What I Didn’t Expect From My Third Pregnancy

by Meghan

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am currently approaching the third trimester of my third pregnancy, expecting a baby boy, due this Fall.  We are already blessed with two beautiful girls, Big M (3.5) and Lil’ M (nearly 2), and while my husband adores his little girls, I knew he would love a boy.  We talked about it last Fall, decided we were ready to have a third, and before we blinked, the test was positive.  And since this isn’t our first time to this rodeo, we knew exactly what to expect… or so I thought.

What I Didn't Expect from My Third Pregnancy

What I Didn’t Expect from My Third Pregnancy

After delivering two beautiful girls, with Lil’ M getting bigger by the second, and neither my husband or me getting any younger, we began to talk about whether we wanted to try again. We were hopeful to add a little boy to our brood.  Several of my friends had great success with the ‘Shettles method‘, outlined in Dr. Shettles’ book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby.

According to Dr. Shettles, it’s all about timing and body chemistry… but mostly timing.  When I raised it with my OB, she looked at me doubtfully, and informed me that with your first, the odds are 50/50, and even with your second, still pretty much 50/50… but after you’ve had two of the same gender, chances are you will have a third of the same.

Undeterred, and ever the dutiful student, I went home, read the book cover to cover, and hubby and I agreed we would try for a third following these instructions.  Well, mother nature intervened and before I had even begun any charting, I was already pregnant.

Having already carried and delivered two, I figured, I’ve got this.  I know exactly what to expect.  I know to steer clear of the nameless, faceless crazies on the What To Expect message boards, and to find a great Facebook group with a shared birth month instead.  I know precisely what clothes I can still wear and for how long, and what my favorite maternity pieces are.  I know exactly how big my boobs are going to get, and how much bigger still they will become after the baby is born and breastfeeding begins.  I know I need a pregnancy pillow to get decent sleep.  But, I didn’t know there would be so much I didn’t expect from my third pregnancy…

The Good

Big M’s Reaction

There are many good things that have been pleasant surprises with pregnancy #3.  Lil’ M has been a baby lover for as long as I can remember, so it’s no surprise that she is over the moon at the prospect of being a ‘big sister’ and talking about all things baby.  Big M, however, was not Lil’ M’s biggest fan when she first arrived.  Her attitude towards her little sister, and baby dolls in general, would best be described as indifferent.  She prefers dramatic play of other varieties, and until Lil’ M was really big enough to interact with her, she paid her little attention.

With this third pregnancy, however, she has become more than just interested.  She is her baby brother’s protector, always reminding Lil’ M to be gentle with Mama’s belly.  She loves to feel her brother kick in my belly, talks to him and even gives him a kiss or two on occasion.  She loves going to the doctor to hear his heartbeat, and even assists my OB.

What I Didn't Expect from my Third Pregnancy - The Good

The maturation of 2 years is fascinating.  She is the first to tell everyone we are having a new baby, what his name is and that he is a brother!

My Health

While this pregnancy (although I didn’t know I was at the time) started off with a rough stomach bug that worked its way through our whole house, I have been pleasantly surprised at how good I feel.  Other than a little first trimester exhaustion, it has in some ways been my easiest pregnancy so far… of course, ask me again when I’m 8 months pregnant at the end of August if I still feel the same way.

Maybe it’s the 4 extra months we waited between Lil’ M and M3 vs. between Big M and Lil’ M.  Maybe it’s because I started running last summer or because Lil’ M is a tireless ball of energy so I am in better shape this time.  Whatever the cause – I feel great!  I still sleep comfortably at night (when I sleep – a bit of insomnia is my only complaint).  I haven’t had the back and round ligament pains I experienced with the first two.  And fingers crossed, no kidney stones this time either.

The Bad

The Reactions of Others

What I have been most disappointed by in my third pregnancy is the reaction of everyone else.  By the third time, you’ve come to expect the obnoxious comments from total strangers, as well as their opinions on what you must be having by the way you carry, how your hair looks, your glow.  What I least expected was the less than positive reaction from friends and family.

