We're in the home stretch now for meeting our new baby girl. We've made it to the six week countdown and I've passed the inevitable bridge that all pregnant women are required to reach; the i'd-rather-get-this-baby-out-even-though-it-requires-what-it-requires and i-choose-minimal-sleep-and-newborn-care instead of being this pregnant. It's just a fact of life, friends and a necessary step to continue to populate the human race - let's be honest.
At this point, my pregnant body just feels foreign to me. It no longer reacts the way I expect it too, I have aches and pains and constant heartburn (oh, Lord, the heartburn). I need at least a 10 second warning a sneeze is coming on to tighten up, or well...you know what I'm talking about if you've been pregnant. I'm deliriously happy about our new girl and so grateful that my body can do what it does (ie. grow humans!?) but I'm also ready to meet her and gain control back over my own self.
Coming to the end of this pregnancy has also been a stark reminder that we are also coming to the end of having only two. These two:
These have been our only two kids for the past two years and now we're getting a new little person. A new personality that will give our current two kids a new layer of themselves. Our family will become more complete and with it we will all learn how to work together differently to allow for this new person to be with us. We will go from equal parts parents and kids to an imbalance in favor of the young.
Currently, Grey and Gem are best friends; honestly. They can hardly stand to be apart from each other. The first words out of Gemma's mouth when she wakes up is "Where's Booboo?" and Grey makes it his mission to be his sister's protector. He gives hell to the big kids at the playground, "It's my sister's turn! Let her have a turn next!" and tells her frequently, "I would never let anything happen to you, Gem."
What will a new sibling do to them? I don't say this in panic, but in curiosity. I was one of three and having two siblings allowed for a mediator, an impartial listener, an ally, a conspirator, another best friend. I can't wait to see how this plays out for our three too.
While at the playground the other day, my Mum was listening to a 'big boy' talk to the kids by the slide. When Grey told him, "This is my sister Gemma and we're getting a new baby girl too." The big boy said, "Another girl baby? No one is going to pay attention to you guys anymore!" and Greyson announced to Gemma, "Let's get out of here, Gem." and they slid down the slide together and left that big kid up there alone with his rude warning. HAH!
After I had my complications with Gemma's birth and was put back in the hospital for a few days, I remember sobbing to my sister that I felt like I was neglecting my first baby; Greyson; that I wasn't being a good mom to him anymore now with the new baby and (more so than that) restricted to the hospital bed.
I am feeling the same tinges of that now in my final weeks of pregnancy for baby #3. I know I am slower and more tired these days. I can't carry babies up the steps anymore or chase down 100 fly baseballs. And after our new girl arrives, I know my Mummahood will be stretched a little thinner in both energy and patience.
Somehow though, isn't it funny and wonderful that being a Mum becomes thicker in Love with the addition of new family members.
I have been trying to take in all the little changes in our kids right now to hopefully keep a snapshot of them in my mind of what it was like when they were only two.
Grey has been growing at weed speed these days; both physically and mentally. He came downstairs this morning and I knew right away that he had grown - and I was right: a full half inch since last month(!) He has been trying out several phrases he hears from tv shows or bigger kids; things like "You started it," and "I'm going to scare the heck out of you!"
Yesterday at the zoo, he was acting like a spooky animal in the meerkat tunnels and sort of blocking the entrance for other kids. I called him out of the tunnel and told him that even though it was funny to him, other kids weren't able to play too and maybe they were scared. That I knew he wasn't a bully but he looked like one by not letting other kids in the tunnel. He apologized and looked visibly saddened. About a half hour later when we were leaving the zoo, he said, "Mum, I'm feeling nervous." I asked why and he said, "I'm feeling worried about the other kids when I was being a bully." He has my tendencies about holding onto that ping of worry in my heart when I know I made a choice that may have made someone else feel unhappy.
Gemma has turned on the little girl light switch and all the baby has nearly dissipated from her entirely. She has made the drastically obvious leap from talking so that only her parents understand to full blown conversations that other people understand. It's both scary and dazzling to see our girl, who has been the baby for so long, turn into a real life little girl.
When I was feeling particularly sick and tired the other night, I came upstairs and took a bath and then put on my flowered robe to lay down to read (thank you, Brandon for the peace & quiet!) and Gemma came upstairs to tell me it was time for dinner. The moment she walked into our room and saw me in the flowered robe she lit up and whispered, "You are beautiful, Mumma!" I could have cried. She can be the sweetest, most loyal little thing in the world. When we are playing monsters/bad guys and I pretend to be afraid; she runs to me, throws her little arms around my neck and whispers, "I'll be-tect you, mumma!"
We have been talking, practicing, role playing, and doing more talking about having our new baby around. Every time I go to a doctor appointment, the kids ask enthusiastically, "Is she coming today!?" We have been trying our best to make our new baby's arrival like waiting for a package in the mail; we are all just anxiously checking the mailbox everyday in anticipation.
It's such a mix of emotions in these last few weeks. Slightly grieving the end of two kids and the exact feeling of how our life is today in all it's wild, moving, chaos. Hardly standing the anticipation to meet our new girl; to become more whole as our family - it so painfully obvious that she is missing from us. And knowing that I don't want to feel so huge and out of control of my own self, but also knowing the alternative to that lies the zombie like state of the rotten eight first weeks of having a newborn.
And so we all wait to bring our girl home. Until then, we'll be relishing in just how our life feels during these final weeks of two.