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We are exhausted over here adjusting to life with three babes, two who are under two. It has been a pretty rough journey. Phoenix has always been a TERRIBLE sleeper, and Valorie only sleeps for 20-30 minutes at a time. Vallie is our fourth baby, the third non-sleeper. We’ve been through this many times and thus, have basically exhausted all possibilities to try and get these girls to sleep. Aversion to sleep is apparently just some wild trait we somehow passed to them, though I’m not sure how since both of us are insufferable people to be around without it.

I had to make the difficult decision to stop nursing, she had all of the same symptoms of intolerance that our other babes did and my milk completely dried up after our PICU stay. Supplements, patterns, tips and tricks. You name it, it didn’t work. I wrestled with the decision for a full week, my heart was broken that I couldn’t do this major thing my body is supposed to be designed to do. There has been frustration, desperation, and deep sadness at the loss of that experience.

No matter how many babies you have, it’s inevitable that you have this image of what it will be like, and when the actual experience exists on much different terms than what you’d envisioned, it’s really upsetting. Especially in today’s society, where we’ve got Instagram mamas with 4,5,6 kids who make it look like a walk in the park. For some ridiculously unfair reason that is not the experience I was bestowed with.

I have not eased into being a mother of four. I have cried so many tears, wondered so many times why it can’t be easier. Breast feeding did not come naturally for me, sleep has evaded us, anxiety riddles my being more often than I’d like to admit. I could do 1,001 things to make it all look like those other mamas, but I would still be the mama who holds three babes in my arms while one rests in an urn on my dresser.

My life is messy, and this is hard. But I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel this way, it is normal, and someday I’ll look back on this time in my life and see that how hard I tried is admirable.

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