Our family and friends that saw how we "put up" with Lamb 1 when he was a baby were amazed that Ram and I did it. We did not know that Lamb 1 had MSPI until he was hospitalized at 2 months old. So for 2 months, Ram and I took turns non stop holding Lamb 1. (With the exception of when Ram's mom and our families visited and helped-Ram's mom was here longer so helped more-I don't think I could have survived without her help.) Lamb 1 would sleep 10-20 minutes at a time about a dozen times a day/night when we held him. That. Was. It. And. He. Was. A. Newborn! For 2 entire months all I did was nurse, change diapers, hold him, and hope for a nap some time during the day when Ram could hold him.
When we took him for his check up the doctors and nurses thought we were first time parents that were exaggerating about him not sleeping. Every first time parent thinks their child will sleep through the night, right? They told us they weren't concerned until if he hadn't settled down into sleeping better by the time he was 6 weeks old.
I took Lamb 1 home for my Grandma's funeral when he was about 1 month old. My aunt and my mom discussed Lamb 1 behind my back-there was obviously something wrong with this child! When he was admitted to the hospital at 2 months old, the doctor told me to immediately stop eating dairy and soy and they ran over 200 tests on Lamb 1. I stopped dairy and soy at lunch that day. I was concerned about how I was going to get any sleep that night without Ram at the hospital to take turns during the night. The nurse told me not to worry that she was good with babies and she would do her best to give me a little sleep that night. Lamb 1 slept through the ENTIRE NIGHT that first night that I gave up dairy. We stayed at the hospital for a few more nights to do more tests, but went home knowing that if I gave up dairy and continued nursing he would sleep much better.
When Lamb 1 was a few months old we discovered that if we ran the vacuum cleaner for about 10 minutes in his room before bedtime or naptime that he would happily go to sleep without being held and sleep for much longer than if we didn't run the vacuum. This made for some interesting vacations talking the housecleaning crew into letting us borrow their vacuum for the night at the hotel!
After no sleep for 2 months, I was honestly too exhausted to think about what we had done with Lamb 1. We just made it through.
Shortly before Lamb 1 turned 1 years old, I got pregnant and had a miscarriage a few months after his first birthday. Between that time of the miscarriage and when Lamb 2 was born, I had time to think about our experience with Lamb 1's health problems and mourn the loss of our miscarried baby. Plus during that time I had other friends that had miscarriages and friends that were adopting after many years of not being able to have a baby. Lamb 2 didn't have the health problems so he was a much easier baby than Lamb 1. But every baby has their fussy moments, and it was in some of those late night rockings of newborn Lamb 2 that my attitude changed. I decided that God had blessed me with a baby to rock even if it was in the middle of the night. I thought of my friends with fertility problems that would have given anything to have a baby to rock. I thought of how quickly Lamb 1 was growing and I knew Lamb 2 was not going to be a baby long. Since I wasn't as exhausted as I was with Lamb 1, I started to almost look forward to that night time when the house was quiet and Lamb 1 (with all his high needs) was asleep and I could spend time with my baby, Lamb 2. I tried to continue this good attitude after Lamb 3 was born too.
I thought of saying all this in a post because MckMama posted similar thoughts in this post. I am blessed to be the mother of my 3 little Lambs. Sometimes mealtime gets crazy or I look at my walls with crayon marks all over them or I get tired of changing diapers or it is impossible to get all 3 Lambs to sit together for a photo or I get tired of doing laundry or I get frustrated to not be able to teach Lamb 1 in homeschool with 2 other little Lambs. But just like we made it through the first year of Lamb 1's health problems, with God's help we will make it through this season of our life with little Lambs. They will eventually all be able to feed themselves at meals and go to the bathroom by themselves and even move out of our house so I won't have to do their laundry any more. And I suspect that I will think back to these times fondly and forget about the hard work that Ram and I did during this season of our life. I know that some day I'm going to miss this just like MckMama.
I also have friends that are pretty sure that their youngest is going to be their last child unless they are surprised to be blessed with another one. They seem to be much more sentimental than I am about their youngest because they know it is probably the last time their baby will crawl, walk for the first time, wear those cute outfits, nurse or be fed a bottle, want to be held etc. This is difficult for me because we hope that we are not done yet, but we don't know God's plans so it's always possible that Lamb 3 is our last child. And I know that some day I'm going to miss this-especially whatever "firsts" and "lasts" our youngest child has.