And then we became five… {Leilani Cruz’s birth}

Be prepared to see a lot of photo-cuteness.

Sweet Leilani Cruz decided to make her arrival on Wednesday, August 13th.  After having a pre-term labor scare at 29 weeks, I was thrilled to make it to full term with her.  The week leading up to her birth, I had been experiencing early labor symptoms each evening and into the night.  No fun!  The morning of her birth, the girls helped water our newly planted landscaping with Daddy.  I knew at this time she was coming, but I wanted to wait as long as I could before going into the birthing center.

By 4pm my doctor’s office told me to come on in, but I was still taking my sweet time.  We were even planning on making a few stops in town to pick up some snacks before driving to the hospital.  However while in the car, my contractions picked up big time.  We skipped the snacks and went directly to get checked in.  When checking in I knew this would happen fairly quickly.  4 hours from arriving at the hospital, Leilani was in our arms.  Brandon once again helped deliver her, just like he did with Capri.  She came out calmly and quietly.  The nurses even said it was one of the most peaceful and beautiful births they had attended.

We spent less than 24 hours at the hospital and during that time, we had the girls come visit.  Shiloh and Capri were both really happy to have ‘their baby out’ and be able to hold her.  They are great big sisters.  At home, we have been enjoying time with our precious new girl.  Lots of holding her, lots of kisses, and lots of snuggles.  She really does complete our family!



Easter and a Birthday

C’mon, its not too late to post Easter pics right?  Blame it on our internet situation…


And then little Miss Shiloh turned FOUR!  Stop growing up please.


She had a lot of fun enjoying her new gifts, and Capri of course shared in the fun of new toys, games, and boots.

On her ‘actual’ birthday, we enjoyed a nice walk with our cousins and then Shiloh got a treat from Dutch Bros.

Its crazy how fast children grow because I already feel like the girls look so different and this was only 3 months ago!

From Fear to Hope

Last weekend my family experienced a frightful and very unexpected emergency.  No worries, we are all fine now.  But last weekend I woke up in the wee hours of the morning from painful contractions.  My body had begun going into labor.  I was 29 weeks.  At first it was terrifying.  I was awake and battling the pain alone.  Then Brandon and I were rushing 30 miles into town to get to the hospital’s birthing center as fast as we could.  Between the agonizing pain and words such as “dilating”, “preterm labor”, “NICU”, “c-section”, “airlifted”, and “ambulance” my heart was pounding and my mind was spinning.  It felt like it was all happening so fast.  Before I knew it I was being poked at, tested, monitored, examined, and then told I would be airlifted to another hospital capable of caring for an infant born at 29 weeks gestation.  I was trembling and crying.  Then I was whisked away, strapped onto a gurney, and being loaded in the back of an ambulance.  I watched Brandon wave goodbye to me as he held my belongings outside the hospital.

As I was being transported to the airport and then flying to the hospital, I realized how great the EMT’s were.  I could have given birth right there on that tiny airplane and know without a doubt they would have been able to take great care of me and Leilani.  Thankfulness and humility came over me.  We had over 8 nurses and doctors tending to us at the hospital in Klamath.  Then 4 EMT’s and an EMT pilot dropping everything to make sure I made it safely to the hospital in Medford.  And again at the hospital in Medford we had 4 nurses and 2 doctors caring for us.  These people are trained and give their time to their jobs, and their job that day was to keep me pregnant.  All these pieces of a puzzle coming together to help me.  We even bumped into some familiar faces and family of some friends.  Little blessings in the midst of the storm.

After much medication, monitoring, and more testing, my contractions slowed down and labor was stopped.  I began to feel hope.  Nothing else mattered except the fact that I would be able to stay pregnant and Leilani would be able to continue to grow safely inside.  Although the doctors still have no idea why this whole thing began, they gave me hope that with caution and lots of care, I could make it to full term.

Its been a week and facing that terrifying experience has given me a new perspective.  When the sky is falling in my household, dinner is burning, kiddos are whining, and I haven’t had a moment of silence all day long, well…. at least I am still pregnant.  God’s grace and mercy is bigger than my daily struggles.  I am reminded to take life day by day, and to trust in the Lord.


Photo Roundup

Get ready for a lot of photos… But who doesn’t like photos?

May 1, 2014 - 1:02 pm

alex - BEAUTIFUL pictures!
Thank you for sharing. I have been inpsired to share my journey with Huntington’s disease.
I would be honored if you would follow as I share my heart and story.

And we are having…

Halfway through this pregnancy and we finally found out what we are having.  We are seeing the fetal medicine specialist for a few ultrasounds and fetal echocardiograms as a precaution since Capri has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.  The preliminary anatomy scan showed a healthy baby and no abnormal heart issues.  We’ll be returning in a month for an echocardiogram, which will take a closer look at baby’s heart.

And on to the good news.

Baby #3 is….

…a GIRL!

What was kinda funny was that we swung by the store to get a bundle of balloons before returning home… and the balloon guy had every color in stock, except baby pink.  Hahaha, go figure!  So hot pink it was!  We had a good laugh over that.

We were taking these pics in between rain showers… so the while Shiloh was over-the-moon excited that she just found out she’ll be having another little sister, and Capri was over-the-moon excited that we bought more balloons for her to play with… neither one was excited to be outside in the cold, gloomy weather.  Their faces say it all.

We are extremely excited to be adding another baby girl to our brood.  We knew beforehand what we would name her… so for all of our friends, family, and faithful blog readers… little miss shall be named…

We are blessed indeed.  Brandon and I can’t even express how excited we are for Leilani.  Her name means ‘heavenly flower’, and Cruz means ‘cross’.  Shiloh is already going around saying, “I have TWO sisters:  Capri and Leilani!”  (Capri is just working on saying “bay-bee”)   She gave us some great portraits during the ultrasound… we are already in awe of her beauty.

She is already a part of our family and we can’t wait for the day we get to meet her face to face.

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March 26, 2014 - 9:16 am

christa spates - so happy for you all!!! always keeping you in our thoughts and prayers! loving all the updates and wonderful photos!!! love watching all of you bloom!!! miss you guys alot, still in awe of gods goodness!!