I’m not clear on the exact day, but recently I crossed over some type of ‘threshold’. I’m now at a point where I’m so visibly pregnant that strangers don’t hesitate to remark. I hear ‘congratulations’ and ‘when are you due?’ every time I am in public. But my favorite comment so far: ‘big breakfast this morning?‘
It’s possible that my height or my ‘healthy’ frame delays these comments a bit, but it’s been my experience that strangers don’t mention the bump until they’re quite confident there’s a baby in there [as they should!] So, the fact that everyone now unabashedly mentions my belly means the end is near.
And, man, that brings about a lot of emotions.
Am I physically ready to push out another baby, knowing her older brother was 9+ pounds with a head in the 98th percentile? [ouch]
Am I ready for around the clock nursing & the struggles that come with early breastfeeding? [more ouch]
Am I ready to run on 2 hour bouts of sleep? [yawn]
And am I ready to juggle all of this while caring for my not quite 2 year old? [how the whhhhhhaaaat?]
The answer is no. No, I am so not ready. From the outside, sure, it looks like we’re “ready”. Hospital bag is packed. Infant car seat is installed. Backups are on call to take care of Colin & Colby when we go to the hospital. But, emotionally, I do not feel “ready.” Crazy as it seems though, that totally doesn’t matter. It’s happening. The days keep passing, due date less than a month away now. And somehow I’m going to figure it out.
It’s such a strange mess of contradicting emotions [hello, pregnancy hormones!] and hopefully some of you can relate. I look at Colin, still a baby & still needing so very much from me, and my heart breaks a little. How can I make sure he knows that he’s not being replaced, even though he now has to share my attention? How can I possibly give him the snuggles he loves, when my arms are full with a newborn?
But, mixed in with those heavy thoughts, I remember one silly thought I had while expecting Colin. ‘If I can love my child as much as I love my dog… we’ll be good.’ [sure, it sounds funny, but the dog is very much my firstborn.] I couldn’t have understood it at the time, but then Colin came and changed my heart, making so much more room. I loved this new baby more than I could have ever imagined.
And that’s what brings me comfort in these moments of “I’m not ready.” Before Colin, I couldn’t even have imagined this– that along with the exhaustion, pain & frustration, I’d experience happiness, love & satisfaction I hadn’t yet known.
Yes, baby girl is going to turn our lives upside down. And yes, I’m so not “ready” for that [things are just so comfortable as-is]. But, Colin turned our lives upside down and I love him so much for it. Friends keep saying your heart expands with each child and that I’m ready to experience.
So, baby girl, we are kinda ready for you. Feel free to make your appearance whenever you’re ready.
[maternity photos taken by Jessica Hamlin!]