From the day you get engaged, it seems as though people want to know when you are going to have your first child.  The congratulatory cheers can be heard from miles away when you first tell people the news.  Before you even bring your first baby home from the hospital, people begin asking when you will have a sibling.  And when you tell everyone you are expecting again, they shower you with how great siblings are, and oh, two girls – how wonderful, they will be best friends.

When you announce you are expecting a third, that is not the reaction you get.  Reactions have ranged from, “Wow, you are really going to have your hands full,” to a repetitive and persistent “You need to look for some help – you are really going to need it,” to “Three kids under four? Your life is going to be really awful.”  Few have offered a congratulations without one of the above reactions attached to it.  Seriously?  Even if that’s really what you think, what is it about pregnancy that makes people think it’s okay to express their every thought and opinion about your family decisions?

I will admit, hubby and I were both in a state of shock when the test was positive.  It was a few months earlier than anticipated, but we were excited just the same.  We are both from families of three children.  And while the national average of children per family in the U.S. may now be below 2, does having three really make us that much of an outlier?  My mom was one of 8, and my great grandmother was one of 14.  And while I certainly don’t plan on going Duggar, what if we decided to have a fourth?

The Boy Bandwagon

My husband keeps telling me not to worry about what other people think.  And to a large extent, I don’t.  But it still makes me a little sad.  When we subsequently announced M3 was a boy, suddenly, everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  How wonderful, you are getting your little boy!  A part of me can’t help but wonder what would they have said if he was a she?

The Surprising

It’s a Boy!

The most surprising thing about this entire pregnancy was the fact we are having a boy.  We thought for sure since we didn’t even get to implement the necessary methodology, we were definitely having a third girl.  People keep asking me if I feel different.  The truth is, I felt so different with Lil’ M from Big M, I swore she was a boy, and was wrong, so this time, I barely paid any attention.

My husband and I both about fell over when the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy.  We are thrilled beyond words, but I will admit I think the shock is still wearing off.  And while I am loving shopping for his nursery, I must admit – shopping for boy clothes is no fun… and more surprising, expensive!

40 Short Weeks (I Hope!)

The most surprising thing about the third pregnancy is how fast it is flying by and how little I notice I’m actually pregnant.  Literally, for the first few months, I would wake up every morning, and suddenly remember, oh yeah, I’m pregnant again.

With your first pregnancy, you know down to the day exactly how far along you are and what fruit represents the size of your baby this week.  With your second, you generally know what month you are in.  People regularly ask me know how far along I am, and my go to response has become, “I’m due in early October.”  Unless I have a doctor appointment today, or I intentionally look it up, I have absolutely no idea how far along I am at any point in time.

And I say I hope it’s 40 short weeks, because all of my pregnancies have exceeded 40 weeks to date… Big M was 24 hours away from induction, born at 41 weeks 6 days, and Lil’ M was born at 40 weeks 6 days.  Maybe M3 will continue the trend and show up at 39 weeks, 6 days… not that I would know since I can’t even keep track this time!

No Worries

The other surprising thing?  I’m not worried about anything.  With my first, I fixated on labor and delivery.  I was terrified.  With my second, I knew labor and delivery was a cake walk compared to the first 6 weeks at home with a newborn.  Instead, I fixated on how Big M would react to the new baby, and whether I would be able to love another baby as much as I loved my first.

This time, I know I will adore this baby as much as my first, and fall even more in love with my older two as they take on their roles of as big sisters.  I know I will soak up every sleep-deprived second of the newborn stage because they are only that tiny for a moment, and it’s over in the blink of an eye.  I’m not worried about how I will handle a third child because I know I found a rhythm that works for our family with two, and will figure it out again… it  just takes a little time.  I know I can buy myself time by saying yes to all offers of help, and by stocking my freezer with food before the baby comes to take something off my plate for the first few months.  And I know that my husband is awesome at keeping us all fed, even if it means picking up a lot of takeout in the early days, and at keeping the girls entertained when I literally can’t hold my eyes open for one more second.

