On October 25, our 3rd child was born ... happy and healthy. Here are 10 quick thoughts I've been having related to this sweet event.
1. Hearing baby's heartbeat, seeing ultrasounds, and having healthy prenatal check-ups are just as amazing the 3rd time around as they were the first two times.
2. Labor still hurts. A lot. Like, A WHOLE LOT.
3. When you already have a girl and a boy, it's way easier to wait until delivery day to find out the gender of baby #3.
For us, Mark triumphantly announced "It's a BOY!"
Just as I expected.
4. With your 3rd baby comes your 3rd hospital stay. This means you know that it is absolutely ridiculous that hospital policy has done away with the nursery for newborns. After an awful first night of baby crying, late-night intrusions from health care people checking who-knows-what, and all-around no sleep, you are confident enough to check out a day early.
It's more restful at home with a 5-year old and a 2 1/2-year old.
5. You settle into the routine of nursing baby #3 and at some point, you have this strange moment where you think to yourself, "I'm not sure I ever stopped doing this. I have been nursing for my whole life."
It's not actually true.
6. Even though you've done all this twice already, you forget how many moment to moment decisions you have to make regarding baby's day and schedule and feeding and sleeping. For me, I am in a constant state of second guessing. However, just like before, he's surviving!
7. That being said, mentally, the late night feedings and three diaper changes an hour are easier to handle, because in front of your eyes, in the form of two other children, is proof that this phase ends. Newborns do not stay newborns forever. They grow up. They become toddlers who say cute words incorrectly and 5-year olds who are smart and funny.
This helps you slow down and enjoy the phase for what it is. Short, sweet ... and demanding.
8. You realize your perspective on family has changed. When you brought your first child home, you thought to yourself, "Wow. We're starting to grow a little family here. I wonder what kind of family we'll be." By the time this 3rd child comes along, a family has been up and running for a while. Time, energy, hardship, traditions, silliness, routine, relationship has been established. You find yourself excited to see how this new addition will make his mark in the little world of your home.
You are sort of jealous of him. Afterall, his older siblings are the best in the world!
9. You also find yourself loving your other children even more (if that's possible.) How old and mature they suddenly seem! How kind and gentle they are with "the brother!" How curious they are to know about him! How ready they are to love and accept him!
10. About a hundred times a day, when you're getting snuggles from one or the other ... or the other ... you think to yourself, "How in the world did I end up so blessed? So completely and utterly blessed."
Welcome to the world, Ford! We love you!