Friday, October 14, 2016

Watch Ava Grow - 7 Months!!

I did terribly at doing a 6, and/or 7-month photo shoot, so I just pulled some of my most recent pictures of Ava from FB and my phone. I like documenting what she's doing, so I can go back and read it in the future. 

This girl. She is normally the happiest baby ever. This week, she's been fussy, not as easy-going, and just not her normal self. We're not sure if teeth are trying to break through, or if she's just not feeling herself. Yesterday, her 2 naps together only equaled an hour - MAYBE an hour and a half - and I'm sure that contributed to her crankiness. I guess she decided she'd been too easy on us up until this week! Either way, we love this little girl, and she is still happy and easy most of the time - just any amount of fussing for her that isn't hunger-related is unusual for her. 

Weight: 16lbs (as of 10/3/16) 25th %ile

Length: I'll have to look it up

Head Circumference: I'll have to look it up, but I know it was in the 97th %ile!!

Sleep: I have no idea. Sometimes she naps 2 times; sometimes 3 times. Her first nap always seems to be 30 minutes on the dot, no matter what time I put her down. Her second nap is almost always on the go, and is 45-60 minutes (one day it was completely refused!); and her 3rd nap is usually an hour and a half to two hours long. Every once in awhile, it's 45 minutes. Not only do I hate a short 3rd nap because she has a hard time making it until bedtime, but her last nap coincides with Audrey's nap/quiet time, so when Ava short-naps me in the afternoon, I lose any Mommy time I had counted on. She sleeps through the night, though, so that's all I care about!! She starts fussing/crying around 6:40ish, and that means she is ready for that bedtime bottle, and then wants to go to bed. There have even been a couple times she has been so tired by 6:45 that she's only drank 1.5-2oz, and was just melting down so bad that I just gave up trying to feed her a full bottle, and put her to bed, and she just rolled over and went right to sleep. I can't complain about having a baby that WANTS to be put to bed at night! She's almost always up by 6:30, but usually is content in her bed. I try to wait until 7 to get her up. Sometimes, even her happy sounds, though are SOOOO loud that I get her up as soon as she wakes up because I don't want her waking Audrey. Ava can handle a 6am wakeup; Audrey most definitely can NOT! 

Eating: She went through a big growth spurt about a week or so ago because she was easily eating 30oz of formula a day. Lately, she's back to only eating about 22-26oz a day. One of our new developments in the last month is how picky she is in the temperature of her bottle. Oh. My. Goodness. We had to buy a travel bottle warmer because she will ONLY take it at a specific temperature. If it's too cold, she'll spit it out....and then cry because she's hungry! It's a good thing she's cute! 

Clothes: Still in 3-6m/6m outfits. They're starting to get too snug, though. 

New Achievements of the month: 
1. Can kind of sit in a tripod stance
2. Saying "dadada" and "nanana" and occasionally I hear "gagaga"
3. Fake coughs for attention!

Things she likes:
1. A very warm bottle!
2. Textures
3. Standing in front of the mirror with Mommy and waving/looking at the cute baby in the mirror
4. Her bouncy seat! She could live in this contraption. This week while she has been fussier than normal, she's wanted to be held more than normal. If I need to put her down, though, the bouncy seat is always a hit. 
5. Anything Audrey does - this will probably never change!
6. Bubbles - Audrey, Ava, and I went outside one day to enjoy our beautiful fall weather we're having, and Audrey still had some bubbles left over from the summer, so we were blowing them, and Ava was mesmerized by them. The look on her face was priceless like, "ooooohh....what is this??"

Things she doesn't like:
1. Naps, apparently
2. Too hot of a bottle
3. Too cold of a bottle 
4. Being tired
5. Not being fed by 6:45pm!

