I am so excited to (finally!) share some images from Avalon’s nursery!  I feel like it’s been done forever, since well before she was born, but I really wanted to wait until she was here to share.  My friend Brooke took these pictures, I have some more close-ups of the details to share & plan to very soon, in the meantime, here is the overall look of Avalon’s new little home. 🙂

The room was pretty much inspired by my idea to do a pallet wall, which was something we decided on early in my pregnancy, before we even found out that we were having a girl.  I love the whole feel of pallets, my style tends to be rustic & minimal, so I feel like it just goes perfectly with everything I am drawn to.  Once we knew Avalon was a girl, I knew I had to add some girly touches to keep it from being too masculine.  We decided on mint & gold as the main colors, with pops of pink since we were using the pink glider from Waverly’s nursery.

My mom found this print from Etsy to incorporate all the colors that I planned to use, we ended up using that for both the changing pad & small blanket on the gilder, than we carried around a sample of it for a couple months while keeping our eyes out for things to match!  I am so obsessed with the color mint, for pretty much everything, but also think it’s a total pain.  Finding the exact shade is seriously a challenge & we went through lots of pictures, blankets & baskets that just were not even close to what we were looking for.  Thankfully though, it all worked out, I love the way that colors came together & look in the room!

The tassel garland is from Etsy & poms from Hobby Lobby, along with most of the other wall decor.  For the wall above the changing table, we just used our favorite prints from Etsy in the colors we were going with & then put them in white frames from Micheal’s.  The crib skirt was actually handmade by my mother-in-law, just using gold tulle.  We couldn’t find a small table for next to the glider that I liked so I ended up finding a broken one at TJMaxx, my husband cut some wood on top to make it match the room!

I got the same rug that we have in Waverly’s big girl room, just a much bigger version, which honestly was by accident, but I ended up loving how it covered the entire room!  It’s usually the first thing people comment on when they walk in, it just creates the most relaxing, peaceful environment which is exactly what a nursery should do.  The stool that matches the rug is from Target this past winter, my husband thought I was on complete white fur overload (& still laughs that it’s going to end up every other color but white in no time).  So far, so good. 🙂

I tried to link everything I didn’t mention at the bottom of the post, I hope you will find something useful as I know I got lots of inspiration from other rooms myself.  Decorating the room was so much fun, I know it will be a space that Avalon can grow in & I hope she loves it just as much as we do!

Headband & Blanket
Heart Pillow (No longer available, similar here), Gold Polka Dot Sheets, Dresser, Changing Pad Cover, Deer, Curtains
Update:  Here is the link to our original pallet wall project, hope this is helpful!

Our sweet, sweet Avalon Elle is officially one month old today!  This month has flown by in the best way possible, I was definitely nervous about the transition from a family of three to four, especially in the last weeks of my pregnancy, but life with Avalon is pretty amazing.  She is the most perfect addition to our little family & we all just can’t get enough of her.

From the moment we met her in the hospital, Avalon has had the most laid-back disposition.  She doesn’t cry much, if at all, the only thing we have found that she really doesn’t like is the car seat.  Above all else, she loves to be held, all of the time, & is one of those babies that will snuggle in tight to you & drape her arms over your shoulders.  The best.  She also adores her baths, she will just sit in the tub with her little eyes wide open, as content as can be for as long as we keep her in there.

Like most newborns, most of her days consist of eating & sleeping so far.  Breastfeeding is going really well, way better than the first time, which I think is probably because I am so much more comfortable with it this time around.  Avalon is very much a “cluster feeder”, she likes to eat just a little bit about every hour, so I pretty much feel like my boob is out on display most of the day.  I can’t complain though, she is such a good sleeper, so much so that we called our pediatrician concerned she was sleeping too much (who told us to enjoy it while it lasts!).  She naps throughout the day in between feedings & short awake periods, and the last couple of weeks, has been sleeping six hours straight, up to eat, and then down for four more.  Honestly, she would probably sleep even more than that each night if we didn’t wake her, we think it’s pretty amazing & that she just might trick us into having five more kids. 😉

Waverly & Avalon’s newborn pictures are pretty close to identical, they really look so much alike that we feel like they are actually twins, just a few years apart.  Avalon’s hair is a little lighter than Waverly’s was at this point, but it has a hint of red in it so we think she will most likely be strawberry-blonde like her sister.  They both have blue eyes & really similar features, some of Avalon’s look a little more like her dad’s but I guess only time will tell.  Other than their looks though, they are very different in a lot of ways, it will be interesting to see Avalon grow into her personality in the months to come!  Regardless, I know the girls will be the best of friends, Waverly really is so good with her & Avalon’s first little smiles this week have all been for her older sister. 🙂

And some pictures from Avalon’s first month …

Avalon Elle, we love you so much & already can’t imagine life without you in it.  Thank you for being ours.

