Today our Avi girl turns SEVEN!!!!!¬† We were so excited to celebrate her this weekend with a brunch + sleepover with two of her sweet friends, a lot to manage with a newborn but worth it to give Avalon some well-deserved attention all of her own! ūüôā

Avalon has been looking forward to turning seven for what feels like forever, she wanted a magic mixie, skateboard, new acro outfits, a pretend phone + gum.  Her birthday list is so very her, girly but also athletic and the biggest lover of sweets you have ever met.  She has always been our easiest kid from the day she was born seven years ago, she has definitely come into her own + has a sassy side these days, but also is still so incredibly sweet.  I have a motherhood one line a day book that I write my favorite moment from each day at night before bed, and always find myself writing something sweet that Avalon said, she just has that way about her.

Some favorite photos from the past year, her toothless smile will forever be a fave + those ringlet curls are one of the most special things about her.  She is a gem.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Avalon Elle, we adore you + hope your seventh birthday was just as special as you are! XO

We recently welcomed our fourth daughter, sweet Delilah June was born on May 14th at 9:45am.¬† We made it to 37 weeks (a major goal for us!), + tried for an induction, labor was very long and ended in a last minute c-section — it was scary at times but of course MORE than worth it to get to her.¬† She came out healthy, crying, and absolutely precious, looking so much like her big sisters and is a true miracle baby.

We are so incredibly thankful.

Delilah weighed 3 pounds + 12 ounces, she is a tiny little babe who is such a fighter!¬† She was on oxygen the first day but was completely breathing on her own by the second, and was in the NICU for 11 days pretty much just to grow.¬† Once she hit four pounds and was able to go in the car seat, we were able to be discharged the next day and it was the beeeeeest day ever!¬† Keeping it real, NICU life was so hard.¬† I prepared for the entire second half of my pregnancy for it, but that definitely did not make it any easier, emotionally it was incredibly hard to leave her each day and obviously logistically it was just as tough.¬† We made it though, and I know it’s part of her story and also feel like it gave me new perspective on truly how much of a miracle these babies are.¬† Nothing about this pregnancy or birth (or the days following it) was like any of my three before it, but in the end none of that really mattered.¬† Delilah is here + healthy + the gift of that will never be lost on me.

Some pictures from the NICU and the girls welcoming me home, they made a tough situation so much easier.

Thank you for all the messages + support since we have welcomed Delilah, and mostly for the prayers that I whole-heartedly believe helped get her here.  XO

All three girls had spring break last week, we couldn’t plan much or go far from home since I am still resting for the baby + have lots of doctor’s appointments to monitor her, but we tried to still make it special for them.¬† It was really good to have them home (and it made my days go by so much faster!), we were able to fit in some beach days + lots of time outside, my big girls also got to go to Busch Gardens with my husband — definitely the highlight of their week!¬† We ended the break with a really sweet Easter Sunday, it was such a good day with family and also noteworthy, it was Waverly’s last year believing in the Easter bunny.¬†¬†So bittersweet, she had randomly seen the baskets when grabbing something from the attic the week before, so I ended up telling her + asking her to help me with the little girls for the years to come.¬† Hoping she keeps the secret!

In other news, I am THIRTY-FOUR weeks pregnant today!!¬† This milestone felt impossible a couple months ago + we are so thankful to have made it this far.¬† Our high-risk doctors felt comfortable setting a delivery date for thirty-seven weeks, we have known for a while that this would be the longest they would let us go (because of the risk of placenta failure increasing at this point with IUGR), it just seemed like a DREAM before.¬† We very well know things could change quickly, our baby girl is being monitored very closely + still small but consistently growing each week, as active as ever, and other than her size, looks perfect. Truly answered prayers!¬† This has been such a crazy journey, I am overall doing well and in a good mindset, but know I won’t be able to fully take a breathe of relief until she is here + in my arms.¬† Thank you for all the support, we definitely feel all of it!

Hope you had the best Easter + are enjoying spring weather your way!!! XO

It has been forever since I have posted here, life has been busy and overwhelming at times.¬† To be honest I wasn’t sure I would find the time to post again but it feels good to write out my thoughts and all the crazy ups + downs from the past few months.¬† It has been a roller coaster,¬†but we are still standing + I know I will want to look back on this time and will appreciate having this space to remember it from, just like my first three pregnancies.

The start of this pregnancy was very similar to my others, I was super sick and in survival mode until about 14 weeks — it was touuuugh but knew it would be worth it and that I could survive it just like the times before.¬† Then on Christmas (and right around the time I was starting to feel better), my entire house got hit with Covid and of course I got hit the worst.¬† It took a few weeks to fully recover but I did, and was so ready at that point to embrace all the second trimester magic!!!¬† Anyone who knows me knows I love being pregnant and I was so excited + grateful (still am!!) to experience it all one last time.

