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.

Well, we are one day into the school year over here — and officially have a preschooler (in the three’s this year!) & a FIRST GRADER!!!  I remember thinking about this day months back, after we had bought our house and knew that Waverly would be a walker this year, plus knowing that my due date was a few days before so I would be off work and able to really focus on the girls first day without rushing to my own.  I had the sweetest visions of walking the baby down in her stroller with the big girls next to me walking with their bookbags, and ultimately instead, I waddled them down the road, with a huge belly, three days overdue.  

Not quite what I envisioned, but I’m feeling grateful that I was able to be there for them (not in labor or at the hospital) and that it gave us time to have some special moments and sweet memories before baby sister arrives.  Waverly & Avalon were sooooo excited, look at their sweet, happy faces — this was the first year with no tears from anyone!

Waverly is of course at a new school, one of the main reasons that we moved, we love everything about her school and are so excited for all of our girls to grow up there!  Avalon is still at the same preschool, two days a week!  She can be shy with new situations at first but since she is already comfortable with the school this time around, she walked right in, turned to look at me and said “I love you, mama”, then didn’t look back.  I was so proud of them both, picking them up to hear all about their day was my favorite part!

For the memory book, we asked both girls some questions again this year the other morning:

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Waverly — A cowgirl, cheerleader, and lifeguard.  Avalon — A dragon.

What is your favorite color?  Waverly — Pink, gold, and silver.  Avalon — Blue.

What is your favorite food?  Waverly — Spaghetti & Meatballs.  Avalon — Cinnamon Rolls.

What are you most excited about for school?  Waverly — PE.  Avalon — Snack.

Happiest new school year to my darling girls, we love you and are so very proud of you! 

Aaah, we are one day away from our due date, TOMORROW, September 1st!  We are anxiously awaiting baby girl’s arrival, I had been wondering for months if we would have an August or September girl and it looks like she will hang on until September (the first of all five of us not to be born in the summer months!).  It’s been really important to me to document as much as I can of this pregnancy, just like I did with the first two — both Waverly & Avalon love looking back on pictures of when they were in my belly and I want this baby to be able to do the same.  So here goes, an official last pregnancy update with Baby B three!!!

The last couple of weeks have been WAY different than the last weeks of either of my first two pregnancies.  With both big girls, I hardly had any signs of labor at all, didn’t feel different than the weeks before, and other than some hopeful feelings that my water would randomly break — I really didn’t think I would go into labor.  This time I have had alllll the signs and have literally thought I was in labor a few different times, only for everything to stop all at once.  Which I’m sure others can relate (especially since I have googled it 300 times), is so mentally & physically exhausting!  Ultimately though, I am trying to embrace these last few days with her in my belly and to just be at peace with when and how she gets here.  Also on the upside, apparently my belly makes the coziest, happiest little place for my babies to be, and if I am induced for the third time, it must be that my girls recognize my need for planning everything and just want me to be able to do that.

In other news, I celebrated my 35th birthday this week!  The girls were the cutest about it, Waverly spent an hour the night before decorating the house with happy birday mommy and it’s your day signs, she told me at least three different times that she “takes birthdays very seriously”.  My husband leaves for work super early so when I woke up, I could hear both girls all by themselves downstairs whispering and making me breakfast.  They came up to my bed singing happy birthday a few minutes later with a plate full of cereal (no milk), an apple, two strawberries, and bread (not toast) with two unicorn candles leftover from their birthday party poked in the middle of it.  I literally could have died from the sweetness.  Most of the rest of the day was typical, everyday stuff (and still plenty of sister arguments & little girl drama), but goodness I feel incredibly grateful to be where I am at 35 and cannot believe I will have THREE little girls to celebrate with next year.

The nursery is completely done, we have tons of diapers from the sprinkle and hand-me-downs from the big girls, some new stuff special just for baby girl, and all the hospital bags are packed!!!!  I was having major anxiety a few weeks back about getting everything done but of course like everyone always does, we made it work!  She actually does not officially have a name yet, we are about 95% sure of her first name and have not decided on a middle name, but hoping that all becomes clear once we meet her!  Cannot wait to share pictures and the good news SO SOON!  Cannot believe it.  XO