Monday, August 26, 2013

6-12 Months

I am a horrible blog post updater! I usually post your milestones on your private page on Facebook and always write them down in your baby book and of course upload videos to our youtube account....wait with all of that said I guess I am not so bad at all! :)

At ten months your first tooth finally broke through the surface. You only needed medicine at night and only if you had a fever but you never woke in the night for pain due to teething. You are currently sleeping 12 hours a night and taking (if we cross our fingers, pray, hop on one leg and spin around three times) two naps a day! A few days after your first tooth broke through you went from army crawling to up on your hands and feet crawling. It only took 24 hours of learning to do this and you were as quick as lightning!

July 3rd, 2013 you learned how to pull up on to standing on your own. Daddy and I were sitting on the couch and you were crawling around on the floor. We thought its funny how much you like to booty shake to different songs and were enjoying flipping through different YouTube videos to see which one got better dance moves. When we put on "I'm Sexy and I Know it" you reached up on the ottoman and pulled yourself up to grab the phone and dance standing up! The next day at a friends house for 4th of July you were pulling yourself to standing on anything you could find.

You had your first sink bath, probably a little sooner then we should have because you got so excited you almost face planted in the sink under the water! Freaked us out out you recovered quickly and enjoyed bath time in a new location with your ducky. 

At 11 and a half months you started pushing yourself up from a sitting position into a full standing position using nothing to get yourself up. You look all proud of yourself then lose your balance and plop down on your bottom. Thank goodness for thick cloth diapers! You have gotten more daring at 12 months and pick toys up while you do this and shake them around while standing. Its pretty great to watch. 

The day before your first birthday party 8-16-13, you were given a new walker toy (a motorcycle) by your Uncle Ben and his girlfriend Erika. You stood up right away and took off walking using it. Like you had been doing that for AGES! Surprised Daddy and I! Now we take nightly walks outside in your squeaky shoes and your new walker and you are super fast up and down the drive way. 

Your first birthday party was a success and you thoroughly enjoyed every minute of your hot pink cupcake. We had a few small ball pits and brought some of your larger toys and all of the kids seemed to have a great time. Neenny cooked up a storm for some yummy food and we made a delicious pink punch. The theme was You are my Sunshine which was ironic seeing as how it was pouring down rain all day! Didn't stop friends and family from making their way out to your party and it was very obvious how much you are loved. 

We are very much looking forward to our first vacation in two years and our first vacation as a family this September. We are spending a week in Orlando at our time share and will do a few days at Disney. We are mainly looking forward to lounging around in the time shares lazy river and pools and just enjoying having nothing to do but enjoy each other for a whole week.

You don't watch much TV (except when Mommy needs a little help if Daddy has a night flight) but when you do you LOVE Mickey Mouse Club House. Especially Mickey Mouse himself. You scream with laughter, dance really hard and just smile up a storm. We are hoping when we go to Disney and you see Mickey in person you won't cry but smile. We know its a toss up because of your young age but we hope for the best. I look forward to being able to take you to Disney very much, its something I have looked forward to growing up loving the company and then working for and falling in love in the park for years. I can't tell you how much I look forward to many trips to come over the years and to see your face light up with joy each time.

Hopefully the next blog post won't take another six months. ;) We love you so much Avery!

Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Months 3 to 5

I should start off the post saying that I can't believe that I have let nearly three months go by without updating your blog but then again its pretty believable when I realize how tired I am every day!

(Happily so.)

Thank goodness for Facebook and social media. I usually get so excited when you hit a milestone that I either snap a picture or post it to Facebook right away and therefore it is date stamped right away.

I have a few friends who have babies that are around your age and it seems like every single one of them has reached the milestone of rolling over from belly to back so quickly! As much as you hated tummy time I wondered how far along you would be. I quickly learned however, not to compare your babies progress with babies of the same age because milestones are met with such WIDE age ranges its impossible to compare!

You rolled over from belly to back on December 28th, 2012. Then as if you were trying to say, Oh yeah, you think that was cool? Check this out! And rolled BACK over onto your belly! That is quite a feat because the two of them usually come a few months apart. And lucky your Dad thought to catch it all on video.

A few days ago (mid January 2013) you pushed up with elbows locked all the way off your chest. You got really excited and screamed out loud.

