As I get closer and closer to lady baby’s due date, I am preparing for her arrival in all the ways I can. The used bassinet I bought is washed, assembled, and ready for action. There are swaddling blankets cleaned and stacked underneath, one box of size one disposable diapers ready for action and a whole lot of cloth diapers deep cleaned, prepped, and ready for baby bum number two. I have a dresser full of baby girl 0-6 month clothing and about a million 0-6 month sleepers hanging neatly in the closet. (we are so lucky to have hand-me-downs!) I just bought a double stroller online today, it should be on my doorstep sometime next week.
All of this physical stuff I’ve checked off the list, but I still feel utterly unprepared emotionally and know that there’s no way to feel differently. There’s no way to prepare for the change that’s coming. Yes, the stuff is ready for whenever this baby decides to come on out and join the world. But emotionally or perhaps better stated, in actuality, I feel very unprepared. I have no idea how I’ll manage morning, noon, or night with two. I have no idea how I’ll get the kid ready for preschool, get myself fed and ready, and a newborn out the door. I know logically that I will figure it out somehow, some way. I don’t know if our marriage, my husband, my son, heck the dog, and me, are ready for the enormous change that’s about to hit us. I don’t know how we’ll make time for each other, for each kid, and for ourselves with another child added to the mix. I believe we will manage and we’re as ready as we can be, but it still feels so unknown.
I don’t know what kind of baby this baby will be. Leopold wasn’t a difficult baby or overly fussy, but he did want to eat, eat, eat, all of the time, he never napped consistently, and he grew like a weed. He was exhausting but there was much that was easy about him, he latched and nursed well, he grew quickly and it was easy to see he was thriving on breastmilk alone, and he was rarely fussy without reason. He was not a great sleeper until recently and he has always had an incredible drive to move and change and master the next biggest thing (crawling, walking, climbing, jumping, running, jumping, escaping cribs, going up ladders, signing, talking). It kept me on my toes for sure and I was always a step behind him. I know this baby will be very different in many ways and I will have to adjust my expectations and my parenting style to suit her personality and her needs.
The kind of parent you need to be is very much dependent on who your child is, you know? Every baby is different and I know it will be impossible not to compare lady baby to Leopold. The one thing I do know is how very little I know. Yes, I’ve had a newborn over 2 years ago and I remember somewhat foggily the sleep deprivation, the hours and hours spent nursing, cuddling, and crying into my sweet baby’s onesie that he actually exists. But picturing that with another child to care for who runs and jumps and can pick up said baby? And another, different baby whose personality and needs could be so very different to my other baby? I’m having a hard time fathoming what the reality will be like with a newborn and an almost 2.5 year old. I’m pretty sure I’ll rarely get a break, there will be a lot of take-out dinners, and it’s going to be a few months until I can take a deep breath, have a shower, and think “I’ve got this. the really, really hard part is over.”
I am expecting to be exhausted, to be emotional, to be afraid, to not know what or how I’ll get through the next exhausting day of being a stay at home mom of 2, to cry at everything and nothing, to be in much physical pain after delivery (which kind is yet to be seen…), and to be totally overwhelmed. I am also expecting to be utterly amazed at a new tiny human and cry tears of absolute joy of every single interaction between Leopold and his precious sister. I am on the cusp, just waiting for our world to be turned upside down in the best of ways.
35 weeks today. So close and so far to meeting our baby girl.