I always knew I wanted a third baby. Or at least I thought I did. My husband was perfectly happy with our two healthy, beautiful baby girls — but he never completely ruled out the idea. We were (mostly) on the same page. It wouldn’t be for a few years if we decided to have a third. After all, we already had a three-year-old and an almost two-year-old. We weren’t completely crazy. But then the unexpected happened. Surprise! We found out we were pregnant. Even though we had been using birth control ever since the two-year-old was born. (Apparently, I am one of the two to eight percent of U.S. women who conceive every year while on an oral contraceptive.) God had other plans for us and now we are preparing for the arrival of baby number three, whether we like it or not (we do)!
Oops! I mean, yay!
It took me 14 weeks to realize I was pregnant and get an appointment with a new OBGYN here in Texas. (No rush. Third baby here; been there, done that.) The flu-like symptoms and weight gain (only in my uterus) should have been a dead giveaway. But you know how it goes. Thank you, sweet Jesus, that Baby Tomes Number Three (the final installment, as far as we know) is healthy and cooking away just fine. She (we just found out!) is predicted to make an appearance in early July. Yay! We truly are excited. It was just a bit of a shock.
So now we are preparing ourselves to become a family of five, and I know what you are thinking. I have read all the same scary blog posts that you have. I realize Disney Cruise cabins only accommodate four people — that if we go on a Disney Cruise, we will have to book two cabins for five people. Despite the obvious challenges, I can honestly say that I am 100% unafraid. We cannot wait to meet the newest addition to our precious, motley crew. Sure, we will probably need to purchase a larger SUV (there’s no way three car seats are fitting comfortably in the backseat of my Ford Edge), and we probably won’t be going out to eat at an actual sit-down restaurant as a family anytime soon, but we will figure it out. Babies are always a blessing, and boy, have we been blessed.
Here’s How We Are Prepping for Baby Number Three!
Small victories are now a cause for celebration.
After finding out we were pregnant again — and getting over the initial shock — my first thought was thank goodness we didn’t do a garage sale and sell all of our baby stuff when we moved back to Texas. That would have been terrible! And hooray — our expensive infant car seat hasn’t expired. Because we have a two-year-old. Here’s to celebrating little victories and finding the positives! I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme for our family over the next several years. Cheers to that!
It’s time to potty train the two-year-old.
As opposed to waiting until after her third birthday, like I did with big sister, it’s time to get on the potty training train. Because by the time baby #3 comes around, we will have three children under the age of five. I would prefer not to change two sets of diapers every day while simultaneously breastfeeding and chauffeuring children around to all their activities in my brand-new Mommy Mobile. Let me add that to my ever-growing to-do list. Right next to teaching the two-year-old to sleep in a big girl’s bed and find a solution to world hunger.
KISS: Keep it simple (stupid).
What does this mean? This means (most) of the whacked-out things I did with babies number one and two are out the window this time around. (Pacifier, wipes, who really needs those?) This also means that my kiddos (who are still relatively young) will have to choose one extracurricular activity (besides school and church) to enroll in per season. I am all about making little babies’ dreams come true — but mama and daddy have to have some time for themselves. Despising each other when the littles are grown and gone is not part of the plan—just saying. Relationships must be nurtured to survive.
Let the small stuff go, for real, this time.
Any lingering OCD tendencies after Baby Number Two? Gone and gone. My house might not be perfect, more like a perfect mess, but it will be full to overflowing with love. And that’s what really matters. Also, vacuuming up crumbs after meals takes about two seconds. Keeping up with the dishes and laundry? That’s a necessity, not a nicety. We won’t confuse the two.
Streamline, streamline, streamline.
With every new addition to your brood, you have to be that much more organized. Order is key to successfully avoiding chaos. One way I plan to make things easier for myself with baby number three is by employing the Serenity Star from aden + anais. It’s basically a full-time nanny. Okay, not really, but it’s still pretty freaking awesome. A feeding diary, a room temperature indicator, a sound machine, a night light, and a clock all in one — I just know things will be different this time. I’ll probably shower every day, too. Wink.
Make the most of the “small moments.”
Even though I know I won’t be getting much sleep this year (or next year or maybe even the year after that) — I am already dreaming up ways to show each of our three incredible kiddos just how loved and wonderful we think they are. Quality time is a must. Regular and individual dates with Mom and Dad are another must. We have made an unbreakable pact: no “third wheels” exist in the Tomes household. No one will ever feel left out because we will basically smother them with our adoration and undying affection. Sounds like a good plan, don’t you think?
This seems like a legitimate list. It will probably grow as we get closer to the Big Day. How did you mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare to expand your family? Feel free to share in the comments section below. And don’t forget to enjoy these fleeting, precious moments, mamas (no matter how exhausting). The baby years will be gone before we know it, and then we get to parent teenagers!