We have the perfect family for us. Fell in love. Got married. Got a cat. Had one little girl. Husband got a promotion. Moved to the Midwest. Got a job I finally love. Had one little boy. Time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor, as stereotypically suburban and middle class as they may be. We are happy. We are content. Our family is complete.
And then one day, you feel a little off, and you decide to pee on a stick in your work bathroom, because there is just no way. And then you remember when you get in your car to look at said stick, and that perfect little life you are so smugly enjoying suddenly flashes before your eyes.
The reaction is complicated. Immediately, a smile creeps across my face. I love babies. But that smile gives way to anxiety. I love babies, but I was pretty sure I didn’t want to have any more. The anxiety gives way to pure fear. I have to tell my husband. He definitely didn’t want any more babies. And all of those complex emotions yield tears and a nervous laughter in my car in the parking lot of that new job I love. We are having a third baby.
Just to clarify, because you are probably already wondering. I was on birth control. I took it every day. Apparently, the 99.9% advertised effectiveness lulled us into a false sense of security. Even more shocking, when I called my doctor and told her that this pregnancy defied all odds, she was not surprised at all and told me how common birth control babies are. Great.
I love being a mother, but I fear that I have reached my limit as the mother of two and that one more child will simply tip the scales of my maternal capabilities. Two children, got it. Three children, descent into madness. And because my husband and I have been so vocal about being done having children, are people just going to assume this baby is an accident, unwanted? Is all the joy of announcing a pregnancy going to be overshadowed by the questions of “How do you feel?” and “Wow, was this planned?” Am I going to be fat forever? Are we going to be broke forever? Am I going to have to quit my job? Can my body handle another pregnancy? Will anyone even care about a third child? Will I suffer postpartum depression again? Can I survive another Midwestern winter with a newborn? Will there be anything of me left? Oh dear god, will I have to break my solemn oath and drive a minivan? Descent. Into. Madness.
I am now in my second trimester, and while I can’t say that this hormonal storm has quieted completely, I can say that I am more excited than I am terrified. Instead of focusing on the fact that I will not have the six pack I was sure was in the plans for this year (let’s be real—this was a pipe dream at best), I am looking forward to maternity pants (one of the greatest inventions of modernity) and anticipating feeling my baby kick (my favorite part of pregnancy). I am reconciling myself to the fact that money will continue to be tight, and the financial breakthrough we saw on the horizon as our daycare bill went from excruciating to only moderately painful will just be delayed a few years. I am grateful that I am able to get pregnant easily and am focusing on taking care of my body and being as healthy as I can, and I am grateful for the excuse of pregnancy and a new baby to explain my not-so-perfect physique. And I am confident that my marriage and my children will not only survive a new addition but will hopefully even be better for it.
So, we are having a new baby, another little BOY. We will call him a “surprise” a “bonus” and will remember that life often has other plans than our own. Embrace the chaos.
P.S. For additional comedic value, feel free to read my earlier Blog post about getting rid of my breast pump: http://www.thecitymoms.org/zen_parenting
And yes, it happened. I refuse to drive it until I have to, so my husband is enjoying it immensely.
Creative Media Editor
A recent transplant to the Midwest, Megan still gets excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan feels more at home in Indy every day. While she isn’t chasing after her two children or working her day job as a social worker, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete