Emma's on her way to 3!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

To my beautiful one month old

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My dear Emma,
It literally feels like yesterday that we were at the hospital meeting you for the first time. The past month has gone by faster than I ever thought it could and I knew it would go by fast. The days have just evaporated and sometimes I sit and hold you and stare at you while you sleep thinking how amazing it is that you're actually here.

We're still getting to know you, but everybody who meets you tells us how beautiful you are (we, of course, already know this). When you were first born we could barely tell the color of your eyes because they were closed so much, but over the past couple weeks you've been opening your eyes wider and staying awake longer. You're practicing lifting your head and turning it from side to side, a developmental milestone that you'll take for granted in a few months. And, you and I make a great team in getting you all the food you need. You just started smiling in the past week or so and even though it's probably because you're so gassy we love that smile (but we're sorry that you're so gassy). You follow us with your eyes and you squeak like a little mouse quite often. Your dad and I are working on getting you set up on a routine so that you can start sleeping longer through the night. It's not that I mind getting up a couple times a night to feed you, but I am looking forward to the day that I can get more than 4 hours of sleep in one chunk. Now that your dad is back at work during the day you and I have some quality time together and I love that I have the opportunity to be with you for the next couple of months before I go back to work.

You have a sweet temperment and are an amazingly happy baby unless you need something. I can't wait to see you continue to grow, but I know that will come in its own time and faster than I'd like so I will treasure these days with you. Your dad adores you and is amazingly sensitive to what you need. He loves taking care of you and protecting you. I walked into our room tonight where you were going to sleep (although you have been particularly fussy today) and he was seranading you.



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We pray for you every night that God will guide you and protect you as you grow. Our love for you is unfathomable to us, and God loves you even more. You change every day and I'm so thankful that God chose us to be your parents. You are a true blessing to our lives.

All my love my sweet girl,

Mommy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby's first Christmas

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Christmas came and went this year, and Emma made out like a bandit. Not only did she get completely spoiled, but she got the full Christmas experience by going to her great-grandma Vi's on Christmas Eve, grandpa and grandma Ellis's with grandpa and grandma Sumner on Christmas morning, great-grandpa and grandma Hunt's house Christmas afternoon, and great-great Uncle Chuck and Aunt Ruby's house a couple days after Christmas. Not to mention we had our own Christmas celebration (which Emma conveniently slept through) on Christmas morning at our house.

We haven't started too many traditions yet, but one thing that Dan and I have done every year since our first Christmas together and continued this year with Emma is read the Christmas story out of our Thomas Kinkade family Bible. I know that as the years go on traditions will develop and grow just as our family will continue to grow.

It was great celebrating Emma's first Christmas with all of her grandparents together. I realized sitting there that it was just last Easter that we told all of them together that Emma would be joining us, and there we all were sitting at Christmas with Emma in our arms. She was by far (and forever will be) the best gift we've ever received.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fourteen days

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So much has changed in the past fourteen days. Little did we know a few weeks ago when we got our maternity pictures taken that it was only six days before little Emma Reese would make her arrival. Thanks again to our friends Matt and Jenna we have these pictures of our two week old Emma.





Saturday, December 5, 2009

Introducing Emma Reese Sumner

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After our daughter was born, the biggest decision we had left to make was deciding on a name. We had come to the hospital with three or four finalists, but decided to hold off on making a final decision until I had time to recover a little and we had time to get to know her a little more. Understandably, our family and friends were very curious to know her name (as were we), but we wanted to make the right decision and not make it hastily so we took our time.

Ultimately, we decided that she looked like an Emma Reese, and even though we went back and forth several times before finally deciding we're glad we took our time. For a few days afterwards I actually second guessed our decision and thought that maybe we should have gone with one of the other names we were considering, but after those days passed I knew that we made the right decision.

