William is obviously the third child because I have done a terrible job documenting his life. Oy! But don't let my lack of documentation fool you...I am obsessed with this baby! He makes life so dang sweet and he is now at one of my most favorite ages. I feel like between five and eight months is a true sweet spot. They can smile and laugh and interact but they aren't all over the place and into everything yet.
The newborn stage is always hard for me. The lack of sleep, being sore, struggling to nurse and then just feeling plain overwhelmed at having another human to care for about does me in every time. This time was particularly tough for some reason, but after about three months I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Will was quite fussy if he wasn't sleeping or eating and I think I get some major postpartum anxiety or something because I just felt totally off and had a hard time even leaving the house when Will first arrived. Once the weather really warmed up and I got the hang of Will's schedule and juggling three kids at the store, we started venturing out a bit more and I could kind of breathe again. To be honest, juggling three kids at home or out and about is still a little tricky, but a woman I know who now has eight children recently told me that each time you have another child you're a total wuss again. It takes lots of time and energy, but eventually you build up your motherhood muscles and figure out how to make it work with another one in tow. Then, once you've figured it out with that one, you have another baby and become a wuss all over again. She told me that soon enough I'd have it figured out and feel much better, and bless her, she was right. She is a rockstar. I am surely not shooting for eight children myself, but hearing her say she felt that same way every time she had another baby, especially after her third, gave me courage.
Even with his initial fussiness, William has been a really great baby. He has always eaten well, slept decently (although we are going through a bit of a rough spot right now), and has generally been really happy and smiley. He is not terribly cuddly and prefers to look around to see what's going on in the world, but I'm hoping as he gets older he'll be my little snuggle buddy. One can hope, right? For the first three or four months of his life he pretty much refused a binky, and then after not giving him a bottle for a few weeks, totally refused a bottle too. It was a hard stage of life because I was his only form of comfort and nourishment. Robert worked really hard to get the kid to take a binky and then all of a sudden, around four months, the heavens parted he just started taking one. It changed my life!!! And then around that same time he also started taking a bottle. Can I tell you how wonderful that day was? I felt like a free woman! Like I could leave him with someone for more than two hours without feeling like I needed to rush back? Is it hilarious that that was the most liberating thing to me? He's still not the king of bottle taking, but he'll take it if he's incredibly hungry. Will is also a very engaged baby and looks at people when they are talking or watches people move around the room. In fact he's so engaged lately that he has a hard time nursing without being distracted. Nursing him in public is a joke because he hates the cover over his head and if anyone makes a peep the kid is rolling his head around, trying to see what's going on.
The girls love their brother more than I even imagined they would, and he loves them too...from a distance. Both Minnie and Lou can be a bit rough with him, but it's not out of malice so much as just curiosity. He loves to watch them play and dance and sometimes they can just be silly in front of him and get the best belly laughs out of him. Their eyes light up when they see that he's awake after a nap and they have to run over and give him a hug or a kiss. I think one of my favorite parts of motherhood has been to see the love my kids have for each other. I love that they have each other and I hope so much that they will remain close throughout their lives.
William is still a little temperamental, loves to be held, and is only really pleasant for 45 minutes or so before he's tired again and ready for another nap. But, when he's pleasant he's really pleasant and generally if you leave the house or go outside, the distraction is enough to yank him back to his pleasant self for awhile. He is pretty darn quick to smile and makes lots of friends wherever we go. He's started eating solids like a champ and is chubby and huge, just how I like my babies. He hated baths when he was new, but has recently come to love them and splashes so much there's hardly a drip of water left by the end of the bath and I'm sopping wet. I still swaddle him because the guy cannot get enough of his hands and has a hard time settling down if they're free. Luckily he doesn't roll over much (because I'm lazy and rarely do tummy time) so he stays pretty much in one spot and doesn't roll in his crib yet. His monster spit ups have kind of subsided, thank the heavens, but are not entirely gone quite yet. He doesn't show any signs of teething but will chew on your shoulder and make a big puddle of drool on your shirt when you hold him. He's starting to sit up, plays with toys, squawks the day away and makes us all swoon with the dimple on his left cheek.
Every time I have a baby I sometimes just stare at them in wonder thinking, "How did this come out of me?" I ask this not only because they become quite enormous quite quickly and the thought that I housed them in my belly is kind of unfathomable, but mostly I ask this because these babies are just pure magic to me. It is such a gift to help in creating these little sweet people. To think that William's sparkly little eyes, his perfect chubby feet, and those sweet, soft cheeks all formed inside of me, as a part of both me and Robert, fills me with so much awe and gratitude. My babies are my world and I am so grateful that William is part of our family. It was a struggle to get him here and I will thank my lucky stars every day that all the heartache I felt as I faced the prospect of infertility a few years ago has totally melted away. William, my dear, you are my little ray of sunshine.