Summer heat is here and we are completely consumed by the building project. DH and his Dad and 2 of my brothers have spent several weekends and evenings working on it in the heat and humidity. It’s coming along well, the structure is up, roof is almost finished. After the wall siding is on, we can move to the slower indoor work and I can stop spending my days running tea and ice water out to the guys while simultaneously cooking large meals and deserts to keep our “crew” nourished while ALSO keeping all of the kids safe and out of the way AND running out to the “Gicken barn” (as we call it) during naps to take care of the animals. I’m getting run ragged and it’s manifested in some weird, long term sinus infection thing. But, it’s only for a season. Soon DH and I will be back to our usual team work, Lord willing. That’s the only way we can all thrive in this season. ๐Ÿ˜…

Plus, I need things to slow down so I can get my goats ready for the upcoming kiddings! Susie is due in less than a month now. I also have 2 chicks currently hatching in the incubator because we had a hen decide to sit on eggs for awhile but she rolled some of the eggs away from her. I found them and they were cold at that point but I decided to put them in the incubator, just in case. 2 of them kept growing. Of the 18 total eggs she was sitting on, these are the only 2 still going. But now I’ll have to raise them because she’s no longer broody. Ah well, at least they’re cute.

Destin is 19 weeks old now. I don’t remember what my last update was but he’s definitely growing up more since then. I’m not sure what he weighs now but he’s had a growth spurt and is in 3-6 month clothes now. Still in size 2 diapers but probably going to move to size 3 after we use up this last case. He’s also rolling both ways now! Still sleeping from around 10pm to 8 or 9am. Naps are sporadic and short since I don’t have a way to lay him down in a quite, undisturbed location. Hopefully soon! He’s too easily startled now to sleep for long periods in my arms. But he’s such a loving little teensy person. He watches his brothers with great interest. He also looks for me when he hears my voice and tries to move his body towards me so I’ll pick him up. ๐Ÿ˜ He seems to know his nickname, “teensy”, and looks at us when we say that. Also new the last week or so is he takes toys that we hand him and puts them immediately into his mouth. He’s always slobbering and chewing his fingers. I think teeth are a ways off still but he’s definitely getting ready.

Tru had a 6 day long unexplained fever last week. I ended up calling the pediatrician after 3 days and she wanted me to bring him in. We were almost there when Quayd threw up all over the place, so I had to take him back home to clean him up and just assumed that was what Tru probably was dealing with as well. But as it turned out, Quayd wasn’t sick with a virus, just carsick apparently. He ate everything in sight when we got home and was perfectly normal, so I decided to try again to take Tru to the dr. By then it was the weekend and we had to go to urgent care. They saw nothing wrong with him aside from a little bit of fluid in his right ear but not a true ear infection. Strep and flu tests were negative. So, hopefully it’s not the fever syndrome starting up again but he did have pain in his left eye and right ankle off and on which is a little reminiscent of the joint pain he used to get. Time will tell but we hope and pray it was just a one off experience. ๐Ÿ™

The other kiddos are doing well and having a wonderful summer. Levi has been trying his best to help on the addition project. He’s so cute out there with the guys. Lately it’s not been safe for him to go out there but hopefully he will have some little jobs to do again soon.

Also, Tru and Levi got 2 calico kittens a few weeks ago. They’re loving them and Zane plays with them a lot too. Considering they came from rather skittish strays, they’re really affectionate. They aren’t litter mates but are close in age. We will have to schedule spays soon!

This may be only a drop in the bucket for an update but it’s already getting long, so off I go to tackle the next project. Until later, โค๏ธ

I decided recently that I wanted to create a little bit of one on one time (not counting Destin, because Destin goes where the boob goes for now) with each of my children so I can build a strong relationship with each one of them where we talk regularly and they have a chance to share whatever is on their mind, uninterrupted. I had the idea of doing a lunch date, so I asked the boys how they would feel about going to lunch with me and spending a couple hours together. They were pretty darn enthusiastic about the idea, although Levi couldn’t remember what it was called and started calling it our “lunch mom”. So we went with that because seriously, how cute. ๐Ÿ˜†

So far I have been taking 1 kid per week and its been going great! They look forward to it and so do I. I take them to whatever restaurant they choose and we just hang out. Cell phone is in my purse, I just focus my undivided attention on whatever is important to them.

Each kid is different. Tru barely talks and I pretty much have to carry the whole conversation and think of things to talk about, but he said he’s trying to think of things to say. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Even so, just hanging out is fun. Last week I took him to the Mexican restaurant and afterwards we went to Walmart so he could buy the much longed for Minecraft Legos he’s been saving up for. We talked about cats (his current favorite animal) and other very important things. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Levi to the Amish market and we bought huge sandwiches, a donut and a drink and attempted a picnic. It was too windy, so we ate in the van but it was still fun. Levi does NOT run out of things to talk about and I think I counted 13 questions just driving down 1 road on the way home. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was a fun adventure even though he got carsick and spent the last bit dry-heaving into a bag. Next time we won’t go on such a hilly drive. ๐Ÿ˜…

Zane benefits greatly from a little one on one time with Mommy. DH and I have noticed that after our lunch mom, Zane comes home happy and behaves well all day. Our latest adventure actually combined a trip to the dentist for Zane, but he thought it was all great fun. Afterwards, I took him to the store and he picked out a new spinbrush and we grabbed a quick breakfast from McDonald’s because we had to get back home so my sister could get on with her day. But it was still a sweet time. We talked about all the things important to Zane and he felt loved and cared for. ๐Ÿ’™

I took Quayd to the store with me and we bought groceries and grabbed some lunch at Arby’s. He talked to me in his baby gibberish and I answered him with enthusiasm. We pointed at things on the shelves and I let him hold the items he was most excited about. We also took a trip to the hardware store with DH and went out to eat at Applebee’s on the way home. Quayd just soaked up all the undivided attention from both of us. He “helped” me pick out a sink, toilet, lights and a cabinet for the new bathroom while I carried him around the store. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’ve always been a little sour that there are so many events and opportunities geared toward mother/daughter like tea parties and breakfasts and craft parties but finding mother/son events is hard! The same with mommy and me clothes (I buy DH and I both the men’s shirts and get the boys the kid shirts. There’s no reason mommy can’t be a “ninja legend” too!! And the boys think it’s super special when we match. Of course, they might think it’s a whole lot less special when they get older but they’re just little guys right now, so mommy is still pretty cool. ๐Ÿคฃ) So I’m just going to improvise and find ways to make special memories with my sons. We have plans to visit the splash pad and the really big park with the huge slide on some of our upcoming lunch moms. ๐Ÿ’™ And I can’t wait!

