Friday, January 3, 2020

Beaty Family Christmas Letter 2019

Beaty Family Christmas Letter 2019

Dear Family & Friends,

I always begin my annual Christmas letters by re-reading former versions. I’m always surprised by how similar the descriptions are of each of us (can’t I just copy and paste?!) and secondly, how much change takes place each year.

Beginning with our family’s leader, Jake would say not ENOUGH change happens each year. His current dream involves how to have the family sailing around the world ASAP...or when the younger set of kids is 10 years older. When he’s not watching videos or reading Facebook group posts of how other families sail full-time, he’s greatly enjoying his job at fish chemical manufacturer Syndel—the job that brought us from Tennessee to Washington last fall. Officially, he heads up inventory, but he thrives finding issues and implementing change in every department. At home, he works on his second book (The Youngest Captain, a memoir), always has projects going in the garage, trains for triathlons, and leads at our church. Oh, and all the kids adore him! He has zero elbow room when trying to eat dinner.

Joel turned 16 in July! He is a good student in our homeschool but lives to play. He is a Patrol Leader and the Knot Master at Boy Scouts and enjoys the hikes more now. The door-to-door fundraisers for Boy Scout Summer Camp have stretched his social abilities, which we consider a good thing. Ferndale Alliance Church Youth Group has become a favorite thing this year, and our girls like ribbing him about how many girlfriends he has!

Michael turned 16 in August. He asks about driving, but we need to see certain signs of maturity and responsibility in both of them before THAT adventure begins. Michael has never been a fan of school, but he plugs away in our continual efforts to catch up. (They began learning English and homeschool 6 year ago this month!) Michael also loves Boy Scouts and would live with the Youth Group if that were possible. This spring, we found out both boys need glasses. The glasses store probably knows Michael by name! Side effects from Youth Group—like a head concussion in October and broken wrist in November—keep life interesting.

Even though both boys have a busy social life in Washington, they pitch in a lot at home and we are so grateful!

Samuel turned 15 in June, while with the experienced adoptive family giving us respite care in Colorado. His behavior continued to unravel over the course of the year, until he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in early September. The next week, the family decided his needs outpaced their resources and told us they would not pick him up. By mid-November, insurance was no longer covering his care, and he was escorted to Washington, a state he had never lived in, with a list of 8 medications and a week’s supply of one, with proven dangerous behavior to himself and others. Even after months of efforts alone and with authorities, we had no place for him to go. God has shown us grace after grace in this extremely trying time. Thanks to the incredible generosity of friends and family, he is currently at Master’s Ranch West in the SE corner of the state and doing well—so many miracles! And we continue to watch one unfold as God provides $3,800/month for him to be able to stay.

As I mention every year, Sophia (6) still adores dressing up and playing princesses or mommy with her little sisters, but she’s also become a huge fan of the outdoors! She took off riding her bike in the spring this year, loves visiting the Beaty cabin in Chelan, and is up for any outdoor adventure. I love working with her in school and we have a wide span of subjects.

Lydia turned 4 in April, and with a lot of advance planning, we somehow pulled off a beautiful, long-requested “Belle birthday party” (Beauty and the Beast) just 10 days after the baby was born. She can usually be found in dress up clothes, is a morning person, always has pretty songs or stories playing on her CD player, and has never met a stranger!

Caledonia is growing up so fast and easily relinquished her spot as baby of the family. As I wrote last year, her verbal abilities continually amaze us—as well as her knack at completely destroying any given area in record time! I make sure I know where she is at all times, and if it gets quiet, well....beware! I chalk it up to her intelligence and curiosity. She is just about the cutest thing ever!

All three girls thoroughly enjoyed dance classes last semester, especially the performances! Lydia and Callie did tap/ballet and it was adorable. Sophia took Jazz for the first time, and will do both jazz and ballet next. She will probably live at the dance studio when she’s older!

As I write this with a chubby strawberry blonde baby playing happily at my feet, my heart nearly bursts! We were surprised with a fourth daughter in a row, born at home in the wee hours of April 7—my third born on a Sunday, as well as my third born a few hours before dawn. Anastasia Rose was our first shy and sensitive baby, but very similar to Sophia with her eating struggles and aversion to sleep. The years and experience helped us immensely this go round though, and she has grown into a delightful, sweet, smiley baby who now does better with strangers and extended family. She has everyone wrapped around her little finger!  

