Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Story of a Baby

I was reading a friend's blog post the other day, about her new baby and the way her delivery went down. And it dawned on me that I never shared about Ava's birth. Now that I am a mom, I love sharing the story. Not only because it is the best day of my life, but also because it is a really nice, happy, joyful story and doesn't involve one bit of drama or pain or horror! :) I know, I was lucky. But I tell all of my first time mommy friends this story. I think it makes them feel better!!!

Ava was born February 11, at 6:37 pm. A Thursday. But let me start back on the 8th. A Monday. An icy, cold, dreary Monday. We had our 37 week appointment that day. And because the roads were so bad, I called my doctor to see if we should still come. She said that if we could safely make it, yes. So Cole and I loaded up and headed to the doctor's office. It was a scary drive, but my sweet husband was brilliant and we arrived safely and on time. So we went to the appointment. And while sitting in the waiting area, I began having pain. Bad cramp like pain. So I asked the doctor, and she assured me that those were contractions, but that they were not regular and I was only a one, and it would probably be at least a few more days if not more. But she was concerned because of my size, that Ava might be LARGE, so she set up for me to have an ultrasound done. Well because of the weather, and so many people had canceled their appointments, we were able to go upstairs to the radiology clinic and have the ultrasound done right then. And they said that Ava was between 7-9lbs. At a little before 37 weeks (we would be 37 weeks the day she was born...). YIKES. So mentally I was preping myself for a c-section. I had already informed Dr. Wiedower (aka the most wonderful OB in the world) that I was not interested in pushing out a 9 pounder even with drugs!!! HAHA!

So that was Monday. Monday night- icier, colder, drearier. And hello contractions! So after about an hour of contractions, and because they were becoming more regular, and because the roads were only getting worse, we loaded up the car and headed back to the hospital. Sure enough, I was in "early" labor. And had progressed to a 2. But they really didn't want to deliver me that night because she would be early, if only by a few days. So I got a shot and by early Tuesday morning, the contractions had stopped and I was sent home, and told to rest. So we slid home on the icy roads early Tuesday morning, a little disappointed that there wasn't a bambino yet.

Fast-forward to Thursday. 8:30 am. Cole is at work, at the unit. Thankfully not flying because of the weather. Now let me just say that he had re-programmed my phone with a list of numbers to call should I need him and not get him on his cell. So at 8:30, after eating several sweettart hearts and a couple of Reece's hearts (breakfast of champs, I know) I decided it was time to get myself and the belly out of bed. I stood up, and realized I was peeing on myself. Great. ANOTHER indignity of pregnancy. Then I realized that I couldn't make it stop. So I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Then I started to wonder. It wasn't stopping. It wasn't smelly. And it wasn't yellow. this point it dawns on me that my water has broken. Correction- my water is breaking. A LOT. EVERYWHERE!!! Well I rushed to the bathroom so fast that I didn't bother to grab my phone. So I grabbed a towel, shoved it between my legs, ran back to the bedroom, grabbed my phone, ran back to the bathroom and sat back down. My mind was racing.

So I called Cole's cell. No answer. I called the Maintenance Test Pilot Office. No answer. I call again. His co-worker Danny answers. I ask for Cole, and Danny tells me that he hasn't made it in yet. Now it is still icy, and Cole left maybe 3 hours before this, and it's a 15-20 minute drive on a clear day. So I am thinking "great. He slides off the road on the day I go into labor!" Before I can freak out too badly, Danny says he is kidding, and asks if I want him to have Cole call me. I tell him yes, that would be great, as soon as possible, because my water just broke. Now I am excited, but remarkably calm. Danny, on the other hand, is a little more spastic than me. He starts telling me, in a rather loud voice, to "stay calm. Just stay calm!!!" I inform him that I am calm, and he should be too. And that I just need Cole to call me as soon as possible. Well Danny goes and finds Cole, and because Danny is so worked up, and because Danny jokes around a lot, Cole is reluctant to believe him. After all, I still have 3 weeks left! So I get a text message from my dear husband...

"Did ur water break?"

my reply:

"yes. COME HOME!"

So he heads home, and I start calling everyone I can think of. Now my water broke at 8:30, but I didn't start contracting until we were at the hospital. So this whole time, I am feeling great. I am walking around getting things in order, feeding the dogs, chatting with my neighbor who was out clearing her driveway (she still thinks it's nuts that I came outside and said "hey Kathy! My water just broke! HAHA!"). So Cole comes home, my step-father-in-law is over putting rocksalt on the driveway. We load up and head to the hospital, stopping at Sonic on the way for my own stash of ice chips. :)

We get to the hospital and everything goes textbook. I progress beautifully, they give me some staydol when I start feeling the contractions, then the epidural when my labs come back. Then at 6:37, after less than an hour of pushing (which was not bad at all, and I had some great conversation with Cole and our wonderful nurse between pushes) Ava arrived! Weighing in at 7lbs, and 19" long!!!

