The Birth Story Of Everly Jane Ballesteros

On June 8th at 2:20 AM we welcomed our sweet Everly Jane Ballesteros into the world. She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches long. Our hearts have never felt so content and alive and we couldn’t be more grateful for our answered prayers. It was a long wait but this precious miracle was so worth it! On the morning of June 6th, my water broke and Dan and I decided to wait out the beginning stages of labor at home. We spent the next 24 hours getting last minute things in order. Dan assembled our rocking chair, I got to hang the baby mobile I made for her, we added some details to her baby corner, and we straightened up the house. We felt so much excitement and anticipation and there was such a peace surrounding us the whole time. On the afternoon before we went to the hospital, we went out to lunch on the bay, met my parents for a walk and enjoyed the sunshine for a little while. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon before heading to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital on June 7th at 1 pm and 13 hours later gave birth to our precious Everly Jane. She decided to come 9 days early 🙂 I had the most incredible support team with me! My sweetheart Daniel, my parents, my sisters, my grandpa, and Dans parents were all there for us. Daniel and I walked the halls of the hospital together as I was working through my contractions. Each time one came we would pause and Dan would just embrace me each time until it would pass. He’s been the perfect support to me and I feel so fortunate to have this man by my side. He makes me feel like I can conquer anything in the world. My parents and sisters came shortly after, as it was getting closer to baby Everly’s arrival. We tried different positions to get comfortable and my mom helped me work through some of the last stages of contractions. Having my family with me was such a huge blessing! It gave me all the strength and encouragement I needed. When it came time to deliver, I was blessed to have my husband, my mom and my dad right there in the room with me. I’m so thankful for a smooth delivery and so grateful she came out healthy! I’ll never forget the feeling of her being placed on my chest for the first time. My world became complete and my heart was filled in that moment. The years of waiting were over and everything I’ve ever wanted right in my arms. I was experiencing so many emotions all at once and all I could do was cry. My beautiful girl was finally here! The answer to so many years of prayers. Every tear and every heartache melted away as I held her in my arms. I’ll also never forget the first time I placed her on her Daddy’s chest. I watched him fall in love with her and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I watched him melt as she slept soundly with with her cheek to his chest. There’s nothing like seeing the love of a father for his daughter. She looked so safe, so content, and so protected. That moment will forever be engrained in my memory. We stayed the night at the hospital and got to visit with our family for a while. Everly got to meet her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and her cousins. It was so special to be able to have everyone there and such a joy for us to see her be held by all the ones we hold dear. We got to take her home the next day! Getting to put her in our car felt so surreal. The drive home was beautiful as we watched the sun start to fall. The first song we played for her was a song called “Just A Whisper” that I wrote before becoming pregnant and during our time of waiting for God to answer our prayers. I sat in the back seat next to her, just staring at her sweet face, in awe of God and what He gave to us. Dan and I caught a glimpse of each other in the rear view mirror and without any word being spoken, and tears rolling down my face, knew we were sharing the same feelings in that moment. We came home and introduced our pup Rusty to her for the first time and he’s been so tender and sweet around her. I’m excited to watch them together as she grows up. It’s been an adjustment for him obviously not getting all the attention, but he’s been such an amazing dog. Shortly after we got home my parents came over and surprised us with a beautiful home cooked meal and a cake welcoming our little Everly Jane. It was the perfect way to spend our first night at home as a family. So far these last two weeks have been everything I hoped it would be. I’m so thankful for every single moment of it. I love being a mom and I’m so excited for the years of adventure ahead of us!

Miracle Baby Coming In June!

When Dan and I got married 12 years ago, we knew that we wanted to have a family but we decided together that we wanted to wait a little while. We had dreams to travel and see the world and just enjoy each other for the first few years of marriage. In 2013, about seven years after we got married, we decided that we wanted to start trying to have children. It just felt like the right time in our lives. We thought that it would happen right away for us, but then months turned into a year, a year turned into to two years, and here we are five years later. God had other plans for us and it took some adjusting to be able to accept that. These last five years have been quite a journey. We had thoughts of IVF and adoption, and while I think these are amazing options for some, we didn’t really feel at peace about it, so we decided to be okay with letting it happen naturally, and in God’s timing.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I remember being in high school and dreaming about what I wanted for my future. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted as far as career went, but one thing I did know was that I wanted to be married young and to have a family with the man that I love. Being a mom was the one thing I was certain that I wanted in life. I grew up with the best mom, the best parents ever, and the most amazing grandparents. My childhood was full of family, fun, love, adventure, and laughter and I knew I wanted to continue that legacy.

