When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child, we were surprised. We had not been planning on having anymore kids after the birth of our son a few years prior. Once we got over the initial shock, we settled in for the inevitable difficult first year that comes with having a newborn.
Here’s what we didn’t realize:
When our son was born, his sister was almost 9 years old. Only one kid was in diapers, only one kid was shoving small objects into their mouth, nose or ears at any given time, and only one kid would be screaming their head off for longer than 2 minutes.
Oh, to go back to those easy days.
Don’t get me wrong - it was definitely a big adjustment to go from one child to two. We had to learn to juggle the needs of both children at the same time. Definitely more complicated than just having one child.
When I was pregnant with #3, we really thought we had this whole “parenting” thing down. It was only 3 years before that we had done the newborn stage with our son, and everything was still fresh in our minds. We weren’t as worried about her getting sick, or getting enough sleep, or as obsessive about writing her bottle times down. We trusted our instincts with the 3rd. We assumed that after 2 kids already, we were pretty much pros.
Dear lord, were we ever wrong.
Okay, so here’s my take: being the parents of 2 kids KIND OF sets up the framework to be able to handle adding more to your brood. HOWEVER, it’s not in the way you think. Or at least not in the way I was thinking…
Bear with me here as I try to pull a coherent thought out of my head with only one cup of coffee in me and 6,000 other thoughts floating around my overloaded brain. Maybe if I make a list that will simplify things?
2. Your kid has a crisis.
3. Throwing a birthday party.
There are SO MANY other things to add to that list, but the infant just started crying, the toddler is waking up for the day, and the older child is calling saying they need you to do something for them immediately. Your lucky partner is off at work, conversing with adults and driving around in their car with the radio on and no screaming in the background. They get a lunch break. You get the half of a granola bar that your child thankfully did not finish eating the day before and you didn’t have enough hands to bring it inside and throw it in the trash.
Don’t get me wrong - I LOVE my 3 kids. They are my world. Literally. My entire world. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but it seriously is crazy. Like bat-sh*t, I couldn’t even make this sh*t up, crazy.
Don’t forget to take your pill!
Chaos is about to reign.
Calm down - this is not a political post. (I have yet to be able to put my thoughts on this election into coherent words and am instead just finding solace in all of the #Jobama memes that have been going around. I'm really going to miss those guys...)
No, I am referring to the fact that we are about to go from 2 children to 3 very shortly. VERY shortly. Less than a month away. This is terrifying to me. I am pretty sure my husband is still in denial about all of this because he is a lot calmer than I am and THAT IS NOT THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS IN OUR HOME!!
It just hit me a few days ago.
I have also been in denial. My stomach has been growing larger and larger, but there is still that moment where I still wonder why I am having so much trouble standing up from the couch. (I have to do the whole roly-poly bug thing a few times in order to launch myself up from a sitting position.) I have painted the nursery and emptied it of everything that did not have to do with a newborn. I have slowwwwwwly been accumulating baby things that we will definitely need within the first few weeks of her birth.
Gahhhhhh I just remembered we need tiny socks. SOCKS!!!!! Her feet are going to get frostbite and fall off WHATKINDOFPARENTSAREWETOFORGETSOCKS?!?!!?!?!?!
I was sitting in said nursery the other day, folding all of the tiny little outfits that look like they were made for dolls and it hit me.
THERE IS GOING TO BE A BABY IN THIS ROOM VERY SOON.
So, panic ensued. We have this whole parents-of-two-kids thing down to a science these days. We are so familiar with the routine and who gets assigned which gross jobs that my husband and I could go without speaking to each other for days and nothing would be thrown off track.
Come to think of it, sometimes we do forget to speak, unless it is in the voices we are using to convey what we think is running through his little mind at that very moment.
I am exhausted already. With the preteen and the toddler who is going through a very rebellious phase, I am sure we are stretched as far as we can go sanity-wise.
WHY DID WE THINK THIS 3RD CHILD WAS A GOOD IDEA!?!!
In my defense, I blame my husband. (This is only because he tells everyone he blames me.)
I know that we will adapt, and I know that a year down the road it will be as though she has always been there and we won't be able to imagine life without her. I'm just worried about that first month. Or two, or three. The great unknown where we could be dealing with anything from weird reflux issues or colic or her being a total nightowl who refuses to so much as blink after the sun goes down.
Terrified, people. I am terrified.
I am still doing the stay at home mom thing and dealing with the neuropathy in my feet. So, YAY! Figuring out this new schedule will very much be lying on my shoulders. My lovely husband gets to flee the house for hours and hours at a time and speak to other ADULTS and DO THINGS and get a LUNCH BREAK!
(I know you work very hard when you are not at home, dear. I'm just very jealous of those small perks you get...)
So, here we are. Add to all of that the apprehension of the post-baby body and how my ED is going to deal with it. It's sucked enough being pregnant and having the compulsions to use behaviors, but at least I've had another child being affected by all of my choices. This body will be mine and mine alone again in less than a month. .....yay??.....
