My, how our lives have changed in the past 8 weeks. It's been 8 weeks since Henry joined our pack (we're a pack now...all five of us). A few words to describe the past 8 weeks would be:
I thought going from one to two kids was hard...but that was a walk in the park compared to going from two to three. At least we had a home to go home to this time instead of a hotel (with Molly). But it was during a winter storm. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to bringing home my babies apparently.
Henry is probably my fussiest baby. At first I was determined to find an answer. Was it something I was eating, gas, reflux, not sleeping enough, colic, forceful let down, eating too much...? Was it the difference between boys and girls? Could he sense my anxiety building when he Just. Wouldn't. Stop. Crying? But whatever I tried and worked one night wouldn't the next. My few standby's have been gas drops, Gripe Water and shower running in the steamy bathroom. One of the first nights home Henry was fussing. And wouldn't stop. I was trying to snuggle Molly on the couch (which is our THING) and she got up, left me and went and snuggled Tim in our room! I cried and cried :( Of course at that moment I was convinced I ruined everything and my "normal" was gone. How would I ever make our home feel "normal" with a fussy newborn who demands all of my attention, a middle child who has fallen through the cracks and a six year old who seems even more distant from me because we've added yet another kid to the pack and she is basically fending for herself?
The first few weeks were HARD. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Looking back I can easily see the way God provided for me JUST when I needed it. My husband taking the baby when he Just. Wouldn't. Stop. Crying. My mom coming over and cooking dinner. My sister stopping by after school drop off and holding Henry so I could do something without a baby attached to me. My in-laws taking the girls overnight or out on quick "dates". Dear friends bringing over meals. Midnight chats with my sister in Japan and her reassuring me that everything will be okay.
Eight weeks in and I actually feel like I can say we are turning a corner. The house is staying a little more clean, the girls have gotten some dinners that aren't cereal, everyone is getting bathed a little more frequently (including me) and Henry is giving us some happy, awake, content stretches. I am starting to see what life with three kids will look like for our family. It helps when you set your goals and expectations pretty low for the day. It also helps to wear your baby so your hands are free to help with homework and make dinner. Slowly but surely I'm getting my groove back.
As for Henry--he is the cutest little thing I've ever laid my eyes on. Like I said, he is having more alert stretches where he loves to look around and watch what's going on (usually his sisters). He is giving us some adorable smiles and cooing. He's a mama's boy but will contently sit with daddy for a few minutes. We are working on establishing a better nap routine and in just the past week he's started sleeping by himself in his pack and play for a few naps. Sometimes he will go up to 2 hours for a nap which is awesome. Today is actually my first day back at work and I'm reentering the world of pumping at work--it's a labor of love I tell ya! I'm lucky to have an employer who is very accommodating.
The past eight weeks started out a bit bumpy, but I feel everything evening out. It feels good. I'm actually thinking I can do this!
*Henry goes in for his 2 month check up in a few days. I can't wait to see how much he weighs. I feel like he's doubled in size! Stay tuned :)