Kapri’s Birth Story

Kapri was not planned by us, but she was definitely always planned by God.

Where do I start? Let’s go back to the beginning.

The month is February 2015. Daniel and I had just booked a trip to  Antigua in June with all of our friends. It was going to be our first couples trip before everyone started having babies. (oops.) It was nearing the end of the month and I was a day or so late. I didn’t think anything of it to be honest. The next day passed and I still hadn’t “started”. That’s weird. I go and ask my boss at the time how soon she took a pregnancy test and she said the first day she missed. Fast forward a few hours and we are both in a bathroom at work and I’m peeing on a stick. My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty. It felt like forever waiting for the results. I looked at the stick, and it said negative (or so I thought). It had a very, very faint line. At the time I thought it had to be an extremely dark line to be positive.

To be honest, I was disappointed. I mean, we weren’t trying to have a baby or anything, but deep down I wanted the test to say positive. I get home after work and I decided to read the directions for the pregnancy test. Why now would I read the directions? Any-who, I was looking at the pictures of a positive pregnancy test and it said, “Even if the line is very faint, it is positive.” Uh, that looks EXACTLY how mine looked. Am I pregnant? I grabbed the second pregnancy test from my bag and took it. The results came back the same, a very faint line. Holy Moly. I think I’m pregnant.

I couldn’t stop trembling as I waited for Daniel to get home. It was baseball season so of course he had practice and the night was dragggiiinnngg. He got home and while he was eating dinner, I told him, “I think I’m pregnant.”

He looked at me and said, “Well what about the trip?” Seriously? The first thing that came to your mind was the trip? It wasn’t an, OMG I’m going to be a dad, or ahh let’s dance in the kitchen and celebrate type of reaction I was secretly hoping for. It was kinda like he looked at me wondering how it happened. Well we know how it happened – February 8th to be exact. To this day, he will tell you I tricked him. Oh ok, we all know how that works.

A few days later at 2:30 a.m. I decided to take a digital test and it read ‘Pregnant’. Yep. I was pregnant.


I was always extremely tired in my first trimester and suffered from this intense pain in my left side, but other than that my pregnancy was fairly easy. We decided to not go on the trip after all, it was bitter sweet.


At 20 weeks we found out it was a girl. I always thought I would have a boy first – so he could protect his younger siblings and what not.  I felt bad because I kept calling the baby a “he” and she was a “she”. I had no idea at the time that this little girl was perfectly made to be our first.

Daniel kept telling me he felt so stressed already and I’ll always remember him saying, “I wanted to worry about just one penis, and now I have to worry about all these other penises.” He told me it’s different, it’s different having a girl over a boy. My poor husband. The teenage years might cause him some gray hair.

My pregnancy progressed and around 34 weeks I went in for a routine ultrasound. Everything was normal except the baby was breech. The doctor said she still had time to turn and there’s enough fluid for her to do it. Ok. I’m sure she will.


36 weeks came around. The baby was still breech. We talked about the procedure to flip the baby, but my doctor didn’t recommend it because the risks were high. I decided to opt out. We went ahead and scheduled a c-section for October 21, 2015, a week before my original due date. If she was still breech, then he would have to do a c-section. I still felt like she would flip. It didn’t hit me that I might have to have a c- section.

I always envisioned how my delivery would go – I would deliver my baby “naturally”. Everything would go smooth – I mean, I’ve got the hips for it. I also felt like there was a stigma around c-sections. I didn’t want one. I shouldn’t have to get one.

The night before my scheduled c-section, I couldn’t sleep. I just laid awake holding my belly and praying she would turn. She was moving A LOT – she had to flip, she had to. 6 a.m. rolled around and we were reporting to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors and went over all the documents and what not. None of it felt real. It was kinda like an out-of-body experience for me. I felt like she turned, and they were going to tell me to go home.

The nurse came to do one last ultrasound just in case she flipped. My fingers were crossed. Nope. She didn’t. She was still breech. A few minutes later I was walking to the OR.

It was all surreal. Am I really going to have a c-section right now? I’m sitting on the table while the epidural is being injected into my spine thinking, why didn’t she flip? Was something wrong with me and she couldn’t?  I was so scared. The numbness soon took over and I was laying down waiting for them to begin. A few minutes go by and the doctors were pushing and pulling – I felt like I was being jerked around the table. The doctor made a comment that the baby was pretty far ‘up there’ and was struggling to pull her out – stubborn much? (Totally not a depiction of how she is now, ha). They warned us she might have some bruising on her legs from all the pulling.

Finally. She was out. The room was silent. Why isn’t she crying? What’s wrong.  My heart sank. The few seconds turned into a lifetime as I was waiting to hear her cry. Then she did. It was the sweetest music to my ears. The tears rolled down my cheeks. I was a mommy. She was here. She was beautiful. She was perfect. Kapri Maribelle Soto was born on October 21, 2015 at 8:57 a.m., weighing 7 lbs 3.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about how I gave birth to her, but that I did give birth to her. I did it. 


The recovery in the hospital was rough. I wasn’t able to do much. I felt like all she did was nurse and I never slept because I had to watch her and make sure she was still breathing, like all new moms do right? Daniel had to change all of her diapers – I remember him telling me he wouldn’t ever change diapers. Ha. If you’ve had a c-section you know you don’t want to laugh – it’s like your incision will open right back up if you do. {Side note, I’m going to invent a stick that moms can use in the hospital when their husbands fall asleep in a deep sleep, called “You Better Wake Your Ass Up and Take This Baby – Slapping Stick”. Throwing ice chips and shoes did not work.}



We were in the hospital for two nights and then we were released to go home. I remember Daniel and I thinking, so the nurses are just going to let us go home… alone with this baby? They’ve been helping us this whole time. They trust us with her? Please, please, come home with us.

