Here I am, enjoying my last night of pregnancy insomnia. It is officially “Jonah’s Eve” – the night before Jonah’s big debut into “the real world”.
I know that babies have been born since the beginning of time. I realize that most of you reading this have already experienced “the night before” jitters. Most parents have gone through the same nervousness, hesitation, excitement and overall conflicting feelings.
I am surprised though that this is my 4th time of celebrating “Baby’s Eve” and I can’t remember ever being this nervous. I know the guilt is normal, the hesitation and everything else going through my mind – all normal… but perhaps seems more intense because I am actually putting my thoughts in writing.
It goes without saying that I am excited to meet Jonah. To hold him, lay my eyes on him for the first time, nurse him – and just be his mom – with everything that entails. However, I honestly also feel extremely conflicted – maybe he should just stay inside a little big longer. Maybe we aren’t quite ready yet.
The one who will be the most affected by this addition is Jansen. My sweet little ball of energy, Jansen. Tonight, as he’s sleeping between me and my husband, he is our little baby. The family’s baby who is learning to find his place in the family dynamics. The baby, ok ok – the toddler who is talking more and more for each passing day. Expressing his likes and dislikes in an array of effective and some less effective ways. Tonight he is my little baby, and tomorrow afternoon when he visits us in the hospital he will seem awkwardly large and have lost his baby innocence – just in a matter of hours.
Jordan is our quintessential middle child. He is currently trying to find his place in the world as Jacob’s (annoying) little brother, Jacob’s best friend and Jansen’s older brother. He gets very easily irritated with his younger brother, but will then five minutes later turn around and copy Jansen’s annoying behavior towards Jacob. He needs our physical touch and comfort much more than any of the other kids. He seeks our attention in every situation, good or bad, positive or negative – to him attention is attention. Starting tomorrow though he will be sharing the “middle child” title with Jansen. Jordan will at the same time be promoted to “youngest of the oldest” and will no longer have a place in the “youngest” group.
Oh the ever fluid family dynamics will be shaken up, redefined and adjusted all because of Jonah’s arrival. It’s incredible what adding a little baby can do to a family – and that’s not said in a negative light – it’s merely an observation.
Jacob, our oldest, wisest, most sensitive and sensible one will go from being the oldest of three, to the oldest of four. Perhaps not that big of a change, one might initially think. However, he feels a great sense of responsibility for his younger brothers, and we also instill that in him. So now he will have one more unpredictable, unruly and slightly annoying brother to fend off, protect, teach, hide from, share with, guide and mentor. I asked him tonight how he felt about me being gone for three nights. He looked at me with his big serious hazel eyes and said “I will do everything right while you are gone, mama” – oh my sweet Jacob, always trying to be big and brave.
And then there is mama and dada. Well, we will seriously be outnumbered now. But I feel that the transition from two to three kids was nothing in comparison to going from one to two kids. So perhaps adding baby Jonah will be smooth sailing for us. I anticipate bed time as being the hardest time of the day, but even that will eventually fall into place, it always does.
We both agree that we will never be invited to do anything with another family ever again. “Oh the Stakkestads and their four boys, uhm – let’s just stay in touch with them via social media and texts. There is not real need for us to invite them over – remember FOUR BOYS!” – but even that is OK. Our little family is really all we need from an entertainment standpoint.
We will now be a family of six. We can no longer fit at a table for four at a restaurant. Starting tomorrow we will be considered a party large enough to require that big special table in the back. Any type of air travel or hotel stay just became much more cumbersome and expensive. No longer will one room with two queen size beds suffice. On some flights we will take up an entire row. But even considering all the added logistics, comments, stares and expenses, I still would not want our family any different.
Our lives have been hectic, loud, chaotic and busy for a while now – and things will certainly not slow down or become more orderly any time soon. We will continue to drown in laundry and toys. Walking through the house will still be like scaling an obstacle course – jumping over ride-on toys, not tripping over misplaced shoes or stepping on lost Lego pieces. Dinner time will always be a mosaic of knock-knock jokes, stories from the school day, potty talk and bribes for someone to try a new food on their plate. But in the midst of it all, I find peace and an incredible amount of love.
Adding Jonah to our dynamics, although we will all need to adjust in some regard, is what is meant to happen. It was in our cards to meet, fall in love, start a family, grow the family, then grow the family some more and just be together forever – all of us – in one strong unity.
On that note – it’s almost “GO TIME”! I will try to get some rest – and then update you on the status of Jonah’s arrival later Monday morning.