Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Sweet baby girl is coming soon. Summer seems far away, but when I stop and think about the number of weeks left until her arrival, all I can say is "EEEKKK!" I'm ready and not at the same time. On one hand I'm excited to meet her and kiss her soft skin. I am looking forward to the new baby smell and warm snuggles. Tiny clothes and gentle coos and wrinkly feet. Who can resist all the sweet, miniature newborn stuff?
On the other hand, though, I am not ready. I live in toddler-land now. Not just any toddler-land, but BOY toddler-land. We play "throw," "shoot," and "kick." We have dance parties that end in a dizzy collapse. We sometimes use our outside voices in the house. We periodically battle over meals (although I try really hard not to let him know I'm frustrated that he won't eat non-pureed veggies despite the fact that his mouth is full of teeth). We, and I use this term very lightly, play with noisy, battery-operated toys. We, which really just means he, sometimes throw blocks. There is wrestling and sports and the occasional angry tantrum at my house.
How do I bring a newborn into this environment? How do I switch gears from toddler-land to baby-land? How do I go from boy stuff to girl stuff?
I am so NOT prepared for my new life.
I have reached the point in pregnancy where things have become uncomfortable. Sleeping is a chore that involves moving pillows throughout the night. Heartburn has returned to haunt my post-meal hours. Giving baths, reaching into the crib, and picking up toys is more challenging than it has been up to now. I'm at the stage where I can't really remember what it's like not to be pregnant. My body is always going to look like this, right? I'll never wear normal clothes again, right?
It dawned on my this morning that I won't sleep fully through the night again for months. My heart sank. Is this really happening? It's true. All the wonderful, sweet, snuggly parts of having a newborn are balanced out by sleep deprivation, the postpartum emotional rollercoaster, feeling depleted after nursing again for what seems like the millionth time in a day (seriously, how do those tiny things eat all. the. time.), and the dread of inadequacy to meet the needs of this dependent life.
But really, how do you prepare? You can read books and blogs and articles. You can talk to other parents and ask millions of questions, but it doesn't prepare you fully. You just have to dive in and paddle for the surface.
I'm less scared than I was the last time. Round two is less intimidating. Sure I have forgotten the routine of late night feedings and spit-up and hating the car seat, but I survived it once and I know I can survive it again. I feel more empowered this time. I'm not a wide-eyed freshman; I'm a sophomore who knows her way around campus. I'm a veteran instead of a rookie. I like that. It gives me confidence that although I don't feel prepared, I am. I am a mother.
Of course, ask me that again when girly girl arrives and I may have a different story.