Fast forward a couple weeks to the beginning of January, my husband + I headed to our 20 week anatomy ultrasound.¬† This wasn’t our first rodeo, we knew what to expect, only everything about this time felt completely different.¬† The tech immediately started checking my due date + asking how big our other girls were, she was clearly very concerned about the baby’s size.¬† The doctor came in a few minutes later and confirmed that our baby girl was measuring “quite small” and that they would be referring me to a high risk follow-up.¬† It felt shocking and scary, but I tried to remain positive during what felt like a veryyyy long wait to our high risk appointment two weeks later.

Because of Covid restrictions, I had to go to that appointment alone which made it feel even scarier.¬† My husband sat in the lobby, and I sat in the room while the tech quietly did all the measurements + I will never forget looking up at the screen to¬†under the 1st percentile¬†all across the board.¬† I knew something was wrong, she had been measuring at the 4th percentile at the appointment two weeks prior and it clearly wasn’t only not a fluke, but she had dropped in percentiles.¬† The high risk doctor came in and told me that she had a severe growth restriction, and that they really had no idea why.¬† The next six weeks would be critical for her and that they were sorry.¬† I left that room in tears, completely devastated + wondering if we would ever get to meet our baby.¬† I remember hardly being able to look at the ultrasound pictures of her because I felt so bad, like my body was completely failing her and that there was literally nothing I could do.¬† I let myself feel REALLY sad that day, but got up the next morning ready to fight for her and in a much better mindset.¬† I know I have so many special people around me to thank for that, because I never could have done any of this alone.

It’s now been 9 weeks since that high risk appointment and we have definitely had hard moments, but also so much support + prayers — and thankfully, lots of little wins!!¬† We have officially left my regular OB and are now patients at the high risk doctor, and have had a growth ultrasound every other week since that day.¬† Our baby girl is still under the first percentile, but has continued to grow steadily each week (just at her own slower pace) + otherwise is doing so well, she’s so active and such a little fighter!¬† In addition to the ultrasounds, I have NST’s twice a week to closely monitor her, and also had steroid shots a few weeks ago to strengthen her lungs in case she has to come very early.¬† I am on FMLA from work, resting a lot while the girls are at school, and eating lots of protein + hydrating a ton.¬† I have also done a ton of testing and everyone we have met with feels pretty confident that the reason she is so small is because of an issue with my placenta not getting her enough nutrients, so we feel hopeful that if that is the case, if we can just get her here — she will thrive!!¬† The doctors have gone from worst case scenario to a little more optimistic with each appointment, I really am so thankful for how closely they have watched her.¬† Even though it’s so bittersweet to be at a different doctor and delivering at a different hospital + in such a different scenario than I did with my other three, I know this is where we were meant to be at this time.

Today I am officially 31 weeks (!!!), a number I wasn’t sure we would ever see this time around, and the doctors definitely didn’t — our sweet girl is proving people wrong already!¬† I am just so grateful for each day she is still cozy + fighting away in my belly.¬† We have been prepared that she could come at any time if she shows signs that she would do better out than in, but we are leaning into hope and that even if she has to come very soon, we have a wonderful NICU that can take really good care of her.¬† If you had asked me months ago if I could make it through such a crazy journey so far, I wouldn’t have believed I was strong enough for it, but just like anything else hard in life, you just find a way to do it.¬† She’s worth it, and I just love her so much already.

**Photo by Shawna Bielat Photography, who so graciously did these for me early in case she has to come.  She is a GEM!!!!

Sharing some photos from our Christmas, it has been forever since I have updated the blog but these holiday posts are some of my favorite to look back on + I know I will be so thankful to have them one day.

Christmas this year was not at all what we planned for.¬† Long story short, we all ended up with Covid + of allllll the days of the year, it showed up right on Christmas Eve.¬† After a really sick first trimester of pregnancy this was pretty much the last thing I wanted (especially with a baby in my belly!), but that’s sometimes reality + through all our years of parenting I have definitely learned that sometimes things just don’t turn out how you want them to be.

We made the most of it, stayed cozy in our jammies + watched lots of Christmas movies from the couch.¬† The girls still got the best visit from Santa and lots of fun little gifts that kept them busy all day long.¬† We ended up extending Christmas a few weeks and getting to have a second one with my parents, and then my husband’s parents just a few days ago.¬† And I know that of all the Christmas holidays, this will definitely be one we won’t forget — the time we all got Covid and I had our last baby sister in my belly.

Also sharing a few more photos from our December, some of our favorite traditions — picking out the tree, Waverly + Remie in front of the sink at Christmas, + festive days at home.

We hope you had the best holiday with your loved ones (and are staying healthy your way!), happy 2022! XO