Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dear Emily,

A year ago tonight, we spent the evening cooking out with a great group of friends. It was our small group's end of year get together. We had a wonderful time. Eating. Laughing. Chatting. Laughing. Refereeing kids in a bounce house. Laughing.

We were 10 days from your due date and from all apparent signs, you were in no hurry to get here sooner. Anyone who asked me, however, knew that Saturday was the day I was hoping to have you. Your Grandma Gay's birthday. Oh, how I wanted to meet you on her birthday! I had several conversations with God about that. Though, more of our conversations were about you and that crazy cord around your neck (you really shouldn't have done that)!

When I woke up Saturday morning, I enjoyed a lazy morning in bed. Your brothers and sisters either slept in a bit or were quiet enough downstairs that I didn't feel the need to get up. And your Daddy had gone to the church's men's breakfast. At 8am, I remember I was reading in bed, I was close to finishing "Left Behind" when my water leaked. Barely. In fact, I wasn't positive that it was my water. So, I finished the book...sorry, but it's a really good book!...and spent some time thinking that I couldn't be in labor because this was the day I wanted to have you! How could it actually be happening?!

So, Grandma was called and Daddy called to check in on us, and I paced around the house leaking...something. Sorry, Emily, I know that's too much information, but this is what I went through for you! Grandma finally convinced me to call in to my midwife. That oh-so-awkward call..."Hello? Yes, either my water is leaking or I'm wetting my pants. What would you like me to do?"

Now, truthfully, I knew it was my water. I knew that you were on your way. I was just having a "pinch me to see if I'm dreaming" kind of morning. But around 11am Karen confirmed that you were on your way and we made plans to meet her at the hospital around 8pm, unless things progressed more quickly.

We had so much fun that afternoon, anticipating meeting you! We took Grandma Gay out for Culver's for her birthday and both of you got a free birthday scoop! We bought you some pacifiers at the drugstore and a birthday cake at the grocery store. For you and Grandma both, of course! But the thought of that cord I mentioned earlier made it hard to wait too much longer so we checked into the hospital at 4pm.

Then it was boring for awhile. The woman next door was screaming. Oh, but my nurse was super nice, her shift ended before you arrived, but I think my night nurse was her cousin. Finally, at 8pm, I was done having fun. At 8:15pm they said I was 5cm and if things didn't start progressing more they would have to start pitocin. It didn't worry me this time. I knew I would be meeting you sooner than they thought.

And at 8:53pm (with the Newsboys singing "He Reigns" on the radio) you entered this world and they placed you on my chest. You were beautiful! And so, so very sweet. With a head full of dark hair that the nurses would later enjoy!

And I never wanted to put you down. (Okay, seriously, sometimes I had to put you down.) When the nurses took you to the nursery, I got some sleep. And at 11pm they brought you in to me and now that I've said that I'm wondering how it was that I thought I got some sleep? Maybe it was later than 11pm? Maybe I didn't sleep? Anyway, it was the most beautiful night. Daddy was sleeping (read: snoring) and it was just you and me. And snuggling with you that night, I knew that Joy was meant to be your middle name.

I spent the next 2 months sleeping with you snuggled to my chest (sorry, Mom) and there is nothing so cozy as your soft baby hair on my cheek.

You joined an already busy, full of kids family, Emily Joy, and you've settled right into your own place in it. After months of anticipating you, it took just days for it to feel like you had always been there.

Now, you're walking all over the place. Helping me garden. You want desperately to type on the computer and are constantly trying to get the mouse from whoever is working at the desk. Your hair. Well, what can I say? It's you. And you're beautiful! You dance in the morning in your crib when I come to get you...unless Aly grabs you first. You can hold your own with Rachel...and that's not easy! You laugh at your brothers and love our "peek-a-boo" wall. You run for Daddy when he comes home from work and have just started not being particularly happy when I leave you. Though, I think that's not really because you want me but rather, you don't want to miss out on anything. Your favorite toys are Daddy's Diet Mt. Dew cans and our dishwasher tablets (I know, I need to fix that child-proof latch). You would spend all day outside if you could. You love the grass, the dirt, sand, mulch. You love it all. And I'm quite impressed that you can already climb up our slide. Notice I said I was "impressed", not "happy".

When I first held you on May 30, 2009, you were already you. It's been a wonderful year of getting to know you more and more. And of all the things that are different this year from last year, one thing is the same. My prayer for you is that you grow less dependent on me and more dependent on the Lord. That you seek Him, accept Him, and grow in a personal relationship with Jesus.

I love you Emily Joy!

Happy 1st Birthday!