Wow, long time no post. I literally have no. spare. time nowadays. You would think I could at least type up an update while I’m nursing the baby but even if I have a free hand to peck out an update on my phone, kiddos and husband are literally always talking to me all day. ๐Ÿ˜… This is exactly the life I wanted to have and I truly love it but I must say, I’m definitely even busier than I imagined I’d ever be! Destin is 14 weeks and I’ve written the birth story and like 2 updates. I write updates in my mental blog nearly every day but they never make it on to this space, which is a shame because they’re always so much wittier and more interesting in my mind than when I get around to writing them.

Some highlights:

  • DH is a few days shy of 1 year post op from the testicular cancer and is doing great. He is due for his quarterly bloodwork again and has to have a ct scan in July to recheck a lymph node that was seen on his ct scan in Jan but the dr is quite confident that it’s not cancerous. He looks and feels as good as ever. I’m so thankful! ๐Ÿ’™


  • Destin had his 3 month checkup a few weeks ago and was up to over 13lbs. Already Destin has gained more weight and today he was 14lbs 12oz on my bathroom scale.
  • He’s filling out 3 month clothes and outgrown a lot of his 0-3 months. He’s in size 2 diapers.
  • I had noticed Destin has uneven pupils, so I brought that up with his dr. She said she doesn’t see that often and wanted a pediatric opthalmologist to check it out. So that appointment was last week and the opthalmologist felt that it may be Horner’s syndrome. But, a follow up eye test this week was actually negative, so for now we can safely assume it’s just the way Destin is made. It’s not a huge difference and is more visible in dim lighting. He has gorgeous eyes! ๐Ÿ˜
  • Destin still falls asleep wherever he is at 10pm every night. He’s got a little timer in him apparently and it gets close to 10pm and he is out. I wake him up at 11pm and change his diaper, nurse him and put him in his sleep sack. He usually wakes up at 8-9am. On a rare occasion I will wake him early to nurse him or he will wake maybe around 6:30am to nurse but this happened only a couple times in the last month. I cannot possibly tell you how thankful I am for a baby that sleeps well. After Quayd, I was pretty worried. ๐Ÿ˜…
  • Naps are pretty sporadic and cat nappy but usually we have 1 good nap in the afternoon sometime. That nap is usually on my bed while DH keeps an eye on him while he works.
  • Social smiling, cooing and laughing are all well underway. Destin loves to smile and coo at us. He watches everyone very intently and sometimes he will sit in his seat for a long time just watching everyone. He gets so excited when his brothers come interact with him. He saw a little boy the other day in public and I could tell he wanted the child to come interact with him because he wouldn’t take his eyes off the kid. It was so cute. โค๏ธ
  • I hold Destin almost all day, every day although he’s finally sitting in his seat a bit more. That is to say, I can finally set him in there and not worry as much, although I have to watch him like a hawk because of all the kids messing with him.
  • His muscle tone is way better. He holds his head up straight and his legs are strong. His core seems a little weak to me but I do lots of little exercises with him and I’m impressed with the improvement.
  • I’d say he nurses about 8 times a day now. I also pump once in the morning and right before bed. Sometimes I’ll pump one side a time or two during the day if I’m too full. I’m currently getting 30-35oz a day and my sil is bottle feeding her baby with it. He didn’t tolerate any of the formula she tried except goat milk and unfortunately her milk was nearly gone when he was only a few weeks old, so thankfully this is working well for him and not taking away any time from my day since I was already pumping on the same schedule before. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up but I’m happy that it’s not going to waste and that he’s not spitting up constantly now.


  • I brought up to the pediatrician the fact that Quayd is 21 months old and isn’t talking yet. She said usually she doesn’t worry until 2.5 years, at least for boys. I’ve taken away Quayd’s binky during the day a lot to see if that helps. He does say a few words, although not very often. The past few days he’s been saying “baby” a lot. Yesterday he said “dada” and for sure meant it in reference to DH. He says “mama” occasionally but only when prompted. He has been saying “Truett” pretty regularly. I think we’ve heard him say “more” a few times as well as “no”, “stop (dop)” and “get out (gout)”. So I feel pretty confident that more words are on the way. He follows directions well, even multiple step directions. He can definitely hear us well.
  • Quayd is in size 2t clothes and size 4 diapers. He had his first haircut on May 14th. ๐Ÿ˜ญ It was hard for me but it was getting in his eyes and bothering him.
  • There is almost no food this boy doesn’t love and want to eat. Right now. He climbs in his highchair all day whenever I walk through the kitchen. I feel like he is always eating, at all times. But he’s right on track for his age with growth, he just burns all his energy running and climbing. I’ve never had a kid that runs and climbs so much and its a real adjustment for me. I can’t take my eyes off him for a single second outside or he disappears. He’s constantly getting away from me and it’s so hard keeping track of him. I installed baby gates on my porch so that if he somehow escapes the house, the gates are there to stop him. It’s amazing too because I sit on the porch with him a lot and let him play and the gates help me keep him confined to that area. It’s been great this spring. I fold laundry and nurse the baby and everything out on the porch. ๐Ÿ˜†
  • Quayd is such a sweet little boy. He runs to me smiling to hug me at bedtime every night when I hug all the kids goodnight. He doesn’t sit in my lap all day and snuggle like he did before the baby was born though. He only lets me snuggle him a little now. It’s like he decided he didn’t want to be a baby anymore. ๐Ÿ˜ญ But he still “talks” to me a lot with much pointing and babbling. We understand eachother. ๐Ÿ’™ He’s generally a happy kid and is starting to outgrow a lot of the screaming and tantrums that were very frequent for awhile. I think probably because he understands what is going on when we explain things to him.
  • He goes to bed at 9-9:30pm and gets up at 9:30-10:30am most mornings. He usually goes to bed happy but after we shut the door, every single night without fail, he cries for about 15 seconds. Then he goes to sleep. I don’t know why the little cry thing is mandatory but that’s just Quayd for ya. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He naps once a day around 1pm for usually 2ish hours.


