i'll have to check, but i'm pretty sure that for each of the other 4 kids I stood proudly for a picture on our way to the hospital. you'd think that with 3 trips for number 5 that we would have had the time to snap a quick shot. but, that wasn't the case. i think between the panic of labor (we have both been terrified of having the baby at home), and the annoying-ness of being sent home twice, i just wasn't in the mood.
it all started on Anna's birthday, July 1st. she really wanted this sister to be born on her actual birthday, but it didn't seem immenant. but then contraction started and didnn't let up all through dinner and bedtime. they weren't very strong, so i went to bed. at 3am they became consitent and stronger, so i woke up and timed them. once they were 2 minutes apart, we headed out the the hospital. i was shocked to be having a due date baby. (ha, said fate) once i was hooked up to the monitors, everything slowed way down. an hour later we were headed home. not exactly what you're hoping for when you go in to deliver your 5th baby. i'm not sure why i felt so defeated, but i did. Jason and i headed to the mall to walk laps with the over 70 crowd and things picked back up, but stopped once we hit the car. i knew we weren't going back to the hospital that day.
fast forward (no wait, more like slow forward) to July 3rd. deja vu all over again. went to bed with mild contractions, woke up at 3 with strong painful ones. got to the hospital at 6am, only to be sent on our way by 8. (thank goodness my parents were here for all the kid juggling!) i think i may have shed a tear, and if you know me, that means i was seriously disappointed! Jason took me out for a little pick-me-up breakfast at the Coffee Shop. i ate away my sorrows, and we headed home to celebrate the 4th with our kiddos. i napped and swam, ate and played, and complained quite a bit about the endless contractions. i was not wanting to get sent home again, so very reluctant to go back to the hospital. finally, after seeing me grimace in the pool with the kids Jason appoached me like this, "how about we just go in to check on the baby? maybe it's not going to be today, but let's just see how things are going." it seemed reasonable, so i agreed.
on the way there i was a little teary again. after nearly 48 hours of labor, i was ready to abandon my plan of natural childbirth and go for an epidural and induction, just get the show on the road!!! we checked in (for the 3rd time) and went back, again, to triage. no sooner did they get me hooked up to the monitors and check me out, did they unhook me and start wheeling me to delivery. (6cm, -1 station) the nurse was asking if i wanted an epidural. bewildered, i looked at Jason, "so for 9 months, she's been saying no, but for the last 10 minutes she's been saying yes." i was tired, frustrated and confused. the nurse just said, "well, you'll do great either way, but you need to decide fast!" the decision was no, and away we went. i realized that i was less stressed, panicked, and in less pain once i knew this was happening. the zero progress over the past 2 days had worn me down, but now that we were a go, i had my resolve back.
35 short minutes later, at 6:41pm, this little sweetie was placed in my arms:
everyone gasped when she was born. "have your other babies been big?" yes, yes they have. but this "little" girl broke even an extended family record, weighing in at a whopping 10lbs 7oz!! they checked 3 times to be sure. they kept saying 10/7, and i asked "9 pounds 10, or 7?" the doctor laughed, "no 10 pounds, 7." what the what? i could have sworn she felt smaller than Colin!
the girls were so excited to meet their newest sister. Colin was super excited to see me, and the feeling was mutual.
many people theorized that since we finally chose to find out what we were having, that naming her would be easy. i submit that it was at least as difficult, if not more. i mean how do you name 4 daughters??? almost every night at dinner, i would poll the family on name ideas. we made a list. it was something similar to: Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel, Giselle, etc. Jason and i like Sarah. and then i told the story of the first name Jason and i ever liked together.
13 years ago when we were dating, but marriage was imminent. Jason caught me doodling my would be signature in my school notebook. (yes, i did this in Law School, i am such a girl.) and remember, we had discussed marriage, so it wasn't utterly humiliating. this lead to a discussion of names we liked. Jason liked non, I had always loved Zoe and Olivia. when we put the two names together with Earl, we noticed that a child with this moniker would have initial that spelled her name. we thought that was cute, and both assumed our first daughter would have this name. fast forward 5 years to when our first daughter was actually born, and we both decided she just wasn't a Zoe. i felt a little bewildered, but confident that she was Anna. 2 more daughters born, neither was Zoe. i kind of thought i just didn't like the name anymore. Colin would most likely been Daphne, if he were a girl, so that made the list. but when she was born, one of the first things i thought was, she looks like Zoe. Jason and i both agreed that she did NOT look like a Sarah. so when the girls came and all proclaimed, "Mom, she looks like a Zoe." we felt she had claimed the name. welcome, Zoe Olivia Earl. 13 years in the making.
after our initial cuddle time, and once everyone had snuggled the new baby, Colin decided it was, "Colu's turn."
i know my day nurse thought my room was too crazy, she practically said as much. but i loved the beautiful chaos of my family.
our first whole family portrait.
we came home the morning of the 6th, and started settling into our new routine. the kids are wonderful with Zoe, and the only problems we've had are arguments over who has held her longer. i now set a timer so everyone can be sure it's even. one girl even remarked, "mom, you got to hold her the most, it's not fair, i even heard you up with her in the middle of the night." i gladly offered to wake the girls for middle of the night feedings, but they declined.
welcome Zoe, we're happy you joined our family!