Avery and Me

Avery and Me

Thursday, October 21, 2010


We left the hospital Sunday October 3 and went home for the first night.  On Monday we had to come back to UAMS for a bilirubin check.  Steve and I got up, took our time getting ready and got Avery all decked out.  We planned on heading to lunch, then stopping by Steve's work to show her off.  That all changed after they drew her blood. 

The resident came out and said her bilirubin level was too high and she had to be admitted to the NICU.  I was in shock.  We just walked in and let them take over.  Avery got her first pacifier, stripped down, goggles on, and into the tanning lights she went.  It was awful not being able to hold her.  The next blow was the realization that we had to stay overnight.  Steve went home to get some supplies for me so I could stay with her and continue breastfeeding. 

The Lord was truly looking out for us.  One of my friends from the ER's mom was the charge nurse and came by to make sure I was ok.  She moved us to a larger room that had a bathroom since I was staying and dealing with all the postpartum mommy "stuff."  It was so nice of her to give us more privacy, a TV, a bathroom (with a shower!) and she just kept taking care of us.  She picked my nurses and came by every day to check on us.  I am so thankful for her kindness.  My mom was a huge help too.  She brought us food and sat with me while Steve was home sleeping.  His family came by one night and brought food and company too.  I was so upset the whole time we were there.  I still don't like to think about our time there.  When the lady from the march of dimes came in I just kept thinking...."I have a healthy term baby, why is she in the NICU...I shouldn't be upset, the baby next door was born too early and is fed through a tube and isn't even 5 lbs yet after almost 3 months..."  I didn't want visitors, I just wanted to hold Avery and to maybe get a few hours of sleep.  In between feeding her every three hours and pumping milk, I wasn't sleeping at all.  I got pretty sleep deprived and very upset.  We had a blow come when they said her bili was better but she had lost too much weight and wasn't peeing enough.  They were blaming it on my breastfeeding.  I felt like such a failure.  I told everyone....give her formula, give her my breastmilk and measure it...whatever it takes, just let me take her home!

They started pre and post feeding weights, and I had to keep her awake and eating, it was awful.  She would eat for an hour and then I would have to keep her awake to take a bottle. 

Overall, it was ok.  I hated it, I won't lie.  We did learn alot about breastfeeding, keeping her healthy, pumping, and started her on a schedule.  I guess that's why God put us there, and the sweet family we met while we were there. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Newborn Pictures!

Steve's sister Leigh Anne is a very talented amateur photographer.  Here is what she came up with for Avery!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Avery Grace Shuler is here!

Hello Lovely Readers!

Avery is here!  She arrived at 6:18 am on October 2, 2010.  She weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was 20 inches long at birth.  Here is her birth story.....

 I had a preeclampsia scare the week before Avery's birth and stayed home from work and school for 5 days.  During that time mom helped me finish the nursery and we washed all Avery's clothes and organized everything, as well as picking up the items we were missing from Target.  On the way to UAMS on that Thursday, my car stalled at a red light and I had to work for 5 minutes or so to restart it.  On Tuesday September 28, my OB said I was fine and "you are just pregnant, you can go back to work."  I was a bit frustrated that I "wasted" a week of my leave sitting down and making my mom help me.  Wednesday I went back to class and did a presentation, feet were swollen but fine.  Thursday I went to work and everyone was shocked to see me there...they actually had not written me into the schedule because they thought I was gone until Avery arrived!  I worked my 12 hour shift and Steve drove me and picked me up due to car issues.

So Friday...Steve worked the 10 pm show so he could help me car shop!  We were planning on buying a used car or a new civic, depending on how good of a deal Steve's friend Jessica could get us...her dad is big at Bale Honda.  I got a 2010 Honda Accord!
While they were processing the loan, Steve and I had brunch at Mimis, then I borrowed his truck to go get my hair done after dropping him off at work.  I then picked him up, picked up my Maxima, and we went to Bale to pick up my new car.  He took this picture then! I went to pick up my friend Felicia and we went and got pedicures, then to buy a car seat base for my new car at Babies R Us, then to get ice cream.

I had been having "braxton hicks" all day, and while we were at TCBY they got pretty bad.  Felicia started commenting about them and I decided to take her home and head home.  I prayed all the way home that my water wouldn't break in my new car!  I got home, laid on the couch, and tried to decide if they were real or not...I got out my iphone and started googling and timing contractions.  By 9 pm they were 5 minutes apart most of the time, but if I got up and walked around I felt ok, so I was unsure if I needed to call Steve at work.  By 10 pm I was pretty sure they were real.  I let Steve know we needed to head to the hospital via text, and that he could finish his show and then come and get me.

He got home at 1045 and was pretty excited!  He thought I might be in false labor, but we packed bags and headed to UAMS.  We arrived, went up to triage, and at 1145 the resident checked me and said "you are going to have a baby tonight, you're dilated to 5 cm and I tried to break your water but I can't...do you want your epidural and us to break your water?"  I said yes!  Steve called mom and dad, who were in Eureka Springs at a Corvette convention.  They were dead asleep and mom had to drive home on all the curvy roads in the dark in their 1970 corvette.  They moved us into a room in labor and delivery and within 30 minutes my brother and his wife arrived, then my aunt Rinda and uncle Billy arrived too!  We told Terry and Mary to get some sleep, it would be awhile.  They came in at 0130 to put in my epidural and catheter (yuck) and had some trouble getting the epidural to numb both sides.  Then the ob resident was supposed to break my water and had to run and deliver a baby.  They didn't break my water for about another hour.  My L and D nurse was amazing, and she started pitocin to speed up my labor after mom and dad got there.  I really wanted to have my baby before Andrea went home, so at 530 I started pushing.  Andrea almost delivered my baby, since the doctors were delivering a NICU baby next door.  One of the residents walked in, got dressed, and in 2 more pushes Avery was here!  Steve was helping hold up my right leg and another nurse was holding up my left leg...Andrea helped with counting and telling me to push while guiding Avery down!  (Side note...it didn't hurt very bad AT ALL.  I highly recommend epidurals!)

As soon as she was here they put her on my chest and started cleaning her up, then took her to the isolette to do all the shots and APGAR and warming and getting her cleaned up.  The OB attending came in and looked at her and the pediatric team was there just in case.  I was so amazed at the whole situation...Steve was in awe of her and I barely felt delivering the placenta or the stitches because I was so emotional.  I cried happy tears!  6:18 am....I had barely been in the hospital for 6 hours!  I was so amazed at how EASY I felt everything was.  (It may have been the drugs!)  They had me try to breastfeed from 0705 until 0720...then at 0730 everyone got to come in and meet her!
Pre delivery!  Ice and epidurals!
My amazing nurse!
With our sweet girl!
Her daddy kisses her all the time!
The second time I held her...the first time the nurses were cleaning her and warming her up!
Welcome baby!

More to come on our NICU stay, and how we've done at home!  Thanks for all the support!