Monday, January 23

Aven's 0th Birthday

I'd like to introduce to you my sweet sweet baby girl, Aven.

Now here is the story of how she got here...

The night before the induction I threw a bag together and was actually able to sleep the entire night. When the alarm went off at 4:45, I was ready to go! We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 and I wasn't nervous, just really excited.

When we got to the hospital, first of all, I wandered around trying to find labor and delivery for about 15 minutes. I couldn't find any staff to ask and I just couldn't figure it out. That's a frustrating way to get started. Plus I was by myself because Zach was parking the car. When we finally arrived at the proper location everyone was so friendly and I knew I was in good hands.

We headed to our room and the nurse asked a ton of questions. All sorts of stuff from, have you ever had an STD to did you bring a cell phone. And in case your curious the answer is no on the STD and yes on the cell phone :).

After the questions the IV was started followed shortly by pitocin and then the worst thing that happened that day, breaking my water. OH MY GOSH. I slapped the doctors arm twice because it hurt so bad. I feel like a fool, but I couldn't help myself. I do not remember it hurting that bad at all with Kylie and with Blake I already had an epidural before they broke my water. Of course after your water breaks, contractions usually heat up, so I was feeling the pain. I asked for an epidural pretty soon afterward.

Here I am texting away making sure everyone who wanted to know what was going on was in the loop. Everything took off so fast that I quit updating people, but I intended to keep on texting updates until the end.

Lucky me, my nurse anesthetist is a Red Raider! Wreck 'em! It was the best epidural I have ever had. I felt the baby moving still and most of the contractions, the head coming down, everything, but with no pain. It's just awesome to feel all of the birth, but I am so freaked out by pain that I have always been afraid to try natural birth. I have had 3 really great epidurals though, but this one was spot on.

After the epidural, I was able to chill out and relax.
My nurse was wonderful, as most l&d nurses are. The coolest thing happened right outside my room. Once a year, the chaplin does the blessing of the hands and prays over the nurses and blesses their hands. I just couldn't believe that it happened when I was there and right outside of my doorway. I felt very blessed by this.

I was getting checked every now and then and every time was progressing quickly. I went from a 4 to a 6 to a 8 to a 9 to a 10 in what seemed like 2 hours. The entire labor from water breaking to delivery was 4 hours. It went so fast, that the birth photographer that I hired missed the birth! Good thing Allison and Jeni switched off photographer duties. My mom and my 2 best friends Allison and Jeni were there to cheer me on and see Miss Aven come into this world. That was so special to share that experience with them.

It's almost go time! We were so excited to finally meet this baby!

A couple of pushes later....

And she made her debut! It took Zach a minute to see that she was a girl. Dr. Z had her faced toward my mom, Jeni and Allison and then turned her around to Zach. Zach leaned over to me with the biggest smile and said, "We have another girl!!"
It was the most amazing moment. I felt so much love the second they placed her on my chest and I am not normally the instantaneous love kind. Maybe because she is my third and the emotions of finding out that she was a girl and seeing her little face all at once just made me melt.

We are obsessed.

I had a small tear, but other than that the labor and delivery was about as smooth as it could go. I was already contracting when I got there, nothing major. The pitocin was at a 4 and then turned off once I got going. The nurse told me they normally need it up to a 20.
She was born at 11:33, 6lbs 15oz and 19 3/4 inches long. And if she didn't weigh 6 15, then she weighed 6 12. Typical third time mom, can't even remember with confidence the birth weight. What a shame. I'm sure it's written down somewhere, right?

We had some fun visitors wednesday night.

But I mostly just enjoyed my precious baby and took in all the snuggly newborn time I could get.
The only two shots I took of her in the hospital. This was waiting to go home on thursday.
And this was getting the hearing test.
Since coming home things have been insanely smooth. The girls love her and are not jealous or upset. Kylie had one day where she was really clingy to Zach, but that has since passed. Aven is great at nursing and the pain and discomfort that comes with the first few days and weeks of nursing is almost gone. She sleeps 1-3 hours at a time, when she wakes up, I feed her and she goes back to sleep. I don't feel sleep deprived and I am usually able to keep her almost all night by myself so Zach can sleep. I thought 2nd babies were easy, third babies just fit right into your life and we haven't missed a beat. I could not be more happy with how everything has gone. Our family feels complete and Aven is the perfect addition.

Here she is getting her first bath. I used some of my newborn photography soothing techniques and she didn't make a peep.
It's offical, Zach is a girl dad. He is so wonderful at it and the girls ADORE him. And so do I. It must feel great to have 4 ladies that are totally in love with you.
So that is the update. I will post the pictures that the photographer got when I get those. And once I send out Aven's birth announcement I will post the newborn shots I have been taking of her. And let me tell you, she has been terrible to take pictures of. Maybe I am expecting too much, but she has been darn near impossible to keep asleep and I have had a hard time posing her. Of course the photographer's baby would be a tricky one.

