Hello, Seraphima Ivy

Our SWEET 7th baby is FINALLY here. Seraphima Ivy arrived via scheduled c-section on 4/21/20 at 7:54 a.m., weighing 8pd 14oz and 19 ¾” long.

We are so in love. Though her delivery was not as dramatic as her brother’s (read HERE), she was quite the stinker and made mama oh so ill!

Baby in a basket with a white blanket and wrapped in a floral blanket.


Let’s just say pregnancy and Valentina are not a good combination. I will spare you the details of how sick I was this pregnancy. The last two weeks of the pregnancy, I had so much pain in my abdomen, I could barely get out of bed. If I did, it was with help because the pain was so excruciating. Gestational diabetes and being anemic did not help things (our sweet kiddos always tested my sugars for me).

At 34 weeks we went into labor. When we arrived at the hospital, they gave us medication to stop the contractions as the baby would be way too early. After staying the night in the hospital, the contractions finally subsided and we were sent home.

The last week was just unbearable. I pretty much cried myself to sleep from pain every night.

To say I was ready for delivery is the BIGGEST understatement.

Baby Seraphima Ivy wrapped in a pink blanket next to flowers.

So. When we had Elijah, he was such a surprise baby to us. But, as we prayed and thought about it, we felt God calling us to have one more child. Though others may have thought we were crazy, our closest friends knew this. And so when Elijah was six months old, we found out we were expecting.

You cannot imagine how badly I wanted a girl! But.

I had every “old wives tales” symptom for a boy. The heartbeat was always in the high 130’s, no breakouts on the face, I wasn’t carrying high and the list goes on. I told our kids and hubby we were having a boy. We were going to name him Gideon Malachi and the kids began calling the baby Gideon.

The only thing that confused me was how sick I was with nausea. Whenever I carry girls, the morning sickness is an all day sickness and that was the case with this pregnancy.

My husband was expecting another son and he was totally fine with that.


When we went to find out the gender and the sonographer told us it was a girl, I started to squeal and cry (she probably thought I was nuts)! I mean I was so OVERJOYED, I couldn’t believe it. I think I made her confirm like 4 times because we were so shocked and so taken aback. My hubby was quite confused, ha (sorry, babe)!

I squealed with joy all the way home. I just couldn’t believe I was having another girl. Driving home, we decided to keep the gender a surprise.

Baby Seraphima Ivy in a basket wrapped in a flower blanket and headband.

Why the name?

All of our children have Biblical names and we wanted the same with this child, but a name that was original.

A seraphim is an angelic celestial being and belonging to one of the highest ranks in hierarchy among the angels. They revere God and proclaim his glory in worship with “holy, holy, holy”. The more we read about the beautiful work they perform, the more we fell in love with the angelic beings. And that’s where Seraphima was born.

Tim’s grandmother was named Seraphima as well, she died two weeks after Tim was born and that was such an honest for my mother-in-law as well.

Our girls both have middle names after flowers (Lily and Rose), so we wanted to keep that going and Ivy just sounded so natural.

And that is how Seraphima Ivy came to life.

Baby girl wrapped in a floral blanket with a tan bow.


Though I was so miserable, we had a countdown for the scheduled cesarean on our whiteboard and with every day checked off, we just got more and more excited. Before we knew it, Tuesday morning came around. We arrived at the hospital at about 5:30 a.m. with the scheduled appointment at 7:00 a.m. They started at about 7:20 a.m. and she was born at 7:54 a.m.

Regardless how many children you have, the first time you see your newborn, it just takes your breath away. The sweet angel God entrusted you with, it’s so emotional and the feeling never gets old.

It felt so good to have FINALLY delivered, and now the recovery.


As with any surgery, recovery is not fun and needs to run its course. We are taking it day by day. My husband and kids have been amazing. He treats me like a queen and has taught our kids to do so as well.


