Today is the last day we will be a family of 5, we have been a family of 5 for almost 3 years (#3 turns 3 in 9 days) and in 27+/- hours via scheduled c section, we will be a family of 6.

I planned us a photo shoot with and amazing photographer friend of mine and lunch to celebrate this exciting day (which we will have to work around the church service for a close family member who passed last week, and a baby shower for a cousin, but I am determined to make it work)! This afternoon my two big kids will go to Grandma’s house so she can put them on the bus in the morning (at almost the exact time that their new sibling will be making it’s debut) and the current ‘baby’ will stay with us until Auntie comes to watch him at 4:30am when we leave for the hospital.

This is our last family member.  This event, this day, will complete our family.

I am sore and so very ready to start walking like a human again. I’m ready for my bruised and swollen crotch to heal so that I no longer walk like a melting snow man. I am ready for the sharp shooting pains that stop me in the middle of a sentence to cease. I am ready to have some energy and go for walks or just shopping without feeling exhausted. I am ready to get up from the bed or use stairs unassisted. I am ready for the lower back pain and loose joints to fade – and I pray, to do it quickly. I am ready for a return to normal bowl function and I will not be sad to see the loud and often unexpected gas to become a thing of the past.

I am very ready to not be pregnant anymore.  This is the first time I have felt this way!

I am not ready to say good bye to the amazing feeling of a human moving inside me. I’m not ready to say good bye to my round smooth belly (in favour for the flabby saggy one that I know is coming!). I am not ready to say good bye to my family of 5 and I’m not ready to say good bye to this stage of my life forever… well yes I am, but I’m still a little sad to see it go.

With all my other pregnancies I was sad to see it end. I felt like I was loosing something, something that made me special. Something I held out for the world to see as proof that I was worth noticing with a smile. Something that connected me to so many other people, with out words. I felt like something was being taken away from me. And, while yes I would get an amazing infant to hold and love and I was extremely excited about that part of the process, they seemed (at least in my head) to be mutually exclusive issues. I wanted the baby but I didn’t want the pregnancy to end.

This time around I am so very ready for the pregnancy to end while excited to meet this little squishy, squirmy bundle. I don’t know if my family is ready to dive into the next part of our lives. …We do have names picked! (this is big for us, we have never had names picked as early as we did this time, …#3 got his name from a dream I had the night before his scheduled arrival, I woke at 6am and said “If it is a boy what about Oliver?” If it was a girl…?!?!? We never had to find out.) The big kids are excited and the little guy is convinced he too has a baby in his tummy that will arrive soon, he even convinced the doctor at our very last visit to measure his baby and to listen to it’s heart.

Night feedings….
learning to walk….
learning to talk…
diaper bags…

Are we ready to do this all again?
Of course we are – but the feeling still remains daunting.

I have to stop and remind myself that I am an amazing mom, no matter what. I have 3 (so far) fantastic kids who I am very proud of, they are all healthy and active, intelligent and creative, thoughtful and kind (well, for the most part). I have to acknowledge that I have some failures or less then award winning moments and qualities, but so does every mom. I intend on working on them, no, really the intention is there.

Even the ‘perfect mom’ the new young mom who has it all figured out (well, she THINKS she does) with her perfect diet plans and gender neutral parenting style, her $900 stroller and shopping cart cover, she has flaws. My free range “show me who YOU are, amazing little human” style is working – for us… so far. (gender neutral parenting means you have one toy box to toss all their crap into regardless of who received it… right??)

As our life ramps up to have yet another major change, I have to stop and savor this moment too. The pain and discomfort will be gone soon, (but not before recovering from major surgery! yea!) as will the swollen belly and any free or quiet time I was able to find. Things are about to get more chaotic and stressful and messy, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Pamela Larocque is a portrait photographer and mom to 4 amazing kids Xavier 8, Quinn 6, Oliver 3 and Victor 1 month. They have lived in Orangeville for 3 years.