While I was pregnant with sweet Waverly Maye, I must admit that I was part of a pregnancy blog online.  And when I say “part of … “, I really mean that I had the app. on my phone and would read other people’s postings in the July 2012 community group, pretty much on a daily basis.  The only two times that I posted were both dedicated to a name poll – getting unbiased opinions in order to help determine our baby girl’s future moniker.  And even though my husband certainly thought it was weird that I cared about what other expecting moms had to say, and even made the assumption that some were creepy old men posing as pregnant women, I explained that it was an avenue to read about the number one topic on my mind without bothering those around me with the constant talk of my growing belly.
So throughout the many months of my pregnancy, I definitely read some interesting topics and opinions from my fellow July 2012 moms.  And of course, some I agreed with and related to more than others.  One subject that was discussed often was when it was appropriate to take your newborn baby out of the house.  Long before I gave birth to our baby girl, I knew that I could not be locked up in the house for long.  While I looked forward to and planned to relish in the first weeks & moments with Little Miss Brickner, I have never been one to be confined to my house.  I enjoy getting dressed for the day and even have trouble during my summers from teaching when I don’t have a definite plan on a daily basis.  So, needless to say, I did not agree with the many moms who indicated that they would leave baby in the house until six months of age. 
Today, Waverly made her first trip to the grocery store.  It was the first official outing (other than the doctor’s office), for our entire family – my husband, her, and I.  She behaved perfectly, and slept the entire trip, even in the frozen food aisle when it was rather cold.  It was almost as if she knew exactly how long we needed her to stay quiet, because her baby blues opened right as we got to the check-out line. 
So with each day comes new experiences that we are tackling together, and I am confident that our lives can continue beyond the four walls of our home.  Different, yes, but even better. 🙂
 

It has now been two weeks and and two days since the birth of our Waverly Maye, and life is slowly beginning to settle into some sense of normalcy.  Our “new normal” is certainly different from our previous one, but in only this short amount of time, I can’t imagine it any other way. 
At Waverly’s two week doctor’s appointment, our pediatrician was more than happy with her progess and more specifically, her weight gain.  Our baby girl is now almost eight pounds, and thriving.  She has started to smile, can now sleep in her bassinet, and is really starting to enjoy her bath time with daddy.
And perhaps one of the biggest milestones of the week?  Waverly experienced her first trip to the mall – the first of many, many trips to come.  After two weeks and our adjustment to a new routine, we were able to pack the diaper bag, fasten the car seat, and venture to Lynnhaven Mall with Li-li and Aunt Lexie.  As always (some things never change … ), we started with H & M, and continued to Forever 21 and the MAC Cosmetics counter.  A change in our usual mall day?  Our visit to the upstairs food court was used for Waverly’s feeding time under my floral print cover – a process I am still mastering.  I am certain I will have it 100% down for a return trip soon.

 

It has been exactly one week since we brought Waverly Maye home from the hospital, and a week & two days since she was made her official debut into the world.
 
And to say the least, life has certainly changed.  Over the duration of my pregnancy, as you would expect, I definitely had expectations of what life with our baby girl would be like.  As any other expecting couple, we got advice on a daily basis.  We were told to “get our sleep while we could,” to enjoy the last few months as “two before three,” and of course, that our bundle of joy would bring a new meaning to our lives.  I appreciate the advice from those who have experienced what we are just beginning to, but the magnitude of the miracle we are so fortunate to welcome definitely cannot be explained.  I find myself (and my husband), staring at Waverly several times a day in disbelief that she is ours … and wondering how we got so lucky.
Of course, the beginning of our journey has had its ups & downs.  The first night home was practically sleepless, as neither of us could put her in her bassinet (which is right next to our bed), without worrying.  So, we took turns holding her throughout the night to ensure that she was safe for the duration.  After watching a DVD entitled “The Happiest Baby on the Block” the next day, we were definitely more prepared for night two and she slept in three hour increments back & forth between the swing and bassinet.  Six days later, Waverly and her mom & dad are slowly settling into a schedule, and the sound of her cry (which can definitely be deafening), is no longer a serious cause of panic for us both.  She is becoming more alert, even giving us smiles at times, and diaper & outfit changes/bath times have all become more manageable as we all get used to what is the new normal. 
Even though she has only been here a little over a week, I don’t remember what life was like without her.  One look into her big blue eyes can seriously make you forget about anything else, and how I really would do ANYTHING for her.  Now, I just can’t wait for week two, three, four, …  

On the way home for the first time!

First family photo with our house decorations.

Daddy & Waverly taking a nap.

Waverly’s First Bath.

Getting more alert everyday!

