My heart knew I wasn’t done having babies the moment my second son was placed on my chest. I was so very happy to have him and so not ready to accept he would be my last. My head, on the other hand, had plenty of things to add to the con column of the "Having More Kids" list. In fact, my head won the argument for almost four years before my ovaries (and my husband) joined my heart and we finally started trying.
We didn’t get pregnant instantly, like we had with the first two and this made me want it even more. And then it happened.
My period was late. The test read a huge positive and, while my heart was over the moon, my head was filled with dread. I felt all the trepidation of someone who accidentally fell pregnant, without the comforting knowledge that it wasn’t my fault.
How had I let this happen? What was I thinking? How were we going to afford it? What if I wasn’t up to the task? We were going to be outnumbered. OMG, what if it’s twins? I had already won the lottery by giving birth to two perfectly healthy boys—what if I was pushing my luck?
This pregnancy was definitely not an accident, but I obviously hadn’t planned for my reaction after that pink line appeared. As I slowly talked myself off a ledge and reminded my stubborn head how disappointed I would have been if that test had read negative, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I had bit off more than I could chew.
We were all suffering so that I could experience motherhood a third time.
Then, just as I was getting used to the idea, the nausea set in. As I started each morning with painful dry heaves, I couldn’t help but ask myself why. I have no idea how I had managed to convince myself that this time would be different, but I had.
I had forgotten just how hard my last two first trimesters had been. They were brutal and this third would be no exception.
With every visit to the toilet, I couldn’t help but feel some hideous hybrid of guilt and regret. My wonderful husband and awesome children would have to carry on their lives while Mom spent the majority of her time in bed trying her best to keep something down. We were all suffering so that I could experience motherhood a third time.
I felt selfish and stupid. I know these feelings aren’t popular, but they're honest. I also know that adding to my family is an unbelievable privilege.
Ultimately, I have faith that my heart was right all along. I will survive this pregnancy and the reward at the end will bring my whole family immeasurable joy. They'll place that wriggling bundle of love on my chest and my worries and second guesses will fade like a distant memory.
By the time this new baby is introduced to their adoring siblings, all I'll be able to think is, “I’m so glad we decided to have one more.”