To My Third Baby Who Sometimes Gets the Short End of the Stick

Facebook/Laura Mazza

When I saw that magic line on that stick, I smirked to myself.
 In the romantic place of a supermarket toilet after the 100th test I took because I JUST KNEW you were coming. “Finally!” I breathed.

  • I said that this time, after already having two babies, I was gonna do all the things I missed. 

    I was gonna take belly bump photos, fill in the baby book, capture milestones, and every month you got closer to one year old, I’d take a cute photo of you growing.

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  • But you were my third.

    And where did I imagine I'd find the time? 

    I took one belly photo courtesy of my 4-year-old, where my 2-year-old at the time picked her nose in front of me. 

    When people asked me how far along I was I couldn’t even remember most of the time. I was covered in poop and snot already. I was already tired. Already had hair firmly knotted in a bun.

  • I imagined our birth, it was going to be glorious. In a pool, or something amazing ...

    I was finally ready to nail this birth thing like “my body was meant to do,”  but I was told that we would have to have a C-section, otherwise we would both die. Easy way out my ass.

  • No anticipation, you were born at a scheduled time and date.

    When you came out, I looked at your dad and said “if you need a paternity test, I wouldn’t judge.” Your hair was red and there wasn’t much there, nothing about you looked familiar.

But everything still felt familiar. The shock wave in my body when you cried was definitely still there.

  • But you were my third. No one needed to tell me how to feed you, or dismiss your tongue tie, no one needed to wrap you or show me how to burp you. I knew.

    There was no rush of visitors, no first time Mother’s group, no big announcement, it was more like, “really? Another one ...?” 

    “yes Elaine ... another one”

    No big village waiting. Just us.

  • A family of five.

    You didn’t slot in, they lied. I had to learn who you were and what you liked, but I also learned that I could be the best person to give that to you. 

    There were no cute milestone photos, just a piece of paper stuck next to your head that told us how you were growing.

    You ate chocolate before your first birthday. 

You ate McDonald’s before one should ever eat McDonald’s. 

    And we knew if you cried for longer than two minutes while we wiped our bums, you wouldn’t need therapy in twenty years like we thought with your siblings. 

There was no rushing to emergency from a tiny sneeze. 

    No 2 a.m. cry for help on a mother’s group forum.

  • Because I know, you’ll be ok.

    You weren’t my first, you weren’t my second, but my third, but in my heart, you felt the same.

  • You were loved. You are loved. Like all the three in my heart, you are loved.

    You eat off the floor, you sit in a nappy longer than one should. But you are loved. 

    You gave a new meaning to perfection.

  • And confirmed the best I could do is perfect.

    And that saved me in so many ways. I could enjoy you. For the first time I enjoyed. I never knew what that was like. So thank you.

  • But my heavy heart knows, that albeit not my first, but my last.

    And my last times. 

This will be the last time I feed and it feels like sandpaper bashing against my nipple. Thank Jesus. But the last time I’ll have a beautiful baby fall asleep feeding from me.

It’ll be the last time I’ll Google reflux cures, but the last time a tiny newborn will fall asleep on my chest.

The last time I’ll be bitten by two tiny teeth, but the last time I’ll ever anticipate them growing. 

    The last of so many firsts.

  • So you are special, just like the others, but you completed the puzzle.

    And that is what makes you, extra special. 

    My one-year-old boy, you are my last, but never last in my heart, just the last piece to complete it. 

    I birthed you, but you made me a lucky mother of three and a new me was born. So thank you for that honor. 

    This post was written by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run. It was reprinted with permission.

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