Happy New Year!
Here I am in the third trimester with Baby Boy 3! 29 weeks, to be exact :).
I was trying to figure out why I haven’t taken many bump pics of this pregnancy. The only answer I could come up with is – my house is so messy most of the time that I delete any pics I do take in disgust. lol.
There’s a lot about the third pregnancy that is very different.
Your hands are so full with the two outside your belly, that even though you are so excited for the third, he sort of fades into the background of everything else you are doing. It’s not that you don’t think about him and the pregnancy (that’s impossible)… its just that you are really deeply content with where you’re at. I’m not chomping at the bit for these last three months to be over. And (perhaps more shockingly) – I’m not emotional about having a third (more on that in a little bit). I just… am. I feel the tentative pokes and kicks of the small person inside of me, amid the giggles and shouts and messy love of the small persons outside of me. And I am content. I am excited to hold him, to meet him. But I also have a lot to do to still get ready for him! So I’m just fine with the way time is going by.
Many of your friends – even those who see you every week – kind of forget to ask you about the pregnancy – and then periodically apologize, which is funny cause its not them, its you. You are so laid-back that you’re not obsessing over it yourself, so it is completely natural to you that other people aren’t either. I remember when one of my friends was pregnant with her third last year, I felt so bad for forgetting to ask her about the pregnancy all the time. I get it now ;).
Another thing that is very different about this third pregnancy is how much FUN it is to share with an almost 5 year old. I can only imagine how amazing it is with even older kids. Will has been so eager and interested in this pregnancy. And so cognizant. I showed him Baby’s due date on his little 2016 calendar this morning. We were chatting about the year to come, and Will asked about our yearly beach trip.
“You know,” I said, “It’ll be our baby’s first beach trip this year! We will get to show him the ocean for the first time in his whole life!”
I was able to show him pictures of his own first beach trip when he was just a month older than our new baby will be (their pregnancy timelines are just one month off – Will was due at the end of Feb, this guys the end of March ). Seriously – how scrumptious?!:
Will was so delighted to think about our new baby at the beach (Will is obsessed with the ocean – and he even picked out a sleeper for our baby from Gap that has whales all over it. Insisted I buy it.) and to laugh at pictures of himself. Wouldn’t you know though, my dramatic and sensitive firstborn’s favorittttte pic of himself was this one:
He laughed out loud at his own angry little red face and asked to see this picture again at least 3 times.
Here we are in the doctor’s office last Friday. Thanks to preschool, I’ve only had one child with me for all the appointments so far (SUCH a lifesaver!)… but for the Glucose test I didn’t want to trust my poor time-judging skills for getting Will to school and myself to the OB – all within the hour of eating a hearty breakfast – so I set the appointment for a day I could bring both boys first thing in the morning.
I was actually sorry its had to be Henry all along instead of Will. My oldest was a perfect angel the whole long visit. He asked intelligent questions, followed every order scrupulously, and was quiet and respectful when the nurses or doctor came in. Henrin now… Kept running out of our waiting corners, kept picking fights with Will, was super loud, insisted on eating something every 5 minutes and stressing me out with his crumbs everywhere. Boy is crazy.
Oh! another different thing about the third pregnancy… your doctor’s visits feel like SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. They are literally so awkward and non-helpful. The nurses are great, they do the urine samples and bloodwork and weight and make a little chat. But the doctor comes in and just is like, “So… um… do you have any questions or concerns this visit?”
And inevitably, you don’t. So they just nod their head and tell you to keep up the good work and peace out. I now am like – what were doctors visits like before? I feel like they volunteered a lot of information or suggestions. Now I guess they just figure you have it all figured out?
Maybe it also has something to do with being my first pregnancy post natural delivery. I do feel much more confident that my body and the baby are doing their thing, and are totally capable between them. So I have less questions. And I can really appreciate the approach my doctors practice has of only one ultrasound for the entire pregnancy (unless any concerns arise); it just limits the amounts of confusion or interference. (For one, they always try to change my due date based on ultrasounds, cause I grow big babies!) But in the meantime I’m like, do I really have to come in? 😉
My third pregnancy has been different in that I’m not an emotional basketcase about the upcoming transition. I did not expect this. I have been so attached to each season we have been in throughout my experience of motherhood so far; I am the most absurdly sentimental person when it comes to moving on (even before motherhood).
I think it has to do with the timing of this baby though. God has been so merciful to Jason and I in helping us plan our family. Here our third is coming in the same year that our first is starting Kindergarten, and our second will be starting preschool in the Threes room. Part of this situation makes the year a bit of a strain financially… we feel very called to Catholic school, and fell in love with the one nearest to our house. But this will mean we are paying off the hospital baby bills in the same short year as coming up with tuition money. Whew! A little nerve wracking. But I think we can do it, with the grace of God :). And maybe a lot of fasting from nice wines and chikfila runs. I guess we’ll find out if it really is His plan for us, cause He will make a way!
