Meet Kate (A Birth Story)

Today is New Baby’s due date and we have a one week old baby girl!  I would’ve bet $50 that we were having a boy in February, but God surprised us with a beautiful little daughter in January.  I have issues with the January thing, but it’s time to let that go.  Trevor and Claire’s birthdays are in February, and I thought it would be great for my kids to have the same birth month and birthstone and mainly, birthday party.  January 28 is close enough to February, I guess.  

In our experience, girls arrive with some drama.  Trevor came five days early, in a total of nine hours, slambamthankyouma’am.  We found out Claire was breech at 38 weeks, so we had an epidural, an external version, broke my water, and then waited 10 hours as she took her sweet time coming.  Kate was doing great in the womb until the past week or two when I noticed that I was losing weight and could see my ribs…seemed a bit unusual for being super pregnant.  Just a bit unusual.  So the nurse ordered a sonogram at my last appointment because the doctor was on vacay in Mexico, of course, from which I was sent straight to the hospital to induce.  The sonogram showed that the baby hadn’t gained or grown since December at 32 weeks, that I was low on fluid, and it seemed as if the placenta was running out of steam.  

belly shotI made Laurie take a belly pic before we walked into the hospital.  Me on January 27, 38.5 weeks, full of worry and fear.  Fake smiles all around.

Matt had the kids while I went to my appointment at the doctor two hours away, and Laurie and I were planning nice girls day running some errands in what would be my last chance as a mom of two to get things done in town.  Instead, Laurie found herself with a crying pregnant lady in a darkened ultrasound room, from which she escorted me to the hospital and checked me in. But first, a nice long lunch at Schlotzsky’s. They, very sadistically, don’t let you eat when you’re in labor.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, Matt is frantically packing suitcases for the four of us and loading things up for what looked like a longer-than-expected hospital stay with a 4-pound baby in NICU. Layne and our neighbor Lance came to help Matt load up, three men and a baby style. (If you’ve never seen Three Men and a Baby, you’re too young for this blog.)

So Laurie escorted me to the hospital and learned the answers to all the questions that the nurse asks for Obamacare purposes. How much do you make? What is the last name of your best childhood friend? In what city did you marry? Do you believe in vaccinating? It goes on and on. Laurie is expecting her first baby in July, so this was a good scenario for her to witness. NOT.

All of this happened last Tuesday afternoon. I had to text and call my people to let them know that my baby was “failing to thrive in utero” and scary things like that. Obviously, they prayed for a healthy baby and a smooth delivery. Do you believe in prayer? Let me tell you how many prayers God has answered for us in the past two months: 2700. Prayer is powerful and effective, James 5, look it up.  

My three besties and lots of friends and family showed up at the hospital because that’s what they do.  Show up.  (My neighbor Rebecca actually cleaned our house while I was in the hospital! I wish I could share my people with you.)

Wednesday at noon, out popped (literally) a five pound eleven ounce baby! The NICU baby delivery team was in the room for the birth. When Kate was born in one push, I was like, “Huh. That’s what a four pound baby looks like.”  Except she weighed over five and a half pounds with bird legs and bird arms and little bird feet and hands, just like her mama. And was growing just fine. And sonograms are sometimes wrong. And she just wanted her own special birth month, ok? Check ya later, NICU.

Our favorite part of not finding out the gender of our kids before they’re born is Matt getting to take each baby out to introduce them. Trevor was worried about having a sister, but we prepped him in advance for the possibility. Since Kate is Trevor’s TWIN, Matt told him, “It’s a girl, and she looks just like you!” Trevor replied, “Yeah, it does look like a boy. I guess she can wrestle with me when she gets bigger.”  Melt my heart. Claire is taking the middle child thing pretty well so far; she cries when Kate cries, looks like love to me.

introducing baby kateKate Brantley Bellah, 10 minutes old!


The third baby is just as special as the first two.  How does God do that??

On your third baby, the doctor and pediatrician let you go home after 24 hours. This is a bad idea. Spend a little time in the hospital being catered to… the food is great and you don’t have to change a single diaper. I wanted to go home because hormones make you think crazy thoughts. So we’ve been enjoying Kate at home for a week and a day now and are officially the proud parents of three little Bellahs.

matt and katemichelle and katetrevor and katemichelle and kate5 of usDon’t ask about the gloves.

That’s the story of Kate.  We discussed a few names after she was born and decided she did not look like anything but a Kate.  Brantley was Matt’s great-grandmother’s name.  Kate and Claire have been Matt’s two favorite girl names forever, and I think they are the perfect sister-future-best-friend names.  A sweet new baby – life doesn’t get any better than this!

Important Note: Our sanity lingered much longer than deserved because Grammy was here. She stayed nine days with us in New Mexico because she is the best and I couldn’t talk her into working from [my] home.

Important Note II: The above pictures were taken by Laurie when I still had the new baby adrenaline rush. My hair and makeup are now officially on a six-month sabbatical.




5 thoughts on “Meet Kate (A Birth Story)

  1. We all have our stories…but! Thank God everything was good!! You all are truly blessed!! BTW —In advance….HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU!! Love ya!!

  2. Kate is perfect. What wonderful family & friends you have! That Laurie caught some precious pictures! Can’t wait to see you all face to face.

  3. I’m speechless. And so utterly, blissfully happy for you and Matt and your beautiful family. You’ve always had such a way with words. These words paint such an exquisite picture of what family and of what love is.
    Hugs and kisses to you all.

  4. Michelle, reading your blog posts is such a delight. You definitely have a gift for writing, such a way with words! Thank you for sharing!

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