I'm starting to loathe how well-meaning people, friend and stranger alike, ask how I'm feeling.
Here's a short synopsis:
8 months pregnant.
3rd time in 5 years.
2 little boys with endless energy.
Not enough hours in the day.
How do you think I feel?! I'm vaguely aware that one doesn't really know what else to ask, because one doesn't want to just assume that I'm doing well or not so well, but what gets me is the flippant comments after I say how I'm doing:
"Oh, well you know what you're doing. Third time around!"
Or my favourite: "Well, after 2 (insert something here about how my boys weighed over 10 lbs at birth) you'll just sneeze the baby out (or something else about how labour will just be easy-peasy)."
Yes, because my cervix has just stayed dialated for 2 years since my last birth.
I'm going to lay it all out. If you haven't yet sensed it, I have anxiety. Major anxiety. So what if I've birthed and managed to raise 2 babies so far? With birth, you never know exactly what will happen! That uncertainty and the unspoken countdown to D-Day may be familiar, but it is still stressful.
Coupled with this stress is the idea that others seem to think I have it all figured out... which makes me feel like I have to let them think I have it all figured out - because it's a lot easier (and probably more polite) to refrain from shaking the people who say the things above and say,
"NO! B.S.! I feel extreme dread each day about giving birth again. If anything, I feel more dread than I did the first two times, because I know the very painful, horrible aspects of both births that I do not want to touch or get close to again! I'm even less patient this time around because pregnancy has been nausea and aches and pain, and it's no longer a novelty!"
If I am somehow managing to foster the illusion that this is just. so. much. fun, I am sorry.
If I have given the impression that a third pregnancy is no big deal, I am very sorry.
If I have given the impression that since its easier to be pregnant than have the actual infant out and needy, so I'd of course be happy to do whatever activity it is that involves packing up two boys and leaving my nice warm house, I am really really sorry. (Well, generally if people offer a comfy place to sit, and I just like them, I AM genuinely happy to leave the house.)
I sound so selfish upon re-reading. I feel that way though. My poor Joseph. He has to live with this insanity. Think about that.
Now, after all that negativity... let me shed a little light on the positives of expecting a third child, because though I sincerely feel the things above, another part of me is living in sheer amazement that Joseph and I made another person, who is currently somersaulting and dancing around inside my body.
This person is unique. This person, our son, will have gifts and talents to be discovered as he learns and grows. The possibilities of the kind of boy and man he will become are something awesome to think about. And I'd hate to think that because he's the third child, he'll be looked at as just "another one," by anybody.
Because he's the third, it is true that I won't have the first-time-mom anxieties about feeding and changing and sleeping that I did with the first two. I've lacked sleep and I've heard my share of crying and have seen some gag-worthy diapers.
But he will not live off scraps of love because he's just "another one". He will live in mostly hand-me-downs, but he won't be less special or less cherished because we've done this twice before. Growing in love is what families are about, and that is what we're doing here.