  • The addition to our house is underway!! 864sq feet more and I’m so thrilled! DH and his dad and my brothers P and A worked hard on it last weekend and made great progress. I am so so happy to finally have this in the works after 2 years of dreaming about it.
  • My goats are both pregnant! Blood test was positive at the end of April, so Susie is due July 21st and Lucy is due sometime after that. I’m excited!! I must say though, I’d never recommend goats for a pet. They’re too easy to mess up with the slightest little thing. I feel like I’m constantly in fear for their lives and over-analyzing their every movement. Shew! I have a whole post I could write about Susie losing almost ALL of her hair last month, in 3 days time. She’s good as new now but she was a sad, cold, naked goat for a time. As near as we can figure, she ate too much alfalfa and the calcium in it depleted her zinc and made her hair fall out. Zinc supplements seemed to help and her hair grew back. It’s literally always something like that though.
  • Mama hen hatched 9 eggs. 4 chicks remain. Sadly nature is cruel and for reasons I don’t know, she took care of all 9 for over a week but then let 4 get too cold one night. And also a predator got 1. But the remaining 4 are getting pretty big now, so hopefully they’ll be alright.
  • But to end on a good note (at least I hope it’s good!) DH is leaving his job after almost 9 whole years and is starting a new job next week. This job basically fell in his lap and he just felt like it was meant to be. It’s a similar position and full time from home. He’s happy about that because he really didn’t want to start doing the 2+ hour round trip drive again to the office. The downside is that it is second shift but that may be fine and dandy, we’ll see.
  • I’d love to post an update on the other kids also and typed one up a few months back that just needs posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I really mean when I say I’m having coffee with some mom friends. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Dear God, thank You for all these blessings. Healthy babies and answered prayers. Please continue to watch over us and bless this whole year. In Jesus’ name, amen.

My, how wonderful these 2 months have been. Destin is a perfect little baby. He makes every day so much sweeter.

At his checkup at 5 weeks he was 10lbs 13oz and 21.5″ long. So he’d gained 3lbs 1oz and grown an inch! The pediatrician prescribed pepcid for his reflux but I forgot to pick it up and actually, he seems to be doing a lot better and not burping up in his sleep and doing those weird sounds in his sleep anymore, so I think he’s outgrowing the reflux now. She was happy with his growth and remarked that she can tell he likes to eat! ๐Ÿ˜‚ She did say he has torticolis and showed me some neck stretches to do with him and I feel like that has also improved a little in the last 3 weeks. She said she could refer him to PT if needed but said that breastfed babies tend to do well just because of turning their head for every feeding. He has an appointment scheduled for a day shy of 10 weeks and I plan to ask her about his eyes. The right pupil is always a little bigger than the left and I’m not sure if that’s ok or not.

The other concern we’ve had is how weak and floppy he is. At 8 weeks he is finally starting to get a little stronger and able to hold his head up a bit better. He will finally put a little weight on his legs too. I’m really glad he’s showing some improvement. I was getting really concerned when I did tummy time with his and he just laid face down on the carpet and didn’t try to turn his head when it was obvious he was struggling to breathe. He actually gave me quite the scare! I didn’t even realize how much muscle tone he was lacking until I held my nephew who was born a month early and 15 days after Destin. He was so sturdy and strong at only a couple weeks old and I realized that Destin was definitely more floppy than was normal. But anyway, I do really feel him getting stronger now and I’m so happy about it!

Quayd loves his own binkies so much that he can’t image how Destin ever goes without one. He’s constantly trying to give Destin his binky, especially if he’s crying. He will even sacrifice his own binky if he think Destin needs it. ๐Ÿ’™

I’m so pleased with the schedule Destin has himself on. I hope he continues on this schedule for awhile. Currently he starts squirming around at 7am every morning (this is also around when he would kick a lot every morning during pregnancy). This is my cue to get up and pump so he can latch on. In the mornings I am excessively full, painfully so. I usually pump 16-20 ounces in the morning. I have no idea why my body does this but it’s been the case with all of my kids, so I just roll with it. Anyway, he wakes up for real at some point during this and I nurse him. Then he’s back to sleep until 9:30-11am, depending on the day. Then he’s up for awhile. He tends to take 1 longer nap in the afternoon, maybe 2 hours or so. The rest of the day he just dozes off and on any time he gets tired. We don’t really have a safe place for naps for him right now because every room has people in it. So most of his naps are in my arms or in his bouncy seat by me, preferably on the porch if the day is nice. He eats every 1-2 hours all day but starting to lean more towards 2 hours. Bedtime is at 10pm now. He previously would put himself to sleep at 11pm, but lately he is out by 10, no matter what is going on. I wake him up briefly to nurse and change his diaper and swaddle him at 11 and that is it for the night. He’s been on this sleep pattern for the last month and I absolutely love it. ๐Ÿ’™ I pray he is always such a good sleeper. I thank the Lord for this after Quayd about did me in from lack of sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Destin smiles all morning and is starting to say “goo” and make little sounds while he smiles. Occasionally he will even make a tiny short giggle! He’s very calm and quiet. He doesn’t cry much. Basically I could just copy and paste my posts from Zane. They are essentially the same in their personalities so far. They look neatly identical in their baby pictures. I can hardly tell them apart! Zane was so much like Destin with sleep also, wanting to be swaddled so tight for all sleep. Very easy going babies. ๐Ÿ’™

As for me, I’m taking advantage of his new schedule to take better care of myself. After he eats in the morning, I go get a shower before Quayd is up (the older kids are up earlier than Quayd, usually before 8am), and then I get my coffee and a quick breakfast and take the older kids outside to the porch so I can do my yoga app. I absolutely love it! I’ve been feeling so achy and stiff and yoga has really helped me loosen up and I can definitely tell a difference in my body even though I’ve only been doing it about 3 weeks. I’m still dealing with daily headaches which I think are caused by tight neck and shoulder muscles. I hope I can get that dealt with soon.

