5 years came and went all too quickly. Our lives were so busy with two little ones in it but as busy as life was, the days were great. Imagine my surprise when just a few weeks after our anniversary I started experiencing some symptoms that were far too similar to some symptoms I had experienced just once before in my life. I couldn't even BELIEVE the news when I saw two lines show up on that test again! Mind you, I had a 15 month old sitting in one high chair at this moment and a 6 month old sitting in his high chair across the room. I was in complete shock!
I was nervous to tell Peter but he just laughed and the rest was history, we were having another baby! After a few days of letting it all sink in and figuring out how things would work I was overjoyed. Another life is always something to be celebrated! So we started the journey over again - 1 month pregnant!
We had planned a celebration for just us to head to Disneyland for our 5th anniversary celebration a few weeks after our anniversary. This was supposed to be a "kid free" trip for us and the little baby tagging along in the belly and making me feel VERY sick was not part of the plan, but we made the most of the time away.
This was a very different trip to Disneyland as the rides made me ill, and we spent a lot of time just sitting around and enjoying the scenery and ordering food to keep my tummy happy, of which I would take a couple bites and then pass it off to Peter. Then be sick and needing to eat again an hour later! There are my biggest memories from that trip!
Engagement spot for our 5 year anniversary, I was 5 weeks pregnant with baby #3!
The boys were still being adorable and growing quick, although I am sad to say the days were still a blur. I battled the morning sickness and cared for them the best I could. The days were long and hard but we all survived!
Malachi celebrated 2 years home with us!
I got an 8 week ultrasound and after a few seconds of complete silence where I started to get worried, my doctor reassured me that all was okay and baby had a beautiful heartbeat! I was given an official due date of April 25th and told that I would need to be monitored closely and that this pregnancy may be a bit harder because my body wasn't given adequate time to heal after a preemie birth last time.
Finally as we got into fall, the morning sickness was releasing its grip right on schedule! This was a welcome change as it lasted much longer the first time around. We were enjoying life with our two very busy boys who always had us on our toes and kept us busy. There was no rest for the weary!
Another huge accomplishment this fall was Peter passing his CPA exam. We had been so busy for years and years and this was a struggle to get done. Peter had been taking tests for 3 years and it was getting really old! The hours of studying in the evenings, the fees to take each one and the cost of new study material. We were really getting frustrated with the whole thing but knew it was too important for him to quit, so we buckled down over the summer and he worked his behind off to study all the time. Fall brought news that he had officially passed all parts of the exam and was officially a CPA! We could not have been more thrilled and all his perseverance paid off! This was not the first time in our entire relationship that Peter wasn't having to study for something!
We didn't have a whole lot of money but we had to escape out of our house. We enjoyed heading out to our local state park as much as possible to get outside before winter set in. With two very busy boys the escape was nice and I knew cabin fever would set in as winter approached.
Fall lead into Halloween fun with the boys
And before long it was Christmas! These two little guys were the delight of our lives! We lived to make every holiday and every moment special for them!
And on Christmas I hit 5 months pregnant! We were well over halfway through the pregnancy and were prepared for things to be changing in the coming weeks. Since my 20 week ultrasound my doctor had already started putting me on restrictions and asking me to take things easier. That was so much easier said than done as I had 2 little balls of energy to care for, but I promised to try my best!
In the new year Eli joined the fun of the walking crowd and even more chaos arrived on the scene. Toddlerhood with two boys was going to be a whole lot of fun!
And he celebrated his very first birthday! It was special to celebrate him and remember how much of a trooper he was that first year. He was a sweetpea through and through!
And a fun Valentines with my house full of Valentine's boys!
It's a good thing we enjoyed Eli's birthday and Valentine's day because the day after Valentine's Day, my body failed some tests that were ran and I was sentenced to strict bed rest. I knew this was a risk as two weeks prior, I was almost put on bed rest but at 30 weeks things were too risky and it was time to give my body a rest. My mom was a huge help during this time as she would pick us up every morning and I would lay around at her house and she would care for the boys while Peter had to work. The days were long and hard for me but I had already had one nicu baby and I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to avoid going through that again!
The weeks wore on and by the time I was 32 weeks things were really scary as we thought labor would be starting very very soon. I was really scared but we kept plugging along and I was doing as much as I could, counting down every half week and week, knowing every day in was helpful to the baby!
We even had a snow storm in March to enjoy with the kids, well I wasn't able to partake but Peter played while I watched!
Every week was hard. I was thankful for all the help but not being able to do much of anything was getting really depressing for me. My mom and Peter were doing all the work for me and Peter was doing far more than his fair share of duties at home in his off hours. 30 weeks, 32 weeks, 34 weeks and I was hoping that I was going to get off this bed rest soon, but my doctor wanted me to keep plugging along. 35 weeks, then 36 weeks but I was still to take it easy until I hit 37 weeks. Those last couple weeks literally felt like torture. Not being able to move, I had gained more weight and just having to lay down left me with so many more aches and pains to deal with. I was pretty miserable but baby was doing great and staying put and that is all that mattered!
Finally I was off bedrest! We had done it! I was told by my doctor to expect to go into labor pretty quick after being able to walk again. We were so excited to get some sense of normal life back, but at the same time, life was no longer normal to begin with! We were gonna have 3 babies under 24 months! Each night, like clockwork contractions would start and they would stay steady - 5 minutes apart for hours upon hours. They were mild, but regular so I would get up and walk around the house during the night to see if they would get stronger but nope. Around 6 AM every morning, they would go away, like they had never even happened.
