Baby #3. It seems like just a few weeks ago, I looked down at those two pink lines and couldn’t believe my luck. Party of 5, my dream coming true. There I was, 4 weeks pregnant and ready to do it all again one more time. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing that positive pregnancy test. From the time we brought our second baby home, and throughout the months trying for our 3rd, I kept that quiet excitement in the back of my heart. Knowing we weren’t done, that I’d get the thrill of the “two-week wait” again. The ultrasounds, the baby kicks, those first few hours together in the hospital with an impossibly fresh human.
I was in a state of pure bliss. Then the morning sickness hit. It absolutely knocked me to the floor. Though I was so very excited for our little secret, I found myself crippled with nausea and fatigue while attempting to resume my life as usual. Trying to hold down a job and run a household with two young kids felt like an Olympic event. I felt absolutely unplugged, and I couldn’t even tell people (especially my own children) what was wrong. I would come home from work, feed them, and proceed to lay on the living room floor until my husband walked in to take over. It didn’t exactly feel like a mom win. I started to realize that this pregnancy was going to be exponentially harder than my others because there was no getting around the fact that I was a few years older and had two energetic kids to keep up with. I was going to have to be intentional about appreciating this time, enjoying all these lasts. Miserable or not.
I crawled my way out of the first 12 weeks and finally felt good enough to start the fun part. We shared the news with our babies, with our family, with the world. The middle of pregnancy is where it’s at. I was showing big time (second and third-time mamas, I’m sure you remember how there was no hiding the bump) and able to get through my days without riding the struggle bus. Still, I was tired. Like, wake me up next week tired. I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband that saw my struggle and jumped in to take on more than ever around the house and with the kids. Still, that didn’t change the million little things each week my babies needed mommy to do for them, and I truly wanted to do with them. It felt unnatural to me to alter my mom routine in any way. I didn’t want them to get one less ounce of love while I made their new playmate. Each night when I’d tucked them into bed, then climbed the stairs six more times for extra songs and back scratches, I’d collapse on the couch. It didn’t leave much time for pregnancy journaling or cutesy bump pics. This time, it was different.
The weeks drifted by, each one feeling like a fleeting milestone to me. I survived another week, I’d quietly congratulate myself as I prepped breakfast or cleaned up a potty accident. The days were so long and so short, I still don’t understand how. When the baby kicks started, I was thrilled like a first-time mom all over again. Sharing that miracle with two excited siblings was just magic. At night I’d sit there and feel those tiny movements thinking, it’s the last time.
At 34 weeks, I can feel myself creeping up on the finish line. My mommy-to-do list isn’t any shorter these days, but I’m certainly getting slower (and larger). I’m thankful for the kids understanding that I need to sit down more than they’re used to, and especially for mandatory rest (enforced by my husband). As I huff and puff around the house, I catch myself in the bathroom mirror, and my inner voice kicks in.
Stop. Look at that bump. You’re making your family right now. Remember this. Forever.
As kicks get painful, as heartburn roars out of control, as pregnancy insomnia rushes in like clockwork… I try to be intentional about slowing down to feel the joy of this pregnancy. There’s an immense quandary waiting at the end of the last pregnancy. I’m smart enough to know that I will miss this, without a doubt. I’m lucky to have had three healthy, positive pregnancies. I’ll always see a baby bump and feel a warm place in my heart for that phase of life.
With that said, I feel myself being called to the next season. The next phase for our family. These last couple of weeks, I’ve felt huge, and miserably uncomfortable. It’s hard for me to take care of my kids, my marriage, and honestly myself when I feel this way. It’s hard to sit still and be mindful of the fact that my number one job right now is to take care of this new life inside me. I know I’ll miss it, but wow am I ready to get back to me. The best version of me. After all, I have three kids to raise… my to-do list just got a little longer.