What a week! It’s been a pretty insane emotional roller coaster and it’s quite a hard to sum up. But I’m going to try so please excuse a jumble of mommy/preggie brain thoughts.
It’s always encouraging to reflect when you can’t even remember what happened two days ago! I know that this week has consisted of two really productive days but also two days that I was just relieved to see the back of.
Monday and Tuesday saw a lot of change in our house in preparation for the imminent arrival of a new baby. I left my daughter in the care of my sister to go to the hospital. It was a bit surreal sitting in the small room for pre-admissions as a lady filled out a booking sheet. Yes, I’ve reached that point in the pregnancy…I booked a bed in the maternity ward. It felt strange to be doing it again so soon. But even weirder was the fact that this pregnancy still hasn’t quite hit home. To say that I’m running out of time for it to dawn on me is an understatement! As I drove and saw the hospital across the highway, it dawned on me that the next time I walk through the doors, it would be to have a baby! It was great to have the bed booking ticked off my “To-Do List” and I drove home feeling that much lighter. Upon arriving home, I noticed that my kind sister had hung up the rest of my washing that I had abandoned outside in my rush to make it to my appointment. And if that wasn’t enough, I walked in to see a shining arrangement of clean dishes! I could’ve kissed her! Two minutes after my arrival, she handed me a cup of tea. What a legend! My neighbour, who had rocked up, also made my happy day by suggesting we move things through to my daughter’s new room – something I was secretly hoping both my sister and she would offer to help with and something I’d been itching to do but needed help with the heavier stuff. Within half an hour, the shell of the spare room was transformed into a little girl’s bedroom. My sister gallantly heaved the bookshelf on her own as I am petrified of bringing on early labour! My neighbour (my best friend since primary school) wasted no time in bringing through armfuls of stuffed toys. I watched in sheer delight as things began to take shape and then started shifting toys around, dusting down furniture and pulling out a brand new, clean butterfly duvet cover. All the while, my daughter toddled around, delighted at the commotion of moving all her things to a new space. Over the next hour, I moved all her clothes across and found myself trying to process the end of a chapter in her little life.
It was actually happening now. Sorting out her room was something I’d wanted to do all holiday. I was so excited to play interior decorator, so full of anticipation and yet, when I found myself actually moving things and watching her baby room become a shell, my heart cried. People can tell you time goes fast. People tell you to treasure all the moments. But, let’s be honest, parenting is hard! It’s hard to treasure the moments when you are just hoping you make it to the end of the day sane, fed and clean. Tiny kiddies demand your constant attention, supervision and brain energy. And it’s no joke when you are a one man show most of the day! I would love not to do the dishes and play with my child! I would much rather be painting with her than hanging up washing! And yes, some days, those things can wait. But most of the time, it’s a crazy muddle to try and stay on top of everything. It’s not easy to stop and cherish the moments when life has to carry on because clothes pile up in the bathroom, a whirlwind of a toddler hits and mouths need to be fed.
Yet I find myself packing a cupboard of toddler clothes or stripping her cot linen for the last time and guilt and sadness overwhelm me. What have I missed? What opportunities did I shrug off because I “didn’t have the time” or patience or energy? Just like that, her baby years are done!
The following night was her first night sleep in her new bed. At bed time, I tell her it’s time for bed – we’ve just finished her Bible story in her new room – and she runs out. I ask her where she’s going and she points to her old room and responds with, “Cot.” My heart skips a beat as I explain that she’s going to sleep in her new bed. Again she points, “Cot.” I take her through and stand over the cot with her, the bare mattress exposed and the mosquito net tied in a knot and struggle to process the words that are coming out of my mouth.
“Look, my darling, it’s empty. Your lion’s not here. Your dummy’s not here. You’re going to sleep in your new bed.”
She cries as we leave her in the bed a few minutes later – not unusual of late – but when my husband goes through to her, the cry I hear is not what I expect.
Normally we get an,
“Out!” (as in I want to get up). But no, tonight, through tears, all I hear is ,
My heart wants to break! She’s still a baby in many respects. Would we have moved her to a big bed so early if Baby 2 wasn’t on the way? In all likelihood, no. Again, guilt chokes me. Are we making her grow up too fast?
Monday, I booked my hospital bed, swapped my daughter’s room (with the help of two dear ladies) and did the remainder of the washing (prem and newborn stuff). Let me tell you, hanging those tiny outfits on the line was rather sobering.
Tuesday was also productive. I managed to get all the baby washing folded and packed into the cupboard. We have a lot of baby clothes! I reorganised all the baby linen and packed away clothes that constructed precariously balanced towers in the hanging cupboard that no longer fit my daughter. After organising the cupboards, I vacuumed the floor and shifted things to make the baby room look a little less disorganised.
I pulled out two packets and started to pack hospital bags for the baby and myself. Crazy, maybe? But last time I was caught off guard. And, if I am allowed to go into labour naturally this time, there’s no time to find clean underwear and try and pull suitcases down, especially now that we have a toddler to think about as well! Last time, the nursery was absolute chaos. And I cannot tell you how much it bugged me on my return from hospital but there was absolutely nothing I could do about for at least two weeks because my recovery process so long! I want to be prepared this time!
But it was sobering to pack vaseline, a new dummy and maternity pads. Suddenly things began to feel a bit to real.
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to meet this baby!
But I am scared! I am nervous! I am anxious! Things are different this time!
I know what to expect and that makes things a whole lot harder. Surely it would make things easier? I’m not so sure!
One day, I’ll do a post on my caesarean experience(s). I’m just waiting for Baby 2 before I do. But I really, really battled on so many levels with having a caesar. I was given awful drugs afterwards that made me slur my speech, see stars, get pins and needles, have an out-of-body experience and feel like I was falling. On top of all that, I couldn’t do so much as blow my nose and my belly screamed in pain. It took me a week to walk down the stairs, two to sleep flat on my back and six to feel normal. And, to be honest, my biggest fear is my daughter. She has to cope with a new sibling. Biggest life adjustment ever at this age! Mommy and Daddy’s attention is no longer undividedly hers. This new baby will be on my lap when she wants to be. Guys, I just want to cry thinking about those little hands grasping at my knees and saying “Up.” Not only will I not be able to pick her up when I’m holding a newborn but, judging, by my previous recovery, it will be a good few weeks before I’ll be able to lift her again. My heart is sobbing already!! Not only is she going to have a dysfunctional, tired mommy but she will also have to cope with having to grow up quickly. And it feels like my fault.
I’m sure we’ll all be fine! Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. Maybe I just need to take a step back and remember the bigger picture here. Of course she won’t be scarred for life. But, truthfully, being in those moments when I have to actually deal with those situations scares me.
I also feel thinly spread already. How am I possibly going to divide my attention, love and mental energy again? Truth be told, I’m terrified! I’m sure I’ll be able to zoom out in a few days time and realise that things will be okay. I pray that I will trust God, His faithfulness and His knowledge of and His love for me.
But right now, I’m nervous and I’m anxious. Right now, I am excited and heartsore. And I’m not going to pretend that I’m feeling any other way. No pretty pins or filtered Instagram pictures here…this is real life.Tags: arrival, baby, changes, feelings, hard, hard times, little girl, mommyhood, new baby, new bed, new beginnings, new room, new routine, newborn, nursery, processing thoughts, room, routine, sobering, toddler