Recovery was not fun. But the actual delivery was a breeze. I just pray that my other children are as easy on me!!!

Thanks for reading my story of how Ava came into the world. And just wanted to share my favorite picture of Ava and her Daddy!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So it is hot here in Arkansas. Like H to the O to the T HOT HOT HOT!!! So my white legs have been showing everyday for the past week! Ha! To those of your in the central Arkansas area, if you were out and about and struck with a sudden blindness, it was my legs. Sorry. :) I have so many friends who are pregnant right now, and I just feel so sorry for them! I was lucky...I found out I was pregnant in late June, and gave birth in February. So I was big during the cold months.

Speaking of hot, Ava and I have been a hot mess the last few days. She started solids, so that has been fun. We are back to working on our house, so the house has been a hot mess. And I keep finding these spiders! Ugh!!! Thankfully I am not as scared of them as I used to be. Otherwise we would be camped out at the grandparents and Terminex would be here everyday until they were gone.

And one last note on hot... I always swore my baby would not, under any circumstances, be a baby that wore just a diaper. I think that is not cute, especially on a girl, and I just would not have it. Well after a weeks worth of 90+ temps, combined with a child who is hot natured anyway and sweats like, well, whatever sweats a lot, I have changed my mind. If we are home, she is in a diaper. Wish I could walk around in my skivvy's all day. But alas, I guess I have to draw the line somewhere. :) I still put her in clothes when we go out. Which is good, because we have a lot of cute summer clothes to get through before she outgrows them!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

4th of July

So the 4th of July is coming up...and this has always been one of my favorite "holidays." Always. As a little girl I loved the fireworks, the watermelon, the BBQ. Both of my beloved grandfathers served in the military- My PawPaw in the Army, and my PawJim in the Marines. So there was always an underlying sense that the day was about more than just food and fun. But I never really got it. Even into my teen years and college days, it was really more of an opportunity to gather with family and friends, with a little reflection on patriotism and what it means to be an American.

But when I met my husband Cole, that all changed. Cole is a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter pilot for the US Army. He has served overseas multiple times, including 15 months in Iraq. He served his tour in Iraq while we were still dating. July 4, 2007 was the first 4th I celebrated with a true understanding of the day. I get very emotional on Independence Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day (which is Monday!)...I now understand that it is because of our military that we have the freedom to celebrate these days. And the irony is that those who, I guess have the most "right" or the most reasons to celebrate these days, can't. Because they are fighting on those days to keep our right to celebrate going.

I don't mean to say that people who are not "married to the military" are not patriotic or don't understand what it means to be an American. But I didn't until I fell in love with a soldier.

I was recently at Bunko (I love my Bunko group!) and we had a sweet girl subbing in that night. She is a nurse, and her husband is a pastor. We were chatting and she asked me what Cole does for a living, and I told her. She said "oh wow! That is a really cool job!!!" And I thought, "I guess it does sound like it." But the reality is far from the image. People see him in his uniform, flying his (very impressive, I think) Blackhawk. It sounds so cool and very romantic. But the part that people don't see is the time away from his family. The fact that he had to record himself reading books so that he could read to our daughter when he isn't home (which is often), the fact that sometimes the only thing he wants most is the one thing he can't have- a kiss from his wife and baby girl. I am so proud of him, and I support his service 100%...but it is still a hard life. I have known my husband since January 2006. And I have yet to spend my birthday with him. Thank you Army! :) Sigh...but it is the days and time apart that make the days and time together so very special.

And just today I was reminded how important his service is. We had MAJOR flooding in southern Arkansas last night, close to where I went to college. A rural campsite flooded, and at least 20 campers are dead, and 30-40 are still missing. Cole is serving elsewhere right now, but members of Cole's unit were called into search for the missing. This is a call that we have gotten many times before. Dinner plans have been changed, outings canceled....not because my husband had a last minute meeting or anything, but because he was needed to save a life. SAVE A LIFE. Katrina, he flew roof-top rescues. Bosnia & Iraq he flew medevac missions- and the Taliban doesn't care if there is a red cross on your helicopter- they shoot anyway! My husband saves lives. Wow. I thank God for him everyday. How did I get so blessed to be married to my hero???

And speaking of blessings....see our little Miss America? She was sitting in her daddy's helicopter! This picture is part of his Father's Day gift. He hasn't seen these yet...but he doesn't read the blog so I think I am safe to share! LOL!

God Bless America!!!