Helping Hands

You don’t think that it will happen to you.

“Wash your hands, then be sure to use the hand sanitizer before you hold them.”

“Try and hold her in front of you when you’re feeding her.”

“No, don’t burp her on your shoulder, just lean her forward and pat her back gently.”

“Watch her head…not too far back…no, not too far forward either!”

“Bottles at a 45 degree angle!”

“Are you sure you sanitized?!”

Wait.  Did those words just come out of my mouth??

I always thought that those other new moms and dads were just being way too over protective.  “Relax,” I thought, “I’ve got this under control.  I’ve fed a baby before.  Besides, how hard can it really be?”  Little did I know.  When our babies are were finally home under our roof; when the responsibility shifted from the Mercy NICU nurses to Missy and I…even over protection didn’t seem like it would be enough.  Keeping them alone in our own little bubble of a townhouse seemed like the best idea in the world.

Yet after the first 24 hours of no sleep, after saying things in the dead of night that I instantly regretted while three babies wailed in Missy’s lap, we knew that we would have no other choice but to find another way.  So we called in the reinforcements.

Now, the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child,” has never rang more true.

Aunt Shannon and Grandma Cindy were quickly on the scene the next morning.  Knowing that the girls were in good hands, Missy and I had a chance to regain our strength and catchup on some lost sleep.  We quickly developed a short-term plan of action…and Aunt Shannon hasn’t left our house since.  Hello live-in Nanny!

“Sleep when they sleep” has been the hardest piece of advice to follow.  While Missy and I still try to conquer our fear of leaving the room with just the monitors on, we’ve all worked out a temporary system of having at least two people up for every three-hour feeding.  Our routine goes a little something like this:  I stay up through the midnight feeding, Missy is up from 12:00 to 3:00 AM, and Shannon gets the graveyard 3:00-6:00 AM shift (hey, she’s still young).  With help coming throughout the day, I go back to work and the girls (Shan & Miss) try and get rest when they can…with Aunt Shannon usually taking an “epic nap” sometime in the afternoon.

Thank God for family and friends!  Near and far, the way the troops have rallied to our side has truly been nothing short of amazing.  Eric and Kelsey stopped in for a while when they dropped off dinner last week…

Eric and Kelsey...looking pretty good with those babies!

And then our friend Hillary came by to help with a feeding…and a holding!

Hillary putting Rowan to sleep.

And of course, the grandparents are always more than willing to hold a baby or three!

Grandma and Grandpa always have a free hand!

Cassie and Joel came by Friday night with dinner and provided help and company past midnight…what great friends!  Unfortunately I didn’t think to grab the camera when they were here, so no picture yet.  Next time they visit, I will be sure to snap one or two!  I also don’t have any pictures yet of Aunt Shannon in action, but once I do, they will be up as well.

From afar, the rest of the family “back east” hasn’t been idle.  My Dad and my youngest brother “Handsome” Rob arrive Sunday morning, as the first wave from my side of the family officially kicks off the summer visiting.  My mom will then be arriving in July to help for a couple weeks, while my cousin Aubrey, my sister Hannah, her boyfriend Chris, and perhaps even my other brother Addie, are set to visit in August.  Then in September, my Dad is due back with Peg, Fred, and Erma!

We can’t forget about Melissa and Jake, who are staying busy with updates to the Triplet Blog and dinner calendar.  They have finalized plans to visit later this month, and so the girls will finally get to meet them, and their big cousin Tennyson (maybe she will be able to show them the greatness that is Elmo…and tunnels)!  So needless to say, we will not be short of helping hands.

As for me, well…just expect the blogs to be fewer and farther between for the near future.  I will still be here, but as the laundry, dishes, and dirty diapers pile up, I won’t exactly have as much time to post as I have in the past.  I want to try and be as much use as possible since I’m not able help out during the work week.  Don’t worry though, you can still find all the latest and greatest here at Living in Pursuit, so come back often!

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

One thought on “Helping Hands

  1. Seriously Tom we would love to help, so let me know where you shop or what diapers you use and we will send some. Let me know how we can help.

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