Speaking of screaming you do quite a lot of that lately. Happy screaming and squealing! You are incredibly vocal and we hope you will talk early. :)

You LOVE when I read to you, you coo and and yell aloud and of course try to grab and eat the pages. I hope you love to read as much as I do and I especially can't wait to read you the Harry Potter series. Your favorite books so far are:

1.) Good night Moon
2.) Guess how much I love you
3.) The going to bed book

Tonight you objected when I lifted you off your play mat while you were playing with your bird toy. I apologized and put you back down and you went right back to playing happily. I guess this is another milestone for your five month mark! I read What To Expect the First year and its got a great list of different milestones and the age ranges for them. You frequently have many that you hit in the advanced age range.

We also got some real belly laughs during your fourth month. Daddy and I think the first one was when Mommy was making silly noises and started to quack like duck with a sore throat and you laughed high and uncontrollably, we died laughing ourselves. Every now and then we will find ourselves making all kinds of crazy noises to try and get you to let out a huge burst of laughter.

You didn't get a reaction from your 2 month shots but you did at your 4 month shots. Your little fever and fussy mood had me feeling very sad and sorry for you. :(
We put you in your bunny swing and you perked up a little. I tried to make you laugh by wiggling around and you screamed laughter. We actually got that one on video.

You LOVE to eat your feet and shove them in your mouth any chance you get.

I also got a fancy new Canon 50D to capture your rapid growth and many smiles and laughs.

We love you sweet baby girl and enjoy watching you grow every day!

Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 months of life

Oh sweet girl, how I love getting to stay home with you every day to see each new face you make, there are quite a few of them now.

You are about to get up from a morning nap, your usual long nap, so I will just jot a few things down so I don't forget them. My memory was never the best but since getting pregnant with you and the lack of sleep that continues to this day it has grown even worse!

*Pacifiers - We didn't use one with you for a few weeks as the lactation consultants told us that it would interfere with your ability to distinguish from me and would cause you to clamp down. I believe we finally broke down when you were three weeks old and we had company over. You are sensitive and easily over stimulated so we gave you a Soothie Brand paci to help you settle and so that Daddy's parents could have some time with you. You took to it pretty quickly. I got some Doctor Browns and Avent pacifiers from my shower but you are having none of either of those.

When we try to get you to use one of them you make a face like we are sticking cod liver oil or something equally gross in your mouth and quickly push it back out. You turn your head and furrow your brow as if to say, "Why did you do that to me, that was disgusting!" Its pretty funny.

Recently you have been waking at around the 45 minute mark in your nap and about eighty percent of the time if we go into the room, (you are now napping in your crib in your actual nursery but are still sleeping nights in mom and dads room in your pack and play) and put your paci back in your mouth you go back to sleep. I feared that I had created a sleep prop for you because the only time we ever gave you a paci in the first place was to nap or night time sleep. After asking advice and reading A LOT, I decided to eliminate the paci for sleep all together and to only use it when we are out and about . I read that babies do have a need to suck but its not needed for sleep, so now I keep all of them in the diaper bag and one in the living room. No temptations for you or Mommy to give in!

The first nap you cried when I swaddled you, (you HATE being swaddled but calm down once I turn you belly to belly with me and hum one of your favorite lullabies) but as soon as I put you down in your crib for the first nap of the day with no paci you went right to sleep. Second nap you cried for a total of two minutes, (Mommy watches the clock) and crashed. Third nap you scream cried, (HORRIBLE) then settled into a whimper then sleep for a total of three minutes. The second I went to check on you during the scream crying you had started to whimper and quiet so I held out. Glad I did. You also awoke from each nap with your usual grin for Mommy so I feel like I did no permanent damage, ha ha.

*Tummy Time - You pretty much still hate Tummy Time but its needed so to help you we prop up your body for the first half of the session with your Boppy Pillow and it makes you less unhappy. I even got a few smiles at one point. In two months you went from holding your head up wobbly at a 45 degree angle to holding it steady at a 90 degree angle. You also have great head control when someone is holding you upright in their arms although its not for very long.

First time you held your head at a 90 degree angle on Tummy Time was November 2nd.

