Photo by Brady Pappas
As I sit here, 33 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl squishing everything inside of me with every bit of strength she has, I have a mixture of emotions, both excitement and fear.
I was just chatting with someone earlier today telling them this time around, being that it is my third, I feel like I have been so much more “eh” about things, but not in a bad way-it’s not that I care less this time around, its just that with this being my third, I know things will get done-sort of-and I kind of feel a little more at ease with things. (that doesn’t mean I didn’t panic a bit the other day when I realized we only have 7 pieces of clothing for the baby and thats it).
I say this now, but you didn’t see or hear my panic on Sunday when we were going through the closet in the soon-to-be-nursery (both Ella and Charlotte have had that room, so the closet is filled with basically anything and everything that we’ve just wanted out of sight and out of mind). Ella happily volunteered to fold the baby clothes (which I haven’t even washed yet and probably won’t-don’t even judge, ok?), and I happily let her because there was no getting me up out of the glider!
While she was folding I had a really intense feeling of just plain love and completeness, but also fear.
Love, because who wouldn’t adore seeing their daughter helping them get ready for their baby sister? It was one of those moments where I felt like this is what I have always wanted in life. Even with the baby not here yet, but moving around in my belly, I felt totally complete.
Ella as a newborn…11 years ago!
No sooner though, did I feel a wave of fear and panic-how will this baby change our family? Will Ella and Charlotte know that I still love them just as much, if not more than I always have? Am I capable of loving another being as much as I love my girls and Ryan? As this baby grows, is she going to feel like she fits right into our family and like she is meant to be there? Will she feel welcome or out of place? I worry that we are just so comfortable as a family of 4 that the adjustment won’t come naturally to any of us. With Charlotte being 7 (as of 9/19) we’ve become quite comfortable with functioning and operating as a family of 4-how is it possible for us to change?
I’m not naive in knowing this is going to be an adjustment-I get that. I know I had similar thoughts when I was pregnant with Charlotte, too. I couldn’t fathom having the room to love another child as much as Ella, but the second Charlotte was born, it was impossible to imagine our lives and our family without her in it. She just….fit.
This time around though, these feelings and this fear just feel so much more intense and so different. I honestly think a lot of it really does have to do with the age gap between Charlotte and this baby. Like I said, we’ve been a family of four for so long that imagining us any differently puts a little fear in me and is kind of hard, even though its something I have always wanted for us.
Charlotte just a few minutes old!
While I know this baby will be loved and welcomed unconditionally, the fears I feel like I have are totally valid (and normal):
~How will I (we) juggle three when we only have two hands? I realize Ella and Charlotte’s needs are vastly different at age 11 and 7 than a toddler or other baby, but still-how?!?!?!
~Will it be hard for Ryan and I to be outnumbered? With just two it was man to man, which (eventually) felt manageable, but once Baby Girl comes we are officially outnumbered.
~Will she get the short end of the stick because she is the youngest? I feel like I had this same thought with Charlotte, but it still rings true.
~I feel like my standards and expectations are lower than they were with and for Ella and Charlotte. Not because I love this baby any less, or I am not excited any less, but I think because I have done this two times before my mindset is more “it’s ok if…” or “we will survive if…” Part of me though feels like I should be more high strung about this one, and just about things, mainly because I think we (as pregnant women/moms) are made to feel that way, am I right?
I guess at the end of the day though, all that matters is that she is loved, and she knows she is loved. I am worried and fearful sometimes that being the third/last, and the “tag-a-long” as I’ve heard the last baby referred to before, that she will feel less loved. But it could also be quite the opposite! She has so many people before her that have dreamed and prayed for her!
I know, I know, my thoughts are all over the place, but this is what’s on my heart and on my mind (and helloooo pregnancy hormones!). I have prayed for this baby for so many years, and I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness that we are able to bring another life into the world that I just worry what we have to give won’t be enough sometimes.
Tell me, what were/are some of your fears when expanding your family? I’m certain we all aren’t alone in feeling them!