Thursday, October 26, 2017

and then there were five...

*Finally making myself sit down to write this birth story out--2.5 months after you were born :P*
And now here I am making myself finish it...11 months after you were born...bah.

This pregnancy was a surprise for us.  We hadn't been preventing anything since we had Kaplan since it had taken us a while to get pregnant with both of them.  And the beginning of that year had been so busy and stressful, it was far from our mind as a possibility.  Until I came home from Easter at the camp and took a test just out of curiosity...

...PapPaw had just passed away a few weeks before and life was a little hectic that month.  Easter at the camp was so special and tender and a little bit hard.  Uncle B and Aunt Lindsey had just gotten to tell him they were pregnant again about a week before he passed away and his response was that we wouldn't be far behind (even though we promise, you were a complete surprise to us...).  So we feel without question that you are our sweet little gift from our angel PawPaw; a beautiful Easter promise that life will go on.  

Your PawPaw, PawPaw, Your Daddy, and Kaplan...4 generations of  Newby Men.  He would have been SO proud of you!  Another little boy dog...
I went to the dr at the end of that week to confirm pregnancy and draw labs.  Again, my progesterone was too low, but thankfully I only had to take one pill this time instead of twice a day (those things mess with me!).  We knew you would be another C-section, and again this makes the whole pregnancy a little different.

We had our big anatomy scan with you later than your brother and sister--I was around 24 weeks before they performed yours.  And as always, it is my absolute favorite.  The difference this time was that we already knew you were a boy!  Since Uncle B and Aunt Lindsey had just found out they were pregnant too and we were due within a few weeks of each other, we decided to do a joint gender reveal party.  So I got to have an extra ultrasound with you at 17 weeks :)  But she turned the screen off when she got to your man parts and wrote the gender down in a sealed envelope.  We gave the envelopes to Leslie, and she filled balloons with blue/pink paint based on the gender.  A week later, we all gathered together, and your daddy and Uncle B shot those balloons with BB guns to reveal a whole bunch of BLUE paint!  Two boys!

My pregnancy with you was a good one in that I was healthy and you were too.  But it was really hard on me.  I was absolutely exhausted having to take care of Arabella and Kaplan as well.  And you big ole babies literally just wear my body out.  Heartburn started the earliest with you and I slept propped up basically the whole time.  I also lost my breath very easily and stayed pretty cranky.

My actual due date was November 28, but because it was so close to Thanksgiving, it took us a long time to set your date.  We really didn't know exactly which day we were going to have you until the week before!  We decided on Wednesday morning, spending Thanksgiving in the hospital, and a weekend release.

The Tuesday night before I had you was the area wide Thanksgiving service (and the Saturday before was our community Thanksgiving meal)--Trey was coming in to speak, which I was so excited not to miss!  A lot of people thought I was a little crazy, but there wasn't anything I would have rather done my last night before having you...  Your daddy and I, plus Bella and Kaplan went to eat at Carrabba's  before church (had to get one last good meal in!) and then Aunt Mel spent the night to take care of your brother and sister while we went to the hospital.

The weather was so nasty Wednesday morning.  Luckily it didn't start raining until after we got there, but all of our family had to fight it.  You were scheduled for 8:30 so we had to be there at 6:30.  As usual, the IV was tough and absolutely miserable, and I cried and cried, happens.  And also as usual, things were running a little late.  Aunt Mel brought Bella and Kaplan up so we could see them before we went back.  They were SO excited to get to meet you!   Mimi and Papa, Nanny and PawPaw, MawMaw, Grandmaw, and your Juannie were all there too.  Plus Mrs. Windy was working that day so she came and checked in with us several times.

The time finally came...daddy was all suited up, he kissed me good luck, and they wheeled me into the OR.  And then we had to do the spinal.  Let me tell you are so lucky I love you so much.  Because this spinal was absolute Hell...  The anesthesiologist was not the kindest guy, and his CRNA was having a realllllly hard time getting it in the right spot.  I lost count of how many times they had to stick me, but it was around 8-10.  I was literally sobbing crying, snot and tears all over the place.  It was lovely.  My doctor came in thinking we'd be ready to go, and he actually came and held me to help keep me in the right position for the spinal and to help calm me down.  It really was just awful.  And of course your daddy can't be in there for any of that :(   So literally 30 minutes later, I was going numb, they let daddy in, and it was go time.

After that, it all happens so, so fast.  I did really well with nausea this time and never felt sick (I was sick in the OR with Bella and  nauseated with Kaplan).  You daddy and I got to share some special glances and visits as we really took in what was happening...our third child was being born and it was just so emotional.  You were such a vocal little thing--you actually started crying before he even pulled you all the way out!  I just had a crying head hanging out of my belly, haha (daddy thought it was the had a deep cry and we weren't expecting you to cry until you were lifted out).  And then once he did finally get you out and lifted you up over that curtain, you really let it out!  Sweet boy.

This was the first time that I got to do skin to skin with one of my babies in the OR.  The nurses sucked you out and wiped you down and then immediately laid you on my chest.  It was so beautiful. They wrapped you up and let daddy hold you and we took all of our pictures and soaked all of you in.  While they were stitching me up, I asked for them to let daddy take you out to see Arabella and Kaplan...I wanted to be able to see their reactions to you so badly, but I also didn't want to make them wait another couple of hours for us to get out of recovery.  They were in love immediately.  And it was such a special moment for your daddy to get to introduce you to them...our three little minions.

When I got to recovery, you were there waiting on me.  We did skin to skin that whole time and you latched on to nurse like a champ, wiggling over to find it on your own.  We were both doing so well until they moved me to get ready to go back to our room...that's when the nausea hit.  And just like the other two, it lasted most of the day (until I got a shot of phenergan late that afternoon).  But I was so grateful I lasted so long before it hit...I will always treasure those little moments and memories in the OR and Recovery (with Bella I was throwing up the whole time and could barely even hold you; with Kaplan, they pushed meds to help with nausea and it made me forget absolutely everything).