And I shouldn’t say no worries… I’m most worried about moving into our new house before this baby shows up!

How many children do you have?  Did you have different pregnancies every time?  What surprised you the most each time?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy the Baby M3’s Gender Reveal and the story of his birth – This Was Not Part of Birth Plan.  You can find all my posts on Pregnancy here as well as on my What to Expect board on Pinterest.

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What I Didn't Expect from my Third Pregnancy - The Good, The Bad & The Surprising

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Emily April 3, 2019 - 4:52 pm

I’m so glad I found this post. I just found out I’m pregnant *unexpectedly* with baby #3. We actually didn’t plan on having another, but now that I am pregnant again…other people’s reactions are very hurtful. Like, I know I wasn’t planning for it, but I’m still having a baby!! And I’m happy about it. SO glad I’m not the only one to get that kind of reaction.

Meghan April 11, 2019 - 12:44 pm

Congratulations! And don’t let the unfiltered, impolite reactions of others rain on your family’s happiness and excitement. All babies are a gift that deserve to be celebrated

April March 12, 2018 - 9:44 am

I’m so glad I found this page!! I just turned 43 and found out I’m pregnant with baby #3. I have 2 girls #1 is 12yrs and #2 is 10yrs old. We’re very shocked and excited this was a total surprise and we never planned for a 3rd. I go for my 1st appt in 3 days. I little nervous cuz I’m over 40 and was high risk for my other 2. I can almost guess what most of my family will say, shocked but excited! We have a niece who thinks you should live your life they way she thinks(I’m not even joking)she will have so many comments, I’m trying to figure out how to stop her before she begins!?! And suggestions? Her comments will be about kids with special needs and all the problems someone MY AGE will defiantly have! I have a daughter who has medical issues so I do know about the problems that can arise.
My husbands family will be a different story that aren’t the nices in general. To my children they always make comments like wow this is the 1st time I’ve seen you behave. Or you haven’t thrown a tantrum all day! My kids don’t really care to see them at all. My kids are typical kids, like any kid out there, they don’t like the word NO and they act like the devil has personally taken over their bodies! LOL. So my concern is how to just ignore their comments that I know will come. Any suggestions on this??

Meghan March 12, 2018 - 11:45 am

First and foremost, congratulations! That is so exciting. I wish I could tell you things will be different and the comments won’t come, but for whatever reason, there’s something about motherhood, pregnancy, babies that seems to invite open commentary on your family decisions. The important thing to remember is they are just that – YOUR decisions. Forget what anyone else has to say… I find the best way to deal with it is to let them say their piece, and let it roll right off your back – then surround yourself with friends and like-minded moms you can turn to for support. Feel free to vent your frustrations here!

We are 2.5 years in now to life with 3, and it is definitely chaotic most of the time – but I love my little man, and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world!

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Kelli May 25, 2017 - 12:21 pm

Wow. Found this today. Found out we are pregnant with #3 yesterday! Very exciting times. I am also a mom to 2 girls ages 4 and 2. They are amazing and will both be great big sister’s the the new little. I am dreading the family reaction though. Not that we are expecting but that they will expect a boy. My husband’s family name ends with us if there is no boy and I have dealt with those comments since we found out we were having a girl the first time around. It’s more annoying than anything, but my filter is thin. Fingers crossed I can be graceful no matter what happens!

Meghan May 25, 2017 - 2:25 pm

Exciting and congratulations! I can imagine that is a lot of pressure. Wishing you lots of grace under pressure (and hormones), and even if you let out a few unfiltered retorts, you have the best excuse!

Julissa P. July 8, 2017 - 2:41 pm

Just found out I’m pregnant with #3 ! I have a 4 yr old daughter and 14 mon. Old son. I haven’t told anyone yet not even my husband bc I want to surprise him but extremely nervous of what others will say especially since I’m only 20 !! Very glad I read this though it’s so helpful thanks so much 🙄 And Congrats to you on your pregnancy !

