Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to "Normal" & Potty News

We took Richard back to the airport on Tuesday. It was hard. It's always hard. But we're in a good place right now and I have a feeling time is about to fly by for all of us. So it's back to "normal" now, which means video chats, extended family, the girls and me, play dates, etc. I got an email from Richard today saying he is back at his post and settling in again. The girls and I went to a neighborhood play group yesterday, which was good for Ava and for me. Today I am trying to find space for all Raina's clothes, toys, baby gear, etc, AND replace my fall/winter clothes with my spring/summer clothes as it has been so nice here. It will feel good to get everything organized but it's kind of a slow process right now.

In other WONDERFUL news, Ava just went potty all by herself about five minutes ago! She has been potty trained for a long time now but she hasn't been coordinated/strong enough to pull her pants and panties up and down by herself. Well just now she went in the bathroom, put the toilet lid up, pulled her little step in front of the potty, got on the step, pulled her pants down, sat down and scooted back, peed, got some toilet paper, wiped, pulled her pants back up, put the step away, put the lid down, and flushed the potty... by herself!!! Her pants are a little crooked and her panties may or may not be pulled all the way up under those pants, but we are definitely getting somewhere!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Raina lost her cord today. It's funny because tomorrow is her due date and she's already ready for baths and such.

Ava is adjusting pretty well. She has no problem with me holding and doing things with/for Raina. However, she doesn't always like other people holding her or looking at her. This was surprising to me as I thought she would have more of a problem sharing time and attention from me. We were at the chiropractor the other day and the front desk lady was looking at Raina and asking questions about her, etc. Ava comes running up saying "No, Lady! No look at Raina!" What!? Really, Ava? So we're working on all that. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

R&R and Birth Story

Sunday, March 6, 2011

8:00am(ish) - Ava woke up ready to go for the day (despite not needing to get up for another hour or so)

8:30am - On the way down the stairs for breakfast we took the final link off the countdown chain. "Ava, all the links of the chain are gone! What's going to happen today!?" "Daddy will be here!!!"

11:00am - Church started where Ava played in the toddler room and I sang in the choir.

1:30pm - I drove laps around the North and South Terminals of the airport waiting for Richard to call and tell me where to pick him up.

2:00pm(ish) - He's here! "Look, Ava, there's Daddy!" She ran to give him a hug, a little unsure but super excited at the same time. I cried just watching their reunion. It was so good to hug him and have him hold us all.

2:45pm(ish) - First stop: Waffle House. All Star Special and Cheese n Eggs. Snuggle time.
4:00pm(ish) - We got to Mom's house (she, Kev, and Shane were gone for the night) and Richard got reacquainted with BB and Pancake. EXTREME EXCITEMENT. Like major jumping, squeeking, barking excitement.

8:00pm - Our together-again family of three went out to eat. Mexican. Delicious.

10:30pm(ish) - We were all getting ready for bed... showers, reading books, more snuggle time, and I was having some contractions.

11:32pm - I wrote down the time of a contraction thinking "This might really be it...?"
Monday, March 7, 2011

1:00am(ish) - I called the doctor to tell her that I had been having definite contractions every 6-7 minutes for about an hour and a half. She told me to try walking, resting, drinking water (all the things that would make the timing of the contractions change if it wasn't real labor) and keep timing for another hour. I woke Richard up to tell him to get his stuff ready in case I woke him up again needing to go in a hurry. I got Ava's bag, my bag, etc ready to go. I drank a bunch of water. I walked around the house for a while.

2:30am(ish) - I decided to try sleeping for a while (at least between contractions) since they hadn't yet gotten any closer together than before.

4:02am - I decided I should get up and empty my bladder (as having a full one can slow labor) and when I got out of bed I felt like I was leaking (but was definitely not peeing). I hurried to the bathroom and leaked a lot more fluid and blood. (My water broke with Ava so I knew what that felt like and this was not the same.) I called the doctor again and she said to come on in. My contractions immediately became more intense and closer together especially while walking around getting ready to go. By the time we left they were every 2-3 minutes apart.

5:15am(ish) - We arrived at the hospital and got checked in at labor and delivery. (On the way to the hospital the contractions had slowed down and spaced back out to every 6-7 minutes again.) The nurse said I was about 4.5cm dilated. My contractions were spacing out even more; like not even worth timing anymore.