After that, we made it back to our room (they brought you in about 30 minutes after I got there).  A little more skin to skin and then you were making the rounds.  So many people who loved you and couldn't wait to get their hands on you!  (Aunt Rachel and Karissa came down as well and got there just before we got to our room.  Kristen and Jason and Kaylee also came up later that day to meet you).  You were so snuggly and so squeaky and so perfect.

You got your first bath late that night and they did it in our room, so daddy and I got to watch.  They don't have a nursery at the hospital anymore so you stayed with us pretty much all the time.  Because you were over a certain weight, they had to check your blood sugar before feedings and you had to pass three consecutive times.  Bella and Kaplan struggled with this, but you were perfect all three times!  Such a relief not to have to deal with anymore pricks.

All clean!  And I know you can't see them well...but those little baby blue elephant pajamas with the grey trim were your first of your clothes to put on after your bath.  They were the first clothes Kaplan wore too :)
We spent Thanksgiving in the hospital--MawMaw made gumbo and potato salad.  Mimi and Papa and Aunt Mel and Unc came too.  You were the first of our three babies that your cousins got to meet in the hospital when you were oh so new!  They were all three smitten immediately.

Because you and I were both doing so well, we actually got to go home a day early and hopped out of that place on Friday!  Just like Kaplan, you wore the same little going home outfit that your daddy wore when he went home from the hospital.  So Friday evening, we loaded up into our minivan and headed home.  All five of us...

So there you were...
November 23, 2016
9:26 am
8 lbs. 11 oz.
19.5 inches

and then there were five...

xoxo, mama

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dear Arabella,

SIX?!  How on earth are you already such a big kid?

You, little girl, are simply stunning. Your daddy and I are constantly amazed every time we look at you.

We are also constantly amazed by how smart you are!  You have always had a memory that just blows us away. You've also gotten pretty good at solving problems ("oh, I've got a great idea!") and love to ask questions (please don't ever lose that trait). 

We had some milestones happen this year too--you got another brother, you got your ears pierced, and you got a new house!  One of the biggest things that happened for you this year is to start school!  You have been ecstatic to go to Kindergarten all year (and really been asking to go to school since you were three).  You were a little late to start because of Hurricane Harvey--he delayed school starting by a month...  But once you finally got there, it did not disappoint!  Getting up in the morning has been (and still is) a hard transition, but you love school and you have already learned so much.  My new favorite part of the day is when you jump off the school bus and literally run to me...melts me every time!

Daddy is still your best and favorite teacher.  There is very little that I love more than watching him teach you what he knows--and you eat up every word.  You are an amazing little fisherwoman.  Seriously, your cast is impressive.  You will stay out on that boat with him from sun up to sun down if he takes you.  And you absolutely love the camp.  A little while back, you told me to guess your favorite place you've visited.  I'm thinking of vacations, so I said "Disneyland"..."nope, but I do love it there!"..."Branson?"..."nope, but I love it there too!"..."Great Wolf Lodge?"..."no, but that is one of my favorites"..."ok, baby, I don't know then"..."THE CAMP!  The camp is my favorite place to go, mom!"  Talk about make your daddy beam!

You also played Tball for the first time this year!  We gave up gymnastics for it--you weren't happy about that at first, but you really loved playing ball.  You were on the Rangers and your coaches were Coach Mike and Coach Tiffiny--they were so great and you made a lot of friends!  Watching you play was about the most precious thing ever.  You were always so focused and so precise, making sure you were in the exact spot coach told you to be...  Pitcher was your favorite position and of course you loved to hit!  Daddy helped on the field and at your practices which made these memories even more special. We were so proud of you!

Arts and Crafts...holy moly, that has been taken to a new level this year.  You've always loved to draw and color, but this year we added scissors and tape and glue to the mix.  You will literally sit and craft for hours on end (just like your mama!).

You have become pretty feisty and super sassy...Lord help me!  Most days it drives me absolutely crazy.  But other times I let myself sit and think about how much of an independent young woman you will be one day and how many glass ceilings you may help break...

You are still so very musical.  You still love TobyMac and For King and Country and pretty much any song that comes on Air1, you know all the words.  Lions, In The Eye of the Storm, Til the Day I Die, and God is on the Move are some of your favorites right now.  You almost always request Amazing Grace at bedtime.  Hearing you sing these songs to and about Jesus is incredibly beautiful!  You have also really started making up your own songs.  You love to grab something and pretend it's a microphone while you belt out your creations over and over.

You are a great big sister and your brothers both absolutely adore you.  No one can make them giggle quite like you can.  As a big sister should, you annoy the bejeezus out of them...but you are also so caring and tender and literally can't get enough.  You help them and teach them and sincerely love them. The three of you together (or in any combination) is my absolute favorite.  Sometimes, I just don't know how much my heart can take...and then somehow, my love grows just enough to handle it.  It really is a miracle.

You still love to catch lizards and frogs and turtles.  You love to go fast and ride roller coasters and go down water slides and drive the boat and climb trees and try new things.  My brave little wonder woman!  Fear very rarely keeps you from trying something new, and I am so proud of that in you.  Fear stopped me from doing a lot as a kid (and still does sometimes as an adult...).  I am so grateful that you already try not to let that get in your way...

I am so excited and anxious to see how much more you grow and learn and change this year.  Your daddy and I are whole-heartedly obsessed with who you are and always will be.  Keep enjoying life and finding giggles every single day.  Arabella, you are our treasured gift, and I promise that we will always love you more than you will ever know.

Happy birthday, my love!  xoxo, mama