three, in ten weeks

There are three carseats in my backseat.   I thought having an empty carseat back there would make it seem more real that we are having a baby, but it does not seem real.

There is an empty crib in our room.  Alice moved to a toddler bed (seamlessly, I might add, thank you Alice) and I put the crib in our room.  I thought an empty crib with a new crib sheet would make it seem more real that we are having a baby, but it does not seem real.

I am so busy, lately, with my other tinies.  I am constantly shouting "NO BITING" or "TOO ROUGH" or "GET YOUR FEET AWAY FROM HER" or "GIVE HER SPACE" and when I am not saying those things (not just to Clark, by the way, Alice is a biter and a pincher) I am doing my best to bend my un-bending stomach to pick things off of the floor and when I am not bending I am thinking about how I am not bending and feeling bad because it feels too hard and I just don't want to do any of the normal stuff I do.  The floor is covered in STUFF -- crumbs, clothes, toys, and a messy house makes my brain feel bad.

I've tried all of the usual things that help me get my act together (plus lots of extras) but pretty much all I have the desire to do is go to the pool.  I leave breakfast on the table (and floor) and we go swim. 

I don't feel prepared to give birth or hold a newborn.  Our baby doesn't even have a name. Are ten weeks enough time to mentally get there?  The first 30 weeks flashed by so fast.

My blog posts will maybe be few and far between for awhile. (Like how I said "maybe"? I don't like committing to things.) Most of what I've written lately has been all gobbledygook anyway.  I don't like the way I feel right now and I don't like writing about it and I don't like reading about it and you all probably don't either.  I am frustrated, out of patience, emotional, tired, and huge.  The inside of my brain is like a mirror reflecting those traits.  I want to feel like me.  I want to have some joy during these last ten weeks instead of impatience.  I want feeling good and being kind to just, you know, happen instead of being things I spend all of my energy trying desperately to squeeze out.

I need encouragement, if you have any to spare.

At least we have the pool. 

Yes, this is at the pool.  My land-locked children call the sand pit at the pool "the beach", the poor dears.

PS.  Thank you for your "get well" wishes.  I am very thankful we are healthy again.


  1. Late pregnancy is HARD and discouraging. My third baby didn't feel real until I held her and she certainly wasn't named, since she came early and before my husband and I had finished fighting over names.

    Have you checked out Nymbler.com? You can enter in your other kids's names and it will very obligingly suggest other names in your style. I found it at least amusing. (It suggested "Mertie.")

    Can you get someone in to help you, even for just a few days? I hired a teenage girl to come over, and take the littles off my hands for a few hours every day and that helped A LOT.

  2. With my second I definitely started to feel that level of OH CRAP OH CRAP and I think with a third I'd be feeling the way you do. I mean, when you're wrangling two littles it's not like you have time to stop and revel in every twinge and kick and daydream, so all the sudden it's like OH MAN, A BABY.

    All I can tell you is that you CAN do this, and you will ease into it with every second and hour and day. No one is ready for the first, no one is ready for the second, no one is ready for the third. You just do it.

    And you? Can definitely do it.

    Keep venting and freaking, let that energy out. We're listening.

  3. Oh sweet lady. You're just normal. You're just feeling normal and it's okay to surrender to not feeling quite okay about this whole thing right now. You'll get there, and it's even okay if it takes a year from now. (not that it would be fun for it to take that long, but...)

    It's going to be alright. Even though it doesn't feel like it, and when you're in the trenches, you just can't see over the edges. And then one day you find that you lived your way through it and things have calmed down and it's GOOD.

    But in the meantime I just want to validate you, because these huge changes and adjustments are just really hard.

  4. Neither one of my children were real to me until they were in my arms. You're in a tough spot right now, trying to figure out the new normal. Transitioning from one normal to the next is always when I start to flounder.

    In ten years, you won't remember the stuff on the floor. You'll remember your kids at the pool.

    Big hugs, lady.

  5. You are a glorious mama and you will be ready when the time comes. Baby doesn't need a name right now, just needs you to keep doing what you're doing.

