This very day is forever emblazoned in my mind..a thousand thoughts streaming at me and through me…The day we found out we had a FOURTH little something something baking in my oven..even though I only just returned to work. It was a day of feeling both great emancipation, and heavenly bliss..and whilst those two emotions sound like a packaged deal, they actually each came from the very opposite ends of the spectrum of having babies…I know that sentence didn’t make much sense at all…but read on and it should become clear.
We had just had our third darling child…and it was both an enormous and gratifying sensation witnessing, and getting to embrace how our dreams of having a big family were unfolding for us. I mean, we finally crossed that line where the kids now outnumbered us. A particularly joyous crossing, after only but riding that same wave a few months before, then crashing into
the depths of pregnancy loss and mourning. But now, I was just back at work, and whilst I was solidly struggling to keep my eyes open most days and brain firing at full (or half) cylinders, I was fixed on the process of it all. The process and my progress through it.
This wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew how this went, I knew how demanding it would all feel in the beginning. I knew how my mind would pay tricks on me and tell I’m useless at work and how much I suck. Tricks all brought on by baby exhaustion. Exhaustion of keeping 3 kids alive and happy. The mental and physical tax of which can often go underrated. But having that kind of knowledge, understanding and foresight based on hindsight was extremely empowering! I knew the dark clouds of doubt would clear, and I knew what was next: the glorious sensation of rest that came with more sleep, clarity of mind, and the freedom that came with finding your groove in this new juggling act of breastfeeding, and being present in your kids and spouses life – and just LIVING a life that you enjoy.
After each baby, the time it takes to reach this point is different, I found. But just knowing that its coming brings sweet hope and fires up my spirit…and for me I always found, that day arrives like sweet little surpise left at your doorstep.
So with our third child, THIS day pictured here was the very day I truly felt my spirit tingle with joy and hope as I felt the shift happen. I woke SO well rested, even though still tired (little baby, Coco, only woke once), it was eldest’s birthday coming up and I needed to get sea shells for her mermaid party, and got the whole fam bam fired up for a quick trip to KalkBay. (Coco was a terrilble car traveller and I was trying to build her up for an epic road trip Mike and I wanted to do later that year to friends in another province. So this was the first baby step to that. OH the plans I had!) I had so much possibility coursing through my being – like the old fun mom I used to be. (pregnant Mom me and postpartum mom me is much less adventurous and much more of a homebody, for she is whats needed then….But, now, was fun mom’s time to shine! Or so I thought…)
We had spent the day before planning our day, and how great it was gonna be…Hit up Kalkies, walk through those bustling yet relaxed streets and pop in at all the quaint stores, then pull in to one of our fave little eateries (there are a few)..and very importantly, sip the cocktails I was going to enjoy for the first time in forever! It was the start of that fantastic phase of motherhood where you find your new normal and you feel freakin amazing! BUt like I said, well rested, but ODDLY super sluggish. It was weird to me that I never quite shook the new baby tiredness yet at this point, like I did with the others. But I kept putting it down to the fact that it was the result of adjusting to life with THREE kids. It had been bothering me all the while, and mentioned to Mike a few times, but this day in particular, I just couldn’t shake the feeling. And while getting dressed, I peeked inside my coffee mug hoping to find more- disappointed I didnt yet feel the caffeine kick yet. I drained the cup to get the very last drops of that magic elixir into my veins. Puzzled by this, I turned to Mike…that’s odd, the only time I ever feel like this – when coffee has almost zero affect on my energy levels- is when Im pregnant…
He looked up quickly at me, with big eyes…processing it. We both looked at each other in silence…smiling, saying ,”nahhhhh”, then burst out laughing. He asked if he should run and get some test, but I reassured him, “nope, I have a tell. A pregnancy tell.And its NOT telling!” My pelvis shifts out of place within days after conception. Like, the earliest I knew I was pregger’s was 4 days after conception. My hips don’t lie! (lol)..And up until that point, my hips did not shift. And that was that, and he moved on. However, my mind was still stuck on this tiredness and how it felt EXACTLY like my pregnancy tiredness. But it was a big day for me, and I put it out of my head, hustled and got everyone ready to hit the road. It wasn’t until I forgot the baby blanket that I ran back up stairs, grabbed it and turned back to run downstairs, when, SUDDENLY, it happened….my hip twisted, and a familiar twinge surged through my leg….
I stopped dead in my tracks…
Less for the pain, and more the realisation that came with it…
I called out to Mike, trying to stay as casual as possible, “Baby, maybe we should just swing by the chemist today and grab some tests….my hip just twisted.”
He replied with a laugh, and a “sure, lets do that”…and gave me an almost knowing smile as he was watched me slightly limp my way to the car. My hips always and only do that when Im pregnant. Like clockwork. I tried to reason it out with maybe its just my thoughts focused too hard on the hips thing, so now my body will react to that..nothing more… So, I tried to silence my thoughts.
We decided to skip the chemist, and not let anything over shadow the kids’ day out _ I mean they are solid troopers always. They take those postpartum days in like champs. They help me, help their dad, love on baby and never complain about not going out much. So we didn’t want anything to over shadow this time with them, especially since this day was centred around our little Morgan-Lee’s mermaid birthday preparations. So we had a ball of a time in the little sea shell shop, we loved trekking the streets with our new little family of 5, and popping in at the dusty bookstores, although Mike didn’t want me to do any knife shopping that day – spoil sport.
We finally ended at the Brass Bell, which was extremely busy and I had a very busy little baby who wanted to be on the floor too in the mix of all that bustle, but I didn’t care, it was a gorgeous day, the nearby sea wave droplets that landed on our faces glistened like fairy dust and smelled so good. We were there, living our lives.