Tuesday, January 17

Last Day

It's the day before baby's birthday. I was feeling a lot of anxiety yesterday, but not much today. Yesterday my thoughts were revolving around all the pokes and sticks I will be having to deal with as well as the major anticipation for the big gender reveal. It's going to be an exciting day to say the least.

I still need to get my hospital bag packed, camera bag packed, do our laundry, find and set up the pack n play and a few other baby items that seem to be missing.

I can hardly wait another minute to see if baby is this

or this.

Wish us luck and I will post on facebook what the baby is once it's born.

Sunday, January 15


Here is what being prepared looks like at the Walker house.

Zach put the car seat in my car tonight.

Zach finished painting the doors on the baby's closet.

I have a nice stash of diapers and wipes piled up around the room thanks to some very special friends.

The room has doors. No doorknobs yet. Details.

The swing is out and ready to go. I think it's out of batteries though, but the girls always have some sort of baby or animal in it going for a ride anyway. I don't want to clutter up our already small house with a bunch of baby contraptions, so I'm hoping this is all we end up needing for a while out in the living area.

An outfit for Aven or Lennox has been purchased. This makes 2 outfits that Aven has and Lennox has 1. I still want a boy, but I have a much easier and more pleasant time shopping for girl stuff. I went around the Carter's store like 10 times on the boy side and didn't really like much of anything. I could have had 1 of each of the outfits on the girl side.
3 days to go. 2 more days of work and then the big day!

Thursday, January 12

The Date is Set

I am not surprised one smidgen that my cervix has not dilated or thinned out at all. The check wasn't too terrible, I think it was extra uncomfortable with Kylie because he couldn't feel if she was head down or not and was really reaching.

He asked if we want to have the baby next week. We said yes. Wednesdays are his days to induce and since I will be 39 weeks, wednesday the 18th is our day! My last photo shoot is tuesday, so this works out pretty well. I will be absolutely shocked if the baby comes before then, but there's always that chance.

I was not happy about the 4 lb weight gain in less than a week. I don't have any more office visits, so I probably won't weigh myself again this pregnancy unless I have to at the hospital. So maybe I can just count 156 as my final weight. A 34 lb total gain.

The suspense of if the baby is a boy or girl is almost over. It's been way fun!

Boy Room

Of course I love the boy room just as much as the girl. Ok, maybe not just as much, but it has nothing to do with the awesome design and everything to do with how much I love girl colors, patterns and stuff. This will be a perfect little room for baby Lennox, if such a baby exists. Again Dayme, you rule. I don't think I will ever not use a decorator (specifically Dayme) again, you still get to have control and get your ideas out there and then your ideas are just made so much better by professionals.

Today I am also going in to the doctor for my 38 week exam. I will be getting checked to see if I have made any progress. I would rather skip that part altogether, but it's still interesting to know if anything is happening in there. We may be discussing a plan to induce for week 39 or we may just make another appointment for next week and wait and see if anything happens on it's own. I just have a hard time believing I will go into labor before my due date, even though it happened with Blake, it just seems unlikely. I also need to get a prescription for some ppd meds, I hate to even start thinking about that, but I have to get medicated to avoid the hell I went through with the ppd I had after having Kylie. I will update again later if there is anything worth updating.

Tuesday, January 10

Is it a Girl?

With a nursery design like this, I would be so excited! Sooooo excited! She hasn't sent me a boy design yet, so hopefully that makes me equally as giddy, but I am just drooling over this stuff. The nursery is small and weird and is going to be a little bit of a challenge. But Dayme will make it look perfect. One wall has an enormous window on it that takes up most of the wall. It has plantation shutters. There is a skinny wall with a small window on it. On the other long wall there is a strange bookshelf thing that we are adding doors to so the baby can have a closet of sorts. The bookshelf wall is a brick wall and also has french doors and then there is one lone normal wall, but it's the other skinny wall.

The walls are light grey, which could change, but I think we are trying to work with what we have. The floor is slate, but it's painted white and looks really cool (Dayme's idea). We are recovering the rocker that I used with Kylie. There is so much to do, but I know it will come together quickly. Stay tuned for the boy design.......

Friday, January 6

My non pregnancy hospital visit

Side note I forgot to add: Jeni texted me to see if I was ok somewhere in the middle of the mess, all I could think of to text back was "Bot." I never actually sent the text because I was so conflicted on if that made sense or not.

I just need to jot this nutty little story down before all the wacky details fade away.

