Wednesday, September 30, 2015

6 Months!!!

We have been a family of seven for 6 months!!! I am completely unsure of how that could possibly be true because I think all I did was blink (and do laundry!)!!

 These months have flown and they have been so sweet!! Wellington is such an answer to so, so many prayers! He is a dream little guy! Pure joy with no fuss! He is easy going, happy, chill, but totally engaged and takes on the immense amount of loving he is dealt with joy!!!

His birth story (which I did write 90% of after he arrived, but never got around to sharing :)).

After a pregnancy filled with a lot of pain from a separated pelvis,keeping a way too busy schedule and all the demands of life, I have never felt so ready to meet a child. We had picked the March 20th to be the end all if this content little one wouldn't come on his/her own and we were all ready.

I woke up having contractions and I knew with or with out inducing that would be the day! We had an appointment to be induced and headed to the hospital early in the morning. We arrived, had one dose of meds and my contractions had kicked in pretty strong! At 8:30am my doctor who I adore and who delivered all of my kids, came in and broke my water! I wanted to do it without any drugs, but Stennson's delivery had been so traumatic that I was totally second guessing my ability to do it. But, after my water broke I knew it was going to go quickly and so I fought hard to just keep the course and forego the drugs! Which sounds like a good decision until you're an hour in!!! But, overall labor went quickly. So quickly that if my nurse had not had the foresight to page the doctor early she would have missed it all together! He was in the right position for delivery, which calmed my heart. I did break my tailbone during pushing. 5 for 5 on that one :(. Still feeling the effects of it 6 months later, ahh!!  But, moments later I pulled him up on my chest and was the first to see that he was a BOY!!! Wellington Lee Shatto! We were thrilled to have a third son! What an amazing gift!!

 He was born at 10:01am ... and even in my pain induced fog I knew something was wrong. I had watched as my doctor counted to three as she took the cord from around his neck. The cord had wrapped around his neck 3 times and as I pulled him up on my chest he was blue. The nurses were amazing and calmly took him immediately. I kept asking why he wasn't crying and they worked on him and paged the NICU team. But, before the team could even arrive he started to breathe and let out his first cry. It was the best sound I have ever, ever heard!! He really bounced back very quickly and after about 15 minutes of evaluations Matt got to hold him and then he was back in my arms. I sincerely don't think I've ever felt joy like that moment.

His name... Wellington (We call him Wellington, Wells, or WellsLee), is purely just a name we liked and fit well with our other names. We struggled to find a third boy name we loved as much as the other two, but in the end I think it's perfect! Lee... is after my dad. It's my dads middle name and he is one of the greatest men I know. It's an honor to name him after my dad. Having Lee as his middle name also gives us the nickname "Wells-Lee" which is what a lot of our kids call him often.

We had decided that morning that we were not going to tell anyone he had arrived until our kids had come to the hosptial and met him! It was a totally different experience having a baby with kids old enough to understand vs. all little and we wanted to include them in this magical day as much as possible!

 My parents had the kids for the day! I called my mom and told her "our baby had arrived and asked them to bring the kids at 1pm." and gave her no other information!! Matt and I then got 2 hours to just be with Wellington! Even with all the pain (tailbones are no joke!!)  they were two of my favorite hours. Wells sat wide awake the entire time. Not making a peep, but just snuggled in, looking around with these huge, beautiful eyes. We feel in love instantly!! I would have thought that the 5th post delivery would have been the most chaotic, but choosing not to make any calls made it the sweetest for me!!

1pm our kids walked in the room and the joy that filled the room could have knocked the walls down!! It was one of my favorite moments!! They came in and we had him wrapped in the generic hospital blanket! We got to tell them in person that it was a BOY and introduce them to their brother! It was a wonderful hour of becoming a family of seven!! Wells is so LOVED!!!!!

A few of my favorite birth pictures... I could have picked a lot, there were so many sweet ones!

First moment I got him...

Nearly 12 hours to the minute after Wellington arrived we had the fun SURPRISE of welcoming a niece/cousin!! Brooklyn Belen Jonker was born in the same hospital (a month early) and we got to have rooms right next door. Such an awesome gift!! This is at 7am the morning after they were both born! Love them and the story they will always share!
What a treat to share in this memory with my brother John & Kelly!! 
We went home the afternoon after he was born!! This sweet boy didn't make a peep!
 5 times he's carried our babies home!! Such an amazing gift we have been given!
 This face makes my heart melt!
 All ready for bed!!! 5 kids!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Waiting...learning...and about to be 7!

We have been patiently waiting for this sweet #5 to arrive, but he or she is very content to stay put! My other four were all a week or two weeks early, so being 5 days over due with my fifth has made this pregnancy seem long!! Added on top has been the fun anticipation of the girls! Being 10 & 7 they full understand all the goodness we are waiting on and have been asking me daily for three weeks if "today could be the day." We are all ready and tomorrow, Lord willing, will be the day we become a family of 7!!

Knowing the end is near has made me want to stop and enjoy these last kicks and movements. Of course, sitting on my counter is a never ending to-do list and the things I should finish today are swirling through my mind, but I'm trying to be still for a bit and reflect on this precious gift we are about to be given.

I want to believe I've gained wisdom in my 10 years of being a mom. Being pregnant at 34 is a lot more difficult than it was to be pregnant at 24- physically- but, emotionally it, is a sweet gift. When I look at Shaelyn, who just turned 10, I see this grown up child. She is tall, beautiful, mature beyond her years, and we have conversations that fill me & challenge me. I know how quickly the years have passed. I know how quickly it goes from diapers to potty training, kindergarten to 4th grade and I keep persistently asking The Lord to prepare my heart to enjoy each moment of it with each of my children.

