Katelyn Ann’s Birth Story

Baby Kate,

As I mentioned in your last weekly update, we were scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, June 20th, but would go to the hospital on Monday evening to get some meds to soften my cervix for Tuesday.

I called the hospital at 5:30 to ensure there were beds available and all was a go and they asked us to arrive around 7:00 that night. We finished packing up our bags (I didn’t want to do all of it as I was scared it would jinx us on having a room available) and headed to Chipotle for dinner. We had stopped there before we went in for Lexi’s induction too, so it seemed fitting.

After getting all checked in, we took a few last belly pics and I put the ugly gown on and started to get settled in for the night. After all the internal debates I had with myself on whether or not to be induced, I felt this was the best option. If we didn’t go this route, I would continue to be a total mental basket case and continuing to worry and analyze every little thing that was occurring. I was a little worried about how everything would go down with labor and your health, but felt we were making the right decision for your safety.

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Also, a comparison pick of the last belly pick I have with each kiddo. Lexi @ 39 weeks 5 days, Will @ 37 weeks and Kate @ 36 weeks 5 days,–although they are at different weeks, I carried both of the girls fairly similar, more egg shape and Will was rounder and more basketball belly.

 

Around 8 pm the nurse checked me and I was dilated between a 1 and 1.5 cm and my cervix was ‘soft’– whatever that means. I got my blood drawn and IV put in, which I really hate! I hate I can’t move my hands very well since there is a needle stuck in it and it hurts when you try and move it certain ways. Anyways, they gave me Cervadil (looks kind of like a tampon) to soften me up which required me to stay laying for 2 hours, but also continues to work for another 10 hours. Daddy and I watched Daddy’s Home to help kill time. (Netflix and Amazon Prime were slim pickings for movies). The cervadil made me feel very crampy and initiated some contractions. There wasn’t any consistency to them and were like a 1-2 on the pain scale.

Around 11:45 I took some sleeping meds to help me fall asleep. First I took Vistaril, which I had been taking at home to help me sleep and control the itching and that didn’t do anything, so they gave me some Ambien. After a couple games of suduko, I finally started to fall asleep around 12:30 and slept until 6:30.

Dr. G arrived around 7:30, took out my Cervadil and was 50% effaced and dilated to about a 3. She broke my water, but this time I didn’t even realize it and even asked her, ‘Did you just break my water?’ About 5 minutes later, I felt the gush of water and the contractions started immediately. They were pretty painful (like a 5), but as soon as I started walking around, they went to about a 3 and were coming every 2 1/2 minutes.

By 8:30 they started the pitocin and I made a plan to get the epidural around 10, after the anesthesiologist was done with a C-section which was scheduled for 9:30. Around 9:00 the pain had increased to a 4-5 and I needed to breath through the contractions. I absolutely needed to stand and walk around to get through each contraction and was pacing back in forth in our room between each one. Thankfully, it was pretty large! As I felt a contraction coming, I would stop walking, close my eyes, sway my hips and breath through it.

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Around 9:15 they upped the pitocin and then again at 9:50–essentially every 30 minutes it increased. Based on the pain scale and frequency of the contractions, I thought for sure we would meet you by noon. I was so happy I had made the plan to get the epidural at 10:00 because I was clock watching for a good half hour waiting to reach that magical 10:00 timeframe. I even remember asking a nurse if we were still on track for the epi at 10, because mentally I needed to prepare myself if it wasn’t going to happen then.

Thankfully, the anesthesiologist arrived a few minutes early and I dreadfully sat on the bed hunched over. For me, these 10 minutes are the worst as contractions are much more painful sitting down. The anesthesiologist was fast (nothing like William’s) and I felt instant relief from the contractions but could still wiggle my toes and move my legs moderately. However, in order for the epidural to hit my body evenly I needed to lay down on my back. I warned them that it wasn’t a good idea as I can’t breath.

Within five minutes, my blood pressure dropped and Daddy said my face and lips turned white. They also couldn’t find your heartbeat and called in several other nurses to help. They rotated me from side-to-side trying to get my blood pressure back up and find your little ticker. By 10:20 everything was A-OK again. At the time, I didn’t think much of it as I was just really concentrating on breathing, but Daddy said it was little scary and felt like he might pass out watching me.

