I used to think back before kids that by the time I was expecting my third baby, I’d be enamored with my kids and motherhood (not all the time, but most of the time), and that I’d just be such a total natural, and that all the answers would flow into my brain with the same ease as oxygen into my lungs. I envisioned myself caring for multiple small children, while practicing babywearing in a sling for a minimum of 4-6 hours per day and calmly handling all kinds of tasks.
…This is not the case. This is also purely my own experience and findings, colored by my own background and pet peeves – so it’s also not a perfect case-study for someone considering getting themselves into “outnumbered” territory. So here it goes.
When you’re expecting your third baby, you will really need a support system. And if you don’t have that, or much of one, you’re going to feel alone and angry and also unsure if you have a reason to feel that way. You’re going to be resentful. And you’re going to want to roll your eyes (or worse) when someone chirps that “It takes a village,” because the truth is, that “village” turned into a gated suburb a long, long time ago.
When you’re expecting your third baby, you will need to be at the point of screaming, crying, or throwing things before people around you realize you need help, that you’re cracking, that you’re terrified. Or that you just simply can’t take one. more. thing. And that’s gonna piss you off.
When you’re expecting your third baby, you won’t really get much time or energy to connect with that baby during the pregnancy. You’ll forget you’re pregnant a lot of days (until you want a beer), and wonder – or even beat yourself up about – why you’re feeling like death warmed over. “Geez, what is wrong with me,” you’ll wonder, followed by an “…Ohhh, right.” It won’t be the first thing you think of when you wake up every morning, unless you just happen to wake up with heartburn, nausea, or a foot in your ribs. And while you’ll console yourself in the first trimester by saying it will feel more “real” once you’re showing, that’s not always the truth – and you may just find yourself too overwhelmed by the amount of “real” running around you all day (i.e. other kids, work, etc.) to notice that you’re actually growing a person.
When you’re expecting your third baby – and I want you to get this part, if you get nothing else in this post – NOBODY will see you. I mean, come on, how entitled can you be? You want people to stop getting in your personal space at Walmart, breathing down your neck at checkout registers, veering closer to you with their two-ton trucks when you are walking outdoors, or running you over at the grocery store (this is especially true for elderly folks…they have literally zero effs to give about flattening you, trust me on this one, trust me 1000 times over)? Geez, you’ve done this before, right? You should know the drill by now, and if you protest any of these rude and careless behaviors out loud, well you really need to get control of those raging pregnancy hormones. Bitch.
When you’re expecting your third baby, you will be tired, all the time. You will also lose whatever filter you still had the first and second time around when people make rude, crude, or just plain ridiculous comments. This includes the following gems:
- “You’re gonna be outnumbered!” (Wait…3 > 2? What?)
Said the asshole.
- “Better hope this one sleeps.” (Sleep? Huh?)
- “Do you know what causes that?” (Yes, you pervert…and we’re very good at it. Would you like to watch?)
- “Man, are y’all aiming for a basketball team?” (What does this even mean?)
- “Well hey, the good news is that this one will just fall out.” (Thank you, for this creepy and not-at-all-scientific comment on the current tautness of my vagina, as if you’d know. May you lose a toenail in a horrific flip-flop accident on this day.)
- “How are you going to put them through college?” (Gee, I didn’t think about that…how are you going to continue taxing a broken social security system that I’m paying into but will never reap the benefits of? And who again was it that caused the college loan bubble that took off at the same pace and schedule as the subprime mortgage crisis?)
- “I know two ultrasounds and a professionally trained doctor and ultrasound tech have all confirmed there’s just one baby, but I say it’s twins!” (*firing up chainsaw*)
…I could go on. And it’s useless to point it out, because most people don’t have the awareness to know that they aren’t helping. Because helping for helpings’ sake is kind of like emotional welfare, and people get really skeevy about that. Most people won’t realize that all you really need to hear from them is that you can do this. That’s something I really try to make a point to do for every expectant mom I know (especially the first-timers, GOD, the first-timers need that boost so much because the same jackwagons above are the ones telling them they’re doomed to no sex life and a horrific birth experience). What people are too arrogant and ignorant to realize is that the best thing they can say is this:
“You will find your way.”
Because when you’re expecting your third baby, you will be equally, if not even moreso terrified than you ever were with the first or second. You know by now that having your third doesn’t mean you have all the answers – it just clarifies for you, in a very humbling way, that you don’t know what you’re doing. Sure, you know how to handle a Level 8 Nuclear Diaper Blow-Out. You know how long a formula bottle keeps versus a pumped breastmilk bottle.
But the answers? How to navigate your husband’s “Good Old Boy” office politics with the changing roles of dads in the here and now? How to weigh the financial cost of an epidural on your craptastic insurance (WHY, NO, I WILL NOT STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT) with the negligible trade off of not wanting to gnaw your own knuckle off mid-labor? How to raise a tiny person into a fully functioning adult?
No clue. We’re winging everything. And we’re not always gonna nail it.
Again, you will go to a hospital, birth center, the back of a minivan on the side of I-85, or wherever it is that fate should choose for you to pop this (obviously unplanned) baby out (cause nobody ever intentionally has more than 2 kids, right? Right?). Again you will debate whether you should experience natural childbirth one time, just for the breadth of experience in a lifetime you will get but one chance at, or if you should opt for the epidural that feels like a tropical vacation when you’re stuck at 6 cm. Or maybe you get put in a really crappy, upsetting emergency situation where lives are at stake and it’s all you can do to process that and just breathe. Maybe you go for the planned repeat c-section, or whatever other methods of fetal exit people are debating the virtues of these days (I don’t have cable TV anymore, so fill me in).
Again, you will welcome the most wonderful little person and be in complete amazement, so deeply in love that you can’t contain it, so thankful, and so unable to imagine life without them.
Again, you will pack up and head home, new baby in an infant carseat, and look at the nurses and doctors on your way out as if to say “ARE YOU REALLY LETTING ME GO HOME WITH THIS?!”
And again, you will be exhausted, frustrated, and alone. And overflowing with love for your kids. But somehow, that last part is what will get you from here to eternity. And that is what really happens when you’re expecting your third baby.