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Before I get into the long list of blog posts I’ve promised to write…somewhere in between the homeschooling and the five kids…I need to go back and post Natalie’s pictures from her birth day. Let me say first that every time I look at these pictures I, of course, think of how much I love my family, but I also think a few other things that might not be as obvious to others: 1) I love home birth. I know it’s not for everyone, but it is just PERFECT for me and for my family. The peace, the individual care, the constant seeking of God’s wisdom in each situation. Can’t tell you how special each birth is to my heart. 2) I love my midwife, Ann Crowell. She has been a part of my life for over seven years now, has delivered three of my babies (and e-mailed me through the one in Austin where I used another great midwife). She has walked me through four of my five miscarriages, and she is incredibly special to me and to my family. 3) I love Keri Duckett. She was my birth photographer this time and the pictures will speak for themselves. Be still my heart. She also happens to be my midwife’s daughter which made them a wonderful birthing team. I have chosen these pictures very carefully since I was posting them for all of you. She caught many others that are truly amazing.

Mitchell needed a snuggle during labor.

And Kailey needed me to see if her tooth was loose during labor.

If I could tell you how much I love him, I would try. But I can’t. He is my favorite.

Did I mention that I love these two? Getting close. They know me, I know what I’m doing, and it just couldn’t be any calmer.

Baby’s still got the cord attached and the vernix all over her. That was what they wanted. Kailey was all in!

First kisses.

Already helping. She also cut the cord. Keri got that on video. Did I mention that I love her?

My mom had my fifth sister in that very room with her midwife. She and my dad are probably the most important influencing factor in my life that led me to want a large family. A special moment for these generations together.

*sigh* That’s my heartbeat right there. The guy who never says “too much,” but just asks God what He would want for and from us.

She didn’t get more than a foot away for a long time. Just making sure it was all real.

Do you see Kailey’s hand? She seriously never moved.

Levi came in, saw me and the baby, and said, “MOM! You got her out of your tummy! I’m SO PROUD OF YOU!” He is my precious encourager. I’ve always told the kids it was amazing what I could accomplish during their room/nap time each day. This day they really believed me.

Daddy weighing our little sugar. By far our smallest baby at 6 lbs., 12 oz. A nice drop down after Mitchell’s 9 1/2 lbs.

My tiny sweetheart.

itchell saying for the first time what he says multiple times a day, “Bebe! Bebe!” He loves her.

One of my favorite parts of the home birth is that next baby up feeling secure and getting a big snuggle while he or she adjusts to new baby who just showed up at our house. I have a pic like this each time with the toddler.

Looking at our new baby.

Baby angel!

Dr. Levi is always serious about whatever he’s doing. Love this kid.

That biggest brother has to make sure everything is just right.

She finally got her sister. And every night in her prayers she thanks God “for the miracles You’ve done for me like giving me a sister.”

I believe his comment at this point was something about holding her because he “had practiced being gentle.”

There have been many, many more snuggles like this one in the months since Natalie’s birth.

Thank You, God. You are so good to me, far beyond what I deserve. I will give my all to love these treasures you have trusted to my care!

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