Meghan July 9, 2017 - 8:18 am

Congratulations! My parents were very young, and very fortunate to have the support of family, and we all turned out great. Know that people make judgements about pregnancy and “too many” kids no matter your age. You will be great.

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Charleana January 3, 2017 - 8:14 am

I am so happy I happened upon this, in the early hours of the morning, only 3 days after finding out we are expecting #3! So many mixed emotions. We have two boys, 6+ years apart, and they are incredible. We struggled with a lot in those first 6 years, from finances, fertility and marriage/parenthood in general. But we made it through and our big lil boy asked for a brother for Christmas one year, and by mothers day we found out we were having #2 and he came shortly after the following Christmas. It has been an amazing 2 years being a mom f two. But with #2 none of our family was really excited for us. Even though we were. I think that is my biggest fear for #3. To add to it now our mothers live about 4-5 hours away. We haven’t told a soul next to my best friend of 20 years. (she is about to have baby #2 and I hit trimester #2 the same week she will be giving birth and didn’t want to steal thunder, not to mention she is like a sister to me). I want to be excited for this baby, and will be happy boy or girl (come on pink), but I really do fear their reactions. (Did I mention another family member just announced twins, they already have 3 children, some family was harsh and some were happy). I know I shouldn’t care what they think but I love my family and want them to love this child too. #3 will be our last. Even if we have a girl we have all the big stuff we could need, so I plan on just stocking up on diapers and wipes and working really hard to get #2 potty trained. I also “overused” social media on #2 and plan on doing lo-fi, traditional with this 3rd. I want to cherish it and kind of keep it our own since it will be the last time I grow a tiny human. Thanks for your blog! It put me a little at ease. Now time for work!

Meghan January 3, 2017 - 2:25 pm

First off, congratulations! It’s so hard not to care what other people think – especially when you worry they will rain on your parade. But enthusiasm is contagious – and once a baby arrives, it’s impossible even for the naysayers not to want baby snuggles. Our third is the happiest, chillest, snuggliest little guy in the world, and everyone adores him… this mama included! Don’t let other’s negativity dampen your excitement! And check out the rest of the comments – we are not alone 🙂

Erica August 25, 2016 - 11:04 pm

I’m in an odd boat. My kids 6-7 years apart. Where most women seem to start wanting another after their babies are one or two, I wait until mine our five. LOL. I have two older girls, and I am now having a boy. My husband and I were shocked beyond words as well. It took me a good month to wrap my brain around it. So, now we are pretty much starting over. We’ve still got a crib, but the mattress died a couple moves back. We don’t have an infant cart seat, but we still have the stroller. As for infant clothes, HA! I sold/donated them convinced baby #2 was it. Not that it would really matter. I went super pink, with my second girl. Family and friends have been a mixed reaction. My husband’s family is beyond the moon that we’re having a boy, but that leaves me a little resentful b/c they have been more curious about this pregnancy as a result. A close friend of mine called me a “breeder” to another friend, who then promptly told me. That kind of hurt, but I realized the relationship had been fading over the years anyways. As far as the pregnancy, it has been the worse. I think this little boy knows he’ll be the last (I’m really, really, really done after him) and is making this pregnancy the most uncomfortable. My joints were hurting in the first trimester, I was plagued by severe exhaustion and morning sickness for the first three months. Then got a short reprieve from morning sickness only to move to a new house, but morning sickness returned. With two months to, I haven’t bought anything for the baby and my house is STILL not unpacked. I’m waiting for the nesting syndrome to kick in, but this old body just doesn’t seem to have it in it.

Meghan August 26, 2016 - 8:05 am

I’m sorry people have been hurtful – whatever your family plan, that’s just it – it’s YOUR plan, and real friends should be supportive. One of my aunts has 3 kids, each of which were 6 years apart – the oldest was graduating high school, when the youngest was entering kindergarten, and they are also 2 girls and a boy.