*Smiles - You are SUCH a smiley baby, your eyes squish up like Mommy's do when you smile really big and Daddy and I both get a laugh out of that. You have so many different smiles. The sleepy-eyed smile after we get you up from a nap, the big-open-mouthed-smile when you are about to do a cough type of laugh when your on the changing table. Stick-your-tongue out smile when you are particularly content. The only time you cry at all to date is if you have a wet diaper. Most of the time you fuss first so we know whats up. It has been reliable 90% of the time.

You began sleeping through the night at right around three months. That meant that you didn't wake to feed from eight at night until about six or seven in the morning. HOWEVER, you my little wiggle worm, like to squeeze yourself into a corner of the pack and play about four times a week and get really mad and grunt loudly until someone comes and moves you back up to the head of the bed. Then you are quickly back asleep. So although you may be sleeping that long at night, Mommy is not. :)

You began doing little laughs at around two months. Just a few heh, heh, heh at a time. Never anything longer. Still really cute though.

Your first real belly laugh was on November 11th.

I was playing Super Baby with you and had you on my shins with my legs in the air, a new way to try Tummy Time and you had your arms outstretched and when I would rock you forward I would extend your arms a little and go Whooosh! like you were flying. You thought this was hilarious and laughed a real long belly laugh. (longer than your usual ones anyways) I freaked out and called for Daddy who was next door in the kitchen. Ran over with spatula in hand and I did it again and you again, repeated the laugh. One of the best sounds we have ever heard. You are all about the one time show, however because you have yet to repeat it. We both look forward to trying new things every day and seeing what makes you giggle.

Dad thinks you hate waking up as much as Mommy does because we apparently fight it in the same exact manner. Don't like to be touched until we have had our full body stretch. When we go in to get you up from your nap, we take the velcro off your swaddle and each hand pops free like its been in a straight jacket prison and straight up over your head. You arch your back high, squeeze your eyes shut and then slowly open them as you lower your arms back down. Then its the customary wake up smile. Its pretty funny because it's the same reaction every single time.

You "talk" so much now, even throwing in some squeals, usually only for Dad because he is just so silly. Coos, gaas and we both SWEAR your saying ma, ma, ma, ma now. Everyone says you will say Da Da first but we both hear you say Ma Ma at least one every other day. Its not just the two syllables but a string of them. I'm sure they don't connect with me, but I know they soon will. Not to mention you only do it when I'm not holding you....

Your Favorite Lullabies:

1.) I sang Beautiful Boy by John Lennon to you all the time when I was pregnant and its a sure fire way to get you to drift off quickly now. I just change boy to girl.

2.) La La Loo - the lullaby that is sung in Lady and The Tramp

3.) Lullaby - Billy Joel. Another one of your favorites

4.) Goodnight - Ringo Starr (what my Dad sang to me)

Current Nick Names:

Butterbean, A-Dub, Averykins, Baby Bunny, Squeeks, Little Bird

Mommy and Daddy love you very much!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Holding onto Memories

I need to find a baby memory book for you so I can remember all the wonderful, funny and silly things that have happened since you came into our lives. For now I will write them down here so I don't forget as my memory seems to be filled with, eat, nurse, play, sleep, repeat!

When we brought you home from the hospital we were very excited. Although we were having major breastfeeding issues with you. The lactation consultant said that she had never seen such a strong bite reflex! (You were supposed to have a strong SUCK reflex!) Thus, I was VERY sore and it made feeding you very difficult. Not to mention problems with positioning and milk production. :(

It was so challenging in the beginning. I was completely committed as hard as it was because I know there is no other choice for your well being that meets your needs so completely. We did wind up taking you to the ER on your sixth day of life because you were not having enough dirty diapers, which meant possible dehydration. And you were also born with jaundice, although thankfully not enough that you needed to be under the lights or that you had to stay in the hospital without us. Because of the jaundice however, you were extremely hard to wake up to eat. We had to strip you down to your diaper, wet you with a wipe, blow on you, move your arms and legs around all to get you aggravated enough to want to eat. Things settled down and I thought we had the hang of things but I was still really sore. So, Back to The Nesting Place at Sacred Heart where you were born I went. Turns out we made a little discovery about the shape of your palate that we didn't know until that day! (five weeks old) You have a little bubble shaped palate. This combined with the fact that I am very fair skinned has led to me still being sore. There was a little trick with latching however, that the lactation consultant showed me and now we are pain free. At six weeks of age you and I finally got the hang of it. At least until your first tooth comes in. :)

You are the hiccup queen, getting them at least four to five times in a 24 hour period. Poor girl. We should take up stock in Gripe Water because you need it to stop them. The doctor and internet resources say that they shouldn't bother you but clearly they do. You wind up ingesting so much air when you have them you cry every time. Hopefully they go away with age.

