the unexpected and transitions.

Here I am writing 4.5 years after first experiencing postpartum depression to tell you that I feel as though I am going through it yet again. I have never been someone who adapted well to change or the unexpected and with this third sweet boy I am having hard time with both the unexpected and the transition to being a mom of 3 boys!

Leo has a tongue tie that will be revised via laser early next week. This might not seem like a big deal to most and was something I thought other moms exaggerated about in the past. The hard thing is that on top of caring for my two older boys I question my every move when feeding Leo.

Having nursed both boys for over a year I assumed this third time around would be a breeze. I even planned to nurse in my baby carrier and really take on the whole mom to three kids role. Unfortunately, our feeding situation currently looks like this (it gives me anxiety even writing about it):

  • Leo wakes and nurses 10 min on one side and then screams and spits up everywhere
  • Nurses the other side and repeats the crying and spitting up (reflux, the painful kind)
  • I give Leo a bottle of pumped milk because he is rooting around like a starving kid
  • More burping, crying, and spitting up
  • I pump and clean parts and bottles
  • Burp some more
  • Put him back down for a nap

Repeat this 8-10 times a day.

The hard part is that I feel guilty for spending so much time on one feeding while not giving the other boys any attention and also it is a lot of work having a 3 step feeding process. After his laser procedure we will have to do a lot of stretches to make him more efficient at emptying me out when nursing and the thought of not knowing how everything will pan out makes me really uneasy. I know God has chosen me to be their mom specifically but  I believe most of us moms can relate to the fact that not knowing what your baby needs is a very hard pill to swallow. 

I did not expect to have to go through another rough go of breastfeeding, I did not expect to go through so many dark emotions yet again, and I did not expect to ever have a baby who loves his bottle. 

There has been a lot of sweet and memorable moments over these past 2.5 weeks. Every time the older boys are playing nicely together or offering to help me I am reminded how short this phase of life is. But the reality is I think society tells us how wonderful this new phase is and for some women, like myself, this is the hardest transition we will go through. Yes, newborns are so sweet and they only stay small for so long but it is also a major time in the moms life. We have to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually all the while caring for a household, husband, kids, and lets not forget ourselves.

I hope I am not scaring anyone here who might not be a mom yet. I just want to be open and honest with the fact that although some women love the unexpected and the transition into the fourth trimester, there are some of us who it simply does not come easy to. Thankfully, this time around I knew when and where to get and ask for help. Hoping to have time to write more on how our life has changed and how our routines are also changing to better fit the 5 of us.

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toddler sleep struggles.

It is no surprise that we like our sleep around here. Our kids have always had an early bedtime and Nick and I value our alone time just as much as we value our time with our kids. With having a third baby on the way we are trying to help pave the road for the smoothest transition possible. Two weeks ago we moved Max out of his beloved master closet and moved both boys into a room together. I was originally super hesitant about this but thanks to the gentle push of one of my best friend's the transition has not been awful at all.

Currently we put both boys to bed together at 7pm. We read books, pray. sing and then Nick tucks Calvin into his bed and I put Max into his crib. Max really wants to sleep with Calvin but Calvin (being such a routine kid) is not having it right now. We still use fans, a sound machine, and black out curtains to help the boys sleep through the night.

When we leave the room Max uses that time period to basically go crazy. He jumps up and down in his crib like it is the best possible thing in the world to do and proceeds to throw out his "night night" aka Aden and Anais security blanket and sippy cup of water onto the floor. Calvin is usually super tired at this point since he no longer naps so Max is always confused as to why he isn't joining in on the fun. Max will giggle and say "come on brother" on repeat for a good 20 or so minutes before falling asleep. 

The struggle we have is during the middle of the night when Calvin wakes up. Max has been sleeping through the night for over a year now so he is out for the night once he is asleep. For the past two years Calvin has always woken up to use the potty and then has been sleeping with my mom every night. We are trying to break this habit and also give my mom a break from sleeping with Calvin since he is a very active sleeper and can easily kick you in the face while he sleeps.

For now we are putting him back into his bed and if he gets out Nick is in charge of making sure he either goes back or if he is emotionally just scared Nick will jump into bed with him. We don't want him in our bed because:

1. We have a queen bed which is small
2. We want him to get used to his bed for when Max eventually goes into a big boy bed and
3. When the baby comes I always like to have my newborns in my room for the first 3 months and we don't want baby brother waking him up. 

Our bedrooms are less than 10 feet away and our door is open, so our hope is that every night he will slowly get used to being in his own bed alone. I am sure that right when that happens Max will learn to jump out of his crib, but we are working on one kid at a time. Calvin learned to get out of his crib around 22 months so we are keeping Max in his sleep sack for as long as possible to help prolong that event. 

Every family does bedtime and sleep differently. For us, we like our room to be "ours" and value time alone together. I'm also not a cuddler by any means so the fewer bodies in our bed the better. And I always get anxious when we try something new. Thankfully, this transition is going much smoother than we thought. Our boys are loving their new room together and my hope is that they will love being together just as much as my sisters and I loved being able to share a room. I have just over 4 months until baby boy #3 arrives so I am not wasting any opportunities to maximize my sleep before we go back into newborn survival mode. 

What sleeping arrangement do you have for your kids? Did the transition from crib to bed go smoothly for you? Any tips or advice on room-sharing, nightmares, and middle of the night wake-ups?

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2 of the same for everything

2 of the same for everything

They read Room on the Broom ALL DAY long

They read Room on the Broom ALL DAY long

Work in progress

Work in progress