One Weeker

Vanessa is one week old today and she sure is a dream baby. I really hope it lasts... Other than the first two nights, she only wakes up once between 11pm and 7am. I am skeptical--it seems too good to be true! She rarely cries and is sweet and snuggly as can be. She will actually sit there awake totally content. My boys as babies never sat there happy. They lived their first six months sleeping (somewhat), eating or screaming. So this is a dream compared to that. The kids adore her and really have been helpful. It is totally different having a baby with older kids around to help out and not vie for attention the way a toddler does. Jared has been a rockstar and taking such good care of the other kiddos. I have been able to soak up some quality time snuggling and loving on her. I am enjoying every second of this bonding time before real life begins again. We just couldn't be more thrilled to have her here.

And a little bit of a picture overload from this past week:

Going home from the hospital

 First bath
 Napping with Daddy


Happy Easter

With a brand new baby, Easter was kind of low key and thrown together. Luckily I had prepared the baskets before baby came. But there weren't many pictures. We spent the evening having a delicious dinner and egg hunt with Jared's family as usual.

A quick Easter Egg dye

Waiting for the morning egg hunt to begin


Vanessa's Birth Story

I mistakenly assumed Vanessa would come early since my other three had come early and this was my 4th pregnancy. Apparently she was warm and cozy and in no hurry to come just yet. My mom was going out of town on April 14th and I was panicking as my due date of April 11th came closer and closer. I was exhausted from weeks of keeping the laundry done, house clean, food stocked, etc in preparation for the new baby. Oh and hours and hours of walking and bouncing on my exercise ball was kind of hurting my body. I had switched midwifery groups and hospitals at 39 weeks due to some issues with the first, so once that was done, I was ready! My goal was for a natural birth again so I finally felt comfortable and confident with my midwife just in time.

My midwife checked me at my 40 week appointment and I was still only dilated to a 1 and not effaced at all—which is where I had been for a month already. My contractions had been getting stronger and more frequent so that was a big disappointment that they weren’t really doing anything. She stripped my membranes and wished me luck. Friday came and still nothing and my mom was leaving in just a couple of days. I hurried off for an induction acupuncture appointment hoping that would do the trick. I had some pretty strong contractions during the appointment that continued on throughout the day. That afternoon I lost the plug so I was getting pretty excited that she would come before my mom had to leave town. The next few days were filled with on and off early labor and continual bleeding (the good labor kind). I kept timing my contractions and they would be consistent ALL day at 10-15 minutes apart and then stop completely. Then I would be super crampy then back to contractions. This went on until active labor early Wednesday morning. It was pretty exhausting physically and emotionally. I kept getting ramped up then let down. I about lost my mind by Sunday. I spent the entire morning sobbing.  My body and emotions were completely drained. My mom was leaving the next day and realizing it was too late and I wouldn’t have her here both to care for my kids and to have the comfort and support of having my mom around.  My mom is an angel and cancelled her trip so that took some relief off.

Around 4:30 am Monday morning I woke up with some strong contractions. They were coming regularly between 10-15 minutes apart. I had to stop and breathe through them so I was convinced this was it. I let Jared sleep and went to make kids lunches and pack their backpacks for school. I finished packing my bags and prepared for them to come closer together so I could call my mom and head to the hospital. They never came closer together. Everyone was on alert and Jared stayed home from work. We walked 3 miles twice until I could hardly move. I bounced and rocked on my exercise ball. NOTHING! They ended up stopping later that evening. Tuesday came and I had another appointment with my midwife. At that point I had dilated to a 3 and was completely effaced. So at least my “labor” had done something. She stripped my membranes again. But I had resigned myself to the fact that this baby was never coming…

Tuesday night I had some regular contractions about 8 minutes apart for a few hours and then they stopped again. I had contractions all through the night which I just tried to sleep through since I had been doing that for a week already. Around 3:30 in the morning I thought the contractions were getting close and that I should time them. I was still laying in bed just trying to sleep. On the second timed contraction I heard a pop and felt a gush! Knowing how fast my babies come when my water breaks threw me into a panic. I jumped up and yelled at Jared that my water broke. I called my mom in a panic then called to let my midwife know. At this point the contractions were still totally irregular but very close together (every 2-5 minutes) and very short (around 30 seconds). They were getting intense fast! We made it to the hospital around 4 am and then had to sit in the ER for about 10 minutes for Labor & Delivery to come and get me. It was horrible trying to labor sitting in a chair with the ER security guy watching me. We got up to our room and I could barely get undressed because the contractions were so close together. I tested positive for Group B Strep so I was telling Jared to tell the nurses to hurry. I could tell that I was getting pretty far along and needed to get the IV in. I started throwing up and shaking which is a good indicator to me that I am in the final part. I also could not figure out how to put the stupid gown on so I just labored naked. I love how modesty goes out the window in these situations. They put me on the bed to check on the baby and to try to get the IV in. I told them I felt far along so she checked me and I had dilated to a 7. The nurse put the band around my arm to find a vein. I had one strong contraction, threw up during the contraction and immediately felt the urge to push. My midwife had shown up at some point here and checked me. I dilated from a 7 to a 10 in one contraction. I had kind of rolled onto my side during the last contraction so she had me just stay there for pushing. I felt the pressure building and my midwife told me to just follow my instincts. I pushed three times in one contraction and our baby girl was born. It was absolutely incredible and shocking. She was born at 4:56 am. It all happened so fast and I spent my intense labor trying to get the gown on and worried about getting the IV in that I didn’t focus on the pain at all. The birthing process is so amazing and our bodies are incredible. It has been such a gift to be able to experience the way our bodies work to bring a baby into the world.

