You peed on the stick and when that little positive sign appeared it took you a hot second to sign up for those “your baby is this many weeks old and is the size of this vegetable” emails.
At least, that was your first baby. Maybe even your second baby. It was cute, you know, imagining your baby as the size of a plum, a rutabaga, or a watermelon as you passed them in the produce aisle.
Well, welcome to the world of third babies. Congratulations to you – no, really. Everyone else might be looking at you like you’ve gone overboard with the kid thing, but I’m with you – babies are awesome, and you’re gonna be a great momma. All. Over. Again.
But first you have to get through this pregnancy. And sister, I gotta be honest: this ain’t your first rodeo. So you need a new calendar. A give-it-to-you-straight calendar. Vegetable and fruit sizes are, well, they are vegetable and fruit sizes. You need to know what’s going to be going on in your very real pregnancy life this time around.
Week One: Oh hey there, lady who has no idea she is pregnant.
Week Two: You’re still enjoying occasional glasses of wine.
Week Three: Sour gummy worms sound so good right now. Weird.
Week Four: That pregnancy test stick at CVS looks like it’s judging you.
Week Five: You casually tell your husband that you are pregnant one evening as you both lay exhausted in the living room after putting your ex-utero kids to bed. Ain’t nobody got time for a meticulously planned breakfast in bed with a pregnancy test laid casually next to the glass of orange juice.
Week Six: Morning sickness. Right.
Week Seven: Donuts for breakfast. Because wine has been suddenly eliminated from the list of available beverages to drink, and life must still be lived.
Week Eight: You should probably get around to scheduling that visit at the OB/GYN office. Sometime between now and, you know, week 25 ought to be good.
Week Nine: Crap. Did you give all those maternity pants away?
Week 10: You tell your friends because, um, you really are going to need maternity pants. Like, yesterday. Even that hair tie method isn’t going to hold out for much longer.
Week 11: You tell your older kids over dinner one night. Your oldest will swear she can feel the baby move in your tummy already.
Week 12: People start holding doors open for you because the third baby poochy belly is not kidding around. That thing popped out around week 8.
Week 13: Morning sickness.
Week 14: Morning sickness.
Week 15: Oh hey! Your baby is about as long as those sour gummy worms that you’re still craving. Also, morning sickness.
Week 16: Morning sickness.
Week 17: Morning sickness.
Week 18: Morning sickness.
Week 19: Morning sickness.
Week 20: You know you’re at 20 weeks because this is sonogram week. Now when people ask you how many weeks you are you can proudly give them a firm number. In another week or two, you’re back to having no idea exactly how many weeks or days pregnant you are.
Week 21: You gave up vegetables and healthy eating weeks ago. My advice? LIVE. IT. UP. This is your last pregnancy (or so you keep telling people). You will never be able to feel this guiltless about that second bowl of ice cream again. The gestational diabetes test is still a full five weeks away, sister. If you’re gonna pound the carbs, time is of the essence.
Week 22: Also known as the week that you start feeding your two ex-utero children crackers, string cheese, and bagged popcorn for lunch. You know they count as grains, dairy, and vegetables, right?
Week 23: It’s totally normal to wake up in a panic thinking about the fact that you will need to endure labor and delivery again. Because you will need to endure it. Again.
Week 24: You sigh as you pull into your driveway in your minivan, and then pause as you reach for the garage door button. Nope. This is the week you start parking in the driveway because you are tired of having to squeeze between the sliding doors and the children’s toys taking up space in your garage.
Week 25: Place those antacid bottles in the bathroom, in the car, on the kitchen counter, and next to your side of the bed. You’re welcome.
Week 26: The week of “don’t touch me.” Anybody. Hormones have flipped the switch and mama and her growing belly need their space.
Week 27: The week you log on to Facebook asking for any and all suggestions to ease the pain that has crept into your right posterior hip region any time you try to walk. Maybe for the first time in your life, you visit a chiropractor.
Week 28: God bless chiropractors.
Week 29: Did you just feed your family Little Caesar’s $5 Hot-n-Readies for dinner three times this week? Yes, yes you did. Own it.
Week 30: All-you-can-eat sushi sound so good right now … except that it’s sushi and your stomach will hold about five grapes worth of food before you start getting acid reflux. And except for those sour gummy worms, everything gives you acid reflux.
Week 31: Your husband brings home a three pound bag of sour gummy worms. Bless him. He may stay.
Week 32: Underboob chafing week!
Week 33: Your second child is finally be comfortable enough to keep his hand on your belly as legs and elbows and butt protrude in all directions. You try to hold onto the memory of this.
Week 34: Your oldest starts siding with her dad this week on what this baby should be named. Conveniently, the name starts with the same letter as hers.
Week 35: You haven’t even spent a second thinking about a nursery, but for whatever reason this is the week you regain enough energy to clean the leaves and dirt off of the back patio so your older kids have space to play.
Week 36: You don’t have the space in your house for a nursery anyway. It’s okay. The pack-n-play at the foot of your bed is a perfectly fine place for a baby to sleep.
Week 37: You stuff a dress, leggings, water bottle, and a baby outfit in your beach bag and start calling it the hospital bag.
Week 38: Any day now!
Week 39: Seriously, it’ll probably be tonight.
Week 40: Maybe you will be the world’s first eternally pregnant woman.
Week 41: Your friend who, bless her, offered to put a meal calendar together for you when the baby arrived asks if it’s okay to start bringing meals now even though the baby is not here yet and you almost break down in tears of as you think about kissing her feet.
Week 41 and one day: She comes fast. You don’t trust the contractions at first – this baby will never come, right? They get stronger. Your doula comes and within half an hour you’re be off to the hospital. You resist pushing because you remember the pain so clearly and you’re afraid this baby is too big. No matter how many times you’ve done it before, pushing is scary. But you won’t push long before she is out and screaming and beautiful. And every second of those 41 long weeks fades into foggy memories as you snuggle her to your chest.
It will be worth 42.