Sacha Rendoth discusses the adjustments to welcoming a 3rd child.
Sacha Rendoth lives with her partner and children in Brisbane and is a registered midwife.
When you realised you were pregnant with your 3rd child what was your and your partners first response?
I was very surprised with a twinge of excitement in the first instance, then reality hit as my husband was completely shocked – he had not considered another child, especially at this time. This created a huge tension in the relationship for many weeks and we continually discussed all the options available, including terminating the pregnancy. I even considered leaving to have the baby on my own. It was a challenging time for the first 8-9 weeks of the pregnancy. I was wanting a third child but not till the following year when I had finished my graduate midwifery year but this one decided to come earlier for whatever reason. All I kept feeling was that it was a gift, a divine gift. At some point though I realised I did not want to put the baby before our relationship and was open to terminating if this is what my partner truly wanted. Over these weeks we were each going through our own process with lots of discussions with each other and our close friends. I did not want to have any push on my partner in the decision. I had intense morning sickness and I wanted to make a decision sooner rather than later, as it was my body that was going through it all. One night after an incredibly deep conversation covering all aspects of our lives we both decided to go ahead with the pregnancy and see what this divine gift was offering our family. Once we made the decision we shared it with our other two children and the unfolding began.
What happened as you started to adjust to the reality?
Even once the decision was made there was a lot of processing that was happening and huge shifts in the family. My morning sickness was debilitating and I was extremely exhausted - a lot of letting go was happening in my body and re-configuration.I started my grad position following completion of a Bachelor of Midwifery when I was 14 weeks pregnant. My partner was still adjusting to the idea of having another baby and was struggling with the practical side of more nappies, lack of sleep, strollers and car seats etc.
I knew deep inside this pregnancy and child was going to change everything in our family! It was going to be a huge blessing especially for Jemima, our eldest.
In looking back now, with Theodore being 6 months old, what can you see now about welcoming a 3rd child into the family and the bigger picture?
Our child was a boy, Theodore (meaning divine gift) – and that he is. So much shifted in our family during the pregnancy and a new foundation was created that made welcoming Theodore a complete blessing – the best thing we could have ever done. I developed a steadiness in this pregnancy and Theodore also came with a steadiness that has offered our family a new way of being - there is still much to work toward but there has been no ‘chaos’ in our household welcoming a third child. My partner and I have laughed about having a fourth as our experience of having a third has been so amazing. Our eldest, our daughter, has absolutely loved having Theodore and it has brought a settlement to her - this is the most settled we have seen her in her 8 years with us. There is an increased purpose and responsibility that has built within the children (even though sometimes they need reminding). My partner absolutely loves having Theodore in the family and he is so open and willing with him.Our hearts are more open and full with the arrival of Theodore.
What was it like being pregnant this time as opposed to the first two pregnancies?
This pregnancy was definitely the most challenging physically but so beautiful in what it was offering me and I was more ready and open to what was on offer, this time round. Physically, I was exhausted in the first trimester with terrible nausea but even at the time this felt like part of the surrender my body had to go through to allow for the reconfiguration that was occurring within me. I then started working a very full load as my first job as a midwife whilst running the house and looking after 2 kids - I was very tired and my iron and vitamin D levels were extremely low (at one point I could hardly walk from one end of the house to the other without becoming breathless). There was a lot that was shifting and changing to allow for this baby to come, my body was telling me to slow down. By 33 weeks I had to stop working (3 weeks earlier than I had planned) - however this was another blessing and this time allowed me to recover fully, replenish my vitamin stores, feel amazing physically and enjoy some time with the children before Theodore arrived. I was no longer exhausted and felt ready to have the baby and move into the newborn care plus have the energy to feed and attend to him.
How have you adjusted to life now? There are more children - but is it actually easier and why?
Life now with 3 children is beautiful - I love every day and this is not how mothering was for me before the pregnancy. I was very reactive, I was resentful at times, always feeling I should be somewhere else. Now I feel I am just where I should be and am offering the world a reflection that is needed in my current role. My relationship with my daughter has blossomed and I have more time and patience and love to share with my children. I love sharing the love Theodore has with others and I love watching and feeling all my children interact. My elder son is so in love with Theodore - it’s gorgeous watching him express this. Both older children have stepped up in there willingness to help, to be involved and to be more responsible in many ways. I encourage them to be responsible for Theodore in many ways and they love this. There is more flow and love which generally makes life easier. I don’t have a resentment to my partner and he loves coming home to a calm household (which also wasn’t always the case). He now comes home from a long day at work and can enjoy us as there is rarely ‘drama’ that gets in the way anymore.
What’s your tip for other mums in caring for yourself, as well as being there for your family – as a family of 5?
For me it’s holding a love and respect deeply for myself that doesn’t allow me to be taken for granted and that brings an appreciation within myself and from my family. The more I can truly appreciate myself the more love I build for myself and hence the more love I have for my family. For me caring for myself is about honouring and deepening the connection I have with my self, my body and my awareness and following the impulses that come from this connection. This is an ever evolving and deepening process, I am always learning more and it is never perfect. Mothering becomes something you can observe rather than becoming it, there is a flow that develops rather than feeling you are being pushed and pulled.