@cali09 Has your last LO arrived yet?
@blueangel How about you?
I think the last time I updated you all I had just given birth to the twins, wow has it been a while!
Lots has been going on since then. I posted in another thread when I found out, and again when I was 27 weeks, but we just recently welcomed our last little girl, whom we named Alma Bea. K and I’s other children are Minerva Sophie (5), Eleanor Juno (3), and twin boys Francis Lou and Robin Kit (18 months).
We found out I was pregnant with Alma when the boys were 9 months old, and needless to say we were surprised. My pregnancy with her was physically very easy, but mentally it was kind of tough, just because of the fear I had of having another kid so close in age to the twins. But hey, I’d done it with Eleanor and the boys, why couldn’t I do it again!
Alma was born on June 23 at 38 weeks 1 day, weighing 6 lbs 3 oz and was 19 inches long, making her my second largest baby! She arrived at 3:55 pm after 12 hours and the most perfect home birth I could’ve asked for.
Alma Bea's birthday
We checked off nearly every box in my perfect birth plan besides two, one of which being her making it to at least 39 weeks, and the other being having my kids there. Obviously the 39 week mark wasn’t going to be very likely (my other kids were born at 37 weeks, 37 weeks, and 33 weeks respectively, so my doctors didn’t expect me to make it any longer than that, even 38 weeks was a very pleasant and welcomed surprise), however I was surprised that when the time came to have Alma, I decided that it was overwhelming to have all four kids there and chose to have their grandparents come get them instead!
Another thing I was surprised about was the fact that we ended up changing her name! We went into the birth with three names, Silvia/Sylvia which we both loved, Sybil which K loved, and Alma which I loved, all of which would have the middle name Bea. Shortly after she was born K asked me if I’d decided on a name. Feeling pressure to pick one, I chose Sylvia and announced it to him, my doula, and midwife. It was a sweet moment, K looked very happy with my choice, and both my midwife and doula clapped before complementing us on the name. Immediately after, I felt like I chose wrong, but decided to chalk it up to labor hormones and continue on using it. After writing the name down in a draft of a message to my parents (which I then decided to delete and tell them over facetime), I realized I didn’t like the way Sylvie or Sylvia looked. So then I tried Silvia and Silvie. It kept reminding me of silver and saliva! So I broke into tears. Obviously the most natural and productive response!
K came up to me concerned as to why I was crying, and I looked down to the baby and back up to him and shouted, “That’s not her name! She’s not a Sylvia!” as if I was Rachel from friends. He then said, “That’s okay, it’s okay.” like the supportive man he is I then exclaimed, “I’m sorry, she’s not a Sybil either! I tried to love it for you, but I just can’t!” he chuckled saying, “It’s okay!” Starting to cry again, I shouted, “She’s an Alma, I’m sorry she’s an Alma! I know you hate it, but she’s got to be an Alma!” Of course he doubled over in laughter, “I never have said I hated Alma! I love it, and you’re right she’s an Alma, how could she be anything different.” Apparently that wasn’t good enough for me because I continuously asked him if he was sure about Alma After he reassured me for the umpteenth time, we told the doula & midwife again before calling my parents to tell them that little Alma had been born! They were in the airport waiting for their connecting flight when I called them, and originally thought it was me checking in to ask where they were, when I told them I had a surprise they shouted “Oh my god, you’re in labor!” And then I panned the camera down to Alma sleeping on my chest and I could hear them gasp before screaming “SHE’S SO PERFECT!” I guess my parents aren’t worried about people judging them By this point it was about 6:00 pm and we decided that since the kids had probably just finished eating dinner, it’d be a good time to call them with the news. We facetimed K’s mum and told her to leave the room before telling her the news, which she then relayed to K’s dad. And then one by one, we had the kids go into another room with the phone and told them their little sister had been born.
It was one of the sweetest things to see their faces light up at the news. Mina jumped around and we heard her little giggle before she asked, “What’s her name” we told her and she beamed before saying “I was rooting for Alma! I just knew you were going to pick it!” in that moment, I was more sure about my choice to change her name to Alma than ever before. Eleanor was surprised to hear that the baby had been born, and when I told her that she could come see the baby in two days she was clearly very excited, something which I was eternally grateful for because of how difficult the transition with the twins was for her. Frankie and Robin didn’t quite know what I was saying but when I told them that there wasn’t a baby in Mumma’s tummy anymore, they seemed happy.
