This was written the first week of July 2015…
We’re 20 years old and 2 weeks into “hanging out” and “watching movies,” awkward college-speak for dating, and I ask him, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. He responds, very truthfully and without a hint of irony, “A Dad.”
And that has been the truest thing I’ve known about James in the 12 years since. And he excels at being a Dad. A true partner. In fact, I’d say he shoulders the larger share of the parenting responsibility in our home, and he does so willingly and with his signature quiet humor.
And thus, it comes as no surprise that James has been on campaign for Baby Number Three since Courtland entered the world on August 10, 2011. As the oldest of four boys, he grew up in and loves a big family. Without pressure, but with a clear enthusiasm, he has always been excited about the prospect of us having our own large family.
I, on the other hand, have been truly ambivalent about the notion of a third child. We have such a lovely family dynamic with our two girls in our little house in Vermont, why complicate life with additional life? The finances! The lifestyle! The social dynamics! The bodily fluids! The sleeplessness! The zone defense! The world’s overpopulated! The fact that I’m now in my 30s! I couldn’t wrap my head around all the changes three would mean.
But then the girls learned to wipe their own butts. And (for the most part), sleep through the night. And dress themselves. And are the most delightful little humans with such a wonderful bond and connection that I began to see how another child might be possible. I’d catch glimpses of how they would help entertain a baby, and provide support that was lacking when they were new. And then they began asking for a baby. TWO babies, actually. A brother AND a sister. And the thought of my sweet Courtland as a big sister was one of the most pivotal in helping solidify my cautious interest in adding to our family.
Additionally, while I feel very much whole, as though our family is complete in its current state, when I would close my eyes and envision life 20 years from now, I would see more than just the four of us. I saw us with more adult children – a built in party, support network, and core. I’m not one of those women that leaves L&D yearning for a repeat of what I just experienced. Very much the opposite. But I am a woman who believes that my children, this family, will always be my life’s greatest joy and accomplishment. The thought of adding to that is what finally tipped the scales.
In December, the goalie came out of the net, as it were, and while I remained equivocal, I was willing to see what would happen. I noticed that with each passing month that my period would arrive, I would feel a hint of sadness, which signaled that this was the right course.
On Friday, July 3rd, over the holiday weekend at James’ parents’ cabin in the Poconos, I peed on a stick and two minutes later was greeted with a blue plus sign.
A third pregnancy.
A third baby.
A third child.
I have been riding a high of excitement since. Yes, there are moments where I can hardly believe it. Yes, I loathe the predictable first trimester sinus infection that I was struck down with within days (just like I was with Addison and Courtland). I feel rather physically miserable (just as I did with both girls), and yet it is so liberating and wonderful to carry a third child. My emotional and mental health is so much more balanced and calm and happy.
With the first pregnancy, well, EVERYTHING is overwhelming and new and scary and exciting and WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! And with the second there was constant worry about the beloved first born and what would the arrival of a baby do to her and how is it possible to have room in your heart to love equally more than one child?
But now? With the third? I’m not afraid of all the bat shit craziness my body is experiencing. That’s par for the course. I’m not scared of how James or I or our children will adapt to another family member, because the four of us are living proof of just how capable the human heart is to love deeply and unconditionally multiple children. Sure, it’s going to be madness and if I dwell on it too much I’m a bit daunted by the mechanics of parenting three children with two working parents. But I never doubt our ability to adapt and make it happen. And I never doubt our ability to love and welcome new life into our family.
James and I can do that. We have done that. And we couldn’t be more excited to do it again.
I am due in early March 2016. This week marks my transition into the 2nd trimester. Here’s hoping that I feel a much needed surge in energy now that I’ve made it through the first three months.