I sat alone in the quiet hallway of the radiology department of the hospital. It was Monday after Easter and my husband was in one of the rooms with our daughter while she underwent a CT scan on her head. She was only 21 months old and had hit her head Easter morning and suffered a seizure. We had been at the hospital already for over 24 hours after a swift ambulance ride while they ran blood tests, did an EKG and an EEG, all to rule out epilepsy or some other disorder.
It was in that moment that I realized I would not always be able to be there for her. I was in the hallway alone because I was 22 weeks pregnant with her little sister and I couldn’t be in with the radiation. It was the first time I’d really pondered life with two. After 21 months of giving my eldest everything she needed, I was facing a reality of having to share myself. And while I never worried about having enough love to go around, I was worried about being able to have enough time, energy and patience.
We adjusted easily, my girls are now best friends and couldn’t be happier (most of the time). Then came baby number three and while I knew we would make it, I’ll admit to lying awake at night pondering all the “how’s” and “what if’s.” How would I manage three children with only two hands? What if my older daughters needed something urgent while the baby was nursing? How would the schedule work with one in school, one at home and a newborn? What if I just didn’t have it in me to be a good mom to three?
But again, we adjusted. We made it through the early days and we’ve even survived a year of homeschooling with a toddler, preschooler and first grader. After three babies I’ve learned one simple thing: you can’t wade into motherhood.
And finally, this time, with the soon-to-be arrival of baby number four, I’m ready to just dive in. I’m not worried about having enough, or being good enough. Because I’ve done it before. I know that this little baby will fit into our lives and family just like all the others have. I know we can do it, we can make it. That no matter how unprepared or ready we feel, it will all work out.
We’re no longer testing the waters, entering timidly or with apprehension. This is our fourth, who’s got time for that? We’re jumping in head first and when we do finally come up for air, we will (hopefully) resurface refreshed and invigorated as a thriving family of six!