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Calvin

Calvin is nearly four weeks old already! I was always on my own with our babies before, but now with Brandon as a stay-at-home dad, we can team up on kid duties. I’m nursing and some days it feels nonstop, so I’m mostly taking care of Calvin while Brandon has Eleanor and August.

Brandon and Calvin

Nursing — I have such a hard time with it in the beginning. I’ve seen lactation consultants, I’ve read the entire La Leche League book, and my search engine history has been entirely taken over by various breastfeeding queries. Things got better with both Eleanor and August around six weeks, so I keep telling myself it will happen again, but right now it is incredibly difficult. It’s isolating and time-consuming, but the worst of it is that I dread sessions because of the anxiety around anticipating a painful latch. There are often tears, and I’m having a hard time right now.

Calvin

Baby Toes

We are all doing so well though, in every other regard! We’re settling in nicely as a family of five, and the kids are sweet with the baby. Our normal morning routine has continued smoothly, we’re all sleeping as well as can be expected, and I get out of the house and see friends often enough to keep from going stir-crazy. Plus I love love love having a baby at home again. Calvin sleeps on me and is in my arms all day, and I adore his little snuggles.

August, Nicole, Calvin, and Eleanor

The good stuff is coming up: the smiles, the coos, the baby laughs. This is likely our last baby though, so while I’m eager to get past the nursing pain, I don’t want to wish this time away. There’s a lot of good stuff happening right now, too.

Calvin

The 4-6 Weeks Project (Weeks Seven and Eight)

I took photographs of Eleanor and August each day until baby number three arrived, to document our last 4-6 weeks as a family of four. I first did this project to document our time as a family of three before August was born. Of course, baby number three came late, so this turned into a nearly eight week project! Here’s the end of the series.

{ Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek SixView All }

The 4-6 Weeks Project: September 26

No baby yet, and today was the due date! Game after game of Tic-Tac-Toe ought to pass the time, right? Well, maybe not, but Eleanor, you did have fun playing against mama and daddy (and sometimes winning).

The 4-6 Weeks Project: September 27

Your schools had their annual carnivals today. You had both been looking forward to going and we weren’t sure how the timing would work out with it being so close to the baby’s due date, but he decided to stay put and so we were all able to attend. It was a day filled with tickets, bouncy houses, prizes, games, food, and friends.

The 4-6 Weeks Project: September 28

Poor August. You and Eleanor have been sick on and off since the start of school (little kids = germ factories), and today it was your turn again for not feeling well. You spent most of the day in PJs, cuddled up with mama.

The 4-6 Weeks Project: September 29

What does one do with leftover school carnival tickets? Why, make a beautiful jewlry collection, of course. I particularly likethe nose piece, Eleanor. Nice touch!

The 4-6 Weeks Project: September 30

Fort-building is serious business around here. Eleanor, you are constantly scooting those chairs closer together or further apart, depending on how you need them arranged for the day. You welcome August to play in your structures too, but the design is typically all yours.

The 4-6 Weeks Project: October 1

Reading, hanging out, absolutely not obsessively thinking “baby, come out, come out, come out! When will you come out!?” Nope, that’s not at all what’s going through mama’s head at all times now.

The 4-6 Weeks Project: October 2

He’s here! Calvin Edward Balch was born today at 8:18 a.m., weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long. Beneath that hat he has the softest, fuzziest brown hair with a polka dot of a blonde streak, right on top in the center.

The 4-6 Weeks Project: October 3

Mama and Calvin came home from the hospital today after staying overnight. Eleanor, you were so excited to meet your new little brother, and August, we know you’re going to be a great big brother. So nice to be together at home, our family of five!

Calvin Edward Balch

Calvin Edward Balch

I joked on Wednesday evening that I had just bought some fancy flowers to photograph in my entryway for an upcoming post, thereby guaranteeing that I would go into labor before being able to take pictures the next day. Well?

Calvin Edward Balch

Calvin Edward Balch was born at 8:18 a.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces (the smallest of our three), and measured 21 inches long. He has fuzzy brown hair with a polka dot of a blonde spot, right in the center on top, and very dark blue eyes that make it impossible to predict what color they will stay.

I’d given birth before without an epidural, so that part of the experience wasn’t new, but this delivery was the first that was free of complications (thank goodness). Calvin and I are happy and healthy, and our family of five is doing well!

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