Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ava June Suman

Ava has arrived! We love her so much.

Here is the birth story...it's detailed for our records sake so feel free to skip around if you'd like!

At about 2am on Thursday, December 7th I woke up feeling some light contractions. I really didn't know if it was "the real deal" or if it was Braxton-Hicks. When reasonable morning hours came around and I was still having contractions I figured it was for real. The contractions were still about a half hour or more apart and not that strong so Eric went off to work. He was in a training where he couldn't be online and only could call home during breaks and lunch. By the time lunch came around the contractions were 15 minutes apart and much stronger. After an extremely long debate, Eric decided to come home. I didn't want to have him miss out on his training and I didn't want to get to the hospital and then be sent home. My doctor advised when contractions were 5-7 minutes apart or if my water breaks I should head to the hospital. By the time Eric got home (good ole I-405 traffic at 1:15pm!) my contractions were about 8 minutes apart. The contractions while they were happening were really painful. I tried to subside the pain by walking or changing positions but nothing eased the pain. They lasted up to a minute in length and then relief. During the relief periods I thought - I can do this - I can hold off a little longer before going to the hospital but while the contraction was happening I felt like I was going to have our baby right then. Such a strange experience. Anyways, I had gotten everything together and ready to go - Eric loaded the car - and we were off to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, only about 10 minutes away. We had been updating our parents and Cindy headed right over when we left.

When we arrived at the hospital we went directly to the 5th floor and proceeded to wait there at the reception desk for waaaay to long for someone already in labor. As soon as they got me in the room they hooked me up to machines and checked to see if my contractions, dilation, etc was worthy of their time. Luckily it was! I was already 5 cms dilated and having strong, progressive contractions. They admitted me and it all began. I was admitted around 2:30pm. Our room was really great - we had an ocean view and we were there through sunset.
The contractions of course got worse and closer together. Eric was feeling bad that I was having so much pain but he couldn't do anything for me. Luckily the nurses could. The guy giving the epidural was in surgery so I opted for some regular drugs in the meantime which Eric said I was acting super weird on. Then it happened...my water broke. Not only was I now uncomfortable in my bed but the contractions increased in intensity and frequency. Seriously...I know that millions of women for millions of years have given birth but it really was painful. No worries though - I wasn't one of those scream my head off patients. I just endured as best as I could. The nurses were proud of my "high threshold for pain". Wow! Who knew? Anyways, then my most favorite thing happened - I received an epidural. Ahhh - no more pain! I was able to breeze through the rest of the labor without pain.
So, this all sounds long and drawn out but it really wasn't. Like I said, we arrived around 2:30pm and I delivered Ava at 7:03pm. A pretty amazing first pregnancy/labor/delivery. I only pushed for about a half hour and then out comes Ava. I was so amazed by the whole process. I was pushing so hard. Eric said he had never seen my face so red and strained! I was really grateful too because my OB (Dr Stephanie Ricci) was available and came right over for the delivery. She had her cord wrapped around her arm and neck so every time I pushed her heart rate dropped creating a little stress on the baby. The doctor was a little worried about that and even though it was going fast she wanted to get her out of there ASAP. So I received an episiotomy. But again - thanks to the epidural, no pain.

The whole process was so amazing. Eric even sneaked a peek or two which I was so proud of. He also got to cut the umbilical cord. Then Ava was dropped right onto my chest. She was hardly crying and not that messy at all. Eric, the nurse and I hurried and wiped her off. I couldn't believe that she was just right there in front of me. We were touching her and everything. One minute before she was inside. Seriously - blows my mind. I really don't know how you can't believe in God and His plan when you experience this. Ava was born at 7:03pm, 18 inches long and 7 lbs 6 oz.

Someone that really gets overlooked in the whole process is the labor nurse. My nurse's name was Vera. She was so amazing. Very personable and helpful. Also, my night nurse Lidia. Really great people doing things that the average person can't even comprehend or stomach doing.

