And then there were 3.
....And Mom and Dad were thrown into a new life where it became a challenge to:
- remember if all of the kids had been fed, or
- to wake up on time to get the oldest on the bus, or
- to call any of the children by the correct name on the first try (or second...), or
- not to forget that we have pets along with all of these children who also need to eat and poop with some regularity, or
- to keep in mind that we are actually married and should really try to have some sort of conversation that does not just revolve around which child pooped when.
I have no idea when the last time was that I got more than 2 hours of sleep at once. (Also, this has only been achieved because my husband is home on paternity leave for the moment and can juggle all of the children so that I can recharge just enough that I don't lose one of them or fall asleep in the preschool pick-up line.)
We are both exhausted. And happy.
I have spent months and months worrying about having another child. A second daughter. Someone else who will need so many things from me when I am already stretched so thin trying to provide for her siblings. How would it be possible to take care of 3 small people at once??
It is, and I am.
The moment she was born, and they were trying to get her to "pink up" at the little baby station in the c-section room, I realized that it was possible to love 3 human beings exactly the same. It wasn't a matter of slicing the pieces of myself even thinner so that everyone got an even bit of me - when she came into the world, she made everything bigger. There was suddenly more of me to go around. Go figure.
I was in a very, very bad mood up until I was laid out on the table being prepped for the surgery.
I kept thinking to myself, "if anyone else asks me if I am so excited to have another daughter, I am going to punch them in the face." Then I would instantly feel guilty for thinking it. What kind of a mother thinks that about their upcoming child? How could I not already feel completely bonded and attached to her when she was going to be here ANY MINUTE?? When I was pregnant with my first 2 kids, I was over-the-moon excited and was counting down the seconds to their birth. With Emmy, I felt like I would be happy to just keep her in there and cook her for an extra year. Or 10. I didn't feel any of that enthusiasm I had with my previous pregnancies.
I just felt weary.
....And then she was here. And I was in love all over again. I wanted to hold her immediately, but I couldn't. She was having some trouble coming around, so they were huddled around her in the little warmer, rubbing her like the tiny puppy in 101 Dalmations that almost didn't make it. I was terrified. I wanted to do whatever I could to protect her and make her okay. I was feeling all of those "mom feelings" and I had been feeling so bad about not having only 5 minutes earlier.
I had been trying so hard to love this baby, when suddenly it wasn't a challenge at all.
Now we are home, we are healthy, and we are adjusting as quickly as possible. I think of it a lot like juggling. Having one kid is like just tossing a single ball from hand to hand. Having two makes it harder, but still doable. Adding a third suddenly takes a technique and rhythm that has to be learned through practicing.
So, we are practicing. Only it's not practicing, because the 3 balls we are juggling are already depending on us to keep them alive, and fed, and not to forget them at the supermarket.
Still a good metaphor...
I just wanted to put this out there in case there is anybody else who isn't feeling that bond with the child currently growing in their belly.
Don't worry. Don't feel guilty. You are not a horrible mom.
It'll happen and your world will envelop this new human being and it will be like they have always been there.
Until then, rest up.