Announcing a pregnancy should be exciting. If you made the choice to have a baby, and that baby is healthy and growing inside of you, why wouldn’t you want to share that bliss with the world!? Shout it from the rooftops!? Spread your joy and happiness with a post of your ultrasound, or a picture of tiny booties or an ethereal bump shot? This should be the best news you’ve ever shared. And yet for me, sharing the news about THIS pregnancy, has been the scariest.
For 3 years, my husband Evan and I have been agonizing about whether or not to have another baby. On the one hand, we both come from households with two kids- that’s what I know and that’s what I’d imagined for myself. A career, a loving husband, two perfect kids. Done. In my view, anything beyond two offspring and you’re basically The Duggars.
Then, out of nowhere, we had twins. Identical twin boys. And as lucky as I feel to have Rio and Dray, they really screwed up my plans. Sure they are two individual people, but they have the same DNA and virtually the same face. It’s a flawless face, it’s an adorable face, but is it greedy to admit that we kind of wanted a shot at another face?
As more of my friends started to get pregnant with their second child, I started to feel oddly jealous. I wanted that- after the colossal challenge of having twins, I wanted to experience a “normal pregnancy” for the first time, I wanted to have a newborn again, I wanted to give my boys the gift of a sibling. And as my Uncle Howie once told me while surrounded by his 4 kids and 9 grandkids, “no one regrets having more kids, that’s what life is all about.” And so, Evan and I finally made the confident decision to GO FOR IT. And suddenly, I was pregnant and instantly I WAS TERRIFIED.
You don’t know how you’ll really feel about something until you do it. But most things, you can undo. Not this. Not now. This was a decision we had made, that was GROWING IN MY BODY. And so, instead of celebrating it, I decided to cover it up, to pretend it wasn’t happening, to hide it from the world. And if a global pandemic is good for anything, it’s HIDING A PREGNANCY.
I didn’t tell my family, I didn’t tell my friends, I didn’t pose with my pregnancy test on Instagram, I lay in bed, refusing to speak to Evan, in a month-long state of pure panic.
WHAT. HAD. WE. DONE.
“Maybe you’ll feel better after the ultrasound?” Evan suggested, “once we know it’s not twins?” he paused, then said quietly under his breath… “please god don’t let it be twins.” My doctor confirmed that it was, thankfully, not twins. But even that didn’t make me feel better. My entire being was overcome with doubts and fears that were more dizzying than the nausea.
How would I care for this baby? How would my boys react? How would we make space in the house? How would I squeeze-in three car seats? How would this alter our family? How would this change people’s perceptions of me? And most worrisome, how could I possibly continue to have a career with THREE KIDS? As flawed as my thinking might have been, in my mind, a mom of two was a “working mom”, a mom of three was a TLC reality show.
I was so afraid of being written off, of being judged- judged by my friends who know we can barely handle our twins, judged by my followers who might think this is some kind of convenient promo for New Mom, Who Dis? and judged by complete strangers who could easily dismiss me as just a mom, and nothing more.
As the weeks passed, my doubts and fears got tucked away with my growing belly, hidden under oversized hoodies, cropped out of tightly framed live shows and stuffed uncomfortably into skinny jeans.
Until one day, around 18 weeks, the top button on my jeans popped right off. This baby had no respect for my pants and no time for my angst. This baby was no longer content to hide under baggy sweatshirts and below the frame of zoom calls. This baby didn’t want to be lied about or ignored. This baby was not just a ‘plus sign’ on a pregnancy test, a ‘third kid’, a ‘new face’, this baby was GROWING. Into an undeniable baby bump, a physical reminder that he or she was coming, whether I was ready or not.
For the first time in 18 weeks, I stopped thinking of this pregnancy as something scary, or inconvenient or life-altering, I started to think of it as exactly what it was; a person. A tiny human who would melt my soul with her soft skin, her warm embrace, her tiny fingers, her sweet smell. A little boy or girl who would fill our home with laughter, and fill my heart with love that I didn’t know I had left to give.
In a matter of months, this baby will become a part of me that I cannot live without, and that is something that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops- no matter the level of chaos it brings, the time I don’t have, the looks I might get, the change it might cause, the minivan I might drive- this baby is worth it.
I finally told my family and my friends, I shed the sweatshirts and bought maternity jeans, and today, I’m proudly announcing that yes, I AM PREGNANT WITH MY THIRD CHILD and YES THIS IS CRAZY and YES I AM TERRIFIED but i’m also so grateful and so excited and so ready to finally celebrate this very special (and very final) baby with all of you. Because frankly, he or she deserves it.
Thank you for being here and sharing in this journey with me- I’ll be keeping you updated, right here at newmomwhodis.com, on ALL THE THINGS, ALL ALONG THE WAY – the baby’s sex, the baby’s due date, my boys reaction, pandemic pregnancy, maternity style, hair loss, weight gain… EVERYTHING. I am so grateful for the love and support of this New Mom, Who Dis? Community and I can’t wait to do this whole New Mom thing all over again, with you by my side. xo jessi