At around 5 weeks Daddy and I started getting real smiles. Not just because you were gassy, haha. But real, genuine smiles. We can't eat them up fast enough. Most of the time they are in the morning with me, Mommy, while Daddy sleeps and Daddy gets his smiles in the evening. You are becoming a little creature of habit. We both practice new and funny voices to get you to smile more all the time. You also love Mommys singing I discovered yesterday while doing the dishes. Tending to be a little fussy from 5-7 in the evening and already in your bouncer I didn't know what else to do to calm you so I started singing what came to mind at that moment. Disney love songs. :) You stopped crying right away and began smiling. I laughed and quit doing the dishes and came over to sing them right to you, it was pretty amazing.

I try to take a many pictures as I can of you because of how much you grow every day. You outgrew your bassinet at just four weeks of age and now you are already too tall for your infant swaddler pouches! My girl is going to be a supermodel! Everytime I try to catch a smile or funny face on video or on my cellphone you quickly stop and go to a stoic face. It's almost as if you know what I am trying to do! Better get used to it, Mom likes to take pictures a LOT. Not to mention scrap book! You will be grinning away and see the black cell phone come out and almost frown! Its very funny so I have to be sneaky.

Your doing great on your schedule with little bumps in the road like waking up twice during each nap the past two days. Glad to have you on a routine so we don't have to guess at what your needs are, you are able to communicate them more clearly because you know what to expect out of the day. You get sleepy before a nap and start to grunt/mini-cry to let us know you are hungry. All in all you are a pretty easy baby. The only time you cry is when you have a wet diaper and it is very quick as you seem to HATE to sit in them. I'm hoping this means you will be easy to potty train. Mommy and Daddy have been anointed with both pee and poop and every time its usually pretty funny. (after the yelling and screaming of surprise that is) We are a good team and get you undressed and bathed quickly after a blow out. All of this you seem to find amusing as well which only lends to us laughing more.

Besides your first bath (which you hated) you love bath time. You like the water very warm like Mom. We take turns who does the bathing and who does the baby moving. Your skin is pretty dry after the bath and Aveeno doesn't work well so we are on the hunt to get you nice and silky soft again.

Your on the way to sleeping through the night, (hopefully) since just yesterday you only woke up once at night. Really freaked Mommy out, sat there for an hour trying to figure out if I should wake you up to feed you even though the doctor said that I didn't need to at night anymore. You wound up waking up just a few minutes shy of an hour of me sitting there contemplating what to do. :)

Theres a little blue bug on your bouncer that you stare at with all seriousness until I shake it then you are scared out of your mind for a minute, eyes HUGE then go right back to looking seriously at it trying to figure the devil bug out. It is hilarious and sad all at the same time. I've only done it one other time because it is so darn funny. Although now you have wide eyes and open your mouth like you want to laugh.

You are also now at six weeks of age starting to "talk" back to Mom and Dad when we hold you in our laps talking to you. We get the biggest kick out of hearing you make little noises.

That's about all I can think of right now with my sleep deprived brain! We love you our sweet little girl.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Birth Story

Our Birth Story

At my 38 week appointment after I was checked for dilation, Dr. Duke noticed that I wasn't progressing any more. I had a low Bishop score and she said that my cervix wasn't as favorable as she would like it to be. She also said that she wasn't worried though and that if I wanted I could wait until 40 weeks to see if it would improve at all. With my cervical stenosis I wasn't thinking it wouldn't happen on its own. She also added that waiting every day after 39 weeks that your body starts to work against you and labor wouldn't be any easier just because I let myself go to 40 weeks. Bigger baby, lower fluid, etc. At the same appointment she measured Avery at already 8 pounds! She also mentioned that even though the chances were low (1% with each passing day after 39 weeks) the risk of fetal death goes up every three days after 39 weeks. Fetal Death? Are you kidding?! Even with all this new knowledge she said that everything was still looking good and that there was no pressure the choice was mine and she would support me in every way.

