I’ve often heard people say that by the time you have a third child you just go with the flow, no more time for stressing or being paranoid, pacifier falls on the ground you don’t run to sterilize it you just say “ten second rule” and put it back in baby’s mouth. And yes, there is so much truth to that, but see my third didn’t come easy, she’s my rainbow baby.
I had my first at 28 after getting pregnant as soon as we tried. I was nervous of course and didn’t think I knew what I was doing but things came relatively naturally to me and I figured it out. Then I had my second two years later (again after trying just two months) and it was just chaos! Two boys, two years apart was exhausting and didn’t leave much time to think about what I was doing, I just made things work! After those two experiences I would totally consider myself a pro and was ready for number three a few years later. I think if I had gotten pregnant when I first tried I would have absolutely fit the mold of a third time mom, but my story didn’t play out that way.
After years of trying, four losses, failed IVF, a commitment to Chinese medicine and acupuncture (which is what got me pregnant) and then an escape from a Zika infected Miami to NY… I finally had my rainbow baby! And it was different. I wanted to be calm, cool and collected but I just wasn’t. I was far more worried about SIDS than I ever was before, and choking and fevers. I wanted this baby so much for so long that she somehow felt more fragile to me. But something else happened, I have appreciated her in a way I didn’t the boys. Maybe the fact that I did know what I was doing the third time around helped, and that the boys are older and I could just focus on her, and maybe because I know she is my last baby and I want every second of it to last. But I have really truly savored this baby. I don’t like time pass by without appreciating every little thing.
I am not only photographing her growth but creating projects where we are in pictures together. And I am having friends come and photograph us together so I can remember this time with her. All those years of pain and heartache and wondering if I would ever have a third child in my arms were some of the worst times in my life. But here I am, with her in my life, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else. I have said it before and I will say it again but I would do it ALL OVER AGAIN. All the tears, all the pain, all the “why is the world against me” moments, if it brought me her. And not only for her but for the realization that you really have to appreciate, to enjoy every second, because we are lucky to have them.
All images in this post by Monica Calderin Film Photography.