Other random information:
At her 6-month check-up, the pediatrician detected a heart murmur that hadn't ever been heard before. I had also mentioned that sometimes her hands and feet are purple immediately after she wakes from a nap for a few minutes, so we were referred to a pediatric cardiologist. We found out she does have a small hole in her heart, but it's very small, and it's not causing her any issues (she can eat fine, she's gaining weight fine, she's got a normal energy level for her age), so it's nothing to be concerned about. If we ever feel it is affecting her daily living, we'll go back to the cardiologist to have a small catheter inserted. It would only be a day surgery (nothing major like open heart surgery), and apparently this is very common. It's very possible that we'll never have to do anything about this hole, so we were very thankful to hear this news!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watch Ava Grow - 5 months!!

Precious smiles!!

Audrey has to take over and be the big ham!

While taking pictures of Ava, I turned the phone to take pics of us. You can't tell from the picture, but Audrey is climbing on my back while I was playing photographer!
My favorite picture I've taken of the two of them! I got them to BOTH look at the camera AND smile!! I'm impressed with myself :)
FIVE MONTHS OLD!!!! When did this girl become five months old?? My babies aren't babies anymore. Audrey will be 3 in less than a month, and Ava is nowhere close to being a newborn anymore. Audrey absolutely LOVES her little baby sister especially now that Ava is able to do more stuff and be more interactive. Audrey likes doing anything and everything to make Ava smile and laugh. She loves playing with Ava and bringing her toys, and Ava pretty much loves everything that Audrey does!! They are so incredibly precious together! Audrey isn't always the most gentle with Ava, but Ava never makes a fuss about it. In fact, usually Ava is all smiles and laughs whether Audrey knees her in the head (which has been done, unintentionally), or practically lays on top of her. Oh, I did have to intervene the other day when I heard Audrey ask Ava, "Do you want me to pick you up? You do? OK." HAHAHA!!! I looked over to see Audrey seriously trying to pick Ava up off the floor. I'm sure one day it will happen whether I like it or not, but not yet. Oh, speaking of Audrey, she expects big things out of Ava. If she's trying to give Ava a toy, or if she's reading a touch-and-feel book, she'll tell Ava, "Can you touch this?" If Ava doesn't reach to try and touch it (sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't), Audrey will immediately look at me, and say, "Mommy, she's not listening." :) Other times, she'll see Ava putting a toy in her mouth and Audrey will take it out of her mouth and say, "No, we don't eat toys. Toys aren't food." At least I know she's listening to me (even though Audrey still puts things in her mouth that she knows she shouldn't). I try to explain that Ava is allowed to put toys in her mouth because she's a baby and that's what babies do, but I don't think she quite gets it. In fact, I feel like Audrey is starting to revert back to babyhood and put more things in her mouth when she hadn't been doing it quite as much.

Ava is excelling in physical therapy. We're down to only going every other week because she's getting so much stronger. She tries SOOOO hard to roll from back to belly. Last night, I heard a lot of fussing after we put her to bed which is really unusual. I looked at her on the monitor, and she was really just trying to roll over. It sounded like fussing, but she was just working so hard and being very vocal about it. She's sooo close, but not there yet. If she's motivated enough to sleep on her tummy, maybe that will inspire her to roll quicker, or at least keep trying.

I don't know any of her measurements for this month.

Sleep: This girl is just like her big sister and fighting naps like crazy. I know she needs to be on 3 naps; I just can't figure out when those 3 naps should happen. Plus, most mornings when she should be napping, we're out running errands, so nap 1 is usually just car naps on the go. So far her afternoon nap is her really good, long nap and usually goes from about 1:30-4. I LOVE this naptime because Audrey goes down for a nap/quiet time from 2:00-3:30, so their naps coincide and I can get some stuff done (or choose to get nothing done and rest myself). She's usually in bed right at, or a little after 7pm and has been consistenly sleeping through the night for the last 2 months!! She is a bit of an early bird, and I generally hear her wake up around 6:30 or 6:45. Sometimes, she'll sleep in until 7:15 (you know you're a mom when 7:15 is "sleeping in"!).

Eating: Her eating has slowed down quite a bit as of lately. She eats 5 times a day - around 7, 10, 1, 4, and 7 or right before. Lately, she's had no interest in eating her 10am bottle, but takes the other ones just fine. Lately she's been consuming about 24oz of formula in a 24 hour period.

Clothes: She literally outgrew all of her 0-3m/3m outfits and pj's overnight!! I have a few 3-6m pieces that are the right season, but I really need to make a mad dash to the store and pick her up some new clothes.

New Achievements of the Month:
1. Mimicking our tones of voice - I say "hi" to her in a really high, soft voice and she always tries to mimic it using an "ah" sound. Well, sometimes, it really sounds like she's trying to say "hi" back to me.
2. She's showing a preference for sitting up rather than laying. Even propped on the boppy, she usually fusses until I sit her up. She can hold a sitting position for about 0.2 seconds, but I know that she likes sitting because she can see much more than while laying.

Things she likes:
1. Ceiling fans! They provide great entertainment for her!
2. Her changing table - I've never written this, but she's loved her changing table for a long time. She smiles big time at the sign that's above her changing table.
3. Anything Audrey does! That girl loves her big sister, and Audrey loves her little sister because she always has a captive audience!
4. She still loves her swing - it's by far her favorite toy.

Things she doesn't like:
1. Being hungry - she still goes from being just fine to HANGRY in about 0.1 seconds.
2. This kind of goes along with #1, but she doesn't like it if that bedtime bottle isn't given at 7:00 on the dot. She's seriously crying by 7:04. The rest of the day, she doesn't seem to get hungry, but seriously, 7:04 rolls around and she's ready to eat and go straight to bed. Yesterday, I put Audrey to bed first (because she needed it and I was by myself), and Ava was laying in bed with Audrey, and Ava was totally fine until I turned off Audrey's light. Then she lost it. I'm not sure if she was crying because it was past 7 and she was hungry, or if it was because she associates the lights going out with going to bed and knew she hadn't been fed yet. Either way, she wasn't happy until that bottle was in her mouth!

We just love this precious baby so much!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Watch Ava Grow - 4 Months!

This picture is my favorite!!
First, thank you Nana, for all of our adorable outfits! I get lots of compliments every time I take her out in one of them! 

How in the world is this baby 4 months old already?? While I am LOVING how interactive she is, it makes me sad in seeing how quickly time is flying. Time really does fly when you're having fun! Ava has so many similarities to Audrey when she was this age (awesome sleeper, thank you Baby Wise!), but in some ways she is completely different. While Ava does use her voice, she's not nearly as loud and talkative as Audrey. Ava will usually flash lots of sweet gummy grins, but there are times you have to work for it. If you want to make her laugh, you better be prepared to work hard!! Sometimes she'll give you a pity laugh :) I think Ava looks at us and thinks, "Well, she looks really stupid right now...I'll humor her." She is still the most easy-going baby EVER! In that way, she's totally different than Audrey. Audrey was happy and long as all eyes and attention were on her. At 4 months, Ava can entertain herself better than Audrey can at almost 3 years! 

Anyways, I am a few days late on this. Part of it was because I was waiting on her 4-month well-check, and also because well, I've been a little lazy! 

Length: 22 1/2 inches (20th %ile)

Weight: 12lbs 9oz (15th %ile)

Head Circumference: 43cm (<95th %ile!!) It's no wonder she has trouble holding her head up when the rest of her is in the 20th %ile and below, and her head is greater than 95%!! Poor girl...when I look at her, though, I don't think her head looks THAT big. Oh well...she's adorable!

Sleep: She still takes 4 naps a day - her first 3 naps are about 1.5-2 hours long, her last nap is about 45 minutes. She sleeps through the night!! Every night! At 3 months, she would still wake every few nights to eat, but it's been about a month since she woke. She is my early riser, though. Audrey would always wake in the 7:30-8 range, but not Ava!! This morning she was awake at 5:45, and she doesn't hang out quietly....she goes from being totally asleep to yelling (not crying, just yelling). Luckily, I've been able to flip her over to her tummy and pop a paci in her mouth, and get her to go back to sleep until 7. I try to keep her in bed as close to 7am as possible. If she keeps spitting the paci out and yelling, then I know she's actually hungry. Usually, though, I can put her on her tummy and give her the paci and she'll go back to sleep pretty quickly. Then I know she didn't wake up out of hunger - she just woke up, and needed help getting back to sleep. I can't complain, though.

