So you're having a third baby! You took the plunge and now you're neck deep in the middle of a long and arduous pregnancy. Bigger families are great, right? The more the merrier, lots of love to go around... but let's not kid ourselves, it's tough work - and the baby hasn't even arrived yet!
Here are my home truths about the third pregnancy, the stuff we want to say, need to hear but just really dont have the energy to fuss... we just deal with it and move on.
The polar opposites of emotion
One minute feeling so incredibly blessed to be experiencing another pregnancy. You know how amazing having kids are, you know the deep profound love you feel when you hold your precious bundle for the first time, you know you’re lucky to be able to be a mumma. Then within a moment, you think you’re crazy for going for the third. Two is hard enough, what were we thinking? Sleepless newborn nights on top of sibling rivalry and toddlers with attitude sends chills up your spine.
The discomfort factor
Forget waiting until the third trimester when your body packs it in and leaves you swollen, frumpy, slow and broken. This all happens way earlier, too early in fact. That whole ‘my vagina is falling out’ feeling happens when you’re sure the baby is still only the size of a kiwi fruit. But the pressure down there is like a dam wall holding on for dear life. The idea of sex becomes unappealing and you wonder if you could even muster the courage when it comes time to bring on labour… well that’s if your husband can get past the whinging, vaginal varicose veins and the fact you won’t be moving anywhere once you get your groove on, 'let’s do it and then you can help lift me out of the bed'. So sexy.
No one cares as much
First pregnancy we all get asked how we are constantly, people want to touch your belly and be in awe at your beautiful blossoming body. Second pregnancy you still get the well intended questions followed by opinions on how close the two kid will be in age and how full on it will be for you (unsure if this is genuine sympathy or sheer aversion at our procreation choices). Third pregnancy, everyone feels sorry for you in silence, they ask if it was planned and assume it was an accident regardless, your doctors appointments are short and see you later style and no one ever touches your belly.
‘Is this the last?’ question
This rattles away in your mind for the whole pregnancy… you don’t save this conversation until baby is born and you’re 6 months in and settling into a life of five. You usually know while you are pregnant if you plan on doing this again. Third pregnancy is hard on the body and you’re under no illusion about what is coming your way. Vasectomy and birth control are already discussed and the thought right now of baby number 4 is way too much to even consider. You’ll need a van, holidays don’t cater for 4 kids (who are you kidding having a holiday??), who would baby sit that many wild bohemians and as much as making one is fun… I’m unsure if my body, let alone my bits, will recover from three let alone four.
Your maintenance reaches bear minimum status
You start out with well intentions of looking after yourself this time around, it may be the last one and I'll be damned if I don't enjoy it. Once you just survive the first trimester with two other kids hanging off your back while vomiting in the toilet... you resign to the fact that that less is more. Less effort, tick. Less stress, tick. Less worrying, tick. You reason that exercise enough is chasing two mad chickens around the house all day long and may start out as an opportunist squatting when picking up toys but end up cursing how much shit really ends up on the floor. You forget to take your pregnancy vitamins if you even started them at all. You're more relaxed about the birth even though you know what you're in for and fantasise about the 'easiest' option for your impending labour. You consume most foods on the 'watch out for' list and reason that a sip or two of wine can't be worse for the baby than dealing with the stress of your existing offspring. You haven't waxed, trimmed, manicured for months and you could care less how many people will see your 70's style vagina anyway.
You don’t plan, at all
The nursery is nowhere near done and bub is due in 6 weeks. You have no idea about colour schemes, layouts or even clothing. You have gone as far as deciding which room, rummaged through some hand me downs and maybe invested in some new bassinet sheets. Any clothes you may have bought are not washed and folded placed neatly in the baby’s drawer they are still in the plastic bag with the tags on. Half the ‘essential’ items you had to have for baby one are still stored in the garage and will likely stay that way. Your hospital bag isn’t packed, you don’t care what you will be wearing at the hospital as long as it’s loose, convenient and has quick boob access.
You don’t organise dinners, baby moons or pre baby celebrations
You’ve got enough on your plate with two kids, and let’s face it, if you can find a sitter… you’re too damn uncomfortable to accompany adults in public and enjoy yourself. A baby moon sounds like a nice idea, but you are just as content with a night at home when you order take out and hit the hay early. Sleep vs a night out (even if it is only until 10pm), well sleep of course will win every single time. You and your partner now start thinking long term when it comes to you gaining some normalcy back in your life – like 5 years long term. That’s when everything calms down an life settles, apparently. So you wait for your moment of glory, albeit in 5 years time. You will enjoy it then.
The overwhelming feeling of love
It’s bound to come, the unmistakable, deep in your core, heart consuming love. That feeling when you know this is special, so special. And if your vasectomy chat was successful, this will be the last time you feel the flutters, the waves in the tummy, the anticipation of meeting this new soul that will be forever interconnected with your being. Nothing compares to those first moments meeting your baby. Regardless of all the other stuff, you know you’re blessed and about to experience the beautiful miracle of life... for the third time, dear lord we definitely are crazy!