 

 

Even as I sit here and type in my living room (surrounded by baby gadgets, bottles, blankets, and an overwhelming sense of the color pink) … I can hardly believe that I have a daughter.  I am someone’s mother, and that someone happens to be a beautiful, perfect and all-around pretty amazing baby girl.  Today marks her one-week birthday, and there doesn’t seem to be a better time to make the official progression from my pregnancy blog to WORDS ABOUT WAVERLY – an official online record completely devoted to her.
After 10 months of pregnancy (I am still trying to figure out why it is referred to as a nine month journey … ), I was MORE than ready to meet my baby girl.  As I previously posted in my pregnancy blog, I really did enjoy being pregnant.  However, during that “tenth” month – every twitch, mild cramp, or food craving I had was attributed to the on-start of labor.  Needless to say, that was never the case, as my due date came & went as I was still sitting in the recliner in my living room with a rather large belly.  And although (as most preggers probably do) – I anxiously aniticipated the excitement of my water breaking in the middle of Target or waking up in the middle of the night with piercing contractions … I was perfectly content with the plan when my OB-GYN scheduled an induction for the Tuesday after I was due to give birth. 
My husband and I walked into the hospital at about 8 PM on the day I was scheduled to recieve Cervadil overnight to help me dialate.  I had my bright floral suitcase and a huge smile on my face, already securing a place in my head for baby girl’s birthday for the following day.  I was clearly oblivious of what was to come.  I was immediately attached to multiple wires and pretty much tied to the hospital bed to monitor me and baby. The Cervadil did not work, so I was hooked up to Pitocin the following morning.  And although the IV did it’s job in jump-starting some pretty intense contractions, after multiple checks by several different nurses and a visit from my OB-GYN, I was still hardly dialating at all.  We finally made the joint decision to take me off the Pitocin and try again the next day, although I was still to stay in the same hospital room that I had originally thought would be a short pit stop before meeting my baby girl.
The following morning, I was instantly put back on the Pitocin. This time, the contractions were even more challenging than the day before, most likely even more mentally than physically as I was so frustrated from my apparent lack of ability to dialate, even after all of the pain.  I gave into the Epidural after about three hours that morning, and the relief it brought was more than welcomed.  However, as we said good-bye to nurse after nurse, as their shifts were changing, and had multiple updates of little to no progress, it was certainly clear that this journey was going to be a long one.  By 5 PM that evening, there finally seemed to be an end in sight.  A final check was set for 6:30, and with the most likely result of a continued lack of advancement, a C-section was our final route. 
Our baby girl certainly seemed to have a mind of her own, and perhaps it was at this point that she decided it was finally time to make her fashionably-late debut..  With what seemed to me as a small miracle, that final check indicated I was 9 centimeters dialated and could push within the hour.  And although the final “pushing” stage of labor was what I had been most nervous about all along, the thought of an end to this 48-hour journey (and beginning of a new one with our daughter) was enough to motivate me. 
I pushed for about 45 minutes and will never forget the experience, even though I don’t know that even just one week later I can recall the actual feeling of it all.  I know that my husband was right next to me the whole time and I couldn’t have done it without him, that the first time the nurse mentioned sight of my daughter’s head I was more determined than ever, and lastly, that any modesty I had ever had was out the window. 
At 9:01 PM, Waverly Maye Brickner was born (7 lbs., 8 oz. & a full head of red hair!).  The entire process, starting at when we found out we were pregnant back in November to the last few minutes in the delivery room before she was born, was all a blur and all that mattered was that she was here.  From that moment … as my husband & I smiled at the sound of the lullaby playing through the hospital & the cheers from our family in the waiting room, while gazing at the beautiful baby that we had created … I knew that my life had new meaning and nothing would ever be the same. 
 In fact, I am not sure how life existed before Waverly Maye.

     
  

Well, we made it.  Today marks officially 40 weeks … Little Miss Brickner is officially “fully” cooked and we are sooooo ready to meet her.  The nursery is completely complete (I mean, we really couldn’t fit another PINK-themed item in there if we wanted to), the house has been cleaned top to bottom (including a steam clean on the carpets and a visit from the pest control), and my bag has been packed for approximately a month and a half. 
All we need is our little girl.
This countdown is different from the one for the wedding, for many reasons.  Although we looked forward to (and prepared) for both through months & months, and we knew both events would mark a change in our lives (obviously one more than the other, especially since we have been dating for almost half of our lives now) … the wedding had a definite date.  This time – it’s all up to her.  So the waiting game continues.  And it looks like she is going to have a love of fashion, and be fashionably late, like her mother.  At least we know it is getting close ………