Eating: That girl has a big appetite! Although, she is proving to be longer and leaner than Audrey at this age (she's 1/2" longer and one pound lighter), she eats way more than Audrey did ever. She eats 5 bottles a day (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm), and she usually does 3 big bottles (6-8oz each), and 2 small bottles (2-4oz each). On her "not-so-hungry" days, she eats about 20-24oz of formula; on her HANGRY days, she'll easily put away 30oz. The pediatrician told me I could start rice cereal, but I don't see the need. I didn't start food with Audrey until somewhere between 7-8 months. Since Ava is sleeping well, and is satisfied on formula, I'll be sticking with just formula for awhile longer. 

Clothes: Still comfortably fits in 0-3 month/3m clothes

New Achievements of the Month:
1. Reaching for toys above her head!! This is a goal she's working on in her physical therapy (which she's doing VERY well, by the way). The therapist said that reaching is a sign of her pectoral muscles strengthening. OK, so I realize we all have the same muscles, but it always makes me laugh when I hear the therapist talk about Ava needing to strengthen her pectoral muscles and abs. I don't think about babies needing to "work out" those muscles, but all their playing is what they're doing - strengthening all of their little muscles!

She pulled the lion string several times and made it play music - she loves this bouncy seat!
2. She's found her thumb!! She still sucks on a paci, too, but I have no problem with her sucking her thumb. I really think it's adorable...especially when she doesn't know where to put her other fingers, so they just lay on her nose. 

3. I need to start writing stuff down because now I can't think of anything... #secondchildproblems!

Things she likes:
1. The swing! She gives it the biggest smiles and they have great conversations!
2. Hanging out with the family 
3. Being "loved on" by Audrey - I think it looks like she's being smothered, but Ava is always all grins! 

Things she doesn't like:
1. Being hungry! She goes from being totally fine to being super "hangry" in about 0.3 seconds!

I just can't express enough how much we love, love, love this sweet baby!! While it does sadden me to see how quickly time is flying, and how quickly she's growing up, I can't wait until she's older and we can really do lots of family things, and she and Audrey can play more together.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watch Ava Grow!!

Another month older??!! Slow down, time! This sweet baby brings us so much joy and laughter. This month she definitely has found her voice (a mini-Audrey maybe??), she smiles much more easily, and she has started beginning baby laughs. She is seriously the most easy-going baby EVER!! I used to think that Audrey was an easy baby, but not compared to Ava. As long as Ava has a full tummy, and it's not close to nap time, it's unlikely that you'll hear anything other than happy baby noises and squeals from this sweet girl.

Oops...I don't know any of her length, height, or head circumference. I'll find out at her 4 month appointment.

Sleep: So far, we've been doing well this week with 4 naps a day. The first 3 are her long ones which are each about 1.5-2 hours long. Her 4th nap is usually just 30ish minutes. Her night sleep is still rocking! She still doesn't sleep through the night every night, but she'll usually sleep 12 hours for 2-3 nights in a row, and then have a wake-up anywhere from 2:30-5 in the morning needing to eat. It's like she's just not quite ready to give up that middle of the night fully, but she doesn't need it all the time. She drinks down her bottle very quickly and is usually asleep, or very close to it, by the end of the bottle, so I'm only up with her in the middle of the night for 20-30 minutes a couple times a week. Nothing to complain about!!

Eating: If she's up in the night, she wants 6oz. If you don't make enough and have to put her down to make more, she'll let you know how displeased she is that she has to wait for more! If she didn't eat in the middle of the night, then her first morning bottle is 6oz. Usually the rest of her bottles are 4-6oz each.

Clothes: She still comfortably fits in a 0-3m size.

