So Chris went back to work this week and I was a momma of three on my own. No, not quite. Since I am still healing from childbirth I can't lift anything heavier then the baby for six weeks. Now, you tell me how that is supposed to work when you have a 4 1/2 year old that can't walk or do anything for himself. So, once again I've had to enlist the help of my mother in law who lives across and over the street. When Carter gets up in the morning, I call her and she comes over to get him out of bed and dressed. Then she watches the kids while I feed Carter, do his meds then get myself ready for the day. I have no idea how I'd be able to do that all by myself yet. Once everyone is dressed and ready she goes back home until I need her again. Carter's CNA Brenda still comes at 10 then drops him off at 4, giving me 6 hours from having him as well. He will be starting school back up at the end of the month, and that might be tricky as well depending what time his bus comes.
My mom was able to help me two days this week with Sierra, and then my sister in law Heidi helped some on the other two days. My mother in law is very busy with her church calling and helping others in the neighborhood, so she is able to help me mostly in the morning. My mom recently had surgery right before I had Keaton, so she is also not able to lift anything over 10 lbs. This makes things tricky as well as far as getting Sierra in and out of the car. So far we've asked Brenda to help, and then my dad. Now that I've shed some light into how we are handling three kids, I'll let you know how Keaton is doing. He is a lot more awake during the day and likes to be held or lay on the floor looking around. A dangerous place if Carter is around, so I have to keep a close eye on things. He seems to eat really often and likes his binkie sometimes. Once late afternoon approaches he seems to settle down some. Sierra naps about 1-4 but Keaton seems to be awake during this time, so I always have someone to watch. We try to feed him one last time about 8:30 or 9, then put him in pajamas and swaddle him. Carter and Sierra are in bed between 7:30 and 8. He will sleep anywhere from 3-6 hours, then wake up to eat. This feeding takes about an hour because he's very hungry but also tired. Once he's changed and burped (which takes times) he usually goes back to sleep again for another 2-3 hours. Then we're pretty much up for the day because by then it's like 5:30. Chris is up and gone to work and once Keaton is fed, Sierra and/or Carter are up for the day. Even if Keaton goes back to sleep, the other kids are up and needing breakfast. So I think we are averaging 5-6 hours of sleep. Chris and I are taking turns feeding the baby right now until he goes back to school. The night is the hardest part of having a baby by far.
Having three kids is hard and I don't know how long it will take to feel comfortable. We have three in diapers (yikes!) and it's hard to go to the bathroom or eat when it's just me. I'm almost always holding the baby which obviously makes it hard to do things- he will go in the swing for some time here and there- and Sierra loves to touch and kiss him a lot. It's sweet, but sometimes wakes him up and agitates him. I've heard from other people it takes a few months to adjust, so I'm trying to be patient. It's hard for me because I'm very schedule-oriented, organized and like to know what to expect. With a newborn it's pretty go with the flow for a while until you notice their habits and can develop a schedule. Keaton has already smiled a lot in his sleep and even has laughed twice. I know that sounds crazy since he isn't quite 3 weeks old, but it's true. He seems to be a pretty good baby so far. He is hard to burp sometimes and wiggles a lot in his sleep, even when swaddled, but hopefully that will get better with time. We ran out of newborn diapers so he's in size 1 now. They are a tad big but the newborn ones barely covered him anymore. At his 2 week appointment he was 75% for height and weight and 80% for head. He was back to birth weight with 1 more ounce, weighing at 9 lbs 8 oz.
One more thing I wanted to touch on again, is post partum depression. This time I've had it some, and for those that have never experienced it I wanted to share some of the feelings. Having a baby causes your hormones to go all over the place, and even with a good baby it takes time to feel normal again. Being sleep deprived obviously doesn't help, but goes with the territory. It can cause feelings of loneliness even when others are around, feelings of sadness and darkness, feeling scared or nervous to be around the baby, not feeling confident in your abilities as a mother, wondering when things will get better, feeling bleh most of the time, having a hard time sleeping, over-thinking (my hugest problem), over-analyzing everything, being obsessed with the time, hating night time and when it gets dark, being hard on yourself, loss of appetite or having a hard time eating, heart racing or body tremors, crying often...etc. I've had all or some of these with each kid I've had. It's even possible to feel like running around, giving away the baby or even hurting yourself or the baby. I have never wanted to hurt my children, but some people can really have a hard time. I have had a hard time before so I am very empathetic to those that go through this. What is helpful in these situations for those that want to help, is to be patient. To listen, not to judge, and to help in anyway you can. I am good at asking for help now and not expecting people to read my mind. I am trying to be easy on myself, but I find myself overdoing things by cleaning too much or lifting things I shouldn't. Being pregnant for so long made me impatient to get back and doing things again.
Having children is really hard but can also be fun. For me, the fun stuff comes a little bit later when they can interact more and are sleeping better. I wouldn't have had more children or made it this far without a wonderful, fantastic husband. We got a few more pictures back from Keaton's photo shoot, and I will share my favorite one here. A great book I like to review is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It has good information on baby's signals and cues, and how to love the baby you were given and trying to figure them out. If I don't blog for awhile you will know why! Thanks for reading and feel free to share any thoughts.