After I was stabilized they checked me and was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. By 11:15, they turned the pitocin back on (they shut it off when my BP fell) and more or less had to start over again. They continued to up the pitocin every 30 minutes and would rotate me to a different position every time they upped it to keep things progressing. Around 12:30 I was 4.5-5 cm and still 80% effaced. I remember feeling itchy, having cold hands and was very tired. In general, the epidural really slowed things down for me, which I didn’t think would happen as it didn’t do that when I had your brother and sister.

Around 2:30 I was checked again and was dilated to a 6 and complete. I didn’t feel the intense pressure I felt with William and that you were ready to come, but could tell things were changing. From about 12:30 to 2:30, I was so tired and kept taking 20 minute power naps, but every time I shut my eyes things slowed down, so I was doing my best to stay awake but was really struggling.

Around 3:00, I was continuing to feel contractions and pressure. It wasn’t painful but I could feel it, where the previous three hours I hadn’t felt anything. The nurse asked if I should be checked again and said, no as I was just checked 30 minutes ago and was only a 6. She rotated me around again and monitored me a little but didn’t like the pattern of the contractions and you were acting a little off so she decided to check me again and sure enough, I was fully dilated and you were ready to come meet us. I was shocked! I couldn’t believe I had went from a 6 to a 10 in 30 minutes!

They started prepping the room for your arrival, called NICU to have the nurses be ready and called Dr. G to head on over. She arrived between 3:20 and 3:30 and started getting ready.

I started pushing at 3:40 and remember asking what to do during the pushing process as I had kind of forgot–push for 3 counts of 10 during each contraction. During the first contraction, I don’t think my pushing did anything and Dr. G also noticed your face was sideways (opposed to down). After the 3rd contraction, I asked to be propped up a little more to help give me some leverage and push you out. The nurses put some pillows behind me and on the next contraction I was able to push you out at 3:48 pm with little to no pain or intense pressure! The nurses put you on my belly immediately and began wiping you off.

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You had great color and the cutest little cry. Daddy was enamored by you and so in love and I felt very calm and peaceful. After all the time I had spent worrying about your arrival and the challenges that often come with induction and an early baby, here you were in my arms, perfect as can be and I was so in love and grateful everything had turned out as it should.

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You received an 8 on your first APGAR score and a 9 on the second. I had very little bleeding, the placenta came out great and had 1/2 a stitch. You weighed an astounding 7 lbs and 11 oz, were 21 inches long–such a shocker for a little babe that was over 3 weeks early!!! (we were a little late on the clock picture)Kate's 1st week-5

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We spent the next hour bonding with skin-to-skin and nursing, you latched on like a champ and Daddy and I discussed what your name should be. Katelyn was always the top runner but we wanted to make sure that was ‘it’. Daddy had received an email from another Katelyn around the time of your birth and we decided that was a sign to make it official. FYI: other names in consideration were Elizabeth and Grace.

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About an hour after your arrival, the nurses took your blood sugar and it was pretty low (22) when they want it to be a 45. They gave you some sugar water and a little formula to help increase it and then would monitor it closely. Your body temp was also a little low, so they wrapped you in several blankets to keep you warm and encouraged more skin-to-skin and nursing to keep you warm and increase those numbers. About 30-45 minutes later, they did another blood sugar test and you had increased to a 37, but still weren’t at that 45 mark yet, so they did another round of sugar water and some formula to help stabilize you.

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About two hours after you arrived, my left leg was still very numb from the epidural (that is the side I was on after the blood pressure incident so it was more numb than the other side) so I needed some help getting to the bathroom before they could move us to the postpartum room. (side note: I didn’t get full feeling in it until about 9:00 that evening!) In addition to the numbness in my leg, I was extremely shaky for two to three hours. I would try and hold papers and they would rattle like a snake.

