I know there are many women out there that can relate to having several small children in a short period of time. It is wonderful and hard, joy-filled and challenging, sweet and frustrating.
I have been on a three-month-long hiatus from blogging, due to welcoming our third child into our family. Our firstborn, Isaiah, was 2-years-old and our second son, Malachi, was only 8-months-old when we found out we were pregnant. I never imagined I would get pregnant again so soon. We hoped and prayed for a year and a half before we were pregnant with our son Isaiah, and it took eight months to become pregnant with Malachi.
Hosanna joined our family in February and has been blessing our hearts with her snuggles and sweetness. She is one month old now and as I look back on the past 10 months or so, it seems that there were several phases of preparing for Child Number Three.
1 – I can’t be pregnant again! I was JUST pregnant!
Call it denial or whatever you want but I was convinced I wasn’t pregnant, even after a couple weeks of my period being late and Malachi not nursing well. I just knew I wasn’t pregnant. Surely I wouldn’t have two kids so close together! That would just be too much.
I took a test right before my 25th birthday and, sure enough, it was positive. That leads to Phase 2…
2 – PANIC
I remember showing Sam the positive pregnancy test and looking at him, terrified. “What are we going to do with three kids?!”
I had so much anxiety right at first. I wanted to keep nursing Malachi but I was worried my milk supply would drop. I didn’t know if I could handle having three kids 3 and under. I was enjoying having my postpartum body back; nine more months of pregnancy did not sound very fun. All the anxiety was overwhelming, which took me to Phase 3.
3 – Our family is growing again and it’s going to be amazing.
Going from Phase 2 to Phase 3 didn’t happen overnight. I had to continually take my anxiety to God, telling Him that I was scared and overwhelmed. I eventually came to the realization that God was the one giving us this child. That meant this baby was something to welcome into our family, not something to fear. We weren’t expecting to be expecting again, but we could choose to be excited and look forward to what God had in store for our family.
4 – I am so tired of being pregnant…
The last two months or so of pregnancy are just hard. I tend to have a lot of hip and abdominal pain in the later weeks of pregnancy and walking or even sitting just hurts. Plus, if you have one or several small children already, you do a lot of carrying and lifting and bending. I remember trying to stand up after reading a story to the boys – there is just no graceful way to get up off the floor when you are 7+ months pregnant.
I was feeling so ready to have the baby and enjoy getting to know him or her.
5 – You know, life was a lot easier when I was still pregnant!
After Hosanna was born, I realized that life was actually much easier when she was still in utero. At least one of my children was accounted for all the time! Now I had three to keep track of. Three diapers to change, three mouths to feed, three bodies to bathe, three carseats to wrangle. I realized that while I was wishing to have this baby and be done being pregnant, I should have been enjoying the last weeks of having her inside of me. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?
The Lord is good, all the time, and He has been revealing Himself to me in unique ways while I’ve been adjusting to three kids. I have to rely on Him for strength and energy, ask Him for patience when I’m angry, and seek His peace when I’m afraid. Being a mother is hard. It’s amazing, but it’s hard. I need the love of Christ every day as I tend to my littles and deal with life.
Life is becoming more ‘normal’ now. We’re settling in to having three young children. Yes, I’m tired most of the time and frustrated some of the time. I’ve had to simplify my schedule and I don’t take all three kids anywhere by myself yet. But Sam and I love having a family of five. We find peace in knowing that God gave Hosanna to us. She is an unexpected, but most welcome, gift.