4 months with Matthew!

We no longer have a newborn! I can’t believe Matthew turned 4 months on the 3rd.

Matthew is doing well and growing. He seems to be very long and lean. All of his clothes are too short in the arms and when he has naked time I’m always surprised by just how long he appears.

I’ll start with the challenges….sleep. Yep, no progress on that front. We’ve gotten some long stretches here and there but on average this boy is up 2-3 times. And I’m tired and *almost* ready to start sleep training. There has also been zero improvement on the day time sleep. His cat naps paired with Luke no longer napping is really hard on me.

He got hit with his first ear infection…years before Luke did. We’ve all pretty much had a constant cold since the winter and both boys got ear infections within a week of one another. Antibiotics has cleared it up thankfully and he’s feeling well again.

He’s a happy little guy who loves to cuddle. He’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t want to “play” on his back anymore and prefers to be sitting (supported of course) to see what’s going on around him. He giggles and grabs and loves to play with his feet.

I continue to feel blessed to have him here with us. Even through the challenges I feel lucky. I also know things will get better soon (or at least that’s what I choose to tell myself) 😉

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Matthew is 3 months old!

Matthew turned 3 months old on the 3rd of March. It’s crazy to me that the end of the 4th trimester is upon us.

He’s such a happy baby. He smiles so easily and has even started to giggle. Sometimes when I’m nursing him or he’s supposed to be asleep I’ll look down and he’s looking up at me and gives me the biggest smile. In this moments I can see just what a sweet soul he has already.

He may be our worst sleeper but that’s okay. It looks like we will have to sleep train him when he’s of age. Right now we are dealing with chronic short naps. He can no longer connect sleep cycles during the day and like clockwork starts to wake after only 30-45 minutes. This is TOUGH. I know it’s just a season but it would make a world of difference if he would take 1.5-2 hour naps. One day he’ll get there….I hope! In the meantime we do A LOT of baby wearing to turn those short naps into longer ones.

He started to role from tummy to back around 2.5 months. He actually really likes to be on his tummy so rarely purposely does it but there are some cute videos of him rolling and Luke saying “MOM! Did you see what Matthew did?! He rolled!!”

He loves his play-mat and looking at pictures of books. His favorite toy is a handheld baby Einstein music toy that both Luke and Olivia loved as well. He’s started to grab onto things like my hair and his clothes and I’m seeing the beginnings of what seems like trying to manipulate toys that are hanging.

He prefers to be held in a seated position and watches Luke and Olivia like a hawk. I’ve caught him cooing at them both and his big siblings enjoy making him smile.

Still can’t decide if he looks like Luke or Olivia. Either way we think he’s really cute! Happy 3 months Matthew!

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Life with 3

I wanted to take a few minutes and write about my life with 3 children 3 and under.

To say that my heart is warm and happy is an understatement. I look at my children and I am thankful. I am compete (as I can be) and I am in shock. 5 years ago I had no idea if I would ever be a mom and here I am with 3 living children. It’s amazing.

It’s also really difficult. I had no idea how hard being a mother can be. On so many levels I am always making decisions. The thoughts that go through my head sometimes can be overwhelming “Am I doing enough? Could I be better? Am I doing a good job?” I know the answers to all of these questions but the doubt that I have is always there. Motherhood is hard, for real.

If going from 1-2 children felt like going from 1-10 then going from 2-3 feels like going from 2-50. I will say I feel much better than I did 4 weeks ago but it’s still rough. Someone is always in need of something and/or wants/needs to be held. This usually happens at the exact time you need to do something important like make a meal, feed a baby, or get dressed so you can make it to school on time. I am such a goal oriented person, someone who likes to prepare, and be efficient but sometimes motherhood doesn’t allow for that…especially with 3 little kids

My motto for 3 kids 3 and under is “DO IT NOW!” If you can, if time allows, then do it now. Don’t want to rinse that dish off and put it in the dishwasher, “DO IT NOW!” you have maybe 30 minutes where all the kids are in their room then throw the laundry in, make the lunches, prep dinner….”DO IT NOW!” There is no time like now and while I was already a preper to begin with life with 3 has made me even more of one.

I know life is going to get much less chaotic as Matthew comes out of the newborn phase. Once he is on more a regular sleep schedule during the day and night I will feel like I can breathe. I go from longing for that time to never wanting him to grow.

