The wonderful surprise of Emily – her birth story


May 8th was a Tuesday and Justin and I had to be at the hospital by 6 am. My c-section was scheduled for 8 am but we ended up starting early because everyone was ready. My doctor, the same one who delivered both of my boys by c-section as well, came in to chat with us before the procedure. She has a great laid-back personality and is super easy to talk to. I felt so comfortable with her for all my procedures and was absolutely thrilled that she was able to deliver Emily as well.

If you read this post, you may know that I decided on a clear drape at the last minute. Once I understood what was involved I was excited about the notion of kind of seeing her born instead of just seeing her via “drive by” as she was whisked out of the operating room. Justin was totally game too and that made her birth really special.

David’s birth was special because he was my first baby, Luke’s was special because we were surprised with learning that he was a boy right after he was born, and Emily’s is special because we got to see more of her actual birth! I love that all 3 kids have something unique about their birth even though they were all scheduled c-sections.

My procedure went very smoothly, and I’m so grateful for that. Emily was healthy and weighed 8 lbs at birth. She holds the title for my biggest baby yet! The clear drape was only during the part of the procedure when my doctor was taking her out, and it all happened so fast. The first thing I saw was a tiny hand shooting straight up into the air.

“I know what you are having!!” my doctor said, but everyone else in the room kept the news to themselves so Justin and I could look and see for ourselves!

The next thing I know I saw Emily about 8 inches from my face still on the other side of the drape, with legs splayed open so Justin and I could determine her sex! I was crying and saying, “Is that a girl? Is it a girl?!” over and over. Her umbilical cord happened to be hanging between her legs as well so all Justin could say was, “I don’t know!” because he couldn’t get a good view!

Finally my doctor said, “Yes it’s a girl!” and I remember just crying happy tears. Justin was then ushered over to the warm room with Emily and he brought her back in to the operating room all wrapped up in blankets. He put her face against mine and I just soaked up feeling her skin and looking at my daughter!

It was such a huge high of emotions which made the entire experience one I will never ever forget.

Justin and Emily then went to the recovery room while I got stitched up in the operating room. It felt like 1,000 hours before I could see her again, but finally I was wheeled back to recovery where we would be for about an hour. Justin was texting family and friends to let them know she and I were doing well and that everything went smoothly with the c-section. I was laying there feeling a little bit loopy from the drugs and still in complete shock that she was a girl.

After I could move my toes again we were relocated to the room we would be in for the next two days. We told family that they were able to come, and I had Justin run out to the car to grab the girl blanket I had bought in case it was a girl.

My parents and sister were the first to arrive and we had Emily wrapped up in a floral blanket to indicate it was a girl. My sister was the first to see and my parents were right behind her. Everyone was so surprised, it was such a special moment to see them react to the news of having a niece/granddaughter. My in-laws arrived later that afternoon and it was just as sweet to see their excitement about her.

The following 48 hours or so were probably the best we’ve had in the hospital. The nurses were fantastic, I was doing really well through recovery, and Emily was pretty chill and slept almost the entire time.

Since my pain level was quite low to begin with, I opted to skip the narcotic pain killer until it was necessary, and I ended up never taking it. The hardest part of recovery was lower back pain from sitting in the hospital bed for so long. It was hard to stand up, but every time I moved around I felt great. By the last day I was walking the halls repeatedly just to get my body used to moving again. We were visited by friends and family which helped the time pass, and we both got fairly decent sleep too.

Overall, this was definitely the best experience I’ve had, as far as c-sections go, and I know a lot of that has to do with the nurses and Justin. I missed the boys terribly in the hospital, but I also knew this was going to be the easiest time to just hold Emily and focus on her so it was bittersweet. They came and met her the day she was born and that will forever be ingrained in my memory.

It’s hard to believe she’s been here for over 3 weeks already. In a lot of ways it feels like she was always here, always a part of our family. The boys have been incredibly sweet and gentle with her, they’ve far exceeded my expectations for how well they would adjust. We’re all feeling extremely happy and deeply grateful for the gift of a healthy baby and an easy recovery for me.

Thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for your excitement and well wishes upon hearing about her birth. I told Justin I felt so humbled by the amount of “likes” on Instagram when we shared she had arrived. It is not lost on me that there are so many bloggers to follow online, and so many other things that take up time in our days, but your comments and interest in her arrival made it feel infinitely more special and exciting–so thank you very, very much.

