4 + 1 = Extra Happiness

It’s been a little over two months now since Ava’s arrival turned our family of four into a family of five. We all are totally in love with our fifth family member.

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Obviously, Ava is just thrilled about being a part of our family too!

We had to wait a bit longer for her to join us – she was almost two weeks late. I have heard, and it has been proven true for me, that every labor and delivery is different. With Norah I was a week late and induced – it was a 23 hour saga of pain and sadness. After that, I said I was never going to be induced again. Garrett made that promise easy to keep by coming two days before his due date. His was an “easy” birth. Well, it wasn’t easy, no labor is, but comparatively it was the day to the night I experienced with Norah’s birth. This time with Ava, I really had no choice but to be induced, and I was all nerves. It was either cry or laugh. I chose the latter. That poor nurse who was taking all of the preliminary info and starting my IV. Oh.my.goodness. I laughed about everything. Everything. It didn’t help that while Mr. H and I were waiting, I caught sight of a hospital brochure with the catchy slogan, “Delivering more than you may be expecting.” Just think about that. I certainly did. My mind kept playing out possibilities. Such as, I’m not expecting twins…could they deliver that? Maybe a kitten? Possibly a pizza? Not my most dignified hour.

Thankfully the labor went faster this time – only 10 hours. But I tried something new this time – after epidurals with the previous two labors, I decided to go “natural”. Never again. Absolutely never. What was I thinking?!?!? If I get a headache, I take pain medication! Why did I pick labor to go drug-free?!?!? I know the concept is great – let me tell you, I did a lot of reading – but the reality is terrible. Ouch. Ouch. And Ouch. But thankfully, I made it through, like countless women before me. It was a couple of hours later though when things got a little scary. Postpartum hemorrhaging. I’ll spare you the details, but after being descended on by nurses and doctors when the problem was discovered, I was hurried into surgery to get the bleeding stopped. Thankfully, everything turned out okay. More importantly, I was extremely thankful that everything was fine with Ava. It’s moments like those when you become overwhelmed with gratitude because you realize how much worse it could have been. I am so thankful for my baby. That she is healthy – what an added blessing. And she is just beautiful. During the pregnancy we did not find out the gender, but I had a feeling I was going to have another girl. When I first saw her, I thought, Oh my goodness, I just had Norah again!  Ava looked so much like Norah, only a smaller version of her, with a much smaller head. Praise be. And her hair. Heavens to Betsy that hair. That flaming mohawk of glory.

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I never imagined that I would have two little redheads.

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 As for her name – Ava Everly – Mr. H picked her first name, and I got to choose her middle. Everly is for my mom. I wanted to honor the woman who raised me and loves me even though she knows me. Thank you, Mom.

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Norah is pretty pumped about having a sister. When she found out, she said that she had prayed to God that she would have a sister, and God answered her prayer with a yes. She said her dreams came true. No pressure in the sister department, Ava.

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So that first week home from the hospital was a touch rough. My recovery was slower and more difficult. And it didn’t help that both older children threw up in the middle of the night – Garrett threw-up on me, but thankfully Norah kept her’s confined to her bed. Still not sure what the mysterious illness was, but mercifully Mr. H, Ava and I all escaped it.

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Overall, it’s going really well. Mr. H and our families and church family were a huge help in the early weeks. I am so thankful for a husband who is willing to pitch in by doing dishes, changing diapers, making grocery runs, occupying kiddos, and general domestic responsibilities. And cleaning up vomit with me in the middle of the night. He’s the best!

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Even though the kids outnumber the adults in our house now, we haven’t been overwhelmed. At least not yet. Maybe when Ava starts running around. Three kids are a lot of work though. More specifically – newborns are a lot of work. But well worth it – to state the obvious. During the first couple of weeks, I really missed my sleep. That whole sleep deprivation torture method is legit, people! That first week home from the hospital, pretty sure I would have been giving up all sorts of government secrets, had I known any! I’m getting more sleep now though, for which I am, well, actually we all are, really thankful.

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Ava is a wonderfully easy baby. She sucks on her fingers, which I believe greatly contributes to her general contentment. It has been so nice not to have to put a pacifier back in her mouth every 3 seconds like I had to with Norah and Garrett.

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When I first started writing this post a month ago, she had just started a new trick – smiling when we talk really sweetly to her. Norah and Garrett love to get a smile out of her, but they are a hoot to watch because they both talk to her in tiny falsettos.

I am trying to soak in all of Ava’s newborn goodness, all that little baby deliciousness, but it is rapidly slipping away.

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I don’t know how often I’ll be posting – life is pretty busy – as it is for everyone. My main goal in life right now is to keep my family alive, fed, clothed, living in a mostly clean house, and all in our right minds! We did just have a family reunion that I want to post, and who knows, maybe I’ll be popping up more than I think. But at any rate, I will try to keep my Flickr account updated, so if you are interested in seeing pictures of the kids you can check that out. There is a link on the homepage, on the sidebar.

 

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