Later that evening, your big brother and sister, grandma and papa came to meet you. Lexi and William weren’t very interested in you and would barely give me a hug. I was still in the ugly hospital gown and my leg was still numb so I couldn’t get out of the bed and I think they were a little intimated by that. Things were a little crazy that evening and we didn’t even manage to get a picture, but got plenty the next day when they came to visit and were much more interested in you!

And that is the story of how you arrived into the world my sweet little Kate. We are so in love with you and you are the perfect completion to our little family. We can’t wait to experience all the happiness and laughter the next weeks, months and years will bring us with you in our lives.

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 27 Weeks

Little nugs,

Supposedly, we nearing the end of the ‘sweet spot’ of pregnancy as I’m starting to enter the 3rd trimester. This is a little frightening considering I’ve only been feeling decent for 7 weeks, but I can start to feel the Braxton Hicks contractions increasing as well as the aches and pains.

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I’m in full on nesting mode. Over the weekend, I cleaned all of our ceiling fans,  (this hasn’t been done in 6 years-gross, I know!) washed the insides and outsides of all the upstairs windows and painted the pink and green stripes in Lexi’s room to a dark grey to match the new curtains. We also moved a bookcase and baskets into their room for more storage and added some drawers and another closet rod to the closet to make room for William. I’m loving the way the way the big kids bedroom is coming together and trying to resist painting every other room in the house too. (Seriously, I want to paint the downstairs bathroom, my bedroom, bathroom and completely remodel the kids bathroom). Pinterest is not helping this either.

I’ve mentioned this before but the further along in pregnancy, the less patience I get. I remember feeling this way while pregnant with William. In both instances, Lexi gets the short end of the stick. She seems to be the one I have the least patience with. I immediately get frustrated if she doesn’t listen the first time I ask her to do something and by the 5th time, I pretty much loose my mind. I asked Daddy if she was getting worse at listening, and he told me no, I just have less patience. Sigh. I’m working on this, but it is hard.

I’m pretty indifferent to food lately and most nights I don’t even eat dinner. Nothing sounds very good–but at least it doesn’t make me vom like it did in the beginning. However, I did have a bagel from HyVee the other day and it was so amazing, I went back and bought 6 more! So delish! Sweets are OK, but again, not really craving them the way I used to and I’m still a no-go on chocolate. In fact it is getting worse. If I have a little taste of it here and there I feel the burn immediately.

As I mentioned before, my hips get pretty sore and I notice this most while I’m sleeping. Other than that, sleep is going well.

No update for Lexi this week. With William, it was early December and I had just taken my gluclose test and made a note to myself to eat or drink before the test (too late for that!) William’s heartbeat was around 157 at this point and I had gained 14 lbs, so exactly where I was last week.

All in all, things are going well and I’m loving the warmer weather we’re starting to get.

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 25 Weeks

Dear Nugs,

Last weeks monthly check in went well. I took and passed my gestational diabetes test and am so glad I’ll never take one of those again! You were busy moving around in there so it took a while to find your heart beat but you were fluctuating between 146 and 152 beats per minute and are measuring right on track! Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Daddy has been busy working on the bunk beds and I was busy taking care of the two other nuggets.

Size of Baby: You are the size of a rutabaga. Approximately 9 inches and 1.7 lbs

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The Bump: Daddy and I attended a wedding over the weekend. I attempted to wear a regular dress and it just felt too tight, so I pulled out a new maternity one and threw on a blazer to dress it up a little. It’s interesting how the bottom photo makes the bump look a little pointy.

Cravings/Aversions: nope nada! I’ve kind of had an upset stomach for the past week or so. Nothing sounds good, but nothing sounds terrible either. So just not eating a whole lot and sticking to pretty bland foods.

What I’m anticipating: Moving forward with the bunk beds. Daddy has made a lot of progress in the actual build of the beds and then it is my job to finish them. The big kids are heading to the cabin with Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend so hopefully we can get a lot done this weekend! Looks like lots of sanding and painting are in my future!

Miss anything: Nope

Worries: Not to much

Differences between pregnancies: With Lexi, the kidney issues I had improved, I was still in pain, but it was managable. I also traveled to Austin Texas for a photo shoot and it was like 90% humidity and 100+ degrees, which right now sounds amazing! With William, we had just gotten over colds, sleep seems to be fairly similar. Also noted that we had a boy name picked out but no girl name, just a few we kind of like–so same story here.

