I'm feeling....hmpf....I don't even know! We are nearly 14 weeks pregnant with our third child. As we begin to tell people we're expecting a new member of our family this summer, I get "Oh wow!" "Holy cow!" "OMG!" "Really?!" and [stunned silence]. We have two boys, ages nearly 6 and 3. This isn't an effort to get a girl. We didn't make this decision hastily; the pregnancy was planned with lots of thought. Even if it wasn't.....
I'm sure I'm being sensitive, but my feelings are hurt that no one is saying congratulations for number 3 when no one hesitated with numbers 1 and 2. How did people respond to your 3,4,5th baby news? If it was shock or indifference, did it matter to you? How did you deal with it? I'm angry at myself because it shouldn't matter What Other People Think! But I feel like when my 3yo has a meltdown at play group or my kindergartner isn't reading fluently, people are judging me--like "she can't handle the two she has." So, now instead of excited about our new family member, I feel embarrassed and anxious and dread telling people about our impending due date.
I would be EVER grateful for any advice or thoughts you might have for me.
Your anxious reader,
OH CONGRATULATIONS!! What exciting news!
I am afraid your experience is typical among people having more than two children. The first pregnancy gets huge excitement, and after the baby is born it's "When are you having another?" The second pregnancy also gets good levels of excitement.
The third one gets people acting like they never even considered such a thing could possibly be in the works. As if they're thinking "....What? But you already have two. This doesn't make sense." And then they scramble to adjust, and they don't always do a good job of it.
The fourth and fifth announcements get people staggering backward, pretending to have a hot flash, saying "Are you CRAZY?," asking if you've figured out yet why this keeps happening, etc. And there is such a noticeable difference between "happy surprise of someone reacting to something they are delighted to hear" and "surprise that is trying to communicate a message."
We were just talking about this over at No Whey, Mama (and another place---where was it? remind me if it was your blog!) so my guess is that we can get some good commiserating anecdotes going in the comments section.