Mommyhood, Part One :)

****Before I forget, here is the link to her official hospital photos.  Check them out, they are pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!!*****
Can you take it??
This little sweetheart slays me in these pictures :) 
I think I've got just a few minutes of quiet before Ava wakes up again and wants to eat.  It's hard for me to believe that we're already on day 4, where has time gone??  I swear I just sat in this very chair, blogging about STILL being pregnant and wondering when she was going to make an appearance, and now here we are.  So much has changed in the last 4 days, nothing feels the same, just much, much better! 

Ava is doing great!  She is a good little eater, in fact I think it's her favorite activity :) We had a sad day yesterday, saying goodbye to Grandpa, Aunt Jennie, Aunt Stacie, and Uncle Jesse.  It was such a sweet weekend to have them all here, for her birth and for some time with her at home.  I am so grateful to the Lord for answering our prayers about that and allowing "the plan" to go off so smoothly.  I plan to sit and re-visit her birth story soon, mainly so I can have a record of it to print out later for her scrapbook.  In short, it was a very smooth day, and actually even easier than I expected.  I know, can you believe I said that?  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat :) 

She's so little that her softie is as big as she is!  Someday this will look like a washcloth in her big girl bed...but not for awhile :) 
Someone is looking for a meal and settling for her fingers in the meantime :) 

The home nurse visited us today and thought Ava was doing very well.  She is such a content little honey for the most part, we have our moments, but overall I think she is going to be mellow like her Daddy...thank you Lord!  She's got some of me in her too though, the girl knows how to speak her mind when she's not happy...I'm not sure how thankful I am about giving her that trait already:)  Our first night at home was very pleasant and even a little restful.  Last night however, not so much.  We had a fussy little girl who would not calm down, but my milk came in late yesterday and I think that threw her (and me for that matter).  Today has been heavenly again.  She's slept so well in between feedings and a few minutes ago, I was even able to sneak off and make a run to Target!!!  What a blessing to get some fresh air and pick up some things we needed.  It was the fastest trip I've ever made to Target though, I could not stand the thought of her screaming at home.  But, turns out, she was a sweetie for her Daddy and she slept peacefully the whole time.  It was great for all of us :) 

My Mom is leaving this afternoon and Travis is headed out to soccer practice with his team.  I'm kind of looking forward to some alone time with just Ava and I, although it's been WONDERFUL to have my Mom here to help.  She has been working her tail off to keep me caught up with laundry, to cook for us, to clean and to get lots of snuggles in with Ava.  Many times it's taken all three of us to tend to this little girl and to figure the latest problem out.  Who knew a little 6 lb, 10 oz person could demand so much attention??  Tomorrow we go to the doctor for her first appointment, so I'm looking forward to that.  It will be crazy to get in the car and head out as a little family somewhere, wonder how long it will take us to get ready?  Being home has been totally relaxing.  It's been nice and quiet and so good for us to have some down time, adjusting to life as parents.  Ryley is hanging in there, totally intrigued by Ava, especially when she makes noises.  He wants to sniff her when we're holding her or when she's in the swing, but other than that he's just ignoring her.  We can tell he's a little sad though and needs some attention too.  We're trying to remind him that we love him too :) 

I have LOVED reading all your comments and emails.  Thank you for all your "Ava love."  She is such a little gift to us, but she has no idea, yet, how blessed and dearly wanted she is by her parents and so many others who have loved her before they ever knew her. We have appreciated how so many of you have followed our wait for her and prayed along with us.  We are eternally grateful for you and we can't wait to tell Ava someday about all the precious people who prayed her into this world :)  Travis and I just marvel at her story already.  When I think back to this time last year, we were in such a different place.  At peace with our decision to proceed with infertility testing and trying to trust the Lord as we walked very unfamiliar ground.  To think that we never had to go further than an initial consultation and that all along the Lord was planning Ava's debut into our lives, what a living, breathing reminder of God's faithfulness she is to us now.  His plan is always best, no matter how uncertain it is.  There were so many days over the course of these last 3, almost 4 years, that I thought my heart would break into a million pieces.  I have experienced every emotion under the sun as we tried for a baby and I've had many good days and some bad ones too.  Travis and I have grown much, much closer through this journey into parenthood, but largely because it's been a bumpy road to get here.  And although it seems like it would have been easier to have walked around that road, I look at the face of my daughter now and I know we would not have her without the twists and turns we took to get here.  Who I am, who we are, and who she is can only be explained by the grace of God and the plans He had for us all along.  And because I already can't imagine life without Ava, I have great reason to keep trusting Him with every detail of what's to come.  