How I’m feeling: Overall, I have nothing to complain about and am in the sweet spot of pregnancy!

Sleep: This is all over the board. I have good nights and bad nights. Some nights I toss and turn a lot, other nights I wake in the middle of the night or early in the morning. I do feel bad that all my movement isn’t helping daddy sleep very well

Movement: Lots of movement. You get stronger every day! Lexi loves to feel you kicking around!

Milestones: I think this is the week of viability. IF something were to happen, you would have a good chance of surviving. Lots of hard work and complications, but you would likely survive. Also, passing the gestational diabetes test!

Best Moment of the Week: On Tuesday it was 60+ degrees and sunny and Lexi had a break from dance and the kids road bikes and we grilled and it was awesome and I can’t wait for the summer!

Sibling talk: Lexi and I were reading her Minnie Mouse books and she was looking at some other princess books. She stops, puts her hand on my arm and goes, “mom, I have a great idea, we can get these new princess books for the new baby and then we can trade princess and Minnie Mouse books, wouldn’t that be a good idea?”

Love,

Mama

Baby #3 24 Weeks

Size of baby: You are approximately the size of an ear of corn (8.5 inches long and 1.5lbs) Your brain activity is close to that of a newborn and your face is fully formed with eyelashes, eyebrows and hair.

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The Bump: Steady growth! It is definitely firm now and am curious if I’ll get any stretch marks this time around. Shaving and bending over is getting a little more tricky. Also, my jacket is getting harder to zip up-hopefully, I can put it away for the season in a couple of weeks!
Cravings/Aversions: Sweets! However, I’ve cut them out of my diet for the past several days knowing I have my glucose test this week. I’ve been chewing gum and eating craisins, nuts and chewing gum as a substitute. It hasn’t been terrible, but I can’t wait for the test to be over and (hopefully!) go back to eating them again–especially since I bought some Girl Scout Cookies!
What I’m loving: Getting stuff done! We bought Lexi’s new bike this week, I ordered new curtains for the big kid’s room, ordered some fabric to make some valences for the kitchen and dinning room and daddy continues to make progress with the bunk beds!
What I’m anticipating:  Warm Sunshine, whats new? Getting this glucose test over with and getting my hair done tonight!
Miss anything? Sweets!
Worries? Honestly, my biggest worry right now is work. With my boss, my co-worker and I all being pregnant/due within a couple months of each other, I’m worried about what they are going to do for coverage as we don’t have anyone else on our team. There is a lot to learn and a pretty busy time to cover and each passing week is less time to on-board someone.
Differences between pregnancies? With Lexi, we were in Vail photographing a wedding and I ended up in the hospital and cutting the trip short with some kidney issues. With William, it feels pretty similar to this pregnancy. Apparently I was still sleeping on my stomach (although I had reported earlier that I wasn’t). The strength of your kicks and punches also grew with William, which I’m experiencing right now as well.
How I’m feeling: Breathing is a little more challenging. I often find myself sitting at my desk short of breath.
Sleep: This is up and down. I’ll have good nights and bad nights. I’ve transitioning to putting a pillow between my legs now to make sleep a little more comfortable, but this always causes challenges when rolling over in the middle of the night. Most of the time, I can fall back asleep right away, but I’m back to waking up around 5:30 in the morning and being wide awake.
Movement: So much. It is crazy how active you get after I eat. It feels like you’re riding a roller-coaster inside my belly.
Boy or Girl: Sweet little girl!
Milestones: 6 months down, 4 to go!
Best Moment of the Week: Watching Lexi ride her new big girl bike. She jumped right on and we’re working on peddling with the balls of her feet (verses the arches), turning and using the brakes. Hopefully, we’ll take the training wheels off in a week or two!
Sibling Talk: Lexi talks about you daily. She is growing out of some of her clothes and tells me ‘I’ve got a great idea, we can save these clothes for the new baby’. She is also very curious where you are going to sleep. This morning, she was talking about fireworks and was asking, who is going to watch the new baby while we watch fireworks, because fireworks are too loud for the new baby. I told her, I would probably stay with the new baby, in which she responded ‘oh right, you can watch them from the window’.
Love,
Mama
 

Baby #3 23 Weeks

Little Nugs,

Another pretty uneventful week, and I would like to keep it that way! Next week, I have another doctor appointment and need to take my glucose test, so I’m going to need to cut sugar out of my diet for a couple days, which is kind of terrifying!

