25 February 2009

Labor of love

Here is a little update of how the events transpired from Friday evening the 20th, till Saturday the 21st at 6:33 am.
After our doctor visit Friday morning, we both were hoping Avery (still known then as Cheeto but not now) would be born at least by Monday. However, we weren't sure that would happen.
Around 9 p.m., as I was full of nervous energy, I went downstairs to relieve some stress by playing pop-a-shot basketball for 30 minutes or so. After coming back upstairs I looked at Teresa and said, "Look at your belly. Cheeto has dropped!" She didn't believe me until she looked in the mirror. She then said, "That is good but it still could be a few days."
At about 10:20 or so, Teresa said she was having a little back pain, and we began discussing heading to bed. But about 10 minutes later, Teresa's back pain returned. Remembering something from the childbirth class (yes, I paid attention in the class), I told Teresa we should stay up for a little while because those could be labor pains. These pains continued every 10 minutes or so for about 45 minutes. At 11:15 or so, the pains moved more to the front and were all of a sudden 5 minutes apart. I was convinced this was it, but Teresa wasn't. I told Teresa I was calling the doctor now. She slowly agreed.
At 11:59 p.m. (very significant time to us as this was still the due date), we got in the car and left for the hospital. I asked Teresa if she would like the radio on, and she said she would like to listen to KLOVE (our favorite Christian radio station). I turned it on and for those of you know how big a fan we are of Steven Curtis Chapman, you can image how amazing it was to hear our favorite SCC song "Dive" as the radio came on. We took this as a sign that we were about to dive into parenthood!
We arrived at the hospital, and I was sure we were just a few hours away from being parents. Teresa still wasn't so sure until the triage nurse came in the room and said, "You are dilated to 6 cm. You aren't going anywhere."
Each of our parents and Teresa's sister arrived shortly after 1 a.m. Thus, they had about a 5 1/2 hour wait in the waiting room with only two updates from me as I was trying my best to keep from flipping out and doing the best I could to soothe Teresa.
Teresa was absolutely great! One of her goals during childbirth was to go as long as possible without any drugs. She received a small vile of some pain medication around 1 a.m. just to take the edge off of the contractions. She then waited until 3 a.m. and 9 cm dilated to ask for an epidural. I was ever so grateful she asked for it as it was just pure agony for me to watch her go through those contractions and not be able to do anything but rub her back. I think it helped me more than it helped her.
At 4:50 a.m., Teresa's labor nurse said it was time to start pushing. Teresa pushed for about 20 minutes but was exhausted. The nurse allowed Teresa to rest and take about a 30-minute nap (this is when the epidural was really handy). At this point Teresa had been up for 24 straight hours, worked a full work day and had a stressful doctor's appointment. I wasn't sure she had anything left to push. But then, a second nurse came in (I called her the enforcer). She began giving Teresa very short and precise instructions on her pushing. She was very nice and courteous but had a "you need to stop doing what you want to do and pay attention and do what I tell you" tone and it was just what she needed. When this nurse walked in, she asked what Teresa was having (boy or girl). Teresa said we don't know and the nurse responded, "Well what are we waiting for? Let's get the baby out and find out what it is!"
At 6:33 a.m., Cheeto emerged, and we were waiting and waiting and waiting to find out what it was. We think the doctor forgot we didn't know. After about 10 or 15 seconds (that felt like 2 hours), the "enforcer" nurse said what we wanted to say..."WELL DOCTOR, WHAT IS IT?!" The doctor said it is a girl, and we couldn't believe it. How amazing! God has blessed us with a beautiful girl. I took one look at her and said, "I thought babies were supposed to be ugly when they were just born. She is beautiful!" For the record, the doctor and nurses agreed that she was indeed a very beautiful baby. Now that I think about it, how could she not be? Look at her gene pool.
Well as you can tell, we are very excited to have Avery Joy in our lives and look forward to having many more stories for you over the coming years.
More pictures will be posted soon.

22 February 2009

First Photos of Avery

Proud Daddy
Aunt Karen
Grandma Clark
Grandma Hromada
Grandpa Clark
Grandapa Hromada
1st Family Photo
Teresa receiving Avery for the 1st time
Avery Joy just about 1 minute old
Our famous self-portrait (3:30 am: just before pushing)
Here are the first pictures! We declined a very sizable offer from Good Housekeeping, Star, TMZ and National Inquirer, but none of those magazines would allow us to post these pics on our blog and we wanted to share them with you for free. So forget the paparazzi, here you go!
FYI-We are aware she is the prettiest baby ever. :)

What a bundle of Avery Joy!

