So excited to share some favorites from Remerie’s newborn pictures we took about a month ago, she has already changed so much since then (and also no longer likes to be swaddled!) — so of course I am so grateful to have these moments to look back on forever.  I love how Waverly & Avalon’s love for their little sister shows so much in these, life as a family of five is crazy and in no way seamless or easy, but we have never had to worry about either of them being jealous or not absolutely adoring Remie.  She fits in so perfectly, it was always meant to be.

Some things I never want to forget about Remie during her first weeks of life, her bright blue eyes, so alert even at such a young age, her smiles (that started almost immediately after she was born!), and how much her sweet little face looks just like her daddy’s newborn photos.  We love you so much, Remerie Rue!

All photos are by Shawna Bielat, as always we are so thankful for her capturing our little family! XO

The countdown is on, one more week until Halloween and we cannot wait to celebrate our first official holiday as a family of five!!  Sharing some pictures of our October today, as well as five things I never want to forget about October 2018 – like usual, it went WAY TOO FAST.

I took all three girls to three different pumpkin patches.  One trip lasted all of fifteen minutes and we barely made it out alive, another ended with me nursing in the front seat of my car while the big girls entertained themselves by jumping over the seats in the back, and the last one was so hot we were all sweating (including Remie).  Expectations are low with three kids but we made all the memories and I am calling it a win.

Avalon’s first field trip was this month and it was just about the cutest thing ever.  It is so much fun seeing her make little friends and getting to experience being in big girl school just like Waverly.  Lately she is so silly (and getting her own spunk as well) but her personality is just so big and she is so much fun to be around.

Waverly is settling into first grade and absolutely loving it!  This month she had picture day and was so excited about it, I also took her two little sisters to come eat lunch with her at school and she was so proud.  She keeps a photo of her, Avalon & Remie in her bookbag — she will forever be the child that keeps us on our toes but she truly is the BEST big sister ever.

We have been seeing Remerie’s personality more & more the past few weeks, she is using her voice and smiling more all of the time.  The big girls get so excited when she smiles or makes eye contact with each of them, they also argue over who gets to hold her throughout the day.  She is definitely sooooo very loved and will never know what quiet is.

This month we got our mantle up just in time for the holidays, my husband made it out of wood from a tree that actually fell in our neighborhood.  It really is hard getting house projects done with three kids and jobs and everything else, but I remind myself all the time that one day our kids will be grown and gone and we will have all the time in the world for projects and then … we will be sad.  For now, soaking these little girls in while we can.

Hope you are having the best October!  XO

Aaaah, the day our sweet Remie Rue was born — along with my other girls birthdays, forever one of the happiest days of my life!  Her labor was probably the one I was most nervous and anxious about, plus also the one we thought would possibly end up in a C-section, and it actually ended up being my quickest, easiest, most-laid back of all three and the days since then have been the easiest transition as well!

I was induced with both Waverly & Avalon and both times had really long labors (48 hours for the first and 24 for the second), I took forever to dilate both times which was extremely frustrating.  Avalon’s delivery was also super scary, her shoulders got stuck on the way out and I didn’t even get to hold her as the NICU team was working with her for the first minutes of her life.  Because of all this, I was offered an induction at 39 weeks, mainly because my doctor wanted to avoid a C-section (as did I) and she thought the best way to do that was to make sure she didn’t get too big.  I REALLY did not want another induction after my first two experiences, of course I was going to do whatever was best for the baby but she was moving around a ton, my fluid levels looked great and she had been measuring small my whole pregnancy, so I felt confident waiting.  My doctor agreed to let me wait until 40 weeks, and scheduled an induction for the following Tuesday, the girls first day of school.  The day before the induction I just didn’t feel right about it, I was showing signs of labor (that I had never had in either of my first two pregnancies) so I still wanted to give my body time and also really hated the idea of missing the girls first day of school for a scheduled induction.  I texted my doctor and instead of the induction, the next day I went to labor & delivery for a non-stress test to check on the baby.  She still looked great, her heart rate was perfect and the fluid levels still looked good so the nurses there agreed, I could wait it out some more.   I was so uncomfortable and over it at this point — and SO READY to meet her! — but kept reminding myself of how far I had made it and that I was so close.

Sunday the 9th, nine days overdue, I woke up and did not feel her move at all, even after drinking two cups of cold apple juice and eating crackers — which was just not like her.  She was the busiest of all three girls in my belly, right up until the end and this was the first time my entire pregnancy I couldn’t get her to move by laying on my side and waiting.  We headed straight for the hospital, kind of freaking out the entire time, and were given another non-stress test once we got there.  She was fine, but not quite as active as she had been, and my fluid levels were getting low.  My husband & I both knew it was time, I had waited as long as I could and would never have forgiven myself if something had happened to her because I kept waiting — ultimately our priority was a healthy baby!

