It seems like now is as good a time as any to talk about my pregnancy with baby #3 on my blog. I’ve mentioned it once before but hadn’t been sure what more to say… until now.
Telling people you’re pregnant with your first child is constantly joyous. People’s eyes light up with excitement when they hear you’re bringing a new life into the world. They dote on your entrance to the land of parenting. They express emotions like happiness and show genuine excitement for the journey that’s unfolding.
Telling people you’re pregnant with your second child is still mostly joyous. People’s eyes light up with excitement when they hear you’re giving your first child a sibling. They express emotions like happiness and show genuine excitement for the journey that’s unfolding. Those that have more than one child, and some who don’t, give you a knowing look that is some combination of “It’s great” and “Just wait… you’ll see how hard it is.”
Telling people you’re pregnant with your third child is like telling them you have leprosy. On the outside they might appear happy (okay, no one would seem happy if you told them you have leprosy but it seemed like a good line. I digress.) but simultaneously they say things like “You’re crazy!” “You’re brave!” and “Good luck!” (And it’s not the kind of luck like they hope you win the lottery. It’s the luck that is loaded with the “You’re crazy” and “You’re brave” sentiments behind it). They show concern about the journey that’s unfolding and ask you questions like “can you afford it?” and “how are you going to handle three kids under 5?”
Just ask this guy – my favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan – what it’s like telling people you’re pregnant…again:
Since finding out we were pregnant with number three I’ve poured over every article and blog post I’ve seen about what it’s like to have three kids. I’ve questioned (maybe a bit aggressively) anyone I meet who has three kids, asking them questions like “How hard is it? Are we crazy? What should I know?” And, as I’ve gotten farther in the pregnancy I’ve found myself front loading the announcement to others by saying it all in one breath: “Yes, I’m pregnant. No, it’s not my first, it’s my third. We’re crazy, I know.”
Now, with 10 weeks to go, I’m both overwhelmingly excited and terrified about having three kids. Our four and two year-olds are already so mommy-centric, what will happen when there’s a baby needing my attention, too? How long will it take these three, each two years apart from the next, to realize that they outnumber us? How will the growing pains of moving from two to three affect us (aside from the already inevitable purchases of a minivan and a king bed)?
Just like anything else, we all have to do what feels right for us. And this, having a third baby, no matter how crazy we might seem (or might be) feels right for us. And just because it’s not our first rodeo doesn’t mean we still aren’t experiencing pregnancy in a unique way independent of the other two. Each pregnancy has been different – from the way I’ve carried to the way I’ve felt (definitely most exhausted with this one!).
Last week, after quietly tracking my “kick counts” to ensure that the baby was moving enough each day, I felt unsure… my once karate chopping internal subletter had become quiet and calm. Something didn’t feel right. So we went to the hospital to get checked out. Everything is fine (thankfully!) and we were released after a few hours of monitoring. But it got me to thinking about this whole journey. Regardless of how many times you’ve been through it before, whether it’s your first baby or your third (or your 47th if you’re a Duggar), it’s all a journey with joy and excitement combined with foreign obstacles and concerns. Being pregnant with a third baby is really like being pregnant with a first baby for the third time. Yes, I know more than I did the first (and second) times around, but the magnitude of pregnancy and bringing a new life into the world isn’t at all diminished by prior experience… even if we are crazy!