We knew Ava was coming the morning after I moved to Indy. It was a giant sign that our lives were changing and validation that we are on track. Aaron moved down here the week before because his job started sooner and I had a little more time to finish my job up in Chicago. I did the typical freak out that women do when they get the positive pregnancy test. I bought another box! Sure enough, our little Ava was destined to arrive when she did. We moved to Indy to "simplify" our lives and get ready to start a family because Chicago would have been outrageously expensive for raising a family. And now, our "plan" is in motion. Our daughter is 3-weeks old today and we're enjoying our new home. There's enough land and room in the house to live here for decades and watch her go from preschool to college if we want to stay in this neighborhood. Ava's arrival was so much better than we could have imagined.
Outgrowing already! We noticed this week that Ava has grown longer. We can't use the newborn size swaddle sack for night time anymore. Good thing we have the next size up. She's finally out of the "new baby" size diapers and into the 8lb+ sizes that we had stocked before she came home from the hospital. And she officially regained all of her birth weight by Tues of this past week (see my post for the back story on losing her birth weight).
Awake time and our new routine: Ava is becoming more active in her awake times. She likes to kick out her legs and stretch out her arms and she moves around like crazy in her bouncy seat. We've seen her grab at the toys in the mobile, but we're not sure if she really means to do that or if it's by chance. Either way, she's developing her motor skills. The awake time during the day is helping at night get into our routine. I mentioned last week that I'm trying to go to sleep around 9:30pm and Aaron will stay up with her for a couple hours so I can get some sleep. I noticed this week that we're doing regular feedings around 9pm, 11:30pm, 3am, and then 6:30am. I get to sleep in those times between because she has been going back to sleep. I'm hoping it will continue!
Breastfeeding is getting easier - thankfully! I went to a breastfeeding support group on Tues morning at a hospital by our house. It was jammed packed with other moms with young babies and I realized that I'm not alone! I loved the meeting because it's completely FREE, only 5 minutes from my house, and you have access to lactation consultants and other moms for tips and tricks. When you arrive, you weigh your baby and then at the end of the feeding so you can gauge how much they are eating. Her initial check-in weight confirmed that she weighed 8lb and 2.9 oz, which means she more than regained her birth weight! What a relief!
Breastfeeding is completely natural, but that doesn't mean it comes to the mom and baby so easily. It takes practice. At 21 days old, an average of 10 feedings per day, we've done this dance together about 210 times. Each time is different, but overall the feeding is getting easier. I've heard something "magical" happens at around 4-6 weeks when it really becomes easy. I have been reading a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding since I was pregnant, but this week I learned that baby formula has on average 29 nutrients present and breast milk has over 200 nutrients present! Wow! We're not giving up and I'm not robbing her of any of that comfort, nutrition, or mommy time. I'm committed to breastfeeding Ava until she's a year old.
More family photos...The pictures in this post are a sampling of the photos we took with Ava when she was 10-days old in our house. Our friend, Shawn, came over again on Wednesday night and took more family photos in our yard. I will share them on the blog next week, I hope! Shawn is so talented. He's the photographer that took our maternity photos and he's for hire in Indy! :)
Ava's first Trader Joe's visit. On Thursday morning, I took Ava to Trader Joe's for the first time. I decided that I needed to try taking her on my own somewhere and flex my muscles doing baby-on-the-go. I put her carseat in the shopping cart and she was awake in the store and didn't fuss much because she liked to look at everything. At the register, the cashier offered to get us some help out to the car. An employee came out to the car with me and when we got there, I couldn't find the car key. Then he asks me if it's the car key that is SITTING OUT ON THE TRUNK! In all my efforts to get Ava settled safely in the shopping cart, I left the car key sitting out on top of the car the ENTIRE time that I was in the store! I felt like a complete IDIOT and just said it was due to lack of sleep. The truth is your brain is so focused on the baby that it's hard to think of anything else! I thanked my angels for keeping us and the car safe! I don't know what I would have done if someone took the car!
Grandma and Grandpa Berkey visiting this weekend. Aaron's parents are coming to visit us this Saturday and will stay through Monday morning to spend quality time with Ava. And it will be Ava's first Easter. I'm excited for next year when we can take her on an Easter Egg Hunt! I had so many fond memories of Egg Hunts when I was a kid. My grandparents hid plastic Easter Eggs in their backyard and they either had candy or quarters in them! I loved it!
Now, I'm off to feed Ava and take her for a morning walk in her super awesome stroller. She looks really cozy in it. Have a great Easter weekend!!