New Achievements of the Month:
1. She's found her voice! She loves singing (it's how I'm woken at 6:30-7 every morning, but it's so precious sounding that I don't even care that it's 6:30!), and she loves talking to the toys on the tray of her swing.
2. She smiles big gummy grins all the time! We took her to Parents' Night Out at church yesterday, and she was asleep when we went back to pick her up. I was buckling her in her car seat and she woke up, and just gave me the biggest, happiest smiles! Like she was saying, "Hi, Mommy!" Oh, she melts my heart!
3. Baby laughs!!! I've made her laugh a couple times, and Audrey has made her laugh a couple times. I love beginning baby laughter. It's not a fully belly laugh yet; but I know it's coming.
4. Securing her paci with her hand. She doesn't take a paci all the time, but it is my go-to when she's having a hard time settling herself for a nap, or if she wakes early from a nap and can't get herself back to sleep. As soon as I pop it in her mouth, she puts her hand right beside of it so that it won't roll away if it falls out.

Things she likes:
1. The car - believe it or not! I used to dread car rides with her because she would just scream the whole time. Now, she falls asleep as soon as we pull out of the driveway!
2. Her big sister
3. The toys on her tray
4. The lights and music that are on her play mat
5. Taking a bath - another thing she used to hate and now loves
6. Singing/talking

Things she doesn't like:
1. Being hungry - but really, who does??

Other randomness:
1. We got her head checked out by a cranial specialist to make sure the bones in her skull weren't fusing together prematurely, and everything looked perfect. She just has a weird-shaped head (which she inherited from her mother - I can't wear hats because my head is narrow and long which is exactly what her head looks like. Poor girl)
2. She is in physical therapy once a week for having low tone (her head is still really wobbly and I have to carry her while supporting her head so it doesn't flail around). She's doing great with it, and we do exercises with her at home. The therapists love her because she's pretty cooperative. At worst, she'll fuss a few times if they're making her stretch or "work out" in a way that is hard/uncomfortable for her. Audrey LOVES going to physical therapy because the therapist gets special toys for Audrey to play with. I love physical therapy because they work Ava really hard and she's so exhausted from it that she naps the very best on physical therapy days.

I just love this sweet baby and can't wait to see what kind of firsts and new developments this next month brings us!

A video of her love of the giraffe on the swing....just to make you smile!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Watch Ava Grow - 2 Months Old!!

This sweet baby is already 2 months old!! How is that even possible? Before I know it, I'll be planning her first birthday party....but I'm not ready to think about that yet. I want to keep her a baby for a little while longer. 

Weight: 9lbs 9oz (9th %ile) 

Length: 22 1/2 inches (50th %ile)

Head Circumference: 40cm (91st %ile!!!) 

Sleep: Nap? What's a nap? That seems to be her motto today as I'm writing this. I always tell Michel he's the baby whisperer. He puts her in bed, and she falls asleep without a peep and sleeps for 2 1/2 hours! I put her in bed, and she yells, and is awake 30 minutes later.... 

On a normal day, she naps 4 times a day for about 1 1/2-2 hours between feedings. She sleeps great at night, though! She's up once for about 20 minutes, eats, and goes right back down. I usually have her in bed by 7:30 and she's up for the day between 7-7:30 the next morning. (Edit: as of 5/16/16 when I'm writing this, she's done 2 nights in a row of sleeping for 11 hours straight, eats quickly, back in bed for about an hour to an hour and a half, and up around 7:30 or 7:45!!)

Eating: She generally eats 3-4oz every 3 hours during the day; 4oz when she's up at night.