Dear God, thank You for this precious and wonderful baby. He was truly meant to be in our lives and we are so thankful for him. Please bless and protect him and help him to be safe and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

It would appear that caring for any sort of creature – whether it be children or pets or livestock – is basically periods of calm, enjoyable existence punctuated by moments of varying levels of stress and anxiety. I don’t like the stress and anxiety at all but I really love the calm times.

Currently our goats are spending the month with a buck at a stud farm who is hopefully laying his moves on them for some late July/early August babies. I am so excited to have baby goats again! I’m also super excited for our goats to be milking again. They really have the creamiest milk and I love knowing everything that went into making that nutritious milk for my (human) kiddos. I’m really looking forward to growing our herd and building a strong, healthy line of goats. The buck we picked to breed them to is gorgeous and comes from a strong dairy line. If we get any does from him, I definitely intend to keep at least 1 or 2. This will hopefully be Lucy (our baby goat from last year’s kidding) first time to have babies and we are really looking forward to seeing them and also finding out what kind of milker she will be. Her mom isn’t a big producer but on her dad’s side are good milking genes. I sure hope she will do well!


Our chickens are back to laying eggs after their winter break. We could have put lights in the coop and kept them laying throughout the winter but needless to say, this winter was not a great time for projects like that while getting ready for Destin to arrive. Maybe we will get the coop set up more before next winter. (DH is dreaming of an automatic door opener so he can be sure they are locked up safe at sundown) It’s warm and cozy and that’s all that matters for now.

But anyway, yes, they are laying eggs again and DH couldn’t be more thrilled. Like I seriously woke up the other morning to see him standing by the bed with 4 eggs in his hands, smiling and remarking on the unique color of each egg. So far we are getting 3-6 eggs a day from our 10(ish – I forget actually๐Ÿ˜‚) hens. We also have 3 roosters. We originally had 5 roosters, which is way too many for the number of hens we have. Decisions had to be made about who would go and we actually only need one rooster (we don’t need any roosters really but I want more chicks soon) but so far we have removed 2 that were dangerous. Zane was outside with me and one of our previously docile roosters decided to flog him, out of nowhere and for no reason. Thankfully I was only a couple feet away and despite wearing Destin in the wrap at the time, I was able to grab Zane and throw him behind me. The rooster learned quickly that he was no match for my ninja skills and went back to his eating, but as soon as I could, I caught him and his identical brother (because I couldn’t actually tell them apart). Thankfully Zane was only pecked once and was ok. Unfortunately, of our remaining roosters, one is full size. The bantams don’t go anywhere near the kids because they’re not tame at all, but the big guy is Levi’s favorite and he can’t bear me to get rid of him. He may disappear one day though…. I can’t take risks with roosters.

DH is a great little farmer. He took over all animal care for the last month of my pregnancy as it was snowy and icy and he wasn’t having it with me going back and forth between the house and barn multiple times a day. He was very diligent with keeping the water thawed and everyone healthy. He even spent Christmas evening saving chickens from the cold after they inexplicably got stuck outside the coop. He spent some considerable time crawling through their pen in the dark and getting them back inside and warmed up. He frequently is heard singing “We are farmers… Dum dum dum dum…”๐Ÿคฆ ๐Ÿ˜‚

Unrelated but DH and our neighbor rescued an owl yesterday. I was outside and heard our big rooster making weird sounds and the hens ran away. I saw what I thought was a hawk in our neighbors field. Levi tried to scare it off but it flopped around. He said he thought it was an owl because it turned it’s head around. I went to investigate it closer and sure enough, it was an owl and was dragging a chain from its foot. Apparently it had stepped in a small game trap. DH decided to call our neighbor and see if they could help the owl. They were able to catch it and remove the trap and because there was no sign of injury, they set the owl free. He was tired and rested awhile but later on he flew away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazing camouflage skills

So, what is next around here? I need a couple barn cats to control the mouse population. You wouldn’t believe how many mice I’ve had jump out from behind hay and feed buckets in the last year. Tru and Levi are anxiously awaiting this addition. ๐Ÿฑ๐ŸˆStay tuned!

Today is Destin’s 1 month birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s grown and changed so much already, it’s incredible! One thing that has stayed the same is that he is a very sweet and happy baby. We are in a super good routine and I hope we can stick with this for a long time.


From day 1, Destin slept well at night in the hospital. I think he woke 2 or 3 times through the night for the first week. Some time toward the end of the first week or beginning of the second, he started waking just once around 3-5am. Now he usually wakes around 4:30-6am. Then he usually wakes around 7:15am and will take his binky until I get him up between 8-9am for the day. Bedtime is at 11pm after cluster feeding from 9-11pm, although I’ve noticed that he’s cluster feeding less now than the first few weeks. I try to wake him up around 9pm to get some energy out before bedtime.

At first he napped pretty much all day between nursing. He had almost no awake time at all. Now he spends around an hour awake at a time, sometimes more. Some naps are long, especially if I lay him down for them. He can’t take long naps in my arms because I don’t get to sit down for long without having to jump up to take care of Quayd and the other kids. It actually makes me super sad that I have to ever lay Destin down for his naps at this young age, but honestly it’s probably for the best as it’s teaching him healthy sleep habits.