    Running around after your sweet kids is a full time job for two people. I happen to believe that some pregnancies are a full time job for two people also. So you're working four full time jobs right now and you will not be getting maternity leave. If you weren't tired and just a bit losing it then we would all know that you are pooping a lot of secret Vicodin. You are not.

    I'm nuts about wanting a clean house but letting my standards evaporate has been a blessing. I no longer try for a daily clean house. If I can get it put together even once a week, sort of - then I'm doing great. I just remember that this is a season of untidy and it will pass and when it does I will likely miss the tininess of the people that made it messy.

    I adore you. I hope you can find the peace of lowered expectations and have a great time doing what you do best - being an excellent mom.

    Have fun at the pool. As much as possible.


  6. I meant "popping" not "pooping."

    My favorite typo of the day so far.

  7. It is hard to comprehend the changes that are coming. I don't think I've ever fully believed there was an actual baby in there until I saw him/her for the first time. Still, even now.

    How to adjust to these mystery nameless babies is something I struggle with to this day. How will he fit in? How will I manage?

    The mental, spiritual, emotional, physical energies (does that cover it all or what?) demanded in the last weeks of pregnancy can be crushing.

    I second Beck's nymbler.com suggestion.

  8. i have a baby name wizard for sale in my garage as we "speak" ... i'll come back and give you the reccommended name selections as soon as i can. but remember ... i have three kids too. and three is hard.
    i second the normal comment above. that third pregnancy is very wearing on a mama. thinking of you!

  9. My darling, you are in the toughest part of the marathon of baby carrying - the pregnant way. Even the labor part (which ultimately freaks me out the most even though I've already done it three times) doesn't compare to the feelings of hugeness, inadequacy, fear of the unknown, and so on.

    I can tell you that when Eleanor arrived (our third), things were not quite as easy as usual. Life WAS turned upside down. Laundry took longer to get done - and sometimes had to be done a second time over because I fell asleep before remembering it needed to transition from the washer to the dryer. Dinner was more complicated - mostly because I felt unmotivated to actually muster up the energy (hey, I'd already gotten us through breakfast AND lunch!!!). My house was certainly at its messiest. I thought that I would never have control again - and as a crazy person who has a grand need for organized closets, cupboards, drawers, and so on, this was absolutely freaking me out. No way we could add more kids to this disaster!

    But, now that she is two, and we are expecting baby number FOUR (eeeek!), I am looking around thinking, "Thank you, Jesus! My life has actually come back together. My laundry is getting done - though it is admittedly taking longer to actually come OUT of the dryer (so thankful for that anti wrinkle cycle). I'm making full dinners again - no more egg sandwiches and strawberries in a bowl last minute and shrugging a pitiful "Sorry" to my husband who was certainly hoping for more after a long day at work. And my house, while not Pottery Barn catalog presentable, is not looking too shabby, either.

    (to be continued...)

  10. Anyway. My point is not to brag - I am so far from being able to brag. My point is to tell you that you aren't alone. And that things WILL get easier. And someday your kids will be about to move out of the house and you'll be teary eyed reading that little poem that reads,

    "Cleaning and scrubbing
    Can wait till timorrow,

    For babies grow up
    We've learned to our sorrow.

    So quiet down cobwebs,
    Dust go to sleep,

    I'm rocking my baby,
    And babies don't keep."

    Keep on enjoying the pool, my dear. And pretty soon you'll be enjoying your new little one, and the intoxicating smells of that darling newborn head. And, even though this may ruin it for you, you'll also be changing a heck of a lot of diapers and probably not showering on any regular schedule of any kind for a while - even if you have spit up in your hair.

    Some sacrifices are worth it. Don't you think?

    Hugs to you - I'll be where you are in just two months! Eeek!


  11. I'm going to come see you before you have the baby, and after. I know just what you are going thru right now and want to encourage you that going from two to three was actually a beautiful thing for me. Now, three to four? 'Nother story. :)


  12. P.S. You're on track for needing a child with a three syllable name, by the way.

    Clark - one

    Alice - two

    ???? - three

    Just kidding. I don't actually have rules like that. But, knowing you, the name you and your husband do end up choosing will be perfection. I love the names Clark and Alice. So solid and traditional, yet somehow not those things at the same time.

