Three Kids

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I’m starting to understand why people only have two kids.

With David becoming more active and able to fend for himself and Libbie slightly more careful with him, they actually play together. A lot. It’s spectacular.

While they need me to get them food, they generally don’t need me to feed them. I think David might even be done nursing; I can’t remember the last time he asked for “ga-ga” (sniff!).

It’s certainly not what I would call SIMPLE being mother to two under age 4, but it’s not nearly as hard as it was in, say, the first year of David’s life. Everyone sleeps through the night most of the time. Nobody needs bottles made. Only one of them is in diapers. Mostly they want me to read books and play Candy Land, and I’m pretty happy to oblige.

I think for most couples, the decision to have a second child isn’t that hard. We didn’t want an only child. But that push to number three … well, it takes some thinking.

My fear was starting over. Once David got somewhat self-sufficient, it was so hard to think about going back to no sleep, nursing non-stop, and carrying an infant bucket seat. Writing that out makes me feel incredibly selfish, but it’s true. Bouncy seats and jumperoos have been given away or banished to closets. Spit-up is something of the past.

Even though Mr. V and I have always, always talked about having 4 kids, I wasn’t sure I could go back to the beginning again and keep my sanity. Depression keeps me teetering on the edge for much of life. It’s a scary place. I remember the months when David was tiny and I wasn’t sure I could stop crying.

On the other hand … I believe children are blessings, I love babies, and I try to trust my fertility to God. I am not big on taking the Pill – and I haven’t since long before we conceived Libbie. I feel that it messed with my fertility in a major way and I don’t like the idea of synthetic hormones. We’ve been practicing NFP, but with my cycles being a little crazy – and I didn’t even have one until David was 16 months – things are a little wonky.

A few weeks before I found out I was pregnant, I remember driving my car and telling God I was tired of being scared. But if He wanted me to have a #3, He was going to have to make it very clear.

And oh, He did. That pink plus sign was HOT PINK. I was already 6 weeks pregnant when I found out.

So even on the days when I feel like this is the most insane thing I could ever be doing, adding another brother or sister to the mix, to the already-nutso life we lead … I know this baby is meant to be part of our family. I’m sure he or she is going to be the best surprise we’ve ever received.


11 thoughts on “Three Kids

  1. I was just saying to a friend today that God doesn’t give us children and then say, ‘well, good luck with raising them’. He provides us with what we need! But I totally understand your fear. I have had that every time I was expecting the next one!! Congratulations Jessie-and many blessings as you prepare for this new little one 🙂

  2. You sound exactly where I was, when faced with the positive pregnancy test. Just when I got my mind around having a #3, low and behold, “I see two,” said the Dr. I spent my entire pregnancy being scared and not very excited about the twins. Everyone else around me was ecstatic, but I didn’t have the energy to carry two, much less take care of two. Then the question of what about the older two, who were not even in kindergarten yet.
    It is one year later, I have survived (by ONLY the grace of God,) and now I have stopped asking why or how am I going to do this. I am just trying to enjoy these 4 bundles before is passes me by.
    Don’t worry, you WILL get through all the hard stuff and then be able to sit back and watch the new dynamic between your three kids unfold. I really believe God gave me a whopping dose of maternal instinct which kicked in during tandem feedings, the colicky months, and now keep the two of them from pulling each other over. I didn’t even have the crying spells like I did after my second, I was prepared for them and knew what I needed to do to get past that.
    You are a great mom and your 3 kids love you!

  3. What I found myself was this: one was so hard. Out of nowhere, you are now solely responsible for a person’s life and well-being on a daily (and nightly) basis and that little person takes up all of your time. Two was even harder, because now, having just gotten used to how “exactly” to care for a child, you have to figure out how to split yourself in two and still be totally present for each of them. Three was the easiest, because that is when we realized that they were going to be fine even without me doting on each and every one all day long. In fact, having to share mommy I am convinced is good for them. They learn about being in a family, the most basic unit of society, and how to share and give and love. The older two entertain each other and the baby. By the time number four came along, I could ask the oldest to get me pampers and sippy cups and toys for the others.
    Trust me, you’ll be fine. You’ll find that number three is seriously so much easier than the the first or the second. And God will be with you every step of the way.

  4. YES. Yes. Yes, yes yes. That’s all I can think to type. I am having those same “ahhhhhhh!” thoughts in my brain and aloud spoken to trusted friends and I just need His peace and wisdom.

    The thoughts of all the newborn troubles, and pregnancy woes, and wondering if I’d get pre-eclampsia yet again, and PPD again…it’s enough to make me full-out scared. And yet that doesn’t sound right to me.

    Because yeah, your oldest 2 kids are roughly the same age as my 2. Life is nuts right now. But it won’t always be this wavelength. I need to stop being so short-sighted.

    Also, the question from 1 to 2 was never really a question. But the 2 to 3? I’m finding that LOTS of people with 2 are questioning that.

    Meanwhile, one of my favorite large-family bloggers is at the age of 39 and pregnant with her 11th kid, and she’s wondering if there will “only” be 1-5 more kids left for her due to age. Whoa.

    Pray for me, Jessie.