He definitely prefers to be swaddled when he’s put down, whether he’s awake or asleep. He gets agitated easily when his arms are loose. At night I wrap him in a receiving blanket to keep his legs secure and then put a thin swaddle over top of that. I SO wish I had thought to try this with my other babies because it seems to make a huge difference in how much Destin startles at night when his legs are secure. It only took me 5 kids to figure this out. ๐Ÿคฆ


All day. Especially at first, feeding on demand was every hour at the hospital. Once we came home I noticed it was more like every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Now he’s going longer, even up to 2-3 hours occasionally. But honestly, if it helps him sleep longer at night if he eats all day, I’ll gladly do it. I even encourage cluster feeding before bed. Plus, feedings mean I have a solid reason to just sit and snuggle. โค๏ธ I’ve been so blessed that after the initial soreness and engorgement, breastfeeding has been easier this time than any of my other experiences. I was extremely particular this time about latch, although I still managed to get blisters on both sides before we got home from the hospital. They healed quickly though. The nipple shield didn’t work for Destin, but thankfully a deeper latch helped the soreness immensely. I also was very faithful with putting on nipple balm the first couple days and every night for the first week.

He’s also just been my easiest baby to get a good deep latch with from early on. I worked on it a lot in the hospital. He had latched himself on right after birth and did great, so I feel like he’s just a natural. Interestingly, he likes to nurse longer durations than my other kids did, except Levi.

I’ve been pumping with my Elvie pump, which is a post all of its own. I definitely like it, even though I don’t think my milk supply is quite as high this time. Probably at least partially due to not usually pumping both sides at the same time and not pumping fully dry because the Elvie only holds 5 ounces. I’m pumping in the morning, before bed, once in the night and usually a time or two during the day. I’d say I get roughly 25oz a day, although I’m not keeping track. No milk has made it’s way to the freezer though as Zane and Quayd are drinking it as fast as I can pump. With Zane’s petite size, I’m glad he’s getting the extra calories and nutrition. For Quayd it’s more of a comfort to him and helps him feel more included rather than not being the baby anymore.


All this feeding has meant that Destin has been very quick to gain weight. He’s well over 10lbs already, maybe more! At first his newborn clothes were baggy. Now he’s filling out his 0-3 month clothes. ๐Ÿ˜ญ We ran out of newborn diapers after the first week, so I moved him into size 1 since we had a ton of those. At first they were really big on him but already the waste band is about to not fit! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I’m both devastated by how fast he’s grown and super thankful that he’s growing so well. Emotions are complex. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

He has had 1 checkup so far at 13 days old and he was already 8lbs 13oz. Up 1lb 1oz from birth weight.

Destin was by far our weakest and floppiest newborn. I asked the pediatrician about it at his checkup (it was at 13 days old, not right after hospital discharge because of snowstorms). She said something about low muscle tone. Since I didn’t have a lot of fluid with him during the pregnancy, I feel like maybe that prevented him from building as much muscle tone as our other newborns had. Nevertheless, he’s definitely getting stronger. He’s even lifting his head off our shoulders now when we burp him. I think he’s still not as strong as my other 1 month olds were but he’s definitely getting there!

The other big developments are his awake time increasing and the fact that he looks around to see what he’s hearing when things are loud. He also looks at the TV when it’s on. From birth he has always responded to his daddy’s voice and looks for him when he hears him talking.

As of 3 weeks 4 days, he smiles at people. I thought maybe he had smiled at me once before but for sure he smiled at 3 of his aunts in separate occasions over the weekend, then today he definitely smiled at me for real when I was talking to him this morning. He had his pacifier in though so I’m anxious to see him smile without it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Destin just has such a calm and sweet demeanor. This might sound silly but he has a soft and quiet cry. I’m so incredibly thankful for that because Quayd came out screaming and never stopped and his cry is so incredibly loud. Like opera singing is almost definitely in his future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I prayed throughout my pregnancy for Destin to be a quieter baby than Quayd because, our sanity. I’m so thankful that so far he is not a fan of screaming at us and to be honest, a couple times he’s been crying in the other room after waking from a nap and I didn’t even hear him till I went to check on him. I call this a blessing, folks.

The family

We’ve all adjusted well to having Destin in our lives. Everyone loves him so much. My sister said she was going to take him home with her when she came to see him the other day and (bless his heart) Zane started crying and ran to me begging me not to let her take our baby home. It was equal parts sad and adorable. Zane had to hold Destin after that to comfort himself. The kids all kiss him a million times a day. I’m constantly wiping crumbs off his head from kisses left by sticky little mouths. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I personally have done well recovering so far but I’m still trying to take it easy (failing because it isn’t possible, but trying nonetheless). I had one scary incident at 9 days pp where I had done serious gushing and thought I might be hemorrhaging again, but a call to the dr assured me I was ok. My energy levels stayed low the first couple weeks but after some daily iron pills, I do feel stronger. The body aches were what surprised me most this time around. I took ibuprofen every single day for probably 3 weeks. I’m starting to feel ok enough to skip now but still have a headache and get really tired around 3pm every day. Some coffee and sitting down for a bit is usually enough to recharge me until bedtime. I haven’t found that unicorn opportunity to take a nap yet but that’s ok. If Destin will (please God) keep sleeping well at night, I will be just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dear God, thank You for this beautiful and precious baby. Please keep him safe and healthy and happy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Last Tues , Feb 9th, I woke up a little earlier than usual but felt well rested and refreshed. I got up and cleaned the kids’ bedrooms and got lunch ready before my mom and brother came over to watch the kids while I went to my appointment. I convinced DH to go with me and work in the car, just in case. I had been having stronger contractions for the last 4 days but they were really far apart and would stop for hours at a time. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I felt like it would probably put me over the edge into active labor if the dr did a membrane sweep that day. I made sure to take my suitcase, camera and baby’s carseat.

This is what I’d been having for 4 days. The duration is inaccurate but the interval was very weird.

We arrived early to my appointment since it had snowed a bunch and I didn’t know what the roads would be like. I sat in the car and paid bills in advance “just in case” while I waited.