Size of baby: According to the app, you are the size of a papaya which is about 1.2 lbs
The Bump: No big changes from last week, I feel like it is a decent size, but others tell me they can barely tell I have a bump. Also, it totally depends on the shirt. See below. The first pictures are wearing a regular shirt and the second pictures are wearing a maternity shirt. Same day.
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Cravings/Aversions: Loving all things sweets! Easter candy has not been helping with this. Avoiding most chocolate sweets as I get heartburn from them, but loving all the different kinds of Jelly Beans, Nerd jelly beans being my favorite! Overall, I just don’t have a huge appetite. There have been several nights over the past week where I just don’t eat dinner because I already feel full!
What I’m loving: Feeling pretty normal. Knock on wood, but I feel like I have finally kicked the bug I’ve been fighting since November! Energy levels are coming back up. I can easily stay up past 9:00 these days and feeling a little more optimistic about life.
What I’m anticipating: Still can’t wait for the weather to warm up. We had a slight set-back this past weekend with a little snow, which your siblings loved! We also have a lot of fun things coming up this spring/early summer that I think will make time fly by! There have also been some exciting changes at work that I’m pretty excited about!
Miss anything? Not really.
Worries? not really!
Differences between pregnancies? No post for Lexi this week and with William, we had just had our ultrasound. He was also positioned with his spine against my belly so feeling lots of movement inside, similar to you!
How I’m feeling: No complaints.
Sleep: Great! Falling asleep quickly and staying asleep the whole night, with the exception of needing to re-position a couple of times, but fall asleep instantly. Also sleeping until my alarm goes off, so the early wake-ups must have been a fluke!
Movement: I’m sure you’re siblings moved as much as you do, but I do not remember this much movement. You love to dance sweet girl!
Boy or Girl: Sweet baby GIRL!!! No name yet and I’m still thinking we’ll wait until you arrive. However, I was writing out some of our top names (like a 10th grader) to see how they looked next to the other kids names and with our last name, and discovered one of my top two names may not work anymore. Still really like that name, but it just may not be a good fit for our family 😦
Milestones: Daddy put together a plan for the big kid’s bunk beds and bought the materials and has started to work on putting them together! I’m pumped!!
Love,
Mama

Baby #3 22 Weeks

To my third baby,
This has been a pretty uneventful week, which is a good thing. Outside of the typical chaos of our house, I spent my time anticipating the warm weather we are on the verge of. I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready for warm weather, and this winter wasn’t even bad. I think I’m just excited to be outside with Lexi and William as they are a year older this year, which means they will be that much more capable of doing more activities. Also, that means we’re that much closer to meeting you!
Size of baby: According to the app, you now weigh about 1 lbs. Your vision, hearing and sense of touch are getting stronger. You can hear my voice, heartbeat and all those nice digestion noises.
The Bump: It feels bigger than it looks. It feels heavy and like I’m 36 weeks along, which is a scary thought because I have a long ways to go until I’m there. I think I’ve had a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions, but still too early to tell.

