“Mommy, push me high-yaaaa,” my 2.5-year-old yells from his perch on the swing set glider, laughing in delight as I pull the ride-on toy back to launch him into the air, my burgeoning belly getting kicked along the way.
My 4-year-old shouts for another push from the single swing a few feet away, so I alternate between them, giving a few pushes here, a few launches there as I struggle to catch my breath. Between them is a trapeze that will be replaced with a baby swing come spring — for their new sibling. For both our our swing set and our family dynamic, change is imminent.
With my due date less than a week away, I cannot help but reflect on what I’ve been feeling and experiencing as we prepare to welcome our third child into our family.
I’m a mixture of emotions at any given second of the day, and the push and pull of emotions is very intense.
I find myself alternating between begrudging my lack of energy, fighting my waning patience, and wanting to hang on to every second of these last few days of pregnancy and life with two kids — despite the many challenges. I’m in a constant struggle of balancing parenting my boys while I’m growing bigger and more tired (and delirious, at times). Yet they are both in such magical stages of their childhoods that I want to take snapshots of their sweet moments. I simultaneously want to freeze time and speed it up, to return to my more normal self so I can be the best mother for them, and enjoy these growing boys before my attention is divided.
My youngest seems to have a clear idea that he will no longer be the baby.
I get wistful thinking that he will soon be my middle child. We’re attached at the hip these days. He asks me to carry him (and when he falls asleep as soon as we get to the grocery store, I carry him sleeping — all 36 pounds of him — as we shop, all while pushing his brother in the cart). I lay with him at bedtime, and he wakes up in the middle of the night asking for me. He has also increased the number of times he tells me he loves me throughout the day — and the frequency of his spontaneous kisses and hugs — which melts my heart. He’s become much more expressive in communication and emotions over the last few months, and I’m savoring the stories he tells me, the quips he provides throughout the day, and the moments he tells me he’s happy.
My 4-year-old provides funny and/or embarrassing commentary about my pregnancy on a daily basis.
He tells me how my clothes don’t “fit right,” my “tummy keeps getting bigger,” and asks frequently when my water is going to break and how the baby is going to come out. One common question I’ve gotten over the past few weeks is, “Mommy, when your water breaks, is that when you’re going to hook up your breast pump?” His curiosity is piqued during my weekly OB visits — each visit is followed by a slew of questions. He’s also put in a request that Daddy take a picture of the baby coming out so he can see it.
I feel like I’ve been pregnant for all of 2017.
I’ve been pregnant for most of this year, and I can’t really remember what it feels like to not be pregnant. It’s crazy to think about all that has happened since the beginning of this year — my kids turned 2 and 4, we moved to a new town, I stopped working part-time. By the start of the holiday season, we will have a brand new life joining us.
I’m more excited than ever to meet my new little one.
I wasn’t less excited in anticipation of meeting my first two kids, but this time I’m experiencing a different kind of excitement. This time feels even more special, as I cannot wait to see how my boys react to a new sibling. I don’t know if I’m having my third son or first daughter, and I’m thrilled for the surprise we’ll receive in the delivery room. And as I’ve seen my boys, who are 20 months apart, grow in their love toward one another, I’m beyond excited to see this love multiplied in another sibling.
I know I’m not the first — and am certainly not the last — mother to experience these feelings on the eve of welcoming her third child. Circle back with me in a few months, and I’ll give an update on how life with three children is!