My days (and nights) are even more non-stop than before on the home front. I teach all three of the girls together every morning, as Callie begs to do school and would probably even work on it longer than the other two. They love outings and park visits so we have lots of those, too, and will soon have Nexus cards for easier ventures into Canada. A couple days before Ana Rose’s due date, Jake and I hatched a new business idea, which came to be “Bay Pops”. From May to September, we sold gourmet fruit and cream-based popsicles from recipes I developed. It was a LOT of fun, and a LOT of work! Now in the winter, I’m back to Elderberry Syrup products as my side gig. If there’s one thing I know about 2020, it will be interesting keeping up with all my people!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jake & Jennifer and the crew: Joel (16), Michael (16), Samuel (15½), Sophia (6), Lydia (4 ½ ), Caledonia (3), Anastasia (almost 9 months)

I've always wanted lifestyle pictures like this, and we had a fun session with a local photographer when Ana Rose was 10 days old, the day of Lydia's birthday party!

Some cute kids, right there!!

Love these outfits from Nana!

Another church picture - our annual Thanksgiving Family pose

Friday, April 12, 2019

Anastasia Rose's Birth Story

So....this is the shortened internet version, and it’s still long! Feel free to just look at the pictures and some bulleted highlights at the end. :) 

The four sisters!!

Since the beginning, although the due date was March 28 or 31 depending on how it was calculated, I had prepared myself to go until April 3 or 4. That would follow the pattern of 40 weeks plus a few days, like the last two babies. However, all along I had so many less signs of impending labor the previous weeks, and yet was so much more uncomfortable (or even in pain, with my pelvic floor issues), it felt like baby had zero idea of vacating any time soon.

My mom came all the way from Tennessee via Canada when I was 39-40 weeks, then back the day before 41 weeks for another week. It had seemed unthinkable she wouldn’t hold a baby during all that time, but here we were, day after uneventful day. I had wound everything down by now, partially because my body was just DONE. The tiredness and aches and pains and barely staying mobile in between chiropractic visits... Ugh. Each day seemed like two.

Trip to the bay at low tide about a week before the birth

Another relaxing visit to Birch Bay State Park, the day before going into labor

As the weekend approached, I desperately hoped something would happen while Jake was home from work. Two out of three had been Sunday babies, so chances seemed good!

On Saturday, April 6, Jake and I had an extremely rare morning of waking together quietly and calmly...and rested! Thanks to Nana, who had taken everyone downstairs and somehow kept them quiet for us. Jake remarked it was his best night’s sleep since kids!  

I made my version of pancakes and play-doh for the girls. They played for hours with Nana supervising, which bought Jake and I time for rare computer work. He did our taxes start to finish, yeah! Another thing out of the way before baby. I washed our sheets. There was an essential oils meeting at our pastor’s house over lunch. It had sounded appealing the day before, but now I decided the last thing I wanted was to chat with people normally! It was also terribly uncomfortable to squeeze into the car and drive. So, I cut Jake’s hair, which took about an hour because our hard working clippers died after just a few runs.

Then, he cut the grass with the reel mower while I googled “labor inducing foods”. What crazy dishes and stories!! I sent an article to Jake and he said there were several ideas during a work meeting the day before. Jump on a trampoline, eat Chinese food, eat Eggplant Parmigiana (worked for someone)...

I got a good hour long nap in the afternoon. So great I got all the rest! Afterwards, I told Jake there was no food delivery company that delivered to our address. I said I was thinking I should try Eggplant Parmigiana. He immediately started looking for restaurants. We found it on Olive Garden’s menu. Mom came up and we told her what we were doing. She offered to either pick it up and bring it home, or to make some homemade. I said we had too many leftovers. She offered to keep the girls while we ran out to Olive Garden – bingo! Our thoughts exactly.

