Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a terrible procrastinator. I have written about my delaying important preparations in the past, but this time, even for me, things are getting out of hand. I’m nine months pregnant, due in less than a month and I have done next to nothing to prepare.
I’m not ready.
I’m not sure why it’s different this time around. With my son, Ben, who is now 3, I channeled my “nesting tendencies” into his nursery. I painted the walls in his room like an ocean, complete with schools of fish, sea turtles, coral reefs and a great big orca whale above his crib.
I had never been able to draw before and still have no idea where the sudden artistic ability sprang from, but his room came alive in hand-painted cartoon sea life. I finished it off by hanging sparkly fish from the ceiling and a soft shaggy carpet that resembled a sandy beach.
I still love his room and I’m sure it will break my heart when he grows up and wants to change it.
But this new baby boy won’t have his own room. He and Ben will have to share. No nursery to paint and decorate.
With Ben, his dresser was stocked with clothes before I had even reached my third trimester. Everything was brand new, washed in a gentle detergent designed for newborns and carefully folded in the drawers. Socks, sleepers, little outfits, and stacks of receiving blankets were all lovingly collected throughout my pregnancy in anticipation of his arrival.
This time, I have a few of those little one piece sleepers that I’ve picked up at thrift shops. As for “lovingly stored?” Well, at present they’re kinda wadded into empty diaper boxes and sitting in my dining room.
That sounds awful.
It’s not that I’m any less excited — I’m thrilled at the notion of adding to our family. But the “newness” isn’t there this time around. I’m not an awe-struck first time mother anymore, I have realistic expectations of what to expect with a baby around, based on real-world experience.
I know that the sayings like “sleep when they sleep” are a joke because in reality, when they sleep, you have stuff to do that you can’t with a baby on your hip.
This time around, I know that half of the stuff marketed toward new moms is unnecessary. A changing table? Ha! My son has had his diaper changed at one point or another on every single flat surface in my house.
A bottle warmer? Please. When making formula you discover very quickly that water comes out plenty warm right from the tap. Those little outfits and suits look cute in a photo, but those 8,000 buttons and snaps take forever to get on and off a squirmy baby.
I think Ben ended up wearing one-piece jumpers until he was walking …
Instead of preparing a room and clothes and supplies, I’ve been preparing myself. Or trying to. I find myself drifting from pure serenity about having a newborn around again to sheer panic that when my husband is away, they will out number me!
At any point during the day I am polarizing from one extreme to the other. Either everything is going to be perfectly fine and I’m not concerned at all, or I’m convinced that my family is spiraling out of control and we’re all doomed. Surely some haywire hormones have a hand in my complete lack of emotional control but I also can’t help but think part of it has to stem from my lack of preparedness.
There have been no birthing classes or baby books this time around. I didn’t tour the hospital and I never registered for Lamaze classes. I don’t have an arsenal of bottles, rattles, lotions and powders and I evaded friends’ offers to throw me a baby shower.
But here’s what I will do: On my way home from work tonight I will buy a pack of newborn diapers.