We discussed the risks and benefits to inducing and afterwards Nick and I went to dinner at The Fish house very nervous. It seemed to both of us that the benefits/risks to inducing really outweighed the risks of waiting to 40 weeks. I was to be induced on August 13th at midnight. Exciting yet horrifying that it was already here!

 Surprisingly I wasn't scared for labor. I was in a great deal of daily back pain, along with other late pregnancy pains that were pretty excruciating and was completely ready to be in control of my own body again. Not to mention that I have had many friends tell me that once they got the epidural everything was a breeze.

We went to walmart around 11 p.m. and got a goody basket for the nurses. Highly recommended on most baby websites as well as by our friends in the hopes of feeding the nurses helps you get prompt treatment as well as it just showing our appreciation. (Let me tell you, it worked tremendously. I wanted for absolutely nothing with those kind and sweet nurses) I got settled in and finished paperwork around 1 in the morning. Started fluids and pitocin by 2 a.m. I received some pain medicine for some issues I won't talk about on the blog haha and happily fell asleep until 7 in the morning. At 8 I started to feel minor contractions and my water was broken and epidural started promptly afterwards.

Having them break your water is the strangest feeling. How you can sit there and just feel like you are peeing all over yourself is beyond weird.

Here is how I thought my labor and delivery would go....

Nick and I would check in and be by ourselves until I got my epidural at which point I was supposed to be so happy and upbeat that I would allow family and visitors to come and frolic in the delivery room while I labored. (this is literally how some friends described the relief they got from the epidural) The baby would come out after pushing for no more than 20 minutes, they would hold her up, clean her off and give her to me. I would then spend a blissful two hours alone with Nick and our new little girl, feeding and bonding before allowing family in to see her.

Here is how my labor actually went...

Around 2 in the afternoon it was apparent that my epidural wasn't working in my lower back because I was having really bad dull back pain that wouldn't alleviate. I also noticed that I hated the feeling of the epidural because it made my legs feel like they weighed 200 lbs each, they kept falling off the bed on one side and were extremely swollen. Even with this annoyance I still allowed people in the room to visit. I don't know how much company I was however, because as the back pain got worse I had to close my eyes and imagine myself somewhere else because the minute I opened them the pain was worse. The nurses came in at four to redose my epidural thinking that would help but it did nothing.

At one point my Dad suggested that there was a study done with patients with severe burns and in chronic pain, had the pain centers in their brain light up with relief when they were playing hand held games. Basically they were distracting themselves without knowing it from the pain and got relief. Nick handed over his Ipad with a game he downloaded for me and it truly helped. I was pretty astonished. I also was exhausted because of how long my back had been hurting me and with the knowledge of how much longer I had to go (I was only to five centimeters then) I had a hard time concentrating on the game itself.

People came and went but I honestly don't remember who was there or what was said. I remember allowing people to come into the room but I had to focus so hard away from the pain with my eyes closed.

Finally at ten p.m. I remember the nurses coming in to check me, telling me I was ready to push and putting my legs in the stirrups. I was so tired I barely opened my eyes and wasn't even excited to push. It really didn't register that this meant my daughter would be here soon at that point. Once I started to push I knew something was wrong because every time I would push I could feel all of the pain in a spot the size of my hand above my left ovary area. It would cause me to yell and cry in pain with every push. My doctor said it was what was called an epidural "window". Where one part of your body just doesn't take the medicine and the epidural just has no effect there. GREAT!

Time was elapsing and even with the back pain and lower ovary pain I still pushed as hard as I could  and no baby. The nurses kept telling me to push harder, which honestly really made me angry because I was SO TIRED from laboring in horrible pain all day, but even still I was pushing as hard as I possibly could! I knew my face was red and felt every vein in my forehead and neck pop out when I was doing so. One of the nurses used a towel she held on to while I grabbed the other end and pulled against her which was more of an effective push then me holding the bed rails.

The towel though would cut into my fingers and make them red and hurt quickly so Nick jumped in and used the same method but with a bed sheet and I crossed my forearms in it against my chest and pushed and pulled that way. I remember talk of forceps and vacuum being used but also being warned of a possible brain bleed so I said no to those. My doctor also didn't want to use them because Avery wasn't in distress at all. (I knew I was a real mother at that point, sacrificing my own pain for her safety)

I was in a very dark place as more time elapsed with me pushing as hard as long as I could and even though they kept saying you are so close! I just kept thinking you have got to be lying to me because her head isn't even out!! I was scared that I would be too exhausted to push the more time passed but what gave me a second wind was the possibility of problems with Avery after she was born because I quit. Even though she wasn't in distress at the moment I knew that could change.

