“I am pretty sure this is just your body getting ready to go into labour,” my husband said, standing at the threshold to our bedroom.
“I sure hope not,” I moaned. “I would much rather my body prepare itself by giving me energy to get everything ready.” I was laying in bed, 37 weeks pregnant, after a long, nausea-filled day. On the other hand, I certainly didn’t want to be facing a full-blown flu. But I knew I was no where close to being ready to bring home a baby and I certainly didn’t want to spend the rest of my pregnant days out of commission. The thought of being so close to labour with so little ready scared me.
Unlike my first pregnancy, I have been doing a pretty good job at keeping the house relatively clean in preparation for my hospital stay. I try to keep up with all of our living spaces in order to avoid CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). The kitchen is cleaned by the end of each night, Cameron is responsible for straightening up his toys before bed, I attempt to clean the bathroom once a week, sweep the floor at least every couple of days, and mop when appropriate. Last time, though the hospital bag was ready by the door and the crib was set up by this point, I was embarrassed by the state of my house and unsure if I should even bring a baby into such a messy living space.
So although I appear to be doing a good job keeping everything up, I haven’t been good at prioritizing those behind-the-scenes details. Until Saturday, we hadn’t even pulled the carseat out of the closet it was packed into. I didn’t even have enough clean laundry to put some of it into a hospital bag. And although the bed that baby will be sleeping in is mostly set up beside my bed, it was acting as a glorified laundry basket. Clothes for new baby unpacked and laundered? Nope. New pacifiers purchased? Nope. Any baby names chosen? Not even close. If I immediately went into labour, the most stressful part would be that we were absolutely and completely unprepared for a hospital stay or to bring a baby home.
Ironically, I realize that it would probably be better to have my hospital bag packed, the carseat installed, the newborn clothes laundered and the diapers purchased by this point. Because the reality is, even though the house might remain relatively clean until I go into labour, it will all fall out of sorts again in those months weeks of adjustment following the birth of our precious new one.
So on Saturday, as I spent my day curled up in a ball whining about how sick I felt, I vowed to get our lives ready for this baby in a more practical way, if I had the chance. Although I am getting so anxious to get this baby out, I also realized how desperately unprepared we are.
I blame this partially on it being my second baby. I already have a very full day caring for one child. And after experiencing bringing a baby home once before, I realize that no matter what, we will get through whatever challenges we are faced with. So it is because of this giant confidence that I place in the power of my little family that I am found in this place, wanting to go into labour and not at all ready yet.
This week has been a busy one for me, and I am not fully there yet. There are still piles of Cameron’s outgrown clothes that need to be boxed sitting on the kitchen table and a few loads of baby clothes that need to be put away. My hospital bag still sits empty but at least I have set aside a good portion of what needs to be packed into it. My bedroom the room the baby will be sleeping in desperately needs to be vacuumed and the baby bed still has clothes in it. But I am getting there. And thankfully these past few days have been filled with more energy than nausea.
Am I alone in this? How early were you entirely ready to bring home baby? Or were you getting things together up until the last minute, like I am?
My mind is racing with everything I want to write about as I prepare to bring home baby, but the reality is that I am finding very little time and energy to do too much these days. So, I am not promising anything, but if I get a chance, there might be a few more Final Countdown post before the baby comes.