I’m back to blogging! It’s been a while and thought I’d introduce our new addition! Jay Thomas Barbour was born on Tuesday, January 12th at 1:36am just moments before a snowstorm in Pittsburgh. Our big guy weighed 8 pounds even and measured 21 inches long. He was my largest baby and quickest labor – only FOUR hours!! He has the biggest eyes and hands and is as sweet as can be!
Because I’m so far behind, he is currently 10 weeks, almost 14 pounds, and 24 1/2 inches long! His doctor told me our Jaybird, as we call him, is as big as a four month old!
I still wake up in the morning and find it hard to believe we have three children now! It’s a busy, a bit like herding cats, but it’s been incredibly fun. I’ve been meaning to update sooner, but by the time I sit down after dinner I’m just about zonked out for the night and I wanted to give a thorough(ish) update.
Jay is two months old now, and it was around this time we noticed Paige wasn’t meeting certain milestones. Of course, babies develop at different times, but we knew her vision wasn’t what it should be. As you can imagine, I’m a little hypersensitive about development after what we’ve been through with Paige. I’m happy to report that Jay is currently right on track and reminds me a lot of our Will as a baby.
It’s honestly very thrilling with a little bittersweetness mixed in to watch him grow. The first smile, batting at toys, cooing, putting pressure on legs, and grasping items have been so exciting to watch. I cry all the time when I see Jay doing these things. At the same time, I’m reminded of the anxiety and worry I felt when Paige wasn’t doing this and it makes me sad because this was the start of our journey to a diagnosis. I remember how I felt during that time and I look at her now and I’m so proud. So. Incredibly. Proud.
I’m not going to lie, adding another baby after one with special needs has been difficult, mentally and emotionally. I’m working on not analyzing Jay like I did with Paige and I’m constantly reminding myself that I don’t need to advocate for him like I did with her. My husband hit the nail on the head when he said we didn’t grow our family to worry and fuss over what could happen.. we did it because we want a big family and we have love to go around. It’s been a wave of emotions and it’s scary to let my guard down, but it is truly necessary in order to be the best parent to my three little monkeys!
I’m told it’s a different experience raising other children after having one with special needs. I was warned it would be a lot of watching, a lot of analyzing, and a lot of mixed emotions. So far, those sentiments couldn’t be further from the truth. It IS a lot of all of those things, but once I allow myself the grace of knowing it’s “normal” (I hate that word) then I allow myself to feel joy and present. I’m embarrassed to admit that I sort of “quiz” Jay on these things and I have to stop myself. With Will, I didn’t really know to look for these things, with Paige, I had to, and with Jay, I know too much. I have to stop myself from the knowing too much and find a nice middle ground… and I’m working on that.
Along with the watching and list checking, I was told that the highs would be so much higher and the sweet would be SO much sweeter. Again, I find that to also be true. When this little baby looks me in the eye and smiles, I light up. When I get a little chuckle, it’s heaven. Even when I hear him cry, I know he needs something and I’m happy to be right there.
As for the other munchkins, they’ve adjusted amazingly. It took a few days, but we’re in a good place. Will was a little emotional and Paige had a few sleepless nights but they caught onto the new lifestyle pretty quickly. The night we took Jay home from the hospital Will asked if we could bring him back to “his other house” but once he realized his little bro was here to stay he was fine.
Will is currently in preschool and is growing like a weed. He is starting t-ball soon and he’s really excited about that. Daddy has also taught him how to play Mario Kart on the Wii U and he recently finished 11/12 in a fierce race. Haha!
Paige has recently taken a break from Conductive Ed but will be returning next month. She is becoming more vocal and her expressive language is improving! She uses an “eh” sound in different pitches and we’ve figured out what they mean. She responds to “hi” and gets particularly excited when she hears the theme song to certain television shows. Her seizures have been pretty controlled with an occasional spell here and there. Another thing about Paige.. she is getting TALL! I constantly have to get her wheelchair adjusted and her clothes are getting too short around her middle. It’s particularly noticeable when she is in a standing position or in the bathtub.
Oh! And Will, Paige, and Jay have a new cousin! Benjamin Todd Walters was born in December 22nd! Exactly 3 weeks before Jay! They all met A few weeks ago and it was precious!