Leslie, the midwife, had said at the 40 week prenatal (2 back) that maybe we needed another date night before baby showed. She actually messaged while we planned the outing, asking how my day was going. I had been so grateful she wasn’t writing me constantly, which I would have felt as pressure. This was maybe the first time she was checking in. I told her about the busy, productive day, and that we were going out for Eggplant Parmigiana! She gushed that she was glad I was enjoying the last days of being pregnant, that all of this was part of the baby’s birth story! I thought yeah...wouldn’t that be great. (And here it is!!)  

Jake was rushing me to go, but I had to find something decent to fit my body, sigh. Black maternity dress from back of the he changed to a black shirt. As we pulled out, I told him resorting to food was either a crazy idea, or the best idea ever - if it worked! Cloudy drive to Bellingham...quoted 15 minute wait but seemed more... Easy order! Jake ordered from the specials card, and I was relieved they had Eggplant Parmigiana. Can’t imagine it’s popular, although it was in the “classics” section of menu. Enjoyed the salad and breadsticks and I was still hungry by the time it arrived. I checked the time at some point and it was 6:28. SO TASTY!! I ate just over half of the eggplant (fried! hot! cheesy! marinara sauce!) and none of the pasta, which was half the plate. I was hoping I hadn’t overdone it, but wanted enough to do the labor trick, ha. And then Jake splurged by ordering us the Chocolate Brownie Lasagna, which was uh-mazing. Hit the spot! I was just pleasantly stuffed as we left in the rain.

We got back and the girls were watching their promised movie. Boys were on their way back from a church youth concert and fun day in Seattle. Nana asked if anything had happened, and I reminded her (same as Jake in the car) that it seems you have to allow up to 48 hours. She then asked a bit desperately if we could go out for ice cream, they were stir crazy. It was bath night for the littles, but that sounded more fun, even though I had already had my dessert. It was maybe 7:30 and dusky when we left again. Even though it was a chilly night, the parking lot was full and there was a long line. Our crew got a lot of stares...

When we got home, the boys were back from Seattle and their friend was there, too. Jake began talking to him right inside the door about old cars and soon they were in the garage revving Jake’s. Nana and I got the girls down.

At 9:30, Callie was already quiet, so Nana and Sophia signed off. Mom asked if anything was up, and of course NOW I wished I had sounded more optimistic, but at the time I just said, “I feel some things, but I’m not going to say anything, because everyone thinks it’s imminent then”. And, “Oh, baby has hiccups!” Every night, I already hurt so much, occasionally with Braxton Hicks, that it was hard to say if it was anything more promising.

Lydia called me back to her room, and I was with her until around 9:45. Jake finished with the boys and we sat and chatted. As I maneuvered myself up from the bed, he asked how I was doing. I said “Hm. [long pause] That one was more painful. And maybe in my back.” I said I was missing my long relaxing baths, but would continue to shower only (to not stop potential labor). I also observed the sign that had been missing until now—baby was quiet, what mine always do before labor starts, even though night is the most active time.

We chatted and got ready for bed while I noted that the “Braxton Hicks” had a sharp edge to them, and were maybe even becoming regular. I still wasn’t calling it or anything. We had the birth pool and pump in our room now, from two nights ago when things seemed promising after a big evening playing outside with the kids, but I didn’t think it should be put up yet. As usual! Jake laughed at me while brushing his teeth. But I left my makeup on, remembering how off guard I was caught with Callie’s quick nighttime arrival.

At 11:18, Jake got in bed, and I decided to get the midwife in the loop. I told her I hadn’t timed them, but they were becoming rhythmic and painful, sometimes stretching to different parts of my torso.

When I laid down, I felt what was going on even more. Jake got up to get the heating pad out of my doula bag for me while I went to the bathroom again. It was probably 11:40 before we stopped talking, and I was just going to get overheated with the pad. Now was feeling like I’d be waking him soon to help! In all honesty, I didn’t want him to “leave” me to sleep, as I faced what was ahead, but he would do better getting some sleep.... I kept thinking of Callie’s birth, as this nearly mimicked the timing exactly. The story was, “Jake sleeps until birth time!” Could I do it again?

I was surprised at how amped I was, either just thinking about it or literally hormonally, to be able to relax enough to sleep. Plus, it was just too hard with the contractions. So...I started timing them! I deleted the set from a doula client, and after 7 contractions, I had every 4 minutes, lasting exactly 1 minute. I figured it would be kept up for an hour...time to head to hospital! Only, I was heading downstairs to thaw some stuff and get ready for a joyous postpartum at home!

