The third trimester has always been the one to bring out all my emotions. I can hold it together pretty well when I’m pregnant until I near the end, and then I can’t promise I won’t lose it over something simple. I am quick to feel it all, which means I am quick to cry, quick to yell, and also pleasantly quick to feel overwhelmed with love.
My daughters definitely get the brunt of these emotions as they are the ones who are with me the most. I find myself needlessly lashing out—and then feeling terrible about it and having to hide and wipe tears from my eyes for overreacting. I have threatened to get rid of all of their toys several times and may have even let out something overly dramatic along the lines of, “all your stuff is ruining my life,” after an epic struggle of getting my oldest to pick up after herself. Surely, I’m freaking out a little bit about adding another person to this mess, and my hormones are working overtime to test my ability to handle it all.
My 4-year-old is the most sensitive to the fact that a lot is about to change in our family. She has always been a big feeler, processing things deeply and quietly, and then letting it all out intensely in ways that aren’t always the most straightforward and certainly not the most convenient. I realized that she is having her own fears about having a new baby around when we were talking after an outburst and she said, “Well, Mom, the baby is not coming that soon, right?” We were able to discuss some of her hesitations, and I made a note to ease up on her a bit, as I know that I have been putting more pressure on her to be more independent in response to my own fears.
Other than the compromised space my nearly 2-year-old now has on my lap, I think she has yet to truly understand how this baby will affect her life. I’m pretty sure we will be getting her thoughts on the matter after the baby comes. In the meantime, she is perfecting her high pitched scream whenever she doesn’t get her way … something I’m sure will be much more effective when there’s a sleeping baby nearby. It also doesn’t help that she is getting her molars right now, which makes her extra irritable and clingy, although I will take as much of the clinginess as I can get since I know I won’t be able to get in as many snuggles soon.
As for my husband, well he’s just getting a little worried about what this could all mean in 10 years if this baby is another girl. If I’m being honest, we are both kind of hoping for another girl (it just seems so much easier), but we might be starting to see how a boy could add a nice dynamic to the family.
We’re all a little more frazzled than usual, but there’s also another side to our nervous excitement. The girls have both wanted extra mom time, and I’ve tried to make sure to stop and just sit and snuggle and bask in that intense feeling of love that’s stretching our hearts to make space for one more little baby.