I feel like we are finally settling into our life as a family of 5. I forgot how crazy the early days are when you have a newborn... but I also forgot that they do change and grow quickly, and life settles down. I'm more tired and have more to do now, but I am able to get Hayden off to sleep in his crib by 9-10pm or so. I should head to bed myself at that point, but I usually stay up way too late. It's nice to have a little quiet time after the kids are all tucked away in their beds.
Hayden is doing amazing. Breastfeeding feels like I never stopped... there are always minor glitches to work through, of course, but I'm remembering everything I experienced while nursing Kelsey. Some are wonderful, like being on the receiving end of a big milky smile. Others are more frustrating, such as leaking and dealing with sore nipples. I think it's all relatively normal, though - and I am happy to report that we did not use the nipple shield this time. Pumping a little with the hand pump was all I needed during the worst of engorgement, to get him to latch on effectively. He did need to have minor surgery in the form of an upper frenectomy last month... basically, they took sterile scissors and cut his upper lip tie. It was quick and easy - not the miracle fix I was hoping it would be, but it did improve nursing for us greatly, and his latch has improved SO much.
Watching him gain weight has been mind boggling for me. I've never had a kid gain so much weight in the early days. He was 8 pounds 14 ounces at birth, and went down to 8 pounds 9 ounces two days later, his lowest weight. As of October 30th, he was 12 pounds 12 ounces. I am fairly certain he's well over 13 pounds now. His two month check up is scheduled for November 21st and I am excited to see where he is on the charts at that point.
He is growing up so much already. I love to see it, but I have to admit it makes me sad, too. He is the last baby we plan on having, so I'm trying to soak it all in. I know there will be nieces and nephews, friends' babies, and possibly grandbabies to hold in years to come. However, there's nothing like the weeks and months spent holding your very own infant whenever you want to. Feeling their weight against your chest, smelling the top of their head, and kissing their soft cheeks... I'm going to miss it, and it makes me sad to realize that it will never happen again for me. Don't get me wrong - I don't really have a desire for more children. I do feel done. I just don't want to forget anything, and I know from Landon and Kelsey that even these precious memories fade with time.
Landon and Kelsey have adjusted well. If there is one thing our children are, it is well-bonded. They love each other dearly. The older two fight and bicker, but that's what siblings are for. They also take care of each other. They get frustrated when Hayden is crying while they are trying to listen to something, but they are both such awesome big siblings. Kelsey takes her role as big sister very seriously... she loves to coo at him just like I do. I often overhear her talking to him, "Hayden, it's okay. Big sister's here, big sister. Don't cry... here's your paci, sweetie-heart..." I hear echos of myself: "Oh, Hayden, mommy's here, mommy's here... it's okay, sweetheart."
Landon is so proud to have a baby brother. He loves to hold him and give him brotherly hugs and kisses, and can't wait for the day that Hayden can sleep on the bottom bunk of his bed and they can share a room. He thinks it is awesome when I put Hayden in superhero clothes like the ones Landon wears.
I couldn't ask for better big siblings for my youngest baby.
I also couldn't ask for a better daddy for my three babies than Justin. I had forgotten how much I love to watch him with a baby. He loves his kids more than words can explain, and they love him just as much. Today Kelsey threw her arms around him and told him that he is the best Daddy in the world. He took several weeks off after Hayden was born, which was much needed in this house. The kids needed that time with their father while I recovered and bonded with Hayden. The dynamics have shifted a little in the family, as they always do after a baby is born. I love working as a team with my husband to care for the family we've made together.
Justin's back to work now and I think I'm doing fairly well at keeping the house running smoothly. There are days when things don't get done, and I sometimes mourn the routine I had developed before Hayden was born. It is worth it to drop everything to nurse him and see the way he smiles at me. There's no doubt about the fact that I am his favorite person in the world right now, without a doubt. He loves everyone, but he has a special smile reserved just for me.
I am so lucky.