When the Dr came in I told her about the contractions and mused that I wondered if I was starting early labor. She said I was “3cm and 50% effaced… 4cm actually.” I asked if she could sweep the membranes and she started to but then said no, she was afraid my water would break either right then or after I left and that if it was after I left, I might not make it back to the hospital in time. Then she asked me “How would you feel about going to the hospital now?” I was pretty shocked because I hadn’t really thought of this scenario. I told her that I would do whatever she thought was best. So she stepped into the hall and asked the on-call dr “would you rather I send her over now or have her call you at 3am?” The on-call dr said now would be good. ๐Ÿ˜… So my ob came back in and said “having gone from 2cm to 4+cm since Fri”, she didn’t feel comfortable sending me home. I sent my mom a quick message at 3:11pm to let her know I wouldn’t be home today. She said she wasn’t expecting me to come home and she had brought her bags with her. ๐Ÿ˜

I got out to the van and asked DH (trying not to cry with all the nerves and excitement) “Are you ready to have a baby today?” He was pretty surprised too and it took a minute to set in. ๐Ÿ˜… We decided to grab a quick lunch from KFC before getting checked in and he notified his boss that he was clocking out a little early. I could only manage the Chicken Little sandwich for lunch but I’m glad I ate something.

We were checked in around 4:10pm but had to wait awhile for our room, so I’m not sure exactly when we got back there. The nurses came in to start my IV (4 attempts! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) and get baby on the monitor. I was having contractions at this point a little more frequently and they were stronger than earlier but still probably 10-15+ minutes apart, I’m not really sure. Certainly not contractions that would have convinced me to head to the hospital if I’d been at home.

The dr came in to say hi and let me know the plan was to just break my water and let my body do the rest. I was so incredibly nervous, I just kept telling DH and the nurses that I didn’t know if or how I could do labor and I was just really getting worried about it. They kept trying to reassure me but not to much avail.

At 6:30pm the dr came back in and broke my water. I didn’t even feel her break it but suddenly there was gushing. She said I was 5cm and 70% effaced with baby at -2 station. So all the contractions I’d been having had made a difference! Then everyone left the room and I waited. And waited. 6:41pm came and still no contractions when mom texted to ask how it was going. I decided to rock in the rocking chair for awhile as that had always given me Braxton Hicks but nothing happened. DH suggested I get up and walk around the room but I didn’t want to leak everywhere. Nevertheless, I stood up and BAM, there were the contractions. Strong, frequent and lots of downward pressure. These contractions hurt across the area of my c section scar, just like with Zane. At 7:01pm I texted mom that the contractions were getting bad. I didn’t send any more messages after 7:04, it was all business after that. The nurses came in for shift change and I told our new nurse that I was going to try the shower. She brought me some ice and left us alone to labor in privacy. She was very sweet and good about giving us all the space.

I labored standing in the shower, leaning forward during the contractions with the water on my back, oftentimes with my left leg up on the seat. DH held my hand to keep the iv out of the water. We chatted between the contractions but during them I prayed, breathed/blowed and said “ok, ok, ok, ok” over and over like it was impossible to stop saying it. The pressure was really intense and I felt like I almost wanted to push already. DH was getting very nervous about me giving birth in the shower, so after much begging for me to get out, he finally convinced me to get checked around 7:45pm I think. I was soooo disappointed when the dr said I was 6cm and 80% effaced with baby at 0 station now. The contractions were so close and strong, I’d hoped for more progress even though it hadn’t been long. She said the pressure was because I was nearing transition and that the next time I called her in I’d probably be ready to push. She’s a very hyper and giggly personality and was so excited and positive about everything.

Straight back to the shower I went. This time I took the shower head and put it between my low back and the wall and leaned against it. DH left the bathroom to give me some time alone to focus. I forced myself to stop blowing through the contractions and just breathe normally. I mostly closed my eyes and prayed for God to help me through every contraction. I focused on all the tension in my body and tried to relax each area, especially my back, core, buttcheeks and thighs. It was one of the most mentally contradictory experiences of my life but when successful, I’d feel a slight relief in the pain vs staying tense. I didn’t have much concept of time but I knew I wanted to make it an hour before being checked again. It was weird and amazing but I was so focused, I could feel the baby moving down and rotating slowing from my right side to the middle. I could feel him pushing himself downward with his feet during contractions, working with my body. I’d never experienced that before, maybe because I’d never been that focused before. DH came to check on me around 8:30pm and thought the contractions had stopped but actually I was in the midst of a several minutes long contraction that I thought would never end. It felt like a turning point for me and the urge to push became stronger. I kept trying to tell myself, just one more contraction, let’s see how the next one goes. At some point I decided “I want to enjoy this experience, not hate it, so I’m going to get the epidural”. The urge to push was strong now, which is unusual for me as I usually don’t have much urge at any point.

I called for DH to help me get out of the shower even though every fiber of my being wanted to stay in there. He called for the nurse and the dr came in too. Standing through a contraction on my way to the bed was unbearable. I told her I was ready for the epidural now but she said “Ok, but I think you’re ready to have the baby. Just let me get some gloves on although I will catch your baby barehanded if I need to.” I looked at the clock on the wall as I got in the bed and it was 8:44pm. The nurse commented that the baby had a change in his baseline heart rate and I felt guilty for all the hot water in the shower possibly stressing him out. The dr said he did have a shift but it’s ok, he will be out in a few minutes.

