Preparing for Baby #4

I don’t write on here much, so if you haven’t heard, we are expecting our fourth baby, SOON! I am 30 weeks, and anxious to close the chapter of “baby making” forever with this, our “Grand Finale” baby. img_9139

We announced this pregnancy back in September, at Jacson’s First Birthday! Man it seems like just yesterday that he was born…(I think my last post was in fact his at home Birth Story).

Then we learned that this sweet baby will be another GIRL and I shared some more intimate thoughts about the pregnancy on my instagram. god-knew

And her name is Emmy Scott Van Winkle.


Now, as my due date for baby #4 is fast approaching, there is a lot that still needs to be done! I have to admit that my nesting has yet to kick in, and thus everything seems to be piling up and remaining undone. Part of me is letting a bit of panic sneak in, while the majority of me is thinking, “Girl, You’ve got this!”

Anywho, I thought it would be fun, to write this Blog Post by answering some of the questions I have been asked in Regards to this pregnancy and expecting our fourth!

Question 1: (The question I get asked most frequently). What do your kids think about you having another baby? 

Honestly, its really, really normal for them. Like it doesn’t phase them much at all. When we told the girls, who obviously understand much more than Jacson, they were excited and well, not surprised. I think this is due to the fact that we have had so many kids so close together (4 kids in 5 years) and so there hasn’t been a lot of time where I haven’t been pregnant. I do think that the youngest child is the one who feels the most displaced when a new baby arrives, so I fully expect that Jacson will be a little shocked to no longer be my baby. But he will be my only BOY, so the kid’s got a special place in my heart FOREVER! I also wonder if kids in larger families are just more accepting of mom and dad having more kids. My own children have voiced their love of having new babies in the house and are always excitedly reiterating the number of people/boys/girls that we will have in our family. “We have 4 girls and 2 boys in our family! Right mom?!”

Question 2: Where will you put all of them?! In regards to house size/ bedroom sharing/ general space for kids to live and play. 

This question has been at the forefront of my mind a lot, as we have been weighing the pro’s and con’s of moving before or after the baby is born. On the one hand it would be really nice to have more space, another bedroom, and to get settled before this baby arrives. Plus there would be the added bonus of getting to decorate another baby nursery! But buying within the next 2 months would be a big stress and undertaking too close to my due date. (Not to mention that I am having a home birth, so we kinda need a place to live). So, we decided to stay put in our 3 bedroom townhouse for another 6 months. Honestly, 6 months will fly by, and we will be so much more mentally, financially and physically prepared for a big move just a little ways down the road. And our baby girl will still be able to have her beautiful nursery when that time comes! In the meantime, she will be close by mom and dad in a corner of our bedroom, just as each one of our babies have been for the first several months. And I am still making plans on my Baby Must Haves list so that I can start collecting things now and in the months to come. Check out my most favorite things:baby-4-prep

Dockatot Ruffle Bloomers Bunny Bonnet Freshly Picked Moccs Little Nomad Play Mat Pacifier Clip Peony Wall Decals

Question 3: How close together are your kids? Are they twins?…

As I said, we will have had 4 children in a 5 year span. Tylyn Turns 5 a month before my due date! More specifically, here are the age spans between each child.

Tylyn and Hadley are 16 months apart. Hadley and Jacson are 26 months apart. Jacson and Emmy will be 18 months apart.

Is this crazy? Yes! Was this planned. No!

I’ve been pretty vocal over the years that we have not planned a single one of our pregnancies and I honestly believe that each one has been a blessing specifically timed and placed in our lives by God. Would I have liked to plan these pregnancies? Certainly. I MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT TO BE A PREGNANT BRIDE when I was pregnant with Tylyn, our oldest. And I can tell you that I was not much more prepared the second time around when I found out I was pregnant with Hadley either– Tylyn was only 7 months old when I found myself to be pregnant! Seven months! I felt completely overwhelmed by the reality of being pregnant again so soon and at the general idea of having 2 babies! I was much more prepared the third time around and even had half a mind to make it special by surprising my husband on Christmas morning with a positive pregnancy test in his stocking! Compared to the emotional breakdowns I had while taking the previous 2 pregnancy tests, I considered the third time an exciting success! Baby Emmy was quite a surprise as well, and I found out I was pregnant at a time when there was a lot of heartbreak happening in our lives. In fact there still is, but I am constantly reminded of the goodness of God in his faithfulness to our growing family. I am certain that Emmy will be a gift of healing a redemption for our hearts!

