Back in the saddle with child No. 3

We?re back in the saddle again. At least those lyrics by Gene Autry are all that keep going through my mind as I listen to the blends of new lungs mixed with little girls who keep talking instead of sleeping.

Our family landed back in the throes of newborn craziness Aug. 31 with the birth of our third baby and first son, Case Bennett.

It?s been one of those things where I am thrilled and yet overwhelmed all at the same time. I feel like we?ve gone full circle in a way. With our first child, I spent hours crying during nighttime feedings. With our second, I don?t remember the first weeks being very stressful. Though a spitfire now, she was actually a really calm baby.

And now with our third, I feel as if I?m not planted in a chair feeding our growing boy, I?m trying all kinds of different methods to soothe the fussiness out of him.

It just goes to show that no matter how prepared you think you are, every child is unique and in turn needs individualized care.

I willingly accept my responsibility in raising three children, but I have yet to determine what is ?right? for our family of five.

The trial and error is challenging, and right now I feel like I am short-changing my girls. I?m trying to get our schedule back to normal, and yet I realize that?s nearly impossible. Before, we weren?t tied down by 12 to 14 feedings per day. And while I was tired during my pregnancy, my current level of exhaustion just doesn?t compare.

And yet there are so many wonderful things a newborn brings. Case is becoming more alert, opening his eyes in longer stretches each day. It?s so captivating to look into his eyes and look forward to that first smile when he recognizes my face.

He has brought out a new level of caring in our 4-year-old. She has turned into a little mommy. When visiting us in the hospital, she was the one who held Case more than anyone else. She also wouldn?t leave our side even to go play in the park. Even now, when I thought the newness would wear off, she is still enthralled by her little brother.

Our 2-year-old always has to keep tabs on the baby. When she enters a room, that?s the first thing she wants to know: ?Where is baby Case Bennett?? That doesn?t mean she really wants to hold him, though. Or even touch him for that matter. (Just ask the photographer who came to capture all the newness.)

As for my husband and me, even though we?ve been there, done that, there?s still an aspect of feeling like brand-new parents all over again. Despite that, we?re excited to be traveling down a new road with a new blessing.

We?re back in the saddle again.

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