Ava is beautiful. It's hard to imagine that she will be any bigger then she is now or on that day. Immediately her big eyes were open - checking out the world. She was so small in our arms. She just looked at us so intently. Like she definitely knew who we were. After Eric and I took a few new family moments together we had our visitors come in and share the moment with us. Eric's parents, Meredith, Rachael, Brennan and Carter, Aunt Karen and Uncle Rich, and Camille were all there to help us greet Ava. They were all pretty grateful for the fast delivery too.

Eric and I moved to the 6th floor for recovery. We had a private room where Ava and Eric could both stay with me overnight. We spent the two days in the hospital mostly just looking at our new baby. Trying to soothe her cries - learning to feed her - entertaining visitors - and trying to get a little bit of sleep. Eric was a big help changing her diapers, swaddling her, handing her to me for feeding, etc. at all hours of the night. We had such a great experience. We are so happy Ava is here and healthy. We are so blessed.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A lot to be grateful for...

During Thanksgiving we were able to reflect on what we are grateful for. Eric mentioned that he was grateful for the freedoms we enjoy here in America. I am so thankful for this little girl growing inside me and for such a wonderful husband.
We enjoyed a small gathering of family this year for Thanksgiving here in California. It was a nice change of pace compared to the usual 50 plus dinner party in Arizona...although, we did miss seeing those relatives. The Suman parents, Meredith and the Bates made 8 for a fabulous turkey dinner. We played games and watched movies, making the most out of our long weekend.

Another fun event that happened was my baby shower! I opted out of the traditional party and decided to go to dinner with all of the girls in the family. On Monday, November 20, we went to Chilis (where else?!) and had a fun night. My mom was able to throw in a couple surprises. She sent gifts and Dana worked with her on a little informational game. We learned about her pregnancy and a little about me when I was a baby. Thanks mom! We missed you. I was so grateful to everyone that came and participated and sent gifts. We really are prepared for this baby, especially when it comes to cute little pink clothes.

Camille, Rachael, me, Dana, Meredith, Cindy, and Karen
Now for a baby update...I am still pregnant! I am due in 11 days. Seems a bit unreal but it really is coming. We are anxious, nervous, excited, etc. Pretty much any emotion...we have felt it in the last week or so. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow and she will check to see if I am dilated at all. I have the bags packed and ready to go. Here is a picture taken yesterday...38 weeks pregnant. (Also, you can check out my new haircut!)

Christmas is coming up so soon and we are really excited. We plan on putting up our Christmas tree and decorations this evening. Over the weekend Eric and I went up to LA. We went to an outdoor shopping area called The Grove. It was really fun and festive. It was practically Disneyland with the extravagant decorations and crowds. Every night they make it "snow" by shooting soap from the shops' rooftops. It really did look like snow except that it was 60 degrees that evening instead of 30 degrees. I am starting to really like this whole California Christmas season.

Well, the doctor won't let me go more then 2 weeks past my due date before inducing so hopefully the next entry on this blog will have pictures of Ava all over it! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

23 days and counting

There are only 23 days left until the due date. That's just about three weeks...wow. There is a lot to do in three weeks time but I am confident we can get it all done. We've had a busy schedule this month and it only will prove to get busier with the holidays and Ava arriving home. I am already deep into my Christmas shopping! The photo here was taken at 34 weeks. You can see that there definitely has been some growing happening. At my last doctor's appointment, all was well. I wasn't dilated at all so hopefully I am taking this kid to full term. She has cooperated and made the turn to be head down which makes for a little easier breathing but more frequent bathroom breaks!

