- What did you think your family would look like, all a little older towards the end of another year?
- Where would you be living? Working? Shopping?
- Who did you think you would be spending time with?
- When did you think you would feel happiest?
These are all questions that I was thinking about the moment I found out at Christmas that we were adding another family member in 2015. To be honest, I had even been thinking about all of these questions and how it would end up before Ava was even conceived.
Sitting at my desk today, preparing for another term at my work, I felt very out of sorts.
This was not how my life was supposed to be at this point in the year.
I wasn't supposed to be doing this.
I should not still have my "teacher" hat on. I should be snuggling on the lounge, tired but so content that I am holding my daughter who was going to complete our family.
The baby stage of our family was going to be at an end with the birth of our third child. I was looking forward to treasuring every last moment of our last child's babyhood. I was going to sell and give away all of our baby things as our baby grew bigger and didn't require them anymore. I was going to breastfeed for the last time, I was going to carry this baby in my peanut shell sling which my other babies hated. I was going to be THAT parent that pushed a pram into the school gates that the school mum's gushed over at afternoon pickup.
I was going to decorate our fourth and spare bedroom that was always meant for our third child. It was going to be painted pink and I would have hung curtains with cute owls on the windows. Our new, seven seater new car would have been put to good use - not for every seat to be filled, but for more space for our growing family.
I was going to be wearing my favourite maternity jeans that I felt I didn't get enough use out of last pregnancy.
I was going to enjoy being on maternity leave at the same time as my sister in law knowing that our babies were going to grow up best friends and cousins being only a few months apart. I was not supposed to be here.
I would have been planning three presents to be given by Santa this year. The Christmas Santa photo would have been gorgeous with a baby who would be young enough not to be scared and a pre-schooler and kindergartener who would have been happy to be sitting on Santa's lap.
I did not think we would have been at wet'n'wild these school holidays as a family. Maybe the older two would have gone with daddy for the day, but not me breastfeeding a newborn around the clock and not fitting back into my swimmers so soon. I envisioned my daughter having a "sleepover" with her tiny sister in her room that she so often talked about. I imagined my son giving every stuffed toy that he owned to the baby as he was now the big brother in the house.
This is not how it was supposed to have been, I was not supposed to be doing any of what I'm doing right now.
I should not be dusting the corner shelf that holds my daughters things. I should be hanging up new photographs of her ever changing face. I should be feeling content - complete.
This was not how our family should have looked like. This was not how 2015 should have ended.