The third baby. Possibly, the last baby. I was always so sure that I would have more than three kids. When I got pregnant with our third baby, I didn’t think this pregnancy would possibly be my last. I wanted a big family and that meant having lots of kids. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a large extended family or maybe it’s because I left home after high school and haven’t had family nearby since.
But now, I’m feeling like this might actually be our last baby.
This pregnancy hasn’t been difficult physically, but has been challenging in other ways. The comments I have received about this pregnancy from people haven’t always been the nicest. “Was it planned? Your other two are so young,” “Should you be having another one while still in school?” and my favorite, “You already have a boy and a girl, why do you need another one?” I don’t know why strangers believe that having one boy and one girl equates to the perfect family with no need for more kids.
We have kept all the baby clothes from our son and daughter, so we decided not to find out the sex of this baby. Having kept all the kids’ stuff made that decision easier, but it has made it harder to decide how we want to decorate the nursery and what gender neutral items friends and family can purchase for the baby. The baby clothes are currently in the attic and will need to be washed, but since we don’t know if we should get down the boy or the girl clothes, it’s another thing that won’t get done before baby is here. It has also been so challenging picking out baby names this time around. This baby still doesn’t have a name and will be here in seven weeks. Having to pick out two names, one boy and one girl, makes it even more difficult.
Then, there is COVID-19.
The virus that has caused problems for so many people in so many different ways. Being in the third trimester always seems like it takes 897 months, but being quarantined at home has made it feel like 3529 months. I now have to go to all my baby appointments alone and we won’t be able to get maternity pictures done. This virus has caused a lot of uncertainty for delivery as well. I’m not sure if a birthing partner will be allowed in with me and if they are, I don’t know if the birthing partner will be allowed to leave. My two other kids won’t get to have that special moment of meeting their new sibling in the hospital. And there’s the worry of just being in the hospital during this time.
This baby doesn’t have the weekly or even monthly “bump selfies,” and the last eight months of pregnancy my focus has been on finishing my master’s degree and taking care of my two other toddlers. But the main difference between this pregnancy and my prior two is, as I said before, that this might be the last baby and so I have been trying to get into the mind set to enjoy the pregnancy more. My whole life I’ve dreamed of having a huge family. I used to joke with my friends and family that I’d need to drive a school bus with all the kids I wanted to have. When I got married to my husband, he knew I wanted at least four or five kids — he wanted two or three. We came to the compromise of having three and then talking about a fourth when and if that time came.
And now, here we are, pregnant with our third and we both feel like we might be done having kids.
Ever since my husband said he wanted to be done at three kids, I have really struggled with that decision. I always wondered if I would get that “I’m done having kids” feeling. And honestly, I’m still not sure if I truly feel “done,” but for now, we are going to enjoy our three bundles of joy and see what happens in the next few years.