Monday, July 16, 2007

henry's posse

I started this post two days ago. Hopefully, I'll finish it today. When I was writing it, I was in the midst of making these really great sweeping over generalizations - like how EASY one baby is, compared to three and how I hardly noticed that we had a newborn in the house, because he was so quiet and low maintenance.

Since I wrote those words, they have come back to bite me.

I have been nursing Henry almost nonstop since Saturday. Remember how I said I had a more than sufficient milk supply? He's ingested everything that I've pumped and anything that I had intended to pump.

The child is a bona fide eating machine.

Yesterday I had to pluck him off my boob to make sure that 1) my nipples were still there and 2) my newborn hadn't sprouted teeth. I thought for sure there would be two bloody little stumps on the end of each breast.

Why is it, again, that God couldn't have made nipple skin as tough as say ... our elbows?

I've decided that if it were not for a woman's ability to "forget" the discomforts of pregnancy, labor, delivery, recovery ... engorged breasts ... and a ravenously hungry and needy newborn, the population of the world would never break 100,000 100.

Anyway. Enough complaining. I'll do more when I have a free moment, maybe in December 2010. This is what I set out to tell you on Saturday...

Last week, when I was still in the hospital and we were undecided on a name, we ran all the names by the children that we had in mind.

The girls love to sit and take turns holding "Da baby." When I ask them if they know his name, they'll nod and respond "Dis is baby Henwee."

When I ask William if he knows his baby brother's name (as he gallops by pretending that he is riding a pony on his way to "feed awygators at da zoo") he'll stop only for a moment to say "Dat's baby Robby."

If I correct him and say "His name is Henry" he'll shake his head and say "No Mommy. Dat's baby Robby" and then he'll gallop away.

Apparently, William thought Robert was a better name than Henry.

Whatever they call him, the children are completely smitten with their baby brother. Everyone wants to hold him, they'll hover during diaper changes, feeding and have been giving me a play-by-play commentary during the day.

"Mommy, baby dis ASWEEP!!"

"Oh, Mommy!! Baby dis AWAKE!!"

"Baby dis eating. AGAIN!!"

Our pediatrician told me during our first checkup on Thursday that Henry is considered "LGA" which means "Large for Gestational Age." I thought it meant "Likes to Guzzle Always" because there will be stretches throughout the day where it seems the child eats constantly.

Considering Henry's birth weight was almost more than our triplets combined ... it makes perfectly good sense that he can eat more than all three of them combined.

The pickle is - he eats and promptly falls asleep. And then, five minutes in to his slumber, he has a HUGE blow out poop. Which of course requires a diaper change. Which of course wakes him up. Which makes him hungry and the cycle starts anew.

Last night, between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM we changed six diapers. Because we were so bloody tired, Charlie didn't realize that he had been stockpiling the dirty diapers on our bed. Just as the sun was coming up and Henry had finally fallen asleep (moments before the triplets woke up), Charlie put his head down and with one hand tucked beneath his pillow asked "What the heck is this ... a plush toy under my pillow?" before he realized it was one of Henry's nappies.

I know that my greatest challenge ... once we are doing this on our own ... will be to keep the baby safe from his loving brother and sisters. With all the extra sets of eyes and hands we have helping us right now, someone is always holding or watching over the baby. But even with the extra help - Saturday, I caught Elizabeth trying to feed her 10-day old brother a carrot. Not to mention the countless times they've tried to climb in to his crib, pick him up and cover his face with blankies.

I suspect that when life returns to "normal" we'll be wearing Henry in a Baby Bjorn carrier for the better part of the day. Otherwise, I don't see how I'll get anything accomplished.

The other great challenge is how I will be able to keep up with breastfeeding a baby that eats 22 times a day. I know that this will slow down, at least that's what people keep telling me and what "the books" say. But I think it's outrageously funny that even as a "veteran mother" I went running for my parenting books at warp speed.

"Is it NORMAL for a baby to eat 22 times a day? My gosh, is he starving?! Is this a growth spurt?! He's got lots of wet diapers and I know I'm capable of producing a gallon of milk - but is this what a full term baby needs? IS IT? OH MY GOD. IS IT?!"

I keep reminding myself that Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she made Henry a larger sized baby.

He'll need the weight to protect him from his posse.


  1. They're adorable! Hang in there!

    You did an awesome job figuring out how to handle the triplets, and I know you will work out a system for Henry. Trust yourself!

    Love, Susan

  2. Those pictures are priceless! I love William's pink jammies! Too cute!

  3. LOVE the pics. Keep your chin are doing the best you can. You'll be fine.

  4. Here is my assvice. Pretend you don't notice that he has pooped. Seriously. Pack on the butt paste and let him sleep. It won't kill him and you will all get a lot more sleep.

    Quietly skulking back to my hole...