Then, back to bed. COULD. NOT. SLEEP. Come ON!! I pushed terrifying thoughts out of my head of Lydia’s marathon birth. This simply had to be a Callie version now, if I couldn’t rest first. I really wasn’t exhausted that night though, with the uplifting fun evening after feeling so depressed, and a good night the night before + hour nap. Thankfully!! I kept thinking of things I could be telling/asking someone to do. Doula brain!

So around 1, I gave up and went downstairs for a labor popsicle, then put up my hair how I wanted it. I was pleased that again everyone was in their normal spot, totally unaware of birth taking place. The boys were probably tuckered after their road trip. They had actually been gone the two previous nights, to the cousins (on spring break) and Seattle. I pondered if showering would wake Jake, and as they again piled one on top of the other when I got active, taking my breath away, AND I’d had bloody show, I decided to go ahead and wake him. But first, write the midwife before things got crazier!

Me at 1:14am: I’m going to go ahead and call it! It’s real labor. Contractions are EXACTLY like with the last, who also had to rotate from my right to left side. I think/hope that’s what’s going on now.

After some back and forth, where I also marveled that instead of the slow 6-10pm warm up like with Callie, I jumped straight into the deep end, she said “Sounds good. I’m happy to head your way when you need me. Sounds like you feel this is actual labor.”

Jake rolled over as I wrote and I thought he opened his eyes, so I took advantage to mention I already needed him. Just over 1 ½ hours rest this time! He had said that when/if I woke him, his first task would be filling the pool, so he began, and we hoped the loud pump wouldn’t wake anyone. (It didn’t!)

I replied at 1:25am “I’ve woken Jake and he’s working on the pool. I’m going to time next but they are quite close together
I’d say to come”

I looked at my “when in labor list”. Most had been done. Then I decided I really needed to try water relief/distraction, although I was none too optimistic by this point. So Jake diverted the flow back to the shower. I put down my bath mat so I could kneel and conserve my rapidly waning (or, redirected) energy. I couldn’t talk easily. Things were picking up, for sure. I timed contractions a bit. They were one after another (I think 2 ½ minutes apart and lasting over a minute), even in the water. I tried to check dilation and decided it was maybe a 4 or 5. Was that all? I’d already called the birth team. What if I was still that far off? I decided to disregard everything and just focus on labor, ha. At least baby was FINALLY COMING, however long or short it took!

After not long, I realized that at this rate the tub would never be filled, because I wasn’t going to get out. I explained to Jake in between rushes that I could have the water beating on my back IN the tub and kill two birds with one stone. I was also seeing how I was going to get way overheated quickly, so this was going to be interesting. Maybe I’d just not fill it much, since I was also conscious of waiting until the right time to get in. I had experienced some shaking a couple of times already though, so I thought I might be in transition.

Stepping into the tub (1:45am?), even just a couple of inches, was a cool feeling, and we reminisced how it had been 4 years this month since I had! From there, seeking good distraction, I turned on “Birth In the Glory”, but couldn’t hear it over the spraying water. Jake turned on ocean sounds, our plan after listening to crashing waves at the bay Friday night. He mainly sat by me now, as I had plenty of requests, even though it took great effort to communicate now as I moved into Laborland.

He opened the window (was probably 45 degrees or cooler outside!), got me a second labor popsicle at some point, a cold rag for my neck, and blew the little blue fan on me that I’d asked mom to get me from Target, sensing I would get overheated for this birth. And yet I wanted the water hot on my back. After a while, I was surprised that I didn’t want it hot on my back. I signaled no more fan at some point. Then yes, but to the side, not right on my face.
I kept marveling at it myself. Maybe because I’ve served 6 women in labor since my last, and I have lots of ideas of comfort measures? Whatever the reason, when I thanked/apologized to Jake afterwards for keeping him so busy, and also changing my mind somewhat quickly throughout labor as things intensified, he thanked ME for all the direct commands! Says he thrives on them. Should make this his very favorite birth, ha!

