Not one, not two but three. They say all good things come in threes. Having baby numero uno you feel that all eyes are on you and that you are the centre of the universe. You are the only one! No one has ever been in your situation before and it is the most important event in the history of the world.
Whilst pregnant you feel calm, smile a lot, crave attention and wait for your baby to grow. People tell you their dream labour stories and their hellish ones and you believe them! You educate yourself by picking the best seller baby books and searching the web for the ‘it’ baby names. Or as tradition in our culture has it, you either submit to the pressure of naming your baby after your parents or in-laws or you don’t – I did! My first born was named traditionally after my father in law, and my daughter after my mother. Duty done, or so I thought, I chose a name for my third but I still get the occasional dig!
You carefully choose the softest, top quality in organic cotton, one-of-a-kind Babygro’s and you research until the cows come home on how the baby nursery should look; cliché pink, cliché blue, colourful to stimulate the senses, or minimal white because you want to be serene and modern. You vow your child will only eat organic food, never eat sweets and never come in your bed! Ha! Fat chance of that becoming a reality. Baby No.1 comes and a genius is born! What the most important thing is though, is that you nap when it naps- pure luxury!
When baby No.2 is conceived, quite often planned, so baby No.1 can have a sibling you normally stop dilly dallying over all the insignificant details that were exhausting for baby No.1 and cut to the chase by quickly stocking up on what you don’t have and taking it all in your stride. Oh! The fact that you can’t go to the toilet alone because you have a toddler muddling up everything in your bathroom or the fact that you can’t sleep like the princess you used to be when you were pregnant with your first baby is, quite, insignificant. The moaning and groaning and sounding like you are the only person who is exhausted and fed up is simply quite normal. Then when baby No.2 actually arrives you forget about doing everything by the book and you do everything in your power to save your sanity. Personally, for me, that meant bringing toddler in our bed to further disrupt our on and off sleepless nights, giving milk to the new baby as often as it wanted and simply dismissing its moans and groans that haunted us with baby No.1. Basically simply ignoring it for about a year so toddler doesn’t get jealous!
In our case having our two children with two years apart, the first year baby No.2 came was tough, even though it was ignored. The second year got better and then we got our lives back both as a couple and socially. Although I was never fully complete with two children I never actually planned baby No.3 and so it did come as a shock. A big shock on my 34th birthday! Being pregnant with baby No.3 is a completely different ball game, first I suppose you have to digest it, well I had to anyway, then you simply get on with it. You have no time to dwell on things which are completely insignificant mainly because, being tired absorbs your everything. In my case I endured a difficult pregnancy in both sickness and heaviness. I distinctly recall that I couldn’t wait to look pregnant as I was huge in the first month and felt awkwardly uncomfortable. Unbelievable how your body expands so quickly the third time round (the joys of being a woman is definitely something to write about but then again I don’t think I’d know where to stop.)
Baby No.3 arrives, finally it is out! You do love it but the reality is, when you have a child at primary school, a child at nursery and they both demand to be the centre of your universe you simply overlook baby No.3 entirely, you sleep with your eyes open during a football match, ballet lesson, tennis lesson, piano lesson or goodness knows what else lesson or whilst teaching in my case, as no sleep creeps up on you and you only stop screaming when you finally put your head on the pillow and even then you are not sure how your night will go. From high temperatures to coughs to irritable saw throats to tummy bugs, we’ve experienced it. The endless crawling from bed to bed to find some sanctuary is fixed in my mind.
Your eating habits are crazy and therefore notice no weight loss at all until everything falls into shape and you fall head over heels in love with this baby. Well, I most certainly did! Having baby No.1 and No.2 close together and taking a four year gap before giving birth to baby No.3 did help me take everything with a pinch of salt and not get stressed over silly things that freaked me out with my first born. This baby grows up independently and quite alone if compared to the upbringing of its older siblings. Forceful, dynamic, affectionate and lovable are just a few adjectives that pop into my head about my bundle. This baby in our household has helped in keeping the peace between the older two, who fight like cat and dog. Baby No.3 can be seen as Switzerland – neutral aka helps in diffusing the tension as he brings them all together.
So ultimately, third baby makes you realise how much love the human heart is capable of. You will look at your older children with pride and satisfaction and in a new light. They will automatically take on responsibilities which you never realised they were capable of. You will miss them incredibly when you are away from them as they have already branched out and have started a life of their own which in a way you are not part of. You will look at your husband in awe and realise how much he has offered and contributed to your precious family. Grateful for the three gifts from God. Your life will become a crazy hectic loud mad one, where serenity and time to think is a thing of the past. Frustration and chaos will reign, but the love that exists is truly, madly deeply worth living for. Your house will constantly be full and you will have even more of those breath taking moments and special experiences. They say children are on loan. Just think! The loan will last three times as long!