Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Third Time's The Charm


I remember when I had my first son, how much buzz and excitement there was around his arrival.

My own and my partners of course, but it wasn't just us...people around us seemed excited about it too, from family members to people who stopped to chat to me in supermarkets...once that question "Is it your first?" had been answered with a nod, they would excitedly chat away about all the lovely things I could expect over the coming months and years, share their memories and anecdotes with me and wish me well on his arrival.

Once he was born, I was showered with an array of beautiful baby gifts, balloons and teddy bears and flowers arrived in the post from well-wishers who couldn't visit in person and those who could called around often to see the new baby and enjoy some snuggles.

The excitement of everybody else only added to my own, and I remember that time very fondly.

When I announced my second pregnancy, there was notably less of a buzz around it - we got all the usual congratulations of course but nobody else was quite as interested as they had been the first time around

And then comes the third...



If you notice the lack of interest when a second baby arrives, then by the time the third baby comes along it's Game over...less a case of "Oh is the baby here yet?! Any signs?! How exciting!" and more a case of "Oh...she had another baby?! I didn't even realise she was pregnant again!"

I knew this was going to be the case so it didn't take me by surprise ... my sister has 3 children too and she told me all about it...but of course, we don't have children because we want OTHER people to be excited for us so it doesn't really matter a bit.

The excitement for YOU as the parents is just the same....third baby, fifth baby, 19th baby in the case of The Radford Family!...it's exactly the same.

The nervous first scans, the excitement at feeling those first kicks, the happy shopping sprees for tiny clothes.

There's a new life coming, a new little person to join your family, and the excitement that brings will never change...even when it's the third time.

And here's the thing about a third baby...well at least, this has been the experience for me...a third baby is special in it's very own way.

In a way that I never expected before he arrived....


You wonder, when you're carrying the baby, whether things will feel the same third time around...you know exactly what to expect when he or she arrives. You know how newborns work. You know what works for you as a parent. It's not so new and scary anymore. Infact you're kind of an old hat at this...and that's great of course. But you worry a little...

Will I love it as much? Will I find it all so exciting...the milestones, the first smiles, the night time cuddles? And how will I find room in my heart for this extra, third little person when it's already so full of love for his brothers?

Will I truly feel the excitement and the love or will I just be going through the motions?

These were all thoughts and concerns I had before Sailor arrived.

But then he was here - and he took me completely by surprise.

Because third time around - the situation may not be different, life with a newborn may not be different - but I am different.

I have a level of confidence in my mothering skills that wasn't there the first time around and still wasn't fully developed the second time.

I know exactly what works for me, and what works for us as a family, and I know how to best approach things for us all.

I know how quickly each stage passes, I know how soon the sleepless nights are over, I know how fast each seemingly never-ending "Leap" will be over and done with for good...you think you know all of these things the second time around and to an extent you do have an awareness of it - but by the third time around, it's well & truly ingrained in you.

Third time around, I know not to focus on those things - I know not to wish time away by wondering when my baby will reach that next milestone and willing him on to achieve it - I know not to wish away those night time snuggles no matter how truly exhausted I am because they'll be over with soon enough anyway - I know to take the time to meet his gaze when I feed him because I know that soon enough he'll be passing on those last night time feeds and snuggles, and how much I'll miss those moments when he looks so deeply into my eyes that it feels as though we're talking without words.

Third time around, I feel capable of truly enjoying my baby - of savouring these precious baby days - of being the mother I wanted to be first time around but didn't have the confidence to be.

Your firstborn is the one who makes you a mother - but I feel as though it took a third baby to help me to truly find my groove in motherhood.

They say that the third time is the charm - and for me as a Mum that has been so very true.



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