My pregnancy with Emma was pretty effortless, as most everything has been with her. We had been trying to get pregnant for less than a month when she was conceived. Other than a little swelling in my feet toward the end (and a really unfortunate fall down the stairs at nine months pregnant, an accident that ended in a broken foot and a walking boot for the last week or so), my body reacted beautifully to her presence.
Her delivery, however, was less than effortless. In fact, it was horrible and is the main reason I encourage people to go natural when birthing babies (Kelsey was a natural childbirth and though it hurt LIKE NO OTHER PAIN ON EARTH OR ANYWHERE I CAN IMAGINE, I still would take it any day over the awfulness of Emma's birth). I had to be induced since my foot was broken, my body wouldn't respond right and so things you don't want to hear about had to be done, things which they thought I couldn't handle without an epidural. I insisted that I not have one, so they gave me "something to take the edge off" in an IV and I started throwing up (allergic to pain meds). The end result was more interventions than I ever imagined-- anti-nausea meds to help the throwing up from the pain meds (which didn't work and I vomited the entire labor and delivery), an eventual epidural ANYWAY, and I was about ten minutes away from a C-section when I finally was able to have her.
From that point on, though, other than the bum foot and some brief nursing issues, she was the easiest baby ever to be birthed. She slept all the time (slept through the night the first night home from the hospital and every night thereafter), ate like a champ, never cried (except at her dedication at church), and was such a happy girl.
And pretty much, other than a few rough spells, those things characterize the entirety of Emma's years on earth. She is happy, funny, smart, athletic, and optimistic. I have never had to wake her for school, she is very rarely in a bad mood, and sometimes she's more responsible than I am. I have always been so proud to be her mom, so pleased to watch her successes and her kindnesses and her wit.
Last year for her birthday, I took Emma on a trip north, just the two of us. We spent two days in Holland, Michigan, then did Cedar Pointe and King's Island. I will never, ever, as long as I live forget that trip together. It was the most peaceful, fun, and happy time I have probably spent with another person. I felt like I got a glimpse on that trip of what being her friend when she's an adult will be like and it was a beautiful sight.
I have watched this girl on the dirt roads of Cambodia, the gym floors of Cleveland, TN, and in a hospital waiting room at Erlanger Hospital where Kraig had rushed her to join our family after Grandmother's stroke. The thing I love most about Emma is that no matter where you are or what's going on, Emma is what you're going to get. She is unapologetic at times, she is stubborn, she is gentle, she is empathetic, she is relentless, and she is a ever striving.
This year has been a challenging one at times between us. I put a fb post up a few weeks ago that said,
"Hello you long shots, You dark horse runners. Hairbrush singers, dashboard drummers. Hello you wild magnolias, Just waiting to bloom. There's a a little bit of all that inside of me and you. Thank God even crazy dreams come true" ~C.UnderwoodWe are feeling our way through this growing up thing, me and you, but I can't imagine anyone I'd rather learn parenting a teen trial by fire with than you. "I meant that. We have had hard days and we will no doubt have many more, but she's my girl. Emma fights hard and Emma loves hard and I wouldn't trade her for anything.