Mommyhood is amazing, something I have loved and longed to be a part of for years.  I never knew my heart could love so deeply, so quickly.  It's also the most challenging thing ever. I've already had several moments of extreme guilt, like when we sent her to the nursery in the hospital at night :) My head said "yes, get some sleep while you can" but my heart said, "no, how could you leave her with strangers??"  It begins already....

Look at that little peanut in her big crib!  We've got plenty of room to grow in there.
Our favorite past time, besides eating, is sucking on a pacifier :) 
Look at how auburn and red her hair looks in that green outfit! 
One of her favorite spots to nap...And the reason I can sit and blog :) 
And this is the face that Travis and I cannot get over.  What a little angel :)  

Hope these pictures meet the Grandparent needs out there!!  We are eating her up and loving every minute.  Tonight is our first night alone, just our little family. 
 These days are so precious, the memories already so sweet.  I'm totally behind in my thank you notes, my email inbox is out of control and I haven't looked at the mail for days...But does it really matter??  I've got someone who needs me and she's  got two parents who need her just as much.  If you've called, emailed, or sent us something-THANK YOU!!  It might take me awhile to get back to you, but know that we appreciated it and you have not gone unnoticed.  
We're just a little pre-occupied these days and we can't help it!! 


Jordan said...

Keep the pictures coming! She is soooo precious!! =]

AmandaHoyt said...

Stephanie, Ava is the most precious girl! Thanks for all the pics and especially for showing off the cupcake blankey :) Looks so sweet on her.
Hugs and prayers,

Anonymous said...

LOVE the new pictures and miss her so much already!! Today in the grocery store I thought I smelled her :( Love you baby girl! Aunt Stacie

Dave and Jen said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! i could just squeeze her laying there in her HUGE crib!!!! I laughed when I read stacie's comment, because I smelled her all the way home last night. And I swear I smelled her at work this morning. Give her a million kisses for me.

Heather said...

Steph- love it, love it, LOVE this post!! Ava is SO SWEET and I just love reading your thoughts, esp. about your journey to mommyhood. I, of course, have been thinking so much about Avery Kate coming and about how we "got here" with the infertility, etc. You and my other blog friends were such an encouragement to me, and now you continue to be....we will always be "baby buddies" with our sweet girls just weeks apart. Enjoy your amazing blessings.....she is just DARLING!

The Williams' said...

Your little Ava is so precious! It seems like only yesterday Gage was 4 days old, and now he is almost 8 weeks old! time flies! Enjoy every moment!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about your journey to parenthood. I enjoyed reading how God blessed your family. Ava is SO adorable, and I can definitely see why it'd be hard to get things done. (You just want to stare at her all day!) She's beautiful & congrats again!

:) said...

Your daughter is so beautiful and you are amazing. And you sure have a way with words...the way you write is just so awesome. I've been a blog follower of yours for a while now, and think your new little family of 3 (oops I mean 4, sorry doggie!) is wonderful :) Little Ava is just precious.

Rebecca Jo said...

I bet it does feel surreal to have her at home with you... & getting new routines & just starting your life with your daughter!

She is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I cant get over all the hair!

And look how tiny she is in her bed!!! Oh my - it'll be interesting to see how long before she fills it out!

Good for you for making your "mad dash" to Target! You do need a breather every now & then. So glad you have an amazing husband & family!!! Sending you all BIG HUGS!!!

Toni :O) said...

Goodness...she is SO gorgeous! Enjoy this special time and don't worry about ANYTHING else...the time flies quickly...I have a 10 year old boy and a five year old girl...time just evaporates so savor every moment!

Stafford Moments said...

God is good, I am glad to see you received your blessing. Ava is a beautiful baby!

Jennifer said...

Just adorable!

Blessings to you all,

all up in each others bizness said...


DiJo said...

You know I love hair accessories on little girls!!!! So, you got my attention with that PRECIOUS headband on Ava!!!! She is sooooooooo adorable!!!! Glad to know you are home and adjusting to being Mommy to that very special angel... Blessings to you!

~Diana Rouse

Kendra said...

What a precious little miracle, and what a beautiful we enter year 3 of our wait, I find myself very encouraged tonight looking at your pictures and reading your words!!! God is good!!!!