The Adventure of Parenthood

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Life with 3 - Month 4

We have completely given up on being anywhere on time this month, but we are embracing the freedom too as we head into the final few weeks of nursery where it is allowed.  My mum told me that the reason she had a third baby so close to the first two was so that she didn't have to do the school run with a newborn, and I have to say, I think it makes a lot of sense.  Finn will be 6 months by the time Dylan starts school, and I think it may be easier to get us all out the house on time after 6 months of practice.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Me and Mine June

June has been the month it turns from Spring to Summer, and it really has this year.  We started the month tentatively digging out our shorts and we have ended it by optimistically packing away our jeans.  We have spend most of the month outdoors - picnics at the park, ice creams on the beach and anything in between running around in the garden.  

These photos are pretty last minute as always, this was two days ago, when we popped to Whitstable for the day - a local seaside town with a pebble beach as opposed to our usual sand.  The town is full of beautiful boutiques and stalls selling fresh fish.  The boys don't need their buckets and spades here, it is amazing how long they can entertain themselves with just pebbles and the sea!

Archie really wasn't interested in having a photo taken

Monday, 29 June 2015

4 Months Old

Finn is now 4 months old, and he has slotted into our little family like he was always here.  His personality is starting to show, and his brothers are getting rewarded with smiles and coos for their hard work entertaining him.

This month Finn has learned to roll from his front to his back, and from his back onto his side.  He seemed as shocked as me the first time he managed it and I wondered whether it was a bit of a fluke, but he has rolled several times over the last two weeks, so I think it is safe to say he is rolling. 

He is getting stronger every day, and when he has tummy time he is now bending from nearer the waist rather than the shoulders.  He can prop himself up and look around for a couple of minutes and his head control is getting so much better.  He is still nowhere near as strong as his brothers were at this age, but then he is nowhere near the size they were either, and he has had a pretty rocky start.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bike Rides and Beach Fronts

There is nothing better than sending my children to bed at night completely worn out and with the days getting warmer and the beach on our doorstep, it is becoming a daily occurance.  Rather than playing on the sand, we took the boys on their bikes down to the prom and they loved zooming up and down.

Dylan has had his Kiddimoto balance bike for nearly a year, and we have had to raise the seat and handles again.  He is getting speedier and more confident on it, although he is still a cautious child

Friday, 26 June 2015

What the Boys Wore - National History Museum Dinosaurs

You may have noticed that a lot of my photos recently are taken on my bed.  I much prefer photographing the boys outside, where I can use the natural light and capture them in motion, but it is proving rather difficult at the moment.  Somehow the sun seems to bring out the messy side of a certain mop headed blondie and when you add in a baby with reflux and therefore several outfit changes per day, things get harder.

For this reason, I often take the photos first thing in the morning, after I have got them all dressed for the day, and before they have been anywhere near paint/glue/food/drink/mud.  It can work well as we have big bay windows in our bedroom, but it does mean you catch that early morning energy which my camera can't always keep up with.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Finn and I

It began with a struggle, coming to terms with a third baby growing inside me, a baby so so wanted, but so so unplanned as well.  The bond wasn't instant, I felt tiredness more than love, and it took a while for it to sink in that this was a third little person growing inside of me.

I worried throughout the pregnancy that I hadn't spent enough time enjoying the moment, but that is what happens when you have two small toddlers running around.  With my first, I would relax in the bath every evening, telling my growing bump about my day, singing songs that he heard so often they calmed him instantly as a newborn and getting to know the tiny soul.  With Finn, my baths at the end of the day were to calm me down and help me sleep, he heard my voice and my songs as I sung to his brothers, but little attention was his own.

I found out at twenty weeks that I was growing a third little boy, and I started to plan for him,  thinking  of names, choosing clothes and things for his room, but still I didn't feel as connected as I had the first time.