Emma means "whole, complete, universal" and another meaning is "healer of the universe," and Reese means "enthusiastic, or fiery." We'll leave the universe healing to God, but we pray that Emma will be an enthusiastic servant of God as he brings that healing.



Friday, December 4, 2009

Honey, It's Time

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We had a relatively uneventful Black Friday with some shopping, lunch, and fun time together after Dan got off work around 1ish. We bought the formerly mentioned digital camera with plenty of time to learn how to use it before delivering our baby a week or two from then, so we left the camera in the box on our counter so Dan could play with it over the weekend. We worked for a while on organizing our office (one more thing to get the house baby ready), and then decided to call it a day. Dan went to bed and I was watching tv for a bit before heading to bed myself.
It was 10:30pm and I felt a small pain in my lower left abdomen (almost like a pop or strong kick from the baby, but it hurt). Within the next minute or two I felt something that felt like how they describe contractions. It wasn't too strong, so I figured I would go to sleep and see how I felt in the morning. I fell asleep, but woke up 30-45 minutes later with the same feeling. I fell back asleep, and woke up another 30 minutes later with the same, but slightly more intense feeling. I was starting to get suspicious that this could all be leading to something, but I was so tired that I went back to sleep. Well, after a few more cycles of this the feeling was getting so intense that I was starting to use my special breathing that I learned for dealing with CONTRACTIONS. That breathing stirred Dan out of his slumber and he asked if everything was okay. I told him that I was having real contractions and he said, "Are you messing with me?" We had always talked about doing a practice run but this was the real thing. I told him that we needed to start timing them and that definitely woke him up.

He found the stopwatch (next time we'll have it a little more handy) and started writing down how long each contraction was lasting and how far apart they were. He was getting some last minute hospital items together since our bags were already packed and in the car along with the carseat, and then I had a contraction that was so intense that I puked...a common thread throughout my pregnancy so why stop with labor. I told him that we should call the doctor even though it was 2am so he called and Dr. Christina Lee was on call for Dr. Kroll that night. She said that normally with a first baby she would wait to tell us to go to the hospital until the contractions were a little closer together, but because they were so intense that I was getting sick she said to go now.

It was "go time." I got dressed, Dan was unpacking the camera he had gotten the day before from the boxes, so apparently he would be learning how to use it in the delivery room, and at first I thought about taking a shower before we left but I had another contraction and decided that I just needed to get to the hospital so I could get the epidural as quickly as possible. I continued having contractions as Dan drove and it got to the point where he would tell me when a contraction was coming because they were so consistently close together.

We got to the hospital around 3am, so he dropped me off at the lobby while he parked the car. I had another contraction in the lobby while he parked, then he came in and I had another contraction as we were getting off the elevator onto the fifth floor. I had to get on my hands and knees because there wasn't anywhere to sit, and when that one subsided we proceeded to the admitting desk where I had another one. I signed a few papers, probably signed my life away (I'm not really sure), stood up and my water broke right there. Talk about timing!! I walked, with my broken water to the nurses station where they got a wheelchair and took me to the room where I was going to deliver our daughter while Dan followed with all of our bags.

I got changed into the hospital gown and at about 3:30am I was already 5-6 cm dilated, so the contractions had obviously been doing their work. But, they were PAINFUL, so I wanted an epidural and I wanted it FAST (like yesterday). Here's a picture of a few of my contractions...Apparently it was a popular delivery night because there were six other people who wanted an epidural at exactly the same moment I did. Fortunately, my nurse bumped me ahead of a couple others because I was so far along, but she still had to put a little pain medicine in my IV to hold me over until the epidural doctor became available. Finally, around 4:30am I got relief when the epidural went in. I think Dan's hand appreciated that I got an epidural just as much because during the contractions I squeezed harder than his hand had ever felt before. Right after the epidural kicked in I was already up to 9 cm so it was a good thing I got it when I did, otherwise I would have been past the point of no return. I would have delivered her much sooner, but with a lot more pain.

