After months of not blogging, I doubt anyone comes here anymore. But, in case anyone still checks in, or gets updates automatically through an RSS feed or something, I thought I should at least put in a final entry - sort of a pretty bow and tie to our whole story and many blog posts! I hated to have a negative breast feeding post be the last one.
I stopped breastfeeding at 12 weeks. Ironically, the last couple of weeks of it I was working hard to try to increase my supply because I had decided I wanted to give it a better try. I took lots of herbs, pumped more often, and did everything I read...but nothing helped. I had been sick with various colds for weeks and it really just killed my supply. I finally had to let go of it all, but the day I quit was extremely hard. I cried the whole day, feeling I had let my baby down completely. I realize in retrospect that I just could never have managed to breastfeed all the time with two other kids to take care of. I'm not sure how anyone does that, but it would have all been too much for me. That said, I'm proud that I did it for three months - it was MUCH longer than I would have ever thought.
Alexa is an absolute joy. She is the kindest, sweetest imaginable soul. She almost never cries and smiles all the time. She was sleeping 12 hours at night by 9 weeks. Every day, every time I look at her, she melts me. I can't pick her up without kissing her HUGE cheeks, and she is so ticklish that it usually makes her laugh. She delights everyone she sees! When Bryan's parents have the twins, I take Alexa to the store with me. People are enamored by her wherever we go because they always see her smiling at them as they pass by and then back up to talk to her. She is a very, very kind little baby who seems to just love everyone.
Here is a little video I took of her many smiles. (Ignore my annoying baby talk voice! lol)
She really put on the weight after I stopped breastfeeding - she went from the 25th percentile in weight to the 80th by the next appointment! She eats 4 bottles of 10 ounces per day now, at 5.5 months. Just like Nathan at this age, she LOVES to eat. Her eyes roll into her head when she starts sucking. lol
Having Alexa has been a vastly different experience compared to the twins as babies. In retrospect I can see just how overwhelming having baby twins was. I didn't know at the time what to compare it to, but now I see! I could never focus too much on either Nathan or Kenna INDIVIDUALLY because I always had to take care of them both. The best analogy I can come up with is that with twins you are always looking "between" them and not focusing on one individually. Plus, I knew nothing about babies so everything was about me trying to figure out what to do. This time, I can actually focus on one baby and I know what I'm doing...so it's a totally different experience to just be able to enjoy these baby months in a different way.
Some updates now on the twins!
Kenna continues to be mommy's little smarty pants! As of this week, at 2 years and 2 months, she can read all upper case letters, identify 20 states on the map, count to 16, and identify all shapes and colors. Her memory is just incredible. I only started teaching them letters and states a month ago. I've been showing her how to sort of "read" the state names and she is already trying to sound things out. For example, she searches for Ohio and points out O, then hi, then O and says "O-hi-o". Same with "I - O - WA" and "U-TAH". So I just started teaching her the letter sounds this week because she now understands that letters have sounds and she can read by herself when she learns them. She is VERY independent, so anything that is something she can do "by herself" is hugely exciting for her. One of her most common phrases is "No, Kenna do it!" She is still an anxious little girl in many ways, but it's just something we'll have to keep working on. (After a thunder storm that happened one night, she would talk about the scary thunder daily for a while.) In any case, Kenna is a real sweetheart, very affectionate and full of joy.
Nathan is truly a boy's boy! He loves to run and jump up and down, up and down, up and down ... all the time! He has tons of energy and a sense of humor already. He doesn't take anything seriously - he just wants to laugh, run around, and enjoy being chased. While Kenna will be looking intently at something new to learn, Nathan will be hiding behind the curtains hoping to start a round of hide and seek. He has a certain joy about him that when he starts laughing sometimes he can't catch his breath! I do my best to encourage him to learn the things Kenna is learning, but it's a bit like strapping down a running tiger. :) Nonetheless, he is up to 10 letters, 11 states, all his colors and most of his shapes (the circle mystifies him!). Nathan reminds me not to take things too seriously. Sometimes when something has totally annoyed me he will say something that just cracks me up. He seems to know already when someone needs to smile. :)
Thinking back to when I started blogging, before our IVF cycle that resulted in Nathan and Kenna, it's hard to imagine how vastly different my life is today. I can't imagine life without all three of our kids. Each one was a miracle in his/her own way. The absolute heart wrenching pain that I had throughout all those failed IVFs is something I won't forget. I wish I could go back and save myself of that - tell my old self that it was all going to work out. Not only that it was going to work out that we had kids, but that we had the awesome opportunity to have twins, then I would have the opportunity to experience pregnancy and have Alexa too. It's an overwhelmingly wonderful end to our infertility journey. I sometimes feel guilty that it all worked out so perfectly - like something awful must be ahead because we can't get so lucky. I NEVER thought I would be the "lucky" one. But what I would say is this...
It certainly didn't all happen because of anything I did. I know it is only by the grace of God that, for some reason I will never know, we were blessed in this way. I never trusted in God that it would all work out; instead I spent my time being angry at God. I can't look back and proudly say that I put it all in God's hands. No, not at all. I did not deserve these blessings that came to us. I often wonder why God chose to be so gracious in spite of my lack of faith. I marvel that after we were given our precious Kenna and Nathan, God went even FURTHER to add Alexa to our lives when we didn't even try. It's almost like God was just smiling at it all, wanting to make sure we didn't miss the point that his grace is solely at his discretion. For that reason, Alexa's middle name is Grace. Without even thinking about it, I often find myself actually calling her Grace in special, quiet moments like bed time. I see her beautiful smile beaming up at me and can't help but see her as a direct embodiment of the lesson of grace in my life. And with that, I will leave you with pictures of all three of my amazing blessings: