All The Crap You Hear When You're Pregnant With Your 4th Kid

by Shanisty Ireland
Originally Published: 
Pregnant woman with her 4th kid in striped shirt holding a funny sign about her pregnancy
Courtesy of Shanisty Ireland

People: “Is this your second?”

Me: “No, it’s my fourth.” People: “Huh? Ohhhh. Wow. Uh…” Me: “Don’t worry, my condition is not contagious.”

Being pregnant with baby #4 has garnered some personal, awkward and downright hysterical questions and comments from “The People.” Here are some examples:

Was this one planned?

How old are your other children?

Do you stay at home with them?

What does your husband do?

Is this your last?

Wow! College will be fun!

If we currently had three boys or three girls, I’m sure the first question would be:

You gotta be hoping for a girl.

I bet your husband desperately wants that son!

I’ll start by answering the questions some people have had the guts to ask and some of you may be wondering.

Was this one planned? Yes, this child was planned. My husband would love 8, we have settled on 4.

How old are your other children? 6, 4, and 2.

Do you stay at home with them? I do. I work from home writing and running my own social media business, and I absolutely love it.

What does your husband do? Haha. I’ll let him answer that one. And no, he isn’t a doctor or doing anything illegal.

Is this your last? Absolutely, yes. Lord willing. My body has been through a lot in 6 years, and I’m too old for this ish.

Wow! College will be fun! Never too soon to push for those scholarships, eh?

I will be the first to admit, four children isn’t exactly common in this day and age. In fact, I can’t think of anyone else in our neighborhood who has four kids. Two and three children seem to be the magic numbers.

Our family takes evening walks to the park, and as we pass, friendly people will look at my growing belly and then take a mental headcount of our children. Usually, they smile and walk on. Sometimes, they stop and chat. The same thing happens at Chick-fil-A and Target. I know, four is a little unusual and it generates some questions.

Hey, I’m not throwing stones at all. I’ve been in your shoes too!

The other night my husband and I were sitting on a bench while the kids played on the playground and we noticed a large van parked in the parking lot. My husband is one of seven children. Breathe that one in… it gets a lot of mixed reactions. Especially him being a child of a large family and wanting a large family in return.

He mentioned to me that the van looks like a newer model of the one they had growing up. Our conversation shifted to something else until we noticed the playground starting to clear out.

There was a mom and dad standing next to a double stroller with a bunch of kids swarming them. We quickly did a headcount. There were six girls, possibly seven. The one in the stroller was too covered to tell if it was a boy or girl.

Me: Wow, that’s a lot of girls!

That poor dad. I can’t imagine the weddings. I wonder if they kept trying for that boy and it never worked? That poor mom. She looks pregnant again. No, that’s just a belly that’s carried six lives. OMG, the oldest looks like she’s 9. Are there twins in there? There have to be twins. I wonder if she stays home? She has to stay home. I bet she homeschools. That has to be their van. That’s a really nice van. I wonder what their jobs are? Imagine that grocery bill! Oh, and college, ouch. I want to talk to her. I want to ask her so many questions. No, that’s rude. She probably feels like a freak show. I’m going to sit and be quiet and stare and smile and stare some more.

You see?! Guilty as charged!

I’m only 20 weeks with baby #4, but this pregnancy is preparing me for the gawks and stares and comments that are to come. Honestly, I enjoy it and maintain a good sense of humor about it. I wasn’t kidding when I told you my response to other moms is not to worry and that my condition isn’t contagious.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I am an only child and as a kid I constantly received comments like:

Oh, you must be so spoiled.

Why didn’t your mom and dad have any more kids? Who do you play with? I’m so jealous you get anything you want. I bet your family is so rich. Oh, you fly to vacation, we have to drive. Do you get to eat out at restaurants a lot? I’m so jealous.

I hated being an only child. And I can’t even imagine the comments my parents received.

That being said, if you’re a mom of one or a mom of seven girls, embrace it! Every single child is a gift. There are moments throughout the day when I will selfishly think, how on earth can my heart handle one more child to love? How is it possible to have four children to feed and bathe and wipe tears and kiss boo-boos? Will I ever sleep again? Will I ever get my body back from carrying babies and breastfeeding? How am I going to manage all of this chaos? How will we survive?

But I know the moment this last baby is born, I will burst into tears of joy, and tears of sadness…that this is the last hurrah in my great pregnancy journey.

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