Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And Then There Were Five...

There came a time…a while ago…that I wanted to write a blog post.  Well, the fact of the matter is, quite often I want to write.  The thing is, sometimes it has been so darn long that I have written that there is this huge hill to overcome.  A million changes have occurred in our lives over the last few months.  How do I write about an especially fun day, or an amazing trip for Spring Break, when I haven't even introduced Stella Rose!  Yet, it's hard to find words to write about how wonderful our life has been with this amazing new tiny person.  Today, I decided, it's okay.  Just write what I want to write.  That is what I have always done and it is what I will do again…tonight.  So with no further ado, I am so happy to introduce Stella Rose.
Stella joined our family at 1:47am on February 23.  She weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 3/4 inches long.

The end of my pregnancy was definitely the roughest that I had ever experienced.  Quite possibly due to the fact that I have never made it to a due date and Miss Stella made her appearance five days AFTER my due date.  Not to mention, I had steady and consistent contractions for the last four weeks of the pregnancy.  Yet, I am convinced that a rough pregnancy produced the most chill and easy-going baby that I have ever met.  She fits into our family so perfectly.  God certainly made her just for us.  She is so worth the wait.
The night of Stella's arrival was the most relaxed birth that I have ever had (just like Stella!)  Ben and I went to the hospital fairly early with contractions because Jillian's labor was so fast that I was only at the hospital about 20 minutes before she was born.  Better safe than sorry and a car delivery was not a desirable option if we had any choice in the matter.  Although, we didn't need to worry at all.  Everything progressed steadily, but it wasn't a crazy whirlwind.  It was relatively peaceful and each step of the labor happened when it should.  Then, at 1:47am, Stella was born.  For the first time, I was able to have my newborn placed on my stomach immediately following birth.  She stopped crying right away and nuzzled right in with me.  It was love at first sight.
In the morning, Myles and Jillian came to the hospital to meet their new sister.  Seeing the two of them love their sister with all their hearts, just melts mine.  It started that day in the hospital and it continues every single day.  No one squeals with joy more than Jillian when Stella smiles and coos at her.  She talks to her and looks forward to the times each day that Stella is awake and ready to play.  Myles is her protective big brother.  He loves to hold her, sing to her, and was the first one to object when the animal trainer joked that she was the perfect size for snake food at Gatorland on our vacation to Florida recently.  They love her and I can see in her eyes, she loves them too.
Now a bit about my new baby girl.  As any mother would say, she is amazing.  She is so relaxed, peaceful, and happy.  Frankly, my other two were never "chill" babies.  They both wanted to nurse every two hours and were quite fussy.  Stella, just goes with the family flow… a basketball game before she was a week old, dance practices, school drop offs, you know…normal stuff.  We even made the trek to Florida for a week of fun in the sun.  She was perfect and content.  A happy baby.  I won't bore you with boring details about the fact that she sleeps through the night and often puts herself to sleep when I lay her down drowsy.  Chill.  That is the best way to describe her.  Well, that, and happy, cuddly, loving, smiley, beautiful, and the sunshine of my everyday now.  It is amazing how a mother's heart can open and love each and every child in her family with so much gusto.

My days lately have been filled with cuddling with Stella and having good old family fun.  I never imagined that the transition would be so easy.  I thank God for answering my prayers. For giving us a wonderful baby girl that completes our family in a picture perfect way.

 A few random photos of the last two months…

Hospital photo.
First doctor's visit.

Stella enjoying a basketball game.
Roadtrip to Florida!  
 When I look at this picture...I realize…just how many kids we have...
Sitting under an umbrella by the pool.
 Sibling love.
Stella at the beach.
 Beach baby.
 The kids call Stella "GlowWorm" when she wears this green swaddler.
 First touch of the ocean.  She smiled.

 This feathered lady kept trying to steal the gator food (hot dogs) from Myles!
 Silly Jillian at Gatorland.
 It's baseball time again!
Stella cooing.
And smiling.
My Love.  Be Still My Heart.