Initial first days, I had to educate my older kids to be aware of keeping low key and not have sudden shouts, screams or sounds that will startle the baby. Besides, I was also anxious to go back to normal routine of supervising the older kids’ homework, piano to reading story books after not being with them for the few days I was in hospital. All these tire me out quickly as I needed much rest and was still trying to establish breastfeeding routine. Feeding the baby easily takes up 45 minutes to an hour each time, and more than 8 times a day. It didn’t help that my breastfeeding sessions were giving me lots of pain and suddenly with XX occasional outbursts of rudeness and disobedience, I was so overwhelmed with sadness, Kel suspected I suffered some degree of post-natal blues.
Of course, I cried, scolded the kids and self-pitied. Luckily Kel was so supportive, he handled the kids and even managed to change XX attitude 180 degrees around. Stubborn as I was, I insisted total breastfeeding, and recovered my sore breastfeeding woes by expressing on one breast and direct feeding on the other. It helped! There was no more tears and things slowly fall into their place and I changed the way I talked to the older kids and also learnt to close an eye on not so important things that I frowned upon. Disciplining kids is a never-ending responsibility, even when I am breastfeeding halfway, time is not wasted in reading books, listening to their piano practice, etc.
My XX and YH used to have my full attention. Right now, with baby number 3, they have to share my time with their little brother. I am really grateful that there is no sibling rivalry for now. I had to explain to them time and again, why I had to spend so much time breastfeeding, why I needed lots of rest, why I am in confinement, why this and why that…. Taking care of a baby can be so overwhelming, I find myself neglecting the older ones. Many times, I had to remind myself that the older kids needed me too, and I cannot spend all my waking hours solely with the baby. I will have to part with the baby for a while and let others have a chance to care for the baby. I am lucky to have help from the confinement lady for this month, help from my parents and in-laws, and of course help from my supportive hubby. Without them, coping with 3 will be an uphill task, and I would not have the rest I needed to recover my energy and health.
When the day XX and YH waited below our apartment and cheered like cheerleaders as they welcomed the baby and me to come back from the hospital, that’s the first day that all of us will be learning to adjust and accomodate to each other’s needs and staying together as a happy family of five. And I know I have realized my dream of being a mother of 3 wonderful kids.