Introducing Brinley

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Isn’t she beautiful! This is Brinley, the newest member of our family. We are so happy to welcome her to our home. She is so precious.

From the moment McKenna was born more than three years ago, we wondered if we were done having children or if there were more for us to have. From that moment, I prayed to know. I prayed daily for 2.5 years. I had moments of frustration in not knowing my answer; what I wanted to know was a righteous desire. I thought the Lord must be not telling me for some reason, so I tried to remain patient. I really had no strong hope either way–I just wanted to know. In the Fall of 2010, I heard a talk that spoke of being grateful for the times the Lord makes us wait for our answer. Those are times that He is refining us. So with those words in mind, I continued to pray and remain patient.

Fall of 2011 I started to be anxious for an answer again. After much, much effort, we finally had the answer that we should try to get pregnant and see what happens. I figured this was going to end in no pregnancy since I had PCOS (diagnosed after McKenna was born) and had not ovulated in years. My OB had offered fertility drugs, but we didn’t feel good about it. So we tried without much hope.

But we got pregnant on the first try. We knew this child was a gift from the Lord and that He wanted her here now.

And she has been such a great addition to our home. There is nothing like a baby to realign your goals and remind you of the important things in life. My pregnancy with her was my hardest–which is saying a lot. The difficulty brought us closer together as a family and it brought Brinley and I closer together. She instantly calms at my touch or my voice, and has from the moment she was born (the nurse gave her to me wet and gooey and as soon as I got her, she stopped crying. The nurse said, “No she needs to cry!” and rubbed her to get her going). 

As parents, we are so much more relaxed. I don’t know if it is our age, our experience, or both. We know things don’t have to be perfect every moment of every day. Life is a culmination of moments and you can’t focus on the little strokes that make the picture. Some strokes are perfection; some are imperfections that make the picture unique and interesting. 

I am savoring every moment. I am not anxious for time to fly by–I want her to stay as she is–I want to savor each minute. 

As for the nitty details, she is great. She eats well and for the most part, stays awake on her own to eat–even her first feeding of life she ate for 30 minutes while staying awake. She has some time awake afterward and seems to be able to handle stimulation well (which is good because her three siblings surround her and oogle over how cute she was).

Speaking of the three siblings, sidebar, the first time McKenna saw Brinley when she was 1-2 hours old, McKenna said, “Mommy, why was your tummy so big? Brinley isn’t that big. She is little.” Nice right?

Brinley goes to sleep from awake without crying and I wake her for her meals. She wakes once in the night. My experience definitely helps make this all possible. I have very quickly recognized things like that she likes to be warm, and even though it is a stifling hot summer, she must have socks on her feet. 

We are so happy to have her here with us to complete our family. Welcome home, Brinley.

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. Amanda
    August 7, 2012 / 4:25 PM

    LOL at McKenna, the logic of a 3 year old is great, right? 🙂 So glad to know all is going well with baby Brinley (love that spelling btw) 🙂

  2. Kristin
    August 7, 2012 / 5:11 PM

    Congratulations!! Great news – I was wondering if she was here yet!

  3. Katy Hazard
    August 7, 2012 / 5:14 PM

    Congratulations! What a joy.

  4. britneytai
    August 7, 2012 / 5:46 PM

    congratulations 🙂

  5. Bethany Haid
    August 7, 2012 / 6:03 PM

    What a great photo. Also, great name choice to fir with sibling names!I would live to read more about your journey to discern Gods will for your family. I have very hard pregnancies and more miscarriages than live births. I wonder if having five kids, our plan since we were dating, is truly Gods plan. Anyway, this is a great insight to me, so thanks for sharing such deep thoughts.

  6. Mikaela
    August 7, 2012 / 6:05 PM

    What a very beautiful name. What a beautiful and inspiring post! Praise God for this new blessing!

  7. Muffy
    August 7, 2012 / 6:19 PM

    She is beautiful! So happy for you!!!

  8. Jen
    August 7, 2012 / 6:20 PM

    Love hearing your story. I am a firm believer in waiting on God's timing. Even when it is a lot sooner than one would expect. My story with PCOS is slightly different. I have had 2 periods in 4 years… But I am pregnant with #3 and #1 is only 2.5 years. And I have a retroverted uterus. My midwife said, "some people, are just supposed to be here." I am learning to trust in God's timing in a different way, but faith takes a huge leap and most people (even Christians) don't understand that. Your story helps reassure me that God is in control, and it's better if we just give that control to Him. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    August 7, 2012 / 6:42 PM

    Congratulations!! She is beautiful. So glad all is going well!

  10. Melissa Vucijevic
    August 7, 2012 / 6:42 PM

    Congratulations! Thanks for all you do on this blog. It saved my sanity a few times over the last few months. My little Oliver is sleeping well now (turns out it was that he preferred to sleep on his tummy and once he could roll over, the 45 minute intruder stopped). I appreciate you! So happy for your family!

