Saturday, June 15, 2013


So last year this weekend Ben’s parents come to visit.  It was also our 5th anniversary (June 16th) and during their stay we found out we were having a little girl.  It was a week that has a special place in my heart.   

We went to a baby belly spa to do the ultrasound rather than wait three more weeks for my doctor’s ultrasound.  It wasn’t that we could not wait until then but Ben’s parents were not going to be coming for the birth so I thought it would be special to share with them the gender reveal.  

We were all in the room when we found out the baby was a little girl.  Ben’s parents set on a couch across the room from me and Ben stood awkwardly next to me.  There was a seat for him but instead he just stood there.  The u/s tech showed the babies arms, legs, face, and then feet. 

When she finally got around to show the gender, she typed on the screen “I’m a girl.”  Ben’s mom and I first read it.  Then his father read it.  And we all turned to watch Ben’s reaction.  I believe I actually had to tell him that it was a girl (In his defense hw was watching the baby and the type was hard to see.)

Ben’s reaction – well there wasn’t one.  He didn’t say a word.  Not one single word.  The tech felt bad for me and actually gave us more pictures then the package we bought allowed for.  I really think that it took a couple of days for Ben to process this.  

Let me take a moment and explain Ben.  He does not get excited about anything.  He is cool, calm, and collected.  He only gets emotional after he has been drinking and it usually involves Captain Morgan and has only happened like 3 times in our 10+ years relationship.  He is a man of little words.  But do not let that fool you – he is very sensitive he just keeps it hidden.  He loves me and he loves our daughter with everything he has.

I came across an article this morning MSN title “This is your brain on fatherhood: Dads experience hormonal changes too,research shows.”  The article explains that fathers have the same hormonal changes as a mother does; however, mother’s have a head start due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. 

Oxytocin has been called the "love hormone," even though its effect isn't always that lovely. It's thought to deepen the bond that a mom has with her newborn. But what about the dads, who don't get pregnant or breastfeed? It turns out that a father's interactions with his children produce a similar rise in oxytocin levels.

In my mind I was always concerned about the bonding experience Ben did not get because we chose to breastfeed.  He always told me not to worry about.  Ben has always been a great dad.  He was very supportive of breastfeeding and still is even though I am questioning continuing breastfeeding.  He says even a little breast milk is better than nothing.   

It turns out that fathers get many of the same rushes that mothers do from parenthood — but the payoff depends on proximity and interaction.

I believe the above comment is especially true after Ben’s lack of a reaction to “It’s a girl!”  I saw Ben become a father immediately after we had her.  And every day he became he grew more into fatherhood. 

The article mentioned that by the 4th month the father has caught up to the mother and I definitely saw that.  I had returned to work and Ben was watching Ava more and more.  He was teaching her things left and right.  He is able to calm her down just as fast if not faster than me.

Finally the last paragraph hit home for us.  It talks about the number of potential helpers is limited due to “…living in isolated nuclear families, largely separated from their extended families…”  Yes, that just about sums us up to a tee.  On a good day before baby and with no construction we are 10 hours away from both of our families.  Our friends are amazing here but that are just not the same as Poppa & Grandma. 

I am looking forward to the future watching Ben grow more into fatherhood.  It will be exciting to watch him teach her how to fish, how to teach her how to raise quail from egg to mature bird, and how to pick the right guy (yea, that one scares me a little bit!)    

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Snapshot

Happy Baby

Poor baby has my complexion.  Luckily she is super cute in hats! 

We had a good weekend just the two of us!  Saturday, she took decent naps (1 hour naps) and then I dropped her off at a friends house so I could run some errands.  I have rarely taken advantage of our friends' offer to watch Ava we could do things but  holy cow it was awesome!  It was like I was free again!  Not having to worry about her was great.  This is the first time I left her with someone that I was not consistantly checking my phone to see if they needed anything.  Something about her being 6  months I am now able to comfortably leave her with friends and not worry nonstop.  Since both families live 10 hours away we rely on friends to love and spoil her. 

Ben and my anniversary is next weekend so I am thinking about having some other friends watch Ava for the night so we can go on a date!  I think we both have forgotten what a date is!  I am sure we will spend all of dinner talking about her but hey it will still be fun!

When our friend watched Ava Saturday it was during the day.  However, it will have to be during the work week when we have our date night since Ben's "weekend" is during the work week right now.  I might still be a little worried about Ava going to sleep at the right time without me.  But she will be fine.  She will be fine. She will be fine. 