I will admit that I know part of the chaos of my day to day life is the fact that I have 3 very young children. Luke is becoming more and more independent which is helpful (but also makes me want to shout “stop growing up!” And while the intense days are insane I am already seeing the joy of having 3 children so close in age grow up together. Luke and Olivia are buddies. They have realized “hey, I have this play mate ALL the time” and while they both need their space seeing Luke reach out for Olivia’s hand or ask if she wants to play makes me so happy. Hearing Olivia say to Matthew “don’t cry, it’s okay” is heart warming. My two big hopes for my children is that they are kind individuals and always close with one another.

I try to keep in mind that Luke, Olivia, and Matthew are happy and well taken care of. I try to remember they are little and their tears and tantrums are not a reflection of my parenting but their age. I try to remember that at some point, not so far away they will spend more time away from me than with me. And while I am so very tired, all the time, I am thankful. I stop when they say “Momma, I need you to hold me” because one day they may not ask for that anymore and my motto is “DO IT NOW!”

 

Matthew is 2 months old!

Matthew turned 2 months old on the 3rd. He’s such a happy baby and despite our sleeping issues he’s really been easy.

He’s eating like a champ (always has) and is pretty much nursing every 2-3 hours during the day. He’s still pretty much like clock work at night and eating every 3-4 hours. I can slowly see a change in him as he’s much better putting himself to sleep (we’ve been working on putting him down drowsy but awake) which has allowed him to nap independently more. He still spends a lot of time napping in the carrier but that’s mostly because we are out and about or I’m needing to cook dinner and the big kids are awake.

He weighed 12.9 lbs and measured 23.5 inches at his 2 month appt. He’s our biggest baby so far weighing at least a pound more than Luke and Olivia did at this age. He’s gained almost 6lbs since birth. It will be interesting to see if his growth will continue at the rate it has.

He’s giving us lots of smiles and coos and it makes all the long days and nights worth it. He’s becoming so alert and you can tell is taking it all in. He seems to study every word I say to him and will talk back to me with little baby noises. I love it!

He also loves hanging out on his play mate and has started to swat at toys. I love watching his little legs kick and kick. My hair has become an object to be pulled on and sometimes I have to pry his little hand open to get it loose.

Luke and Olivia are doing wonderful in their big sibling roles. It will be so exciting to see how they engage with Matthew and he continues to grow.

This is 3

On January 11th LukE turned three years old. And while I still can’t believe it this may have been one of the less emotional milestones. We’ve been talking about his birthday for months and this year he seemed to “get” what it was all about. He was so excited about balloons and learning how to hold out three fingers. It was so cool to see him so excited and I think that may have eased my “oh my god, my baby is growing up” go to feeling around birthdays.

We had a birthday party at our house with friends and family. Luke loves music and instruments so we had his music teacher come do a music class with the kids. It was wonderful and I think everyone enjoyed the fun.

The lead up to turning three was rough. We had a few weeks here and there of pure hell during the fall. I’m talking about screaming and crying and rebelling and it had me in tears. Looking back I think it may have had something to do with the fact that Luke was needing more independence but obviously not knowing how to express that. We saw a drastic difference once he got his big boy bed and just kinda relaxed a little and let him make some decisions.

Overall Luke is amazing. He’s passionate, driven, emotional, funny, inquisitive, and nurturing. He’s really taken on the big brother role with both Olivia and Matthew. And while there are still fights and arguments over toys and territory I know he loves being a big brother. He’s always asking and saying “is Olivia awake, is Olivia going, I will give one to Olivia.” He will help Olivia take her shoes and jacket off and then say “I’m a big boy!” He talks about what he will teach Matthew in the future and more than once I’ve turned around to see him giving Matthew a paci when he’s crying. I hope as they all age they continue to be close. And I say all this with a sense of pride but please don’t think it’s all good between them. We still deal with pushing and grabbing, etc but we’ve noticed he now asks before taking something from Olivia and his aggressive behavior is lessening. Thank you Daniel the Tiger!! “Stop, stop, stop its okay to be angry! It’s not, not, not okay to hurt someone.”

“Why” is a question we here a bajillion times a day now and it’s wonderful and sometimes annoying. “Mom, it’s dark outside.” “Yes, it is!” “Why?” “Luke it’s time to eat.” “Why?” And I have to admit I have been stumped by his questions several times. I hope he’s always this inquisitive and curious. I also hope he’s learning a lot in the process because I am!