Once gloved, the dr said I was ready to push with a little cervical lip on the right side but it would go away as I pushed. I rolled to my right side for a couple contractions to try to get rid of the lip while they quickly rushed to set up the room as nothing was ready yet. Then I moved to a semi sitting position and began pushing. *side note: I learned from this that I really prefer pushing with stirrups to rest my legs in. They didn’t set the bed up this time and I missed having the stirrups to rest my legs in vs putting my feet on the bed. It felt counter-productive and like it wasn’t opening my pelvis properly.* My first few pushes I was afraid to really bare down, so they were wimpy but I pulled my legs to my chest after that and asked DH and the nurse to help me and with a couple more pushes, Destin’s head was out. I felt so relieved as all my babies slid out after the head was born, but nope, not Destin. The dr said I needed to push as hard as I could and she was pulling so hard, it scared me as I realized his shoulder was stuck. The nurse quickly laid the bed flat and he popped free and they laid him crying and pink on my chest. The relief was immense and the pain was 100% washed away. Just completely gone. I just kept thanking God. After begging Him to help me just minutes before, I was so blessed to have my beautiful baby out and the pain over. 8:55pm. Just 2 hours and 25 minutes after my water was broken.

DH cut the cord after a couple minutes. It was a beautiful spiraling dark purple cord. I remember thinking it was so cool looking. A few minutes later and I felt the cramping for the placenta and the dr remarked that it was huge. Then she declared we were all done and I could just enjoy my baby now. Unfortunately, no sooner did she say that than I felt gushing. Pitocin was started in my iv and a cytotec suppository inserted but the dr, through apologies, had to manually hunt down the source – a “film”, just a tiny piece of membrane that broke off somehow. Thankfully she had acted fast and the hemorrhage wasn’t too severe. I was shaking a lot and felt a little off but nowhere near how bad I’d felt when I hemorrhaged with Levi.

Destin latched right away after I was able to sit up again and nursed for basically the whole first hour on both sides. He even latched himself the second time and was a total natural. DH called our family on video chat and we showed the boys their newest brother. After a couple hours we moved to our recovery room and got settled in for the night. It was around midnight I think. I managed a few hours here and there of sleep but wasn’t really too exhausted since I’d slept well the night before. Thank God. All those prayers for me to be rested going into the birth were answered!

The next morning the nurse came in to tell us that Destin had a borderline bilirubin level and needed to be put on the light and bili blanket to be proactive. He did great though. It was good that he had started taking a binky within the first couple hours of birth, so that helped soothe him. That second night went well and I think he only woke to eat 2 or 3 times. I actually got pretty good sleep. Sometime in the night the nurse removed the light and just left the bili blanket. The next morning his bilirubin was stable, so they took him off the blanket also to see how he did for the day. By his evening check the bilirubin had rose a bit but they said since my milk had come in and he was eating, pooping and peeing well, we could go home if we got his level checked again the next day (and the day after that, as it turned out). So we went home about 46 hours after birth. Thankfully even though his bilirubin level rose, it stayed below the level to need treatment. Today his eyes are finally less yellow. ๐Ÿ™‚

The boys were so excited to meet their brother and have been so loving and not at all jealous. They’ve really embraced their new bro and declared him the cutest baby ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š He fits in like he was always destined to be. โค๏ธ

I’m just so thankful for how everything went. If I’d gone into labor the next day, we would have had a very hard time getting to the hospital as we got hit with a lot of snow. If I’d had the baby in the car if my water had broke at home, what would I have done if he got stuck? Not to mention the hemorrhage. And I couldn’t have managed a 1.5 hour car ride with that intense labor. So many what ifs. I was so discouraged about not going into labor at home but it ended up being for our safety. I’m so thankful to the Lord for His protection and to my ob for her wisdom. ๐Ÿ˜Š Most of all I’m thankful that Destin made it out safely and that we have recovered so well. I had no tearing and very little discomfort other than after pains. Not going to lie, those cramps were BAD. ๐Ÿ˜… We’ve settled into our routine at home now and it’s crazy and bittersweet to think that whole pregnancy and birth is already behind us.

Hopefully I can post about our first week at home soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we are already over a week old and I haven’t posted an announcement yet! Destin arrived last week at 38+4, a couple days before our induction was scheduled. Hopefully I can get his birth story typed up soon. It was a fast one! 7lbs 12oz and 20ยพ” long.

He’s doing great and we are in a good groove at home now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanking God for such a sweet and beautiful new son!

First, the tale of the false labor:

After I posted my last update at 37+4, I went to make supper and started having contractions. It was around 5:30pm and by 7pm I decided to start timing them. They were coming about every 10 minutes at that point. As I got the kids ready for bed, they were 5-7 minutes apart. They stayed that way most of the evening and weren’t too intense, so I decided to go to bed around 11pm and see what would happen and I think they spaced out a little more. I was in and out of bed and all over the house trying to decide if this was the real deal. By 1am the contractions were 2-5 minutes apart and I thought it might be time to wake up DH and call my mom to watch the kids. I tried laying down again to see what would happen and suddenly the contractions were more like 12 minutes apart, so I didn’t wake anyone up afterall. By 3am, they completely stopped. Like totally gone. Needless to say, I woke up exhausted in the morning from being up most of the night. Thankfully I got a nap with Zane in the afternoon but oh my, so disappointing to think it was the real thing and have it just 100% stop. ๐Ÿ˜“

Anyway, fake annoying labor aside, this week has been pretty draining physically and mentally but I am really happy that I’ve had several nights of great sleep (great for 9 months pregnant, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰). I had my checkup and nst a couple days ago and it went alright. I had woken up around 5am and realized that I didn’t know when I’d last felt the baby move but I hadn’t felt him at bedtime which is usually an active time for him. After trying to get him to move by poking at my belly for awhile, I went to rock in the family room. Usually he kicks when I rock. Still nothing though, so I ate a snack to see if that would wake him up and FINALLY he moved a few times. So when my appointment rolled around in the morning, I was really hoping for a reassuring nst. Unfortunately, he had to be buzzed to get an acceleration and never had a decel, so I left feeling less reassured than I’d hoped. The dr felt confident that he was fine though and I just need to be watchful with kick counts in the meantime.