I was surprised to feel baby STILL moving around and stretching into my ribs. Such familiar feelings—her “moves and grooves”, as Leslie put it at all of our prenatals. Other than Lydia having hiccups, I can’t remember feeling movement during labor.

If I had a mantra this time, I think it was simply telling myself “These are manageable, it’s manageable, manageable...”, trying to not focus on the previous or upcoming contraction, but simply the current. I thought of clients who had chanted something during contractions, but I couldn’t talk then, except keep up a positive internal dialogue. A couple of times I "checked in" to see if I needed to breathe better, or release any tension below/remind myself to relax (common challenges), but that really wasn’t an issue. Journeying through some “Birthing From Within” pain management methods kept me entertained, if you can call it that. I focused on the pain and how it was—finding it’s edges, the center, studying how it felt—but I think my favorite was the Non-Focused Awareness. I wished for more sounds around to observe, but still used it for several contractions. For a couple, I focused on the wave video instead of my body. I was often breathing hard and very focused in between contractions. I was starting to get sleepy, but nothing as miserable as I’ve felt at times. I think the speed at which everything was happening was keeping me alert, even with no sleep!

At some point, Jake said my mom was up and sitting at the top of the stairs. She woke when Sophia went to the bathroom at some point, and realized something was happening so got up.

Around 2:10 maybe, I checked my phone to see when I had written Leslie, feeling like she should be here by now, even living 45 minutes away (day time drive). I learned later that Jake did the same thing at some point. I had managed to message her at 1:57 in between contractions that the door was unlocked, something I’d reminded Jake to do on a trip downstairs. 

Sometime after 2, I got more vocal and some involuntary new sounds came. Jake recognized the shift, experienced birth partner that he is, and for the first time I got nervous that we were doing this alone again. I kept looking up through the bathroom door to the bedroom door to see it open and in walk Leslie and/or Rosette. Partly it seemed like an intimate, middle-of-the-night thing we had going on, and I wanted to be prepared for someone to suddenly enter our space and maybe upset our balance or change the routine. It helped to chant “OH OH OH” through the peaks of some strong long ones.

Leslie slipped in quietly at 2:30, stooping down at the bathroom door and giving a happy little wave. A welcome sight! Rosette, former RN and her assistant, came in shortly after as they continued to set up in the bedroom. I could barely ask Jake “Does my mom want to come in? She can”. He reported back that she did not want to, was fine waiting outside. She later told me she was praying and timing contractions.

I figured Leslie would have a list to work down of things to check on me and baby. I had the thought “FINALLY, I experience what a US midwife does in labor!” However, she is quite hands off, which is why I chose her. It was awhile before she came in and asked if she could check baby’s heart tones, and that was all. She stayed outside, saying Jake and I were working beautifully together. Later she said that when she arrives to such an active labor, she doesn’t want or need to interrupt.

At some point near the end I thought Jake should know, “It hurts all the time, even in between, I’m just too worn out to make sounds!” My body was working hard and fast.

After a few minutes, I could finally verbalize a growing thought to Jake “Does she need to come in and do anything?” He went out and asked her. She came in and asked how I was doing, if I needed anything. I looked up at her dazed and said “I just like to know when I can push, to not do it too early...” She immediately replied “Then don’t push. Just let your body do it’s thing, and breathe the baby out. If there is a lip of a cervix, there will be a pinched feeling, and you just wait.” Oh yes, right! That’s been my game plan since the last baby, and it sure worked with her. I was glad for the reminder.    

I also assured her, “I don’t think it’s time yet, I’m not quite there”. I think it wasn’t but one or two rushes later when I might have even mentioned out loud to Jake that I wasn’t sure if my uterus had changed how it was contracting. Sure enough, it was! Amazing to remember feeling that obvious change to Stage Two! I also sensed it with Callie, but was too out of it to realize with the first two. I felt a ton of pressure and downward movement, and that long powerful contraction busted my water! I was kneeling at the edge of the tub and opened my eyes to the shocking site of the water moving out from under me like from a whirlpool jet. It took two tries to gasp it out “Water...Broke!”

