Well guys, its a GIRL!
I know. I couldnt believe it either. So much so, that when Jeff said the phrase "it's a girl!" I thought he was joking. In the beginning I thought it was a girl, but then remembered that Lindsay and I had done the ring test, and it said I was having 2 boys and 2 girls when I grew up. And, obviously the ring test is the most accurate test, so I had to change my perspective. Needless to say, I was surprised when she came out. And just beyond excited. I could not be more thrilled to add another girl to my crew.
And this girl. Well, this girl is the dream.
Her name. Her name is Olive Shea Barstad and it would be Shea Olive Barstad but her initials would be SOB, and with a name like Barstad we figured that would just screw her even more. SO, she is a middle namer. The kid who always has to correct the sub and everyone who reads a chart with her name on it. I really didnt want to do that to her, but didnt want to do SOB to her and we were kind of stuck on Olive, so she now has that cross to bear. Olive came about because I was looking up names that meant or symbolized "peace", hoping I could name her to be a calm and peaceful child :) I read Olive to Jeff, not knowing what he would think, and he loved it. And the more we talked about it the more we realized that it was kind of perfect. I mean, with the whole rainbow thing that I have going on, and before the rainbow in the Bible story, Noah sends out a dove that brings back an olive branch to symbolize land and that the water was going down. And that God would restore the land.
So, we just had to do it.
So. On to her big debut.
(Warning: this is long and boring and stream of conscious bad writing so feel free to just skip to the pics)
All of my babies have been early. The twins were 32 weeks and aves was 38. So, I have kind of just been thinking I should keep my legs crossed from the beginning of December until the day I want her to come out. (hahhah! That makes me laugh so much now.) I had a plan to have her share a birthday with my dad on Dec 19 because everyone else in my family shares a birthday with someone except my dad (and Jeff, but he was not really in the running with this one). Well, the 19 came and went and I was so sad. I started doing everything in my power to get this baby out. Running, jumping, spicy foods-everything. Needless to say, nothing was working.
Jeff had a few shifts at the beginning of Dec and one on the 22. So we tried to get her out before the 22 but since she wasnt coming, I really wanted to wait until after Christmas and we could just see what happened. I had Cousins Christmas with the fam on the 23 and 24 was our first Christmas Eve as a family at our own house and then our first Christmas to wake up at our own house with our own little family. I was so excited about that. So, I stopped all labor inducing methods before the 22. I had a little pity party for myself about being pregnant until my due date (the horror!) and then pulled it together. I didnt do much that day- went to eat with my in laws and then to see Frozen again. We got home from Frozen and put on the soundtrack (naturally) and had a mini dance party downstairs. While we were dancing like ballerinas, I really felt like I had to pee. And then kept having to pee. And then water kept coming out like I had to pee but I didnt have to pee. And now it seem so crazy to not have known that that was my water breaking, but I had had so many contractions leading up to this and I had felt like I was in labor so many times before that I just had the biggest mind tricks playing in my head. After it kept umm, leaking, for about an hour, I decided to call my mom who had tried to come over earlier in the day "just in case" and I had laughed at her. I told her that I was not having any contractions and nothing was happening and not to come. Needless to say, I may have jinxed myself with that one. Then I called Jeff. I wanted him to be with me so bad that I kept trying to stay home and just wait until I was contracting, but he wanted me to go to the hospital. When I called my OB she told me to go immediately. At that point I just lost it. I was so thankful for my mom and thankful that she would be there with me and for my in laws taking care of my kids, but I wanted Jeff there. I didnt want her to come on the 22. That was not my plan- in fact that was the only day that I really didnt want her to come.
We got to the hospital and we thought it was the nicest place ever. We were like the beverly hillbillies. Just so impressed with everything. Then, they hooked me up to all the machines and did a test to see if I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, or if I just thought my water had broken. My nurse was great and the test actually came back negative, but she was convinced it was wrong (thankfully) and the next time she took it it was positive. In the meantime, I was having terrible contractions. It was rough. And I had to sign all the VBAC forms because I was trying to have a regular delivery after my c-section with sass, and my nurse was hysterical. She was terrified of the idea of a VBAC and said phrases like "maternal death" and "I just want my patients to be safe" and "I would NEVER do that" so many times and read every. single. risk. that was involved with a VBAC out loud to me. Had I not been so distracted by the pain I would have maybe hit her in the face. I know that she meant it out of concern but, man was it bad timing.
