It took me a while to get comfortable with the idea that we will be sharing our super special news with our friends and extended family come time.
I think it was about a month or so after Rehan was born. I was sitting and watching Sammy and Rehan interact with each other. Something about that one moment kicked my mommy hormones enough to want a third child. Add another one in the mix. There wasn't much more to the idea than “It will be nice to have three kids.” It was just a feeling.
I chewed on this idea for a while before bringing it up to Siddharth. I underplayed my excitement when I finally brought it up with him. “What do you think about having a third child?” I expected a reaction of “Are you mad?” Those were our sleepless-in-Seattle days when Rehan was waking up pretty much every hour in the night. Both of us were massively sleep deprived. And under-rested. To my utter surprise, Siddharth reacted with “I am not terribly opposed to the idea.” Even before I could be happy for his reaction, I was shocked. But I hid my surprise under a solid layer of “yeah, makes sense.” I thought if I acted surprised then he would change his mind. So I played super cool. As if that was the plan all along, when in fact it wasn't. I did have a twinkle in my eye. And in my silly heart.
We were super ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant. We started thinking of names. We started thinking of how we will manage grocery shopping when three kids will run in three different directions and we will just be two. Officially outnumbered. We thought of how noisy our home will be. How crowded our dining table will be. How messy our carpet will be. How chaotic our lives will be. How foolish in love we will be to relish it all.
At the back of my mind I did think about how most people would react to our news.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“It is hard enough to handle these two. How are you planning to put the third one in the mix?”
“What were you thinking? Or not thinking?”
“Well, I would never do this. But good on you.”
I didn't really want to be judged for our decision. I told Siddharth about it. He laughed. He laughed thinking how much I cared for what people thought. Especially regarding a decision that is so personal. His reaction did put me to ease. Laughing it off. I realized the silliness of my worry. Oh, well.
Of course it is challenging. It isn't easy. We still have a total of four hands. And three kids. It doesn't always scale, you know. But sometimes it isn't about the hands to kids ratio. It is about how many people I want at my dinner table. My magic number is five.
So here we were. With the last bit of our magic number in my tummy.
My babies tend to enjoy the outside fresh air more than my tummy’s amniotic fluid. Both Sammy and Rehan were born in the 8th month and didn't quite reach the 9th month. And history was sure to repeat this time as well. So I rested. A lot.
I was relieved as soon as I crossed the milestone when Rehan was born (35 weeks 5 days). This was the most pregnant I had ever been. I was pretty much ready to pop after that.
November 1, 2015, 7:30am: It was a lazy Sunday morning. Siddharth and I were still not out of our bed. I was telling Siddharth all about me being really cognizant of every little thing I felt in my tummy. Every little kick. Every little braxton hick. Every little whatever-else-happens-there. As I was telling him this, I felt a massive kick. I told Siddharth “Like this one. I don't know if this was a kick or a contraction. A real contraction or a fake contraction.” Siddharth was like “You will know when it will happen. Don't worry.” Even though he knows that “worry” is my real middle name. 5 minutes later I felt like I was leaking. And I knew. I said “it is happening.” Siddharth knew that face. He had seen it before. Twice.
Given that this was the third time, we took time to brush our teeth, freshen up. We didn't rush out like the world was going to end in the next minute. We took it a little easy. Just a little though. Then we went downstairs and told my mom and sister. Tata. Bye bye. See you later. With one more little person this time. All of us were super excited.
We called the hospital before leaving home. We also called our doula on the way, “We know we haven't discussed this yet, but we need your help. Do you mind coming over?” Being the awesome person she is, she did not hesitate. We reached the hospital and were greeted by a bunch of nurses who knew that I have a history of 2 hour labor and premature delivery. They were all ready. I was quite impressed. My gynecologist happened to be on the rounds at the time and she saw my name and dropped by. “So, you are here!” “Yup,” I said with a grin. She was with me for the entire duration and I am so thankful for that.
Three hours, painful contractions, and a couple of major pushes later, we had our baby in our hands.
And I have to say, it doesn't get old. The happiness. The rush. The giddiness. The warmth. As much as I wondered “how can I love another child as much?” I realize that I am able to tap into my unseen, undiscovered pool of love to feel just as much madness for my third baby. My Kabir. It is quite nuts. This whole phenomena. It is pretty unreal. As much as the second and third kids survive on hand-me-downs and lack of attention (thanks to their super demanding older siblings), they get more love from their older sibling(s) than their parents.
Sammy and Rehan have their heart in Kabir. I was surprised to see how much they instantly connected with him. Kabir happens to be Rehan’s confidant. Anytime Rehan is not happy, or gets hurt, he runs to Kabir and tells him “Kabir, I got hurt. I am sad.” And then he gives him a tight hug. It melts my heart. Sammy loves him so much. A little too much for his own good. She wants to hold him, play with him, bathe him, nurse him. I am pretty much not needed. Except, I am. Over the next few weeks or months I will be able to comment on the reality of three kids. But I am in my honeymoon phase for now. The rest can wait.
My life is made. Pretty much.
A few months back, I wrote a poem on “The Chase” to find happiness in life. Siddharth penned a response of his own to my poem. He called it “My 2 cents” :).
My 2 Cents
In response to your latest blog
I’d like to share a mere thought
As a person I might be thick as a log
The one thing I agree is that happiness cannot be bought
While I understand that happiness is the real key
I shudder to think why there are so many locks
Even though some say the key resides within me
The closed doors are just nature’s mocks
You might think that you are in a bind
Only you can free yourself from the shackle
In the end it’s just a state of mind
Your negative thoughts are what you have to tackle
If you look deep inside, 'happy' is already a part of you
Everyone you know does think it’s true
I know some days are bright and some days are blue
Just remember that we are no longer just two
We now look forward to Kabir, if you’re counting, that's five
We’ve already met Rehan and Sammy
I couldn’t have asked for a better life
With kids so cute and a wife so dreamy
I feel so lucky. Here is to the five of us!