Luke is no longer napping. This was a big adjustment and has led to a lot of tears from us both. I think I’m finally at a point of accepting this and now admit there may be more positives than negatives. He’s doing a great job at staying in his room for “quiet time.” We purchased a toddler clock and have it programmed so he knows when the green light goes on he can leave his room. That green light has more power over him than I ever have. He now often asks “is it quiet time yet?” And will “read” and do puzzles and build with blocks. It’s a restorative time for us both and everything I’ve read says to hang on it quiet time as long as you can. Hoping we can keep it up for another year.

He was in the 86th percentile for height and weight coming in at just under 40 inches and weighing almost 36lbs. He eats really well and his pickiness is lessening. He will now try everything on his plate and he knows he doesn’t have to eat it if he doesn’t like it but it’s important to try. He continues to ask for his smoothie after breakfast which is really cute. Olivia’s even gotten on the smoothie train!

School is going well and I’m so happy with our decision to send him this year. His favorite parts are the art work, playing with play doh, and the singing. The teachers are working on him becoming more independent and exploring every station every day. Apparently he sticks close to the teachers. He is a very attached child.

Luke is extremely active. The child doesn’t stop. He loves to run and dance and ride his bike and scooter. He did soccer in the fall and swim lessons are about to start up again. He’s happiest outdoors so we are looking forward to the end of winter.

We are going through some of the challenges having a “threenager” brings but we are learning to navigate and to avoid a meltdown before it happens. I’m learning what sets him off and have found distraction is still my best friend in a meltdown situation. We don’t assume anything (what color spoon, or cup) and allow him to make the decisions for everyday things. Obviously we don’t let him do whatever he wants but allowing him to feel like he has some power and control is important.

He’s super egocentric and narcissistic and it’s hilarious. “Mom, I’m a good dancer, did you know that?” “Mom, see me spinning, I can do this because I can do what I want.” Looking in the mirror while pooping “mom, I have pretty blue eyes.” Oy vey!

While Luke has always been challenging I see him growing and progressing in a direction that feels positive. I can’t believe my little guy is three years old. Time flies and it makes me sad but it’s also so exciting to see him grow.

The finish line

Hard to believe it but I just had my 6 week PP check up. It’s the longest I’ve gone without going to the OB in months. I brought Matthew with me because of breastfeeding and I didn’t expect the morning to be as emotional as it was.

Walt and I decided even before conceiving Matthew that no matter the outcome this would be our last pregnancy.

The decision to do something permanent to my body was one we discussed frequently during the pregnancy. We decided that it was the best decision for my health and our family. We decided to get my tubes tied at the time of delivery.

With each pregnancy and surgery the risk of a future miscarriage (due to age) and uterine rupture (due to a classical incision with Oliver’s delivery) became greater. We talked extensively about our decision to do a tubal at the time of delivery and while my OB was on board he did ask several times if I was certain. In fact the morning Matthew was delivered he said “have you changed you mind” almost if he was trying to persuade me against it.

We asked my OB to assess my uterus at Olivia’s delivery and based on what he said we felt one more pregnancy was doable. That is not to say that Matthews pregnancy was without worry. There were some days and weeks I worried something like a uterine rupture would happen and I would lose my baby and my children and husband would lose me. We kept saying that the day we walked into the hospital to have Matthew would be the day our worry was lifted.

And it was lifted. Matthew is here and thriving and we made it to this finish line at what feels like the end of an Ultra Ultra marathon!

Right after Matthew was born and the surgery was complete my OB stepped behind the curtain and told us everything went well. He said that after all he was pleased we had decided to get the tubal. Apparently when he went to make the incision on the uterus (where Luke and Olivia were born) my other incision (from Oliver) ruptured. At the time I just kinda accepted it as a fact and went on doting on the newborn baby laying on my chest. However, Walt mentioned what happened in the recovery room and he seemed a little bothered by what the doctor had told us.

The next day during rounds the doctor came in and we talked again about the rupture during delivery. It wasn’t until that day I realized what could have transpired had I gone much further with the pregnancy. I am thankful all my doctors recommended a 37 week delivery with all my babies in order to avoid uterine rupture.

Sitting in the OB office waiting room seeing pregnant women, couples who may or may not be seeking fertility treatment, and mothers with children I realized that we truly are closing this chapter of our lives. It is one we will revisit as grieving for the loss of our first born son will never end.

I am so very thankful for all of my pregnancies. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to carry four babies and mother three living ones. Feeling very grateful.

Matthew is the one month old today! It has been such a joyous month starting with the arrival of our last baby and then all of the magic the holiday season brings. We have enjoyed experiencing so many firsts as a family of five.