I'm sure it will all settle down very soon.
Fingers crossed for no colic, reflux, or insomniac tendencies!
Stay well. Hang in there. I know it's been a rough week all around. Everything will right itself soon enough.
So, we are a family of four these days!
Slowly (but surely) we are settling into the routine of having two children of very different age groups. I was VERY happy that I settled right into the kangaroo lifestyle and pretty much held my tiny man for the entire first three weeks of his life. I got to stay home with him for 8 weeks to work on our bonding, and to establish a routine. Unfortunately for his Dad, the little one got so used to our routine that he was completely thrown off when I had to go back to work! He still gets fussy when he wants Momma, and he doesn't understand why I can't save him every second of every day. Poor Dad has been dealing with the fallout from that one, along with having to work 40 hours a week himself. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride these past few weeks!
Although I am LOVING being a new mom again, I am missing being pregnant. Not the part about carrying a baby around in my stomach - I am much happier with him where I can see him and hold him. But all of my issues that vanished with the pregnancy have come back again full force. I started feeling like I was coming down with the flu a few days ago - achy, tired, head pounding. I randomly decided to take my blood pressure, and lo and behold it was 146/104. I was really hoping I could stay off the beta-blockers, but it wasn't meant to be...
The severe lack of sleep has also been messing with my thought processes. I find myself having to write everything that I need to do down before it slips through my fingers like water. I'm super-jumpy, irritable, and pretty much no fun to be with. I also blame this on the lack of time I have to spend with my husband.
Since the second we started dating, my husband has been my best friend. He is literally my rock, and I do not function properly when he isn't around. He reminds me not to take things too seriously when I start teetering towards the cliffs of despair. And he reminds me of why I am lovable, and of how much I am capable of loving others. Without him there, everything is all "doom and gloom" and "woe is me!" He makes me snap out of it. I can't wait for us to have a few minutes together that aren't overshadowed by diaper changes, colic, and feeding times. And rocking the tiny, screaming bundle of joy. Rocking...rocking....rocking....I rock all of the time now. If I am standing in line at the grocery store, rest assured I am rocking that gallon of milk in my arms like a PRO. God, I must look insane to those around me.
For now, until I get a moment to interact with other adult human beings outside of work, I'm going to just do my best to hang in there. I'm going to snuggle the shit out of my two beautiful kiddos, and I'm going to tell my husband how much I love and appreciate him every single chance I get.
Wish me luck.
22 weeks down, 18 to go!
It looks like my new little one is going the same route as his big sister. He is trying to give us gray hairs before he is even outside of my belly! I've been having contractions on and off for the past few weeks and ended up being monitored in L&D for a few hours last week when they refused to settle down at home. Eventually they did, and after a little bedrest, I was as good as new! It helps that Waffle is kicking up a storm...he lets me know he's in there and he knows exactly what is going on. The best part is when his dad talks to him in his different voices. I keep telling him he has to use his regular voice so that Waffle becomes acquainted with it, but then I quickly realized he uses different voices ALL THE TIME. Therefore, Waffle should become acquainted with the creepy-ransom-demanding-I-just-stole-your-child voice he's been talking to my belly with just as much as his screaming goat noises. Those are considered regular sounds around our home!
I am really, really getting excited to see what this little guy looks like. I definitely think I'm going to cave and get a 3-D ultrasound sometime in the next few weeks. I'm possibly the most impatient person on the planet, so this should surprise no one! We are also almost fully-stocked on baby supplies and are ready for him to get here any time after 38 weeks. I've been doing a lot of shopping on the yard sale website....it's like yard sale-ing, but it can be done from your couch and it doesn't have to be a Saturday or Sunday at the ass-crack of dawn. (Shout-out to my sister-in-law for introducing me to it!!)
I'm going to go put my feet up and continue timing these contractions to make sure they are fake ones and nothing to be concerned about. I've become a pro at this. Stay in there, Waffle!! Try to be more patient than your mother is...
I am so glad 2012 is over.
This year was incredibly difficult for our family. I am hoping and praying that 2013 will bring us health, happiness, and some other things we have been wanting for a long while. I want to work on eating right, sleeping more, and crying less. I am so lucky to have the family that I do. They are supportive when I need them to be, and they tell me to suck it up when I need to hear it.
I've got my fighting pants on.
I am so ready for whatever this coming year brings. I'm ready to work hard for what I want, and I expect a lot from myself. I have recently cut back on certain aspects of my life that were holding me back and making me crawl deeper into my hole of despair. I am going to work out our finances so that we can afford some of these cutbacks, and it's not going to be easy. I am ready to do anything I can to be able to spend more time with my family and less time curled up on the couch not knowing what to do with myself.
I am sick of feeling sorry for myself.