There was that familiar stretching and bulging! Yep, this was getting real, really fast! I barely got out to Jake with a wave of my hand while my eyes were closed and focusing—GO! GET! SOPHIA! He blasted up from the tub ledge as if shot from a rocket. The picture of her walking in, rubbing her eyes with the light, and hair all crazy... My dream was happening, and Sophia’s much hoped for moment, too—she was at her next sibling’s birth!! I suppose that’s when my mom came in.

After that first push down, I felt like knees was not the way to be for some reason, so I threw myself around into a sitting position. Good I had the soft back of the tub to rest on. Otherwise, my whole bottom was screaming at me! Felt like it was already been torn to shreds. I think there was another contraction that seemed to bring the head right there. Maybe I even felt the head, but it wasn’t out. I realized it was big and would need another contraction. I’m not sure if I was pushing with them or just carried away with what my body was already doing. Either way, I knew I needed a ton of force to get this one out. Definitely not a “butter birth”, painless Callie experience, where I didn’t even realize she was already being born. This one took monumental effort and my body was working HARD. A couple of times the pool spun under me and I hoped I wasn't blacking out. Not sure what that was—from pain, or tiredness, or hormones. I kept thinking about all of the advice to back things down and work slowly so that tissues can stretch. But man, I was feeling stretched beyond the max already, and the pain.... All I could think of was both the joy and relief delivering the head would bring, and didn’t have to wait long! There was some debate and deliberating afterwards how her head delivered. At some point it was face up, a bigger probability due to the anterior placenta.

We waited a while for the next push, and I remembered waiting for Lydia’s body to be born. Now I was just starting to think “AHHHH BOY OR GIRL?!?!?!” I was so over waiting for the surprise.

2:52am: That feeling of the body moving through and twisting is like none other, and that’s an understatement! I remembered that I wanted to bring the head up slowly and did it as slowly as I could while so excited to find out if we had a son or daughter, and feel that little body on the OUTSIDE finally!

She's here!!!!!

In the pictures, it’s huge smiles all around. My main thought was how different this little person looked, like I didn’t know him/her at all. Guess I was expecting a repeat?! Such a unique face, with more vernix than any of the others, which was unexpected given the “over baking”. I didn’t waste any time saying “Let’s look!” and Jake helped me maneuver her slippery body and the big pulsing cord to where we could peek. ANOTHER GIRL!!! Wow, how in the world. Not following my grandmother and mother’s paths of 3 girls then boy. Jake was ecstatic, it was just what he most wanted. FOUR girls. We were set for that! He greeted her by name, Anastasia.

Baby was a bit fussy, occasionally screaming out. Okkaayyy...definitely more feisty than Callie, and more like the first two! (She was calm the rest of the day.) Also now began the no fun part of waiting for the placenta, with Leslie asking for more towels for baby, helping adjust her and keep her above the water, which was at least low, and me grimacing with after pains. Finally, I was feeling faint so Leslie called for a clamp and Jake took the honor of cutting the cord about 25 minutes post delivery. He got a turn with baby while I got settled and was given some tasty tea. I had juiced oranges for afterwards, and this was added to cramp bark tea for a tasty warm concoction.  

Jake put the placenta, which he said looked a good size, in the fridge to encapsulate later. Now to cuddle baby again! Finally the pain was subsiding and I wondered if maybe I had emerged unscathed from that intense birth and delivery process. The “after pains” were no joke though. I did actually have a small tear, but no stitches needed.

It seemed like everyone was running around for hours to clean up! Talk of sump pumps and hoses and towels and gauze... And regular vital checks for me and baby. The newborn exam happened a little over an hour after birth. During that I saw the sun coming up through the bathroom window. A new day, without wondering when baby would arrive!

The weight of 8 pounds, 14 ounces, has been questioned. The midwife is trying to unravel the mystery of her scale, so I’ll report back. She might have been closer to 8 pounds, 7 ounces. The last two were 8 pounds 1 ounce, and I know she was more than that. Her head circumference was 14.5 inches—¾ inch bigger than the last baby (Callie’s HC was average).

*After comparing her birth scale and the scale she brought to postpartum visits, the midwife determined birth weight to be 8 pounds, 9 ounces.