I was put straight on pitocin and almost immediately, it felt like both my other labors all over again.  The contractions were strong and painful, but my body wasn’t dilating.  After hours with little to no progress, we decided to do cervadil instead overnight, to see if it would help me dilate.  I hardly slept and was super uncomfortable with contractions all through the night, but just hoped that meant my body was finally doing something.  They checked me the next morning, and for the first time ever, I had dilated from the cervadil to a two.  Which for me, was huge!  I went back on a small dose of pitocin and this time, the contractions were stronger, closer, and were actually making me dilate!  I made it a couple hours before the epidural, and once I had that, was able to relax and was getting sooooooo excited to meet her soon.

The next hour or so was actually really laid-back and peaceful (I will never know how anyone ever does it without the epidural), and before I could even process how quickly everything was going I started feeling major pressure — I had dilated to a ten!  I pushed for about FIVE MINUTES and there she was — perfect and healthy as can be, in my arms and with no complications.  She had a head full of dark hair which was just the craziest thing ever to us, the same bright blue eyes that both her big sisters had, and the sweetest, daintiest little features that were all her own.  It honestly felt like a dream, the happiest dream, which was so very fitting after nine months of a surprise, surreal pregnancy with our third baby girl.

I was up, walking and feeling great within a couple hours and have had a really seamless recovery since then.  Feeling grateful for that and of course most of all, for our Remie Rue!!!!!!!!!!!!  We love you, angel girl and cannot believe that you are ours forever.

PS — I promise to share the story of her name soon, along with some pictures of the big girls meeting her for the first time which was hands down just the BEST!  Thank you again for all your support and sweet comments for our little girl gang, we are forever thankful for your support and love!

I am finally getting around to sharing our maternity photos, these were taken when I was about 36 weeks pregnant so it has been just over a month & a half already!  So crazy, because looking back now, I thought I was within a couple weeks of having her and in all reality, she was cozy and ended up taking FIVE MORE.  Either way, I love these so much, they capture such a special time in our family and most of all, that’s our sweet Remie girl in my belly!

I love being pregnant, and even though this time around was physically the hardest on my body, I still felt like I stayed grateful for another healthy pregnancy and was able to just soak it in for how amazing it all is.  Most amazing of all, the sweetest little babe you get to meet at the end.  We love her so.

Thank you so much to my talented friend Shawna Bielat for taking these photos, if you are local to the VB area she is so good and we just cherish all the memories she has captured for us!  XO

My DressWaverly’s DressAvalon’s Shirt & Bloomers

We welcomed our third baby girl, Remerie Rue Brickner, into the world one week ago today — Monday, September 10th at 1:10pm!  Remie weighed 7 pounds & 10 ounces, is 20 inches long, and shocked us all with a head FULL of dark hair.  She is precious and perfect, we are all in heaven and just cannot get enough of her!

I ended up going nine days overdue, which kind of felt like ninety, but the labor and delivery was by far my easiest and my recovery has been as well!  I will share her birth story soon, but for now, we are just soaking every bit of her newborn sweetness in and cannot believe she is ours.  We really can’t decide who she looks like, and keep going back & forth between Waverly and Avalon, but mostly she looks like my husband’s baby pictures.  Neither of the girls had the dark hair (or near as much of it!), so it will be fun to see if it falls out or changes color.  Her little features are so dainty, and even though she is our biggest baby by a few ounces, she just seems so little.

Right as she was born last Monday, the weather forecast had Hurricane Florence headed straight our way so it turned a crazy week even crazier.  Schools were cancelled from Tuesday through Friday, and I was pretty sure I was leaving the hospital with our newborn and headed home for the first time as a family of five to a category four hurricane.  Thankfully it weakened, made a turn and ended up sparing us almost entirely which I was SO GRATEFUL for, but of course our thoughts are with those in North & South Carolina who did not get so lucky.  Having the girls off school and my husband home from work because of all the cancellations has been the best, we have been able to take long family walks, sleep in some, and adjust to having three kids.  So far, Remie is super laid-back and the girls absolutely adore her, so it’s been a really easy transition.  But of course the real fun starts tomorrow when my husband heads back to work and I have to get all three girls up, ready and out the door for school and doctor’s appointments.  Wish me luck!

Thank you all for your sweet messages and support over the past week, it means so much to all of us!  And to our sweet Remie Rue, we could not love you one bit more!!!!!  You are the best surprise of our lives and we could already never imagine a life without you in it.