Friday, April 17, 2009

Meet Avery Sandra Van Dop

All I can say is OMG. We were definitely not expecting this! OK, OK, we knew that a baby was coming eventually - maybe around the end of the month. But Avery Sandra Van Dop decided to grace us with her presence three weeks early. She was born on Sunday, April 12th, 2009 at 10:43pm in St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, weighing in at 3205 grams and measuring 50 cm. The funniest moment was when we were admitted into the hospital and met up with our mid-wife for the first time - Brian asked her, "Are we really doing this today?!". Hahaha...and I have a feeling this will be the first of many surprises that this little girl gives us!

The painful details (literally!)?! I was in labour approximately 22 hours before the obstetrician decided that Avery's heart rate was too high and she needed to come out right away. In a way, this was better than the 40 hours I laboured with Josh before I ended up with a C-section. But, for some reason, it seemed MUCH more painful this time around! I was stuck at 4cm dilated for most of the labour (about 19 hours) and then after I surrendered to the epidural, I dilated to 7cm in an hour! The drug doctor is a labouring woman's best friend, I tell ya! That was around the point where it was decided that Avery needed to come out ASAP. As an aside, when the obstetrician did a final exam on the OR table, I was 9 cm dilated. I was almost able to push this baby out!

We're so relieved that the obstetrician made the call when she did because when Avery came out, they said her "tone" wasn't normal. She was floppy and it took them about 8 minutes to get her to a normal tone. I also remember that she was pretty quiet - her little "wah" noises were not the usual newborn wailings. In the 8 minutes that she was on the warming bed, she developed a fever, so the paediatrician decided that she should go to the NICU for observation and possible tests.

Brian stayed with her while the doctors finished working on me before taking me to recovery. When I came out of recovery, they took me to Brian and Avery in the NICU. They said they thought she might have had an infection, but the blood test looked normal and her temperature was coming down, so they decided she didn't need any anti-biotics. By the time they got me into my room and settled in, she was brought to us to stay. We were VERY relieved and VERY exhausted!

I STILL can't stop staring at our beautiful little girl. Partly because I know this is the last time we will go through this and partly because she is JUST SO CUTE! Just like Josh, we are having feeding issues and she has developed jaundice, but we are still taking it one day at a time and doing the best we can.

Josh is taking things quite well right now. I think it was harder for me to adjust to sharing my love for my 2 children! This C-section hit me hardest the first time I saw Josh and he wanted me to lift him up. I realized I won't be able to lift him up for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I'm trying to get down to "his level" but that is also hard 5 days after major surgery.

So, despite all this, Josh is reacting amazing! I think alot of it has to do with our guardian angel - Josh's Nana. Brian's mom has been our saviour through all this! I'm not sure what we would have done without her! We had originally asked her to help us if this baby came early (before my parents arrive on April 21st!), but then Brian's dad got sick (which is a COMPLETELY different story!) and we scrambled to find a back-up plan.

Well, Brian's mom reassured us that she would still be able to help us and she has done MORE than just help us! She has not only taken care of Josh when we needed it, but she is also taking care of us. It's amazing to see her in action and I am SO grateful and SO completely indebted. Thanks so much, Mom. We love you!

Thanks, too, to everyone for the food, gifts, emails, phone calls and visits. It really shows us how much we are loved by our family and friends. We can't wait for all of you to meet Avery! In the meantime, here are some photos of Avery's first few hours and days...
Avery Sandra Van Dop

Avery with Mommy and Daddy

Daddy's little girl

EVERYONE is exhausted (check out the background!)

The Van Dop Family

Nana meets Avery for the first time

Mom gets to hold her 2 kids

Who's the patient - Joshie or Mommy?!

Beautiful baby girl - home at last!

Nikita and Avery meet

Joshie gets a good look at his baby sister