Here she is… our beautiful daughter! Little Claire Amelia was born on January 14th and just a week later (on her due date), we got in front of the camera with my talented friend Laura Foote for our in-home newborn session. My goal for the session was “relaxed and cozy” and I think Laura captured that perfectly. It was such a treat to be on the other side of the camera during a newborn session with MY family! My handsome husband, our big boy toddler and our brand new baby girl. It was such a wonderful morning (once James decided to cooperate… our session started with tears and Laura used her magic to bring out his sweetest smiles) and I’m so thankful to have these images as a keepsake of our little girl as a newborn. Thank you so so much for these images, Laura! You are the best!!
We welcomed our precious daughter into the world on January 14th via a repeat c-section. I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant. It was such a beautiful day and as a way to remember all the details of Claire’s birthday, I’m going to share her birth story here. Just like I did for James when he was born in June 2017. I have shared James’ frank breech c-section birth story many times over the past two years and have been told by many nervous, anxious mamas that it was encouraging to learn more about what to expect with a c-section birth. Hopefully Claire’s birth story will also encourage and inform more parents as they prepare to welcome their babies.
Dear Baby Girl,
While I feel like we’ve been expecting your arrival for a very long time, I can’t believe we are so close to actually holding you in our arms! Tomorrow morning, your Dad and I will arrive at the hospital and will begin the process of meeting you. We’ve been through this experience once before, with your big brother, but it still feels surreal and so exciting. We have been anticipating your arrival since we found out you were growing in my belly back in May, right after your Dad and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. Once we rang in 2019, we were ready to start trying for a second baby and we are so happy that God blessed us with you just a few months later. You’ve been growing so strong over the past nine months and we are so proud of you! Your Dad and I thought you were a girl from the very beginning and your anatomy scan in September revealed our suspicions to be true. We are so excited to have a daughter and for James to have a little sister! We have been thinking about you, dreaming about your future, imagining who you are, deciding on a name, and have been praying for your development.
Christmas with a toddler is so much fun! James asked for three things for Christmas: a walkie talkie, play kitchen, and a baseball bat. It was so much fun to watch him open and play with them! His Melissa & Doug kitchen is his new favorite thing. So glad to have that in our play room now! We celebrated the holiday with my family in Orlando and then a late Christmas in Tampa a week later with David’s youngest sister and her new husband. I snapped a few pictures of James in front of our tree just like I’ve done the past few years. Look how much he’s grown from 6 months, 18 months to now 2.5 years old. We had a great Christmas as a family of three and looking forward to having our little lady join us soon!
2018 Stoker Christmas
2017 Stoker Christmas
I’m writing this blog post in my current favorite spot – on our king bed with six pillows around me. Nine months pregnant and I will gladly lay down any chance I get! We are SOOO excited to meet our daughter so soon!! People keep asking me “are you ready for the baby to come?” and for the past month or so, my answer was “I’m excited to celebrate the holidays as a family of 3 and then focus on baby’s arrival.” and now my answer is “yesss the countdown is on!” 🙂 I am so grateful to have had a smooth, uneventful pregnancy. Every time I leave a OB appointment, I tell David how nice it is to have a normal, boring visit. Praise the Lord for normal! We had our family portraits taken by the lovely Darlene Barlows Photography back in November and snuck in a few maternity photos. Thank you for these sweet updated pictures, Darlene!