She was perfect. 8 lbs, 3 oz, 19 inches long, gobs and gobs of dark black hair. Brandon and I both wept with joy when she finally emerged and we saw her for the first time. How does one describe the birth of their first child? The experience of holding her in your arms?
(My parents with #1 the day she was born. I didn't take the time to scan and upload all the photos of Brandon and I with her. Because I am lazy. Sue me.)
The last ten years have been full of adventure. She is definitely our "practice" child, but we feel so blessed that she has the ability to rise above it. In the deepness of her soul, she is nothing but charitable and kind. She exudes a positive attitude, and even though we enjoy our fair share of female "drama," she is sincerely a sweet, grateful, and service-oriented girl.
I can't believe how quickly she is growing! Although only 10, she looks 12. She participates in conversations now that would have been lost on her just a year or two ago. I trust her with the younger kids more than I trust older babysitters. She is self-motivated to do well in school, theater, and piano, and she is constantly complimented by neighbors and friends --MY neighbors and friends. Her friends' parents.
I might have already told her birth story on another post, another year, but I'm going to do it again, anyway.
She was due on April 22nd, 2001. It was Friday, April 20th --the first reading day of the semester; finals would begin on Monday. I had spent the day at our apartment watching T.V. I had already tried walking stairs, jumping up and down, eating spicy food, and I sat there all day, dejected that I might not have my baby when I wanted. I had been dilated to a 3 for 3 weeks and the doctor had stripped my membranes the day before.
Brandon came home and we decided to watch the basketball game (I'm guessing Lakers) with our friends. They were bringing the pizza and Brandon was making a salad. I had just gone to the bathroom and walked back into the living room. I sat down and... POP! I started gushing water everywhere. Panicked, I fled to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. It was a mixture of elation and absolute terror; Brandon asked what I wanted to do and I couldn't make a decision!
Finally, of course, we headed to the hospital. Our friends were walking up the steps with the pizza in hand; they came with us.
After telling the STUPID nurse that my water had broken ("Are you sure? You could be wrong, you know...") and getting checked in, we settled down. The contractions came and were not very hard at all. But Brandon and I already knew we wanted the epidural (if I could only go back and change all of that, oh, my gosh!), so at 4 cm, I got it. Labor then stopped cold for 8 hours. Our friends left after a few hours (and I think the Lakers won!)
Armed with every ounce of pitocin they could give me, pushing for an hour, and an episiotomy (seriously, I hate talking about this labor story because although it was my first experience, I can't stand how ignorant I was and how different it could have been. If I had only known!), our sweet girl made her grand entrance at 8:34AM on Saturday morning. We had our list of names, and oddly, we had added a new name to the list just a few days before I went into labor. Brandon and I looked at each other and at the same time, we said her name (the new one we had added). It was perfect.
The rest of the week was a blur. We had family come and stay, the water bed leaked the first night we took her home, the cat wouldn't leave her alone, Brandon had a final on Monday morning, I had TWO finals on Wednesday, and then Brandon and I both graduated from BYU on that Friday.
We might have blessed her the Sunday after, too? Maybe? Maybe not. I can't remember, although I know she was less than a month old.
It's been a whirlwind of parenting ever since. A joyful whirlwind, of course. Of course! :)
I love you, #1! Happy Birthday!