Hello to a new chapter of our lives! We are now officially a family of four boys, party of six, “almost a basket ball team”, a big family – aka OUR FAMILY!
Happy one week to baby, Jonah! You fit seamlessly and perfectly into our family. Without incident, you have brightened our lives, filled our hearts and completed our family!
I could not be happier! On top of a fairly uneventful delivery and recovery, our home coming a few days ago was the best of the four we have had.
Unfortunately my husband, Jansen (2) and Jordan (5) all came down with a stomach bug late the same day Jonah was born. This was OBVIOUSLY not planned and very unfortunate, as we had hoped for my husband to spend the night with me and the baby in the hospital. However, as parenthood teaches you rather quickly “nothing is permanent, but change” – so we just made it work!
Thankfully my night nurse was awesome, she overlooked the fact that I was co-sleeping with the baby, knowing that I was unable to get out of my bed unassisted. Jonah and I cuddled, nursed and snoozed all night long without any issues.
Coming home and adjusting to life outside the protective walls of the womb and hospital went much smoother than I had hoped for. The two big boys were excited to see their baby brother and to have mama home, but otherwise life is “business as usual” for them. They still need Lego pieces taken apart, help with homework and guidance navigating their school friendships and how to avoid annoying younger brothers.
Jansen, my sweet Jansen. Sunday night when I tucked him in, he was just a baby, a playful little toddler. Monday afternoon when he came to visit us at the hospital (obviously before we knew he had a stomach bug), he was all of a sudden a big solid boy. He had gained pounds, grown inches and matured by light years – or maybe it was all an optical illusion because he was being compared to his new baby brother. Regardless, Jansen’s world has been turned upside down. He is too young to play with his older brothers all the time, and too old to play with the baby – he fits perfectly right IN THE (dreaded) MIDDLE of the dynamics. But he’s a tough little man and will adjust in no time.
Bed time – the one time of the day that can get really hairy when you add a new baby to the mix… even this has been going much easier than I could have hoped for. We are a co-sleeping/ bed sharing family – as evidenced this morning when I woke up with an infant in my arm, Jansen with his head on my legs and Jordan snuggled up by my feet – and my husband curled up on the last few inches of the left hand side of the bed. I said “just how many kids do we have in this bed” and a sleepy Jordan answered “I think about three, mama!”.
I was worried that Jansen would be upset about sharing “his bed” with the baby. But why do I even bother to worry – why?! When will I learn that we always manage to work something out and that any struggles we may encounter are always short-lived. Nothing is permanent in the life of an infant, baby, toddler or child. Once you adjust to the “new normal”, another “new normal” will take its place!
So with that said… the two big boys have been adhering to their bedtime schedule with help from my mom – and they have just been easy and rather delightful. Then my husband and I have been going to bed early, partially because of exhaustion, partially because the two little ones need their rest. We bring Jansen and Jonah with us – and there we are – all four in bed – and the two little ones settle into a good night’s sleep one after another.
To me, one of the main benefits of co-sleeping with an infant is that I can react to his stirring and meet his rather easy needs before he works himself into a crying fit. We change diapers, nurse, burp and fall back a sleep – in that order – about three to four times a night – just like that. No crying, no one is inconsolable – not even mama, and we don’t even disturb our bedmates!
My biggest compliment and testament to the success of our co-sleeping came this morning. My husband woke up and came into the living room. He looked rather refreshed and said “wow, the baby didn’t really wake up to nurse a lot last night, did he?!” (I patted myself on the shoulder for “a job well done!”).