The wait is over! Teresa and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl yesterday, Feb. 21, at 6:33 am. Avery Joy weighed in at 7 lbs. and 10.5 ounces. She is 19 1/2 inches long. Here is the "cliff notes" version as I am sure Teresa will catch you all up later. Teresa started feeling some back pain Friday night about 10:30. We were about ready to go to bed and I realized theses "pains" were coming about 10 minutes apart. After an hour of this and the pains moving to the front and becoming about only 5 minutes apart, I called the doctor and said we are headed to the hospital. We left the house at 11:59 pm. That is significant to us because that means we left for the hospital on her due date! After arriving, Teresa still wasn't sure this was it (I was totally convinced) until she was hooked up to the monitor and her first contraction came and the nurse we examined her said, "You are at 6 cm, you aren't going anywhere." Teresa did absolutely great during labor! I am so proud of her! Avery was born at 6:33 am as I said, which means Teresa had been awake for 24 straight hours. She was amazing! We will have lots of pictures later and more stories, but since Teresa and I have each had less than 5 hours of sleep in the last 50+ hours (Avery wasn't too cooperative last night), I will leave you here. Thanks for everyone's love and support over the last nine months!

20 February 2009

Today is the day...sort of...

Here we are! It's Cheeto's due date. While we didn't expect Cheeto to arrive by today, I think a little part of us hoped he or she would be here by now. To celebrate 40 weeks, we had a doctor's appointment this morning. Everything is fine with me. I'm about 4 cm dilated and 70 to 80 percent effaced, which is good! But the baby is still a little high. This could be due to my short stature or to the fact that Cheeto won't fit in the birth canal. Let's hope it's the former! The doctor had a problem finding a steady heartbeat for Cheeto, so she did a non-stress test. They hooked me to up to some monitors and watched Cheeto's heartbeat and my contractions. (I think Chris enjoyed watching the monitor!) If the doctor wasn't happy with Cheeto's heartbeat, she was going to send us to the hospital for some more monitoring and possibly an induction. Thank goodness she was pleased with the results. As much as I want to meet Cheeto, I really want to avoid an induction! So all is well for now. We'll go back to the doctor Monday afternoon for another non-stress test and an ultrasound. The doctor will be checking to make sure Cheeto is "comfortable." If that's the case, we can wait up to two weeks before having an induction. If the doctor discovers anything else or if we have the same problems with the heartbeat, I'll probably have to be induced. It seems like Cheeto is pretty comfortable and may not come on his or her own. (Would you want to leave such a warm, quiet and cozy place?!) We're still hoping Cheeto comes on his or her own this weekend! :o)

15 February 2009

11 February 2009

38-week update

Just when I thought I was having the world's easiest pregnancy, God threw a curve ball at me. Last weekend, I struggled with some severe pain in my jaw. It made it nearly impossible to eat or sleep. I saw my dentist on Monday, and he said it's stress-induced TMJ. Fabulous! The best treatment for someone in my delicate condition is rest and not stressing out...oh, and delivering the baby! Easier said than done! He said things should improve after I have Cheeto. So Chris is doing his best to help me take it easy. Hopefully I can relax over the next two weeks! Today we had our 38-week appointment. Cheeto's heartbeat was 130, and I'm now dilated to 2 to 3 cm. I'm also starting to thin out more. Apparently I'm having more contractions than I'm feeling since things are progressing along so well! Our next appointment is next Friday, the due date. Let's hope we'll have to cancel the appointment because Cheeto will have arrived...or be on the way! :o) And for good measure, here's my 37-week belly picture. Stay tuned here over the next week for the latest developments!

04 February 2009

37-week update

Hi, everyone! Have you missed us? :o) I just haven't had the energy or time to update the blog lately. So you're getting several updates wrapped up in one. First off, we had two doctor's appointments last week and this week. Everything is right on track! Cheeto's heartbeat was 138. He/she is still head down and high up. I haven't dilated any more, but now we want the contractions to start so they can help Cheeto move down! Also, the doctor said that she expects I'll deliver around my due date. I probably won't be going early, not that I expected to. Lately I've been so exhausted that I can't concentrate, can't work and just don't feel like myself. So I talked to my doctor about this extreme fatigue. She told me to take some Tylenol PM to help me sleep. Let's hope that works because I really want to enjoy the last few weeks before things really become hectic! Last week, Chris' co-workers had a surprise baby shower for him. (He calls it a man shower.) While they let me in on the secret, Chris had no idea. And he was completely surprised! Here are some pictures from the party: We're both so grateful that Chris works with such a wonderful group of people. Thanks for a great party! Finally, we have a few prayer requests:
  • We're glad that Chris has a very close sectional assignment. But we still want to pray that Cheeto will arrive at a convenient time for Chris. I don't want Chris to miss the most exciting and important part of this pregnancy!
  • Pray that I will get good nights' sleep, that my headaches will go away and that I will have enough energy to complete the final few tasks on our to-do list.
  • Pray that I will finish my maternity leave project notes at work and that I will just "let it all go" and trust my co-workers to fill in for me.
  • Pray that we both will be calm and relaxed during the labor and delivery. Pray that we'll have good recall from our childbirth classes!
  • And finally, pray that Cheeto is a happy and healthy baby.

P.S. Happy birthday to Grandma Hromada! :o)