3 years ago I had 2 children and was pregnant with my third; abruptly my pregnancy came to an end and was devastating for my many reasons. With time, I resumed my normal life and came to the conclusion that I was just fine raising my daughter and my son. Fast forward to 14 months later; I found myself staring in disbelief at a positive pregnancy test. After being told I would probably never have children again or carry to full term; at 39 weeks I successfully gave birth via c-section to my now 10 month old lil boy.
As these months have seemingly flown by, I find that I’m enjoying the process a lot more than I did with my previous two. Now, that may sound like an awful thing to say; but it’s the truth. There are factors that play into this though.
To sum it all up: age & maturity.
I was 17 years old when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter; I gave birth a little less than two months after I turned 18. At that age, I was barely an adult. My thoughts were not consumed with happy nursery planning; instead I was worried about how I was to be a mom who hadn’t graduated high school and successfully take care of a baby.
Over time, I learned the basics of motherhood; waking up for night feedings, diaper changing, crawling, children’s desire to put all things in their mouth etc. And though I was enjoying the milestones that came with watching my baby grow; I was still struggling to adapt to my new role and accept that my life as a carefree youth was over. The reality was that my depression was bad, and I still didn’t know what it meant to be an adult.
By the time I had my second child, I was 23. I had an awesome partner (who became my husband a year later) and that made a huge difference. Yet and still, I was continuing to learn, still trying to get better at being financially stable but this time with a partner. Though I was not stressed for the same reasons as the first pregnancy; I was still stressed nonetheless.
This time around, I was 30 when I got pregnant and 31 by the time I gave birth. I’d been in my relationship 11 years and married for 7. I have matured so much since the first time I became pregnant. My thoughts, ideas and experiences have shaped me into a totally different person. And even though depression is still my struggle; my coping mechanisms are far better than they ever were. This has allowed me to take a whole different approach and view to
enjoying enduring my pregnancy and the process of child rearing.
Having lost a few pregnancies, it taught me to appreciate the gift of child-bearing than I ever did before. I tried to enjoy every little flutter, kick, tumble and roll. For the first time in my life as a mother I was so financially stable I could take the resources I had and decorate my first nursery complete with a rocker/glider chair. I was surrounded by stable, mature friends who blessed us with a beautiful baby shower. My environment from mental to physical was completely different this time.
I’ve had many setbacks in my life, but each experience has only aided in my maturation process. With my first two, it was like the learning curve. They’re 14 and 9 (almost) years of age. I have had a lot of time to grow up right along with them; and that’s what makes the relationship with them so significant. So while I may have a special little bond with my rainbow baby; it absolutely does not change the unique relationship I have with my oldest children.
These kids drive me UP and DOWN a wall, I’ve officially got white hairs, a bigger (but clearly more fashionable) waistline and I’m certain when I get out the bed I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies getting milk poured on them. BUT, I’ve also got a lot of good memories and we’re still creating and nothing gives me more joy (or pain) than these kiddies.
Parenting is a gift and a curse; and understanding that dichotomy is what makes me a better parent this time around.