Looking Back to Avery’s First Day

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We’ve only just begun riding the choppy waves of parenthood, and can already feel the frustration getting to us some days. Right now, it’s centered mostly around sleep…..or the lack thereof.

Something that helps me look past the difficult times when Avery is being fussy, is thinking back to the day she was born. The journey to just getting pregnant was very long and emotional, and I’m so happy we are parents to a healthy, beautiful baby now.

So, when Avery has the floodgates wide open with the windpipes blaring and doesn’t show signs of stopping, it helps to ease frustration by thinking back to the day we first met. Kelley started going into labor at the Baylor Regional Medical Center of Grapevine the morning of November 15, 2013. We just spent our first night there and were ready to see our dear Avery!

Kelley was in a major pain and I kept on trying to make jokes throughout the day that were only met with evil glares. After what seemed like ages with Kelley not progressing, she finally made a huge jump basically skipping any of the stages in between. By early afternoon, she was ready to deliver our baby!

Kelley, not happy with anything I did. This didn't help.
Kelley, not happy with anything I did. This didn’t help.

We all know labor and its lack of joyful, fun moments, so I’ll spare the details. Once Kelly started pushing, it wasn’t long until our little Avery was born and in her arms.

Thumbs up for a job well done by my wonderful wife!
Thumbs up for a job well done by my wonderful wife!

The feeling that overcame my whole body is one I can’t describe, but it felt wonderful, like nothing I’ve felt before (besides when I first saw Kelley walking down the aisle). I was a dad!

I remember being very adamant that both Kelley and I not have any visitors until we had our skin to skin with Avery. We had learned so much on the benefits of skin to skin and wanted to make sure we started things off right. We did, and it was another wonderful experience to add to the already awesome day.

Skin to skin with dad!
Skin to skin with dad!

Avery was born at 4:13 p.m. that Friday afternoon, 12 days earlier than her due date of November 27th. Although she was early, she was still perfectly healthy and weighed 7lbs 9.3ozs.

Kelley did have some blood pressure issues so we had to stay a couple of extra days at the hospital, but all turned out well and we were able to bring our daughter home on a nice, sunny day.

Thinking back to that day and how far we’ve already come lets me relive that overwhelming feeling and helps me to not be as frustrated during Avery’s fits. Yes, they will always be frustrating, but I’m not going to go crazy and pull my hair out…….yet.

Do you have certain memories you use to help ease any current difficult situations you’re facing?

Any other methods to help qualm frustrations that you care to share?

Sleep Training vs Sleep and Avery’s First Snow

Can you mix attachment parenting with sleep training? I say yes, as we’ve been doing just that for the past few days.

A successful sleep! sleep training
A successful sleep!

Avery has been going to sleep in her crib for almost 2 weeks now, and when she wakes for feeding during the night, I’ll bring her to Kelley to have her fill.

Then, the plan was that I would take Avery back to the crib and get her back to sleep. Fail. Either Kelley or I will end up sleeping with her the rest of the night. Oh well, this way we all sleep longer without fighting to get her down in the crib. Win.

If she’s not fussy, she’ll stay with Kelley and have easy access to boob for the next feeding, but if she’s not going back to sleep, I’ll take over so Kelley can rest since she has to work.

All of the sleep training, cry it out method supporters are probably just thinking, “Suckers, they’ll never win.”, but I disagree. I know that being able to just hold Avery close and cuddle with her (yes, I said cuddle and I’m not ashamed!) will not last forever, so making the most of this time only seems right. Kelley and I both agree with this as we all know time goes too fast and we don’t want to waste it trying several times to get her to sleep in her crib at night.

She does just fine in the crib during the day, and eventually, we know the inevitable will happen, but for now, I see no harm. The other day as the cold front swept in, our heater crapped out and blew nothing but cold air which woke Avery from her nap. I had things to do around the house, but wanted to make sure she was rested and happy before Kelley got home. So I brought her to the recliner, wrapped in my jacket, and just rocked with her until she was asleep again.

The sun went down and I had to pee pretty bad, but didn’t want to stop holding her. So I sat in a cold, dark room with a full bladder until se had a good sleep and Kelley was home and ready to see our happy baby. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ll remember that time for years to come.

Yesterday it remained cold here in the Lone Star State, and we were graced with snow. This was Avery’s first! She wasn’t doing very good in the nap department, but we eventually ventured outside with her oversized bear coat. She was pretty damn cute with her long sleeves flapping as she moved her arms all over!

Free Bear Hugs!!
Free Bear Hugs!!

After the photo session to document her first snow, we went on another Long, Cold Walk just like the day before. She was squirmy at first, but before I knew it, she was sound asleep and I was just talking to myself (not uncommon). And so another long, cold walk ensued. I thought I lost an ear at one point, but it was just my whole face turning numb……then burning. 3+ miles in the books and I loved every second.

Getting tired of the camera.

Once we returned, I couldn’t help but try for a few more pictures. I even tried making snow angels with her facing out in the Baby Bjorn..

Dad_Avery_Snow Angel

That was my first and last try to do that!

It’s still cold her and more snow might come, so I’ll try for round three of walking with Avery to see if she’ll nap again.

What are your thoughts on sleep training and the various methods used to get your baby to sleep?

How do you make the most out of the time with your baby before they are all grown up?

A Long, Cold Walk

Yesterday Avery, Abby (our Golden Retriever), and I went for an afternoon walk after Avery’s morning nap. It was pretty cold, but I had Avery snug in my giant winter coat wearing her in the Baby Bjorn. I really want to try the Ergo, by the way, I’ve heard it’s much better for long distance stuff!

Not from our walk, but a recent store trip where I was taking time to avoid waking her in the sling.
Not from our walk, but a recent store trip where I was taking time to avoid waking her in the sling.

Anyway, it was in the 30’s but the wind-chill made it more in the teens. My face and ears can attest to that! Although I’m not a boot wearin’ cattle drivin kind of Texan, I still choose heat over cold any day!

I didn’t expect her to fall asleep since I planned on putting her in the crib for nap two of the day, but of course, she was out. I have no clue how since the blistering wind was reeking havoc on my extremities!

Every time we’ve gone on a walk in the past, Avery always wakes up when we go back inside, so, being happy to just have her resting, I decided to keep walking until she awoke. A little over 3 miles and more snot rockets than I can remember, and she was awake. Surprisingly, she stayed asleep as the town tested their tornado sirens……very annoying.

I have heard from many other parents to enjoy this time since we won’t always be able to hold our dear babies forever, and this walk, albeit not in ideal weather, is something I will always cherish. I hope I’m able to go on many more before it’s too late.

Oh, and an update to my Just Go Poop!! post; she went, and then kept going! I asked for it and got a lot of it. Is it sad this makes me happy? Meh, whatev….

Parents, do you have any special memories of when your baby was a baby, or maybe still is? Please share if you care, I’d like to know.

An at-home dad on a mission to keep it real when it comes to food, fun, and raising a healthy, happy family.

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