Question #4: Are you having another home birth? Are you scared? Anxious? Nervous?

Yes to all of the above. I LOVED my homebirth with Jacson. It. Was. Amazing. I honestly would not have changed a single thing about it. So there was no question in my mind that I would set out to have another home birth with Emmy. Luckily, I have done it before so I know a lot of what to expect. But also, because I have done it before (the “it” being a drug-free, natural birth), there is some anxiety in regards to the pain and general well being of the baby. Emmy looks great and healthy, her ultrasound was good, and all of my checkups have been perfectly normal. But with the more children you have, the odds start to slightly decrease in your favor for everything to continue to go perfect! For example if 1 in 10 babies are born premature, and I have had 3 full term births, as in 3 in 10, then my odds now are.. you do the math… (seriously tho, my mommy brain can’t think this one out. LOL!) I know there is more that plays into these statistics such as previous pregnancies and health history, so I don’t let the fear rule my decision making. All of this I say to answer a couple questions that get thrown my way: “What if ______happens?” “Can you go to the hospital?” etc. In all honesty, my experience with midwives and homebirths in terms of educated choice far outweighs what I experienced using an OB/GYN. I feel far more in control, I feel much more informed and comfortable with all of the options available to me during birth and I feel completely safe in the care of my experienced midwives! And yes, transport to the hospital is available/possible/sometimes necessary.

I love talking about home birth a lot, so if you have more questions about it ask away. I will inevitably be sharing more as I start to prepare for the birth and after Emmy is born.

Question 5: Do you parent differently with each new child? 

Yes and No. With our first baby I had read all the books and different baby philosophies and I strongly believed in the way I set out to parent Tylyn. I strictly adhered to eat/wake/sleep schedule, had a baby sleep trained at 8 weeks old, and continued to be convicted about my child raising techniques throughout her toddlerhood. And as I have done the same things with each child, getting the same positive results with each (sleeping through the night at 8 weeks each, potty trained at a year and a half with each, disciplined each the same…) there has been increased leniency with each baby as well. But I think the leniency is actually a really really good thing. I think that is shows that we are more comfortable in our parenting strategies and we have learned how and when to “pick our battles”. Obviously when you have one kid you can dedicate all your attention on their behavior and development, where with multiple kids you have to divide your attention and focus on what is most important with each child. It is nice because you become more attuned to their specific personality and needs without stressing out about each and every bump and stage along the way. I laugh thinking about how I spent hours researching what to do when Tylyn stated saying “No!” at everything, when she was 18 months. Then, as Hadley inevitably entered the same stage, I had the knowledge of how to handle it without concern. And now with Jacson, it doesn’t even phase me one bit. I even find myself chuckling at Jacson’s toddler tantrums. What once made me feel like a failure as a parent with Tylyn, is now a stage I can smile at and even enjoy with Jacson, knowing that he too will learn to manage his emotions (with discipline and training along the way of course).

Now for me, the thing I think the most about in preparing for Baby #4 is how we will be going from an “average” size family to a “large” size family. I often wonder how on earth we will ever make it out in public and if any onlookers will be gracious and kind to us when we do. I understand that finding a babysitter to watch 4 children will become much more difficult than finding someone to watch 1 or 2 or even 3. And I don’t expect to be taking trips INTO the grocery store ever again. Thank goodness for the Fred Meyer Checklist pickup. I do not plan on having any more babies after Emmy, but I am very happy with accomplishing my goal of having 4 kids by the time I am 30 years old. 4 has always seemed like the golden number of children to have, and although I have disliked pregnancy all 4 times, I am pretty ecstatic that we actually made it this far! My hopes for my children are that they love each other so deeply that they will remain great friends as they grow up and into adulthood. I want them to look back on their childhood with lots of good happy memories and stories of growing up together, so close in age, so close in friendship! And I am fully believing that “families of 4 children or more are the happiest” as this study has suggested!

Love you all and thanks for visiting!




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