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Cravings/Aversions: No real cravings, but nothing really sounds good either. Still get pretty full after lunch and don’t eat a whole lot more after that. I usually want a soda most days BUT I’m sustaining some will power on this one, especially because I usually can’t finish it. I typically just want a couple sips and then I’m good.
What I’m loving: I really love knowing your gender. I have my eye on this adorable little dress for you to wear to your auntie Becca’s wedding this summer and just have fun daydreaming about what kind of personality will you have. Will you be more of a tomboy or will you be really girly? Will you love pink or will you really dislike it. Lexi is really into princesses right now, but was never a big baby or dolly kid and William for sure wasn’t, will you?
What I’m anticipating: Warm weather so much! I can’t wait to leave the house regularly without jackets and be able to walk outside in my bare feet and wear shorts and tank tops! Also, Daddy made some good progress on putting together a bedroom plan for the big kids so I’m really looking forward to getting that project started!
Miss anything? Not really.
Worries? not really!
Differences between pregnancies? No post for Lexi this week and with William, we were STILL in Hawaii. At this point, I wasn’t able to sleep on my stomach and starting to feel lots of movement.
How I’m feeling: Pretty good! My patience is paper thin but physically, I’m feeling pretty good.
Sleep: Pretty good. Still able to sleep on my stomach/side and fall asleep pretty quickly and stay sleeping most of the night. However, I am waking up on my own around 5:45 to 6:00 most mornings. I feel like this is my body’s way of saying get your butt out of bed and go work out, but I haven’t acted on that yet.
Movement: Lots! You are the first baby where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night because of your movement. Also Lexi was able to feel your little dancing moves for the first time. Here eyes got wide and then she ran over to daddy and said, ‘Daddy, I just felt me little sister kick. Isn’t that silly?’
Boy or Girl: Sweet baby GIRL!!!!
Milestones: We made the official decision on which preschool Lexi will be going to next year. Feels good to have something set in stone!
Sibling Talk: Lexi is just so excited for you! She loves to tell everyone that she is going to be a big sister and her mommy has a baby in her tummy. She told the Dr. when we were in for well check appointments, she told the man bagging our groceries an the person where we were registering for preschool.
We also talked about how you are ‘swimming’ inside my belly, which sparked lots of questions: Can she float? How does she breath? Does she know how to do scoop and kicks like me?
Love,
Mama

Big Brother William

Dear William,

You are going to be a BIG brother to a little sister!! A middle child. I’m kind of at a loss for words for you and haven’t quite figured out how you’re going to respond to this major life change yet, both for when the baby arrives and the impact it will make as you grow.

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When your baby sister arrives, you’ll be just short of 2.5 when the new baby is born (assuming everything goes to plan), which is just a tinch older than Lexi was when you were born.

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When you were born, I felt the transition was pretty challenging. Lexi constantly wanted/needed my attention and was intentionally naughty. As a result, I didn’t get to snuggle you as much as I would have liked. I can see you behaving similar to Lexi, pushing boundaries while looking at me and doing something you know is naughty but doing it anyways. On the other hand, I’m hoping Lexi will help keep you entertained and being able to play outside will make this initial transition a little less painful.

I have no clue how you are going to respond to the baby itself. You are very cuddly and affectionate with Daddy and I, always giving us hugs and kisses and wanting to snuggle on the couch or before bedtime and when you wake up. However, I’ve never seen you pick up one of Lexi’s babies or show any kind of nurturing behavior. You’re rough and touch and love to run and play with balls and push trucks around. I could see you being a little rough with the baby and wanting me to ‘send her back to the hospital’ as Lexi used to say but then part of me thinks you could really surprise me and be sweet and love to rock her and give her kisses. Time will tell.

As you grow, you’ll have so many important roles that you get to fill. You get to be a little brother to Lexi, yet also a Big Brother to your new sister and all of the fun things that come along with that. You and Lexi are the best of friends right now and love to play together. It will be interesting if you become the ‘pesky little brother’ as the years go on or if you two remain tight. You also get to watch out for your little sister and make sure nobody messes with her.

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My dear boy, this also means you are becoming the middle child. As a middle child myself and the deprivation i endured (semi-kidding here) I’m going to do my best to make sure you don’t feel left out or over-shadowed by your big and little sis. I do think that being our only boy will really help this. You’ll get to do special things that the girls won’t likely do. And carrying on the family name (both of your grandpas and the last name) kind of puts you into your own playing field. Oh my sweet curly-haired William, your daddy and I love you so much and are constantly laughing and smiling at every funny (and naughty) thing you do. I’m so excited to watch you grow and adapt over the next year and pray there are more moments filled with laughter than tears.

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Love,

Mommy