Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thriving With #threeunderthree - The Early Weeks

As I approach the completion of my second full month of being a mommy to three boys under the age of three, I have already learned a great deal. I quickly realized that I needed to make some personal changes in order to be the best mommy I could be.

Before Mac was born I took pride in doing it all. Yes, I have a beyond amazing Thriving Mommy who lives a mere football field away, but she has a full life and unless she is joining us to hang out, inviting the boys over for a play date or taking charge while I am at work, I was pretty self sufficient. Yes, I have a phenomenal husband who if he is not working loves spending time with his kids and also takes charge on those few days I work...but again, for the most part, when I was home, I was the boss.

I maintained the boys daily routine, taking great effort to make sure they received adequate outdoor play time and other stimulating activities while also maintaining the household, cooking and cleaning...and trust me, I loved it.

I accept that I am Type AA (yes, that is one notch above A), a major control freak, anal and quite obsessive compulsive. I prefer to do everything myself because I like it done a certain way and if I let others do it, I will likely just have to do it again anyhow...cray I know.

Everyone said once I had kids that would all change, but it hasn't. I move at the speed of a lady jaguar and knock out various tasks all day long through incredible multi-tasking skills that I have perfected. While I had planned to take a mini stay-cation when I came home from the hospital with Mac for a few days and relax into our new family dynamic...I failed miserably.

As soon as I came home it was as if I had never left for a few days to have a baby. I really only sat to nurse Mac and wasn't really taking the precious time I should have to connect in that moment. I was cleaning floors, feeding boys while trying to latch a four day old baby, doing laundry, organizing paperwork and doing my best to keep my big boys busy with their regular scheduled day. Soon, it all came crashing down.

I was suuuuuper emotional when I first came home. I know hormonal fluctuations are to be expected and I also know that I have a tendency to be dramatic (yes, I know everyone, thanks) and let said emotions get the best of me. Granted, I was popping placenta capsules like candy (more on why placentophagy is amazing to come later) I still found myself feeling overwhelmed and sobbing as I desperately tried to fall into a rhythm with my new sweet baby. While I thought having one would be so easy, (and it was in some ways as opposed to having twins), I didn't put as much thought as I should have into the heartache I would feel not being available to cuddle my big boys and rush to them any second they needed me. Now I seemed to be tied down to a needy infant at all times and while I loved my new lump of flesh...I wanted it all.  I wanted to do everything. Be everywhere to everyone and I just couldn't. My TM would ask what she could do, my TH would ask what he could do and my response would always be a forlorn and rather *hidden* tear filled, "nothing".

I started to feel like I had "ruined our family" (yes, I said that...did you see the acknowledgment of my dramatics?) My TH was starting to get a bit crabby with me as I wouldn't really let him help and would rather walk around crying. My TM did everything she could but didn't want to get in my way as she knows that would upset me even more. Not only did I just have a baby days ago, but Mac and I had to go back to the hospital for some phototherapy to treat some minor jaundice only one day after getting discharged. Add that to the exhaustion/emotional roller coaster. I was starting to feel slightly out of control.

They love their baby!
After a week of my antics, reality hit me in the face and I was forced to deal with my @#&*.  While Mac should have steadily been gaining weight, he had reached his birth weight a few days after birth, then suddenly lost 4 ounces. You can imagine the freak out session that happened when the pediatrician told me that news. He didn't know what was wrong, I didn't know what was wrong and I of course broke down. My boobs were huge, milk was pouring out of them so what could it be? He was nursing a LOT and I mean like constantly and having lots of diapers so what was it?! Possible tongue tie (which was pointed out in the hospital),  issues transferring milk...wwhhhhaattt? Thankfully I had an appointment with a lactation consultant previously scheduled for the following day to take a closer look at what might be going on.

But as a mother, I knew what was going on. I wasn't prioritizing my little man as I should have been. I had planned to focus solely on bonding with him when I got home from the hospital, so why didn't I? Why didn't I accept the help that was openly being offered to me? Why was I determined to change diapers, clean floors and make dinner all while trying to nurse a baby who literally just entered the world a week ago? What was wrong with me?!  It was at that moment I knew I had to get it together.

I sat down my TM and TH and cried through explaining my new plan. I was ready to accept all the help they could give. They were in charge of the morning shift with the boys - getting them up, pottied, teeth brushed, dressed and fed. I was relinquishing my cherished control of everything and putting Mac-a-doodle first. Whatever he wanted he was going to get, especially my full attention. They both sighed a great sigh of relief and were pleased to hear I was ready to let them help.

My sweet littlest thing...
Within a week of my new plan Mac was back on track to being the fat little man he was genetically designed to be.  Since nothing had been confirmed as to why he lost weight, I was told to "continue doing what I was doing"...which I took to mean, "continue to nurse your baby on demand, but for G sake crazy lady, relax and enjoy it".  My milk continued to be more than enough (I prefer to struggle with oversupply and my boobs on the verge of explosion) and we were finally connecting as we should have been from the start. When the doctor asked me what had changed, I openly replied, "I did".

As the weeks have flown, each day tends to be smoother than the last. We have reformed our daily routine and I have learned to accept that it is not the end of the world if the boys don't eat snack at a certain time or nap a bit later than usual. As Mac and I have refined our connection and are working beautifully together (breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping), I have been able to take back bits of control with the boys, but also accept all the help that is offered. I can still be that fast paced, do it all mommy I love to be, but now know and accept when I need to stop. It is ok to "let everything fall apart" (for a second or two) so I can be everything I need to be for Baby Mac.

While I look forward to each day getting a little easier, I also remind myself to cherish each second of #totalchaos as they will be starting college before I know it. Major props to all the mommies in the world who have survived the early weeks of bringing home baby #2, #3, #4....etc. Major props. I know I still have a lot of learning to do and know all I can do is, well, you guess it, strive to thrive.

Any tips on how to adjust from veteran mommies out there?

Strive to thrive, 

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