Nick said at one point the nurses came in from outside and said that the Operating room was set up and ready to go but I didn't hear it. (Which was a good thing because I knew I would have said, "Lets GO!" Nick was such an amazing partner during all of this, even though I had my eyes closed, trying to manage the pain the best way I knew how, not interacting with anyone including him, he was still 100% involved. All of my labor photos show me just that. I am so blessed to have a man who is that much in love with me, how lucky can can I be?

What was even more discouraging was that inbetween contractions when you are supposed to relax, I heard someone say that she was slipping back in. So basically when I would push she would start to come out but get stuck past a certain point and not progress anymore and when I would relax for five seconds inbetween contractions she would SLIP BACK IN! Are you kidding. That was completely disheartening to hear.

Finally a whopping two and a half hours after I started pushing I felt the biggest pressure of my life and I heard them say her head was out. The doctor told me not to push and I felt a huge twisting turning pain and she said to continue pushing. In one shove her body was out after that. I was so relieved that I nearly passed out from pain. I remember only opening my eyes every few seconds for at least five minutes trying not to surrender from exhaustion.

Nick was teary eyed and went over to watch them clean her up as Dr. Duke was attending to my needs. He came over hugged me and we cried together. I noticed we hadn't heard her cry yet and I was just now processing that this wasn't good. When I had my eyes closed the NICU had came rushing in to evaluate her because she was having breathing issues. Turns out she had the the cord wrapped around her neck twice, a fever of 102.5 and low blood pressure. The NICU doctor came straight to me and said that he thinks she will be fine so he wasn't going to take her to the NICU but rather watch her closely in the nursery because he suspected her issues were from her "traumatic delivery". I'll never forget those words.

Turns out, no one knew that Avery was face up (the wrong position for delivery and the cause of all of my back pain while in labor) until her head was out of me. The horrible twisty/turning pain I felt after her head was out was the doctor turning her body around so that the rest of her would deliver in the correct position. Not to mention Avery had her chin sticking straight up instead of tucked into her chest which was another reason she would slip back in in between contractions. Horribly misshapen head and swollen like the marshmellow man she was still the most beautiful little being I had ever seen.

We didn't get to spend any time with her after delivery because she had to go immediately to the nursery to be watched closely. Because of this and my sheer delusional exhaustion I allowed everyone in the waiting room into my room to see her before they wheeled her off. Nick and I did get to hold her each for about two minutes before they took her which was nice.

I think that about covers it, Avery is about to wake up from her nap and will be hungry so I'm going to run! <3

A rose by any other name

How miss Avery got her name.

As most of you know we decided to keep our little girls name a secret until she was born. The main reason was that we had a hard time deciding on a girls name and we didn't want to tell anyone and have it change at the last minute!

But another fun reason is that we thought it would be nice for the family to say, "This is your new granddaughter, Avery Cate." So, after she graced us with her presence, (taking her sweet time) we happily announced her beautiful name. I had a hint of a worry that her name wouldn't match her face but when I saw her in the little hospital bassinet blinking up at me, it completely fit her.

When we knew we were pregnant I went out and bought the essential baby name books and we scoured them for hours each night. Nick liked to quickly Veto any of my quirky favorites...(Valentina, Fiona, Quinn, Emory). We had a much easier time narrowing our boy list down for some reason, I think mainly due to the fact that every member of his family and mine were convinced that we were having a boy because of past history of the family tree. All except Nick. From day one he said he knew we were having a girl.

Two months from her due date we had our girl names narrowed down to five names.

In no particular order:

1.) Amelia - one of our old favorites from when we first started trying to have a baby but a year after we started trying, even though we hadn't shared our favorite girl name with anyone, Nicks cousin had a little girl and that is the name they chose for her. Funnily enough I became very close to his wife and Amelia is the cutest little bug so it doesn't bother us! Not to mention if we did choose this name it did make us think there is already another Amelia Ellwood and that was something we didn't care for, especially since the first one was so cute. :)

2.) Lilah Grace - This would be a first and a middle name but I frequently said them together. As much as I loved the combination of the two names it didn't work for many reasons, one of the biggest is that Nick said Lilah Ellwood sounded like a mouth full of marbles...Another is that a friend of mine who is also TTC said in a conversation one day that it was their chosen name for their yet to arrive miracle. And lastly as much as I liked the name the more I tried to picture my daughters face with that name it just wouldn't come into mind.

