In four months, I will have five children. FIVE. Plus one dog, and maybe two sometime in the future, but not right now. My girls consider Blue a person, so essentially I will have six children.
The idea of my future family weighs heavily on my heart. There are days I find myself excited for a new person, especially a new gender, but I cannot lie and should admit that those days occur less than the days where I struggle with an overwhelming sense of self doubt and worry.
I remember very well moving to Wisconsin with my then 3 1/2 year old, my 15 month old and my big belly carrying Elle. People stared at me, and probably because no matter how big my belly became, Genevieve always had her legs wrapped around it because she refused to be put down. The thought of having 3 kids in such a short amount of time made me cry at night--like really cry because I had no idea how I would do it.
I had struggled so much while we lived in Peoria. In hindsight, I had severe postpartum depression, which was only heightened by a new sense of motherhood, a miscarriage and a lack of direction. Moving to Wisconsin allowed me to escape the misery I felt nearly every day during that bleak year Peoria and start anew, but I still had no idea how to be a mother, how to get over the miscarriage or how to find my direction. Adding a new child to my already messy situation seemed crazy, but I had no choice but to carry on and face it with all the courage my little, broken heart could muster.
And I did. I carried on. Wisconsin carried me. Perhaps that is the reason I love that great state so much. I found myself, my purpose and my direction there. I met the most fascinating women there; each one taught me something, and each one served me without me ever asking. They showed me how to rise from the bottom. And after a few months of what seemed like never-ending bouncing and rocking and soothing two babies, my life started to take a new shape, and three kids didn't seem so bad, unless we went to public places. ;)
And so now as I look at my current life and compare it to three years ago, I see so many similarities, but also so many differences. I've changed so much as a mother since Elle was born. I now let a million things go that I would never have been able to live with back then. I am confident that I'm going to sink for the first 6 months of this new baby's life; it is impossible to believe anything else. The baby is due exactly 18 months from Felicity's birth. Felicity is still very much a baby, and although I hope to see more cognitive growth and awareness over the next four months, she does not give the same grown-up vibe Genevieve did when she was 18 months old. I feel like Genevieve went from being a baby to being 3 in the blink of an eye, and she pretty much stayed in that state until she actually turned 3. Felicity definitely acts her age--a mere 13 months old, and I'm fine with that; it just means it will be tricky when the baby comes.
The baby will come roughly three weeks before school gets out for summer. I will have three short weeks to breathe in the smells of my last newborn before being bombarded with questions like, "Mom, what are we going to do today? Can we swim for 5 hours? Can we go to a museum, a park, the zoo, etc?" My kids are 100% active; Mya doesn't believe her day is complete if she hasn't gone anywhere or done anything. So as I contemplate how in the world I will do all that I need to do to keep the kids alive, much less entertained, my head starts to spin. And not to mention, I don't plan on quitting my job.
These are some of my fears for this new adventure we're about to begin. They are real. They keep me up at night. But like I said, I know I'm going to sink for awhile, but the good thing is that I've been there. I've been at the bottom of the deep end, but I didn't drown. I slowly rose to the surface and found life again. I know that will happen again. I just needed to write this down because every single day, someone asks, "So how are you feeling about things? You excited?" And I feel bad when I shrug because I don't really know what to say. There's a big "yes" deep inside my heart, but it is just masked by a lot of questions and fears at the moment.