18 months later, our little man came into the world. Another high risk pregnancy in the books, and this time we learned our son would be born with a congenital heart defect. I remember being scared and numb at the same time. Thinking back, I don't remember wondering how it would impact our first child or us, we just went with the punches. Thankfully his NICU stay was brief and we came home within 3 days. Now life with two kiddos was crazy at first. While I was pregnant I received the best advice from a mom in one of our daughters activities. "Having two children is crazy, and don't expect things to settle down for the first 5-6 months". During the first 5 months after our son was born I would remind myself of this saying all the time. I was petrified to go out with the two of them. I didn't quite get how to juggle two little kids. Then one day, it happened, and I looked at my son and he was 6 months, and I said to myself "AHA...yup, I got this."
22 months after welcoming our son, our 2nd daughter was born. We were so nervous throughout the pregnancy wondering how on earth were we going to raise 3 kiddos 3 and under...wow we are crazy we thought. I had sheer panic. We didn't even deal with the pregnancy, only talking about it when people asked us, and figured when the baby was born we would face the facts. Then our little fireball was born and we learned to literally juggle. Scary as it was, we eventually got into the grove. Life became "easy". So easy we thought, "what's one more?!"
Another 20 months later, Sonzee was born. The number one question I have been asked by those who know about her diagnosis is "how do you do it having 3 other children". It comes down to one word: "balance". The same balance I had to find after each child was added to our family.
Having Sonzee and 3 other kiddos to me is the same as having just 4 children. I can tell you that the 3 other children make a lot of things easier for me. For example, it is much easier for me to see other children Sonzee's age and not get upset about her development...I have a daily reminder about what's typical. With 4 kiddos schedules to balance, I don't have the time or strength to spend it dwelling on things I have no control over.
The challenges I face are similar to every other "mom of 4". Each of our children has their own special and unique needs. They all require attention and love. They all have activities and appointments to go to. A family of 6 in general requires planning, organization, and balance.
As Sonzee inches closer to being 6 months, even with everything going on, I too am inching closer to achieving that "sigh"...that overall feeling of being in balance where I realize I can do this.