Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why 3?

Pretty much the minute we had Fin, I looked at Dustin in complete earnest and said “We’re not done.”
Ok…it might have been about a week after we brought her home, vs. the moment we met her, but it was still pretty clear (to me) pretty early on that she was not our last baby. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, I just vividly remember sitting on my couch, snuggling our sweet little newborn nugget, and knowing, just knowing that our family wasn’t complete. I don’t mean to suggest that my two girls aren’t enough, they’re actually more than enough (in a positive “I can’t believe out blessed we are” way, as well as a “oh man, these kids are too much” kind of way.) I just felt like we had more babies out there (not sure where “there” is, other than the theoretical ether), and though I didn’t want more rightthatsecond, I did know I wanted more someday. Dustin predictably thought I was crazy. I mean…we did have two kids under two at the time, so I can see why he maybe wasn’t too thrilled about entertaining talks of a third yet. So it took him a while to come around to the idea…like…a year and a half…but eventually we agreed that we wanted a third.

So now that a third baby is more of a reality than a theory (about one month out from my due date), I’ve been reflecting on how we got here. Not literally (I get that part), but why we decided to travel this crazy path, other than my addition to smelling fuzzy baby heads. Since we’ve announced our pregnancy, tons of people have questioned our desire for a third. Sometimes outright- with direct “Was this planned?” rudeness, but usually just out of curiosity, as three isn’t the norm in a lot of society. The American standard hovers around two kids (2.06 if you follow this chart) so to some, having three seems like some sort of fundamentalist/reality show craziness.

And to be honest, it seems a little crazy to me too. My nephew (age 7) actually asked me the other day, “Aunt Courtney, do you think you can handle three babies?” I laughed and answered him confidently: “No sir, I do not.” And that’s the truth, I have no idea how we're going to handle it (good news is it’s more like two children + one baby, but point stands). Frankly I don't know how we handled one or two at the time. We had no clue, and still don’t really, but we made it work, and are still kicking', so I figure we’ll just continue to muddle through the best we can.

The other really common thing people ask now, is if we will be done after three. It’s a little cart before the horse or maybe more like counting chickens before they hatch, but I get the curiosity. And the truth is, I have no idea if we'll be done. (surprise…that’s sort of the theme of our lives right now!) For as long as I can remember, I wanted four kids…but that was in theory. Once it came down to actually having those babies for real, I reserved the right to change my mind after each.

It's possible that this kid will be the perfect bookend to our family, or maybe he'll inspire us to have more. Either way, I know that three is going to be a big shift. I don't know how exactly...I just vaguely imagine being overwhelmed to the third power, rather than just squared. (Have you heard the Jim Gaffigan quote about having a lot of kids? "Imagine you're drowning. And someone hands you a baby." Yeah...I think it'll be a little like that.) Right or wrong though, we don't really base much of our decision on practicality- I figure if I did- we'd never have ANY kids. We'll  probably never have enough money, or time, or energy, or...anything really, to make more kids a GREAT idea. But we have a lot of love...so that counts for something, right? 
So for now we'll look forward to the arrival of #3. And then we'll get through the baby stage somehow. And someday, we'll get our feet under us again...probably just in time to think about another. Because when we picture our life together, we think about "tribe" and "team Bowden" and the joy + chaos combo that is a big family. These early days are hard for sure, but I'm so grateful for these babes I get to call my own. And I'm triple-thrilled that we get to meet another little one soon. Even if it means I don't sleep for a decade...

What about you guys? Did you know what your perfect number was? How did you know when you were done?

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  1. Wishing you lots of happiness with your three kiddos!! I know a lot of people who have three; I'm not sure it's so uncommon? It's when i see a family of five and up where I stop and think, whoa, that's a lot of kids! And I give them so much credit for it; I love the idea of a family that big---the reality of it just scares me ha.

  2. I knew that Will would be our last, while still pregnant. It has been exhilarating to give away baby clothes and gear as they are no longer needed (I think that means it's the right decision for us). I know that our plans can mean very little, when it comes to this sort of thing, but you've heard it here! Lol.

  3. I knew we were done when the tech said, "There's the heartbeat and there's another one." Yep, that was it for me, ha-ha.
    Wishing you tons of giggles, kisses, hugs and amazing memories with your 3 littles...and who knows, maybe 4. :)

  4. I'm about to get married in just about 2 months, and we've talked about wanting at least two kids...but that 3 doesn't sound good because it's an odd number (weird, yes, but that's what we think)...but the difference between 2 and 4 seems like a LOT! So we'll see, but I suspect I'll probably feel the same way as you do now a few years from now!

  5. I knew I wanted 2 because I wanted them to have a sibling. (#2 is due next month! I think we must be due the same week.) I think we're probably done after 2, both because that seems like a good number to me and because I'm "old" (37) and don't want to have a kid when I'm 40, basically.