddy) meeting for the first time! Yes, she is taking it all in and making eye contact - she stayed awake and alert like this for a couple of hours after her birth and never cried the whole time!
Mimi (Chris' mom) was next, and then..
her Pap (Chris' dad).