    You are in my prayers and thoughts!

  13. Now I'm all teared up. I found my third pregnancy hard too. I mean it was normal and wonderful and risk free and relatively easy, but keeping up with three toddlers hugely pregnant was hard.

    Put yourself first these last few weeks, cherish them and play in the pool, but let them watch TV if you get tired. I know it's hard to believe now, but six months after our fourth was born, I looked back and couldn't remember life without him, it all worked, it was all so happy. The house is even decent. Sometimes ;-)

  14. My third pregnancy was by far the hardest. Being pregnant while chasing two other kids.... it's something lesser women could never do.

    While pregnant with Otto I spent a lot of time locking all 3 of us in my bedroom with a movie on for them and me just laying in bed being miserable. The house was beyond disgusting. My mom came over to help me clean it (which was more of a hassle than a help) and was criticizing the fact that there was yogurt on my walls.

    You will all survive. Your children will live, even if there are piles of laundry and cereal all over the floor.

    Oh man..that reminds me. Once while pregnant with Elliott I remember crying like a baby because Faith was crawling around eating cereal off my disgusting carpet. I felt like the worst mother ever. But here she is, a fully functioning brilliant 5 year old...

    Motherhood is hard. So hard. Once that beautiful baby comes out things will get easier. Or at least they'll seem easier because you're not pregnant any more. Case in point: Otto pooped on the kitchen table this morning. Seriously. Right in the middle of it. I cleaned the table, cleaned him, gagged, then went about our day.

    This too shall pass. This too shall pass. <3

  15. Can I just tell you how awesome I think you are? You don't even know how many times I have told my friends "my cousin..." and it is about you and your awesome mothering. :) Seriously.

    I'm impressed with Alice moving to a toddler bed so well. I'm getting ready to do that with Audrey here in the next month. Kind of dreading it b/c she sleeps so well in her crib right now.

    Can we get together soon? Even if it means just going to the pool and avoiding crumbs on the floor:)

  16. I'm. Right. There. With. You!

    I'm 38 weeks and 5 days - but who's counting. My bedroom is a maze of sorted laundry that I can no longer lug up & down stairs to do. My kitchen floor is beginning to resemble the top of a apple crumble. My three children watch TV at least half of the day. And we STILL don't have a name. I'm giving up on the idea that this child will ever be born - I've been to the hospital twice, and have been sent home. Twice. When I voice my frustrations people question my parenting ("You want him to be healthy, right?") or remind me that I'm not at my due date yet (despite the fact I've been having intense, consistent contractions for 3 weeks now and ALL of my other children were born at 38 weeks). I'm grumpy, cranky, sore, exhausted and feel like a baby elephant.
    You're not alone. This sucks. But it's all worth it. I'm just holding on to the thought that he HAS to come out eventually, right?

  17. I have no children, but I just last month watched my sister transition from having a 4 year old and a 1 year old to having a 4 year old, a 1 year old, and a newborn. And it just happened. It's like it was always that way. And she didn't feel like it was real until it was real. And she was totally not knowing how she was going to do it, and she just does it. It amazes me. She amazes me. And you amaze me, too.

    Hang in there. You're allowed to to be cranky or anything else you want or need to be. It's hot, you're pregnant, and there are little ones who need you. And if all you want to do it go to the pool, then that's all you have to do. Eat some ice cream, too. Ice cream always helps.

  18. oh, friend.

    it is crazy this motherhood...these emotions, huh? i understand the feeling of overwhelm, but it will just happen. and you will do it. beautifully, i'm sure.

    that doesn't mean some days won't be awful and it doesn't mean that this isn't really hard most of the time. it means that you know what the most important things are and you give yourself a lot of grace.

    wish we were closer.

  19. Did I already mention that in my not-so-professional opinion, being pregnant with two kids is MUCH harder than having three kids? Because it was for me. Three kids is chaotic. But you'll be yourself again. It makes all the difference. Also...taking the kids to the pool all the time? Sounds like great outside summer fun to me. They aren't missing out on anything. You rock. I can't wait to sit by that pool with you.

