Welcoming Willa

6 hrs old
 Happy Birthday Willa Frances Therese!!!  The name Willa is a derivative of Wilma and William...my grandmother and Tim's grandfather who he never had the privilege of meeting.  Frances is inspired by our Holy Father Pope Francis and Therese...how could we pass up the opportunity, considering she was born on Therese's feast day.  There is a novena that can be prayed with 24 Glory Be's, significant of the age of Therese when she died.  This novena fit in between contractions on the way to the hospital.  :)

What a beautiful gift.
Weighing in at 9 lbs, 7 oz!  Fourth biggest of the eight.

What a ride! I am amazed but not surprised how the birth of this beautiful little girl was just as amazing as all the rest.  No less exciting, meaningful or utterly AMAZING!  Each child has their own birth story, but every one is the best one!

September 30th was the due date written in my chart based on LMP, HCg levels and an ultrasound.  October 1st was the date that we calculated based on NFP--basically knowing date of conception...pretty close, and while most of the time, one would choose the earliest one to be the date, we were quite content with the latter, because October 1st is also the feast day of our parish's patron saint...St. Therese.  
Millie went to a friends house while the rest of the kids went to school and got to come up and be Willa's first visitor!  Thanks Kim!!!  Her cheeks hurt from smiling I'm sure.
The rain poured in sheets all day on the 30th.  I wondered if the weather would affect me at all...you hear about that sort of thing.  On my way to bed at 10:00, I stopped off at the computer and proceeded to piddle for 2 1/2 hours, all the while wondering if the random contractions that I was having were different...they seemed a little stronger, but were still very spread out.  Probably nothing.  Upon finally going to bed, I think I went to sleep pretty quickly, but was shaken awake at 2:45 by a flash flood alert on my phone.  I was awake for a while...long enough to recognize that the usual middle of the night random contractions were still there and again seemed a little stronger, so I paid attention.  By 3:30, I paid attention enough to realize they were about 13 minutes apart, pretty consistently.  OK...maybe this is real.  I woke Tim up to let him know I was going to put some things together and continue to monitor.  
Our first delivery with Dr. W!  Well done doc!!

By 4:30, we decided to go to the hospital, so we woke Jakob with instructions for the morning with the rest of the kids, texted the doctor that we were heading out and arrived, checked in and by 4:45 was strapped to monitors and sending an email plea for prayers as i was beginning to freak out a little, anticipating the work and pain ahead.  
I think we have a few pictures like this...the first one being sixteen years ago when our first babies were born!
Due to being positive for Beta Strep, I had to have an IV antibiotic which meant that for a while I wouldn't be able to be up walking around, which usually helps contractions be a little more tolerable for me.  In the end it didn't really matter too much as when those babies (contractions) became evident that they were real and they were prepping my body to deliver a baby, I'm pretty sure no amount of walking would have made them feel better.  2 minutes apart and 1 1/2 minutes long at 5:30 am.  I guess I missed my window to ask for an epidural...because I really was considering it this time.  (Well, not really, but I like thinking I was open to it.)  By 5:55 I was begging to push and thank Jesus, the doctor said, "Ok...you can now!"  At 5:58 I was holding a dark-headed, slimy baby girl in my arms who was perfect!  A girl!  We thought so...now Tim can declare that the ring test has been right 8 times!  Totally scientific you know!
Each of the kids came up after school along with good friends of the boys, Grandma and Grandpa A, and a handful of friends to meet Willa.  
From keeping Millie to bringing gifts and flowers, visits at the hospital and home, to congratulatory messages and meals, we have been shown much love from our friends and family to welcome Willa. 
A baby girl.  She looks like Benjamin.  I don't think it would matter if she was the first or the twenty first, I was in awe.  Bringing her into this world was truly just as amazing as ever and now I have this beautiful little human person that God has given to us and I am totally madly in love with our daughter.  I'm honestly in love all over again with each of our children.  It took them each about 1/10th of a second to love her.  Now they're making charts in order to keep their time with Willa even.  (I somehow don't think that is going to work very well!  I refused to participate!)
Tim took the girls to pick out an outfit for Willa to go home in.

Each of the kids came up after school along with good friends of the boys, Grandma and Grandpa A, and a handful of friends to meet Willa.  We came home from the hospital on Thursday...about 34 hours after she was born.  This is about 20 hours longer than I've stayed previously, and it was enough.  I know it is supposed to be like a little mini vacation, but I long to be home in the midst of the crazy.  There was no school on Friday, so we enjoyed a long homecoming weekend.  We did have to implement a rule though that you can't have the baby AND the remote control...the remote was instantly given up. 

We are sure happy to have you here with us Willa!  We love you.