Sweet, tiny, third child in my belly – I cannot WAIT for you to arrive! You have just 8 short weeks until your due date and both your siblings are beyond excited. Granted, your sister is only 15 months old, so she may not really understand, but your 4-year-old brother can’t stop talking about you and kissing you through my belly. He is so ready for “Teddy Bear,” which he is convinced you will be named. Because your dad and I are also excited for your arrival, we won’t let that happen. 🙂
If you look through the eyes of social media, you may wonder if we are really excited about you. You may wonder if we ever even think about you. You may wonder if we even care! Sweet #3, I can promise you we do. But, as with anything in life, the older you get, the more you see the big picture and learn. Pregnancy is no different. Over the years of building friendships and having babies, I’ve realized a lot. I’ve learned that my overwhelming excitement for you #3, can cause overwhelming pain for those I care about. I’ve learned that while we are celebrating immensely, impatiently awaiting your arrival, others are also waiting. Waiting for a chance to celebrate baby #1. Waiting for a miscarriage to pass. Waiting for a baby to be kicking in their belly. Waiting to be placed with a child through adoption. They are also waiting. But they aren’t excited about their waiting.
Over the years, through our own heartache and the heartache of so many we love, I’ve learned that I don’t have to celebrate my every move with you on social media to be over-the-moon excited about you. I’ve learned balance. I’ve learned that if me celebrating you non-stop causes pain for others non-stop, it’s ok for me to celebrate in person, with those I love, and leave it off social media. I’ve learned that bump pictures don’t always indicate my level of excitement. Documenting every emotion and feeling I have with you during pregnancy doesn’t determine my level of love for you already.
With your brother, the world knew it all. I posted pictures of my belly, updates of doctor appointments, changes in mood and cravings, everything! I had never felt the pain of, or had friends that I knew of, waiting on the other side. I didn’t even begin to comprehend the pain my words of excitement could cause another waiting for her chance to be a mother. Becoming a mother was so easy with your brother. It happened quick, easily, and progressed perfectly. Then tragedy struck between your brother and sister and my understanding shifted. I realized the pain that social media excitement could cause for those waiting in silence, alone, counting the days until they could take the next pregnancy test. I realized the pain that could come from words and pictures of someone else’s pure excitement.
So when your sister was created, I was more careful. I was elated to end our waiting period, and couldn’t hide the excitement. But with that excitement, I shared our pain. I shared my reason for your sister’s excitement wasn’t just because we were pregnant, but because we were FINALLY pregnant, after losing a brother or sister you’ll never meet this side of Heaven. With others knowing our struggle, I felt more at ease sharing about her pregnancy, because it didn’t come easy. But I was still cautious.
And now we come to you sweet baby #3. You happened quick, you happened without struggle, and you happened on God’s timing. And we could not be more excited to add you to our crazy life. But I want you to know, social media won’t reflect our excitement. Because in the 8 months between your sister being born and you being created, I’ve met even more moms in waiting. And not the good kind. I can’t turn a blind eye to the pain of joyful words any more like I could before I knew better. That’s not to say they aren’t spoken often, but I am more cautious of when and how and to who.
So, baby #3, always know our excitement is there. It’s there BIG TIME. And we celebrate you often in our home, with our family and friends, and are counting the days until you arrive. But in the crazy event that social media still exists when you are old enough to care, don’t take our lack of public excitement personal. We’ve grown, we’ve learned, and we’ve realized that everyone doesn’t need to see my bump every week for me to know you are in there, kicking like a crazy man, ready to wrestle with your siblings. As you get older, balance gets trickier, and we are trying our best to navigate with empathy. But don’t you for one second ever wonder if we were excited about you – we simply cannot wait!!