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Welcome, Zoey! 

Whenever a new baby is born, it always makes me think of the lyrics from Switchfoot’s Dare You to Move, that begin with Welcome to the planet, Welcome to existence…last Friday, Jack and I did just that with our newest daughter.

Hope you had a fantastic birthday, Stoney boy! I’ll give you an extra treat when we return.

With an original due date of April 16th (it seems like all of our kids are due around major holidays and this year it was Easter), I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that I made it two weeks past, because A) nobody tells my daughters when to show up (not one of them has come on or before their due date, hopefully not an omen for them being perpetually late to everything…) and B) I’m living proof that it’s an Old Wive’s Tale to think that just because you’ve had multiple other children, it doesn’t mean that your body or babies will know to show up any earlier. Oh, well. I got lots of stuff done around the farm while waiting for (and trying to get) Zoey to come out–seriously, I painted, I cleaned, I washed sheets and winter coats, I planted a garden and pulled weeds, I cleaned out the car, changed door knobs and hinges, and I mowed and mowed and mowed (our yard was  the most immaculate it’s ever been!) but she still wasn’t ready to come. It wasn’t all terrible though. Other than being unable to bend over or sleep through the night, pregnancy, in general, is pretty easy for me. Plus, to add special meaning to Zoey’s induction date, it was also Stoney’s 21st birthday. I hope she doesn’t mind being forever associated with my favorite old gelding because too bad, she is.

Jack shooting me a silly look…he doesn’t get near as crazy as when babies are born in the middle of the night.

We went in to the small town hospital where Henry was born and got the process started. They tried breaking my water but apparently, that wasn’t the route meant to take, so I had to start on the dreaded IV pitocin. It’s not my first rodeo with the synthetic hormone, so I knew just how intense labor was going to be. About an hour on the stuff and I decided to have an epidural which is a merciful invention of modern medicine. It worked its magic and though I walked into the hospital already dilated to 5cm (seriously, I don’t know how the baby didn’t fall out at home two weeks earlier!), within 25 minutes, I was to 7cm and within an hour, I was ready to push. Two pushes and three minutes after starting, Zoey made a very quick and easy entrance into the world. I always forget how tiny newborns are and assumed she was smaller than her sisters, in part because of how quickly she showed up. I was incorrect. At close to 8.9 lbs and 21.75 inches long, she’s right up there with all her sisters’ stats.

Jack’s first turn sitting down and holding her.

Since it was the first time that I’ve had a baby at a reasonable hour, the kids were able to come and visit their new sister the day she was born. They were so excited they even hijacked the babysitter’s phone to call and ask if they could come see her. How could we say no? We (and everyone else) were interested to see how Henry, in particular, would react. He understands the concept of babies but it was doubtful that he knew he’d no longer be the youngest. Well, he walked into the room, took one look at Zoey, and begged to hold her:

Jack: Who wants to hold her? Henry: Me! Me! Me!
All of Zoey’s siblings love her. Evelyn’s an old pro…
Evelyn already asked if we could bring her to school to show her friends.
 …Kate is looking forward to being the big sister at home to help with Zoey…
…Claire is looking forward to showing her new sister the ropes…
…and Henry? He just really, REALLY loves his new sister.
To the point that he screams and growls when anyone else wants a turn to hold her.
We’ll work on sharing later…

I know I obviously do most of the work when it comes to having a new baby, but I do have to tip my hat to Jack for all that he deals with during the time I hang out at the hospital. Not only is he at my every beck and call when he’s with me, he keeps an eye on all the kids, chauffeuring them from restaurants when they’re hungry to parks to keep them from being bored to making sure they keep their little fingers off the nurse’s call button in my room and ensuring they, too, still feel special by small gestures, like letting them pick out their own inexpensive umbrella to use as they walk from the parking lot in pouring rain. He’s one heck of a husband and father!

Lucky for us, there’s a little playground right outside my window! 
To top off a lovely weekend (if you discount the soreness and being up all night kind of stuff), the irises, my very favorite flower, are in bloom at my house. It’s kind of miraculous any of them survived since Henry couldn’t contain his curiosity and had ripped several of the plants to shreds before anything even got to bloom. So, in keeping with tradition, Zoey’s middle name will be a flower, just like her sisiters’.

We’re all so thrilled that Zoey (and one of her cousins, only a few hours later) have arrived safely and are looking forward to getting to know them as their personality unfolds. We adore her already and she fits right in, as if there were ever any doubt.

Henry’s the protective big brother already!
 Welcome to the planet, Zoey!
Who does she look like? A little bit of everyone, I think.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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