The "world" doesn't really promote the idea of becoming a family of 7. I can't even begin to recall all the comments  I have received during this pregnancy- both in humor "you know how babies are made?" to just the harshness of a stranger- "did you want to be pregnant again?" The world tells me I can't loved them all well enough.  I will fall short on the pinterest holidays and birthday parties. Did we count the number of bedrooms we have or the number of years we will parent before they are all in college? Have we factored in the cost of college x5!? All of the worlds ways do factor in to welcoming this child tomorrow. It's not going to be easy to balance the schedule of 4 busy kids, school, sports and a newborn. Our kids will not get to have some experiences other kids have because of the size of our family. Our house doesn't fully function for a family of 7. There will not be a single pinterest birthday party this year :). But, I take great joy in knowing that they things of Our Father are so much greater than that of this world. Tomorrow, The Lord is blessing us with a child that is going to shape and mold each one of us. This little one is going to be a relationship that will forever change each of my kids and I love that! Being this little ones mom will continually push me to sacrifice my own desires and rely on a Father who has strength and love so much greater than what I could ever give on my own. Ten years ago as I waited for Shaelyn to be born I had no idea the ways that being a mom would change me. Today, I sit eternally grateful that I have been changed and eager to continue the growth tomorrow. May I daily let go of the ways the world tells me to parent & rely on the truths I hear My Father whispering to my heart. What a sweet, sweet gift I have been given to be a mom of five!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

From a new cousin... to a new Aunt... and the 3 months in between!

Last weekend I was blessed with a new sister! My youngest brother Jeff got married! We are so excited to welcome Tonya to the family! She is loved and adored by all her nieces and nephews and they are very excited to finally call her Aunt!!
Rehearsal time! The kids were very excited to be in another wedding... they were all commenting how this would be the last one :)! 

Our kids are growing up! 
We are officially even at our house (Shae 8, Monreau 6, McLleyton 4, Stennson 2!!)  
So crazy blessed to be loved by this man!  
Sweet Stennson turned 2 on their wedding day!!! We didn't really celebrate him, but he is loved and cherished! Couldn't imagine our family without his sweet, laid back, easy going personality!!  

The whole family! What a gift to have 5 brothers and 5 sisters! 29 & growing... 

Tonya was stunning! It was a beautiful day!  

One of the highlights of the day for the kids was definitely the party bus!!!  
Pretty cousins! Meg, Sophia, Monreau & Patrice 
Handsome Boys...  
Dancing away!  
And on to the reception where we really danced the night away! Our kids were a blast!! 

Monreau and my dad!  
So many sweet girls! Jeff and Tonya were so kind and had 14 kids in their wedding!!!  

The four 4 year old boys!! Who managed to find dancing partners :)  
Blessed to have a new sister!  
Love this fun candid!  
It will be her wedding day before we know it!  
Best of friends... loving the drinks!  
McLleyton was exhausted by the end of the night :)  
My friend Laura took the wedding pictures- I can't wait to see them! I definitely missed so many fun moments of the day, but I am sure she got them all! 

And now on to a few highlights of the past 3 months... of course I have a million pictures... but here is just a few to keep myself updated (or kind of :)).. 

Spring break 2013 we spent in Captiva Island, Florida with cousins!! 
It was such a fun week! 

Our last day there... trying to extend our stay! :)

Such a gift that Matt joined us for the last few days! 

Loved the ocean time... 

And one of Stennson, just because he is getting SO old :)... 

The day after we returned from Florida Shaelyn had surgery to remove her Tonsils and Adenoids. Not a fun experience, but so grateful that we did it! It has really improved her health in major ways! 
She was so brave and we made it through the long recovery! 

Monreau is SIX!!!! Yay!! We celebrated with a girls day out and a laid back evening with friends at home! 

Cake in their PJ's :) 

Stennson LOVES sports! So fun to see! Sleeping with his basketball happens regularly!

We wrapped up a busy school year with a 2nd grade performance... 

 Field day fun... 

Grandma turned 60 :) We had a fun night celebrating her!! 

McLleyton turned FOUR!!!
He had two requests for his birthday- go golfing with his dad and have friends over for pizza! Both were tons of fun!

 Sweet boy is getting so grown up!

We have a 1st grader! Monreau graduated from Kindergarten!
 So proud how far Monreau came this year! She is now a very good reader and made huge strides in her fine motor- an area that is hard for her! Her spirit and easy going attitude is such a gift! She has BIG things ahead :) Love her!!

We welcomed summer with open arms and A LOT of joy :)...

 Because he is SO sweet...

Monreau finally ditched her training wheels and in all of 5 minutes was riding on her own :) (we live on a hill... riding doesn't happen here!) 

Spent a morning strawberry picking with friends...

And enjoying every second of a schedule free... cottage living... summer days!!!

These two really love each other!

Love this pic of James & McLleyton

 Cousin Fun is endless from home... to the cottage...

 Celebrating America! 
 (In a big way!!) 
 2nd Annual Jonker Olympics complete! 

Stennson loves being 2! 

Pool hours are endless! McLleyton has become an amazing swimmer! 
Silliness! Hard to believe it has been a year since we have had paci's in our home! 
(They found these while cleaning out a drawer!) 

The joys of having these 4 all home and together are endless... 
I keep trying to think of ways to slow summer down! We are so blessed!