And. Before going on maternity leave, our team made some recipes in advance to keep posting while I take some time off and enjoy our bundle of joy and fully recover. So, I hope those will be enjoyed and shared.


I cannot begin to tell you all how grateful I am to those that emailed or DM’d us saying God had put me on your heart and you kept us in your thoughts and prayers. That is TRULY the work of the Holy Spirit because I desperately needed those prayers.

From the deepest and most special part of my heart – THANK YOU! Sniff, sniff – feeling so loved.

Lord, give us wisdom to raise this child for your Kingdom!

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  1. BIGGEST CONGRATULATIONS !!!! what a BEAUTIFUL name… my youngest daughter has ivy as her middle too xxx
    may god bless you and your beautiful family and lots of love to you all… wishing u a speedy recovery! God is amazing and helped u get through this pregnancy I have no doubt <3
    sorry you had such a rough time… I am pregnant with no 5. and feeling totally rough too!!
    May God be with you xxxxx

    1. Thank you bunches, Amberley, you’re so kind! 🙂 I just loved the name Ivy (and had some serious convincing as no one else was feeling the name, haha). What is your daughter’s first name?
      Sending you thoughts and prayers with your pregnancy. It does eventually come to an end. 🙂
      Thanks for being a part of our online family. <3

      1. actually… this is pregnancy no6… we lost our 2nd angel <3
        oldest to youngest :
        Frederica Elise, Baby Valentine (born on valentine's day at 14 weeks… we dont know the gender) Noah James (our rainbow baby and a total miracle… we nearly lost him too so a Biblical name was compulsory!), Charles Maxwell and our youngest is Madison Ivy 🙂
        so nervous being very sick at the moment with the pandemic but God is over us and has prevented us from making more hospital trips than necessary!
        I am keen on a biblical name for this baby too as it will be our last baby for reasons I wont disclose… would like your tips on how to win hubby over… he loves God and the Bible but isnt keen on names!!!
        I have found baking is a strange relief from sickness for me… your recipes are my hero!!!
        god bless you and you darling family<3
        btw… do any of your kids have nicknames?

        1. Amberley. I love all of your kids’ name, they are beautiful (Noah was on our list of names for our last one).
          Thanks bunches for trying our recipes, we so appreciate it and feel like we are somehow a part of your dinner when you do. 🙂
          Yes to nicknames. Ben, Joey, Liza, Abi, Nathan and Elijah is either full name or Eloosha (in Russsian).
          And, when mom or dad brings out the full name and middle name, you know this means business and you better come stat, hahaaaa ;)! When it’s full name in Russian, it’s more of a tender and sweet moment.

  2. Congratulations on your precious lil lovelorn! love that you chose all Biblical names for your kids. We only have 1 currently but that was also a big thing for us it had to be Biblical. What are the names of all your other kids if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. Thank you kindly, Olga! 🙂 I don’t mind at all. From oldest to youngest: Benjamin Timothy, Joseph Paul, Elizabeth Rose, Nathaniel James, Abigail Lily, Elijah Alexander and Seraphima Ivy. Wowzers, that is a lot of kids, ha!
      Wishing you are your family many blessings.

  3. Congrats on your newest addition!
    She’s absolutely adorable. May God bless you & your family abundantly. Btw l love your blog, your recipes & especially the personal posts like yesterday. Keep up the wonderful work!

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will take the blessings and wishing the same to you and your loved ones.
      Aaaawww, thanks for sharing that. The encouragement means the world to me as it does take a lot to put yourself out there so honest and raw. 🙂

  4. Congratulations!!!! Your family got one more wonderful gift from God and she is sooo sweet !!!!! You are so amazing wife and mother!!!! I always enjoyed reading your posts and admire you!!!! You are great example for me!!! God bless you and your family!!!

    1. Natalia, feeling very humbled you enjoy our personal posts. I promise, I’m not someone to admire and am no different than you.:) We are all in this together and trying to do our best.
      Thank you for the kind words though. Thank you for being a part of our online family.

