We’ve made it to thirty-eight weeks today.
I have reached the point at which, when everyone asks me how I feel, the short answer is not “I feel fine;” it’s “I feel really really pregnant.” I sleep badly most nights, I have so much relaxin in my system that my joints are all falling apart, and getting up and down from most seats (let alone the floor) takes forethought and strategy. Pregnancy brain has hit me like a ton of bricks (though I’m pretty sure “pregnancy brain” is just code for “brain on permanently insufficient sleep”) and I can no longer be trusted with basic math, let alone figuring out how to plan around Daylight Savings Time. My reaction time is down the drain, which is not helpful for parenting. I can basically handle knitting and intense nesting.
I am, however, so thankful for a communicative, helpful toddler, who will gladly pick things up off the floor for me all the time. It doesn’t really make up for the fact that it’s her that gets everything on the floor in the first place, but hey, she has kept me in slightly better shape.
Materially, we have done about every kind of preparation we can think of.
The girls’ room is all arranged. New toy bin thing from Ikea (and Deedee) is all installed. Burp clothes, cloth wipes, receiving blankets, fancy handmade blankets, and supposedly-newborn-sized diapers are all excavated and washed and stored. (I call them supposedly-newborn-sized, despite being advertised as good starting at 6 lbs, because N’s butt is so skinny that she was in practically-preemie sized diapers for the first few months of her life, despite being born 8 lbs 2 oz. Oh well. Here’s hoping for a bigger butt?)
N now has a capacious dresser, while baby Pat has inherited her little one.
N has a new little reading corner, and her aunt Kathy gave her a new little cloth doll to read to, while her grandparents brought a cradle to be baby doll’s bed. Since I can really only barely get down on the floor to play with her at this point, she is getting plenty of practice for when my hands are full.
The girls’ summer clothes are even sorted and cleaned and staged, since I doubt I’ll be at the point of wanting to deal with that when they need them.
The birth beer (our first beer) is brewing, and will go into bottles on Friday or Saturday, most likely.
And of course, Pat’s clothes are all clean and ordered and packed into drawers. I had forgotten the sheer quantity of newborn-sized handknits we have! Suddenly I am wishing for a chilly April.
The bags are packed, for midwife center and babysitter.
I made obsessive little signs around the house for helpers, so they know how to do my laundry, make my coffee, and feed and nap the toddler.
The babysitters, back-up babysitters, night-time babysitters, and back-up to back-up babysitters are all arranged.
Contingency plans have been reviewed with all players.
Daddy’s casseroles are in the freezer.
And big sister, I think, is as prepared as she can possibly be. She insists on giving baby sister a hug and kiss before bed, and she just assumes at this point that any new clothing is for baby sister. (How fun was the day we sorted through all her new summer hand-me-downs!)
There’s Going to Be a Baby is one of her favorite books, still. I’ve been promising her that baby sister will come in the spring, when the snow melts and the first flowers start poking out of the ground. And sure enough…
Yes, we are as ready as we can possibly be. Which means we have two to four weeks to just sit around and wait. As Pippin said, in a passage we just read, “I don’t want to go into battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.”
My physical discomfort is wearing my patience thinner by the hour. I know that baby is way easier to take care of now than she will be on the outside, but my body is trying it’s hardest to make me forget that. I keep telling myself to be present in the moment, to enjoy this phase, to spend time with Jared while I still have some interpersonal energy, to make much of N while she’s still the only baby. But this requires some serious leaning into my discomfort with discomfort. My impatience with patience. My desire, in the face of a big fat wonderful difficult transition, to just get on with it. I am grateful for every moment that I manage to just attend and enjoy my precious, busy, beautiful little toddler, who lights up my days even as she tests new boundaries. And every quiet evening with my spouse is so much burnished gold.
My big ordination interview is on the 20th, four days before the due date, and I am trying really hard to still care about that. I am at least determined to at least wait until the 21st to give into the crazy-pregnant-lady “I’M GOING TO BE PREGNANT FOREVER” rage.
And in the meantime, with my to-do list down to only the most piddling non-essentials…
I am getting a surprising amount of knitting in.