  5. a. I ignored little poops. If it wasn't in danger of oozing out, it can wait two hours until the next feeding.

    b. The pooping in his sleep thing will end in a week or two, really!

    c. The nursing 22x a day will end in a couple weeks, too! Hang in there.

    d. We own the same red, race car jammies and I did a double take when I realized that it was one of the girls wearing them, while William was in the pink!

    e. It's Darwin's Law that the younger child has to survive the older sibling(s) "love," even if that means pillows smothering the baby's face, being stepped on, having toys thrown at his head, and constantly waking up with germy hands all over him. Believe it or not, they can least for 8 months (that's my experience thus far!)

  6. Mrs. Carrot7/16/07, 7:51 PM

    Oh, Jen! He's beautiful!!! And he has a perfectly handsome name! I just knew you would pick out a great name! Welcome to the world Henry! Congratulations to you all!!!

    Mrs. Carrot

  7. I loved this post. I just kept laughing and nodding - remembering how it was when I had a tiny baby - didn't have triplets though!
    HAng in there ... it'll pass. I guess, we just have to savor moments like these as they will not happen again - or in the near future. Plus they grow up way too fast :)
    I love the pictures! Your children ARE adorable!!!

  8. My twins were 15 months old when our singleton arrived and I remember telling her every day that love hurts! Her sisters loved her from the second they saw her and are constantly hugging and kissing her. Their newest trick is picking her up by the neck! When she was an infant I found myself confining her so the big girls can not hurt her.
    I was never very good at nursing the twins. I just could not keep up but nursing the singelton was much easier. She nursed 24/7 and pooped just as much! It gets easier and faster. I don't think I know how to nurse without two little girls perched on my lap watching her eat and kissing her head.
    You have a beautiful family! Enjoy the help while you have it. I know you will find a groove once they leave.

  9. He is adorable and ALL your kids are gorgeous! Congrats and enjoy - as much as possible, that is.

  10. I'd like to suggest a sling. It frees up your hands like a bjorn, but you can also nurse hands-free (w/ a little practice) while staying completely covered in public. Gotta love it!

  11. Gorgeous, gorgeous kids! What a beautiful baby!

    Breastfeeding advice from a stranger who's only read your post isn't probably the best BUT I will give some anyway. If you do find yourself feeding him again, quite soon after you JUST fed him 5-10 minutes ago, use the SAME breast again that you just offered him.

    Blowout poops like that, especially ones that are kind of green and frothy, tend to become less severe if you offer the same breast repeatedly within a two hour period of time.

    Wishing you lots of luck and smooth days of nursing, and quiet nights in your near future!

  12. He is so adorable! I love the pictures of each of your kids with him. Ahhhh, the marathon nursing days, I do remember them with my daughter. It will get better!

  13. Jen!

    I read your blog everyday and you make me laugh. I am mom to a boy and girl 13 months apart so I am no where near being in your shoes but your stories and so fun and make me smile.

    I have nominated you for the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. Thanks for making my days brighter!


  14. Love the post and the first pic of the trips with Henry. So glad that you do have your mom there as an extra pair of hands and I am sure that all the love from the posse will give Henry some thicker skin. He is going to have to keep up with them, so might as well start early? the post as usual:)

  15. Hi Jen

    Another lurker here just chiming in to say how much joy your family brings to me.

    I'm also a breastfeeding educator and I just want to tell you that all your instincts about feeding your baby are spot on. He is behaving ABSOLUTELY NORMALLY for a baby his age. His job is to learn how to feed and to build up your supply. You already know this, but you are doing exactly the right thing by feeding him so often.

    As the wise mummy before me said so well, it will settle down soon, and he will get faster and your supply will balance out and the poops will become a bit more regular and he won't need to eat 22 times a day (maybe only 20!)

    By the way, that piece of advice about using the same boob at the next feed is spot on.

    But, you didn't need any of us to tell you any of this. You have such good instincts and you know your babies so well that whatever you choose, we all know will be the perfect thing for your little Robby!

    (I love that William calls him by a different name. It must be the big brother's perogative!)

  16. I am loving Henry! What a beautiful boy with a beautiful name!
    Linda (Chicago)

  17. your pictures are so adorable!!! He'll slow down, in the meantime enjoy all the mandatory sitting time!

  18. Those pictures are great!
    If all goes well Duncan might have a sibling next spring, this is very encouraging! (Aside from the breastfeeding and not sleeping)

  19. He is adorable. Huge! And adorable.

  20. Jen- he is absolutely adorable. I'm not lying either. He's really cute!

    Hopefully, he'll suck that supply of yours right on up and start eating only 18 times per day. Then he'll be eating the same number of times the triplets all ate in one day, LOL!

    Austin has managed to stay alive, despite all the love and attention his siblings have given him. He's tough though. Henry will be tough too!

  21. Take a deep breath! And BREATHE! You are doing great and you know it will get better! Those pictures are wonderful!

  22. Everyone looks awesome!

  23. So cute! Sounds like time to break out the Lansinoh, it helps. Get a great baby sling, they are more comfy that other carriers I've tried. Good luck!