    1. Yes, yes – something only God can do. And, I stand on His promises to do so (Isaiah 40:31). Wishing you and your family many blessings in all your do.

  5. Congratulations Valentina with your little girl. May God Bless you and your beautiful family!!

    1. Thank you so much, Violeta. We appreciate the sweet blessing and wish the same for you and your loved ones.

  6. Oh Sweetheart,
    Congratulations! to you and your husband and you beautiful family. Many Gods blessings.
    Seraphima Ivy is just gorgeous, God bless her and may God wrap his loving arms around her .
    Caroline O.

    1. What a beautiful comment, Caroline. I am touched – thank you! Same blessings to you and your loved ones.

    2. Love the name. So unique! Congratulations and may God bless your family. May your healing process goes smoothly and she brings you joy!

      1. Thank you, Viktoriya. I thought it was kind of neat as well. 🙂
        I appreciate the sweet blessing and will take it. Wishing you and your family many blessings as well.

    1. Thank you, Mila! We will take the blessing and blessings to your family as well. <3

  7. Aww, thanks for sharing your blessed news with us Valentina! You really have been on my mind and in my prayers over the past weeks, as your due date was coming up. I’m thankful that you delivered your little one safely and that God has blessed your family with another beautiful child! Seraphima Ivy is a lovely name, and it suits her nicely – she is such a precious little one! Best wishes and God’s blessings on all of you!

    1. I totally felt your thoughts and prayers, especially the last few weeks leading up to delivery. That was really HARD! We truly have the sweetest online family and I’m OH SO GRATEFUL for you. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU <3.

  8. Valentina, congratulations! She is so beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing!
    God bless you and your family!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit our online home. And, thank you for the kind words.
      Wishing you and your loved ones many blessings as well.

  9. Wow…what a beautiful story/absolutely beautiful family. Congratulations ! ‘Love her name (ALL of your family names, really) and it’s meaning!

  10. Awwww she is so beautiful and perfect and you are so blessed! Congratulations!!! I am so overjoyed for you. Blessings over your sweet new daughter and you for a quick recovery!

  11. CONGRATULATIONS TIM & VALENTINA! Beautiful precious baby.
    I got a little worried not hearing on any updates on the birth f your child. When I saw the email I got overly excited. I absolutely love your baby girl’s name. With our youngest daughter I also wanted to give Ivy either for first or middle name. Hubby didn’t approve ?. But she still ended up with a nice name.

    I’m so glad the csection went smooth for you but sorry to hear you suffered throughout your pregnancy. Good thing these “phenomenas” are temporary; pregnancy, birth, and child rearing. The end result – is a saved soul in the Kingdom of God -what we, as parents will be partially accountable for. May your recovery go quick and well. May the Lord give you (and all of us) wisdom, health and strength to raise your (our) children to love Him with their all.

    1. Larisa, you’re so kind. We had such a difficult pregnancy so I just wanted a week off everything to get back to health and that’s why it took us so long. 🙂
      Oh trust me, my hubby wasn’t exactly fond of Ivy either, took some serious convincing ;)!
      Thank you so much for being a part of our online family. <3 <3 <3

  12. She is beautiful, Valentina! Children are a blessing! May the Lord bless your family, your little one, and hopefully you have a quick recovery! Glad you received another little girl! Were the other kids surprised it was actually a girl?
    We had the same due date with you, but our little son decided to come early at 33 weeks. We didnt have a name picked, I remember going to your family and seeing what your beautiful sons were named (because I adore your family that much) but I couldnt convince my husband to any of them)) We ended up choosing Daniel. ♡

    1. Oh all the kids were surprised. Elizabeth (9) cried when she saw it was a girl. So sweet. Seraphima is going to have everyone wrapped around her little fingers ;)!
      Oh no! Our last one was unexpected at 36 weeks and that was so scary. I hope all is okay with your son? I absolutely LOVE the name Daniel, we considered Daniel for our second one but half of the boys in our church have that name so we decided not to, haha!
      Elenochka, thanks so much for being a part of our online family. You’re just the sweetest.

