Sunday, November 11, 2007

announcing summer elyse

i knew we had an advanced baby:

coming into our lives two weeks early, we got to meet our little girl on tuesday, november 6th at 9:55 pm. i would like to be able to say with harry chapin that she "came to the world in the usual way," but there were a few not so "usual" factors pertaining to her birth.
the beginning

the tale begins but two weeks ago at my 37th week check up. i was dilated to 4 cm (not entirely unusal) and my pelvic station was +1 (less frequent, but still nothing noteworthy). my doctor sent me home and told me i could go into labor at any time. of course, after consulting the vast knowledge base that is the internet, i learned that such a situation occurs frequently, and more often than not, the babies are not born early and the women just walk around for weeks at 4 cm.

i had not experienced any contractions and felt really great. i went about my business for the ensuing week, but i did have my mom change her plane ticket and come a week early, and i couldn't shake this strange feeling that i was going to wake up in the middle of the night and find the baby at the foot of my bed.

the labor

still having had no contractions that i was aware of, i went to my 38th week check up. there i learned that yes, i was dilated now to 8 cm; pelvic station +2.  Eight cm, people!, all unbeknownst to me. so abnormal is this situation that a long line of nurses came in to look at me to see what a walking, talking woman at 8 cm and technically in transition looked like. i still felt great.

thinking it a bit irresponsible to have me wandering around like that, the doctor broke my water and 5 hours, 25 minutes later, summer arrived.

while i acknowledge that i cheated labor (i only had about 10 contractions--granted, they were the 90 second, overlapping, physically demanding type, but still there were only a handful), i grossly underestimated pushing. more than half of my labor experience was spent in this stage.

now, i'm not going to romanticize my emotional state here: i screamed for an epidural, i demanded a c-section, i yelled obscenities at everyone in the room (you can ask bryan or my mom about a special moment and some choice words i had for my doctor). but finally, in a sensation i cannot describe, my baby was born.

speaking of screaming for drugs, bryan and i had decided a while back that this was going to be an unmedicated birth, and i am very pleased that we were able to reach our goal (though i will not gloss over my aforementioned moments of weakness). however, we did not previously realize how unusual natural births were in this area. it must have something to do with the demographic, but less than 5% of births at the hospital i delivered are drug free. again, a long line of nurses entered my room both during and after the birth to view my experience, calling me "the natural." ladies, if you are considering one way or the other, i would totally recommend au naturale. recovery has been great and the birth itself was phenomenal.

the baby

of course, summer is beautiful. she looks so much like her father, and her face is incredibly expressive. she was born with a good amount of hair (a curse from my genes that has finally been lifted), my nose, and perfect lips. she is awake and alert more than we thought she would be, hates having her diaper changed, and breastfeeds like a champ. what we ever did to deserve such a pure gift we will surely never know.


Lauren said...

Congratulations!!! she is gorgeous and really looks just like Bryan.

ohja said...

Emily and Bryan,

My heartiest congratulations on birth of your lovely little Summer.

Wishing your family the very best,


Thi said...

Congratulations guys. She is beautiful, and surely looks like Vang.

Katie said...

I already love her. What a babe of a baby. So - I loved reading your experience. That sounds like a dream come true to dialate to an 8 and not even know it! I'm nervous but also SO curious what will happen with me. I still have 6 weeks though. Congrats you guys! She is the luckiest baby - she'll be wearing newborn sevens in no time. You guys are cute parents.

Citizen Parker said...

What a delight, congrats to you both.

Smoothie said...

The real question is who gets to take responsibility at parent teacher conference for this child?

Congratulations! She is a doll, although pic #3 is a familiar look, which is inherently genetically transferable from her Daddy. Congrats again.

-the Johnsons

Eve said...

YAY! I knew if I kept checking back you would get along to announcing her! Love the name, and she is BREATHTAKING! Seriously beautiful baby. Can't wait to hold her if you'll let me and I hope everything is going well on the home front!

D. Tait said...

She is beautiful - we are so happy for you both! What an exciting time. We know you will be FABulous parents....
The Taits