August 28, 2017

on having a third...

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In five months, I'll be a mom of three. It feels like a pretty big deal—even bigger than the transition from one to two, when I really stop to think about it. But the whole thing feels so perfect, and for the first time in my life, I have that feeling you get when you stop and think, "Our family feels complete."

I always wanted at least three kids. I'm sure much of this had to do with my own family, of which I was the middle child of three sisters for most of my young life (until I was a teenager and our family grew by two). Say what you will about middle children, but I kind of loved being in the middle. It was the best. I always had someone to play with, and I loved not having the pressures of being either the oldest or the youngest. Three children has always felt like such a perfect number, and to think that this dream will soon be my reality makes me stop, take a deep breath, and basically spill over with gratitude.

After having my first daughter, I knew I wanted at least one more. Two more, if I were being honest with myself. I just felt in my core that our family wasn't done growing yet. When it took over a year (and one round of Clomid) to get pregnant with our second child, I struggled with a lot emotionally before finally seeing the eagerly anticipated two-lines-on-the-test. Because we were lucky enough to get pregnant so quickly with our first (despite my having completely irregular cycles) having to wait (and seeking fertility treatments) threw me for a loop. At one point I had to think long and hard about being at peace with possibly having only one child. This is not to compare my experience with that of anyone else, because I know of many women who have experienced endless waiting and heartbreaking loss in their journey toward motherhood—however, my own emotional struggles are just as real. I've come to learn that these things are just plain hard, no matter how long your own journey takes. Whether you're blessed with three children and grieve over your inability to have the five or six you always thought would fill your home, whether you're three months into trying for your first child and feel heartbroken that it hasn't happened yet, whether you have one child and know you are in no position to add to your family—although your deepest desire is to have another newborn in your arms. Everyone feels what they feel and experiences their own grief and worry and heartbreak.

I'm grateful my own story has held what feels like a very happy ending (or, more accurately, a very happy continuing).

One of the first thoughts I had immediately after having my second daughter was, "I am going to do this again." I was still in the delivery room and it just struck me that I couldn't wait to do it again. (Indeed, having small babies and relatively short labors may play a factor here, but still.) Now, clearly I wasn't ready to start trying for another baby (and I didn't even tell my husband what I was feeling in that moment) but I just knew. I knew I wanted one more. I knew in a way that made me feel like this child already existed and was just going to join our family when the time was right.

Getting pregnant with this third baby was a different experience, yet again...and it happened rather quickly. (Please know I in no way take this for granted and feel incredibly grateful.) If I may get personal here, I've never in my life had regular cycles, which is really the only way to chart or time anything when you're hoping to get pregnant, but after having my second child it was like some sort of reset to my system. I had hoped it wouldn't take very long once we started trying (mostly because of this newfound ability to actually figure out when was the best time to try for a baby) but I went into it assuming it would be at least several months. Well, I was wrong, and on Mother's Day weekend I secretly took a test and stared at it in blissed-out disbelief.

I wanted to do something creative in my announcement to Jay, but as luck would have it, he went out of town for work the next morning and I couldn't hold in the secret any longer. I called him that evening, my heart beating wildly, and told him the news. He sat in his hotel room on the other end of the line, completely shocked. After a minute, he managed to say, quite perfectly, "Well, here we go again." But it wasn't sarcastic, it was more like announcing the beginning of another adventure. One that we didn't think would happen that soon, but still.

Here we go again!

Because I feel that this may most likely be the last of our brood, there is very much a peace about this whole experience. I'm a week shy of reaching the halfway point of this pregnancy, and am actually pretty eager to meet this little person and begin the last of the baby years. I can look a few years ahead and be fairly sure that we will be free of dirty diapers, lost pacifiers, bins of just-in-case baby clothes stacked in the garage, sleepless nights (really, though, my babies are the worst sleepers), and carrying around a diaper bag. That's not to say I'm rushing it—that's not it at all. That's also not to say that I resent the early days of parenting a new baby (there is joy tucked into every stage, for sure). But there's a certain contentment in just feeling okay with moving on from the baby years and reaching every new milestone without the hope of again starting fresh with a new baby someday.

I mean, who knows? Maybe I'll have this baby and sheepishly tell my husband, "I changed my mind. LET'S BUY A MINIVAN AND A NEW HOUSE." (And then I will give him a margarita and a hug and try to calm him down.) But I kind of feel like that's not going to happen. Morning sickness was rough business with a husband who travels a lot, two kids to raise, and a house to tend to. Whenever I see someone with more than three children, all I want to do is give them a slow clap and buy them an expensive latte.

When it comes down to it, I won't know for sure what our family will look like a decade from now. But right now, this third child feels like the missing piece I've always been waiting for, and I can't wait to meet him or her. Five months and counting...

— Further reading: from one to two

8 comments :

  1. This seriously just made me grin from ear to ear for you guys. I'm so excited for your little family to get a little bit bigger. Just so so happy for you xoxo

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  2. Congratulations!! I'm due with my second in early February and I'm looking forward to your updates! Our journey was nontraditional and included many needles. You're right, each story is special.

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  3. I'm so happy to read some new posts on here! And congratulations on adding to your family. And I love what you wrote about each person feeling what they feel and grieving how they grieve. As a mother to two through adoption, this really rang true to me.

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  4. Kerri, you are an absolutely incredible writer. I really feel the ups and downs of your emotional journey with the way that you are able to articulate your thoughts. I have always enjoyed your blog and wish you the best with your growing family.

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  5. Congratulations!!!! So happy to see you blogging and so happy for your growing family.

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  6. I think I've commented this before, but we have super similar stories. We're currently trying for a third (fifth pregnancy) and hoping we can do it before doing Clomid again. This is month three. Our little family just doesn't feel quite complete yet.

    So happy for you guys and love seeing new posts from you.

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  8. I am so excited for y'all! In my heart I feel like I want another child as well, but I just don't know if it's going to happen. I'm not willing to take any steps to further my fertility at this point, so we are just being open to life in general.

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