It was February 2021. We had just survived the snowpocalypse. Our power was finally on and I was no longer concerned about my three-year-old and one-year-old getting frostbite in our own house. Since we could finally use our fridge again, I decided to make a quick run to the store to pick up some essentials. I threw a pregnancy test in the basket because my normally very regular monthly friend had yet to visit me, and she was two weeks late at that. It only took about 30 seconds to realize I was pregnant with my third baby, and as they say, “the rest is history”.
What Everyone Wants to Know
The first question people whisper to me these days is so how is it? You know, going from two to three. From man-to-man to zone defense. For me personally, two to three has been the easiest of the three transitions, although my husband wouldn’t say the same. Zero to one was a real doozy for me. I went from just being responsible for me to having a whole human that depended on me for her every need. She wasn’t a sweet angel first baby, and my husband was in medical training. He was working long hours and more often than not, not home or even available for consultation via phone or text.
With our second child, I kind of had the baby thing down but I was so worried about how my oldest would transition to having a sibling. Would she be okay? Would she think we forgot about her? I had all the questions. Also, after lots and lots of conversations, my husband was still adamant that our family was complete with two kids so with every new milestone, I mourned that it would be the last time I ever had a baby doing “XYZ”.
Welp, fast forward a year into Covid and we got a *very* unexpected surprise. After a few weeks of initial shock, we were thrilled to add another baby to our family and when he arrived in October, we had a newly turned four-year-old, a twenty-two-month-old, and a newborn. We both very much know that our family is complete and made sure of it this time.
The Third Baby Dynamic
But this time around was different. I’d gotten over the I can’t believe they let me bring home a human moments. I already had two at home. I knew even if we hit his head on the side of the car a time or two (or as the third baby, he got hit with an action figure a few times), he would be okay because apparently, babies are pretty resilient. I also knew that there would be a transition period – for everyone. And while it may be longer for some of us, at the end of the day, we’d all survive and come out of it thriving and loving our new dynamic.
By my third baby, I’d also lowered my expectations to zero, or maybe in the negative range when I think about it. I fully expected it to be complete chaos at all times, and moments, when it wasn’t, were a pleasant bonus for me. It’s the only way for me to keep my cool. And, since I got all my mourning out with my second, I didn’t have it left in me this third time around. Some might think that’s a bad thing, but for me, it’s great. I’m completely present in the moment and enjoying whatever it is that my baby is doing rather than being sad that it won’t happen again.
Every Baby is Different
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned with my third baby is that truly every single baby is different. And when I really think about it, my husband and I have been very different people in very different stages of life with each baby as well.
I have three kids and they have three very different personalities. We’ve had three completely different sleeping experiences with each of them. My first legitimately didn’t sleep through the night until two weeks before her second birthday. The second one loved sleep from day one and this third one is somewhere in the middle but thankfully leaning towards loving sleep. Every single breastfeeding journey has been different. They grow differently. They like different things. They’re different people, just like every person on this planet. And I’ve learned that I have to be a different mother for each of them because they need me in very different ways and while it’s hard and exhausting so many days, especially with three kids, four and under, I really love that for our family.