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Comments (87)

  1. Posted June 1, 2018

    Ah, I love birth stories, even though I’m nowhere near being a Mum yet! Haven’t read this yet but going to now! Congratulations! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Claire says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    My daughter was born on May 8, 2017. 🙂 Her gender was a complete surprise too. I said to the doctor, you’re lying! Haha! Everyone expected a boy. Girls are wonderful! Emily is beautiful. Enjoy every minute and congratulations!

  3. Sherry says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She is just beautiful. I, along with everyone else who follows you, was so excited to hear the news of your having a girl. Of course we would have all been excited with a boy too….but somehow after having the two boys and the third being a girl, just extra exciting. I have to admit even I was shocked at how many likes and comments you had within about two hours (I was late to the game that evening). That just goes to show how much we all enjoy your blog and also the Instagram posts/stories. Your family is growing and beautiful and thank you for sharing so much of your lives with us. Happy Friday !!

  4. Allie says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    What a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations to you and your whole family from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for sharing all your joy and love with all of us readers, it is my pleasure to follow along and read your blog.
    Happy Friday! xAllie

  5. Katie says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Ugh so so special. You have a beautiful family I can only wish for some day. BLESS YOU!!!!!!

  6. Karly says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    **Congratulations** That picture of Emily next to your face in the OR is the SWEETEST ever! I kind of teared up, over here being preggo with my first!
    So happy for you & your family!!

    All the LOVE!

  7. Ashley says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So so so excited for you!! Any child is a blessing, but I have one of each and as much as I LOVED being and always thought of myself as only a “boy mom” I can’t even begin to describe the amount of joy my now 6 month old daughter has brought to my life. I’m so happy for you to be able to have that too!!! And I love her name!!! Our daughter is Emilia- only because there is already an Emily in the family! 😍

  8. Laura says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    thanks for sharing such a beautiful story!

  9. Ashley says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    This post made me tear up (happy tears of course) and want another baby! I’m so thrilled for your family and thank you for sharing a part of it with us. I can’t wait until she’s a little older and we start getting some little girl hair tutorials! My two little girls and I love playing with and doing each others hair.

  10. Chelsea Eriks says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I’m so glad for your wonderful experience, Kate! Emily is just darling. What a perfect little gift from heaven! Xo

  11. Jennifer says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Kate! I just ruined my make-up (it was worth it) – so many tears! What a beautiful story – thank you for sharing!

  12. Angela says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So sweet! Thanks for giving me all the feels this morning. What a blessing for your family!

  13. Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations! She’s beautiful!

  14. Tristen says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations, Kate! She is so beautiful and so are you! Thanks for sharing your life with us. I look forward to your stories every day!

  15. Sonia Limon says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations and blessings!!

  16. J says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She’s adorable! My girl after two boys will be married next week :). Enjoy!!!

  17. Karen says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations. You have a beautiful family.

  18. Shannon says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I was lucky with the twins that we got a boy and a girl in one go, but as much as I treasure being a boy mom, being a girl mom is something I’ve been dreaming of my whole life, and to see that beautiful little girl when the doctor held her up over the drape is a moment I will never, ever forget. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart- you have been so blessed! I am just thrilled for your family!

  19. Mindy says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations! She is so beautiful! And she will have two great big brothers watching over her 🙂 I have to ask, where did you get the floral blanket featured?? I love it!!

  20. Megan Leo says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I don’t have kids, but it will be awesome to have a girl after two boys. I feel bad for poor Emily if her two older brothers are like my two older brothers and wi torment her her whole childhood! Lol. It wasn’t really that bad. Never get a smaller car, she will always be in the middle and they’ll squish her on purpose! 😝

    She is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!!!

  21. Amy says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I have three boys, and I was so on Team Pink for you! Congratulations. She’s beautiful and I love her name.

  22. Charlotte says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Oh goodness, she is adorable!! So glad everything went smoothly for you and Emily! You have a beautiful family. You are blessed 🙂

  23. Kelly says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Emily Elizabeth is precious. What a great birth story. I remember watching your videos from years ago and your blog has evolved into so much more than hair tutorials. Your blog is actually the first thing I check on in the morning. So happy it was an “uneventful” birth. And look at the sweet little princess you and Justin brought into this world. I cannot wait to see her running around with her brothers. Luke and David are growing up WAY TOO fast!!! They crack me up in your stories. My Emily Elizabeth is 19 and a sophomore in college. I can still remember every sight, smell and sound of her birth. It was amazing. And that picture of Justin with his little girl is adorable. Here is to a happy and healthy baby and a pretty fantastic family! You guys are loved.