Matthew has grown so much in the last four weeks. He was born 6 lbs 12 ounces and now weighs 10 lbs 2.5 ounces. So far he’s on track to be our biggest baby (at least at this point).

He has been eating every 2 to 2 1/2 hours around the clock up until the last few days. This has been exhausting especially at night but his weight gain has been extraordinary so the exhaustion has been worth it. The issue we are dealing with now is the fact that he hates being swaddled. He spends most of his time in the swaddle trying to get out of it. If he does fall asleep he will only last about 30 minutes before waking himself up and trying to fight out of the swaddle. I honestly don’t know what to do at this point but thankfully know this is not permanent.

Matthew is well taken care of by his big brother and big sister. Luke is constantly talking about the things Matthew and he will do as he gets older and to say that Olivia is a natural with the baby is an understatement. One of my favorite things is hearing her say “hi Matthew.” She says it over and over again when she sees him and it is just the most adorable thing ever.

I have had a lot of help in the last four weeks. My parents have been here and will be here for a few more weeks. I honestly do not know how I’m going to do it when they leave. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I do not know how I am going to do it but I know I will.

If  do you want more pictures and videos of all of my kids followed me on Instagram at  jwhitworth7

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He’s here!

Meet Matthew Bennett Whitworth! Born on 12/3 at 1:15 weighing 6lbs 12oz and 20 inches long. He is truly perfect and I am SO thankful he made it here. He completes are family and is already very loved by everyone.

 

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Olivia is 18 months old!

Tomorrow is a big day! Olivia turns 18 months old. That’s officially a year and a half! WOW! It’s also a big day because on the 3rd she will become a big sister!

Olivia is changing so much and it’s been so fun to watch her personality blossom and interests come out. To say that she is obsessed with books in an understatement. It’s often the first things she says and wants to do when waking up. She has several that are her favorites such as Pout, Pout Fish, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and Goodnight Moon but she always really enjoys sitting in your lap and reading a new book. She often carries a small book around with her and it’s a sure fire way to keep fussiness at bay for a little while while in the car or on a walk.

She also loves her lambie (which is a lovely) and calls him “wee, wee.” Her attachment to this lovie is something so adorable and sweet. She sleeps with him and even though we make her keep him in her crib she will often request to hold him when we are in her room. This is something that Luke never went through. He never really attached to anything like a blanket or stuffed animal although he sleeps with what seems like a bajillion things in his big boy bed now.

Olivia’s becoming more and more demanding as she’s getting older. She’s going through a clingy phase with me and while challenging I try to soak up the moments she only wants “momma.” I also feel like she has started to develop “stranger danger” in the last few months and is often skeptical of new people (more so adults than children). She loves babies and children her age and I can’t wait to see her step into the big sister role. She’s pretty set on things being her way but continues to be way more understanding of the “sharing” concept than Luke is. She still wants everything he has and vice versa but I’m coming to accept that it’s going to be like that for a LONG time.

Her language is exploding as is, from what I remember with Luke, normal at this age. She sings songs (her favorite is Twinkle, Twinkle) and attempts her (ABCs). She constantly tells us “Eye Wuv You” and now Luke is saying it more and more too. This is most precious when we are sitting at the dinner table and there is a minute back and forth of “I love yous” and “I love you toos!”

Olivia loves to be helpful and will often join me in the kitchen to “cook” or help sweep and wipe down tables. She also loves to throw things away which has gotten us in trouble a little bit so we are trying to be careful with that one. (Side note: we are pretty convinced Luke threw away Walt’s entire set of car keys around this age).

I know we are way off from starting the process but she’s beginning to tell us when she’s going to the bathroom. She will often say “poo poo” and go off to do her business. I’ve asked her if she wants to sit on the potty and she always says “no” and I truly feel like she is too young right now. This is about the age in which Luke started to show interest so I’ll see how the next few months go and take it from there. The best part about her interest in sharing this news with us is that when she says “pee pee” she grabs her crotch (sorry, hate that word) and bows her back. I guess she’s been watching Luke go for way too long.

Speaking of, she picks up on everything. She has become a little parrot in actions and words. She does whatever Luke does (for better or worse) and he now sees it as a game. “Olydia, can you say poo poo?” It’s cute but at some point we will have to start teaching that it’s okay not to do things your big brother tells you to do.

I’ve enjoyed my one on one time with Olivia while Luke is in school and I am thankful for that time together. She is such a sweet little doll and I am so thankful to have her in our lives. Now, if I could just come to terms with the fact she isn’t my little baby anymore.

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Olivia being silly at Luke’s soccer practice.

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