  20. It never seems real until it happens. Don't worry, you will find a name for your sweet little one. I found the transition from 2 to 3 easier than going from 1 to 2. But even if it is difficult, you won't remember the bad stuff. When this season of life has passed you'll remember the crazy crafts and the time spent at the pool. Just keep doing what you've been doing. Your heart is in the right place, and that's what really matters.

  21. Pools make everything better. So don't worry about the crumbs. Just feel better

  22. I must say, I happily read through all the comments and am glad to see everyone reminding us all...pregnancy is just a time period...some pregnancies are wicked on the body, emotions, sanity...the house will fall apart, but will return to a normal state eventually.
    I think I agreed most with Deb's comment though. Being pregnant with two littles to chase and take care of is actually harder than having the three. My third just turned 3 months old and I'm feeling almost back to my old self (whoever that is now). I tell my husband, I don't think I can have another because the last pregnancy made me such a person I never wanted to be. My parenting especially, but also my relationship with my husband and my own personal happiness were so steeping in unhappiness and hormonal crazies.
    You take care of yourself and your family and let others take care of you for a break! And we'll still be here checking when you've written, even if it takes you a long while to return. That's what the lovely readers are for. Heck, I won't feel so behind. Always so many blogs to catch up on!
    Good luck to you. And, no worries on a baby name. We've always decided upon our names when the babe was born except with this last one who told me his name in advance. You'll know when the time comes. Now go feel free to nest, swim and nap! :)

  23. I can't believe you're so close, Erin. Obviously it can go much faster for an outsider looking in, but still, that 30 weeks went fast!

    I remember feeling like my middle son was such a baby still, when I was that pregnant with babyD. I remember feeling sad that I was replacing him as the baby.

    I remember feeling excited and love and joy and thrilled - but also scared and not sure and sad that my baby would no longer be the baby.

    And then he came and I had the biggest baby high, baby moon, I've ever had with any of the others. In fact, to be honest, I don't think it ever left!!!

    If I could have babies every few years for the rest of my life, and have a huge crew of people helping {obviously!}, I would!

    Hugs to you - kisses to your kids - and belly rubs to the new one.


  24. And one a side note: going from 1 child to 2 was SO hard for me. Going from 2 to 3 was so much easier. And once I got past the couple of months when the baby rarely slept, it was smooth sailing. It felt like he was always there, part of our family.


    All this baby talk makes me long for another one.

  25. With this one it doesn't feel as "real" as it did with Levi. I keep waiting for that "realness" to kick in. And, prepared? What's that? Are we ever prepared for these wildly unpredictable creatures to enter our lives?

    Leaving breakfast on the table is not a sign of lack of preparation...it's just you being pregnant and tired. And, hey, at least I'm in good company. Breakfasts have stayed on the table nearly every day with this pregnancy. I don't have the energy I had when I was pregnant with Levi. Heck, I often go out for lunch AND supper just because I'm too tired to clean up the breakfast dishes.

    Gosh, I think that final trimester is just plain hard. You may not be puking like in the first, but there is plenty of other pain and discomfort to make up for that.
    The other day I told Stephan that I love being pregnant but that I really can't figure out why because most of the time I'm somewhere in the vicinity of miserable. Sigh. It is worth it, though. And, you are prepared. And, you will be an awesome third time mommy.

    P.S. My kiddo calls a fountain that we pass by on occasion "the ocean".

  26. Erin, I've never commented before but I've been reading your blog for awhile. I am 33 weeks pregnant, and I feel the same exact way as you describe. EXCEPT this is my first, so I don't even have other children as an excuse for the house being a mess and my brain being a mess! I love reading your blog lately because it describes my own feelings so well. I also have lost the motivation to write on my own blog, but if you write, I'll be reading!

  27. Oh momma! You must be SOO strong! I was a ball of useless the last month of my pregnancy and I didn't have any other littles or have to go to work! You are doing a GREAT job! Remember that! Hugs to you!

  28. Yes the last month is just so hard. We are all with you, hang in there.

  29. Sending hugs your way!

    Also - I'm curious about the 3 car seats thing. What kind of vehicle do you have and how did you arrange the seats? Eventually, we'll have to think about that too.. :)