Anyway… any time that I have a moment of being like, oh man, I won’t be able to do this or that anymore with three… I realize I am thinking like a (former) homeschooler lol. For instance, I was driving home from picking up Will through one of my favorite old routes that I rode my bike on last winter with the boys in the Burley behind me. It is such a pretty stretch, and I felt this pang of sadness that “That season is over and I didn’t appreciate it enough! I won’t be able to do that anymore with three”… and then I realized, I will have plenty of time with just two while Will is in school. And even a few mornings a week with just ONE (! gasp!) while Henry’s in preschool. I can bike ride again to our hearts content; I can even whip out the old BOB single!!
No set-up is perfect, obviously. A Homeschool situation can have unique benefits that I will be sad to have to go without in mine. I will miss Will a lot!! I get emotional thinking about letting him go a little bit farther and for a little bit longer. But I feel really called to this, and my husband feels REALLY called to it too, and it seems like God is opening the door. So as we are getting closer to it, I can see the good of it, and more and more how it is truly fit for our family and our personalities.
Same with having a lot of super close in age children. While I love watching the hilarity and closeness that can ensue in those families, I think that setup would give me some major depression. I guess I am who Will gets his sensitive nature from ;). I actually feel like I could’ve babied my Henry a good 6 months longer before getting pregnant, had our situation allowed us to conceive at a different time. He is still so yummy and babyish to me. I have loved every minute I have had with him as my baby. And thanks to Will being in preschool the last year, I have been able to have so much special one on one time with him. Almost as much as I had with Will before Henry came!
Whenever I feel sentimental about my season of two babies drawing to a close, I am so thrilled to realize it is simply continuing, just with some shuffling and a different little baby! I haven’t actually gotten any time with just one baby to love and focus on while they were still small since Will… so this coming fall when I will have three mornings a week to coo over a 6 month old again, undistracted, is incredibly exciting and appealing to me.
The older I get, the more I see that no two happy families are alike. (You were WRONG, Dostoevsky!) Each family is a unique blend of personalities and therefore, each family is going to respond to the call to Holiness in a different manner. No one way is superior to other ways, insomuch as they are each approached with discernment and chosen firmly – joyfully – with intention. Do what you know you were made to do! “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”, as St. Catherine of Siena said.
I went for a long walk ny myself yesterday and was caught off guard by how blue the sky was. I felt a surge of excitement for this coming spring, and the new year… for getting to run again so soon, after almost a year off!… for the new baby we get to fall in love with, for the new adventures and experiences for my two oldest, and for Jason and I to learn to balance loving each of them in their different stages and needs. I believe God created us to do this, this exact situation with these unique people in our little family… and we can rest in the knowledge that He will provide the means and the grace. And if He doesn’t He’ll open a window (or in some cases, a trap door) to something even better we didn’t see coming.
This is related but also kind of a new topic, but I know if I wait to write a new post for it I won’t get around to it. I wanted to share (slash save for future reference) this homily that I found this morning. Reading the gospel for today, and thinking about yesterday’s gospel, it struck me (as it has struck hundreds of better thinkers long before me) how crazy it really is that Jesus spent THIRTY of His 33 years on earth humbly and unceremoniously in Nazareth. I mean – 30 years at home would be a long time for us in today’s first world culture, let alone back then when people could be married at 15! I remembered hearing Benedict XVI speak of the “school of Nazareth”, so I googled it and found that beautiful archived homily (not Benedict’s, but a deacon who incorporates a lot of church teaching!). Really meditating on it as a mother was so powerful, and so encouraging. My own call to holiness, as a confessor once unforgettably rebuked me, is not outside or apart from my husband and children… but with and through them. And the challenge of the School of Nazareth, of finding for myself what it was that Jesus and Mary and Joseph did for 30 years together… how they grew in wisdom and understanding and love… that is so exciting. I imagine those quiet, hidden years were full of beautiful moments, happy memories, serving one another in poverty and sacrifice (as with the birth in the manger), and saturated with love.
“Family is where progress in the spiritual life can find its raw material. Whether we choose to respond to grace – and develop the eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to accept the hidden invitations to learn to love beneath the surface of that daily stuff – is all wrapped up in the mystery of human freedom. Our choices not only affect the world around us they make us become the people we will become.”
So yeah, I guess that is at the heart of what I’ve been learning lately… seeing the little choices and the unique ways they are shaping our family, as we become – we hope! – who God meant us to be.