In the 8th month of my final pregnancy, I find myself reflecting back and becoming more and more emotional as I prepare to close this chapter in life. Pregnancy has been everything I ever dreamed it would be and more. I was prepared for morning sickness and gaining an unbelievable amount of weight. Giving up weekend beverages and sushi was no big deal. Needles have always been one of my biggest fears, so the thought of giving birth was absolutely terrifying. But whatever God had in store for my pregnancies was something I was willing to tackle if it meant I would begin my journey into motherhood.
Our first born was planned. Once married, we knew we wanted to finish grad school and be settled into a routine before we started trying for number one, and that’s exactly what happened. Pregnancy was a piece of cake. Morning sickness never came; the weight gain never happened. Swelling, nope. I truly loved every single aspect of pregnancy, and was so sad that 9 months went by so quickly. The birth (once I had the epidural) was no big deal. Our beautiful baby girl had arrived!
Just seven months later, we found out number two was on the way! Once the shock of having siblings only 16 months apart settled in, we were ready for this curveball thrown our way. Just like the first, pregnancy was easy with only a few hiccups along the way…oh the heartburn! I began to think that I had somehow been chosen as a lucky one to absolutely love every single part of this pregnancy gig! As much as I wanted to cherish the moments of my second pregnancy, having a one-year-old to chase around distracted me and created a blur. Once our second blonde headed baby arrived, we experienced some medical difficulties that required him to have multiple surgeries over his first 6 months. Looking back, I feel as if I missed out on so much during that pregnancy and his first year of life, but the thought of a third baby was definitely nowhere on our radar, what-so-ever.
Fast forward a year and a half. With 4 surgeries behind us, chasing two toddlers around, and a photographer’s packed fall season, I was beyond the point of exhaustion. At 8 weeks into another pregnancy, I finally pieced together all of the symptoms, and we were suddenly expecting our third baby! Shock didn’t even begin to explain the emotions my husband and I were feeling. With all of the medical complications we had experienced with our precious little guy over his first year of life, we suddenly felt as if this third child was meant to be. A chance to take in every moment of our final pregnancy and truly cherish the blessing that life is.
Three babies given to us within a whirlwind of three years. A family of five. As I sit down to write this, I am currently 8 months pregnant with another beautiful baby boy. This pregnancy has been a bit more difficult than the first two. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m chasing two toddlers around, the fact that I’m 2 years older, an emotional wreck, or possibly a combination of all. Regardless, we know that this is our last. Although it’s been a tad bit more difficult on my body, I can’t help by tear up with each passing week, as every piece of this pregnancy is a tough goodbye that I know I will never experience again.
A final pregnancy is the last…
…shock of a positive pregnancy test.
…sound of a first heartbeat.
…waddle down the street.
…struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position.
…kick to the bladder.
…argument over names.
…appointment with my OB who’s been there through it all.
…snuggle between older siblings and the baby belly.
I refuse to complain about the heartburn, having to pee every 10 minutes, and a harsh kicks to the ribs. For just as rough as those moments seem to be, I know that I will never again experience the feeling of life within. I thank God every day that I was not only blessed to play this role once, but THREE times over! I look forward to all of the years ahead with my three babies, but I also want to take a moment to look back and reflect on this chapter, for pregnancy has truly been the most incredible experience of my life…one I never want to forget. I’m sure that in the blink of an eye, I’ll be sitting down to pour out emotions for the third and final high school graduation. Time, if you’re listening, please slow down.