Three’s company? Three’s a crowd? The jury is out.

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Because, as I sit here, rounding out the last few dwindling hours of my “due date” and still, formally, the mother of 2, I have some time to write this post, completely in the dark as to the state of the union of the matter of 3. 3 children. It’s been interesting the responses we’ve gotten after letting both strangers, friends and family know that we were expecting 3. Some of the comments or questions we’ve received are as follows:
1. Do you have to move? Or the closely related, do you have enough space? Enough bedrooms? Are kids sharing rooms? Answers: No. Yes. Yes. And Yes.
2. Do you need a new car? Or the closely related, can you fit 3 car seats in your backseat?
Answers: No. Yes. With a little advanced planning I purchased at the outset, the only car seats on the market, capable of fitting 3 across. To answer the obvious question here, yes, we had conceptually planned on a bigger family from the beginning.
3. “Well, god bless you guys.” Shakes head in disbelief. Says the random dad in the park who was with his own 2 who are 18 months apart.
4. “Well, you’ll certainly never walk anywhere with 3 which will make the suburbs that much more appealing.”
5. “Once you have 3, you can just add a 4th and it’s no big deal.” Said by a few mothers of 4.
6. “Once you have 3, you are just really into the kid-thing so it takes the pressure off of pretending like you can have your own life back.” Said by a mother of 3.
7. “All I can tell you is, get enough help. The 3rd turned me into a full-blown alcoholic that first year.” Said the beleaguered, stone-cold, un-smiling, dead serious mom I met at a drop-in gymnastics class. She WAS NOT JOKING. Shudder.
8. “I really want a third child, but I can’t get my husband on board.” Said by a number of San Francisco moms and testament, I think to what happens, particularly in the city. Start doing the math, again, as previously discussed and it’ll never justify going beyond 2.

I love gathering all of the perspectives from acquaintances and strangers alike. Although, as a rule of thumb in life, I take all advice with a grain of salt, I do listen to the little nuggets that are given to me and sort through it all to make my own judgement.

Truth be told, I don’t know what it will be like with 3 kids in San Francisco. I’ve never done it before. At this moment, I’m trying to wrap my head around how the pick-up/ drop-offs go, getting 2 kids to different schools, hauling the newborn around and nursing and shuttling to and from activities of the older children. Hmmm….have it figured out yet? Nope. Not a clue how to do it. But it will come. Will the 3-kid thing mean we never walk anywhere again? I’d like to think that’s not the case. That would be a huge bummer. I’ll let you know on that one.

We are about to enter into yet another new phase of life in the city: Parents of 3 children, all 4 and under. And I’m ready to see what the next year has in store. It’ll be a guaranteed roller coaster ride-style adventure to be sure. And we’re about as strapped in as we’re ever going to be. Here we go…..!

Until next time,

The City Mouse

Beautiful torture: The last few days & weeks of pregnancy

pregnancyIf any of you have waited for the labor and delivery process to start, you know well and I am just now learning with #3, how truly torturous this wait can be. Even with the well-honed knowledge of what is to come, I’m still ready. Meaning the real stuff, not The Pottery Barn Kids kind of blissful land of receiving blankets and super-soft stuffed bunnies and perfectly layed out nurseries.Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 10.45.50 AM.
The what’s to come I’m talking about is the no sleep, adrenaline highs, postpartum lows, post labor contractions that bring tears to your eyes, narcotics, stool softeners, donut pillows, crying that just won’t stop (often for mom and baby), creative sleeping positions with newborns in chairs, beds, couches, sitting up, laying down, stress over the other kids waking up and handling the family changes and just keeping the wheels from falling off forever. The fear of setting all the kids up for lifelong adult therapy sessions that were certainly….Your Fault, particularly after the recommended “screen time” per kid, per week was consumed in your first day home from the hospital. Those kinds of what’s to come events. Still. Even with all of that, the difficulty of the last few weeks/days can leave one yearning for the sweet escape of JUST HAVING THE BABY!

At various points in the last few days, I thought the pressure of carrying my 4 year old- 42+ pounder down the stairs might be enough to induce labor right there or just push #3 right on out. No such luck. Or getting kicked in the stomach by the tantruming 2-year old who simply decided a diaper change was not preferable AT THIS EXACT MINUTE! might also do the trick and entice #3 to get the heck out of there and fight back on her own. But that didn’t happen either. I had never paid attention before to those, “How to jump-start labor” articles and tips because I didn’t have to. We barely had our acts together in time for #1 and #2 who were 5 days early respectively. But now, I’m taking tips left and right: Spicy Soup at Dosa? Serve me a bowl, Lyon street steps? Let’s get walking. And I can’t even claim a good, hopeful Braxton Hicks contraction in the last week. ARGH!

I am trying really hard to heed well- meaning advice to enjoy this time and it’s so true and sweet. This family of 4 has an impending expiration date and we’ve been making memories and soaking it in and snuggling in bed with the 4 of us and it really has been important and meaningful. However, the physical limitations of my current “situation” are almost too much to bear sometimes.

For once, we are really ready: the room is set up, hospital bag packed, baby clothes washed and hung, camera charged. And I kind of hate the anticipation. I’m longing for (or maybe just reminiscing about) the situation of #1, where, on my very first day of maternity leave, I kicked into labor unexpectedly and ran around the city like a crazy woman buying all of the last-minute essentials (nursing bras, bouncing chair, etc) that I assumed I had another week to procure. Just in the nick of time actually worked pretty well. Who knew? I’m 39 weeks tomorrow and shouldn’t complain, I know. I mean the due date Isn’t Even Here Yet. But it feels like it should be! And I’m ready to have myself back. Even a sleep deprived, hormone crazed, hanging by a thread version. At least I’ll be able to tummy sleep, have a cocktail and actually hold my other kids on my lap without them slipping off due to lack of room as it is now. Please! Let’s get this party started!!

So, with that being said, I’m going to wrap up this post. I’ve spent too long sitting anyway. I have some serious walking, stair climbing, jumping jacks, child wrangling to do…. If you hear from me next week and I’m still with child, it ought to be a pretty interesting entry. Who knows what kind of creativity that angst will inspire. Certainly something great.

Until next time,

The City Mouse