Read part one here.
Read part two here.
Read part three here.
Read part four here.
Read part five here.
Read part six here.
Read part seven here.
Read part eight here.
Read part nine here.
Read part ten here.
Read part eleven here.
Read part twelve here.
I couldn’t do anything but laugh at the positive pregnancy test. Who gets pregnant with a three month old nursing day and night?! We had to get an ultrasound just to give me a due date. That date made me laugh too: September 26. I was due on my daughter’s first birthday.
After five hospital births, we decided to use a midwife and have a homebirth. Let me just throw out there: it was so. much. better. So much. I ‘got’ to visit my midwife each time. She became a friend.
Charlotte didn’t nurse after about four months old. My body does not multitask well, so we were on to something else for nourishment for her. Hating the formula many of my kids had drank in the past, we looked into goat’s milk. That worked well for her, and so we set about figuring out how to get it economically.
Yeah, you can see where this is going. We bought goats. Starting out with Blackie and Socks, then Roany and Shoes, then Snow, Coffee, Cream, and Munch. We had eight goats. We ended up butchering one, selling three, Snow and Cream kidded and then we sold them all. It was a crazy year of me, big pregnant, pushing Charlotte up in a stroller to the barn, milking goats twice a day. I chased goats almost as often as I milked, and we all got frustrated with our lack of good fencing. When Charlotte was old enough for cow’s milk, all the goats were sold. It was a sad, good day.
Pierce Allan was born after a whirlwind labor that lasted about 30 minutes. He beat the midwife by about half an hour, but his daddy caught him and all was well. Charlotte slept through the whole thing, and the other kids were a room away until after he was born. Trying to be quiet during delivery… yeah, that was hard. Afterward, the kids got to meet their brother, Sterling watched his life of being surrounded by sisters change in that instant, and the kids danced around claiming their daddy is a doctor. And then the midwife got there.
Pierce was the easiest baby – for about a week. And then. The high strung, demanding, hot-tempered version of Pierce emerged. He was the opposite of his calm, easy brother, and the male version of Ruby. We’d always said it was a good thing Ruby was a girl, because with her personality, a boy would be the most destructive child we’d ever met. After quiet Charlotte, Pierce was, well, he made Ruby look like prep work for the harder version.
We muddled through, homeschooling two kids and keeping the other four from tearing the house apart – most of the time. It was, to date, the hardest time of my life.