They know love.

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I had this moment of clarity last night, of just how lucky I am we are. It had nothing to do with the house we live in or any material thing for that matter, but rather the incredible amount of love we share with one another. It was an extremely brief, yet pure moment;

We were sitting in the grass as Everett played with his cars, and Quinn practiced her spelling under the apple trees. Matt was busy mowing the lawn and it felt like just another day in the life, albeit a more peaceful one, I will admit. Suddenly, I caught Matts glance and he stopped his tractor for a moment as if to take it all in, and I did the same. He blew Everett a kiss, who returned one back exclaiming “DADDY!” with a huge smile on his face. He carried on mowing and all returned as it was.  Yet it was in that brief moment that I realized how disgustingly special our life is. Our kids receive such a great outpouring of love from us every single day. Our words of affirmation are repeated over and over until we tuck them into bed, with a kiss just like the ones they’ve received a million times already. This is what they know. They are SPOILED with love and affection, and I’m proud to say it.

This little post isn’t meant to be braggy, but rather to be accessible to offer me some comfort in the times I struggle to see the good; on hard days, on rainy days, on days when I question whether I am doing enough, whether I am enough.

With all the turmoil in the world and the different circumstances people grow and live in, we are doing our absolute best to give our family the most love we can, and it’s in  little moments like these that it hits home. We are doing our best, and we are doing great. Our kids know love. They know compliments and forgiveness. They know affection of the most tender kind, in how we treat them as well as how we treat each other in front of them. We say ‘I love you’ at least 100 times a day and hug and kiss every chance we get. We may not do everything the way we should but this, we will always have this.

Preparing.

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It’s somewhat hard for me to believe that I am more than half way through my third pregnancy.  It wasn’t until I laid down a few days ago, I mean really hunkered down, feeling the weight of my pregnant body sink into the middle of our bed, that I reflected on the gravity of where my life is right now.  I am about to be a mother of three.  Certainly unlike my first, and perhaps even more than my second, I am calmer and content with the progression of this pregnancy and feel most at peace this time around.

My body is mostly familiar with all the changes taking place: restless legs at nighttime, a burgeoning tummy, shortness of breath, a general sleepiness throughout the day.  Typical pregnancy stuff.  I knew these things were coming, and now that they’re here, I’ve been able to transition much easier having felt this way before.  Don’t get me wrong, I still complain, a lot, but knowing what to expect has definitely allowed me to revel in all the pregnancy goodness and truly take it as easy as I know I should.

I think the main reason for my calmer state is that my perspective on delivering our baby (and really the whole process of pregnancy in general) has taken on a much more accepting tone, contrasting my previous anxiousness surrounding my experiences delivering both Quinn and Everett.  I now know what to expect come June when our little baby will make his or her arrival into this world.

In my previous deliveries, the whole experience was very difficult for me, for I had all these built up expectations: to hold my baby right away, to do skin to skin, breastfeed like they do on national geographic, you know, all of the romanticized things they tell you about.  Well, with Quinn, none of that happened.  I was only semi-conscious for the first 48 hours of her precious little life and the first time I saw her was hours after she’d been delivered. Something I barely remember but will never forget. Such a fragile moment, really seeing her for the first time.  It changed me.

Though overall my experience with Everett was positive, the “I am woman, hear me roar” in me was still disappointed and really tried to cling to doing it ‘the right way’. Of course my heart swelled with joy at the birth of our children, but I think I let my devastation surrounding their delivery and recovery overshadow a lot of the early days and weeks after they were born. I’ve come to learn (especially when comparing the two experiences), that inevitably, they both came just as they were supposed to. Healthy and safe.  Being that Everett was a scheduled cesarean, I held him instantly, he latched perfectly and everything we experienced together going forward was a direct result of the trauma we avoided by having a different plan. And I think that is so key. Letting go of expectations and moving forward with the best (not necessarily the ideal) plan for your unique circumstances. Since letting go of these expectations, we are headed toward such a peaceful and easy delivery to bring our newest son or daughter home with us and it is truly giving me great comfort.

Ultimately, I suppose what makes this pregnancy so much different from the previous two is that we get to share it with our other babies.  This time around, Quinn is a big part of it all, loving and understanding that she will be getting a brother or sister (her much preferred choice) this summer.  Our oldest will be four and a half (!!) when the baby is born and I’m quite sure she will assume the role of “little mama” right away.  Our sweet girl knows her world is changing and that as a big sister to another baby, her role will take on new a meaning yet again. Each evening that I tuck her into bed, she asks ever-so-sweetly for me to lay with her so she can feel the baby kick. It nearly brings tears to my eyes when she pops her head up every time the baby jumps and she feels it under her tiny little hand. I think that experience alone is one that I could never tire of. Everett can’t quite sit still long enough to feel or see anything this time around so there’s definitely an element that he’s missing aside from knowing there’s a ‘baby in mommy’s belly’. I am taking this time to have these special bonding moments with Quinn and preparing both of our children the best way I know how.

Last night, after dividing and conquering with the kids and getting them to bed, Matt and I laid up talking about what this third little personality will be like and how they will fit into to our little family. I admitted I was nervous to meet him or her. Quinn and Everett are SO different in their dispositions and we love them both SO much, it’s just difficult to imagine how our hearts can accommodate more love, more tolerance, more affection and more patience– but I know we will.

Only 10 weeks to go…