  13. Congratulations!! She is so precious! May God bless you with quick recovery and the baby with health, wisdom and a happiness in all her life!

  14. God bless your beautiful family and your beautiful baby girl! So true about being pregnant with girls.. I have two and I’ve experienced the same, all day morning sickness, while with my boys I was pretty much okay..Hope you have a speedy recovery!

    1. Lily, it’s because we women are just something so special, hehe.
      Thanks so much for visiting our online home and for taking the time to comment, means a ton to me.

  15. Aww Yay congratulations!!! She is so precious. I was waiting for baby updates. And it’s a girl! How awesome. I can’t believe you kept gender a secret from everyone that must of been hard.
    All the suffering is worth it all in the end right ? Kids are a blessing for sure, wishing and praying for a quick recovery dear ???

    1. Yelena, I actually cannot believe I was able to hold that in either because of how excited I was. So worth the surprise! 🙂
      You are absolutely right, as soon as I saw her, I got so emotional and seems like everything just goes away.

  16. Valentina! What a beautiful baby! The name is so original and adorable. I really enjoy watching your blog. It is so encouraging and a real blessing to me! God bless your recovery, your baby, and your family!

    1. I’m so glad you like the name and thought it was original, Inna.
      Thank you for the beautiful blessing and for visiting our online home. <3

  17. Congratulations! She is sooooo sweet! Speedy recovery to Mom and lots of health for all!

  18. Congratulations!! Thank for you sharing your story, it is so nice to see how God is working in your life. You have a beautiful family! From a fellow sister in Christ, God bless you!!

    1. You’re so sweet, Elena. I appreciate the sweet comment. Thank you for being a part of our online family. <3

  19. Congratulations Valentina!!
    May God bless your new addition and your entire beautiful family!! I love your blog so much and you are an inspiration to me as a mom and woman. I am up after a night feeding and pumping session so decided to check out your blog for recipes. I am so excited to read that you had your baby, and it’s a girl!! 🙂 My daughter wants a sister but only if God is willing, we’ll have another baby.
    I just got a baby at 37 weeks via scheduled csection (first for me). He is 4 weeks old. I too had the worst pain that has me in tears, and gestational diabetes along with anemia. I also had to have IV infusions for half of the pregnancy. Our God is good and we have a perfectly healthy little boy…I am finally doing better. I am glad your baby is here and healthy and wish you a speedy recovery!

    1. My heart goes out to you, Irachka. It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of doing and going through and then slowly healing (just a little longer the older we get, I’m almost 40 and I feel the difference). And, we have an absolutely amazing Creator!
      And, thank you for the beautiful encouragement, I’m so glad to hear our personal posts are being read and I’m not just talking to myself (haha).
      (p.s. I love how you said if it’s God’s will for another child. Children are so much work and such a big responsibility that needs to be prayed through before conception.)

    1. Thank you so much, Lena! We will take the blessings.
      Blessings upon you and your loved ones as well.

  20. Valentina Congratulations!!!!!!!! I know you and yours will be blessed as you all take care of your new little angel!!!!!!!!! She is so beautiful just like the rest of your children:)

  21. I just found you and I’m so excited I did. I’ve been reading about you and your family. Congratulations on your precious baby girl. Your family is beautiful. We just moved this past winter to Chillicothe, Ohio. I made your mother in law’s Mexican salad. It was amazing. I added some black beans to ours. God bless you and your family. Thanks for your wonderful site.

    1. Pamela, we are so glad you found us as well. HUGE Welcome to our online home (and welcome to Ohio), we are so happy to have you.
      I love that you added beans to the Mexican salad and enjoyed it, I hope you are able to find many more recipes to try that will become favorite. 🙂