Having a Third Child; Tempting Fate & Testing Sanity
Just as my husband was deciding his rank list for a fellowship program, a rank that when matched with the programs list would determine where our family would exist for the next five years, I was deciding if I should tell him that I might be pregnant.
We have two beautifully, complicated daughters who fill our days with laughter and frustration, and wonder, and exhaustion and amazingness. We thought we were done expanding our brood. I thought I was done. And then in the shadow of this rather huge decision, when our family's future is in the balance, I'm late.
To tell my husband or not? Some choices for fellowship are in new cities and new states where he will get to expand his medical training in new and exciting ways. Kind of like over four years ago when he matched for his residency program in New Hampshire at Dartmouth hospital. Except it was just us embarking on that adventure, and now we are two kids deep. Except now I know how hard it is to not have family or friends nearby when you have your babies. What's that saying about taking a village to raise a child? The only choice for me, pregnant or not, is to match back home in Rochester, NY.
I chose not to tell him I was late. He chose Rochester. I ended up getting my period four days after he sent in his rank list.
I thought when my period came I would feel relief, I mean I was done with procreating in my mind. Instead I felt loss and sadness, it seemed my heart was not aligning with my head. There was a longing I had been ignoring, lingering in my core, for an undefined amount of time. Now in the absence of the plus sign on the pregnancy test, I had to face that I actually wanted another child. More than that...I had to tell my husband.
My betrothed was an only child, I have three brothers and three sisters. Sometimes, when my husband is in the grips of one of my families gatherings, or even being badgered by his own two girls, I see the look of "help me" borderline terror in his eyes. That's right buddy, I want a third.
So we have the "talk." He says he sees us with three kids in the future, college age and grandchildren bearing, coming to stay with us for the holidays. It would be nice to have three kids when they are older and all moved out. I remind him that if we don't actually have that third kid, there may be a problem with that vision. He brings up the sleepless nights, the expense of diapers and food, the third college fund, the sleepless nights. What can I say, the man likes his sleep. I remind him that if the decision to have children was based in common sense, most people would never procreate, and we would certainly not have the two wonderful girls we currently have.
Bringing new life into this world means hard work and money spent and time taken. Sometimes it's frustration to tears, zombie like days thanks to sleepless nights, being puked on and crapped on, dealing with tantrums and hurts of the body and heart. Sometimes it's laughter to tears, mornings spent snuggling in cozy beds, having a personal "doctor" when you are ill, lessons of patience, and a heart so filled with love it aches with joy.
That first toothless smile, the tiny person spending naps and nights asleep on your chest, the first word, first step, first day of school, and a million other first, last, and in betweens. These things make us, as parents, proud beyond words, or bring us to our knees, or make us laugh out loud, or cry ourselves to sleep. We hope beyond ourselves and love bigger than we believed was possible. That's what having kids does for us...it makes us better.
So here we go, to try for another...I'll keep you posted.