Friday, July 11, 2014

Ava's Week of Swim Lessons + Our Experience

Hi everyone! Here is a recap of our week of swim lessons for Ava: 

Monday (Day 1) 10-10:30 AM   
Ava's first swim lesson. 
This was a fun day and you can read more about it on the previous post

Later that day: 
4:00-5:00 Post nap time swim practice at home 

My friend and neighbor, Jess, and her son, Christian, came over to hang out with us while we did some swim practice at the pool. Coach Jackie encouraged Ava to practice kicking her legs and holding onto the wall by herself. 
Kisses for baby Christian(6 months old)! 

Tuesday (Day 2) 10-10:30AM  Swim Lesson 
No practice at home later that day. 

There are no pictures from Day 2 swim lessons or practice at home because, well, it was the hardest day of my life. I'm not kidding. I was mentally DRAINED. 
I knew that day 2 & 3 were going to be the hardest during the lessons being that they learn how to go under water and hold their breath. I just wasn't prepared for the length of Ava's crying and yelling out, "MOMMY!" so that I'd come and rescue her.
I'm not even going to sugar coat it... I didn't even wear mascara that day because I had a feeling I would get emotional. Oh boy did I !
 I SOBBED THE ENTIRE 30 minutes until I was allowed to go and get her. I had never heard Ava cry out for me like that. It is such a helpless feeling as a mother to hear your baby cry out for you and not be able to go and comfort her. 
In the back of my mind I just kept telling myself (and hearing) Coach Jackie comforting Ava and being very patient, kind, and gentle with her. She is a super duper professional and I really do trust her. If I didn't, there is no way IN HELL I could have stayed in my little chair balling my eyes out. I tried to keep busy by texting Mark, my mom, my mother in law, and my good friend, Jessica, the whole time as I was crying. They sent me messages reassuring me that it would be fine and that it was all for the best.

Wednesday (Day 3) 10AM-10:30AM
No pictures of Ava swimming since as I was still not allowed to be seen by Ava. I watched her at a distance but didn't want her to catch me looking. I could hear every thing that was going on. Plus, I didn't take pictures because I had a bad angle and focus. 
So this was my sad little view as I waited for her lesson to be over... 
It was a little better of a day. Ava was still frustrated but crying less. It made sitting there not as hard this time. Thank you, Ava, for making mommy not go into meltdown mode again. 

Coach Jackie said that Ava was making great progress. I was able to (while holding my own breath the whole time) watch her "fall" into the water and swim to the surface to hold onto the wall until Coach Jackie said she could let go. 
Proud mommy moment for sure! 

Later that day:
It rained.  No practice at home :( 

Thursday (Day 4) 10-10:30AM
I got to get into the water with Ava and learn how to practice with her and see all the progress that Ava has made! Ava was still not a happy camper but did a great job going through all of her new skills with me. I was pretty nervous to be the one to let her sink into the water and watch her swim to the wall. I would find myself holding my breath (and praying) that Ava would hurry up and come up for air. My stomach was in knots!!! When she would come up, it was like this huge rush of pride that came over me. I was so happy to see Ava successfully doing what she was taught to do. 

Later that day, Ava went down for a nap and my mom came over to stay at the house while I drove to Miami to pick up my grandparents. I was taking my grandmother to an appointment at Aventura hospital to get a EMG scan that I requested for her. I'm determined to figure out why my sweet grandmother is in debilitating pain...that's an entire other blog post. I ended up getting home at 7PM due to a long appt. and Aventura traffic on the dreaded Ives Dairy Road. I was very upset to be getting home so late because practicing with Ava was very important on this day and I was not able to do it. Feeling like you're not doing your part as a mother is not a great feeling
I got home and was so sad from my grandmother's doctor appointment, that I had dinner with Mark (with two glasses of red wine to calm me down) and went to bed. I ended up having bad dreams all night and woke up late on Friday morning with Ava. 

Today/ Friday (Final: Day5!) 10-10:30AM 

Today was a frazzled mess. Last night was a tough night for me when I got home. I ended up having some bad dreams and overslept with Ava until 9:10. We were rushing this morning to get to swim lessons at 10. 

Lessons went great but Ava will continue to practice as much as we can at our pool. 
She made me so proud with all the she has learned in 5 short lessons. Ava learned how to kick, turn underwater, swim to the wall, and pull herself up to the wall (to hang on and breathe.)
Photo Courtesy of Jackie Nelson Doyle

Photo Courtesy of Jackie Nelson Doyle
Photo Courtesy of Jackie Nelson Doyle

After lessons, we dried off and changed in the car. 
Hooray, Ava! 
Congrats to my little swim lessons graduate! 
She received two stickers and a toy fish! She was thrilled to get a "fishy!!" She makes little bubble noises with her lips for the fishy noise. haha

I am so happy that we chose to go with Jackie Nelson Doyle for Ava's swim lessons. 
I look forward to practicing even more with Ava and seeing how much more progress she makes. 
Thank you all for your support during this crazy week. Between Ava's lessons (my crying spells)...and my grandmother's pain/appointment/confusion with her mixed diagnosis, I am mentally and physically EXHAUSTED.   
I am beyond happy that it is Friday and will have more time with Mark to relax as much as we can this weekend together. He makes everything all better for me.  

I hope you all have a great weekend.  
I'll post Jackie Nelson Doyle's info below in case anyone is looking for a wonderful swim instructor. 

TGIF!!!!!! Here is to a great weekend and better next week! 


Jackie Nelson Doyle

(954) 242-8918


  1. Wow! Sounds like you had an emotional week but I am amazed at how much Ava can do in the pool. I would have cried too! Get some rest and relaxation this weekend Mama!

  2. She is a doll & a great swimmer she will be. Kudos to her for being so brave and learning how to swim fast.


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