It was incredible when they put her right on my chest. There is nothing like a hot baby fresh from my body. It is the most amazing experience and I feel so blessed to have been able to carry and bring four kiddos to this earth. Even through all the frustrations of pregnancy and days of labor, our baby girl is here and she is healthy. She is such a gift to our family!


She is here!

Vanessa Anne finally made her arrival early Wednesday morning (April 16th) at 4:56 am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz (tied with Cole for my biggest baby) and 19 ½ inches long. She is absolutely adorable.

Freshly born--about 2 minutes old. :)
I felt so good (even though I look horrible) I was up and walking around not long after giving birth.
Jared loves to snuggle his baby girls
Burrito Baby

The kids came over with my mom first thing in the morning to meet their new baby sister.


Waiting for baby....

I am now a day overdue which I thought would NEVER happen! I feel like I am weeks overdue. With this being my 4th pregnancy and all the others came so early, I foolishly expected an earlier arrival than after my due date at least. I am a little emotionally drained with wondering every day and trying to be prepared with the house, laundry, food, etc just in case. And my mom is leaving town Monday because we thought for sure it would be before my due date so she scheduled a trip. And I am a little bit stressed... I am probably doing it to myself with my stress and fears about this labor, delivery and recovery. I had to switch Midwifery groups and hospitals at 39 weeks due to some major issues with the first one. And they had misdiagnosed my group b strep, so I have really been watched over. But now that all of that is taken care of, I am ready! Any time now baby girl...
40 weeks (never seen that before)

I have been bouncing on my ball, had my membranes stripped, got a chinese foot accupressure massage, had acupuncture for induction, took the kids to the zoo and walked around for 3 ½ hours, etc, etc. She is STUCK and very disinterested in making her appearance!

Glad we made it through my favorite weekend of the year (conference)! The kids were happy to get their tent, treats and cinnamon rolls.

At the zoo for our "walking" and I sure wore the kids out!

Best Visiting Teacher ever. She brought over a special "due date" basket full of goodies. Love it!

Flag Football

Grey has become crazy about football. The boys at recess play football every day and he has just gone crazy over it. He chose flag football for his spring sport and loves it so much. He couldn't sleep the night before the first practice because he was so excited. And he wears his mouthguard pretty much all the time. So gross. He has done great. He got a touchdown at his first game!

Little Boy Blue & Brothers

Grey had his 1st grade musical which was so adorable. He was Little Boy Blue and had one line. They put him in the back of the risers--since he is so tall I'm sure--and he was super enthusiastic with all the movements and songs. It was cracking me up.
Grey & Cole's relationship is the cutest. If I put Cole in pajamas that Grey has matching ones to, Grey will go get in his matching PJ's. They love it. Grey & Elise have been getting Cole dressed in the morning and helping him pick out clothes. One day Grey & Cole came down in their matching Bronco's outfits down to the blue socks. They make me smile!


Spring Break

I was so excited for Spring Break. I have been looking forward to having all of my kids home and spending time with them before the baby comes. We jam packed our days and had a wonderful week.

We started it off with a fun family dinner out at Red Robin. The kids loved having the unlimited fries and chocolate milk. Then Grey threw up all night and I banished him to a mattress on my floor--luckily it didn't get passed on whatever it was.

I took all of the kids on dates to pick out special things for when the baby comes. Elise picked Build-A-Bear and a knockoff American Doll which she keeps asking to hug. Cole wanted a Build-A-Bear as well since he is kind of obsessed with bears.

We went as a family to the aquarium. I always love having Jared when we do those outings because usually it is just the kids and I. Nights are the best there anyways...

I took all three kids by myself to the Children's Museum which left me with a headache the rest of the day, but I thought that was a pretty awesome feat to accomplish.

We spent time at one park or another every single day. The weather was too perfect! Oh and I napped every day. It really was perfect.

Our neighbor took Grey on a tour of Sports Authority Stadium. He of course thought it was the best day ever. They tried on gear, sat in John Elway's box and toured all over. They spoiled him more and took him to Smashburger and Yogurtland afterwards.

Grey got his last ski day in this season with Jared and I got a sleepover with Elise in my bed. She likes to bring in her blankets and pillow then snuggle up all night. So sweet.

In other news, my clothes absolutely do not fit. I look ridiculous walking around the house. Poor Jared.

Now we are taking it day by day waiting for baby to come. I have everything ready include an assortment of freezer meals, muffins, jam, pizza dough, etc, etc. We are ready.... Looks like this baby is going to be my latest baby yet. Tomorrow I am 39 weeks which is the day Cole came. Cannot wait to get her here!!!