  24. Liz says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Absolutely beautiful! Your family is darling.

  25. Susan Schnitzler says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Your birth story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing personal family memories with us. Emily is a lucky little girl to have two big brothers to protect her as she grows up. Sending you and your little family much love!

  26. Andrea says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I have been a follower since before you got pregnant with David. It makes my heart so happy to see you as a mother! I have two boys of my own and I’m not in the baby phase anymore, they are ages 10 and 7. I am so happy to see your family grow and congratulations!

  27. Mary Anna White says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Ah I have been waiting for this post, and I am so excited to finally get to read it! It has been so neat to keep up with you during this whole process, and makes me that much more excited when I go through it! Thank you for always keeping us in the loop!

  28. Shannon says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    A wonderful surprise I am sure to have a baby girl! She’s absolutely beautiful. She will always have two older brothers to protect her in life. Congratulations!

  29. Amanda Butler says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congrats! It’s fun to have both boys and girls!
    I’ve had two C-sections, too. I have to agree with the hospital bed thing…what is up with that?

  30. Teri says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Beautiful Family!

  31. Sara says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congrats Kate!!
    May you see lots of joy from your new little Emily and them all!!!

    Would you share a link for that beautiful floral blanket you have her swaddled in??

  32. Dawn says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    What a beautiful story. She is a sweet blessing. The boys will dote on her forever ❤️

  33. Jennifer says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So happy for you and your family of five now! I’ve been following your blog for a really long time now and it’s been so fun getting to watch your family grow!! Wishing you the best!

  34. Kayleigh M. says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She’s beautiful! I know that feeling of shock at having a daughter after two boys. I was CONVINCED our third baby would be our third boy, but SHE shocked us all! My daughter is almost two now, and I can still barely believe it! Congrats to your whole family!

  35. Christine says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    What a beautiful story, Kate. I have 1 adult child, 2 teenagers and am done having kids. Being only 41, I am sad that I won’t have any more little ones. So watching your family experience these special moments helps me reminisce my special moments. As time passes it’s easy to forget small details. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life and sharing all of life’s simple pleasures. Your family is so beautiful ❤️

  36. Ruth says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She is super precious! I had three C-sections as well (boy, girl, boy) and remember how I cried when they told me that my second one was a girl ( the doctor called her a boy up until she was completely out of my womb).
    Girls are the best but I wouldn’t trade my grandsons for anything!!! Blessings to your beautiful family!!!

  37. Inna C says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So sweet!!! What a beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing and congratulations again!!! You have a gorgeous family and I cannot wait to watch her grow with her brothers via Instagram!!!

  38. Breanna Locke says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She is the perfect addition to your little family! I’m so glad you got a little girl. I was refreshing my Instagram feed every 30 minutes that day waiting for the gender! The boys are precious with her too. Also, she was born the day before my birthday! May babies are the best 🙂
    Congrats again!

  39. Posted June 1, 2018

    Love this sweet story! Congrats!

  40. Katlyn Huff says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Thank you so much for sharing this story and your whole journey to Emily with all of us! Congratulations again to you and your family!

  41. Tricia Jordan says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    This is the sweetest post. Almost brought me to tears to see your happy little family. Congratulations on your newest blessing! She is one lucky little girl!

  42. Erin says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Such wonderful pictures!!! Congratulations again! She’s beautiful and so is your birth story!

  43. April says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She is so beautiful Kate! I think she looks just like you. Especially in that picture of both of you in profile.

  44. Leah says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Ahh. Crying.
    My boys are also 14 months apart and my youngest was almost 3 when I found out I was pregnant again! This time a girl! She’ll be 1 in a few days so your story brings all the feelings and memories back. So excited for your family. Congratulations!!