And I totally feel your pain on moving – we were in the middle of building a house when I found out I was pregnant with #3. We moved when I was 8 months pregnant. A year later, we are unpacked, but there is still nothing on the walls… and you know what? We are never moving again, and I have a lifetime to get it done. Give yourself a break – your body is growing a tiny human. As long as he has a place to sleep when you bring him home from the hospital, he will be fine. And all he needs are some onesies for the first few months anyway. Heck – in the Nordic countries, newborns sleep in a box given to families by the hospital!

Boys are super sweet – I miss buying all the cutesie clothes, but he loves his mama, loves to cuddle, and since he is my last baby too, I’m soaking up every last second of his babyness (he will be 1 in a month! 🙁 )

Sheryl June 28, 2016 - 11:31 am

Great article! We just found out we were expecting number 3 like 5 days ago lol. And we definitely wanted 3 just not this soon. My youngest just turned 10 months today!! We have two boy and I’m ready and waiting to field the “I hope you get a girl” comments or the “gasp, it’s another boy I’m so sorry” as much as I would like a girl I can’t imagine not being offended by this:/. I heard it when I was pregnant with my second boy haha. Although I am looking forward to a much quieter hospital stay with less visits from family and friends:) good luck with your 3rd!

Meghan June 28, 2016 - 2:12 pm

Congratulations! I hope, no matter the gender, it is a healthy, happy, amazing addition to your family.

Alisha June 25, 2016 - 2:52 am

I believe this blog was posted awhile ago but I am so glad I found it. My husband and I have an almost three year old boy and a one year old girl. We have just decided to try for our third. I am not looking forward to people’s comments especially about how close in age they will be. We are hoping to be able to be due around our little girl’s 2nd bday and just before our son’s 4th bday. Maybe before I announce a third pregnancy I can come up with some good comebacks.

Meghan June 25, 2016 - 12:55 pm

You will be great! What I’ve come to realize (after 3 kids), there’s something about parenting / pregnancy that makes people feel entitled to offer commentary on your life, whether you are pregnant with your 1st, 3rd or 10th. On a daily basis, I get “Boy, you sure have your hands full!”, and I certainly do, but you find a rhythm that works for your family. All mine are right about 2 years apart too. Good luck, and to h*ll with everyone else 🙂

Melanie January 25, 2016 - 1:52 pm

I know I’m finding this article a year later, but I am amazed at how much we have in common. I have 2 girls (Big R, who is brunette and Little R, who is blonde) and I am expecting my 3rd baby this Fall. I won’t know what the gender is for some time yet, but when we tell people they say they hope it’s a boy and assume we want a boy as well. We just want a healthy baby. I was worried about how Big R would take the news, and she was shocked at first but she soon warmed up to the idea. Little R is like a little mommy and she was incredibly happy from the start. She’s the one hugging and kissing my tummy as well as making sure to talk to the baby. This pregnancy for me has been pretty different from my first two. This go round I’ve had way more morning sickness! I really enjoyed your article. It gave me so much to consider. We are also moving into a new house right before this baby comes. What are your thoughts on giving M3 another M name? Since we have 2 Rs, everyone wants to know if we will be sticking with it and giving this child an R name as well. To be honest, we didn’t do the 2 Rs on purpose, we just so happened to pick those names. Any regrets on going with a 3rd M? Part of me feels like we have to continue now that it’s started, but my hubby isn’t thrilled with the idea of another R.

PGPBMeghan January 25, 2016 - 2:03 pm

So confession… Baby M doesn’t actually have an M name! My husband and I are both Ms, and our daughters both have M names, but our boy name had been picked out since before we had our first and was a family name. He is named after my father-in-law and my Grandfather – we talked about changing it to another family name that also started with M, because we had started the trend, I didn’t want the 3rd child to feel left out and several of our friends had already used the name as well, but around the same time we found out Baby M was a boy, my father-in-law also became very ill. Naming the baby after him had always been our intention, and more than ever, it seemed like the right thing to do. And the name suits him perfectly – and best of all, my father-in-law is now in remission and very honored by his like-named grandson.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you feel better soon! 2015 was the craziest, most stressful year of my life (moving, house on the market, pregnant, family illness), so I wish you all the best and A LOT OF PATIENCE! As for the name, you’ll know what feels right!

