Life with 4

I'll be honest...I was pretty freaked out at the prospect of being at home with 4 kids. Fortunately, Hallie is an angel baby. I was hoping and praying that she would be mellow (especially since Matthew is particularly challenging most of the time), and Heavenly Father heard my prayer!

From the very beginning, Hallie picked right up on breastfeeding and has been a super champion ever since. We went to our pediatrician for a weight check (she had lost a tiny bit more weight than the discharging pediatrician liked to see), and she gained 11 oz. in 4 days--she was back up at her birth weight after less than a week! I'm not really surprised, though, because it seems like I'm making enough milk for three babies.

*Breastfeeding TMI alert*

It's been a little more than a week since my milk came in, and I'm just NOW starting to get over the engorgement. I tried to pump to relieve a little bit of the pressure but it never really worked very well. What worked instead was just hand expressing one side while Hallie was nursing on the other side. Pretty much every time I've done that I've gotten at least two (and usually more) ounces without much effort. In the past it always took pumping for 10-15 minutes to get a similar output. I'm building up quite a freezer stash without a lot of work, which is nice. I'm hoping the little miss will get nice and chunky with all this liquid gold.

Evidence that my milk is doing work...her first spectacular blow out.
Hey, she's got to keep up with her brothers, right?
It's a good thing Miss Hallie is adorable, because she is pretty disgusting. We're still adjusting to changing girl diapers (wipe DOWN, not up!), and I've had quite a few unfortunate mishaps. Everybody knows you have to change a boy's diaper fast, because as soon as the cool air hits his nether regions you get an unwanted shower. What no one tells you is that a girl has the same problem--it just goes in a different direction. I also have extremely bad luck or terrible timing, because there have been a handful of times where she, ahem, does her business while undiapered (like during her first sponge bath...way to defeat the purpose, baby girl!). I guess I'll get faster with practice and then I won't have so many issues...right?
Hallie is a pretty good sleeper, for a newborn. I don't stress about my babies sleeping through the night at a young age, because newborns need to eat frequently (not only to gain weight at a healthy pace but also to help develop a healthy breastfeeding relationship). She will typically go to "bed" around 9 p.m. and sleep until 1 a.m. Then, some nights she'll get up every 2.5-3 hours and other nights, like last night, she'll sleep until 6 a.m. She's a great snuggler though, so I have to be careful--if I bring her to bed to feed her we'll both fall asleep and she'll sleep through the night. Nice for my fatigue; not so nice for my engorgement problem.
Overall, Hallie is a really mellow baby. She loves to be held, but she'll chill out in the swing too. She loves to be swaddled, but she always wiggles her left hand out so she can have it up by her face. She'll take a pacifier reluctantly, and she'll make a really funny face if you try to stick one in her mouth when she doesn't want it. Interestingly enough, her temperament reminds me a lot of Lucas, which is promising. Lucas was my easiest baby so far, so I could definitely get behind Hallie behaving similarly.
I think Cole is over the moon about having a daughter. He loves the boys, don't get me wrong. They all have a grand time rough-housing and wrestling. But there's just something special about a daddy having a daughter, and I'm so glad he finally gets to experience that.

Snuggling with his babies. Matthew looks like a GIANT next to Hallie!
 The novelty of having a sister hasn't worn off for the boys yet. They still ask to hold her all the time, and Matthew in particular is especially sweet with her. We're still working on being soft, though, because he can be a little rough when he's trying to kiss her head. :)

Loving on their baby sister
I think Matthew is especially tickled that he gets to sit next to Hallie in the car. I opened the door to get her out of the car one day and found him holding her hand, quite proud of himself.

I'm honestly so relieved that he loves her so much. I was a little bit worried about him because they're so close in age and he can be really demanding, but so far he's adjusted quite well (knock on wood). We've even only had a couple of "Osama bin Matthew" moments in the first week, which is far less than I expected, especially since I spend a lot of time out of commission nursing the baby.

We're still not quite back into our regular schedule, but we're doing pretty well. I am still adamant that the boys all lay down and have nap time/quiet time at the same time every day (during which they all typically fall asleep), which frees up a couple of hours for me to take a rest with the baby. My house is a little on the disastrous side, but eventually I'll get to the point where I can do some straightening during nap time instead of resting.

Overall, life is really good.

1 comment:

Devri said...

What a sweetheart! Can't wait to meet her.

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