I remembered the night before Easter that I particularly thought labor was starting, but morning came and it was off to celebrate Easter with our boys. I was so exhausted from these sleepless nights of contractions but was eager and expecting labor to start at any moment!
Then we were back to Malachi's 2nd Birthday! I never in a million years thought I would still be pregnant by his birthday. I actually spent most of that day in the hospital - 2nd day in less than a week because my blood pressure was no longer behaving and they were concerned and keeping an eye on things. I was only 2 days away from 39 weeks and that was the target date!
Things were still up in the air on Malachi's birthday and I was so relieved after hours in triage to know that I would not be having a baby ON his actual birthday. So home it was to have a tiny little party with him. The bigger party would come after baby came!
And then we actually made it to 39 weeks. My blood pressure still stunk so it was induction time. I of course was super nervous after the last birth and I just wanted a healthy baby. We were eager to know if this one was a little girl. Peter had wanted a baby girl from the get go and after two boys I was very eager to know too. We knew we would be in love no matter though, healthy baby is all that mattered.
I went in very early in the morning, everyone I greeted on the way in could clearly tell it was baby day and were congratulating us! Our induction was delayed for a couple hours as the staff was busy with some unscheduled babies - go figure! I remember one father we met in the hall as his wife had just arrived a little before us and as I was being wheeled out to the parking lot the next day I saw him again and he couldn't believe we were on our way home as his poor wife was still in labor - wow!
But finally around 10 or 11 in the morning we were on our way! I was already pretty progressed into labor by the start of things and so I just needed a little jump start. I remember the anesthesiologist was just hanging out in the hall waiting for me to be ready for an epidural. Since I had already felt hours of contractions the first time around, I felt no need to delay and as soon as I started feeling them he was right in the door and meds were on board.
The next few hours were spent just chatting with our nurse, watching Modern Family Season 2, and resting a little here and there. My blood pressure dropped low (go figure) after the epidural and the epidural wasn't quite as perfect as my first one but overall I had no complaints. I had to lay flat for the bed pressure and got a bit shaky and could still feel the contractions a bit but things were moving right along. I remember warning my nurse that after I hit 6cm the first time I was pushing within 30 minutes, so I remember her deciding to get things all ready when I was sitting at 5cm. Then about 30 minutes the baby was showing some heart decels so she decided to give me some oxygen and check me and I was 8cm. She called my doctor right away and within 5 minutes my doctor was in the room and it was time to push! 2 minutes of pushing and she was here! All the staff still remembered us from our delivery the year before and they wanted to make this special. The room kind of went silent when she was out (except for a healthy crying baby!) and my doctor told Peter that she thought he should announce what we had! A baby girl! I instantly got teary and I remember looking at my doctor who was a bit teary too! I kept asking them if she was okay and they assured me she was perfect! After all the initial checks were done they all left the room, never taking her from my arms but told me to let them know when I was ready for them to come back and get her and clean her up and weigh her. It was pure bliss!
Eventually I let Peter have a chance. This time was so precious and such a gift to us after all the hard that came with Eli's birth!
Then all the family came and it was such a time of celebration! It was seriously like the paparazzi entered the room! A long awaited (I think about 50 years of waiting) baby girl for all of Peter's side and the first baby girl after several baby boys on my side too. I couldn't have been happier and I felt like I needed to be pinched. 2 amazing sons and then a precious daughter. I couldn't have orchestrated it anymore perfect.
And just as fast as we arrived at the hospital, all went so perfect we left early! All of our prayers for a healthy baby were answered and she was as healthy as could possibly be! We were so excited to get her home to those brother's!
Somehow we even had the energy to host a big 2nd birthday party!
We once again found ourselves adjusting and getting to know the newest member of our family. Adapting to 3 young children was no easy task but I was so in love with each of them. I knew they were a huge blessing in our lives. Much wanted and much anticipated! My hands were so soooo full though!
The adjustment to three kids proved to be the most difficult for us. I've heard from many friends that it is a hard adjustment in general, but I think with the ages of our kids it made it even harder! My kids are great, and Sabrina could not have been an easier baby but the days were still so busy. Each of these kiddos was still 100% reliant on me for almost everything. They were all still babies so what could I expect.
Peter was always a wonderful help of course. He would often find himself tackling tasks with the boys and I would take on Sabrina's needs and that system worked well for us! I have been so lucky to have a partner who is in the nitty gritty with me each and every day and who strives to spend as much time with his family as he can! I could not have handled all those little blessings all at once without him there right alongside me through it all!
Summer was quickly upon us and the kids were doing great. Having two walking talking toddler boys kept us on our toes at all times. Our days were spent specifically just trying to wear them out! They had so much energy!
4th of July is always a fun time and we had a blast with our little family!
Our gorgeous baby girl was growing all too fast!
But she still needed lots of snuggles when all the kids and I came down with Hand, Foot, Mouth. Ouch and no fun for anyone! Lots of snuggles were required!
The boys grew to a point where they could share a room and both be in big boy beds! Their relationship continued to grow and blossom and it was a beautiful thing to watch. I still stand in awe of the story of our family and how it included both of these boys! God's plan for us was greater than I could have ever anticipated.
And before we even knew it we were at 6 years of marriage! We had a wonderful weekend together with Old Fashioned Festival and then packed away to the beach for one night with our baby girl to continue the celebration!