Thank you for your sweet comments on part 1 of Avalon’s birth story (you can read it here), I am so grateful to be a part of a community that supports each other & also, who can relate to each other’s experiences in such a positive way.  Here is part 2! 🙂

It was around 6am when my contractions started getting crazy intense & I had the familiar feeling of just having to push, the same one I got with Waverly.  I was so excited & relieved that we had made it to that point, but also freaking out because I was starting to feel my legs again & the pain was way higher than I ever remember feeling with Waverly.  I convinced myself that the epidural wasn’t working anymore, my nurse assured me that it was even though I still have doubts, either way, major props to you ladies who do this thing naturally.  Seriously. 😉

I starting pushing & pushed for about 30 minutes before my doctor came in, at that point I figured she was going to be here (uneventfully) within minutes, since that’s what happened in my labor with Waverly.  Then everything changed.  They put an oxygen mask on me because my pulse was going up & so was the baby’s, then told me that her shoulder was stuck on my pelvic bone.  My doctor explained that it would hurt, but they were going to do everything they could to get her out quickly, & all I remember was a whole lot of pain before I felt her come out.

I was so incredibly relieved, but immediately knew something was wrong.  I looked up & could see Avalon from a distance, but she was laying lifeless & was completely blue.  Withing seconds, the NICU team started running in, alarms were going off, & I layed and watched while they swarmed her.  My husband & I didn’t make much eye contact, I asked him if everything was alright & he just looked at me with the blankest face.  Finally (finally!), we heard her cry, the sweetest, most perfect sound. 🙂  At that point we knew she would be alright (my nurses & doctor kept telling us she would be), but emotions were running high.  They were still working on her & wouldn’t let my husband hold her, then when he finally got to, I had to wait about 30 minutes before I could.  I was really trying to remain positive & thought I could keep it together until I looked over at him with tears running down his face.  Something I had never seen in fifteen years of dating.  So of course, I lost it, too, a culmination of all the feelings from the last two days, fear & anxiety from the moments before but also, so much joy that she was finally here.

We know now that Avalon’s crazy entrance into the world was both because of her shoulder getting stuck (shoulder distocia), & because the cord was wrapped around her neck.  She didn’t breath for 1 minute & 40 seconds (though it felt so much longer), and her first apgar was a 2 out of 10.  Thankfully, we have an amazing doctor who we absolutely love, & had wonderful nurses who took such good care of her & within the hour, she was 100% fine.  Yet it definitely was scary, especially since we had been through one birth & knew how different this one was, and we realize more than ever how fortunate we are to have two healthy, beautiful babies. 🙂

And lastly, things I have learned from the labors of my girls. 🙂
One, that I really am not in control, no matter how much I want to be.  I spent so much of this pregnancy hoping that I wouldn’t have to be induced (which is exactly what happened), and in the end, all that mattered was that we had a healthy baby.  Two, I really am the worst dialater ever & if we are lucky enough to have more babies, I just need to go into it knowing that.  And expecting to be in labor for more than one day.  Three, the ultrasound technician totally got it wrong on this one.  The 8 pound & 10 ounce baby we were supposed to have?  She ended up being 7 pounds, 2 ounces, smaller than her older sister. 😉

*All images by Brooke of Brooke Tucker Photography.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over two weeks since little Avalon Elle joined our family, time is flying and though its bittersweet, we are soaking in every minute as a family of four & can’t wait for all that is to come as our girls grow!  I am excited to finally share Avalon’s birth story, I love that I have this space to record it on because even just days later some of the details are already getting hazy (which let’s be honest, is part of the reason that all of us ladies are willing to give birth time & time again).  Childbirth is truly a miracle, & while some parts of it are my favorite ever, they do call it labor for a reason. 😉  Thankfully these babies are more than worth it.

If you followed me throughout my pregnancy, you know that I was induced with Waverly (in a very long labor, 48 hours), & really, really wanted to hold out to see if I could go on my own this time.  Yet at my last appointment, I was four days overdue & still not dialated at all.  My doctor agreed to wait one more week but scheduled an ultrasound for a couple days later to make sure baby girl hadn’t gotten too big or that my amniotic fluid was low.  At that point, I was feeling so ready to deliver, emotionally & physically, but was desperately trying to hang on.  My mom went to the ultrasound with me & after a few measurements, the technician said that our girl was about 8 pounds & 10 ounces, something I didn’t expect at all since Waverly was only 7 pounds & 6 ounces and this pregnancy, the baby had been measuring small from the start.  I immediately started to get nervous about waiting, since I really didn’t want a c-section, & then felt even more uneasy when the technician said that my amniotic fluid was starting to get very low.  As much as I wanted to avoid being induced, my priority from the start was a healthy baby & delivery, and I just knew that at that point, it was best for her to go ahead & get the eviction notice. 😉  My doctor called within an hour of getting the ultrasound report & said I would be induced that evening, she wasn’t even giving me a choice at that point based on the fluid levels, especially since I was overdue.