The next day my mum and dad arrived to our house, and were very pleased to see the baby. They hadn’t ever been the first ones to visit after any of our babies and I think they secretly felt very proud to be the first ones this time. It was all a very surreal and special moment for us. The day after my MIL and FIL brought the kids back home and stayed to visit as well. Mina was absolutely in awe of baby Alma and was quite happy to have predicted her name right. Surprisingly Eleanor was very excited too! She asked to hold her almost immediately and as soon as Alma finished eating we let her do so (obviously with K’s help). The twins were slightly weary about the baby, Robin especially, but warmed up quickly to her. Francis was very keen on petting her little head and pointing to her hair, and Robin kept his distance, but I could tell that he would look over and smile at her every so often. I was definitely not surprised by this, as Robin has always been very shy and timid, where as Frankie quickly warms up to people and things.
I am so glad that the kids have enjoyed her so much, as it’s definitely made some of my anxieties lessen.
Mina has been doing very well lately! She is currently enrolled in ballet lessons which she goes to twice a week (Monday and Friday), and has been continuing going to the international Montessori school nearby twice a week as well (Tuesday and Thursdays most weeks, Monday and Wednesday once a month). She is still being taught from home and we’ve really seen her flourish these past four months. She enjoys gardening, and despite the fact that I can’t do it with her much this year (I was heavily pregnant when it was time to plant things, and this past month have had a newborn to care for) she’s found ways to have fun in the garden. K has been learning to garden alongside her and she loves that time with him! One of her most prized possessions at this moment is her beta fish that she got as a present “from” Alma. She’d been begging for a fish for nearly three months, and when Alma was born, we decided to get her one for her present from Alma. She quickly asked what it’s name was and became very excited when we told her that he didn’t have one and she could pick it out. She picked Clover which I think is absolutely adorable!
Eleanor starts going to the Montessori school this September, and we’ve decided to only have her go once a week for the time being. She isn’t as school focused as Mina was at her age, so we decided to ease her into the transition a little bit more. For the past six months, we’ve been teaching her more at home and she has “school days” with us twice a week. She hasn’t shown much interest in learning up until recently, and I was surprised one day when she woke up and told me that she wanted to do school with Mina. She’s definitely had an easier transition with Alma than she had with Francis and Robin, which I had worried would have been hard again this time. She still loves animals, and was very happy to hear that we were getting another cat seven months ago. For her present from Alma, we got her a plush cat that looks like our new kitty Moss because she had been very sad to find that we weren’t able to take Moss with us everywhere we went! Mina helped her name the toy and together they picked Toad which I thought was pretty funny. She’s been attached to that stuffed animal ever since and takes it with her everywhere.
Francis and Robin have also been doing extremely well. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t adjust to Alma well, but I knew pretty much from the moment they met that they’d all be best buddies! The boys are so smart, Frankie loves meeting new people and counting, and Robin loves hanging out with me and reading. While they are very similar in certain ways, they also can be very different. Francis is extroverted and loves to play outside independently, while Robin is introverted and is definitely a home body. Frankie got a little counting board from Alma, and Robin got a book from her. They seemed to really enjoy them!
Things have been very hectic around here lately, and with five kids there’s never any down time! I wouldn’t change it for the world though. Juggling two strollers, diaper bags, a five year old, three toddlers, and a newborn baby is as hard as you can imagine, so even going to the store is a task in itself. We just recently took the kids to a water park and boy was it chaotic! We were prepared and smart enough to bust out the w4 stroller wagon for the first time and were pleasantly surprised! Though I wore Alma in our wrap for most of the time, I still brought the stroller for her which we did end up using towards the end of the day when I decided to swap places with K and get in the water. By the time we were heading home, every kid was asleep in their stroller seat!
I don’t know how you guys with more kids than me are doing it!
I hope everything is well with you all, xx.
ETA - I forgot to share, we’d been looking for a new house since the boys were six months as we felt we had grown out of ours. Shortly before finding out I was having Alma we bought a new home and moved into it when I was two months along! It has six bedrooms so everyone will eventually get their own room, but for the moment Mina has her own room, Eleanor has her own room, and Francis and Robin are sharing a room. Of course K and I have our own room as well. One of the spare rooms is acting as a guest bedroom, and the other is like a storage room lol. Here’s some photos of what the rooms look like, we redid them when I was six months pregnant so I’m pretty happy with them!
Francis & Robins’ Room:
Alma’s Nursery (she’ll continue to sleep with us for at least nine more months):