Naturally the appointment also involved a cervix check. I think she said a stretchy 2cm, soft and 50% effaced. She gave an aggressive membrane sweep in the hopes that I will go into labor before the induction. I had absolutely zero cramping from it though, so in my mind it seemed unlikely that it would be successful. The dr remarked that it didn’t have a certain “cobwebby” feel that usually makes her think it will be successful. I have no idea what that means but it didn’t instill a lot of confidence that I’ll have spontaneous labor. *(I’m continually trying to remind myself that I’m only 38 weeks and my body and baby might not be ready, despite the induction looming in the near future.)* That was around 11:30am. By evening I had some bl**dy show and a few strong contractions, but they were very far apart. Overnight I woke up a few times with contractions and had lots of cramping in the morning but by afternoon, it was quiet in there again. Definitely a lot of pelvic pressure though. I guess we will see what happens! It’s supposed to snow for over 24 hours straight the day before and day of the induction, so I’m feeling concerned that we might not be able to get to the hospital that morning. :/ Ugh, stupid winter.

Let’s see, what else….

  • Last time I checked I was up 46lbs I think
  • Froze a couple more prepped meals
  • The baby’s bed is set up and ready
  • My hospital bag is packed full of snacks and I can’t *not* eat them ๐Ÿ˜…
  • DH is nesting so bad this time. He can’t stop painting things. He’s literally painted our entire house and is touching things up constantly ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • I can’t tell if I have any new stretch marks but I’m still being really good about putting on my lotions and balms
  • My belly is definitely smaller than with some of my kids, despite my biggest weight gain of all time. I can’t wait to see how big baby is!
  • Getting very very nervous about labor ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

My one and only nst with this pregnancy. It was great listening to his heartbeat. ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

I had a lovely pedicure. I love the color and it was so nice to do something relaxing while I wait on this child.

Actually 37+6 but close enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dear God, thank You for another week down and being so close to the end! Please bless us with a safe, healthy, happy birth. If it’s Your will, a spontaneous labor would be great too. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The week wherein I am DONE!

Seriously guys, I was chugging along just great until the last week. All of a sudden I wake up in the mornings in despair (sounds so dramatic but accurate) because I still have over a week to go and I don’t feel like I can make it. Or actually, to be more accurate, I’m quite sure I’ll make it but I don’t want to suffer through the final days. The pelvic pain has increased to a point where I actually wake up and cry every morning. It takes me about 2 hours after getting out of bed to get the pain to a manageable level. Sitting on the yoga ball, taking a hot shower and generally a good cry are really my only coping mechanisms right now. And also the morning sickness is pretty constant now, so that’s tough too. I’m not trying to complain, I’m just being real with y’all. This week has sucked and I’m over it. I can’t believe women do this to 42+ weeks sometimes. I really don’t think I would survive another month and I’m quite serious about that. Either I’m a serious wimp or there are some unicorn pregnancies out there that I haven’t experienced.

Last week I was still in the “I’m really looking forward to meeting the baby but not ready just yet” mindset. This week I’m so preoccupied with the pain that I’ve kind of forgotten there is a baby and I just want the misery to be over with. (Again, just being real.) It’s sad because I feel like my pregnancies tend to end on a note where I’m no longer feeling excited to meet the baby as much as I’m so focused on just not being in pain. (Sorry, it’s just how it is.) I was so looking forward to being able to get in to see the chiropractor yesterday in the hopes he could help. He was out of the office most of last week, so I feel like I’ve already been waiting forever. Lo and behold, we got hit with snow several times over the weekend and he wasn’t able to make it to the office, so my appointment got rescheduled for NEXT WEEK! ๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m trying now to see if I can get a massage appointment in the meantime.

Anyway, even though it’s hard to focus on anything other than my hips, restless legs, heartburn, nausea, lower back and pelvis right now, there are other things going on in my life. I was really excited to squeeze in a hair appointment last week to get highlights done. It turned out great and I love it. ๐Ÿ˜ It made me feel slightly less frumpy, which is important right now. ๐Ÿ˜‚

My to-do list has shrunk to almost nothing. I could freeze a few more meals if I really get bored but there’s nothing vital left to do. Water some plants, pay some bills in advance – that sort of thing. I’m really happy about that. The older boys have been a great help with checking stuff off. For a small fee of $.25 – $1 they will gladly do all the weird things that have to be done before it’s permissible in my mind to bring the baby home – wiping down cabinets, washing the kitchen chairs, wiping the couches (leather) and so on. They’re saving up for walkie talkies, so they’re pretty pumped for money making opportunities. ๐Ÿคฃ It’s a lucrative business but I think everyone is a bit tired of me being pregnant. I’m also feeling over the nesting phase now, so I’m kind of just feeling blah about cleaning. Nesting was fun; I actually wanted to clean. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Levi has taken to praying for me to “go in labor tonight” and Tru says he can’t wait to see the baby’s face. I have to temper everyone’s excitement with reminders that Destin’s lungs might need a little more time. Meanwhile, Zane just hugs my belly with sadness in his eyes and questions me constantly about Destin “popping you belly out”. He’s been slightly less worried since we looked at the boys’ baby pics and videos last week. All the boys were very interested in discussing the umbilical cords and Tru remarked in disgust about me holding Quayd while he was still “all covered in goo”, a moment I didn’t get to have with Tru since he was c section and I’m still sad about the delay in getting to hold him. ๐Ÿ˜ข

It’s weird to not have an update about a checkup this week but I delayed my appointment so I could do the pre-induction covid test on the same day (as I think I mentioned last week). Hoping and praying my cervix is more favorable for induction at this next appointment than it was last week. ๐Ÿ™ I’m feeling a lot of anxiety surrounding the lack of sleep I know I’ll have going in for the induction first thing in the morning. How am I supposed to sleep the night before when I’m a ball of nerves?? But despite having a lot of “show” over the weekend, nothing at all is going on now, so I’m thinking I probably won’t go into labor before then. :/ When I went into labor with Quayd, I had a lot more pre-labor symptoms going on than I do now. I really really wish I would though. It’s so much easier on my body. I’m praying!

Quayd has no idea he’s about to lose his seat. ๐Ÿ˜‚

37 weeks

Dear God, thank You for another week closer to meeting our baby. Please help us through these final days to stay healthy and safe. I pray that Destin will come out at the right time. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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