Expecting

Getting to this place wasn’t a sudden decision (the decision of being pregnant with my third child). People often ask me if this child was planned… Surely it was accident?
I have a 8 and 4 year old so why would I start over from scratch when my two older children are pretty much self sufficient and life is easy? I’ve never really talked much about my journey as a mother due to it being anything but easy. Back in 2004 I was a 24 year old, recently married and our marriage was on the rocks, I was shocked to learn that we would be expecting our first child only seven months in and things weren’t off to the best start. After leaving one of our counseling sessions crying, I remember looking out the car window telling my husband that I was afraid I would become a single mom and didn’t feel our marriage would last at the rate we were going. At that moment he reassured me that we would be ok and we would get through this together. Something clicked at that moment and we embraced the fact that parenthood was going to be a wonderful thing and our marriage would survive because we wanted to make it work. It wasn’t easy as we worked through things while pregnant but it brought us closer and this new life gave us a focus. 24 hours of labor we welcomed a baby girl into our lives. It was all new to me and when I looked at her for the first time I felt like she was this old soul who knew all my fears. For the first couple of years of her life it was a challenge and couldn’t quite adjust to being a mother. My love for her was deep, so deep I couldn’t quite grasp it and didn’t know how to handle this large task of raising a baby into a decent human being while trying to figure out my own identity in life. I felt maybe I was wrong with my so called life plans that I had discussed throughout childhood. Maybe being a mom wasn’t my strong suite and that was a hard thing to wrap my head around. I had made the decision in my mind that I was made to have one child since I felt it was all I could handle. I’m not sure what moment we decided that number two would be a good idea but the first child was four years old and I was finally seeing her grow up made me wish for a second chance. We quickly became pregnant with our son and everyone was surprised since I had thought one was good enough. Everything about the second pregnancy was perfect. I had my routine down with the first, was working while she was at “Mothers Day Out” and finally getting the hang of how I would manage being a mom and my budding photography career. It seemed that I had decided to submit to motherhood and it was an added bonus that this pregnancy was 80% less symptomatic than the first. In May of 2010 we welcomed our son after a two hour natural labor and it felt right and our family felt complete. I remember within hours after having him, I told my husband I wanted more babies. He quickly shut that idea down and said two’s enough and how could I possibly be saying this right after giving birth. He was right, I thought and I moved on to raise my two beautiful kids. Something had changed. Another four years went by and I found myself back at the same spot. My husband and I had gone on a date and that is when I told him I wanted one more baby. I felt there was a hesitance in my husband to say yes. He knew how hard it was for me to transition into the motherhood role and was afraid it may be too difficult for me. He was up for it if I wanted one and I really did. Eight weeks into the pregnancy with our third we had our first doctors visit and realized the baby didn’t have a heart beat. I broke into tears and felt defeated. After all of our discussions and finally making that leap into having another child, I sat childless. I didn’t know why this would happen to me and felt maybe it wasn’t the right choice after all. I struggled again to figure out if another child was what I really wanted. I felt empty after the D&C… In reality a child that I had hoped for had been sucked from my womb, tested and thrown out to be forgotten. It was a harder road than I had anticipated and finally realized that adding another child was something I truly did want. What has pregnancy with my third (or fourth child) been like? I’m enjoying this pregnancy but it’s been hard. I’m pretty confident it will be my last pregnancy (going to get vasectomy) so I am enjoying the kicks and trying to make light of the uncomfortable pregnancy pains even though this round is harder on my body. Morning sickness, back pain, bacterial infection, and gestational diabetes…I feel like I’m falling apart. Juggling two children, businesses, our household and just being ten years older certainly isn’t making it easier. Regardless of all of this, I’m thankful to be at this place. Now with only nine weeks left I anticipate the fears and hopes of what another child has to offer, and I can’t wait to meet her.

Photos by Whitney Chamberlain
Brooke’s photography here

3 Responses

  • I am so happy for you, having this third baby. I have only met them briefly but I think Stella and Leon are two of the brightest children I know. I loved hearing your thoughts on the whole process.
    I had a miscarriage and D&C at 17 weeks, before Jack and completely relate to your feelings. I still long for that baby, and feel the loss of it. I wonder if I will have a third, and question the timing and what that would mean for my family.
    I was just reflecting today, how I feel that having my children completely rearranged my physiology and what a huge, huge deal it is. I hate it, when culturally, it feels like the goal after having a baby is to get back to your “old” self and life as fast as possible, it feels so disrespectful of the whole precess and so demeaning to mothers. So much amazing change and growth occurs I wish we could celebrate it more. I am so happy that the Ma Books is here, to cultivate real conversation and celebrate motherhood.
    Thanks so much for sharing Brooke, were thinking about you guys as your time approches. xoxo Louise Lynch

  • What a ride you’ve had! Isn’t it amazing how many twists and turns life throws our way. I hope you can continue to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, even through the aches and pains. x

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