Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avalee Waulker has arrived!

Friends and Family,

After much anticipation, we are proud to announce, "IT'S A GIRL!"

Avalee Waulker decided to make her way into the world on Thursday, May 26 at 6:16 p.m.  She weighed in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 20.25 in. long with a 35 cm. head.  "Avalee" is pronouced just like it reads, "Ava" + "Lee."

My water broke on Thursday morning at 5:15 a.m.  We made it to Savannah to The Midwife Group & Birth Center around 7:45, saw the midwife on-call, checked into a hotel upon her recommendation, and waited for contractions to start.  They did around 9:30 and quickly started to pick up in intensity and speed.  By 11 or so, we were back at the Birth Center, and I was 3-4 cm. dilated.  We labored in an exam room for almost 2 hours while they cleaned up the two birthing rooms from the other two babies they'd already delivered that morning.  My Mom and sister-in-law/doula extraordinaire Emily arrived within 20 minutes of each other around lunch time.  I was blessed with a very gentle, though intense labour.  I definitely could not have done it without my excellent support team (Travis, Mom, and Emily) to help with my relaxation cues, keep Gatorade in my system, and let me death glare them during surges :-).  Though it wasn't in the original plan, I did end up pushing for about 1 hr. 45 min., but it got us little Avalee in the end.

The first name "Ava" had always been the top of our girls name list, but we were a little disappointed with its recent resurgence in popularity.  As a kind of compromise to get what we wanted, but not have a "common" name, we decided to combine the planned first and middle names "Ava" and "Lee" (my and my grandmother's middle name) to get "Avalee."  As for "Waulker," that's an old family name on my side, as well as my Mom and sister's middle name.  Plus now her name has the added bonus of being the same initials (A.W.T) as Travis's Dad!  We're going to definitely say that was intentional, rather than a happy coincidence :-) but we were pretty psyched about it once it was pointed out to us!

I will write up a more complete birth story over the weekend--I just haven't had time yet, and we were so eager to share our news with all of you!

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from Avalee's first few days. Enjoy!

Just a few hours old!

YAWWWWWWWWN! 16 hours old!

Yawning is exhausting!

3 days old!

4 days old!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mini-Babymoon to Tybee Island

Well, it's a miracle we're still married.

Just kidding.

But in all seriousness, after the stress of pulling off my first solo recital (Vidalia Ballet had an incredibly successful end-of-year performance on May 7), Travis and I seriously needed a get away. A personal day. A mental health break.  And luckily, now that my studio is closed for the summer and I'm only working on Mondays at Statesboro School of Dance, we were able to take off on a whim!

So Tuesday, May 10, we pulled the beach chairs and towels out of the attic, packed a cooler with adult libations for Travis and Powerade for me and Baby T, and headed to Tybee Island.

We arrived around 10 a.m. and claimed our little spot.  It. was. the. most. perfect. beach. day. ever. !.

The water was chilly as you waded in, but once submerged it becamse quite comfortable.  In fact, I spent the majority of my time in the water--the feeling of weightlessness and the rock and flow of the ocean took all the pressure of my ever-growing belly off!  It felt amazing!  We had a delicious lunch (kicking myself for not getting pictures of that!) at Bernie's--Trav slurped down a dozen raw oysters on the half-shell (I *cringed*!); I wolfed down a half-pound of peel and eat shrimp; and we shared a truly yummy order of cheese fries!  After that we hit the beach for a couple more hours before heading home.  It was amazing the leave Statesboro and our currently-in-process-of-massively-changing lives for a day, and it made me realize that there is an upside to living in Statesboro, besides it being cheap--you're only a little over an hour from the beach!

The view from our little spot on the beach!

Tybee Island, GA
May 10, 2011

The pier at Tybee Island, GA

37 weeks 3 days
18 days until Baby T's Due Date!
19 lbs later and somehow, miraculously "fitting" into my pre-pregnancy bikini :-)

Trav taking the first, very chilly dip of the day.

The water was kinda cold until you got fully submerged!

Ah, the good life...on the beach, nobody cares if you have a beer at 11 a.m.

Chillaxin' and gettin' Baby T some in utero Vitamin D!

Posing for the last pics of the day...
37 weeks 3 days

A little less flattering, but we had to have a side shot to see the Baby T bump.
37 weeks 3 days

The last shots before heading home...

"Hurry up and take it...I hate posing."

Alright, Baby T, we're in no hurry to evict you--yet! 18 days until you're due date!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Found an awesome blog...

So, lately I have begun to get a little nervous.

No, it's not what you think--giving birth does not scare me.  I am actually looking forward to the birthing process.  I'll have excellent support, and I truly feel that I've done everything one can do to prepare for a hithertofore unimaginable, unencountered, incomprehensible and unique situation.

I'm more nervous about whether or not I'll be a good parent.  After spending many, many years babysitting my brother A.P. and sister Sey Sey, and then getting to do the mom-thing, however briefly, of getting up during the night, etc. with Kai when he first entered our family and both of my parent were working full-time, I feel more realistically prepared than many first-timers are.  But I've also had people telling my my entire life what a good Mom I'd be one day.

That's a lot of pressure.

And speaking of pressure, Baby T seems to be doing well and right on schedule.  I'll be 37 weeks on Saturday, and therefore eligible to have my birth at The Birth Center!  Baby T is head-down and pretty low--I've had several people comment on my descending tummy LOL and the spot where Baby T used to be lodged in my ribs is pretty soft now.  I just need to survive my Vidalia Ballet recital on Saturday, and then Baby T is free to do whatever he or she wants :-)

Anyway, I stumbled across the most awesome website/blog/Tumblr-thingy today and thought I'd share. 

"Message With A Bottle" is a Tumblr kept by a stay at home dad and freelance writer who uses Post-It Notes to inject humor and sanity into his toddler-driven life.  He posts a picture each day of one of his Post-Its, and the link below is to a collection of his 50 most popular notes. Here's a sample, but please click the link and enjoy!