      • In a Shoe, actually! But yeah I like all of those 4 moms of 35+ kids bloggers.

        For me, when considering #3 I know I will be labeled “high-risk” and will need lots of appointments and ultrasounds and such. I think the only way I can swing that while not going bananas is to hire a mother’s helper to either go with me too, or to watch my kids. Or something. Same with the newborn phase that takes me to scary, scary places.

        At least this time, we are living close to family whereas with Johnny and Viv we were 8 hours away. I will have to just level with the family and say I NEED HELP and please come live with me for a few months. 🙂

        Really though, I am disappointed with my lack of faith. Like someone else here mentioned, if God is going to give us a baby, He’s not going to say “good luck with that one!” and abandon me.

        I hope I get to the point where I really want and long for another baby. I don’t want to be disappointed or sad by a positive test. Or not excited about the whole thing. That is just a bummer :(.

        Johnny would be 4.5 at the youngest and Vivie 2.5, so in theory they could be reasonable helpers. I dunno. Thank you for your prayers!

  5. I remember that going from 2 to 3 wasn’t near as hard as I thought it would be. When #3 was born, my older 2 were almost 2 and almost 4. So for a few months I had 3 under 4. They were extremely helpful and loved “Petting” the baby. We have 5 now, and I am struggling with trusting God. I’m 39 and baby #5 was a difficult pregnancy and delivery. I had 10 weeks of bedrest before I had an emergency c-section at 31 weeks. She has a lot of developmental issues related to her prematurity. I’m not emotionally or physically ready for another child and I don’t know if I ever will be. Hence the struggle. I’m excited for you, though! Baby #3 was my easiest baby. She’s my sweet and temperamental 7 year old now, but she was an easy baby. I pray you have an easy and healthy pregnancy.

  6. Congratulations, Jessie. It’s been a very long time, but I had three, 2 to 2 1/2 years apart. I was the oldest of two (both girls), and I remember that we were very competitive. That may not have been true if one of us had been a boy. With three I got two of the same; and somehow or another, there seemed to be a sense of togetherness among them that my sister and I did not have. Even as adults, they still seem to have that. When you think about it, the really baby stuff lasts only a few years. I am sorry for your depression. Keep the faith that God will help you through all of this.

  7. No big words of wisdom but I’m sending you good wishes on your journey. For us the transition to 3 was a bit harder than we expected but from 3 to 4 was a piece of cake. 😉

    We’re not what anyone would call “Quiverfull” or whatever. My husband thinks we should have one more and be done. That concept will take some getting used to.

    One nice thing: it does get easier as the older child(ren) grow. Everyone should have an awesome 5 or 7 year old helper. 😉

  8. Love this. Right now we only have one and he’s three – extremely extroverted, a sensory seeker, and very needy (interaction wise). I’m an introvert, sensory avoider, and about 80% of the time just want everyone to go away and leave me alone. I feel like he’s suffering because he doesn’t have a sibling. I’m only one person and can’t be everything to him that he wants me to be.

    I am so emotionally ready (and mostly even physically ready) to have #2 – it’s never been a question of “if” as much as “when.”

    But the problem is that my family has been through a lot of transition recently. My husband changed jobs – taking a 51% paycut and losing healthcare benefits and we moved to another state. My husband’s job is full-time but still considered temporary and we are currently not insured. He’s basically starting over with his life, starting a completely new career at age 38 and it’s been a very hard adjustment for him – as well as he suffers from some pretty severe anxiety that’s been complicated by 2 year-long combat deployments. So yeah, bringing a child into that mess is not what he wants (and when I’m thinking with my head and not my heart and my body, It’s not what I want either.)

    But part of me longs for another and we also use NFP/FAM so there’s a lot of what ifs and anxiety mixed with excitement mixed with dread every month – wondering if we were “safe,” praying that we were okay, yet part of me secretly hoping #2 is right there, yet being terrified of what would actually happen if I were pregnant to our family, my husband’s anxiety levels, our finances, etc. It’s been really hard on me emotionally. I also had a pretty difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth, and PPD with our first so that’s a factor too.

    I used to be hugely in favor of larger families and as a teenager felt that people who used birth control to limit their family sizes were selfish and going against God’s will. Now that I’m a mom, I realize that the issue is so much bigger than that, and I honestly believe that waiting for #2 is one of the most self-less things I’ve ever done.

    Anyway, sorry for the book, but thanks for sharing this post because it’s nice to know that someone else has been there too.

    • Definitely never apologize for a long comment!! I love it.

      I obviously can’t know completely where you are coming from, but I want you to know I am thinking of you and praying for you! I am also a very introverted mom with a HELLO OH SO EXTROVERTED daughter (my almost-5yo). My husband joked tonight that if she goes for more than 30 seconds without talking to someone she might combust. We worry about what she is telling all the strangers she makes friends with! Life with her has been an adventure so far, and if she had been older before we got pregnant with #2 it might never have happened.

      I would urge you to try to think long-term. I think that’s where we sometimes suffer as parents. Seek God’s wisdom and proceed with your husband in unity. That’s all the advice I have!

      So looking forward to meeting you at Allume!

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