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Sticker Shock: The story of TWO babies in ONE year

Once upon a time, in a magical, clean, quiet land, a well-rested fair lady wrapped up a positive pregnancy test in a pretty box with a green bow, and took pictures while her prince charming opened it.  Their first baby!  The prince and the lady were both thrilled, and mildly surprised, but excited for the journey ahead!  Four years down the line the same not-so-rested lady dodged a mote of Legos and ran to her prince in a messy land with tears of joy, excited to {finally} have another positive pregnancy test in her hand.  Their long awaited second child was on the way!  They embraced and beamed with pride at their family being complete.  

Less than one year down the line, the lady (using the term in the loosest form) burst out of the bathroom into their loud, messy, diaper-filled land to find her husband prince sitting on the couch his throne eating a bowl of ice cream and watching March Madness.  The wench lady fell at the prince's feet, burst into tears, and dropped $183 worth of positive pregnancy tests in his lap.  Twelve weeks after giving birth to their second child, the not so fair, hormone-ridden lady was expecting their third child!  

They thought they were done having children!  They had struggled to have their second child!  How did this happen (hypothetically)?!  Would they be able to live happily ever after?

 Fast forward three years later and we can say with the confidence that the answer is most definitely yes. We love our life, especially that little dimple faced baby! But our happily ever after story didn't come without some adventure and a bit of an adjustment to what we had planned for our family.

Finding out we were pregnant, again, brought about so many emotions.  Fear was at the top of the list.  Granted, the extreme hormones of still being postnatal, while pregnant, did not help. But the fear was there regardless.  Various questions ran through my mind: How are we going to afford another baby in diapers? How am I going to return from maternity leave and be pregnant AGAIN?  How will I tell people?  Or, worse, what will they say and think?  Some of the fears were legitimate: we had to nail down and stick to a strict budget.  While others were not.  Who really cares what other people say or think about OUR family?  And trust me, people said STUPID things. At the end of the day it only mattered what my husband and I thought.  

The next major emotion I struggled with, probably more so than my husband, was guilt.  I had guilt that our second child wouldn't enjoy being the baby for very long.  Guilt that I would not have as much time for each of my kids while trying to spread myself between THREE of them.  Then, there was the worst guilt of all - guilt for not feeling immediately overjoyed at the thought of having another child.  This one was almost crippling.  Even today I occasionally get emotional at the thought that my baby might doubt whether she was ever fiercely loved and wanted.  Because she is.  ALL three of my babies are loved and wanted.

Love: an emotion impossible not to experience with two new babies in one year.  There was SO much love to go around!  I soon realized how fortunate my kids were to have another sibling.  My second and third were both girls so I knew they would be partners in crime best friends, eventually. They would be able to share room, clothes, you name it!  My second child would never be able to remember a life without her sister in it; pretty darn cool. Also, my son was such a great big brother to his first sister, and I knew he would revel in adding a new baby to dote after.  This exceptional love poured into our marriage as well.  My husband and I would soon become war buddies; we needed and appreciated each other in a whole new way.  When you have two babies under the age of one, there is a real threat of one being able to seriously injure the other, or themselves at any given, unattended moment.  We grew to really respect what the other added to our family.  Not that there wasn't love before...I mean we had two babies in one year! 

I don't know if humor is technically an emotion, but I do know anger is!  And boy did people's attempts at humor trigger some feelings of anger.  Again, guys, I was two years pregnant so cut me some slack on the anger.  Here are the top three annoying things people told me during my back-to-back pregnancies:

  1. "You know how this happens, right?" My candid response after the hormones REALLY kicked in by month seven was "No! You know how I can stop it?"  Both of us would then have red faces; however, mine was just from a hormone induced hot flash.
  2. "Did you plan this?"  WHY DO YOU CARE? No one asked me that for baby one or why would you feel the need to ask for three?
  3. "You are going to have your hands full, aren't you?" No. I am actually expecting this to be quite easy. I've been pregnant for two years and will have three children to take care of with no sleep, this should be a walk in the park!

The unexpected two lines can take your breath away, but the good news side is the beauty of your new baby's face will likely take your breath away even more.  A good friend once told me, you just have to sit back and embrace the journey. I can't think of a more fitting saying for life or parenting.  

Full hands and heart.




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