I’m sitting here in tears as I write this, so humbled and beyond thankful for this precious miracle inside of me. I’ve had moments of discouragement, depression, and hopelessness, but at the same time I’ve had such a supportive and loving family that would constantly fill me with hope. Each one of my sisters, close friends, mom, and my dad would tell me about different dreams or visions they had of me being pregnant. It always made me so happy every time I would hear them describe them to me. I remember my dad saying last year, “you know what Kari, I believe that it’s going to happen soon and in God’s perfect timing and when it does, it’s going to feel like Christmas.” And here I am, just a couple weeks before Christmas writing this blog post. In addition, I’ve had a husband that would constantly tell me how in love with me he was and that I was all he’s ever needed in this world. He’s filled my life with so much joy, adventure, and unconditional love. He’s been there for me through every tear, every false pregnancy test, and every hopeless thought. But most importantly, I’ve had a God that I can lean on and go to with all my worries, concerns, and heartaches. Through all the highs and lows He’s been my constant source of strength. I’ve learned how important it is to hold on to hope and to pray without ceasing. I’ve learned what it means to let go and give God full control of my life. I’ve learned how important gratitude is in my life. When I stay thankful for everything God’s blessed me with in my life instead of focusing on what I don’t have, my life can still feel full despite unanswered prayers. I’ve learned how precious life is and what a privilege it is to be a mother. In my five year journey of waiting I would see mothers that we’re pregnant complaining about being sick or how tired and exhausted they were, and just thinking to myself how much I would give to be able to feel the things that they were feeling. I would see mother’s complaining about what a problem their kids have been for them and how hard it was being a mom and just longing to know what that was like. And while a lot of those feelings are valid and very true to those women, I swore to myself, and to my husband that when the day comes that God would bless us with kids, that he would never hear me complain about being pregnant or being a mom. I will embrace every discomfort, every nauseous feeling, every pain, and every trial, as a privilege. I know that my pregnancy may not be smooth sailing, I know that motherhood is going to be difficult, and I am not naïve or unaware of those things. All of these things are reminders to me of the precious gift of life and what an honor it is to be carrying a child and to be a mother.

Today, I am 13 weeks pregnant! I have made it through my first trimester and at times it’s still so hard to believe. I’m definitely starting to show and it trips me out when I look in the mirror now. I used to imagine what it would be like looking in the mirror and seeing a little baby bump. It’s funny, before I was pregnant, after eating a bit too much food, I would push out my stomach and pretend that my little food baby was a real baby, haha! I can’t wait to keep watching my tummy grow and for all the ultrasounds to come. When I had my first ultrasound around 9 weeks, I held Dans hand, cried, and just laid there in awe watching this little miracle moving around. At our 12 week ultrasound, the baby was moving so much and then all of a sudden we watched it put it’s hand in its mouth. It’s funny because when I was a baby I used to suck my middle two fingers, and when Dan was a baby, he sucked his thumb. 😆 We can’t wait to find out the gender. We both have a feeling it’s a girl, but we will see! Either way we’re beyond excited for this new adventure in our life and are so thankful to all our friends and family for all the support, love, prayers, and care.

Dan and I kept this secret for about a month and a half before telling our families. We told my family on Thanksgiving before going to Disneyland, and his family a couple days after that. It was the hardest secret we’ve had to keep but it was so worth the wait. It was so special seeing our family‘s reactions and we have it on video to remember forever. With my family, we set up a tripod and told everyone we were taking a family photo and started filming instead. We broke the news to them and then I pulled out my first ultrasound and everyone started celebrating. We went out to dinner with Dan’s parents and we put our first ultrasound in a gift box and had them open it. I filmed their reaction too and I’m going to be sharing a highlight video soon. Dan’s reaction when I told him was so funny! I wanted to catch him totally off guard and I was pretty successful, haha! I found out on October 6th late at night, and I didn’t want to just tell him, it had to be special. So I waited until the next day, went to Target and picked out some cute baby shoes (in the photos above), then put them in a box along with the positive pregnancy test. I came home, hid a camera in the living room, and called him in to open a gift I got him while secretly filming. It was pure shock and disbelief! I think in the moment that he opened it we both still couldn’t believe that it was real. To this day, it feels like it still hasn’t sunk in completely. But every time we got to share the news face to face with one of our dear friends, it became more real to us.

Dan and I have felt so much love from all our friends and family it’s moved us to tears. We’re humbled and so grateful for this answered prayer and can’t wait for the days to come! Christmas will be pretty special this year. In 2013, Daniel and I started a Christmas tradition of having a “thankful tree.” Every year we add a tag to our tree with our favorite highlight of the year. It was pretty surreal adding the news of our baby to our tree this year. Thank you Jesus for this blessing!

It was so special to us to be able to go out and take these photos of us together. We found a special spot and went out with my parents last week. All of the photos of us were shot by my Daddy, Michael Kinney Photography. Thank you Daddy for these special treasures! We love them and we love you with all our hearts ❤️