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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Update on Parenting Version 3.0- Part 1

My wonderful... and really personality filled kiddos.
So, y'all may have been wondering how it's going, having 3 kids now instead of 2. Well, I'm still taking it easy, not back to my usual activities 100%, but I do have some updates to give you on how life with three kids is going.

First of all, I wanted to say that I was pretty darn sure that my baby would have a tongue tie as both of my previous kids did, and both my husband and I have a tongue tie. I was sure breastfeeding would get off to a rocky start until I'd shell out the large amounts of cash to get that tongue tie snipped (getting it done through insurance here takes forever and a day; I needed to go private with Lee and with Ike they snipped his tongue tie in the past).
Fortunately though, little Anneliese was born with no tongue tie!!! YAY!!! I'd read up something about tongue tie being linked to bad nutrition during mom's pregnancy- but no concrete evidence about that- so it makes me wonder if me being gluten free this pregnancy (other than the first 10 weeks) made that difference, and why this baby was my first that wasn't born with a tongue tie...
Anyhow, other than a few painful days at the beginning, breastfeeding has taken off wonderfully, Anneliese is getting rounder and rounder cheeks and her chicken legs are filling out.


Best of all, this baby is my happiest baby yet, by far. She doesn't cry much, other than when hungry. She's pretty content to lie down and doesn't insist on being held every spare second. Regardless of what I wrote about swaddling, I rarely find the need to swaddle her- I swaddle her pretty much only once or twice a week for an hour or two at a time... She sleeps for much longer periods of time than my other kids, and doesn't just want to nurse every spare second of the day like my boys did... Then again, Ike was ok the first week or two of life... and then became a royal handful (and is still a huge handfull today!), but Anneliese is approaching 3 weeks old and is still pretty easy, so I'm really hoping that this is just her nature...

How would I say she differs from my boys at this age?
Well, my boys wouldn't really sleep unless they were semi upright, either in a car seat, a swing, or propped up some other way. The second I would put them flat, they'd wake up. I tried putting Ike to sleep on his belly (second time mommy I was a little less alarmist than with Lee) in desparation, hoping he'd sleep that way, but it didn't even work. Swaddled, he'd at least sleep for 45 minutes to an hour instead of just 5 minutes...
Both Lee and Ike weren't able to go to sleep without nursing. I tried, desperately, tried following "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" but it simply didn't work for my boys- they would not, could not fall asleep lying flat on their back, no matter how much I shushed or patted them, no matter how early I caught their sleep cues... And then when I finally got them to sleep and put them down, swaddled, in a reclining position... they'd flail, wake up after 45 minutes, needing more sleep but unable to settle themselves back to sleep without being nursed...
I love my kids, and loved them as babies... but I certainly didn't enjoy being an around the clock milk machine, nursing every 45 minutes of the day.
And oh, my babies were never happy being held by anyone else, not just at 9 mos old when stranger anxiety kicked in, but from day one... I had it really difficult with my boys...

Well, I was really, really, really worried about having a repeat experience with Anneliese, but fortunately that hasn't been the case so far.... (*fingers crossed* *knock on wood* and all that.) I was hoping and praying that this babe would be different than my last, and it seems my prayers were answered...
This baby SLEEPS! Yesterday, for example, I nursed her at 11:00 am, then she went to sleep, stirred and gave a little whimper 45 minutes later, but before I could pick her up, she went right back. Pretty much every 45 minutes on the dot, she'd stir, and then go back to sleep on her own- a feat my boys never managed to do!!! She only ended up waking up to nurse, etc... at 3 pm! That was amazing!
And yes, she sleeps lying down flat, but does sleep better on her belly, but generally sleeps on her side and sleeps well then also.
It's a miracle! My prayers were answered!

Of course, maybe its something I did or am doing that is making this difference...
Maybe its the fact that instead of having a billion ultrasounds like my boys did (one at every singe appointment in my previous pregnancies), I only had 3 ultrasounds this time (a dating one, the "big ultrasound", and one in my 9th month to confirm the baby was head down). There's been no proof about the affect ultrasounds have on a fetus, only suppositions that perhaps they affect the baby's developing brain in some way. (They do know that babies are able to hear the ultrasound in utero, and react to the noise...)

Or maybe it's that my boys were sensitive to the foods I was eating, perhaps dairy and gluten, and they had a constant stomach upset which made them irritable? Because I know I'm pretty irritable when my stomach hurts; maybe that's why my boys were constantly cranky? Maybe because I'm not eating gluten and dairy, Anneliese is happy and content because she isn't having constant stomach issues?

Or maybe its because my birth went so well and smoothly and stress free- I've heard that your emotions during pregnancy and childbirth can affect the kid's temperament...

Who knows, I'm just really grateful that this baby is so much easier than my last two!!!

The boys... well, its really funny, I was really worried that Ike would have a really hard time adjusting to having a new baby, because he is ultra attached to me and always has been. (This is the little kid who'll have a tantrum for 30 minutes if I dare go to the bathroom without him... And that when he wakes up at night will have a freak out if I don't come to him, doesn't want dad, only me.)`
Lee, on the other hand, is very much a daddy's boy, and pretty mature, and had asked me repeatedly "Mommy, when is the baby coming???" so I thought he'd have an easier time adjusting...

Turns out it was the opposite.
Ike has been so glad to have a little sister. He always wants to take care of her, and sometimes I need to remind him that he's too little to take care of her in all ways. He wants to nurse her (and has tried, unsuccessfully when he realized he had no milk), and wants to hold her and make her happy. I don't have to worry about Ike hurting her intentionally, but I do have to worry about him accidentally hurting her when trying to "take care of her". Other than that, Ike's been entirely himself, other than him actually be willing to go to Dad when he used to only want me...
Lee, on the other hand, hasn't had the easiest adjustment. He's been a little mopey lately, because he's been jealous of the time I am spending with the baby, and having less time for him. He asked me why I don't do fun things anymore with him, and has had way too many meltdowns... I'm needing to make an effort to spend one on one time with him doing fun activities with him when the baby is asleep so he also feels loved...
I think part of the problem is that now he needs to share Daddy with his brother, instead of how it used to be before when Lee would be with Daddy and Ike with Mommy...
But that said, Lee does love his sister, and vascillates between telling me how much he loves having a little sister... and asking me "Why do we still have a little sister? Its annoying!"
But I know that with time things will get easier as we settle into our routine more...

As for other updates... You'll have to wait for part 2 tomorrow...

If you have more than one child, how did your kids adjust to having a new sibling? Like you expected or different than you assumed they would?
If you had one child who was happier or crankier than the rest of your kids, do you think its all just chance and innate personality, or do you think diet and what you did during pregnancy made a difference?
Which number kid of yours was the easiest kid? Which was the hardest? Did anyone else have kids that simply didn't sleep no matter what?



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