One year ago today my life changed forever. And I remember it just like it was yesterday.
It was just a normal day, except that I was 39 weeks pregnant with a beautiful baby girl. We had a normal, relaxed morning. We went to church and then headed to Aunt Rea's house to celebrate her birthday.
Her granddaughter BeBe was there and I remember how infatuated she was with my big belly. She was in awe that there was actually a baby inside there. She would lift up my shirt and look underneath and all she saw was the tank top I was wearing under my maroon sweater. And then she would ask if she could lift up the next shirt to see the baby and I just kept telling her, "We have a couple more days and then we can see the baby!"
It's funny looking back, because she kept saying over and over and over, "Can we see the baby today?" And I kept telling her that as much as I wished we could, we wouldn't get to see the baby quite yet.
Little did I know, that beautiful little girl would be making her debut very soon.
On our way home we went out to an early dinner and I had a feast! And I just remember telling Frank that my back was a bit sore that day and I was just uncomfortable. I had experienced Braxton Hicks for a couple of months now and was feeling them off and on that day too....or what I thought was them.
That evening, I went into cleaning mode -- Like full on, scrubbing the counters, vacuuming and mopping cleaning mode...at 10pm. And if you know me, you know that I am typically fast asleep by like 8:30pm. So this was definitely not the norm for me. I kept feeling little contractions but timed them and none were at even increments -- 20 minutes apart and only 5 seconds long, then 10 minutes, then 30 minutes. Nothing was normal so around 1:00am I finally decided shower and then to hop into bed. At around 2:30am I jumped right out of bed with the most excruciating pain....yep, that's what a contraction feels like.
That was the real deal and I knew it.
As I jumped out of bed, I squatted down to brace myself and it happened. My water broke on that very first contraction.
And here that is when the real fun began...
All I remember was thinking, "Hmmmm what do I want to wear?" I was naked, wandering back and forth in my closet, trying to determine what outfit I would put on. And I just couldn't decide. I had been wearing leggings and sweater for 9 months now so I am not sure why that night needed to be any different but in my mind, I just couldn't decide.
Meanwhile, Frank is frantically running around the house like a chicken with his head cut off getting everything ready to leave -- feeding Baxter, locking the doors, turning off the lights, getting our bags into the car, setting the alarms...all while I am dazed and confused wondering what to wear.
Looking back, it was like we were straight out of a movie. I wish we had video taped ourselves that night because it would have been pretty hilarious to watch.
When I finally put on some clothes, we headed out the door and straight for the hospital. We only had a 6 minute drive (thank goodness!) and the drive was a bit of a blur but I do remember experiencing a couple of contractions on our way.
Since it was the middle of the night and the main hospital doors were closed, we headed through the emergency room and had a security guard escort us up to labor and delivery. Every couple of minutes, I would have to stop, curl up into a little ball in the squatting position and wait for a contraction to pass, and then we would continue on up to labor and delivery.
We got checked it, I got into my gown and they got me all "hooked up."
The most painful part of the whole experience? The needle in my hand. I HATE needles and that was one thing that was more painful that I had imaged. I know, so silly.
About an hour after we got there, I got my epidural and it was smooth sailing from there. I know, I totally lucked out with this delivery. We called our family and let them know that they should all head over, we giggled, we told stories, we laughed and patiently waited until it was time. Around 7:30am, they came in to check me and I was 10cm dilated. Perfect.
It was GO TIME.
My doctor was stuck in traffic so just one nurse started the pushing with me. I pushed, we cracked jokes between pushes and then once Ava was right there ready for one last push, we had to pause to wait for my doctor to get there. She arrived about 10 minutes later, I pushed once more time and Ava made her debut.
Our beautiful baby girl, Miss Ava Sue Hallak, arrived on March 14, 2016 at 8:17am weighing 7lbs 8oz.
The moment they placed her on my chest was completely surreal. Like I can't even describe that feeling -- I felt like it was all one big, cloudy dream. She was beautiful, she was perfect, and she was the most amazing gift I had ever received.
She was ours. She was meant to be ours.
This past year has been the most incredible journey of our lives. I loved that little girl the moment she was handed to me and in that moment, I couldn't imagine loving her even more. But boy, my love has grown each and every day and I am sure it will continue to grow as the years pass on. The love I have for this little princess is indescribable and we are beyond blessed that God chose her for us. She's beautiful, she's perfect, and she is ours. She was meant to be ours and she will always be our little baby girl.
Happy 1st Birthday Ava Sue! We love you so much and hope all of your birthday wishes come true!