Charlotte Anne

November 17, 2015

I have waited and waited to write this post, and today, even though it’s taken me several hours in between nursing/changing/and taking care of Bella – I finally had a chance to.

Charlotte was born October 28th at 8:28pm after two hours of labor and one push. So basically she didn’t want to come out until things got rolling and then we couldn’t get her to stay in long enough for the doctor to gown up. We were told she was 8lbs 5oz but found out later she was actually 7.5. Not sure what happened there. Later on I’ll blog her whole (rather crazy) birth story, but I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect birth. It was incredibly healing, and Sam was amazing by my side.

First Days - C&B
Just born with Daddy’s hand on her

I could write a book about these past three weeks alone, that’s how much has happened. Hopefully most of you have kept up on Instagram because it’s so much easier for me to do quick updates there for now.

A few months ago we decided on her middle name as Ann – after my mom’s middle name. I thought about adding an “e” since I adore Anne of Green Gables, but thought that wouldn’t be really after my mom anymore. Once we told her though, she asked me that night if I’d consider adding an “e” to it as she’d always wanted one on hers because of Anne. So Ann became Anne. 🙂

First Days - C&B-6
Wide eyes

Our first two days were spent in the hospital. We ended up having a few scares – with her oxygen levels of all things. On Friday morning she ended up having an echocardiogram done (the same as when we found out Kaden had cardiomyopathy) since she failed both oxygen tests (pulse ox). It was absolutely terrifying to have that happen. All I could think of was how I couldn’t face another sick baby/loss again. Thankfully, it ended up being nothing. She had been right on the cusp of normal both times (95% and up is the goal, she wavered 93-95% both times) and they were extra cautious because of our history.

You can find out more about pulse oximetery and it’s importance from Cora’s Story on FB. 

First Days - C&B-2
Time with Daddy after her heart ultrasound scare.

We finally left the hospital at nearly midnight on Friday. Bella finally was able to meet her around 9 that night. The hospital has a strict “no kids under 18” on the maternity/postpartum floors during flu season, but one of the nurses let Sam and her through when she realized we were going home soon anyway.

That’s a whole other blog post very soon.

First Days - C&B-4
Meeting Charlotte

It’s been a pretty incredible first three weeks. In many ways, it feels like being a first time parent all over again. We have the wonder and thrill of being able to set up a stroller, pick out her outfits, buy baby things at Target, marvel at her little noises and faces. We’re headed to the zoo tomorrow and the thought of looking down with two kids in front of me is so special.

First Days - C&B-3
Hospital snuggles – 2 days old

Yet – in the spirit of honesty – there are parts that have been very hard. Besides the obvious (postpartum hormones, adjusting to life with two, some big sister jealousy included in the excitement, and lack of sleep), there have also been moments that catch my breath from losing Preston, Julian, and Kaden. That can trigger both Sam and I, and we’ve ended up on edge with each other not even realizing that was happening.

First Days - C&B-7
First bathie

I’ve had moments where she briefly looks like the twins, and she resembles Kaden so much that I’ve held her and let my tears just fall for the life he never had. She’ll be three weeks tomorrow and that’s how old he was when he died. So these three weeks have been so full of memories for us – things both Sam and I haven’t thought of or had in front of us to handle in two years. It’s been healing and it hurts in a good way. I’ve said it before, but the pain of loss is always a reminder to me of how deeply I love them.

First Days - C&B-5
First day at home – 3 days old

In many ways, she’s brought up things we’d also forgotten with Bella. So like we compare her with Kaden, we also do that over and over with Bella as an infant. There are many similarities in these first weeks of their lives too, and it’s been fun to remember those days when everything was so new and unexpected with her.

I have so much more to write on, but this post alone was started last week and took me 4 hours to get through today 😉 so I’ll end it here. We are in love with Charlotte. I can’t describe the joy she’s brought to our lives as the baby we finally got to take home.