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Amanda G November 30, 2015 - 11:17 am

Oh my gosh, I have almost the exact same story!! Except I have a boy and a girl already … but almost the exact same ages as your 2 daughters and same thing … we weren’t going to start trying for another 9 months when we found out we were expecting #3 (goodbye Mexican vacation that had already been booked!) but the reactions people have had are just insane! I’m honestly only worried that people will just sort of forget about us because they’ve already helped twice lol. But thank you for your post … I’ve been looking online for 30+ weeks about having 3 under 4 years and haven’t found anything but ridiculous posts about ripping hair out and going crazy … ugh! This post was wonderful. Thank you from 37 weeks pregnant with #3 🙂

PGPBMeghan November 30, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Congratulations! My husband was home for 2 weeks, and then my mom was here for 2 weeks, and I was terrified of my first day solo. But you know what? You figure it out – the girls have been incredible helpers, and they adore and dote on their little brother. They fight over who gets to be my ‘big helper!’ And he is the mellowest baby ever – the third one doesn’t really have a choice but to come along for the ride! As you likely know from #2, the baby is the easy part 🙂

ForgetfulFranny July 8, 2015 - 6:20 pm

I loved reading this! We just found out we were expecting #3 as well. We have two boys (6 and nearly 4) so I can already hear people’s comments on “maybe this will be your girl”. I am trying to come up with responses that will be both polite yet make them think twice about their comment…maybe something along the lines of “nope, we are going for the trifecta” 🙂 anyways- I appreciate and can relate to the article!

PGPBMeghan July 8, 2015 - 7:40 pm

Glad you enjoyed. And Congratulations! You would think by now I would have figured out what it is about pregnancy that causes other people to lose all filter… and yet, we, the hormonal, exhausted mamas somehow manage to avoid the impolite, yet totally deserved, snarky retort. I blame preggo brain – I never think of the really good comebacks until I’ve spent a few hours stewing over their offensive comments!

Julia June 26, 2015 - 10:04 am

I truly enjoyed reading this. I am pregnant with baby boy #3 due in September and I hear a lot of disappointment in people. My heart hurts a little every time someone says, “aren’t you upset you didn’t get your girl?”. I think in the beginning I was but now I think about how lucky I am I don’t have to buy new things. 🙂 My two boys are excited to add another brother to the family and that makes me happy. What else could I ask for?

PGPBMeghan June 26, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Thanks, Julia… and congratulations! While we are thrilled to be having a boy, I would have loved just as much to have another girl – especially since we already have a ridiculous wardrobe. It’s very hard for me to bite my tongue when people ask those loaded questions. I’m sure your boys are going to make awesome big brothers, and a happy, healthy baby is all we (and anyone else) can ask for!

Ann * Little Worlds June 24, 2015 - 11:07 pm

This is so nice to read. I’d love to have a third one day and I’m already looking forward to being pregnant, giving birth and newborn snuggles! {I must have forgotten about all the challenging moments in between!} Since we already have a boy and a girl I think I’d like to keep the sex a surprise. Both of my previous pregnancies were similar so I highly doubt I’ll “know”. Anyway, better not get ahead of myself, we’re a long way off still! But one day .. so it’s nice to read your story!

PGPBMeghan June 25, 2015 - 7:29 am

That’s exciting! And you totally block out all the bad stuff, and just remember the warm, fuzzy memories. There’s a part of me that’s also sad this pregnancy, since I’m fairly certain it is my last… LOVE the baby stage. I think I could live without the 2-3 year stage 😉


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