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When Joanna Gaines posted on Instagram, “New year, new hope... Be expectant,” we didn’t know she was talking so literally: As the couple shared tonight, they are expecting their fifth child!


Joanna and hubby Chip Gaines shared the news with their many (many, many) fans on Chip’s Instagram in January—and in a characteristically humorous fashion with the pair going belly-to-belly.

“Gaines party of 7... (If you’re still confused.. WE ARE PREGNANT),” Chip said in the caption of the adorable picture.

The HGTV stars are already parents to two boys and two girls: Drake, Ella, Duke and Emme. Speaking with People in 2016 about the possibility of expanding the family one more time, the couple seemed split.

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“I'm trying to talk him into another child, but he’s not interested," Joanna said at the time as Chip playfully chanted “Num-ber-five! Num-ber five!” in the background.

It seems they changed their minds—and we actually had some hints about the news these past few months, starting when they announced they were stepping away from Fixer Upper at the end of this season.

“This is just us recognizing that we need to catch our breath for a moment,” the couple said in their September statement. “Our plan is to take this time to shore up and strengthen the spots that are weak, rest the places that are tired and give lots of love and attention to both our family and our businesses.”

They later reaffirmed that their family is their top priority, even as they have numerous projects still in the works. The biggest of which is now welcoming this baby!

They haven’t shared other details such as due date of whether they know the sex yet, but one of the best ways to keep up with their lives is Instagram—where Joanna was just waxing nostalgic about storing her older children’s sweetest baby clothes and items. How happy her heart must have been knowing she was going to get the chance to do that again soon!

This time, we can’t wait to follow along. Congrats! ❤️

Update 3/6/18:

The scale is tipping in the favor of the Gaines’ boys: With help from a friend, Chip revealed baby #5 is a boy!

Now the only problem is the couple is in need of a “D” name to go along with older brothers Drake and Duke. As Chip tells his friend, “It's a little boy and I need a D name—and so far all I could come up with is Dragon.”

We have no doubt they’ll pick the perfect one.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."

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