Monday, November 7, 2011

Has it really been 6 months already??

Six months ago was probably the happiest day I have ever had. At 6:58 PM Avery Josephine joined the world. (I would love to say that the day Bailey was born was also one of my happiest days, and it was to a certain extent. Obviously I was overjoyed at her birth and relieved she was healthy, but an unplanned c-section and a 20 hour period of fog from the morphine PCA made for a less than ideal first day of motherhood.) With Avery's birth I felt like I was more present. 17 hours of labor got me very prepared and it felt extremely real as I pushed her into the world. The feeling of absolute happiness [and relief!] is something I cannot adequately put into words.

A few days later we experienced another extreme emotion: fear. Five days after Avery's birth she was admitted to the NICU after her follow-up visit to the pediatrician. She had extremely high jaundice, so high of a level that the nurses in the NICU that day said it was highest they had ever seen. Two days later the neonatologist told me that she would be ordering an MRI to find out whether Avery had any brain damage from the high bilirubin level. No parent ever wants to hear those words: brain damage. I have never been so scared in all my life. I have also never prayed harder in all my life. I do know that God answered those prayers - eventually we got the news that there were no changes in her brain. But we weren't out of the woods yet: she had developed a blood infection (MRSA) from a line they had placed through her umbilical cord. Avery was one sick little baby. She was on IV antibiotics for three long weeks. During those weeks we had a lot of mama and baby bonding time. Avery mastered breastfeeding and I watched way too much daytime tv. It felt so good to walk out of those doors and head home with a healthy baby.

She has changed so much in these short six months. She is almost blonde now after losing most of the black hair she was born with. She has multiple rolls down both legs, and some on her chubby arms. {Bailey was such a skinny baby; we celebrated when she finally got her first fat roll.}
The official stats:
                                    At birth:                                         6 months old:
                                  7 lbs.  12 oz.                                      16 lbs.  7 oz.
                                   20 inches                                          25 1/2 inches

These last 6 months have been anything but easy, with the challenges of a typical newborn and the stress of spending almost a month in the hospital...{and then throw in some older sibling jealousy...}. But I am glad we are where we are today. We have a healthy 6 month-old mama's girl that loves to suck her thumb and roll around all over the floor. And we love her more than words.

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