After announcing my surprise pregnancy last week I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and well wishes from friends, family, and readers! I really was apprehensive about sharing my news, mainly for all the reasons I discussed in the blog post, and also because the sweet, private bonding time that I’ve shared with my kids and husband over this pregnancy was coming to a close. This leads me to the follow up blog post I wanted to write sharing my kid’s heart-melting reactions, which has been such an unexpected joy – experiencing pregnancy with older kids.
I always wanted to have my kids close in age so they would be best friends. I guess I thought a big gap in age was never that great for sibling bonding so I wasn’t into spacing my kids out. Even though I’ve been on the fence about having a third baby for a while now, I didn’t think I would pull the trigger and actually do it — especially since my kids are fully out of the baby stage. They made it no secret on nearly a daily basis that they wanted a baby brother or sister. I entertained their requests and asked them questions about what they’d name the baby for fun, and I can’t deny that their joy in talking about this imaginary baby tugged at my heartstrings.
How my kids found out
When I found out I was expecting a “bonus baby”, the one thing that got me through the shock and uncertainty of going through this all over again was knowing how excited my kids would be. I waited to tell them once I had my 8 week ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. It just so happened to be on my daughter, Annabelle’s, 7th birthday. What a gift, I thought! I framed the ultrasound pic and wrote a sweet note in her card about being a big sister again, and Leo would be a big brother at last. I’d seen this video montage circulating on Facebook a while ago of parents sharing their baby news with older kids and the sweet reactions of the kids had tears streaming down my face. I knew I wanted to record Annabelle and Leo for the memory books!
It took Annabelle a few moments to get what we were trying to tell her, but when she did her reaction was so funny and cute! And my sweet Leo came over to hug my belly — I loved this moment!
As apprehensive as I have been about doing this all over again, sharing this with my kids has been the thing that has gotten me through the anxiety of it all in those early weeks. Those moments where we’d lay on the couch together watching baby in the womb progression videos from Babycenter are priceless! Leo became so into those little videos that I’d find him off by himself with my phone watching them over and over! 🙂 Or the times they’d get their pretend stethoscope out and take turns putting it on my belly and talking or singing to the baby… it all just warmed my heart and made me feel like this baby was truly a gift to them.
The extra help will be nice!
Having kids that are old enough to not only understand that there’s a baby in mommy’s belly, but old enough to be excited and ask me questions about what size fruit the baby is, or how many more weeks until the baby can hear them from the inside is really fun.
The first time I had a baby I didn’t know what I was doing so I was nervous about everything. The second time I had a baby I had a two year old + a newborn, potty training woes, preschool, the terrible twos… it was just a really exhausting season of life. So this time it feels like it’s going to be so different… dare I say a little easier?! I’m going to have so much help with my big kids that maybe mama can get a break here and there! Having a 7 1/2 year old girl will be like having a little mommy in training! I’m totally teaching her how to change diapers and push the stroller and various things. And Leo is ready to be annoyingly helpful, too. Haha! His job will be to entertain the baby, he’s good at that. 🙂 Let’s be honest, their enthusiasm may be a little overwhelming in the beginning but once they’re used to the baby they’ll settle down.
The plus side of being older and pregnant
There’s some plus sides of being in my late 30’s and pregnant. Something about being older and wiser is making this experience more enjoyable than the first two. I’m not scared of the unknown… I’m completely aware of the stuff I will dread, lol! I’m currently blocking out wandering thoughts about sleepless nights, breastfeeding discomfort, frequent crying, diaper blowouts, and fumbling around with a stroller and diaper bag. There are times I experience mini panic attacks when the image of me at 3am shushing a baby to sleep pops into my head — but mostly I’m fine. Ha! 🙂
I’m 14 weeks now and about to find out the baby’s gender any day now — one of the other bonuses about being “advanced maternal age,” you get to take a chromosome test as early as 10 weeks and with that you can find out the gender! I’m so excited! First and foremost, I want a healthy report card, but after that so excited to find whether a little boy or girl will complete our family! Stay tuned for the gender reveal soon… In the meantime, I’d love if you’d send me all the “chill third baby vibes,” please and thanks!
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Professional photography by Natalie McIntire Photography. You can also follow Natalie on Facebook and Instagram!