We had a fun Halloween. This year it seemed to last forever. We went to trunk or treat, the Andres' annual bash, a haunted house, carved pumpkins with the Bates, ate candy, etc. It was a fun holiday. We didn't have costumes this year, although, everyone had an idea or two about what I could dress up my bulging belly as. Sorry to disappoint. Instead of actually carving a face on our pumpkin - Eric had the brilliant idea of drilling it. I think he was inspired by all of the home improvement projects we've done in the last couple of months. So, as you can see, we had a pumpkin full of holes. It was actually a lot of fun drilling into it and (we thought) looked pretty cool too. Unfortunately, our pumpkin didn't even last until Halloween night before being attacked by the mold monsters.

We have been trying to take advantage of some of Orange County's activities they have going on. We have visited the Orange County Museum of Art. Sometimes they have bands play for free, this was one of those nights as well as the best of OC Weekly. A local paper was naming all of the best of places around and having an awards night. Eric and I managed to sneak our way into the VIP party. We enjoyed the music, chocolate fondue, fancy cheese and sushi - all for free. We also had a C-lister celebrity siting - Omarosa from The Apprentice (ooooooh!). We were able to go to Huntington Beach's named "best burger", TK Burger, on PCH. They were pretty good. You can't beat the view at sunset right on the ocean either. Eric has also fully taken advantage of running along the beach usually in the morning before work. We also enjoyed the Oktoberfest here in Huntington Beach. They have it in a German "old world" village with cobblestone roads and little shops. The scenery was great - the fest itself, definitely lacking but fun to do once. I guess the no drinking thing probably "ruined" it a bit for us. We did see some crazy sisters in a contortionist act though. Always good fun.

Eric and I managed to sneak away for a few days down to San Diego. Unfortunately, we forgot our camera so there is no proof but we will always have the memories. : ) We had such a great time despite us both fighting a cold. We saw just about everything there is to see and then some. We went to Coronado Island and visited the famous Hotel del Coronado. It's like stepping back in time with all of the dark wood, bell hops, and gated and escorted elevator. We enjoyed looking in all the shops and seeing the ocean views. We also went to Tijuana. We ended up missing "the last exit" for America and drove our car right into Mexico which was exactly what we didn't want to do. We drove through the tourist and shopping areas, just seeing the bargainers from the car was enough for us so we continued onto the highway that we thought would take us more south into Mexico. We ended up going the wrong way and found ourselves in the traffic back to San Diego. There was no getting out of that so our Mexico trip was cut short...very short. Eric enjoyed teasing the guys walking up and down the street trying to sell us blankets, baskets, burritos, tables, etc. We definitely had our fill of hagglers. We also went to Balboa Park. We were able to visit some of the free museums there and just enjoy the pretty architecture and gardens. While in San Diego, we found our new favorite pizza place - Bronx Pizza. It's New York style - thin, foldable and full of yumminess. We went there twice and know we'll be back one day. One of Eric's good friends from high school, Jason Hope, lives in the Gaslamp Quarter so we were able to visit him and his wife and have dinner together. It's always fun catching up with old friends. Jason and Eric both graduated in Accounting from BYU at the same time so we all had something to say about their new professions and work schedules.

We are still loving California and in fact, I made it official just today...I am a licensed and registered driver of California. I even have the plates to prove it. I am hoping that without the Utah plates, I will stop being discriminated against on the road. : ) My Utah drivers license always strikes up a little conversation with cashiers at stores and sometimes even with other customers standing by. Just last week at Wal*Mart I met a nice return missionary who just started as a freshman at BYU. Ah, the good ole days.

Speaking of Utah, we recently found out that my brother, Bill, has accepted an IT position in Salt Lake City. He and his family will be moving from Connecticut to Utah in just a couple of weeks. Even though our parents are probably bummed about their new long distance relationship, Eric and I are excited to have them back in the west. We will be able to see them more often now and we love excuses to visit Utah again.

Well, I hope to get one more post in here before the big announcement. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We can officially say that we are moved in (that's our jungle entrance pictured above). We have furniture and everything. Ok, ok, so we might be waiting for a few decorative accessories and things to hang on the wall but for the most part we are settled. The other picture here is of our new couches...they were our second "major" purchase. We waited a long time for these to come but we are very pleased with them.