I’d say we’ve done a pretty great job so far. Adventurous, spirited, loving, gracious, independent, confident, sassy, girly and frilly, tomboy-ish, rambunctious, silly, cute, funny, and big sister are just a few words that describe our little first-born, Tarzan baby.

To the girl that made me a mommy, thank you for giving me my purpose in this world.  I will continue to try to be the very best I can for you, and now your brother too. Your daddy and I are so proud and blessed you are ours. 



Why the name Kapri? Way back in high school my very best friend, who is now Kapri’s godmother, did a dance solo to the song by Colbie Caillet called ‘Capri’. That’s when I fell in love with the name. When I told Daniel what I wanted to name her, he agreed it was perfect, and it truly is. She’s our angel. I changed the first letter to a K to match mine. 




Ezra Duke’s Birth Story

How does the saying go? “When you make plans, God laughs,”.. yea that seems about right. God definitely showed us who was in charge, Him.

I had a normal pregnancy I would say. I was pretty nauseous in the beginning and always exhausted trying to keep up with a toddler, but other than that I felt fine. My due date was January 11, and I had a scheduled c-section for January 4, 2018. My first delivery was by c-section (stay tuned for Kapri’s birth story) so I knew that was how I was going to deliver this Mexican Vanilla too. I was totally going to be all cute and wear makeup this time though, and do my hair in braids so I looked good in the pictures. It was all planned out. I had time.

All was going well. I only had two more weeks of school and then I was off for Christmas Break. We didn’t have much ready for the baby, but I still had time. I had all of Christmas Break to get things ready. <Cue God chuckling.> Then we started to notice something was off with Kapri. She was pooping WHITE. Ummm.. what the heck is going on? She started to scream bloody murder anytime she tried to use the restroom, it was heartbreaking. We talked to the doctor and she said give it a few days and see if it continues. A few days passed, she was still miserable, and I came down with what I think was the flu. And then the contractions came. Just Braxton Hicks, right?

Then Monday came. We were told that if Kapri was still pooping white and screaming all the time, to take her to the ER to check her liver. Ok. Daniel and I worked it out and we would take her in the afternoon. I went to work. A few minutes at morning duty and I noticed something was definitely off. It wasn’t my flu symptoms, it was something else. Uhhhh. I’m pretty sure my water just broke. I hustle to my classroom and grab my phone to call Daniel. He didn’t answer. Ohhh helllll nooo. You better pick up your phone, NOWWWW!!! He did.  (Want to guess what he was doing? Working out. <Insert eye rolling emoji here.> )

We drove to the hospital.

We came to the conclusion in the truck that they would probably just send me home or put me on bed rest.  We decided to have our moms bring Kapri so we could just take her to the ER at the same hospital and get all of her stuff situated once I was done getting checked out.

I walk into labor and delivery ready for them to tell me to take it easy the next few weeks. They hook me up to the monitors and then I got swabbed. The nurse said, “yep, it’s amniotic fluid.” And Daniel looked at her (bless his heart) and asked, “So what does that mean?” The nurse replied in a super peppy voice, “You’re having your baby today!!!” <Did you hear that? Yep. That is God belly laughing at my original plans.> 


Daniel and I turned to each other in disbelief.  We had NOTHING ready. No hospital bags. No washed baby clothes. No NAME for this baby.  Nothing. So as my baby girl was in the ER getting blood drawn and x-rays done, I was being wheeled into the operating room. Is my baby girl going to be OK? Is this baby still inside me going to be OK?  This was NOT how it was ‘supposed’ to go… according to MY plans.

As I was laying there on the operating table, losing all the feeling I had in my legs, I felt this strength come over me. Ok. This is HIS plan. I need to trust HIS plan.


On December 18, 2017 at 12:43 p.m. (4 weeks early), Ezra Duke cried for the first time. The tears rolled down my face. He was here. This beautiful and perfect, 20 inch, 6 lbs and 13 ounces of Mexican Vanilla was here. A healthy boy.

There was no stay in the NICU for being a late pre-term baby, Kapri’s tests and x-rays came back normal, all was good! It was just a bad case of constipation. Thank you Jesus! She went home with my mom that night while we stayed at the hospital.

Then a fever hit Kapri.  It’s probably just a side-effect of the constipation. Nope. It was the FLU. The doctor didn’t want her anywhere near the baby. We just became a family of four, we are supposed to all be together! Oh and Ezra was losing too much weight (late pre-term babies sleep all the time and never want to wake up to eat, I thought I just had an easy baby!). I broke down. Why is this happening all at once? And it’s Christmas time!

It was hard. I cried A LOT. This was a trying time for our little Mexican Vanilla family.  I felt guilty, sad, stressed…how did she get the flu? Was it from me?  Why does she still have a fever, it’s been 4 days already? She’s been at my parents for a week, when can she come home?  Why did my body go into labor early? Did I fail my baby boy?  What if he catches the flu? He’s still too little! I remember Daniel holding me while I cried. Never showing his stress or how worried he was. He was truly my rock, our rock.

This too shall pass… and it did. We got through it. As God intended.

In Hebrew the meaning of the name Ezra is: Help, helper. Thank you, Ezra, for helping to make our family stronger and reminding us how powerful God is, his love for us, and our love for each other.

Kapri held her baby brother for the first time, almost 2 weeks after he was born.