I've been trying to sit down and write this post for over a week and it has been too difficult!
Life with three babies is definitely rewarding and challenging all in the same breath. The kids have started to adjust, but they still don't quite understand and want my attention more than normal. They struggle with being patient and waiting for me to finish feeding Levi before I can tend to them, but they are getting better. They have definitely been throwing more fits than normal, and we have just had to deal with each one as it comes. I know that once they get used to things, the fits will begin to taper off and it will be back to the normal amount of fits :). But for now, our house is filled with crying and screaming much of the day... which makes for a stressed out, exhausted mama.
The house is definitely messier than normal... and Robert had to remind me the other day that the house isn't a priority right now, and I need to let it go. His exact words were "I don't need a clean house, I need a wife that isn't frazzled all the time." So, I'm trying to let go, but still struggle because a messy house means chaos to me.
Unfortunately, one of the things that I've had to let go of is worrying about eating perfectly. We've been relying heavily on convenience foods and eating in the dining hall. I had made a bunch of "meal starters," but I haven't even used most of them yet... I made a few full meals (casseroles), and we've taken advantage of those, but the rest is still in the freezer. They will come in handy in a few weeks when things are getting somewhat back to normal, but I still don't feel like fixing a huge meal. We also had the blessing of our church family bringing us a bunch of meals (probably a few weeks worth!). We're so thankful for that!! I didn't realize quite how difficult things were going to be.
I would say going from 2 to 3 is actually harder than 0 to 1 or 1 to 2. Some people say that once you have 2, it's nothing to add another. But, I think it's tough! Maybe it's because our kids are so young still. But, I can say that we probably won't be having any more... and if we do it will probably be a long time and/or through adoption :). I think three may be our max, though.
Despite the challenges, I'm so thankful and in love with my family. I have an amazing husband who would do anything for me and the kids. I have beautiful children who I love unconditionally even in their most challenging moments. My new son is perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better third child :). He doesn't sleep wonderfully at night (that seems to be when his gas hits!), but he is my easiest newborn so far. He doesn't cry much (just when he's hungry or gassy), and he takes a nap in the afternoon when the other kids do!! How'd I get that lucky??
I'm very thankful for my mom, who, right when I need it, takes the older kids off of my hands for a night. I might be going crazy without her. I feel bad to send them away, but I also feel like if I don't, I might just lose it :). I miss them when they're gone, and am thankful to get them back the next day. Right now she takes them about once a week, which is perfect. In the future, once things settle down a little more, she's still going to be coming to my house once a week to help me. That will be the day that I take Levi with me to town to buy groceries, etc. I'm lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to do that. Otherwise, I would probably just have to wait until Robert was off to go to town :).
Breastfeeding has been more of a challenge than I had hoped, but it's pretty much gone as expected. The first few days went pretty well (except for the fact that I breastfed non stop), but it just went downhill from there. I have been taking my herbs (lots of them- Motherlove More Milk Special Blend, Goat's Rue, and Fenugreek tinctures), and I breastfeed on demand (for a while it was CONSTANTLY). But, I just still wasn't able to produce enough. I produce more this time than the last two times, but it's still not enough to breastfeed exclusively. I tried using the Supplemental Nursing System, but struggled with it and when my supply started dwindling more, decided to stop using it. Not only was he not latching well anymore, he would just barely suck (just enough to get the formula out of the tube), and it was also very difficult to use every time. We went to using Breastflow bottles and things have been going pretty well since. It's frustrating that I can't produce enough, but I'm trying to just get over it and know that some breast milk is better than none. I'm taking one day at a time right now because doing both is difficult, but my hope is to continue for a long time. We'll see what happens! I've decided not to be hard on myself no matter what. I've been down this road twice already and had so many regrets. I want no regrets this time around.
Kristen, my midwife, has been so supportive of me with breastfeeding. She checks on me every day! She left me her scale so that I can weigh Levi daily to make sure he's gaining enough weight. And when I'm having a rough day with nursing, I just text or call her and she encourages me. I'm so thankful for her!
Here are some recent pics: