She made her way into our lives as a surprise, and decided her debut should be one as well! Azelie Jane arrived a month early on Monday evening, Aug. 29th. I still can’t believe she is here, and that we get to keep her forever. Her life has taught us so much from the start, and I have a feeling she will continue to be a light bearer in the years to come.
By the way I had been feeling the week before her birth, I had the gut instinct she would be coming early….but maybe a week early like Rocco Samuel. It never crossed my mind she could come any sooner. I had just been to the doctor for a normal 35 week “measuring on time” visit. I was looking forward to this week to use up all of my nesting energy and clean the house from top to bottom, dig up Veronica’s old baby clothes, prepare meals, pack my hospital bag, and maybe do something spastic like chop my hair. As you can guess, none of it happened…
After a weekend of hosting family who had just moved to town, I admit I was probably on my feet more that I should have been, and went to bed pretty zonked on Sunday night. I was having very restless dreams and kept being woken up by what I thought braxton hicks contractions. I finally acknowledged that they might be something more than that since they were getting painful. I started to panic slightly since I didn’t have a hospital bag packed, so at 5am, I got up and started pacing…. and packing. Never underestimate what the adrenaline of a woman in early labor can do! That bag was packed in ten minutes flat without missing a single needed item. Gabe woke up to get ready for work, and was slightly confused over the sight of his wife buzzing around the room at such an hour. After calling the doctor for advice on what to do, we called up family to stay with the kids so we could head to the hospital. My mind was spinning, as I tried to process what was happening. I wrote a goodbye note to my kids, squeezed Rocco extra tight as tears welled up in my eyes, and walked away from the house with the feeling it wouldn’t quite be the same when I returned. That life was about to shift sails.
Gabe and I are so secondary that it didn’t really hit us until a few hours later when the nurse reported I was 4cm dilated. “You are going to have a baby today!” We looked at each other in disbelief. We were kind of expecting they would want to slow down contractions and send us back home. This is when we finally started to grasp the reality that despite being totally unprepared, this was the day we would meet our girl.
It was my longest labor….. full of peace, but not short on challenging moments. I am pretty sure Gabe’s hand was bruised by the squeezes I gave him throughout the process. My mother got to be there through the day, which brought me so much comfort (as only a mother can!) When the time came to push, it was evening, and I was more than ready to hold her! A few moments later, I had a dark haired little beauty on my chest, taking her first breaths and letting out a little squeaky cry. It’s the sound that makes time stand still, and heaven draw near for a moment as you realize a new little soul has come into the world, and that you were just a part of their journey here.
I don’t have the words to adequately describe what it feels like to have 5 children. Just typing that out has me looking over my shoulder. Who me? My new reality is equally dumbfounding as it is encompassing. As I looked at the face of our daughter for the first time, I felt a brand new love rush over me. Another chamber of my heart I didn’t know was there, manifested in the shape of a tiny 6 pound soul. Every emotion of the year from the surprise beginning, the fear and doubt, and the shock of her early arrival were swept away with the downward flood of tears as I held her on my chest for the first time, and our hearts beat on top of each other. The emotions rooted in the conviction that this little girl was written into our lives by our creator long before we came to meet her, and that she was always meant to be. My heart is officially split 6 ways for my husband and 5 children.
We took two days to name her….until they were asking for the birth certificate forms. We knew we wanted her name to hold meaning, but we had a hard time finding a good fit. Not many names flow well with Liesemeyer, ya know. Veronica suggested we name her “flower” the day she met her (Rainbow Dash being another suggestion) so I wanted to try to make that happen somehow! St. Therese the “Little Flower” was always a personal favorite saint of mine, and her mother’s name was Marie-Azelie, whose life story is even more impactful to to me now as a mother of 5. Gabe and I both loved her story and felt this was fitting for our little flower. Azelie (Ah-zell-ee) Jane.
Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support through this journey. I can’t tell you enough how much it has encouraged me along the way. I will share soon the pics and video of my little ones getting to meet their sister for the first time. It deserves it’s own post!