Clothes: She comfortably fits into 0-3 month clothes

New Achievements of the Month:
1. She smiles at us!! She's not nearly as free with her smiles as what Audrey was (especially at this age), and sometimes you have to work hard to get one, but when she smiles at you, it takes up her entire face and is the most precious thing EVER!!!
2. She's found her fist to suck on. I still can't decide if she'll be a thumb-sucker like Audrey, or need a pacifier (or maybe neither!), but she can get her fist in her mouth and will chew/suck on that when needed. 
3. She's getting better at riding in the car. It's more common now for her to ride quietly in the car than cry/scream! I'll usually ask Audrey if she's asleep or awake, and most of the time, Audrey tells me that Ava is asleep. I love having my little toddler babysitter back there to tell me what's going on!
4. She has discovered that she can control her hands! It's hilarious!! She'll sit there and watch her hand move and the expression on her face is just like, "Whoa......"
5. She can put herself to sleep from completely awake. I taught Audrey this skill early on, and I think it helped her to stay a good sleeper! Hopefully the same is true for Ava!
6. She can track things really well

Things She Likes:
1. Being held - if she fusses or cries while being held, it means she needs something (usually to eat). Otherwise, being held pretty much fixes everything for her. 
2. Audrey - she cranes her neck to find Audrey when she hears her voice
3. Sleeping on Daddy's chest - I call Michel the "baby whisperer". He lays her on his chest and she's out in like 3 seconds!

Things She Doesn't Like:
Napping - :-(

Other Randomness:
She's having the same head issues that Audrey did - torticollis (stiff neck), only looking one direction, etc. We're being referred to a plastic surgeon to make sure that the sutures in her head aren't closing too early because her head is taking on an elongated look (again....just like Audrey), and we'll likely be starting physical therapy for her torticollis. I've already started doing the neck exercises like I did for Audrey. Good grief - we seriously just had the exact same baby!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Watch Ava Grow - 1 Month!

I'm a couple of weeks late in posting, but I'm finding myself a little busy most days! In all honesty, Ava is really a very easy-going baby. She's a pretty happy little girl, and it's so fun watching her little personality start coming out.

Length: 22 inches (as of 4/5/16)

Weight: 7lbs 10oz (as of 4/5/16)

Head Circumference: Not sure

Sleep: She generally sleeps 2+ hours in between feedings during the day. At 1 month, she was going about 4-5 hours without waking to eat at night. As of the last 4 nights (I'm typing this on 4/19), she's been doing more like 6 hours at night without waking to eat. Daytime naps are lately starting to shape up much like Audrey at this age - it is getting harder to put her down and keep her down; however, at night, she drinks her bottle and is ready to go back to bed. Michel always helps out with night feedings, too, and we're generally back in bed within 30 minutes of getting up to feed her, so I can't complain there. This was around the time that I started implementing a Baby Wise-inspired schedule with Audrey, and I see us starting this in the very near future with Ava.

Eating: She generally eats 2-4oz every 2 1/2-3 hours

Clothes: She's still wearing a NB size in clothes, but they are getting snug throughout the length. She is wearing a size 1 in diapers, but only because we ran out of NB diapers, and had a TON of size 1's. She was still fitting into a NB diaper, though.

New Achievements of the Month: 
1. This girl has found her voice!! I seriously feel like she's a mini-me of Audrey! I had Ava lying on the couch (don't worry, I was sitting right beside her), and she was watching the shadows on the couch cushion as her arm moved back and forth, and she was making the SWEETEST noises. I wish I could have gotten it on was soooo cute!
2. When she's in her bed fussing (waiting for someone to come in and feed her), she stops as soon as she hears me start talking, or as soon as she sees me (or Michel). She knows we're going to take care of her! Of course, if you don't get that bottle in her mouth in a timely manner, she will let you know that you're taking too long :)

Things she likes:
1. Hanging out in her boppy - usually while swaddled
2. Being held - she'll gladly let anybody hold her for as long as they want (and will probably start talking to you!)
3. Sucking on her paci
4. Her big sister :)

Things she doesn't like:
1. The car/car seat - ugh....again, just like Audrey! Audrey didn't hate the car ride as much as Ava. Sometimes we have a quiet car ride; sometimes we have just a fussy baby, and sometimes we have a screaming baby. It's very unpredictable, and I can't ever tell what it is that she doesn't like about the car ride. Ava also isn't a big fan of her car seat in the stroller either, so whenever I take her places, I just have to push her to our location and know that I'll have to take her out and hold her. Once she's out of the car seat, the tears pretty much turn off immediately.
2. Being hungry...but really, who likes feeling hungry?? :)