I called Jeff and told him that my water had in fact broken and that I was in labor, and he called the people who schedule the moonlighting shifts where he works, and a sweet life saving man offered to come take the rest of Jeff's shift. It was literally the best news I had ever heard. I was so excited. He ended up getting there around midnight and staying with me through the epidural and the night.
Then, I had contractions all night long but I was not progressing. Which is super unlike my other pregnancies. I have always gone into labor and had a baby in like 4 hrs. So I was pretty defeated. They came in saying I would need to do a c-section around 6 am and I lost it again. Not that I had to have a c-section, but that that would mean I had to stay in the hospital for two days, instead of just one, and would miss Christmas Eve and get home sometime on Christmas day. I had looked so forward to being home at our house with my kids on Christmas that I was pretty upset. Luckily, real life set in quickly, and I realized how thankful I was to get to see my new baby and I pulled it together (I am clearly very fragile). They wheeled me in to the OR and got that party started right away. That was awesome. My Dr was phenomenal and all of the nurses and everyone else were just amazing. I loved it all. I was super annoying and asked tons of questions about everything and begged them to let me take the curtain down so I could see what was happening. No one gave in to my wishes. Clearly they were in cahoots with my daughter.
Once they pulled her out and I heard her cry and Jeff's "It's a girl!" it was all over. I forgot all of the drama before, and it was the best moment of my life all over again. I dont think anything can ever compete with holding or seeing your child for the first time. It is like the highest high I have ever experienced and I dont come down from it for like a month after. It was just incredible. Just like all the others.
While I had been laboring, my whole family had been in the waiting room and then were all there with me in my room when I got out. It was just the best day.
Once I had her, it took me a while before I could get to a phone so my poor friends had to wait forever to hear that she was a girl! But once they knew, we literally have had non stop visitors. It has been the best two weeks. We had so many people up at the hospital and so many people bring dinner and cupcakes and come by. I mean, it makes me want another :) (J/k mom).
And just so many more that we didnt get pictures with.
I truly can not thank you enough for the food, visits, homemade hats and clothes and love. So many people traveled so far and over the holidays. It meant more to me and our family than I can ever ever say.
Then, if you follow me on instagram you know all of this, but my amazing doctor let me go home. It was just the most incredible thing and I am so so thankful for her and her willingness to let us go.
We made it home to set out the stockings, cookies and milk for santa and set up all the toys. With a swing set up in the corner holding a new baby girl, the whole time.
Just the best.
Then, we went to my in laws on Christmas Day and gave her a little sunbathing sesh since she was a little jaundice.
And it's just been a party ever since.
As with Aves and the twins, it was the best day of my life all over again. This girl pretty much has me constantly smiling and energized just because she is here. I remember telling Jeff when we had Avery that I did not think that I could ever love my kids more than I did when they first came out. My love for them would change and develop, but could not possibly grow, because the amount that I loved them when I first saw them was the most love that I had ever felt in my entire life. And sure enough, I feel exactly the same.
So far she sleeps good and eats so good. We are up a lot at night some nights and not as much some nights, it just kind of depends. I do not hate the night feedings so far. I know that I will get more and more tired, but as of now, its always just so fun to see her. I know that four will get a lot more challenging as the kids go back to school and we do their activities and I have to devote more time to each of them, but right now its been good. And the big kids are just so excited and helpful. They cant get enough of her either. We just sit and stare at her and pass her around all day.
Oh, and Jeff is home so much more. So, thats prob why it hasn't been so bad :) I feel pretty guilty about having him here because I know thats not how it was with the others, but it is really just so nice. Having help and just having him go through all of this with me has been so much fun. Especially knowing its our last. We get to really experience everything she does together and soak it all up.
If you have made it this far you deserve a huge piece of Gran's banana bread.
Thank you so much for letting me share this and for all the encouragement and support along the way.
Happy Birthday baby Shea!