“For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.” – Christina Rossetti
With the blessed event happening in less than a month, it seems as good a time as any to officially announce that we are expecting our third little girl in November. This pregnancy has been a whirlwind, and I’d be lying if I said I was all ready. We have no name, no nursery, and no idea where half the newborn gear and clothes are hiding. It’s going to get interesting. But nevertheless, I can hardly wait!
In many ways, I feel like I’m becoming a new parent all over again. I have anxiety I didn’t have going into my second birth, and I’m nervous that I won’t know what to do with a crying, hungry newborn because, in many ways, I haven’t had one in four years. There are so many things that are different this third go round, and it’s left me feeling unsettled at times. Eliza’s entrance into this world was unexpectedly traumatic, so a part of me is holding my breath until this newest little one is actually home. We’ve been in labor and delivery, we’ve been in recovery, we’ve been in well-baby, and we’ve still landed in a 5-week stay in the NICU with zero warning. That experience changed me, and I fear I will never again be able to go back to the confident, naïve mama who brought Amelia into this world while watching The Sound of Music and listening to Christopher Plummer sing “Edelweiss.”
So I’m nervous. Super nervous, actually. I want Derrick to be there with me every second (which is not guaranteed with his schedule), and I want to go into labor on my own before my due date (which has never happened). Mostly, I want a healthy baby, but even that seems like it’s asking too much…as though I’m somehow ungrateful for the “unhealthy” baby I got two years ago.
And then there’s the whole aspect of bringing another member into a busy family where time and energy is already stretched thin. When you have a child with a lifelong need, everything gets viewed through a new lens to some extent, so I wonder how this new addition will affect our family, but mostly how it will affect Eliza.
But here I am, weeks away from meeting this new, yet-to-be-named baby girl. And despite all the fear and the uncertainty, I mostly feel overwhelmed with gratitude and bursting with joy at the thought of holding her for the first time. There are so many things I don’t know, but to be honest, what I get most excited about is that I do know that this little girl will have the very best big sisters for her in the world! I think it’s safe to say she will have no shortage of attention from them, and I have a feeling that will both toughen her up and keep her sensitive and kind as she grows up.
And what I know for Eliza is this: she will be sandwiched in a tribe of sisters who will someday be women together. What a precious bond to be literally surrounded by your best friends, willing to do life with you no matter the season of it. It is one of my deepest prayers for these girls and something I can’t wait to witness. If Rossetti is right that there is no friend like a sister…to cheer, to lift, to strengthen…having two is sure to be twice the blessing. At least let’s hope so, because ready or not, here she comes!