6:15am(ish) - The nurse started me on Pitocin to strengthen and regulate my contractions. They started coming pretty regular not long after. The doctor came to check me and said it seemed I had had a partial break of the amniotic sac so he finished breaking the waters and wanted to keep me on the Pitocin too. The contractions really became frequent and intense after the complete water breaking and in combination with the Pitocin.
10:00am - I told the nurse I was starting to have pushy kind of pressure with the contractions so she checked me and said I was 7.5cm dilated. The contractions were super strong and about every 2 minutes.
11:00am(ish) - I got an epidural but by the time the contraction pain subsided I had a much lower vaginal pain and pressure. The new feeling was much different from the contraction pain and I had to work through and breathe through the contractions even more than I had before I got the epidural. My nurse checked me again and I was 9+cm, like fully dilated on one side but with a rim left on the other side. She hurried to get the doctor in there and Richard ran out to tell everyone waiting that we were about to be pushing.

11:30am - Raina Renee Ezell was born after 2 (relieving!) pushes. She cried immediately, was very pink, and had a bit of almost strawberry blond hair. 20.5 inches long, 8 lbs 13 oz. The nurse gave Raina back to me after a quick check to make sure that all was well and she nursed right away, latching on easy (yes!).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby Time!

Long story short (with more details to come later)...

Richard flew in from Iraq for R&R on Sunday afternoon. Ava and I picked him up from the airport after church around 1:30pm. We enjoyed a great afternoon and evening together as a family of 3 before becoming a family of 4 Monday morning. Praise the Lord for His perfect timing!!!

Raina Renee Ezell was born safe and healthy Monday, 3-7-11, at 11:30am measuring 20.5in and weighing 8lbs 13oz.

Friday, March 4, 2011

38 Week Pic & Update

I have been feeling a little crampy, am starting to notice the Braxton Hicks contractions more again, and my back has been hurting the last couple days. But... so far I am still pregnant! I went to the chiropractor today and have been doing ice and heat, which should help with the back issue. I have found that activity -as in doing anything- leads to more contracting but that there's not much going on when I'm literally just lying down resting. So I am putting myself pretty much on bed rest until Richard gets here. Good thing it's the weekend and Mom and Kev are around to help with Lil A! And speaking of Richard, he is on his way here! It will probably still be a couple/few days before he gets here but the traveling process has started. Woohoo! Dear Lord, please grant him safe and quick travels and Baby Girl a few more days stay in my belly!

Ava's Speech Update

Since my last post, Ava's stuttering got dramatically worse. At one point Monday night she came to me almost crying unable to say something. She put her forehead to mine and her hand on my cheek and tried to whisper what she was trying to say and it still wouldn't come out. She was so sweet and her getting upset totally broke my heart so we ended up both crying together for a few minutes. After that she didn't want to even try to give me one word answers to questions. (This is the girl who normally has whole conversations with herself and others.) The next morning (Tuesday) she seemed a little better but got really stuck again that afternoon. Mom came home from work and I was crying and had just put Ava down for a nap. I told her what was going on and she suggested we go ahead and take her to the pediatrician for my own peace of mind and so I would have the referral to take the next step if we needed/wanted to do so while Richard is here on R&R. So we took her in right then and the doctor told us all the same stuff I had already read. She said they really don't worry about stuttering until kids are school age and that they can go through phases where they are just on information overload and have a hard time getting their words out. That explanation makes sense to me and doesn't at the same time. Like why would Ava all of a sudden have a hard time saying "Thank you" when she's been saying that for literally like a year now? This is the girl who had like 50+ words at 18 months! Anyway, the doctor also said (to my relief) that if Ava had some kind of neurological issue she would have other things going on too, like physical and other delays, which she definitely does not. So I have the referral for a speech therapist if we decide we need to go that route. However...

Literally the day after going to the doctor (Wednesday), Ava woke up talking SO much better; like back to the level of the first day I noticed a little weirdness but hadn't really thought anything of it. She has been a little bit up and down yesterday and today but overall is miraculously better. (No crying or getting totally stuck.) Her spirits are back to normal too. She isn't anxious about attempting to say things and is chattering up a storm like her usual little self.

All I can really say is Praise the Lord! I don't think I have prayed so long/hard/fervently about anything ever. (The mother bear instinct thing is for real! It is SO hard to see your child distressed or struggling and still so tender and vulnerable.) The last week and a half in general has been probably the hardest most stressful time of my life. I literally have NO control of anything that is happening (Richard's arrival time, Baby Girl's arrival time, Ava's speech, etc) so I have had no choice but to cling to Jesus. It has been very good for me spiritually but taxing emotionally and physically.