In a month I will be a week away from having my last baby (if she waits till 39 weeks that is) I am so excited, partly to not be pregnant anymore but more so to meet this little girl who hides her face during scans and moves away from the Doppler at *every* appointment. I wonder who she’ll look like considering my hazel eyes and dark hair and D’s blue eyes and blonde hair. I am however also nervous. I think nerves are normal, I was nervous before the birth of each one of my other babies. I find myself questioning my own ability to be a good mom to another person. I wonder if I have enough love to go around. I am a little worried about how the other kids will adapt. There is no doubt in my mind that things will be just fine and that we all love each other enough to make the transition but for now the nerves are preventing me taking the idea for granted.
Part of what is making me nervous I think is the fact that this pregnancy has proved to me is a big way that no two pregnancies are ever the same the same way no two children are. I have had three totally unique parenting journeys with my children and I find myself wondering what the next journey holds in store for me.
My first born, Monster, my honest first love. He arrived six weeks early a few months before my 17th birthday and I believe to my very core, he saved my life, he gave me a reason to keep going when I would rather have given up. Our journey has been marred by so many bad things, and abusive boyfriend/father who chose drugs and alcohol over us at every turn, my own immaturity and inability often to do the right thing, bad people, bad experiences and a whole lot of curve balls. This is why he and I have such a unique bond. I can read this kid like an open book, he can’t lie to me, just like I can’t lie to him. From the youngest age he always knew when I was down, he would come and sit right up against me and just be there, like he knew I needed him at that moment. He is such an old soul and is genuinely very generous with his time and his kindness. He has developed a hell of a naughty streak but it reminds me he is just a kid. He was a very sick baby and spent a lot of time in hospital. To this day I do not know how I survived my matric year, I had a sick baby constantly in and out of hospital, an abusive arse of a boyfriend who picked fights constantly, I wasn’t living at home, I got zero help with baby in the hours I was not at school and I somehow managed three distinctions. This parenting journey has more than anything else in my life, made me who I am today. This beautiful blonde haired and blue eyed, sensitive, charming, mischievous, loud, busy and rambunctious boy will always be my first love.
Princess happened into the world some 26 months after Monster. Unplanned but so destined to be. The only one of my children who bears any real physical resemblance to me and oh gracious how I wish that was where the similarity ended. This child is me in miniature. We look alike, are the same star sign, think alike, over react alike, sulk alike etc ad nauseam. See the problem? This little person has been a supreme challenge to me in so many ways, she never needed me like Monster did. She was not a cuddly baby. She walked early, talked early and very much from the get go was her own person on her own schedule. Even today you need to be able to communicate with her on her level if you expect any of what you are saying to get through. Most days, I am the only person who can get through that façade. Some days even I fail. She has a quick mind and the most sensational sense of humour with this ability to amuse herself for hours. She loves fiercely and is very protective of her stuff and her space, as most cancerians are. She is a top notch drama queen and does not take kindly to being ignored, known for her epic, and I do mean epic, tantrums and her ability to totally zone out when sulking, she is not one you enter into confrontation with lightly. At the same time she is so incredibly sweet and helpful and her teacher raves about her kindness. I do only wish that would extend to her brothers sometimes. Our journey is one coloured with many giggles and cuddles and also screaming matches and sulk fests. I know this will only get harder as she gets older but I look forward to watching this elf of a little girl who is all arms and legs grow into the wonderful young woman I know she is going to be.
Little Squishy arrived five years after his sister. I will admit to having made an appointment at Marie Stopes to terminate this pregnancy. I will admit to spending every night for two weeks in a snot puddle on my bathroom floor agonizing over the impending arrival of this baby. I will admit that deciding to keep him once I saw his little heart beat was the single easiest decision I ever made. I had not planned on falling pregnant, I did not want any more kids but this little boy has given me so much that I honestly truly believe everything does in fact happen for a reason. He is ultimately what brought D and I together and cemented our little family. He is the single easiest and most pleasant toddler I have ever come across. He is happy and friendly and smily and sunshiny all the time and my heart bursts with love when we get home in the evenings to him standing at the window watching and waiting for us. He has never been demanding or difficult but manages to set the tone in our house. His older siblings adore him and when they are around his giggles are heard reverberating through our home. His nanny swears he is an angel and not a two year old and he has her wrapped around his little finger. Very much Daddy’s boy and generally I don’t play too much of a part in his reality unless he’s hungry or not feeling well. He has taught me that just when you think you have nothing left to give, something, or in my case someone, will happen to prove to you just how wrong you really are.
I can’t help but wonder what challenges lie ahead as my baby daughter enters our lives and our family. I cannot wait to watch another personality unfold in front of me and I am so super excited to see D’s face when he looks at his little girl for the first time. Pregnancy tends to make me nostalgic and I am sad that neither of our fathers will be here to meet our little bundle but I do not doubt she is entering the world surrounded by love and many eager hands to hold her through her journey through life. In just 37 days we meet the final addition to our family and I can’t wait.