First Days - C&B-10
Balloons and Babywearing

It doesn’t end the pain of losing my sons. It won’t ever and I didn’t expect it too. In some ways, I miss them even more. I wish they’d been able to experience their lives with us too.

But what her life does is help us to have a little more normalcy, gain back our lives as parents again in a way we’d struggled to do the past 3 1/2 years. She ends the cycle of repeat grief for another life, another wanted baby. For that, we are so very thankful.


  • Alexia Blyther

    November 20, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Oh my God Dianne, my heart is just cracking wide open. I have been following and praying for you for years and to see this…I'm just completely amazed. Thank you, thank you for sharing your journey of hope, pain and beauty. I celebrate with you from the bottom of my heart

  • Renee Cook

    November 19, 2015 at 3:25 am

    oh my goodness, bless you sweet momma and your family. Just said a prayer for continued health and "normal" over there for you!

  • Tracy Harper Kistler

    November 19, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I am so very happy for y'all!! And I adore the "e" I'm an Anne of Green Gables fan too!!!

  • Stephanie R

    November 18, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I am so happy for you, she is just absolutely perfect!

  • Nikki

    November 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    So extremely happy for you! I actually gasped with I checked my feed and saw you had posted. LOVE!!!

  • Rusti Lyn

    November 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I adore this post. <3 so very happy for your family.

  • Jessi Wallace

    November 18, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Oh my – the video of Bella holding her and talking about her eyes… I am crying! I am so happy Charlotte is here. You needed this! <3

  • Andrea

    November 18, 2015 at 7:04 am

    My heart swells with joy for your beautiful family. So glad she’s home. ♡ *And she and I share a birthday. So, yay!

  • Jenny White

    November 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I think I have a tendency to put on weight. But now in 2015 I managed to lose weight 22 pounds quickly and without starving. I'm doing the diet of this site here

  • Sandra

    November 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    So glad to being her home ! 🙂

    1. Sandra

      November 21, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      that should have said “bring”

  • Chantal M. Shelstad

    November 18, 2015 at 5:06 am

    So sweet!

  • Sarah Jane McKelvy

    November 18, 2015 at 4:44 am

    She's adorable!! Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books. Glad you were able to add the "e" onto Charlotte's middle name.

  • Polly Hensley

    November 18, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Congatulations Mommy, Daddy, and Big Sister, I'm so happy to see yall finally have this new happiness!

  • Meg O.

    November 17, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    So absolutely thrilled for you and your beautiful family. That video is also heart melting. What a gorgeous baby girl!

  • Alexia

    November 17, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    This just made me cry tears of joy. Couldn’t be more happy for you, Sam and Bella. Sending all of you so much love <3

  • Jessica Harmer Pardee

    November 18, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Thankful and so happy that she is home 🙂

  • Kellie Korb Gillespie

    November 18, 2015 at 3:49 am

    The picture of Bella and Charlotte in the hospital…that's just everything. I am so happy for you and Sam but I'm overflowing with joy for Bella. Thank you for sharing those precious moments with us.

  • Carrie

    November 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    YAAAAY!!!! <3 I am so happy for you all. She is beautiful. Bella is precious. ALL THE LOVE headed your way!!

  • Elise N Hoffman

    November 18, 2015 at 3:28 am

    So grateful that she's safe in your arms!!

  • Anne-Marie

    November 17, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I’m so thrilled that you had a beautiful and healing birth! LOVE

  • Sarah C.

    November 17, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    So happy for you all and thankful your little October baby is here & home! Such a blessing.

  • Jennifer M. Morrison

    November 18, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I'm so happy for you, Sam, and Bella! I can't wait to see how she fits into your family.

  • Vicky

    November 17, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Congratulations – she is beautiful!

  • Stacy

    November 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    L O V E…nothing but love. Heart soaring, mind-blowing love for the healing this little girl can bring. And sorrow for her big brothers and the hole in your hearts.

  • Stacy Aron Grady

    November 18, 2015 at 3:12 am

    L O V E…nothing but love…

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