How Having a Fourth Baby Changed Everything (for the better)…

When I was “researching” for how other families had made the leap from three kids to four, surprisingly, there weren’t as many posts popping up on my Google search as I had thought.  There were a few blog posts about “large families,” of which I read and enjoyed, but they didn’t answer my burning desire to know how scary, exactly, was the addition of another person when it had been a while since diapers were a household staple item? One night, however, I stumbled across the 4 Little Ferguson’s blog, and read just about every post Tanya, wonder mom of four, had written.  It was like she had written her posts just for me (although I’m sure there are dozens more thinking the same thing). It seemed like she had all of the answers, from organization techniques to what to make for dinner.  I immediately loved and wanted to be her – she was able to raise her children to be respectful, loving, faithFULL children like I prayed I’d be able to do, and adding another child to the family only brought in more love.  Her blog has helped me with so many more decisions since then, but that’s for another post.

But, life is funny in the way that it doesn’t always happen exactly how we think it will, and about 2 years came and went before we actually starting trying for our fourth child.  And then, baby B was on the way.  He arrived 3 weeks early, on the date I’d already picked out as the best potential day to have him if he decided to come early (how Law of Attraction is that?!).  Our oldest daughter, who was 8 at the time, had been skeptical about having another sibling.  After all, she’d have to share our attention with yet another annoying brother, and what’s the fun in that?  I had baby B on a Friday, and the big kids had a day off from school.  S hitched a ride with Grampa to the hospital less than an hour after baby B was born, and guess who ended up holding the baby more than me that day?  The standoffish, skeptical sister.  Every time I needed to feed or change him, she’d beg for him back.  “I get to hold him right after you’re done, right?”  And I really couldn’t say no.  I wanted their bond to be strong, especially after the pregnancy had not excited her like the others.  Of course, the rest of the kids came and visited and enjoyed holding their new brother as well.

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The newness, excitement and wonder continued for the first couple of months and I would find myself pondering when, and almost expecting, the shine to wear off.  But, here we are watching baby B turn 9 months (today!) and they still love him, fight over him, help him, feed him, and play with him as much as when they first met him.

Baby B’s demeanor has healed gaps even I didn’t know we had.  His smile is infectious and he looks at everyone and everything with love and awe.  He gets so excited when he sees his siblings and is finally warming up to Dad.  (Poor Dad has gotten the shaft – the only person in the house who can’t always get a smile or a kiss.)  He has helped me remember to be patient; that it’s okay to slow down and enjoy little moments with everyone in the house; to be silly and sing out loud, no matter who is listening.  Just when I thought my heart couldn’t get more full, I’ll see one of the kids reading to him, or comforting him, or my husband snuggling or whispering to him.

If there are any moms out there considering having another, second, fourth, or whatever, let me just say that I’m so glad I didn’t freak myself out or decide it wasn’t worth going back to the baby stage after our then-youngest was 6.  I would have deeply regretted it.  We would have missed out not only on enjoying having a baby in the house again, but the experiences my older children have enjoyed and learned from would not have existed and that would be such a sad thing.

You can never love too much in this lifetime.  Do what makes you happy.  For me, that’s being a mother.

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