Our first "major" purchase was our new refridgerator.
We bought that in Utah and moved it with us. This is still just an apartment but we are trying to make it our own with the new furniture.

Even Ava has a cute space to call her
own one day soon. The official due date is December 8th (her room is pictured below).

At 32 weeks, my ever growing belly continues to grow but I am still feeling really good. I just hope that this continues throughout the rest of October and November. I have out grown my wedding ring, which I find extremely disturbing, but have opted for a nice $4 version.
I am having doctors appointments every 2 weeks now. Eric's work load has lightened tremendously allowing him to come to the next visit to meet Dr Ricci. We also will have the opportunity to meet Dr Chang on Monday, she will be our pediatrician. I am excited to meet her and have our questions answered.
Eric also continues to study for the CPA exam in his "spare" time. There are four parts to take and he needs to pass them all individually within 18 months of each other.
As one last couple getaway, Eric and I are going to spend a weekend in San Diego. We haven't made too many plans for that trip yet but we are looking forward to a little alone/relaxing time before everything changes with our baby's arrival.
Rachael (Eric's cousin) is pregnant and recently found out they are having a girl as well. I am excited to see these girls become friends. They will be only 4 months apart. It will be fun having them live next door to us
Watch for a belly post one day soon. Everyone back east is dying to see the basketball size belly so I will get one of those pictures on here soon. Let's just say it's not my favorite photo to take...until then...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

and a wedding...

Mark (Eric's brother) and Sara got married this past weekend (Aug 25) in the San Diego temple. It was a great ceremony and there was a fun party on Saturday. Lots of family and friends were in town so yet again, it was a very busy weekend. We actually made it to the beach for a hour or so. It really is beautiful and I am so glad to be living only a couple of miles from it.

26 weeks pregnant...

Huntington Beach, CA

On August 19th we officially moved into our apartment in Huntington Beach. It has been a hectic two weeks getting everything unpacked, painted, etc. We have hardly any furniture (it's being ordered) and no storage space. I think it will take a while to finally get settled. What we have done looks good though. We have nice new carpet though and will have a new dishwasher and sliding glass door eventually. I will post a picture or two when we are a little more put together. Eric is currently in one of many busy seasons with PWC (that's the office pictured above). He is required to work 55 hours a week for two months. He has been going in early and coming home late but he is learning a lot and is enjoying what he is doing.

I am still working from home for Prosper and working on our home. I have had another doctors appointment and things are still going really well with my pregnancy. I am so happy about that. I had my glucose testing and everything turned out normal with that but they did discover that I am running low on iron. So I am now taking iron supplements to try to end the anemia. I thought I was just tired from moving all these boxes! It has been an exciting time though. I am feeling Ava move more and more. Eric can also feel her kicking in the evening. It's so cute. I am also growing! The belly is getting bigger and more round. I am 6 months now so soon I will be really poking out I am sure.

Our Sweet Baby...

GIRL! On July 14th we found out that we are having a beautiful baby girl. Her name will be Ava. Our baby is happy, healthy, and growing normally. She measured at 19 weeks and 3 days, putting my due date at December 5th. The most important thing is the healthy part so we couldn't be more excited. We saw so many cool things from the ultrasound. It was pretty amazing.

I included a couple of pictures from the ultrasound. How cute is that little hand?? Sorry that they came out sideways...you get the picture though right?

The moving day...

On June 28th we packed up our apartment in Provo and moved to California. It was a bittersweet day. Kam and Gerrit threw us a little going away BBQ. It was fun to see friends and to have one last Miller BBQ.The evening before we moved we had all of the guys come help us load up the big yellow Penske. We are so grateful to everyone's help with our many moves this past summer.
Penske gave us the biggest truck they had although we only owned enough to fill about 2/3. Our truck came with a couple small user only problems...like how do you reattach the car carrier?
Luckily Mark was able to help us out - he waited for the roadside help to come while Arson Car played one final show at Roman Gardens apartments. It was so fun to see friends and hear great music one last time. It was totally sad though. After this spontaneous adventure we took a midnight trip to Wal-Mart for straps to hold our stuff in place.