3.) Olivia - all of the names I wanted for my girl were perfectly princess kind of names and even though this one was an extremely late addition, (because it was so high on the social security website for names in popularity) Nick somehow attached himself to the name so much that he would tell my pregnant belly, "Goodbye Olivia!" when he was headed to work.... It was a pretty name but just too popular, I didn't want her to be Olivia E. More of a unique name called to us.

4.) Avery - Our big winner.

I grew up in East Hill in Pensacola and near Avery Street. My first introduction to the name was the first babysitting job I ever had at the age of 14. My neighbors one street up had two little girls, Jennifer and Avery. I thought Avery was such a cool and unique name for a little girl and I had never heard it before. Fast forward to us trying to have a baby of our own and it danced in the back of my mind but never came to the forefront because I thought it lacked the "Princess Quality" that the other three did. So I kept ignoring the signs that this would be the name for our girl.

The day after Christmas I had a major scare with our pregnancy. I started cramping in the early afternoon and it got pretty bad around the early evening. After heading to the bathroom I noticed I was bleeding quite a bit but not what was considered to be heavy. I called the doctor and he put me on bedrest. Because I was only five weeks pregnant he said there was nothing the ER could do if I went there and all of the coming and going to get there could cause more problems. I was to go to Urgent care in the morning and get an Ultrasound before going to my regular fertility appointment that Monday. Needless to say I was an horrible, anxiety filled wreck all night. I prayed we would see a heartbeat on the way to the clinic in the morning and was preparing myself for the disappointment of a loss.

When the doctor started the ultrasound I was holding my breath while she searched for the baby. Finally we saw a tiny little blinking light. She said, "Do you see that right there? Thats the baby's heart beat." After bleeding this early she said our chance of a loss was down to only 20% after seeing the heartbeat. She even let us hear it for a few seconds. The minute the little light of life came flashing on the screen my mouth produced the words, "Hi, Avery, hi baby." I didn't even know the baby was a girl! I should have known from that point on that it was meant to be her name.

Many months pass and I am in Pensacola awaiting Nicks move down her so we can get settled in our new duty station. My mom still lives in East Hill and every time I would drive to her house I would pass Avery street and my heart would just soar. It was a true physical reaction in me to seeing the name. I called Nick right away and said, "I feel like her name is Avery and I just keep ignoring the signs!" He replied that the whole week we were apart he was calling her Avery in his head and he didn't tell me till that moment!

Cate is a literary reference from Pride and Prejudice. And overall just a classic southern name.

Funny how we can't see things that are so clearly in front of our face at times. :)

We love you so much our sweet and perfect Avery Cate.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I guess its time for an update!

Since it has been WAY too long I guess its time for a real update on here!

I have been pretty lax in my blog posting lately but we have had a crazy amount of life changes recently! First we got orders to Hurlburt Air Force Base, (moving in June of this year, eek!! Only a few weeks away CRAZY!) which is great because its about 40 minutes from both sets of parents, which will be great when it comes to helping out with the baby.

Oh yes, We are pregnant! With a little girl, who is set to arrive in August of this year. We couldn't be more excited if we tried!! Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think, is that really a pregnant belly on me?? I'm telling you after four long years of trying for her and finally being successful in our infertility journey it seems surreal to see a baby in my stomach.

Long story short (will do another blog post soon when things settle down a little) after our first IVF failed, we decided to take a short one month break and regroup. We had to save a little more money for our frozen cycle, our embryos were cryo-preserved and in storage in Texas. Not to mention it was emotionally draining to have what we pinned essentially years of hope on our first IVF working. I mean we were given a 60% chance! With our odds of conceiving on our own at a measly 1-2% you have to admit we were pretty excited at those odds. It was one of the most devastating days in our lives to find out it failed.