I kept trying to order my cocktail but it never came. So while we waited for dessert to come, I eventually took Coco for a walk down along the tidal pool, and in that moment, as the sun warmed my cheeks, highlighted the shy little octopus in the pool and made playful shadows in the water, I had a flood of gratitude.
How blessed I felt to have this family. To be here in this moment with the ocean crashing on the at our feet. (I felt so connected to everything at that one point, even my father); For this weather, for this body of mine, for this little body in my arms; For those little big bodies in Mikes arms. For this kind of love. For THIS LIFE. Just all of it. Just so much gratitude. I was brimming with enough gratitude that I didn’t even care my cocktail never came, even as the waitress eventually came by to check on it, something made me tell Mike not to worry about and for us to get home.
The afternoon was waning, and it was a perfect note to end it all on. Satisfied children with their senses of sun, adventure and outdoors filled. We headed home, but of course not without a quick stop at the chemist. Then we got everyone freshened up and napping, while Mike and I went down to tend to some very important bidniz.
There was about 2 minutes of my head doing that whole future thinking thing, when Mikey just ushered me along to the bathroom, to get this party started…. But I mean, forgive me here, But I just spent 9 months living in in a haze of pregnancy-induced sleepiness, trying to navigate my through work and board meetings, and limping like Quasimodo most days while growing a little human. Followed by months of further offering up my body, mind and soul to nurture and further grow this little human,…and today was the first time in so very long that I felt a different, yet familiar flow of LIFE course back through my fibres, with the possibility of space to finally breathe a little into myself again… So, forgive me I wanted to take a minute.
But the truth is, in those two minutes, and in swimming though that cascade of thoughts, regardless of all that and how pregnancy usually goes for me, I also knew which fork in the road I wanted more than anything. And to be honest,if I just stopped, like really stopped to listen to my body, and listen to what it was telling me all this time…Instead of trying to race forward onto the next known step of this “process”, and trying to get back to my new normal – if I just heeded its sweet whisperings of it’s little secret – then the truth is I would have already known this little surprise. And at a deeper level I probably did. We always do. We’re always connected, whether we acknowledge that or not.
So I unwrapped that sucker of a test like a present on Christmas morning…like I already knew what the gift was- the one I always wanted – and couldn’t wait to see it!
Not even two seconds of peeing onto it, and up popped that second line – BOLD and clear! I was pregnant!
I mean, I was laughing while peeing, doing my best not to pee on my hand with all the shaking. Mike was asking what’s so funny up in there…and as usual I was doing my best to keep my composure, as I really wanted to see his face when I said it. But I think the laughs were a dead give away.
Anyway, I quickly washed up and headed straight to him on couch, failing dismally at hiding my expression. He tried to keep his face straight but he never had the best poker face, and hiding his happiness has never been his strong suit. Also, me waving the stick up in the air excitedly is probably a dead giveaway too. (I suspect neither of us would bode well in a game of poker)…But I didn’t care, I was so freakin over the moon I wanted to shout it out to the world.
We were both SO happy…so surprised! So very, very suprised. Like we normally plan this stuff man. And here we are sitting with the best surpise ever! And just undeniably and absolutely excited!
There was a lot of silence and big eyes with huge smiles, which would then erupt periodically into laughter. You couldn’t have found a happier pair who were more stupidly inlove at that point!
Of course, I knew this was going to be hard on my body (still postpartum, and trying to heal up the slight Diastasis Recti I developed in the thrid pregnancy, and I was well on my way to 40. Not to mention, I just got back to work..), but more than that, I felt pure exhilaration and bliss for this wonderful most blessed gift bestowed upon us. We were being blessed with all that we wanted for a family. And whilst it may have been ahead of the schedule I had in my head, His timing is divine and this all worked out so much better than what ever plan I could have concocted.
Were there tears? Absolutely!But only tears inspired and moved by overwhelming gratitude.
After I shared the news with Mike, there was not an utterance of any negativity. Not a whisper of “but how will we do …xyz” …Nothing! There was just sheer joy and gratitude. I couldn’t believe how giddy I was…like I even did a self check, to see if I was perhaps in denial…but nope, I couldn’t have been happier! And couldn’t wait for it all.
I never shared this back then because honestly life took on such a pace that there was almost no time to really put these thoughts and feelings down and to stitch them into words and photographs. We were going (and still are) a mile a minute! Life as a family of 6 will do that to ya! (What we did do however, is share our funny little pregnancy announcement. Which was an absolute winner! Shante of Shante Hutton Photography helped us make it a reality. In fact, aside from taking our fun photographs, she made our announcement look WAY cooler than I would have! Check it out over here. She is an amazing talent, and also now offers this as a fun little service to everyone.)
But I really wanted to share this day and all the emotions of that day on the blog, especially for myself personally. These are the days I never want to forget…and whilst these memories are so clear and vibrant in my mind now, Im fragiley aware that the years tend to launder one’s history…and these beautiful moments in time are ones I never want to forget the smallest details of. So writing and sharing it here with you helps me hold onto it forever. I hope you enjoyed taking the ride down memory lane with me too.
Now, two years on from that day…here we are..our family complete. And still over the freakin moon. And still am able to feel every bit of that excitement in the bathroom that day.
Ps. Sidenote: I believe it was also no co-incidence I couldn’t get that drink that day. I mean, honestly, I had been trying for some time since maternity leave ended, with oddly no luck. I sure missed it, but absolutely worth giving it a miss! 😉