Our Tin House is Growing

Something very small, but very BIG, has been going on at Our Tin House…

On September 2nd we welcomed another baby boy into our family!  We found out we were expecting in January of this year, and were scheduled for a c-section on September 13th (which happened to be Friday the 13th).  Funny thing…it never EVER occurred to me that I could go into labor. I had scheduled c-sections with my other two, so it never happened before and why would it now??

At 11:30pm on the Sunday before Labor Day, my water broke.  We hadn’t even gone to sleep yet…we didn’t have work or school the next day so we stayed up with the kiddos watching movies and eating popcorn.  We had just laid down in bed for the night and I jumped up and ran to the bathroom because “something” was happening. I called for my husband and we were discussing “what the heck!?” was going on and what we needed to do.  My husband was in full denial and kept telling me “I’m sure it’s nothing. That’s probably normal…” Um…yes honey, it is normal for someone going into LABOR!!! I called the on-call doc and he confirmed what I thought was happening…my water had broken and I was going into labor and needed to get to the hospital.  Now this might seem a little too dramatic to the MANY of you who have gone through this, but I was freaking out (mostly on the inside…I kept it together for the sake of our other two kiddos). All the things going through my mind…is three weeks early too early?…will the baby be OK?…my doctor won’t be doing the surgery, does this other guy even know what he is doing?! (of course he does…get over yourself!)…I haven’t even packed a bag!…why is this happening!?!?

The great news is that everything went perfectly and we are now settling into being a family of FIVE.  Here are just a few things that have occurred or I have observed during our first couple months with Baby #3:

  • When people joked that we would be moving to a “zone defense” by having three kids, they were not lying!  This not only affects our ability to “handle” things as the day goes on, but more than that it has caused our other two kiddos to feel left out.  We knew that could happen going into this, and we talked about it often as a couple and with the kids, but until it was actually happening we couldn’t be fully prepared.  I felt like we were doing a pretty good job of giving the older two some individual attention, but 2 weeks in I overheard my daughter ask my husband, “how long before the baby can feed himself so Mommy isn’t having to spend so much time doing that?”  Broke. My. Heart. Then I started thinking about the fact that she was having to leave every day to go to school, so she only got about 20 minutes with me in the morning while getting ready for school and then the evening (which was hectic with dinner, homework, baths, and shared with the rest of the family)…so no wonder she felt that way!  And this is with only three kids…big shout out to those folks who have more than three! And speaking of my other kids…
  • Having this time off with my older two has been AWESOME.  This is especially true for my son, who has been with me pretty much the whole time I’ve been off on maternity leave.  It has been such a sweet time with him and it feels like he is growing up right before my eyes! He wants to help so much (and really is a big help), and he LOVES his little brother!  One night a few weeks ago when I was telling him goodnight he told me, “Goodnight Mommy…thank you for our new baby.” Be still my heart! Going back to work is going to be even more difficult this time around because I’m going to miss having so much quality time with him!
  • Sleep in non-existent!  Of course sleep is going to be limited with a newborn who is up and eating every 2-3 hours, but with every kid it seems I am getting less and less sleep.  I had someone (very well-meaning) say to me a couple weeks in, “well I hope you are at least sleeping when the baby sleeps and getting some naps in during the day.”  Ummm…you do know I have other children, right?  It’s a good plan, and I do try to rest when I can, but there is stuff to do.  No, I’m not trying to keep my house in tip-top shape, but there is laundry that has to be done and dishes that have to be washed (at minimum).  Plus, my 4-year-old can’t just be left to his own devices while I snooze in another room!  I am lucky, however, to have my mom, my mother-in-law and my grandmother all very close and willing to help and give me a break when really needed.
  • Even though you know they are coming, the Mommy Blues still seem to hit you out of nowhere!  This is Baby #3, so the intense highs and lows that were a big surprise to me with Baby #1 and even Baby #2 should be more manageable…right?  I know what to expect this time, so I should be able to handle it better…right?? WRONG. Yes, I am more aware of what is happening with my body and my hormones and everything, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks and left me crying on my husband’s shoulder several times on random occasions.  Sometimes with a reason, like the baby having a super fussy day, but often it is without any particular cause. Logically, I know that my body is not going to go back to “normal” overnight (or even in the first month or so). My body has not been my own for the last 10 months, so it is going to take quite a while for it to feel like mine again.  I grew a person!!! Logically…I know that. Emotionally…it is as if I have never done this before! And I know in the moment, as I’m having a meltdown about how none of my clothes fit and how tired I am and how I’m not doing anything right, I know that it is all going to be okay. But pulling yourself out of those moments is difficult! Luckily, my husband knows to just listen and let me have my moment of despair.  He tells me I’m doing a great job and he’s proud of me and reminds me to be patient with myself. Something else I’ve been trying…
  • Using hard moments as an opportunity to practice gratitude.  It’s like flipping the switch on these bad/hard moments we have as new parents (or really, just as people).  I let myself feel whatever sadness, frustration, etc. that I am feeling, and then I say “Thank you, God, for this beautiful baby and for my health” or whatever comes to mind.  It helps me focus on my blessings instead of on the negative things that are happening in that moment. I’m definitely not perfect at this, but I’m trying my best to be grateful for this time because I know that it will be over so quickly!  This difficult infant stage is just a blip on the radar in comparison to a lifetime with our children!

We are so thankful that our sweet little one is here and we are heading, slowly but surely, toward our “new normal” as a family of five.  It has been joyful and stressful all at the same time, and I am looking forward to making lots of wonderful memories as our life continues to change and evolve into the future!  

And a note to all you Mommas out there – even when you don’t feel like it, you are doing a great job!   

Now some photos of this sweetness…


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