  45. Hannah Vernon says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Happy tears! So happy for you!

  46. Posted June 1, 2018

    Sweet Blessing

  47. Posted June 1, 2018

    I’m a mom to 2 girls & its so very special. Just know that in a few yrs, she will be getting into ALL your makeup! Hahaha.You will go to get a blush brush & use it & it will be some place else little Emily hid. Lol! Ask me how I know😉 I wouldnt trade those days.
    She is precious.

  48. Carol Sexton says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So excited for Emily to be part of such a beautiful family. I have watched you go through all three of your births. Can’t believe I have been following you that long. You are a blessing to us all. Enjoy your beautiful little girl and love those sweet boys. Thanks for always sharing your life with all of us.

  49. Kate says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations! LOVE that you have a little girl added to your sweet family. EnJOY!!

  50. Rachel says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I just love birth stories. I had my girl April 24 and she weighed 8lbs too with tons of hair like Emily’s. My 3 year old sees her pictures and constantly thinks it’s our Abilene. Congratulations to you and your family. So happy you got a girl! I’m partially biased but hoping I will have a boy next.

  51. Cathrine Stage says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I am so very, very happy for you! I had to medically stop after my two precious sons (the first one has made me a grandmother of a boy!) Perhaps I will get a granddaughter someday, but God’s plans are best!

  52. carmen says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    WOW! What a dream boat! Treasure these moments!

  53. Jenna says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Super sweet surprise!! Love the name Emily! (we have our own Emily Jane) 🙂

    Congrats!! She will be well cared for with those big brothers around. 😉

  54. Holly says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    An incredible story – one you will cherish having written many years from now when details are forgotten. Being the mother of two boys, I’m envious. And I noticed immediately that David’s nametag says “Rex’ – I’m sure there’s a funny story attached. And Luke’s face is HILARIOUS!

  55. Beth Mann says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Such a beautiful memory and to have a post that you can read years later, so sweet and special! I pray for many blessings for you and your family. I appreciate you and your faith, may God be with you and keep you! Congrats!

  56. Lindsey says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I’ve been following you so long I remember reading your heartfelt post on your infertility. And look at you know! How Fod has blessed your beautiful little family. I’m so happy for you.

    • Lindsey says
      Posted June 1, 2018


  57. Mary says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    So, so wonderful to read your birth story of Emily and that your Doctor was there and calm, which set the stage. Don’t you think?
    And, you have such a beautiful family! All three of them each holding Emily have their own individual thought of what another “girl,” in the house will be like💕. Yea for you all, Kate! Don’t forget to accept any and all help so you do not get run down! You are not going to be Super Mama for a while, so let your body get it’s self back into place:)
    You inspire so many and we need you, but we are second!

  58. Molly Herrera says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    We barley “felt” the arrival of our second child, Baby Ella. Benjamin was full force into this world… but Ella was an amazing addition and we barley knew we had a second child. She was so quiet and calm. Congrats on having a girl. They are amazing and different and so fun! ❤️

  59. Posted June 1, 2018

    birth stories are amazing! Can’t wait to go through my birthing experience in 12 weeks!

  60. Candice Whitney says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    This is the best story and it’s hilarious that the umbilical cord was obstructing the view! Thanks for sharing!

  61. Carrie says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your birth story, it was beautiful & made me tear up a little. Emily is beautiful and you are a beautiful family! God bless you!

  62. Lisa says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    She’s just so perfect! I didn’t know the sex of my 3 babies and it was so fun. First was a boy and then my first girl. Her dad wasn’t quite sure if he should tell me it was a girl because she was swollen and he was afraid to be wrong lol. I got to announce the 3rd when she came out. I lifted her up and said “It’s a girl!” My other 2 were there and they were so excited!

    Congratulations to you!!

  63. Carrie says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    what s special bundle.

  64. CHELSEA says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Aww, congrats! I’ve been following you for a long time and was so full of joy for your family when I saw it was a girl and all was well. So happy for your family!

  65. Karen says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    You and your family are such a blessing! I’m so happy for you! Emily is beautiful! All of your babies are so beautiful! I enjoy your blogs and your tutorials! Thank you so much! God bless you💗

  66. Jane E says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Congratulations and welcome to the world Emily! I have a daughter and son about 17 months apart and it’s crazy and wonderful. Best of luck to you and Justin as you adjust to being a family of five. Much love, prayers, and grace.

  67. Marsha P says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Motherhood looks great on you! Congrats from Pace, FL!

