May 24, 2022

Ava Mae’s birth

On April 8th, I started having super consistent contractions…we’re talking 5 minutes apart, lasting longer than 1 minute, for over an hour, but they weren’t super painful. From April 8th- April 25th (the day she was actually born) I was consistently having contractions off & on, some randomly painful and others more like Braxton hicks…the weirdest part was the frequency/consistency but never painful enough for it to be “go time.” This made for a really emotionally draining two weeks leading up to her birth because it felt like an emotional roller coaster of “is this it??” to not translating into actual labor.

I was scheduled to be induced on Thursday April 21st which was a huge relief! Around 5am the morning of, we got a call to not come in as the hospital was full that day. This was a huge disappointment, but ended up being a blessing because we had a really sweet Easter weekend and got to enjoy more of sweet Nora Sue before she was no longer an only child.

Wednesday April 20th-April 25th Nora was sleeping at Drew’s parent’s house (and stayed with them while we were at the hospital) at night just in case I did go into labor but we had her during the day. That was a sweet & hard transition too but gave us all more peace of mind on the logistics in the event I went into labor in the middle of the night. Praise the Lord for Nana & Pappy- they were absolutely INCREDIBLE leading up to her birth & after!! We’re so thankful for them + don’t take living close to them for granted!!

My induction was re-scheduled to Sunday April 25th. We arrived around 7am, got checked in, visited our friends for ~5 minutes who were down the hall & just had their baby, then settled into our room. Around 9am the nurse started me on Pitocin & antibiotics (I tested positive early on in this pregnancy for group b strep so needed two rounds of antibiotics in me if possible). My doctor broke my water around noon and they said they would check me again around 4pm to see how dilated I was so my goal was to make it to then to decided if I wanted to get an epidural or not.

I was getting up to go to the bathroom a ton which was slightly annoying with the cords but also exciting because then I didn’t have the blasted blood pressure cuff on. Not sure why, but that’s my least favorite thing ha. Around 2:30pm I threw up a few times and contractions were really starting to pick up. I decided to ask for the epidural, knowing that I would not be able to make it to 4pm when they’d check me again.

The anesthetist arrived around 3pm to give me the epidural. I had 3 really big contractions while he was doing it + threw up again. As soon as he was done they told me to lay down & that it’d be about 20 minutes before it went into effect. As soon as I laid down I had a huge contraction and felt a burning sensation and literally yelled, “she’s coming!” It was the weirdest feeling- like my body couldn’t not push! Within 5 minutes everyone had mobilized (the anesthetist was trying to get his cart out of the room/ out of the way ha) and Drew said it was like the movies with how fast everyone was moving and the noises I was making haha. I definitely yelled a few times and apparently tried to crack a joke that fell flat because I yelled it haha. Our plan for a birth photographer went out the window because there was no way she could get there in time so Drew asked a nurse if she’d be willing to take some with our camera & she graciously did- I’m so thankful!! At 3:20pm I started pushing & two pushes + 5 minutes later, Ava Mae Brown was born at 3:25pm!

We did skin to skin for a few minutes then they measured her. She was 7lbs, 6oz, 20in of pure goodness!! They gave her right back to me and she immediately started rooting so she nursed for the first time around 4:15pm and to my surprise, latched perfectly the first time! She nursed for about an hour then did skin to skin with Drew. She then passed out which was so sweet. We Facetimed and texted our families & friends and ate a hospital dinner. Perks of an afternoon baby (Nora was born in the middle of the night so this was a new experience for us)!! She did not latch well the second or third time nursing so I was very thankful to have the lactation consultant came by throughout our hospital stay. I nursed Nora until she was 13 months but wow I totally forgot how different breastfeeding a newborn was! We were still hungry after we split the hospital meal so Drew went out to get our favorite, wings from Ale Emporium + surprised me with a McDonalds coke (man knows the way to my heart ha). It was such a yummy meal post delivery!!

The rest is a bit of a blur but we loved our experience at Community Hospital North. Drew’s parents brought Nora to visit us at the hospital the next day which was seriously SO sweet!! Drew left to get lunch with them after their visit to help Nora transition and we’re glad he did because she was wired (rightfully so). We were grateful to be discharged the morning of April 26th. Our amazing small group had decorated our house & stocked our fridge, which was so special to come home to! We had lots of short visits with family & friends the first two weeks of her life while Drew was home with us, which was such a gift! We are so grateful for her precious life and a smooth (and quick!) delivery!! Stay tuned for month updates on the “personal” tab of my blog!

my nap before things really started to pick up
this was the contraction that made me ask for the epidural ha
Ale Emporium & McDonalds coke…truly hit the spot as post delivery meal!
Drew bringing Ava to us on the bed and Nora immediately hugged & kissed her- it was the sweetest thing!
Pointing out all of Ava’s facial features…we thankfully avoided her eye though haha
Right: Nora’s reaction when it was Nana & Pappy’s turn to hold Ava..she did not want to share her. Thankfully, my water bottle & some yogurt bites helped her ha.
Nana was SO sweet + thoughtful and brought us some special gifts to open in the hospital
Our friends from small group, Tori + Billy + their sweet daughter Hazel! We were down the hall from them so when we initially arrived we visited their room and after we were more settled, they visited our room. This was such a sweet little surprise to overlap at the hospital!
I was doing ALLL the things to try to get labor going naturally so I wouldn’t have to be induced, including pumping colostrum. Unfortunately, that didn’t work BUT I was able to bring some to the hospital with us and Drew actually did one feeding which was awesome.
Heading home!
A very sweet homecoming, thanks to our incredible small group!!

Until next time friends!



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