Other random facts:
1. Audrey LOVES Ava, and hates hearing her cry/fuss. If Ava does start crying and we're at home, Audrey usually gets a book to read to her while I make a bottle (most of the time if Ava starts crying it's because she's hungry). If we're in the car, Audrey will be in the back seat going "Shhhh Ava" (in a sweet voice), or sometimes Audrey will just inform me, "Mommy, Ava cwying." LOL....yes. I hear it, too. One time, the thing that cracked me up the most was when Audrey told Ava, "I know. It rough being a baby." Hahahaha!!! Can you tell that I've said this before?
2. Ninja seems to feel a sense of responsibility for Ava. I had her lying on her boppy on the floor, and Ninja walked over, sniffed her a little bit, and then laid down beside her. If she's on the floor and starts crying, he has sat down beside her and then stares at me like, "Ummm...this thing is crying. Aren't you going to do something?" Also, when I go in to feed her at night, he usually follows me in there and curls up inside her crib!! He will jump out when I put Ava back in there, though. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Welcome to the world, Ava Noelle!

I haven't touched this blog in 7 whole months!!! I got annoyed with my pictures disappearing, and just thought about stopping the blog altogether. However, this is the only way I keep track of my kids' milestones, and since I did so well with Audrey's month-ivesary series, I have to do the same with Ava. As the younger child, I always said I wasn't going to do more for the older child than the younger, but now I see how it just happens. Some days, we have our hands FULL! Yesterday, I got about 30 minutes of down time the entire day. I was absolutely EXHAUSTED by bedtime. I digress.

Today, the day that Ava turns 1 month old, I decided that I should go back to the day that she was actually born.

On March 8th, I had my regular 39 week appointment with my OB. When she did the cervical check, she found that I was 3 1/2 cm dilated, baby was REALLY low (which I already knew thanks to my trips to the bathroom every 30 min!), and my water bag was bulging to the point she was surprised that it hadn't broken yet. She told me if I had been 4 cm dilated, she could have admitted me to the hospital in active labor, and asked if I was having a lot of contractions. I told her I had them all the time, but they were only 15-20 min apart, lasted about 30 seconds, and pretty much painless. She asked if I could come back the next day because she was certain I would be dilated to at least a 4, and that we would have a baby that day! Michel and I called our family, and Michel's dad came and stayed with Audrey while we went to the hospital. We were also told to go ahead and bring our bags as my OB was really certain that March 9th would be baby day! So we got to the OB's office, and found out I was 5 cm dilated!! Also, when my OB checked me, my water bag sprung a small leak, so now it was definitely baby day! I was 39 weeks and 4 days along, and soooo uncomfortable, so I was so happy to hear that we were going to meet Ava that day!

My OB's office is at Medical City, so we just had to drive around to a different building, and went up to L&D to get checked in. We arrived there around 1:30, and I was asked if I wanted an epidural. I declined it at the time because, again, my contractions were virtually painless. My OB was going to come over soon and break my water, and my nurse warned me that would likely cause the intensity of the contractions to pick up, and an anesthesiologist may not be available right away. I still declined. Around 3:00, my OB came over and broke my water. Um, the nurse wasn't lying. My contractions sped up from every 15-20 minutes and virtually painless to every 2-3 minutes and they HURT! Needless to say, I asked for the epidural not long after. Luckily, I got it within 20-30 minutes of when I requested it, and life was good again. Michel and i got to enjoy some calm before the storm by hanging out, watching TV, and updating Facebook lol. Around 6pm, I was fully dilated, and ready to push! Because I only pushed for about 20 minutes with Audrey, the nurse had me wait to push (no practice pushes) until my OB got there. Good thing she decided to have me wait because I only pushed 3 times and Ava was out!!

March 9, 2016 at 6:21pm our sweet Ava Noelle Zoutendam was born weighing 7lbs 2oz and measuring 20" long - the EXACT measurements of Audrey when she was born! She was healthy and absolutely perfect in every way!