  68. Leah says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    I have three boys. Had my twins, then 22 months later another boy. I love seeing pictures of a sweet baby girl. She is absolutely beautiful! Congrats! And i love her name!

  69. K. Stuart says
    Posted June 1, 2018

    Thanks for sharing your story. It reminded me of a poem I haven’t thought of in a long time. It is called Day-Old Child by Carol Lynn Pearson. I guess that means I need to share it with you.

    Day-Old Child
    My day-old child lay in my arms,
    with my lips against her ear.
    I whispered strongly, “How I wish —
    I wish that you could hear;
    I’ve a hundred wonderful things to say.”
    (A tiny cough and a nod)
    “Hurry, hurry, hurry and grow
    so I can tell you about God.”
    My day-old baby’s mouth was still
    and my words only tickled her ear,
    but a kind of light passed through her eyes,
    and I saw this thought appear.
    “How I wish I had a voice and words,
    I’ve a hundred things to say.
    Before I forget, I’d tell you of God —
    I left Him yesterday.
    -Carol Lynn Pearson

  70. Kendra Myers says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    So deeply happy for your beautiful family!💞 I started following you about 3 years ago on Instagram- you’ve inspired my wedding hair, makeup routine and so much more! I love watching your insta stories. I was telling my person you are so down to watch and genuine!

    • Kendra Myers says
      Posted June 2, 2018

      **** I can text. Just late.
      – telling my husband you’re so down to earth and genuine-

  71. Karen says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    Beautiful family! Congrats!

  72. Maria says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    The look on the face of your younger boy is priceless! 😂 Congratulations!

  73. Shasta says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    She is just the cutest!!! I can’t believe you had no narcotics!!! You must have a high pain tolerance…which is awesome!

  74. Ann Rubin says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    I’m so happy for you.

  75. Ali says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing how Emily arrived. I’m so glad you had different “special” experiences with each c-section. I’m curious how you managed the pain w/o narcotics? I’m preparing for a possible second c-section and absolutely hated them with my first. Enjoy your time with your three littles.

  76. Jules says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    Congrats! You have such a beautiful family.

  77. Nancy Stroble says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    Emily is beautiful!!! Your little boys are precious, and (not but) you needed a little girl. She’s so lucky to have two big brothers. Enjoy your darling family!!!

  78. Bonnie says
    Posted June 2, 2018

    Congrats, Kate!!! 💗 Since I don’t follow Instagram, I didn’t know until today. You have a beautiful family and I love watching your story unfold.

  79. Bailey says
    Posted June 3, 2018

    Our #3 was our first girl too! It took me almost 2 years to get pregnant with her so when I told people I didn’t care if we had a boy or a girl, I really, really meant it. BUT I was so thrilled to add a daughter to our family (and we’ve since had a 4th child- another boy). She was a delivery room surprise as well and it was such a shock when the doctor said she was a girl.

    Congratulations to you and your family!

  80. Chelsey says
    Posted June 3, 2018

    Congratulations!! She’s so beautiful! I think she looks a little like Luke!

  81. Bojana says
    Posted June 4, 2018

    All the best! <3

  82. Posted June 5, 2018

    Aww she is absolutely gorgeous! She honestly looks like a little angel in those photos. Congratulations! xx

  83. Lisa says
    Posted June 5, 2018

    Oh Kate, she is just so precious. I have been with you since before Baby #1 so I am just thrilled for you and your family. The picture of Luke and Emily is a treasure…they all are! Wishing you all the best with your new little bundle.

  84. Kaitie says
    Posted June 12, 2018

    That’s amazing, and congrats on your newest addition! May 8th, I was celebrating my daughters 1st birthday! Having girls are like nothing else… I say that – I have 4. Congrats and all the best!

  85. Melissa says
    Posted June 19, 2018


    I’m about to have my second in September via c-section, a boy, 12 years after my first baby (vaginal delivery and a girl)… so I am a little nervous! But your story is so sweet it made me picture everything in just the sweetest way I can imagine and makes me feel better. I cannot be more excited that you got to experience having a girl this time!!!! I prayed that you would have a girl, knowing you’d be happy with anything, but already having experienced boys twice and being the beauty guru that you are I knew it would be wonderful for you to get to share some of these girly things you enjoy with a daughter one day. Congratulations!!! So happy for you, Justin and the family! Welcome baby Emily!!!