I am happy to host Jen of Momalom today! I remember when I first met her (and her sister). Another blog I follow mentioned these two and I clicked over. It was blog love at first site. Since then I have been a loyal follower and can happily call these two my friends. Please enjoy Jen’s words here and hop on over to her blog for more fun!
Perfection in Three
When I was pregnant with my first baby, the excitement I felt from others—friends, family, strangers––was palpable. People told me I was in for “the adventure of a lifetime,” that my life “would never be the same again,” that I should get as much of my life in order as possible, hinting that “once the baby comes” there wouldn’t be much time for anything else. People asked how I was feeling, if I knew if I was having a boy or a girl, if I’d be moving out of my small apartment, how my mother had reacted to the news of a second grandchild. They asked if I’d keep working, if I was eating tuna, if I had bought a crib yet. I was bombarded with personal questions, received loads of unsolicited opinions and advice and was left feeling like finally I was going to belong to a club worth its salt.
When I was pregnant with my second baby—only eight months after my son was born—I was greeted with (now) amusing reactions such as, “You know how this happens, right?” and “Well, YOU didn’t waste any time!” I was asked again “Is it a boy or a girl?” And was met with absolute approval upon declaring that, indeed, it was a girl. (Our first was a son.) I was assured that my partner and I were on our way to creating the perfect family. Two parents. A son. A daughter. (Even in the correct order––an older brother being the guiding light of his younger sister.) There were fewer questions overall, and a lot less advice given. People, for the most part, expressed general happiness for me and my soon-to-be-perfect family.
When I was pregnant with my third baby, and toting around two children already, the oldest of whom was just barely 4, I often was met with a blank stare, even a look of pure befuddlement. Implied: Why would you have another baby? Clearly you already are overwhelmed. You knew you’d likely have “morning sickness” that lasts for months and sends you to the hospital. Why subject yourself—and your family—to such misery? Don’t you know you have arrived? You already have the “perfect family.” More than one person actually asked if I had considered getting a dog instead of having another baby.
It’s true. That third time around, I already was busy with two young children. I “looked” pregnant early on, and I was sicker than I had been in either of my previous two pregnancies. I also was exhausted enough from life in general not to be able to react emotionally to such ridiculous judgments. I let them slide off of me simply because my energies were needed elsewhere. But, here’s what I would have said: I wanted this baby. Our “perfect” is not neat. It’s not orderly. It’s not organized. A boy and a girl are not enough. Almost immediately after I gave birth to my second child I knew I wanted another. My family wasn’t yet complete. THIS baby will complete our family. I knew that in my gut. In my psyche. In my womb.
And so we had another. And now. Now I look into the dark eyes of my baby girl, who is really no longer a baby but will always be the baby of our family, and I can barely remember our life without her presence, her gestation, without the very idea of her. She always has been a part of us. And now, she is with us. And we ARE perfect. And even though I allow myself to wonder sometimes about what it would be like to have another baby, a fourth, I know that the family I have is truly complete now. A family that is the ideal size for me. For all of us. Two parents. Three kids. Just as it was meant to be.