I'm going to try to look towards the positive more and not let the negative parts get me down. I'm going to hug my child more, kiss my husband more, and just generally take in all that my life has to offer. I am going to be grateful for what I have instead of wishing for what I can't. I will be more accepting of my limitations and give myself time to breathe when I need it. I am not going to push myself to the limit like I did last year. I'm not going to break.
I'm going to move on.
Not quite sure what this entails, or how difficult it is going to be. But, I want to try. I am GOING to try. Try being the key word. I do not always have control over what happens or how things turn out in the end. I need to understand that I cannot single-handedly rule my family's universe. I need to let everyone fly on their own and learn their own lessons. I will not try to save the world. I will not take on more than I can handle.
We all know where that gets me.
Goodbye, 2012. Welcome, 2013!
I'm like a jigsaw puzzle that just randomly exploded back into its 7200 separate pieces.
Trying to focus. Trying to hang in there. Trying to remind myself that this isn't how it will be forever.
I am exhausted.
Can't think. Can't breathe. Can't move.
Letting my husband hold onto me as tight as he can in hopes it will keep me from falling apart even more.
It seems my sleep schedule is completely backwards.
I've been working almost all overnights lately, and it's worked out wonderfully. Except for the fact that I CANNOT WAKE UP once I get comfortable on the couch at home. I could sleep for 16 hours straight if my husband would let me. I've learned to block out all of the everyday noises of people yelling down the stairs and across the house, or the pots and pans banging about in the kitchen. I don't use earplugs, but it's like my ears have developed their own resistance to the sounds.
Time to try something new.
I'm going to try to set my alarm and actually GET UP when it goes off every night. I want to be awake for the better part of the afternoon, if possible. I want to spend every minute I can with my family, because that's what is most important. It's easy to get caught up in the every day I-need-to-make-money-to-survive mindset and let other things fall by the wayside. It's going to be a lot harder to force myself into a schedule that my body is rejecting even as I think about it.
I miss my family.
I have been trying to juggle everything when I need to just let some things drop. Like expecting 6-8 hours of sleep a day. My anxiety peaks when I think about only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep some days. I need to get over it. Suck it up and move on. People function with less than that all the time. I've been greedy to want the sleep and the family time all together. It just doesn't work with an overnight schedule. A lot of the time, you have to choose one over the other.
I choose my Loves.
Starting tomorrow, I will be waking up earlier and forcing myself to drink coffee and shower as soon as I'm up. Hopefully that'll give me the extra boost I need to get through the sleepiest part of my night and it'll be smooth sailing from there.
I'm just sick of sleeping my life away.
So I'm going to start sleeping less, and start living my life more.
If you catch me snoozing, feel free to poke me with a stick. A really long stick would be best - sometimes I wake up swinging!
I really, truly have the best husband in the entire world.
This weekend has been a very trying weekend for our family. We were set out heading in one direction when higher powers decided to change our plans abruptly and drop the floor from under our feet. All of the sudden things weren't so stable and we had to scramble to figure out how we were going to get through this in the best way possible. Luckily, my husband has been my rock in these shaky times. I feel as though I lost control over the situation (not that I had control over it to begin with...) and I've been clinging to him like a buoy in the middle of an expansive black ocean.
He's been amazing.
Even though he should be spending his own time processing and dealing with what's going on, his focus has solely been on me and our daughter. He's been running around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to soothe me and do anything in his power to make the sting a little less awful.
It really stings.
I have been spending the last day or two just trying to keep my head above water and making sure that our daughter doesn't sense that her parents' worlds have just been turned upside down for a bit. I hope this goes by quickly. I hope the pain lessens with each day. Mostly, I'm just grateful for the family and friends I have.
Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts.
Just need to remember to eat, sleep, and breathe. Everything else will return after a little time to heal.
My poor husband.
After almost 5 years of being together, he just discovered one of my quirks.
I like to rearrange rooms in my house randomly every couple of months for no good reason.
Literally, there is no point in doing it...it just makes me feel better when it's done! I think of it as a way to really be able to get behind stuff and do a full cleaning. He, however, did not appreciate the fact that I wanted to move our giant dresser and bed around our tiny room just because I felt like it. Thank god he's a good sport and helped with all of the heavy lifting! Did I mention it was also quite hot outside that day and we don't have air conditioning??
I don't know what's wrong with me and all of the cleaning and rearranging lately. It's just nice to have the energy to do things! The nausea has subsided enough that I'm not curled up in a ball on the couch moaning and groaning constantly. I've been able to go out and run errands, which included buying all new towels and bathmats for our bathroom today to spruce it up a little. It was a pretty good day!
I think it's also been difficult for me to move into my husband's childhood home. It still feels like it's more his than ours just because there are so many remnants from when he was a kiddo there. By rearranging things and adding a few of my own touches it's helping me to feel more at home there than I originally did when we moved in. And I'm loving these new projects. They give me something to focus on and to work towards which has been awesome.
All in all, things are looking up!
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.