It has been an adjustment going from three kids to four. But, not such a big one as it was going from two to three. I think that was the hardest. I feel like there is always some adjustment when having a child. With the first child, everything is new: breastfeeding, changing diapers, dressing, crying for no apparent reason, learning the different cries, routine & scheduling, moans, twitches, burping, ....
We are overly protective of our firstborns too. If the pacifier drops -- we wash it with soap! They don't eat sugar until they are two years of age. We have every gadget created for baby and haul it all with us wherever we go.
When the second baby comes, I think we have conquered most of the "new" and we are adjusting our attention to our potty training toddler and time with our newborn. But, thankfully -there are TWO of us (parents) to give attention to each child.
We have lightened up a bit and are not too protective. Instead of disinfecting the pacifier -- we pick it up and swish it in a glass of water or lick it off with our own mouths.
The third child was probably most difficult for me because I was learning how to manage my time between a stubborn potty training toddler, an older child who needed one on one attention, a newborn -- juggling all three of them with only two hands. Handling three children with two hands -- it is hard. Oh, and by this time -- I never bothered with cleaning of the pacifier in anyway, I just would swipe it on my pants and put it back into the baby's mouth. I know that you first time parents would be shocked, but trust me with each child we digress in our overly protective methods.
I never really experienced post-partum depression with my first two girls -- but, when I had my third, I definitely battled with it. It was hard for me to manage and feel like I was succeeding as a mom and wife. I struggled...but God was my strength through it all and it was HE who helped me conquer that battle.
Now, here I am two weeks post-partum with my fourth baby. I am still trying to figure out what I feel and how and if it is any different than having only three children. People have often said that after having three -- it is really no different. But, I think it is different -- but, definitely not harder than before. Circumstances are different. I have two older children (7 & almost 5) that are able to help more and do more -- but, one of them is still very stubborn and defiant, and the other still needs that much needed one on one time. My 2 1/2 year old is potty training and that pours in a whole new realm to adjustment during this time.
Since I had c-section, I am having to recover and that takes time. The hard part for me is not being able to do as much as I want. I am not able to give my older kiddos as much attention as they need or want and the house just has to be left be.
Right now I am figuring out each day and trying to take it one moment at a time. I am thankful for each of my girls and I look forward to the moments we will have together -- but, I am also trying to savor the moments I have with them now.
To be honest, I have up and down moments ... thankfully, God is my Emmanuel right now --and that is comforting.