Newborn exam with midwife, big sister looking on

Nana and Sophia had gone back to bed around 5:30 and got in several hours before the other kids woke. For some (great) reason, they went longer on this birth night/morn.

The midwife and assistant were packed up and left around 6:15, 3 ½ hours after baby’s birth. Their one concern had been baby’s high-ish temperature, so they checked it one more time before leaving, having left the door open for cooler air circulation while loading their stuff, and it was lower. I was told to take it every few hours and leave her unwrapped and in diaper only. Poor babe! I’m not Bolivian in my clothing methods, but I did feel sorry for her and her cool skin, although her temp often was around 99. After a couple of days, Leslie decided it was not sign of an infection. She just runs hot, like her dada!
Sweet Sleep

Speaking of, our resident nail-cutter-expert (Jake) was already cutting her little claws at 6am. He went back to sleep at 6:35.
My adrenaline was still so high, I didn’t sleep much. Baby Ana did, but I did the “light sleep baby by my side” number. Shortly after 9, the girls had finished breakfast and Jake woke the boys. Everyone trooped in to see/meet baby! My first meal was oatmeal, which I’ve had every day at some point in the births of all four. 

The kids coming in Sunday morning

Checking someone out

Nana getting a good look

Grandparents and cousins meeting the newest little one!

Aunt Amy meeting Ana

After all of the stress in having to change from my dear doula/midwife friend in Tennessee, with a doula assistant and friend I also admire (a dozen children between them!), I am so glad that our pastor’s wife here told me about Leslie. She has been super attentive to us these last weeks, and her role at the birth was how I’d hoped. I birthed my baby with Jake’s support. She was there as an expert on hand, if needed. Fun fact: she began midwifery school and got pregnant with her first the same year I was born. That’s some experience, right there!

Other Fun Notes:

  •          The four have been born at:
38 Weeks + 1 Day
40 W + 3 D
40 W + 4 D
41 W + 3 D (going with a later possible due date gets 41 W exactly)
  • ·         We now have two spring birthdays (April) and two fall birthdays, plus 5 summer birthdays (parents and boys).
  • ·         #1, 3, and 4 were born on Sundays
  • ·         #2, 3, 4 were born at 3:45am, 2:44am, and 2:52am respectively. Apparently, I’m a night birther ever since having other children in the house!
  • ·         The first inkling I had it might be labor was 10pm, not being entirely sure for another couple of hours. She was born just under 5 hours after that first slightly painful twinge though. 
  • Fast labors ARE more intense, for sure. I see how it could have been overwhelming. Thankfully, this wasn't my first rodeo and I had lots of "tricks in my tool bag", so to speak!
  • ·         The midwife and assistant arrived just 15 minutes before her head was delivered. I don’t like to make anyone wait! 😊  
  • ·         She came in the middle of the night of the middle night (4th of 7) of my mom’s visit!!
All of the girls have been great with the transition, but Sophia, almost 5 1/2, has been a super big helper!

We welcome Anastasia Rose
Born April 7, 2019, at 2:52AM
Weight: 8 pounds 9 ounces
Length: 21 inches

Our crew! Joel (15 1/2), Michael (15 1/2), Sophia (5 1/2 this month), Lydia (4 this month), Caledonia (2 1/2 next month), Anastasia (4 days)

The NEW little sister!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Beaty Family Christmas Letter 2018

Dear Family & Friends,

Last year I began this letter with “For a third year in a row, I write from Tennessee! That’s a record for us, much to Jake’s dismay and my delight.” Well, everything changed this year.

April 30 was rather unexpectedly the last day of work for Jake at the classic car gallery. The owner had decided to go a different direction with the business, and Jake began the process of looking for a job to support our big family. Instead of accepting the first opportunity, he decided to be strategic in finding something that would use his gifts and have long term growth possibilities. And if I was honest with myself, I knew that really meant getting Jake back home to Washington State. So, although he applied for dozens of jobs in the Memphis tri-state area, resumes were scattered in multiple other scenic locations. On October 1 he started at Syndel USA, a fish product manufacturer in far NW Washington, as their inventory guy. This role, as well as his oversight and co-workers, have all been an excellent fit for him. After 6 years of marriage, I finally get to see him enjoy his job—so wonderful! In his free time, he loves working on his second book.    

