On October 15th of 2011, our lives changed forever. My husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. During the months following we were the image of excited parents to be. Weekends spent at Babies R Us, organizing our small house to accommodate a baby, painting, organizing and decorating the nursery. We were ecstatic to find out on my birthday that we were expecting a little girl, Avery Diane. A name we had picked out within weeks of finding out we were expecting. Avery, after a waitress we had on a vacation we took in 2010 (random, I know but I had never heard it before and LOVED it) and Diane after my grandmother who passed away in 2010. The first girl born into my husband's family in over 50 years. Not only were we excited but our families were over the moon.
I had 2 amazing baby showers, we received so many beautiful baby items. Our families, friends and co-workers were already spoiling our little girl and she wasn't even here yet. This baby girl, before birth, already had a closet stuffed with clothes, shoes and accessories. I can't even describe the excitement and joy we all felt.
I am slightly embarrassed to say that I really did not enjoy being pregnant. My pregnancy was text book, no issues other than the normal discomforts of carrying a baby. I gained 60 pounds (yikes admitting that stings a little) and was really swollen but HEALTHY. I counted down the weeks until June arrived.
Due to the swelling and my blood pressure slowly creeping up, my doctor scheduled me to be induced on June 5, 2012. Avery, taking after her mother, was a little stubborn and had plans all her own. After being induced at 9am, I did not get to the point of pushing until 11:30 pm. After 2 hours of pushing, the doctor thought it was best to perform a c-section. Avery arrived at 2:27 am weighing 7 lbs 15.5 oz and measuring 20 inches long. She was beautiful, with a full head of dark hair, the most beautiful highlights I have even seen on anyone and the most adorable, pinchable cheeks. Even with the long and drawn out labor, Avery had over 15 family members and friends waiting to see her, even in the early morning hours.
We got to leave the hospital on Friday, June 8th. We were excited to get home, show Avery her new digs and start our new life as a family. We were more than relieved to get home and start our own routine. I have to say for being first time parents, we were rocking parenting. Since I had a c-section, my husband had to really help me with a lot of things. He was amazing! He would get her changed and ready to feed while I got settled into a comfortable feeding position. I would feed and when needed, he would take her and put her into her bassinet. Our routine really worked well. He was so great with her, she really was a Daddy's girl already. When she was fussy (which wasn't often) he could calm her so quickly. We each spent hours holding and cuddling with her on the couch. We were blessed with an amazing 4 nights at home before everything fell apart.
thought everything was perfect, until Avery left us unexpectedly the morning of June 12,
2012. She went to sleep around 4am after a nighttime feeding, I checked on her in her bassinet beside me at 5am and at 6am when we woke up again, we found Avery in her bassinet not breathing. I won't go into details of that horrible morning other than to say, it truly was the worst day of my life.
To have the best and worst days of your life happen within a week, is hard
to deal with. Making it even harder is still not knowing why this happened; why
a seemingly healthy and happy 6 day old baby, born to healthy parents, full
term, is suddenly gone and for no apparent reason. We were forced to wait for 5 long months for the medical examiner to tell us they couldn't find any reason for Avery's passing and her death was ruled Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. Having no reason, is something I struggle with daily. I don't understand why they cannot pinpoint what causes SIDS deaths. I question almost daily what symptom I may have missed, what the doctors may have missed and what the medical examiner overlooked because in my mind, there has to be a reason. I don't know if I will ever be satisfied with the lack of results but I know that I must find a way to live with this.
Avery was the best thing to ever happen to us. She will always be our baby girl, our first born, our oldest daughter. She will always hold a large piece of our hearts. I want to live my life to honor her, to make her proud. I'm not sure what that means right now, but one day I will.