I spent the rest of the day getting last-minute things together for me, the baby, & Waverly, I had all the feels knowing that we would be meeting our newest girl so soon but also, over these being the last hours of Waverly as an only child.  We dropped Waverly off at my grandparents on the way to the hospital, & even though she had been so excited all day long when I told her that her sister was coming soon (she said she hoped she would have purple eyes!), it was definitely hard to get her out of the car.  I knew it would be emotional for me, but never thought Waverly would take it so hard, which obviously made it that much worse.  Regardless, we feel so, so lucky to have family that Waverly adores to keep her occupied while we were gone, & hope she will be fully recovered from us being away by the time a third baby may come along.
At the hospital, the plan was to give me cervadil overnight to help me dialate more, the same exact thing we did with Waverly.  I was cautiously optimistic, they had checked me as soon as we got there & I had dialated on my own since Tuesday to a 1.5, so even though the cervadil did nothing my first labor, I was hoping it would be different this time.  My parents stopped in to see us & then I tried to get some sleep, though it was obviously hard since we were so anxious and unbelievably excited. 🙂

They pulled the cervadil at 5 am & just as I feared, I had no progress.  The cervadil helped me thin a little, but I was still a 1.5.  They went ahead & started the pitocin at 6 am, at that point I tried to remain hopeful & did, especially when the contractions started coming strong and so close together.  Yet when my doctor stopped in around 10:30, I was still a 1.5, & even worse, when she tried to break my water to get things moving faster, I wasn’t even near dialated enough for it to work.  OMG, it felt like my first labor all over again.  I was way disappointed, contractions are obviously hard to deal with (understatement), but they are even harder when you have nothing to show for it.  That was definitely a low point for me, I was convinced I was the worst dialater ever (which really is probably the case), but knew I had to keep trying rather than give up & ask for the c-section.  So they turned the pitocin up (gradually, as high as it would go), & we all hoped for some sort of miracle.  
The picotin worked for sure, the contractions got strong, really strong, & though after a few hours I still didn’t show any dialation, we kept going.  Around 5 pm, they gave me some pain medication that was the craziest thing I have ever had in my life.  Seriously, the minute they put it in my IV, I was seeing two of everyone & everything.  It totally freaked me out (& I apologize to anyone who saw me during that time), but it also made me really out of it & I finally fell asleep, so I guess we will consider that a win. 😉  I got the epidural around 1 am & that was when finally, things started moving along.  I was able to relax more & fall asleep for short periods of time, in between my nurse coming in to check me.  I was dialating very quickly after nothing happening for so long, which is so funny because that is exactly what happened during Waverly’s labor.  Apparently that’s just how I roll.

Part two of Avalon’s birth story to come later this week, I tried to fit it all in one post but it just was way too much for anyone to read at once. I guess that’s what I get for having these crazy long labors.

PS – All of the images in this post are taken by the amazing & talented Brooke of Brooke Tucker Photography.  I did not have a photographer for Waverly’s birth (& honestly would have thought that was crazy then), but when Brooke came to me with the idea, I knew how much I would cherish having these pictures to look back on one day.  There are so many more images from our labor & meeting Avalon, some I will share in the next post & some I will keep for just our family, but regardless, I definitely recommend a birth photographer if it is something you are open to. 🙂

I wrote down Avalon’s birth story the day after we got home from the hospital & plan to share it soon, it was such a crazy, special (couple of) days that ended in one of the best gifts I have ever been given. 🙂  In the meantime, I am so excited to share pictures of the girls meeting for the first time!  These images are so special to me & some of my favorite ever, I am so thankful for my friend, Brooke, who captured them! 
We decided a couple months before my due date to keep Waverly away from the hospital until I had a couple hours to recover & bond with Avalon, which is something I am glad we did & would do again, but it was definitely hard on all of us.  We were gone for a long time, by far the longest that we had been away from each other, & Waverly is such a creature of habit that it really threw her for a loop.  We called her throughout the labor but of course things got hazy (especially for me), one of the last times I remember talking to her before Avalon was born she was crying & begging me to come home.  It killed me.  Yet reuniting with her & getting to introduce her to her little sister made it all worth it, even if she still asks me every night to “never leave her again”. 😉
My mother-in-law brought Waverly to the hospital to meet us, she said that Waverly was so excited the entire drive there & kept saying “that’s where my family is” as they pulled into the parking lot.  My husband & I walked to meet her in the lobby, without Avalon, so we could have a few minutes with just her.  Waverly really was as ecstatic as I have seen her.  We told her that her sister was waiting to meet her & she could hardly contain herself, talking a mile a minute, showing us the gift that she got for her, & proudly rocking her big sister sticker that the nurses gave to her.

I spent a lot of time during my pregnancy thinking about the moment that my girls would meet for the first time, so much so that I feel like it could have gone either way (good or bad) by the time it actually happened.  When it came down to it though, it was way better than I ever could have imagined.  Waverly was the sweetest, most excited big sister, she was so curious about every little part of Avalon & wanted nothing more than to hold her the second she walked in the door.  She kept saying, “she was in mommy’s belly & now she is here with me”, & couldn’t smother her with enough kisses.  We are still working on the whole “be gentle” idea, but all in all, I am so proud of her & LOVE the fact that these girls have each other for life.  I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow over the months & years to come! 🙂

Waverly’s Romper, Waverly’s Headband, Avalon’s Blanket & Hat
*All images by my sweet friend, Brooke of Brooke Tucker Photography.  Check out her website if you are in the Hampton Roads area, you will not be disappointed! 🙂

Wishing you all a happy weekend with those you love!