Despite the stress and the anxiety (and ugh - the physical discomfort), I did love my pregnancy with Mary. Only it didn't feel like it was my pregnancy with her so much as my pregnancy with a baby. And I loved that baby. I loved the kicks and the crazy movement (she was a very active one!). I loved witnessing my body provide for another child (something I will never take for granted), and I loved hearing the baby during my NSTs and seeing the baby on the ultrasound (though I didn't look at them too much out of fear I'd accidentally see boy/girl bits). My pregnancy with her was special and there will be aspects of it I'll miss (the inability to roll over at night and stabbing crouch pain not being among them).
I wanted to document my time with this baby, just as I had done with Cale and Finn. A big part of that is people always say "you don't take as many pictures with the second one" and I feel like I've already proved that stigma wrong - because Finn is my second child and I did take as many pictures during my pregnancy with him as I did with Cale. So it's only fair that I do the same for the third child.
When I look back on my pregnancy pictures with Mary it's almost strange to think that we didn't know who she was. I waffled back and forth between thinking we were having another boy, and thinking she was a girl. I feel like I carried just the same as I had during my other pregnancies and didn't feel much different physically. I never had strong mother's intuition, and often would tell people when they asked what my guess was, that I thought 55% girl, 45% boy. I had five vivid dreams of delivering a baby. Four of those times the baby was a girl. The Chinese Gender chart said I was having a girl, but almost all of my ultrasound techs and nurses would refer to the baby as a "he" during my appointments (none of them knew). The woman who gave me a pedicure shortly before delivery was sure I was having a boy, but clearly my two year old knew best.
The morning of my induction I could not sleep. I took a shower at 4am and I talked to my baby for the last time in utero. I rubbed my belly and I said, "I think you're a girl. I could be wrong, but I don't care as long you come our healthy and screaming. Hang in there baby, a little bit longer."
And later that night when she came out - healthy and screaming - we were overcome with what was hands down one of, if not the, best surprises I've ever had. I'm so glad we waited, and am so glad we have this little girl.