Ooo, with all the freedom I felt running errands I added a couple of extra stops onto the errand list and purchased Ava a pink rug for her bedroom.  She is going to love it! 

Happy Monday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our birth story, 6 months late

So I was reviewing my blog and realized that I never shared Ava's birth story.   I did events leading up to Ms. Ava's birth but never the actually birth.   So here it is- the best to my recollection.

We arrived at the hospital at about 7:00 am on Wednesday, November 28th.   We got hooked up to the monitors and the pitocin started kicking in by 7:30am.   They came and broke my water around 8:00am.   I remember thinking that my mom wasn't going to make it for the delivery.   They had driven halfway from PA and would not be arriving at the hospital until about noon.   I thought that once my water broke it wouldn't take anytime for her arrival!   Boy was I wrong!

My goal when it came to labor was to make it 4-5 cm without any pain meds.  Around 11:00 am, my mom and dad came into the room.  Wheew, they made it!   And I had made it appoint 4-5 cm and was ready for the goods!   I was scared about having an epidural.  I don't mind the pain meds or getting stuck with a needle but having a long needle that close to my spine freaked me out but I was ready and it went in smoothly.

The epidural really slowed down my dilation, so the nurse made some adjustments and about 7:00pm they said it was time to get ready to push.   It just so happened to be the time the nurse changed shifts.   The next nurse Betty was awesome!   She had her hands in my business before she even knew my name.   As the first nurse was explaining my situation, Betty looked at me and whispered “what is your name?”   I know some people may find that impersonal but I thought it was hilarious.   I still think it is hilarious.   Betty cracked me up and kept me calm throughout the whole process.

Betty was with during my 45 minutes of pushing before the doctor showed up.   Dr. B was doing a C-section and got there as fast as he could.   Unfortunately, I did not think it was not fast enough.   At one point, Betty told me to stop pushing when Ava was right there.   Which ladies, that is extremely difficult to do!   It was the moment that I lost all cool and said, "I love Dr. B. but he better get is f***ing ass here." 

When Dr. B. arrived I continued pushing. I remember looking at Ben and watching him tear up. It melted my heart.  He did amazing.  Even though he has seen things I don't even want to begin to think about with his job when it comes to me, he can't handle it.   It was funny just watching him when I was doing my infertility shots.   Anyways, I bet I pushed only a handful of times and out came this beautiful little girl.  They placed her immediately on my chest after my mom cut her umbilical cord (Ben refused - again can't handle it).  My mom went out to let me dad know and to call some family members and then all hell broke lose.

I start hemorrhaging.   I was losing a lot of blood fast.  My placenta had broken into pieces and some was still attached to my uterus.   At this point my memory gets hazing.   I am not sure if it was from the blood loss or the meds that they were given me for the pain.  I remember telling Ben to stay with Ava on the other side or the room where they were checking her and asking mom to stay by me.   I remember feeling pain or the pain.   I remember Dr. B. scrapping my insides and asking if the OR was available.   I remember thinking if I just delivered Ava without a problem and now I have to go into surgery I was going to be pissed. 

I remember coming in and out of it.  I remember thinking that I was going beat the nurse assistant that kept asking me stuff like needing a thumb print and to me there was more important matters going on south of my belly button!   Even the doctor was getting a little frustrated. 

I remember when they thought I was in the clear and didn't have to go into surgery they placed Ava back on my chest (Kangeroo Kare - Absolutely love it!!!).  I was concerned that she wasn't latching and I was mad that no one was listening to me because I kept feeling Ava was going to fall of my chest. I don't remember where my arms were at this point.  Ben said I was coming in and out.

After about an hour they finally had the bleeding under control and everything was stitched up.  I stayed in the labor and delivery room for another 6 hours so they could monitor me.  I was exhausted, weak, and wanted sleep.  Every time I was about to fall asleep someone was coming in to check me or take my blood. 

When I was transferred to my room, I was still being monitored and didn’t get much sleep.  I ended up with a blood transfusion which felt like syrup going through my veins.  It did give me a headache but nothing that some pain meds. 

However, throughout the whole ordeal my still did not fail me.  I have gain strength in delivering Ava.  Thank God that I did not lose my reproductive system as what I fear would have happen if I had to go to the OR.  

Even though the doctor said that this happens sometimes and it is nothing we could have done to prevent and it more than likely wont happen again.  I plan on giving my own blood in case this happens again next.