Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I've Been in This Tunnel Before (Thoughts on Baby Number 3)

It’s been eight weeks since we welcomed Seth into this world. Like his brothers, his birth was not without fanfare and a little bit of crazy. Unlike his brothers, he was five days late and I was in labor with him for over 24 hours. At 3:49 AM he was born via c-section after the doctor determined his heart rate drops were enough to warrant getting him out quickly (rather than drag it out for a few more hours).

And out he came—all 8 lbs 15 oz of him.

The transition from two to three has been easier in some ways. I know what to expect from babies. I have a full term baby this time around. He’s been a more content baby than the twins were. It’s amazing how rapidly they develop in those early days when they aren’t premature. But in other ways it’s harder, like I feel like someone threw me in the deep end of the pool and handed me three kids harder. My mom stayed with us for three weeks after his birth and the night before she left I could feel my chest tightening as I anticipated trying to do this whole three kid thing by myself. So far, I’ve survived.

But more than anything I’ve really enjoyed these last eight weeks with him. Because I’ve done it before I know that these early days—when he is waking me up at night desperately wanting food, yet also desperately wanting to feel the comforting warmth of my familiar body—these days won’t last forever. Soon he will be easily distracted while eating. Soon he will want to move around and away from me, as he starts to explore his little world on his own. Soon he will be like his older brothers, still dependent yet growing more independent by the day. Soon he won’t need me nearly as much as he does right now. These days of newborn sweetness are so very short. I know that now, and so I’m savoring every last ounce of their sweetness.

When I was in the thick of the first year with the twins my sister-in-law helpfully told me that while it feels like the season won’t end, it will. What I didn’t have, that I now do, is perspective. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because I’ve been in this tunnel before. Weeks and months don’t seem so long when you can look back on ones you have previously lived. Often I spend my days wishing life would just slow down so I could savor every new word uttered, every new developmental milestone hit, and every snuggle that never seems long enough because now I don’t have enough arms to go around. But time just keeps on moving, taking all of us with it.

So it’s been a good, exhausting, rewarding, and fast eight weeks with our new little guy. We look forward to many more.