The next morning we headed out. Our 26 foot truck, Eric's car on the carrier, Mark following in my car, and Spike hanging out with us in the cab. The drive went just fine. There weren't any problems with the truck or the car or Spike. We made decent time only stopping for gas and food. There was one incident with a scary man at the Flying Js in Vegas. He wanted to come along for the ride and help us move. We tried to get out of there as fast as possible. We made it to Rancho Santa Margarita where we'd stay for 2 weeks (or so we thought) safely.
After we made the move we found out that our apartment wouldn't be ready until August so the Suman parents graciously let us set up camp in their house for the 6 weeks. Meredith let us stay in her room while she had all of her summer adventures at EFY, Youth Conference, etc. Spike made his home in the back yard (aka his garden of eden) and in the garage.

Eric started his job with PWC and really has been working hard. He had a two week training in Virginia and enjoyed learning about the company and what he'll be doing this year at work. The best part was taking trips into Washington, DC and seeing the sites. Meanwhile, I went on a couple trips of my own. I went to Arizona for Granner's 80th birthday party and to Connecticut for a week and visited the fam. After two weeks, we were very excited to see each other and hope to
not have to do that again. We also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary on July 19th!

I thought I would be better at this....

So I must admit that I did think that I'd be better at keeping this updated then I am. I mean at least once a month right? Oh well. I will try to add a couple of posts and backtrack on our life since June.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

15 or 17 weeks? And less than two...

Well, we had another doctor's appointment yesterday and things still seem to be progressing as normal. I've gained two pounds since the last appointment...I think I am starting to show more, not a lot but it's out there. We heard the heartbeat again and the doctor even heard some kicking although I haven't noticed it yet. I measured at 17 weeks when we thought I was only about 15 1/2 weeks. So the baby is growing good and may be arriving earlier then expected. In about three weeks we will have an ultrasound which will tell us more about the due date and find out the gender. We are so excited to actually be able to see the baby. We are so happy that both mom and baby are healthy.

Less than two weeks until we move to California. The countdown is definitely on. California sounds very fun
but the strange part is realizing that we're not coming back. I mean, this time we aren't just going on vacation. Despite all the joking and ridicule, Provo has been so fun and we are really going to miss it and our friends / family here. Especially when we have fun weekends filled with going to the pool, BBQs and Red Ball at the Miller's house and Arson Car shows.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Happy Graduate and a Future Career

On April 28th, Eric graduate from BYU with his Masters in Accounting (tax). It was a wonderful day. Most of the Suman Family were in attendance and we were so grateful for everyone's support and congratulatory wishes. It was such a great accomplishment and we are so proud of him.
We are excited for all of the adventures that are coming up.
Eric has accepted an employment offer with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and will start with them on July 10th. The office is in Irvine, CA and we'll be moving into an apartment in Huntington Beach. It is exciting to be moving on but we will really miss Utah and all of our great friends here. The big moving day is scheduled for June 30th.

Laura will continue working with Prosper. They have been extremely accomodating and will allow her to work from home in a new Quality Assurance position. She will be able to monitor the coaches phone calls, create reports and offer feedback for training them to be better communicators.

IT'S A...

BABY! We don't know the gender yet but we should on July 14th. This is only week 12 but we couldn't be more pleased with the progress we've made so far in growing this baby. The baby has reflexes and fingernails, tooth buds and a brain! Wow. It's been a busy 12 weeks.
Last Tuesday we had our first doctor's appointment and we were able to hear the heart beat. That little guy is beating fast. Almost twice as fast as mine. We are really looking forward to the rest of the appointments and learning more.
We'll keep you posted.