I officially have five days left until our second little bundle of joy arrives. It is still extremely difficult to allow this revelation to sink in and I cannot appropriately express all of my current feelings in words. I am excited and terrified, happy and anxious, elated and exhausted all at the same time. I have that feeling that overtakes your body just before a big speech or the sensation you have while waiting for some important test results. I often try to picture exactly how things will go once we bring our child home and attempt to settle into our everyday lives and I haven’t been successful in generating a scenario to my liking. Each scenario seems to end with crying, sleeplessness, more crying, very little eating and one extremely exhausted mommy. There are some happy times in these imagined scenarios like the beautiful bonding with a new baby and the joy of introducing my son to his new brother, but I am not fooled. I know that eventually all the beauty ends with crying and fatigue. I am just trying to prepare myself for those first few months again.
My husband and I have tried to be proactive about the upcoming change and we have attempted to create a strategy which includes sleeping arrangements in efforts to ensure a smooth transition, a futile attempt I know but it’s worth a try. I will sleep in the bedroom with the new baby and my husband will sleep in the room with our eldest son, once he returns back to work. I am not sure who will break first with this new arrangement, but I think it will be my better half. My oldest son is almost 13 months old and he periodically sleeps through the night, but his waking at night is not predictable and usually rotates around new teeth, a fever or just because he feels like waking us up at night. However, he will sleep for more than two hours at a time and he usually only wakes up one to two times a night, the only catch is that I am usually the one who attends to him. Prior to me reaching this last uncomfortable phase of pregnancy I’m not even sure my husband was aware of many of these nighttime interruptions, but all that is about to change. I will now be focusing on the child who wakes every two hours and my husband will be introduced to the nightly game of Russian Roulette with our one year old; he may roll a lucky seven and sleep all night or he just might roll a “snake-eyes” and he will have to wake up twice during the night and calm a crying baby. These situations often all end with “mommy to the rescue”; whether you feel like a superwoman or not.
Another attempt at preparing for the impending changes is asking my parents to stay with us and help for awhile. My parents will be here to help watch my son while I am in the hospital and they haven’t verbally committed to a set time period afterwards so I am assuming that they will be skirting out as soon as possible following our return. I am not naïve about these things anymore. I know that not even the extreme cuteness of a brand new baby can take the place of long quiet nights full of sleep-which is what they have gotten used to in their older age. I used to spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and feeling envious of my friends who had mothers who were willing to stay and help as long as they need, but I realize now that all that help comes with a hefty price. In exchange for that help I also have to accept and listen to unsolicited advice and input on what I am doing wrong as a mother. She will feel obligated to educate me on what they did in her time of raising children and of course why it works better. So I won’t complain too much about the inevitable short stay.
One other positive occurrence is that I get to begin that long journey of getting my body back. I will no longer experience nausea and indigestion on a daily basis. I have officially reached that part of the pregnancy where you feel completely miserable. I can no longer find a comfortable position sitting or lying down and once I have found a ‘tolerable’ position that I can bear for about 5 minutes then my son wants to be picked up, changed or chased throughout the house while holding some dangerous object he has found. After my 6 weeks of healing from the cesarean section, I will be able to effectively chase my son around the house, rise off the floor without the help of two people and get out of the bed in less than 10 minutes. I know these things seem miniscule, but at this point these are huge obstacles for me and throughout these upcoming ‘trying’ days I better enjoy the little things.
Needless to say, these next five days will still be hectic because I am determined to fit in as many tasks as I possibly can. This superwoman complex is hard to shake and despite my orders to rest until my due date I must complete a list of tasks to ensure a smooth transition into chaos. I have to complete thank you cards, reorganize my sons’ room, unpack the larger size clothes for my eldest son (13 months), research Montessori schools and sign up for a waiting list, buy pumping bras, put together scrapbook for both of my son’s (start one and finish the other) and then find time to rest and prepare my body for Friday’s events. Now all of these things are contingent upon the fact that my child won’t just decide to surprise us all and arrive early, which wouldn’t surprise me at this point but you can only work off what you know. No matter what the outcome of these next few days and how they may unfold we better get ready. I will continue to share my experiences with you and hopefully will emerge from this adventure a better woman with healthy and happy boys (and husband).