  11. Kendra L.
    August 7, 2012 / 6:53 PM

    Congratulations!!! What a beautiful little miracle. An inspiring story. Yep, that is great, what McKenna said. What do you say to that? I never know what to say to kids when they say funny things like that. "well there was a lot more in there…like a placenta…" hahah

  12. Laura
    August 7, 2012 / 7:10 PM

    Congratulations!! She looks beautiful. 🙂

  13. mandgmom
    August 7, 2012 / 7:19 PM

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

  14. Nika
    August 7, 2012 / 7:20 PM

    Congratulations on a beautiful girl!! I am expecting a girl too, and thanks for the idea! I'll have bows in tow with me at the hospital for those first photos :)If you don't mind me asking, you said her first feeding lasted 30 minutes. Are you nursing or was she bottle fed? I already have one boy, and my first hospital experience was somewhat of a blur. I remember trying to feed him, but the milk hadn't come in yet. And so we ended up giving him forumla, until about 2 days after we got home from the hospital. Then we never had formula again. I am just curious what it's like for other moms. Congratulations again – may God continue to bless your beautiful family!

  15. Jennifer
    August 7, 2012 / 8:02 PM

    Congratulations Valerie! She is beautiful!

  16. Unknown
    August 7, 2012 / 8:56 PM

    Congratulations! Such a beautiful photo of you two 🙂

  17. Lori - The Other Last Unicorn
    August 7, 2012 / 9:36 PM

    Congrats! She is so cute and what an inspiring story!

  18. Koala Mama
    August 7, 2012 / 9:37 PM

    Congratulations!!!!!!! She is so beautiful! What a cutie! She has a lovely temperament, too! What an amazing story about not ovulating for so long and then getting pregnant on the first try! It was definitely meant to be.

  19. D & H
    August 7, 2012 / 10:10 PM


  20. Kelly Ford
    August 7, 2012 / 11:56 PM

    So sweet! What a perfect little miracle :-)Looking forward to newborn weekly posts and schedules and all things itty bitty baby again on the blog. those posts are always so fun!

  21. Ron and Tiffany
    August 8, 2012 / 12:53 AM

    I love it that you said this:"Life is a culmination of moments and you can't focus on the little strokes that make the picture. Some strokes are perfection; some are imperfections that make the picture unique and interesting."SO perfectly said. I'm seriously going to write it down and save it to look at again later. Just beautiful. Anyway, Congratulations on your new little one! She's adorable. Hope you have a fast recovery and settle into your new "normal" peacefully.

  22. Leigh Anne
    August 8, 2012 / 2:04 AM

    Congrats to you & your fam! She is beautiful…and what a beautiful story you shared. What a BLESSING she is!!

  23. Heaths
    August 8, 2012 / 6:55 AM

    congratulations! and thank you for your work with this blog. not to be cheesy but it changed my life (at least my parenting). babywise and the hours I spent reading your blog and troubleshooting made me feel capable and confident, and know that i can handle more kids. 🙂

  24. Susanne
    August 8, 2012 / 11:52 AM

    Praise God for his gift. Enjoy her Val! Children really are a gift from God!!!

  25. Susanne
    August 8, 2012 / 11:52 AM

    Praise God for his gift. Enjoy her Val! Children really are a gift from God!!!

  26. Kristy Powers
    August 8, 2012 / 2:44 PM

    How wonderful! I am so excited for you and your family!

  27. Ellyn
    August 8, 2012 / 2:55 PM

    Congratulations to your family! Hugs!

  28. Plowmanators
    August 8, 2012 / 5:46 PM

    Thank you everyone! I appreciate the well-wishes. She is super sweet and luckily handles stimulation well since her siblings are obsessed. For the questions, I am writing them down and will do posts on them!

  29. Plowmanators
    August 8, 2012 / 5:48 PM

    Kendra, I think I just ignored her comment, but if she had been asking rather than informing me, I would have tried to explain it in actual terms. That is just the way I am 🙂 You can always count on McKenna for a funny comment.

  30. Ashley Katsuyama
    August 8, 2012 / 6:00 PM

    She is just precious! Blessings to the all 6 of you!!

  31. JM
    August 8, 2012 / 6:36 PM

    Congratulations! What a wonderful story of how God blessed you with this sweet little one.

  32. ndw
    August 8, 2012 / 7:28 PM

    Congratulations! Brinley is beautiful just like her name.

  33. Danielle
    August 8, 2012 / 7:47 PM

    Congratulations on Sweet Miss Brinley. I've never commented on your blog before, but have been following it regularly since I had my daughter, who is now 1&1/2. Your blog was so helpful as I got Charlotte in a routine from the beginning. I found the Babywise books to be vague in a number of areas, and the details you gave of your personal experiences were so helpful. Thanks so much! I've recommended your blog to many people who were interested Babywise. Enjoy your new addition!

  34. Brittany W.
    August 9, 2012 / 4:38 AM

    I'm so happy for you and your family! Congratulations! The weird connection is my due date was the same as yours with Brinley AND that was the name we were going with if it was a girl. 🙂 I ended up miscarrying but I know it's all apart of God's plan and I have learned he is in control. Thanks for sharing your insights and for giving us all hope. God bless you and may you give yourself grace during these new few months.

  35. Valerie
    August 9, 2012 / 2:57 PM

    Congratulations!! Thanks for your blog.

  36. ginalynski
    August 13, 2012 / 6:29 PM

    Congratulations! I love your blog! It has helped me so so much! You and your baby are beautiful! What a lovely picture!

  37. ginalynski
    August 13, 2012 / 6:30 PM

    Congratulations! I love your blog! It has helped me so so much! You and your baby are beautiful! What a lovely picture!

  38. Olga Kovaliova
    July 15, 2017 / 10:59 AM

    This is a beautiful post!

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