The countdown is on. Only 4 weeks (or likely less) until we welcome baby #4 into the family. This has by far been my toughest pregnancy. I’m not sure if it’s because of my “advanced maternal age” or because it’s a girl this time. Either way, it’s not been pretty. Aside from the physical challenges I’ve had this time (I feel like I’m perpetually riddled with arthritis, a bum hip, a bad back and the list goes on), my emotions are all over the board. Laughing one minute, crying the next, irritable after that. Hubs is supportive, but at a loss. The boys I’m sure are sick of it. I am proud to say that I’ve at least managed to keep the tears to a minimum at work- or been able to shut my office door! My apologies to all caught in my emotional crossfire.
This time around it’s been different, perhaps due to my roller coaster of emotions, but the engagement by others is just not the same. I’m guessing that it’s probably my less than cordial, don’t touch my belly unless I know you well or you’re invited, demeanor? Who knows? But sometimes it’s a little sad because I feel like maybe I’m just not as welcoming about receiving questions. I was really feeling bummed about this. I mean, we’re having our first girl and I can only shoot daggers at anyone inquiring? That doesn’t seem celebratory on my part.
Apparently that only applies to adults. I was recently at Target (sans kids!) picking some items up, one of which was diapers. I’m browsing the diaper aisle, befuddled as usual at the fact that they have every single size of the diaper brand/style I want, except the size I need. I’m digging around the shelf looking in case some got buried. There was a mom also nosing around looking for diapers as well. She had a little baby boy and a pre-school age girl with her. The girl I notice keeps looking at me. I smile at her and go about digging around for diapers. What happened next melted my heart, and I believe horrified her mother.
Girl: “That’s my baby brother”, she states his name and points to the little boy in the cart.
Me: “Wow, that’s great! I bet you like being a big sister?”
Girl: “Yes, and I have a bigger sister too.” She gives her name too.
Me: “That’s great. You’re lucky to have a sister and a brother.” I’m amused at this point but also don’t want to get too personal because that would be weird and you never know how people will react. I notice she keeps looking at my belly. “I have 3 big boys at home and now there is a baby girl in my belly!”
Girl: “I bet she makes noise. Mom I can hear her baby making noise.” At that moment, she skips over to me and places her ear on my belly. “Mom, I hear her baby moving!” Her mom is beyond horrified, apologizes, and tells her she needs to always ask permission.
Me: “Not even an issue. In fact, that made my day.” I couldn’t stop smiling. I really wanted to be able to reassure the mom as much as possible that it really was okay. But, I get it because I know some people that would not be okay with that. But for me, I loved the innocent enthusiasm. It was a welcome change. So, when I have my ridiculous instants of emotions, I go back to that moment and the joy she had to “hear the baby” and am happy I was able to be part of that moment, and that my baby girl could be as well.