December 2nd was the day of our scheduled frozen embryo transfer. All of our babysicles ;) are day five embryos, which makes them two weeks old in fertility speak. So, that morning, after having them all shipped in their cozy igloo homes from Texas to Arkansas, we put two precious miracles in my uterus. I have to admit, initially I had a pretty negative outlook on things (we only had a 20% chance of success with a frozen transfer) but Nick always remained positive. The fear from all of the negative pregnancy tests and negative outcomes of all of our fertility endeavors thus far had me on a non hopeful path.

But two days later I decided to quit acting like a mope and just plain distracted myself. I had three friends that had babies in the past three months so I took to my sewing machine. Learned how to thread a needle (thanks YouTube) and went to work on some pretty stinkin' cute baby blankets. This took many hours but it was something I found I really enjoyed doing. I even made some pretty nifty bibs for the babies as well.

I stayed away from the IVF message boards because I discovered from last time that they were the root of evil. Although as good as I had been with my distraction techniques thus far, on day five, my resolve began to fade and I started to peek at the earliest you could test positive on a home pregnancy test after a frozen embryo transfer. Nearly 70% of the patients tested positive on day six... Which would be tomorrow morning, which was a Saturday.

After I told Nick that I broke down and got on the message boards he was totally against me testing early. I did test early on the failed cycle and a few days continuing after that and it was always negative. He was only trying to protect my feelings I know.

I had breakfast, watched two episodes of Say Yes To The Dress and couldn't take it any more. I asked Nick to go pick up a test and he reluctantly did so. I made him go buy a cheap dollar store brand of pregnancy test. It was a two pack. I rationalized that I wasn't going to spend the big bucks on a fancy brand because I was a cheater and it was going to be negative anyways and at least in your shame you will only have been out two dollars.

I waited until I had to go really bad, which was around one o'clock in the afternoon. Took the box into the bathroom while Nick was outside working on his motorcycle not wanting to be involved. (I don't blame him, I mean he does have a crazy wife...)

I used the first test and picked up my recent copy of Glamour. Read for about five minutes and convinced myself before I looked over that it was going to be negative. When I saw the opposite result, a positive sign, albeit a faint one, I just stared slack jawed. Apparently I had some pee in reserve so I quickly used the next test and held it up in front of me. Not even a minute later another positive sign appeared.

Having years to imagine how I would react to learning I was pregnant I liked to think I knew exactly what I was going to do...Scream, cry, have some sort of little gift tucked away to excitedly bring to Nick to tell him that we were finally going to be parents....all KINDS of ideas.

Nope, I just sat there with my mouth gaping open and stared to shake a little. I heard Nick walk in from outside to wash his hands at the kitchen sink and I calmly walked into the kitchen to him. I just put both tests on the counter and said, "I think I'm pregnant."

He just gave me a look that was like, uh, are you sure? Even after looking at the tests he was skeptical. Which is totally understandable. (although admittedly I was annoyed that there was no excitement from him, even the tiniest bit in the moment) He was thinking that some of the meds I was on could cause a false positive. This is was a real fact in the fresh IVF cycle because I was on HCG before they extracted my eggs, so testing early could result in a false positive due to the drug still being in my system. For the frozen cycle however, I was only on estrogen and progesterone. I immediately went to the computer and started searching for false positive/drug correlations with frozen cycles and found none. Then I called my fertility doctor and left him a message. He called us back a few hours later to say that we were pregnant and there were no false positives with a frozen cycle. Nick was still not very excited, although this may have gotten me a small smile. He wanted to wait for our blood results on that Monday.

We have had friends who have had initial success but it didn't last so Nick had them on his mind to stave off his excitement and hope. I, on the other hand, even though still in shock, new I was pregnant. I was still nervous about the blood test results and having high enough numbers to sustain a pregnancy but I was still over the moon.

Monday presented itself with very high numbers and Nick and I cried together in the kitchen when he got home from sheer joy. (I may have teased him a little bit before I gave him the good news which I do regret but it was from him making me wait to share his joy!! Evil of me, I see this in hindsight!)

Baby is great and progressing nicely!

Many more updates to come on whats been going on but a friend of mine wanted to share our journey and so I thought I had better post what has happened in the last six months! I promise to update at least once a month just so that she will have something to look back at in years to come. That is, unless she gets bored with all of the scrap books her mother will fill of memories and moments of her! (Huge scrapper, its an addiction!)

More updates to come, (I promise!)

The Ellwoods (party of three!)