Each pregnancy brings forth new challenges, experiences and celebrations. With this pregnancy being my third, I’m surprised by how magical everything feels.
I had a healthy pregnancy with my older child, A. I spent the last two months of pregnancy enjoying my summer vacation as a teacher. Lounging in bed, drinking iced tea and reading books occupied my days. It was lovely. I rubbed my belly, anticipated the birth, and wondered whether this little baby would be a son or a daughter. Finally the day came when I went into labor and we met our daughter on a warm, Vermont night.
I became pregnant with my younger child, O, when A was 11 months old. A was a pretty easy-going baby, and we hoped for a sibling for her. I became pregnant and spent the next nine months juggling a new teaching position, mothering a toddler, and playing parenting-tag with my husband, who had taken position on campus from 5pm-midnight. While my baby was my companion during my days of teaching and in the evening when my husband was gone, it was a lonely pregnancy. The days of relaxing and celebrating the pregnancy with my partner were gone, and it felt like we rarely connected or relished the pregnancy. But, my son’s birth was beautiful and amazing and the memory of his pregnancy faded away.
Not sure whether a third baby was in our future, I settled into the idea of our family of four. I went back and forth between wishing we would try for another baby and then feeling like I was perfectly content with our two children. During the easier family moments, I’d look at our family and think how wonderful it all felt. I’d wonder why I’d ever want to disrupt it with another child! I can’t even call myself a “baby person”, like some people, so when I started feeling those strong feelings of wanting to try for another baby, I knew it was my desire to add a person to our family and not just a cute, little newborn.
At the beginning of the year, my husband and I talked more seriously about trying for a sibling for our children. One thing led to another and we found out a few short months later I was pregnant.
Since then, I’ve really enjoyed this pregnancy and this baby. Having a four year old and a nearly six year old, I’m really able to take time for this pregnancy in a way I wasn’t able to with my second. I’m not chasing a toddler or changing her diaper. I can hold true conversations with my children, and they understand when I tell them I’m tired and would like to rest on the couch while they play.
I rub my belly every day, throughout the day, sending messages of love and anticipation to our unborn child. I definitely do not feel lonely during this pregnancy, but instead enjoy the attention my husband gives me and my growing belly. My children also are old enough to pamper me with kisses on my belly, tight hugs and loving sentiments.
While I look at my husband, daughter and son and feel completely in love with them, I know with my whole heart that this little one will enter our lives and our family seamlessly. I know we’re going to be tired. I remembering the attention and time required to care for the basic needs of a newborn. I realize we won’t be able to take this baby on bike rides until early 2014 (what?!) and that this new child will disrupt the ease of living with children that can fix themselves a bowl of cereal, get dressed and brush their teeth.
And you know what? I’m beyond excited and ready for that late November day to meet our child.