Joel and Michael (both 15) accompanied Jake as he drove the big UHaul truck and a trailer all the way from Memphis to the far NW corner of the United States (Birch Bay, Washington). That’s 2400 miles, and they did it in 4 days, camping out along the way. What an adventure!

The boys again kept to a challenging pace all year in our homeschool, as we continue the catch-up process begun when they arrived to our family 5 years ago this Christmas Eve. They are nearing the end of 8th grade in most subjects and will begin 9th grade next month—yeah! I appreciate Jake’s help with grading and helping them understand tougher concepts. Despite different temperaments, they get along remarkably well, something we should probably be more grateful for! Both would like to be involved in basketball or soccer, but we haven’t found good opportunities for them here yet, also made harder by their age. They still have a fun schedule though, between church youth group, Boy Scouts (meetings and camps and fundraisers), and watching Seahawks games with their three boy cousins!

The news about Samuel is...tough. He lived with my parents around the corner from us for almost 17 months before moving for respite care to a family in Colorado with decades of experience with special needs adopted children. That was in July, when we were up to 10 major behavioral, educational, and mental health diagnoses, with 2 more as possibilities. No one helping us with him advised a return to our family, and his lack of attachment meant he didn’t really care, either. Therapeutic boarding schools were out of the question due to cost, and no or low-cost homes were not equipped enough to take him. Such a tragic place to be, unable to parent one of our children! We are so grateful that the family in CO is hanging in there with him through his ups and downs, and that he is doing better there.  

Sophia loves being 5 (so big!) and tries to rule the roost around here, especially with little sisters. She leads big imaginative play sessions that generally include singing, dancing, and dressing up. We do preschool and Kindergarten work together, often with little sisters learning right along. The highlights of her year were the Father Daughter Dance in January and getting to be flower girl in my cousin’s wedding in Texas in June! She was pretty much in heaven dressing up for and participating in both events.  

Lydia, now 3 ½, has a great big smile, talks non-stop, and tries to avoid sleep as much as possible. Usually a good follower of big sister, she does occasionally have her own ideas now! We did two different types of therapy with her earlier this year to try to curb impulse control issues and ADHD and learned a lot in the process. She is very affectionate, adores dogs and cats, and makes sure even strangers know who her sisters are!

Caledonia is our baby for a bit longer, even though she has informed us her name is “Callie”, NOT “baby”! She has a servant’s heart, not resting until everyone is served and happy, and is our most empathetic child. And I only thought Sophia was a big talker... Callie just turned two last month and has a HUGE vocabulary which she uses constantly, both to talk and sing songs. She’s up to flawless 5-6 word sentences that everyone understands. She’s advanced in other areas – I’ve never had such a busy, creative toddler who can unscrew lids, dump things, and just generally destroy an area in no time flat!  

We had another big surprise this year, finding out that #7 is on the way! I had to transfer care with our big move, quickly learning that our location out by the bay is considered “rural”, and that midwives here prefer birth center births for convenience. On the upside, I got to meet most of them! I finally signed on with a lovely long-time midwife, recommended by our pastor’s wife, who comes to our house for prenatals and is happy supervising a home birth! We are keeping gender a surprise again, and feel so blessed that this little one is growing well. 

I stayed busy this year with the family, of course, and starting and re-starting our home businesses. The day before I found out I was pregnant in July, I got “The Call” that I am a DONA certified doula. I was very excited, but couldn’t take any clients at that point, since we didn’t know where Jake would get a job. Now I’m too close to having a newborn myself to be able to look for doula work here in Washington, where it is more common. However, we are starting to encapsulate placentas here, and there’s also a willing market of health-conscious families for my Elderberry Syrup and gummies, so that’s fun!

If anyone needs our new address or phone numbers, let us know!  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Jacob, Jennifer, Joel (15), Michael (15), Samuel (14 ½), Sophia (5), Lydia (3 ½ ), Caledonia (2), Baby (coming late March/early April)

Visit to an underwater cave in Kentucky, May 2018

                                                      Flower Girl & Bride, June 2018

 Washington Visit, July 2018

Hard things... Last six sibling picture of the year, July 2018

Thanksgiving 2018