Wednesday I had a 1 year photo session and toward the end I started seeing spots in the corners of my eyes and I started feeling really weird. I finished the session out and knew I had to go upstairs and call Dr. Z right away. By the time the clients left and I got on the phone my vision was getting worse, my hands were getting numb and sort of tingly. I assumed this was probably something related to high blood pressure. The nurse told me to go to the hospital and get evaluated right away. I threw on my flip flops and we were out the door.

After making about 7 u turns looking for the l&d entrance, we decided I could just jump out, go get evaluated in the ER and Zach would go get Blake from school and meet me up there later if I had to stay. Turns out l&d is in the exact same spot as the er, just one floor up. That was the least of my concerns though.

I got out of the car and started wandering in to the ER alone. I passed a police officer who offered me a wheel chair and I declined. This is where my memory starts getting foggy and I became very disoriented and confused. I somehow made it to the front desk area (let's just ignore the fact that I was on the wrong side of the counter) and they had me take a seat. I could sort of remember why I was there and I was telling the people that worked there that I was seeing spots and had numb hands. After one of the employees called me up and got some information from me, I went back and sat down and that is when Allison texted. She was asking a question about Neiman's and I texted her back something about how I was in the hospital. Surely she is just assuming I'm in labor, but as soon as she called me I started crying and sobbing about how I didn't know why I was there and I was alone. I told her I had been there a really long time. Allison freaked out and called Zach and in reality I had only been there like 1o minutes. I was just in my own little fantasy world of confusion.

Another nurse moved me into this little office when I was hysterically crying and she was asking me if I was scared and telling me I would be ok. She was so sweet and it's so weird because I have no idea what she looked like. I remember the nurses trying to figure out if I should go to l&d or just stay there and they went ahead and put me in a wheel chair and wheeled me to my room in the er since my symptoms weren't really related to my pregnancy. I thought so so so hard to try and remember what a wheel chair was called, I was just so out of it.

When I got to my room, (still alone), nurses and doctors were asking me all sorts of stuff and I probably humiliated myself with answering in ridiculous ways. I know they asked me to change into a gown and one nurse guy was like, "take off everything but your undies" and I just thought, "no I will not" and laid down on the table fully clothed when he left the room. The doctor asked me if I could walk and I got up, took his hand and walked around him in a circle, probably shuffling all the way. Eventually, Emily, my kind sweet caretaker for the day got me to change and somehow coerced me into an IV. I remember asking her, "what's that?", "what does it do?", "will it hurt me?", like a zillion questions a child would be asking about an IV. I told her I had never heard of an IV and I was dead serious. I know I was resistant at first, but she put it in. I think she put it in the strangest spot, it was like mid way up my forearm.

I think it was shortly after the IV that Zach made it up there. He said they were drawing blood and were about to take me for a CT scan. Zach said I was asking what the color blue was and was just so out of it. It wasn't from meds either, but it kind of felt the same way, like when you get a high dose of meds in the hospital and you can't really make sense of much. Thank God Zach was there with me after that, I was just in no position to be there by myself, answering questions and doing whatever else I was doing.

I guess after my CT scan, they cleared my brain of anything major like tumors or a stroke or something (Zach was convinced I had some kind of brain cancer or had just had a big stroke), my blood and pee looked normal, so what do you check next? Ears! A nurse came in and flooded out my ears with water. She found the hugest piece of wax she said she had ever seen in my left ear. It was at least 2 and a half inches long and just disgusting. But after that big waxy thing came out I was still mental. When they had ruled out everything but a migraine, they shot my IV up with morphine and sent me on my way. What a long 6 or 7 hours.

Migraines can start with an "aura" which is a warning sign and what was happening during the photo shoot and early on at the hospital. During and aura you see spots, wavy lines or flashing lights and have a numbness or pins and needles feeling in your hands arms in face. In my case it was just my hands.

The actual headache part didn't start until hours later. During that period before the headache started I was having, nausea, problems speaking, trouble walking and general confusion. The ER doctor pretty much nailed it right away and told us he had seen a lot of women with these symptoms and it's usually a migraine. Once the headache finally did hit, it was excruciating. The nurse told me that the morphine would work really fast and before she even finished that sentence the headache was gone and all that was left was the postdrome, which for me was mostly cognitive impairment and fatigue. I still really haven't stopped sleeping off and on since I came back from the hospital. I haven't been able to work because editing photos takes so much concentration and I just can't do that kind of work yet. My eyes still feel weak and I don't feel like myself. I'm really hoping it will all be over tomorrow, it's not going to be long before I'm right back in the hospital having a baby.

I'm not going to proofread this because that is too much right now, so if it's full of typos and other errors hopefully you can still get the gist of my lovely day at the ER.

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