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Things that change the third time around

by Meghan G.
photo by Elisabeth Nixon Photography

photo by Elisabeth Nixon Photography

photo by Elisabeth Nixon Photography

1st baby – you purchase the entire Babies R Us store.
2nd  baby – you try to keep up with a scrap book.
3rd baby – Slap a big bro t-shirt on my littlest, snap an unartistic photo, and upload. Bam. Done. Everyone has been sufficiently notified.

We were SO excited to find out that we were expecting! But for a while, we didn’t know what we were expecting. We’ve had two precious kids and we’ve had two miscarriages. This fifth pregnancy could’ve been kid three or miscarriage three. Either way, it was going to be our last attempt. So you can understand why I’ve been a little emotionally distant from it all. Didn’t want to get too excited too soon.

We have somewhat unexpectedly–joyfully!–reached week 23. I’ve heard this baby’s heartbeat six times and seen a somewhat babyish-looking sonogram. I’ve unearthed the maternity wardrobe boxes, I’ve got a series of appointments on the calendar, we’ve somewhat settled on a baby name (at least my husband has!), and it’s all apparently really happening.

My husband and I have definitely noticed a shift in our attitude with this third baby, though. Here are some things that are just different about a third kid in five years. With the third baby:

  1. Extra sonograms: nah. Baby’s in there. Baby’s growing. Baby will be out in 4D soon enough.
  2. Planning a nursery: Our babies live in our bedroom for a year. They all have. By the time they’re actually in their own rooms, they’re like two years old. Doesn’t feel like a pressing issue any more.
  3. Registries: Don’t need ‘em.
  4. Carseats: Hand ‘em down.
  5. Pregnancy announcement: people kind of expect a baby out of me these days. Slap a big bro t-shirt on my littlest, snap an unartistic photo, and upload. Bam. Done. Everyone has been sufficiently notified.
  6. No need to plan an elaborate gender reveal. It’s a boy or girl. 50/50. The only difference really is “how much time will I be expected to spend on this child’s hair?”
  7. Packing a hospital bag: meh.
  8. You forgo the announcement in your alumni magazines.
  9. Saving everything: not any more! Now that we know it’s a boy, the girl stuff we’ve been hoarding has been handed off to two close friends. And when this little dude outgrows things, they’ll go straight to donation. Goodbye, baby storage room upstairs!
  10. Hopes/dreams/prayers: my daughter prays very specifically about her new baby brother’s hair and his eyes and his hands. I’m just praying this baby has a majority of its limbs and functioning neurons. Anything above that seems ridiculously selfish and extravagant. Two perfect kids is a miracle. Three? Who could even fathom that.

Things that remain the same with a third child:

  1. Anxiety about how my husband and I will juggle it all.
  2. Anxiety about a year of bad sleep.
  3. Renew Amazon prime and pause subscribe & save subscriptions for diapers, wipes, and formula.
  4. Dreft detergent is still the most amazing smell on the planet.

And without telling me how hard it will be, what am I missing? What changed with YOUR third?


  1. Kristi says:

    As a momma of 3, I totally agree! Another thing I vividly remember is that after baby #1, I couldn’t get off the couch for 3 weeks postpartum. (Sooo tired!) After baby #2, meh… I was keeping up with day to day life. Baby #3, I walked in the front door, straight to the kitchen, emptied the dishwasher, and asked everyone what they wanted for lunch!

  2. Shawna says:

    I also am a proud mother of 3 wonderful children. Things that changed with each of my babies was that Baby #1 was a full term pregnancy with minimal complications other than a c-section. Baby #2 was high risk this time after several miscarriages, and sick the entire pregnancy. Delivered early at 35 weeks 5 days again a c-section. And last but not least Baby #3….. I was in denial the first 8 weeks, I had to do so many fertility drugs before and now out of the blue, “I am What?” She has been trouble from conception. I was extremely ill with her and pre-eclamptic. Every test come back abnormal ect., but I delivered her at 29 weeks 3 days. She weighed only 2 lbs 1 oz. Spent the better part of 8 weeks in the hospital, and was a very sick baby the first year or more of her life. In and out of the hospital and multiple surgeries. Needless to say the changes were dramatic. But I am happy to say that now she is a happy healthy normal 3 year old that is stubborn as all get out!

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