After I got the epidural the nurse told me to try to relax and she would be back in about an hour and a half to see how things were coming. I was actually able to sleep for a little bit while Dan charged the new camera he had just gotten the day before. Yes, we were charging our brand new camera IN the delivery room at 3:00 in the morning. Dan had called our parents to let them know what was happening and at first my mom didn't believe him. He had joked at Thanksgiving that he would call her at 3:00am as practice, so when he called shortly after 3:00am my mom had to talk to me to be convinced that it was the real deal.

The nurse came in around 6:00am and I was 10cm and the baby was at the +1 station so things had progressed. She said she'd be back at 6:30am to start pushing, and in the meantime my dad came in and brought Dan breakfast. When the nurse came back I rolled from my side to my back, but it made me nauseous and I puked again so she gave me some anti-nausea medicine and let that kick in before she came back at 6:45 to start pushing.

I pushed with the contractions and was making significant progress but during one contraction the baby's heartrate started to drop so they gave me some oxygen and rolled me to my side for a few minutes so her heartrate could come back up. It did, and at 7:00am there was a shift change so a new nurse came in to continue helping with the delivery and I continued pushing with each contraction that were now between 1-4 minutes apart. After 40 minutes I had gotten to the point where she was ready to come out, but the doctor wasn't there yet. My doctor wasn't on call that night, so we were waiting for Dr. Lisa Diaz to arrive and she was about 15 minutes away. So, because of the epidural I was able to just wait for her, and when she arrived I pushed with another contraction and out popped our baby's head (CRAZY!!!). Then, the doctor pulled out our daughter and we heard the most beautiful sound of our newborn baby's cry, and it was loud. The doctor cut the cord, then Dan trimmed it down to where it was clamped. Then they brought her over to me and I met our baby for the first time.

She was 6 lbs 10 oz, and 19 inches long, born at 7:46am on November 28, 2009. I had been planning this whole time on a December baby and hoping that she'd come a little early to avoid her birthday being too close to Christmas but I hadn't expected a November baby.

I was surprisingly unemotional (I didn't break into tears or have an overwhelming emotional response like you see on t.v). I had definitely not expected to have a baby that morning so I think I was still in shock over what just happened. I was, of course, so happy and thankful that she was healthy (9.9 on the APGAR scale and they don't give 10's, so she was as close to perfect as they get), but she was crying, I was tired, and I couldn't believe that she came three weeks early. I had no idea what was in store regardless of how many books I'd read or classes I'd been to. I was a mom, Dan was a dad, and our baby was counting on us 100%.

Now all we needed to figure out was her name.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So much to be thankful for

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As Thanksgiving day drew to a close and we had celebrated with my family and Dan's parents all at my parents' house I was so thankful for the people that surround us as we head into a new part of our journey together (which wasn't supposed to start for another week or two). We all had a great day full of wonderful food and talking about all that was in our future with a new addition on the way. I have a whole list of things that I'm thankful for, but my family and friends top the list.

We headed home looking forward to the rest of our weekend with a little Black Friday shopping, and some rest and relaxation on Saturday and Sunday. Well, our lives were on the verge of a massive paradigm shift and we had no idea. We woke up Friday morning and Dan headed to work for a half day while I lounged around at home. He got home and we headed out to check on a couple sales and get a digital SLR camera that we wanted to have in time for labor-day with plenty of time to learn how to use it before the big day. So, we got the camera and a computer desk and planned to go out the next day to get all the last minute stuff we needed before the baby came. That night Dan said that he would figure out how to use the camera over the weekend and I said that we definitely wouldn't want to be learning how to use a new camera in the delivery room (ironic considering what happened that night).

He went to bed with the best intention of being an expert on the camera by our little girl's birth day. At 10:30 that night he was asleep, but I felt a little something different. That little something different resulted in us having our baby the next morning. But, you can imagine that there's a whole story of how the rest of the night progressed. To be continued...