Monday, April 13, 2009

A Letter For My Daughter

Dr Cullpepper

I have been wanting to write this letter since the day of Harper's birth but couldn't figure out how to fit all my thoughts and emotions into words. I have come to the realization after talking to other more experienced moms that I will probably never be able to describe my feelings for my precious daughter but I thought that I would at least try. I had some additional inspiration from a friend which provided me with some motivation.

Harper Paige,

Words cannot express my love for you. I have never known a love like this before. My love for you is unlike any other. I guess this is why God gives us children so that we might have a glimpse or glimmer of his love for us.

You were created in me and were molded and formed by the Creator himself. I can now live to say that I have witnessed and been a part of a very special miracle. This sweet miracle of life that until now I confess I have taken for granted at times.

Watching you enter this world was overwhelming, seeing your tiny hands and little feet for the first time, the little crevices of your sweet little frame. You were just so fun to explore. The way your tiny little toes currled and cracked just like your dads, your cute little ears that bent out just a bit, your precious almond shape eyes (a distinguished feature of the Shumsky family), and your fun little baby rolls. Such a package =)

It was surreal at first and still is at times. I often look at you and start to cry because I discover something new or notice something different about you. I stop to thank God for the gift you are.

You were and are everything that we prayed for and so much more. Your dad and I, along with many friends and family prayed the fruit of the Spirit for you so many times during my pregnancy and God granted our prayer. I can allready see the way that you embody love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control and know that God will continue to shape these characteristics into your being.

Your birth was eventful and memorable. God knew that you needed a grand entrance to be welcomed into the world.

I started having contractions/labor pains about 3 days before you were born. Your original due date was September 9th and I so desperately wanted to meet you and was sure that you would come a week or more early. Each time I went to the doctor to be checked I waited eagerly for her to tell me that you were ready, that you had dropped, and that you wanted to meet us =) but this was not yet the case. You were enjoying your time inside my body and wanted to stay a few days longer. I struggled with this because none of my friends up until this point had gone over their due dates and it was summer time, 100 degree days and I wondered if I were hot, you surely had to be much hotter =) God knew his timing was perfect.

On the morning of September 11th (I didn't want to have you on this day due to our country's horrific history but God showed me that there is hope and new life in the midst of pain and devestation) around 4:00am I started having more labor pains about 5-7 minutes apart. I woke your father up and told him I thought it was time to go to the hospital. I wanted to take a shower first and fought through some difficult labor pains so that I could feel clean and pretty before I went to deliver you. (vain I know).

We got to the hospital and I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first because I wasn't sure if this was the real thing. It didn't feel much different than the labor pains I had experienced days before. The only thing different was that I couldn't talk through the contractions. The nurse admitted us and took me to our room, she checked me and said she thought I was about 4 centimeters dialated. I got an epi-dural and was happy as can be and began calling all of our friends and family to share the exciting news. They were not going to send me home. Today was going to be your big day! Your grandparents rushed to be there and your Aunty E stopped by to freshin me up and do my hair before you arrived (so funny).

We waited, as doctors and nurses came and went. The nurses wanted to speed my labor along but I refused the pitocin. I wanted to enjoy the process. Finally around 11:00am your dad asked the nurse to check me again and I was dialated 10 centimeters and they called the doctor. Thank God for your dad. I pushed for about 20 minutes and the nurse checked your heartbeat and vital signs. She seemed a little concerned and told me to roll on to my side and relax while she called the doctor for a second time.

Your dad and I were getting a little nervous because we were not sure what was going on and why the doctor had not yet arrived. A few minutes later one of the doctors showed up and a few minutes after that another doctor showed up along with a slew of nurses.

They encouraged me to push again and I pushed for a good hour. The doctors were starting to get concerned because your blood pressure and heart rate were going up. The doctor told me that she may need to do a vaccumm delivery. Your dad and I were a little worried because this was not something that they discussed in our birthing class. We trusted the doctors and believed they knew what they were doing.

We prayed many times for wisdom, for peace, and for God to keep you safe. We were reminded of Philipians 4:5-6 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to the Lord and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. This gave us comfort.

We waited and believed that he would answer our prayer and he did. At 1:51 pm you entered the world. The moment we had waited 9 montsh for. Your dad got to cut your ambilical cord. I was so impressed he was such a champ. He encouraged me, prayed for us, and held you in his arms as his most prizzed possession. It was a beautiful moment. I felt like for a second, time stopped and everything just seemed to stand still. We both cried and looked into your sweet eyes and just melted. You were everything we had dreamed of and more.

You were ready to eat right away and did a great job nursing. Your daddy and I thanked God for you and spent some time alone with you dedicating you to the Lord before they wisked you away to be cleaned up and tested. Your grandparents waited patiently in the waiting room to meet you. They smiled from ear to ear when they saw your face. They couldn't believe they were now grandparents. I am sure it seemed like just yesterday that they were holding their now grown up babies in their arms.

Friends and family came from far and near to see you. It reminded me of how the wise men traveled to meet Jesus and to welcome his birth. We were blessed beyond imagination by the sweet visitors and overwhelmed by the way they cared for us. Our community group came, Cory, Cole, Scott, Shannon, Jessica and Michelle drove down from Oklahoma, friends stopped by from work and church and neighbors sent their best wishes. We loved showing you off.

The nurses fell in love with you especially a sweet little asian nurse. She would bring you in at night for your feedings and would say "she pooped, she peed, I clean her, she is beautiful." It warmed our hearts. The lactation nurse was a God send and so very helpful. The food was amazing and I wanted to order everything on the menu. I just had a baby and I thought that I deserved all the ice cream and pizza I wanted. I would pay for that later hahah. Your aunt Cory loved you so much and she spent the night with us at the hospital.

The next day we got ready to take you home. It was overcast outside and a storm was scheduled to blow through. I grabed a small container of cran-grape juice (my now new favorite drink after delivery), went to our baby care class, and got out of the hospital just as the storm hit. We put you in your little car seat that seemed to swallow you (you didn't like it one bit) and took you to your new home at 5020 Calloway Drive.

Our new adventure as parents had begun. We did not know what to expect or what to do but we knew that we would make it through with God's help and friends/family support just as many others had done before us. We knew that the love we had for you would be enough to sustain the unanswered questions and sleepless nights ahead. We were nieve and thankful. We were a family now made up of 3 instead of 2.

Here we are today 7 months later. Time flies by and I am reminded to slow down, stop, reflect, enjoy and just be. One thing is for sure, the world goes on, lives change, you will grow older. I commit to enjoy every moment with you for what it is, knowing that it is fleeting and I pray you will learn that same great truth. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This is something I am constantly striving for. It is not easy and our culture makes it difficult but God desires it.

I love you my precious child. I pray for you each day. I can't wait to teach you all there is to know and to tell you about the one who formed you. I am praising God for you and looking forward to who you become!

Your mom

1 comment:

erynn said...

Beautiful Sara. I love you guys. That brought tears to my eyes. I remember the day well and I'm glad to be included in her story (even if I couldn't do your hair right)! I love you friend.