It’s April … and in our house, that means it’s BABY MONTH!
Yes, all three of our boys will have April birthdays, and we are here for it! As number three is about to come out of the oven to make his grand debut, and I compare my first pregnancy to my third, I realize just how true it is that each pregnancy is completely different. I mean, here we are, less than a month out from our due date, and this poor baby doesn’t even have his own nursery. No elaborately decorated and themed room, and pretty much all hand-me-downs from his two big brothers. What IS the same is that I’m feeling all the feels, nesting like it’s my job, and doing a whole lot of reflecting like I always do as the day draws near.
I love my two boys more than anything, and I know I’ll love this sweet third boy just as much. I seem to always feel a twinge of sadness as I approach my due dates and birth months. The pregnancy hormones and maternal instincts are in full force, and I’m anxiously anticipating our new addition while also grieving that this sweet chapter we’ve been in is about to end.
Pregnancy with the first baby comes with its own magic— the wonder, the newness, the joy, the realization that a huge life change is about to take place. And once you enter the world of parenthood, there is no turning back! There’s something special about that firstborn experience, simply because it came first and set the bar. It’s amazing how quickly you forget what life was like before they entered the world!
I remember being pregnant with our second, lying in bed with my oldest, weeping after watching “The Good Dinosaur” with him. (Pro tip: do not, I repeat, do not watch any sad movies in your third trimester – it’s just a recipe for a night of tears and an emotional roller coaster.) I was highly aware that my one-on-one time with our firstborn was coming to an end. A new beautiful chapter would begin in our family, but it wouldn’t ever be the same. Joy and grief can exist at the same time, and that’s exactly how it felt.
“Discovering that with every child, your heart grows bigger and stronger – that there is no limit to how much or how many people you can love, even though at times you feel as though you could burst – you don’t – you just love even more.” – Yasmin Le Bon
I was sad that it had gone so quickly, sad that my almost three-year-old’s world was about to be flipped upside down, sad about him having to share my love with a new baby. With each pregnancy, a part of me wondered how I could possibly love any more when my heart was already bursting at the seams. And along with that anticipatory joy came some fear of the unknown, as our new baby would be born with Down syndrome. So many questions and scenarios filled our minds.
And pregnancy number three, which was by far the most challenging physically, has come with some grief as well. Our master plan (though we all know how “plans’ go in terms of conceiving and family planning) has included three kids, so knowing this will likely be my last pregnancy is emotional. Did I cherish this pregnancy enough? Was I paying attention to all the movements and how it felt to have a child growing inside of me? Did I enjoy it to the best of my ability? When you have other kids to care for, especially kids with high energy or special needs, it can be challenging to focus on those little things throughout pregnancy.
I grieve over the fact that this is probably our last. I grieve that my third child will never meet my brother, who is no longer with us. I grieve that these years are moving so quickly.
But I grieve because it’s been GOOD— because I love my family, my life, my boys, and all the chaos that comes with it. I’m thankful for what I’ve been given and what we’ve been through together. I’m so proud of my boys. Each stage brings new joys, but it’s ok to reflect and feel the pang of sadness, to look back at all that was lovely and hard at the same time.
With each new child that enters our lives, our family, our love, and our story get to grow and develop into something even more beautiful!
“For a mother is the only person on earth who can divide her love among TEN children and each child still have all her love.” – Unknown