I Didn’t Know…

Even after having three children within three years, I am finding out that there is a lot about my children and myself that I didn’t know. Leading up to the birth of Chloe a few days ago, I tried to prepare myself mentally for how the addition of a third child would affect Caleb and Hannah Grace. I prayed for them at night, for God to help them through this transition–that there would be little jealousy, and that love would abound. I had my own suspicions of how each child would react, but apparently I just didn’t know…

…that the potty training regression I knew Hannah Grace would experience would occur instantaneously, that she would give up potty training the exact moment we left for the hospital! My sister and brother-in-law came to our home to watch the kids, and from that moment on, Hannah Grace decided all she needed was a diaper. Sure, I knew that she would regress when she saw Mommy changing the new baby’s diaper, but my goodness! She hadn’t even met the baby, yet, and she had decided that she was done, finished, never to sit on a little potty again! Now some may question how well she was doing before the baby was born, especially considering her young age. Let’s just say that the three days prior to her having a new sister, she may have had a total of one accident. She told the ladies in the toddler room at church that past Sunday that she needed to go pee pee; now when I ask her if she needs to go, she replies, “Nope. Hannah no pee pee in potty. Hannah pee pee in diaper!”

Okay, so I didn’t get it quite right with regards to Hannah Grace, but I was even further off with Caleb. I just didn’t know…

…that he would give up sleeping after the baby was born. Why would the birth of a baby cause a three-year old to think it is okay to stay up until one a.m.! I knew I would lack sleep for having to feed my new baby in the middle of the night; I did not know that I would not get to go to sleep at all because Caleb thought Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was a show not to be missed! I had not prepared mentally for this possibility, so on Chloe’s third day at her new home, Caleb had his first official day with “rest time” instead of “nap time.” We’ll see how tonight goes.

Apparently, I didn’t know my kids as well as I thought I did, but I still have a lot to learn about myself, too. I just didn’t know…

…the capacity for love that I have. If I am honest with myself, I was a little nervous about having a third baby, even though Matt and I wanted another child. ”We have a nice family now; will she upset the happy balance that we have?” ”How will I love her as much as I love Caleb and Hannah Grace? I don’t know if I’ll have enough love to give everyone.” I should have know better because these same thoughts invaded my mind when I was pregnant with Hannah Grace, and after holding her in my arms, the thoughts left. When I first saw Chloe and touched her as the midwife placed her on top of my belly, I fell in love again. Each time she snuggles in against my body or makes one of her little baby sounds while stretching, I know she was meant to be a part of this family, and my heart overflows with emotion. I can only thank God for the grace and love He has given me that I can then share with my children. He has blessed me with a beautiful family, and while there will always be much that I don’t know, there are no other people in this world from which I would rather learn.

The (In)Significance of Numbers

28 hours ago, baby Chloe wasn’t here.  I was at home, aggravated that both of my kids decided to forego their normal naps on a day when I really needed one.  38 weeks pregnant and grouchy, I was tired of the random contractions that I had had with each pregnancy that seemingly went nowhere, and I was more tired of the interesting new pains that this pregnancy had introduced to me.  All I wanted was to rest, and the cry of my daughter from her room 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual followed by the sound of her brother’s feet running down the hallway let me know that no one was going to nap, anymore.

Fast forward 2 hours, and I’m still having sporadic contractions, except this one really hurt…a lot. I guessed I needed to toughen up because the previous contraction was 15 minutes earlier, hardly the pattern of true labor.  15 minutes later, I went up the stairs after another contraction to tell my husband that we were not waiting until these things were 5 minutes apart–we were heading to the hospital when they got below 10.  4 1/2 minutes later, another contraction, and Matt began loading the car.  Another 4 1/2 minutes, and I was “Ah-Hee-ing”, trying to relax as my belly clenched tightly inwards.  We made it to the car, and off we went.

The whole ride to the hospital and in-processing couldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes, and I was not surprised when the mid-wife confirmed what I already knew–I was dilated to 10 and could push when my husband made it to the room.  I was minutes away from meeting my baby girl. 1 hour ago, and I didn’t even know I was in labor.

A little more than 5 minutes later, I was holding my beautiful daughter with 0 ideas of what to call her besides “Baby Girl.”  As I stared into her eyes and saw her brother Caleb and sister Hannah Grace (and of course, none of me), I felt as if she had always been in my arms, yet I had everything to learn about her.  I thought about all the precise timing that brought us to that delivery room instead of the hallway in my home, and I didn’t care.  Yes, my head was spinning, but my baby had me anchored to the ground.  My new love was here, and I would learn 19 hours later that her name is Chloe Elizabeth.


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