When labour began, I went into my own little zone, suddenly it was just me and him, and everything seemed so real.  I was excited, exhausted, in pain and in love all at the same time.  It wasn't long until I was holding this child in my arms, so much smaller and more fragile than I remember the other boys being, so perfect and beautiful, a surprise that we had been anticipating for months.  I loved him from the beginning, I always had, but now it was different, he was so real and I was smitten.

I acted the same way all new parents do, counting those tiny digits, watching his face screw up to scream and relax as he was comforted.  I didn't want to let go, to put him down, he snuggled into me and I stayed awake as he slept on my chest, the bloke snoring away next to us after a sleepless night.  I counted my blessings, longing to see my other babies, to have our family complete and  together, to see the wonder in their little faces, to see their reactions.

We had to stay in overnight, and as much as I was desperate to take my baby home, I looked at it as time to bond, without anyone else to disrupt us.  We had a private room and whilst conditions were not ideal as Finn had to stay in the billibag to help with his jaundice it was just us two.  The night was difficult, with my baby boy so unsettled away from my side and in the morning he was taken to SCBU to find out what was wrong.  I was still a patient in the maternity ward, which meant he was wheeled away by the doctor as I waited to be discharged so I could follow him.

They took my baby away, he was only hours old and I was devastated - that I couldn't comfort him, that something was wrong, that he wasn't by my side.  We were told that it wasn't normal, that his liver was struggling and that he would need to undergo numerous tests to get to the bottom of it.

It was then that I realised how fierce my love for him was.  How intense and all consuming it was, there was nothing in the world but my baby boy and I.  I didn't see other mums as I walked the corridors to find him, I didn't hear any of the other newborn cries, I knew they weren't my newborn and I needed to be with him.

I barely left his side for the 19 days we spent in special care.  The unit was not set up for parents to stay, but I made it clear that I wasn't leaving and they adapted.  I love my other children, but my baby was the one that needed me most right then and I needed him right back.  Every moment I could hold him, I did, every piece of care I was allowed, I took, until he and I were living alone together, seeing the nurses only when he needed his drugs.  It was intense, we were alone in one room all day and night, we had visitors, but it was just us, no long walks, social groups, distractions, just us.  

Even now, I sometimes feel like it is just Finn and I, despite only having a few hours on a Tuesday when his big brothers are at nursery and it really is just us.  We went through so much in those early hours, in those first weeks and I feel a love so intense for him, that I can't comprehend how I ever doubted it.  Every night when he wakes up for a feed, I feel tired, exhausted even, resentful sometimes and then at peace, as we snuggle up together. I see his angry, hungry face settle into a contentment and I know that even though he is drinking from a bottle rather than a breast, this is something only I can do for him, only I can comfort him like a mother, wake up at the slightest noise, because we are still so in tune with each other, and stay up even once he has fallen back asleep just to watch his chest rise and fall as I know how fast this period of his life will go.

Finn and I have something special, a mother and son bond, what we have been through these past 4 months, we have been through together.  I love him no more and no less than I do Dylan and Archie, but differently.  He is our last, my baby and him and I, well we are snuggled up as I type this and I just don't want to put him down.

Did you know I am a finalist in the MAD awards in the best pregnancy category?  I loved recording my pregnancy with Finn and if you can spare 30 seconds I would love for you to vote for The Mummy Adventure - you can do it here

Monday, 22 June 2015

BabyMoov Physiological Carrier

My absolute essential item for surviving three under four is a sling or carrier.  Two toddlers are demanding enough, but when you add in a baby, you end up with more children than you have hands.  Having Finn in a sling has made getting out and about much easier, it has meant that life doesn't have to change as much for the big two, as I can still run around with them, and you can't beat having a tiny hot water bottle strapped to your front.

As part of our role as BabyMoov ambassadors, we were sent their physiological carrier, and I am really impressed.  I have used a variety of carriers before, but this offered something new, with an inbuild newborn insert, making it suitable from birth without paying for any extras, and a uv cover hidden away to keep baby protected in the summer sun.

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