We didn't get around to sending out a family Christmas card last year, (or even took any family photos at all) but we did send out something even better...
Backing up a bit...with Tessa coming a whole month early, we were all set and ready to welcome baby number five clear back in October...only SHE wasn't quite ready. After plenty of false alarms, November 18th was finally the big day.
My mom had been here for a week already, my due date had come and gone and I was getting a little anxious to say the least. School had been cancelled due to the biggest blizzard of the year and I was certain she would choose to be born in the car, stuck in a snowbank on some lone Colorado road...but she held out. The day after our 14" snow storm, I had a restless night filled with contractions (which really was no different than any other night up to that point). I wasn't sure if it was the real deal and sent John off to work in the morning. It soon became apparent that things were progressing as I struggled to get the kids ready for school. A few phone calls later and Dad was on his way back home, school was cancelled for the McCoy children and we were on our way to the hospital.
When we arrived I was already well into labor and our sweet little girl joined us a few hours later...
Despite 4 failed IV attempts, an infiltrated IV and an epidural that only partially worked...everything went relatively smoothly and rather quickly. I remember asking John if he thought I was in labor over and over (I'm not sure why). It finally sunk in that it was really happening when he said, "Melissa, you have your epidural, you're at an 8, we are staying!"
The umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around baby girls neck two times, making me extra glad she didn't choose the night of the blizzard to make her way into this world. John and I were in awe at the doctors swift ability to unravel the cord in seconds.
Luckily, John's Dad was in town for work and was able to stop by the hospital that night while the kids were at home with Grandma Lisa, who stopped by the next morning to meet our little Jean...
I only stayed in the hospital for roughly 24 hours, so we decided we'd let the big kids meet their new sister at home. Tess however, accompanied Grandma to the hospital and I will NEVER forget the look on her face when she first saw baby Jean. She literally gasped and her jaw dropped as she looked from my flat tummy (okay, it wasn't and still isn't even remotely flat) to the bundle in my arms and back again. The realization and delight in her eyes were so SO sweet.
She definitely has had moments of jealousy and been a lot more needy these past few months, but overall she has been so sweet to "her baby Jeanie". She tells me multiple times a day how much Jean loves her.
The kids were very anxious for us to get home, mostly because they were worried about Mama.
(Yes, they are my angels.)
Side Note: I wanted to cut the boys hair before the baby was born, but waited til I was well into labor to do so...hence the horrific haircuts pictured above. I was so out of it that I started cutting Wyatt's hair with an open blade (basically bald) and did all I could to salvage the rest of his hair once I realized what I had done. Poor thing. He was a trooper and we had a very good laugh about the whole thing, though he did call me in the hospital concerned Grandma wouldn't be able to style the fiasco of a hair-do.
Side Note #2:
Cole was schedule to have braces put on the morning of November 18th, so while I was in labor my mom was sending me pics of our first kiddo in braces. He was (and still is) so very proud to do something before Wyatt, it's made the whole braces thing a lot more fun and exciting than it certainly ever was for me...or probably anyone ever. Cole's just that kind of kid, a mouth full of metal can't get him down...
Back to the babe...
When I was pregnant with Macie, I KNEW I was having a boy. We would name him Henry. When I was pregnant with Tessa I just KNEW that THIS time I was having another boy, our Henry. So needless to say when I found out I was pregnant with number five, John and I both felt that this time was FOR SURE our third son. The kids knew, we all knew.
The six of us were all there in the cramped little room when the ultrasound tech informed us that our next babe was indeed, another little girl. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled beyond belief to be the mother of three little girls...it's just that I had strongly felt that I was having a boy. Apparently my mother's intuition is somewhat lacking!
During the rest of my ultrasound, I felt confused and unsure. We knew we would be naming the baby Henry if he was a boy. I remember thinking how we didn't have a single girl name picked out. In that moment I had a thought come clearly to my mind: "Her name is Jean." I loved it instantly and knew that Jean would be the name of our sweet number five. However, explaining to John how I had come to decide on the name of our child without his input at all had me worried. As we sat in the waiting room (waiting for a second ultrasound) I decided to just get it out in the open. I told him I knew what I wanted to name her, it just came to me and I really really felt strongly about it. When I told him, he said "I agree." Just like that. My strongly opinionated husband agreed. So that was that.
Our Jean Carmenza, named for both of her great grandmothers, is just as sweet and lovely as her namesakes...
Okay, okay, she is our fussiest baby. BUT, she's stinkin adorable, smiley as can be (when she's not screaming) and at already three months old is sleeping through the night.
I never ever imagined that I would be a mother of five! Though I do remember telling John as newlyweds that I wanted six. However once reality set in, that seemed much too hard for someone as uptight as I am to handle.
Well, five IS hard. It's very hard. Some days I feel close to insane, or maybe I have passed right on by insanity long ago. It is hard, but it's so so good. We are so blessed. Our children are our world. They are amazing little people and I can't believe we are lucky enough to have one more sweet person belong to us.
Jean Carmenza, we adore you.