How many classes does one need to successfully have/raise a baby? I feel like I’m in baby college. There are online modules and in-person demonstrations and tutorials and research studies and books. Topics range widely from healthy pregnancy to happy birthing to soothing crying newborns to parenting strategies. I have homework to do every day, and there’s no way I can absorb all this information! The last few weeks have felt like an increasing tornado of parenting information, until it’s reached the point where everything is just swirling around me.
Do we really need all this? Where’s the natural part, where our instincts kick in and we respond to the tiny human we’ve created in a way that works for her and for us? I’ve never heard of another animal needing this much prep to raise one of its young. There’s a part of me that just believes we can do this. Without “strategies.”
I spend my days reading, information seeking, then detoxing from information overload and rebelling against the books. It’s a ridiculous cycle and I’m hoping that when she’s here, we’ll just be able to do what feels right. For our family of three.
How many tiny footed pants and impossibly small dresses make one load of laundry? It seems to be the first of many answers I will soon come to by trial and error.
In these last weeks (?) of in-between, I’m caught in a tumultuous game of red-light-green-light, where half my time is spent appreciating the now, reminding myself to savor these days, hoping this girl keeps cooking until she’s nice and plump, finishing final preparations. The other half is spent tossing and turning at night with aches, pain and anxiety, hoping she’ll come today so that I might not have to go to work, making “last minute” (or last month) lists upon lists upon lists of things that need doing, wondering whether we’ve prepared enough, worrying about lead paint.
And so I sit here this morning in my silent apartment, listening to the sounds of the city around me, pulled vigorously in two directions, while two floors down the tiny clothes whirl their way to cleanliness.
Only 5% of babies are born on their due date. I hope that means she’ll be making her appearance a bit early. Either way, one month from today is our due date, and this little one will be fully cooked. It’s been a much different experience than I anticipated– so much more to worry about! When I envisioned pregnancy, I always thought it would be exciting, special, a bit uncomfortable, but ultimately awesome. It has been those things, but it’s also been terrifying, uncontrollable, and remarkably more difficult than I ever realized it could be. Now, at nearly 36 weeks, I just can’t wait to meet this little one. It’s odd to feel like you know someone, and have spent every hour with them for months, but really not know them at all. I’m feeling ready to get to know this little one.
I’m not sure what it is about me that lets people know I’m open to hand-me-downs. I’ve been on the receiving end of them all my life, as the younger sister and youngest cousin, and I must just give off a vibe. Or perhaps it’s our apartment filled with mismatched furniture– mostly hand-me-downs from grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, friends of the family. Whatever the reason, I’m always grateful to be the recipient of other’s castoffs. (Is that weird?)
With this new babe on the way, we’ve been generously given tons of clothes and various baby items. So much so that I had to put some of them into “storage” (under the crib), since they won’t be used for at least a year. Thanks to hand-me-downs, our girl already has a little box of toys, a dresser full of clothes, diapers to last the first couple of months, and things like a bathtub and bouncer. I’ve been wondering how to raise a firstborn (never having been one myself), and I think this is a pretty good place to start.
We are just back in town. From a cross-country drive (at 32 weeks pregnant), a rainy family reunion, yet another great marathon (Kyle, not me), a visit with our sweet nephew. Back to heat and humidity and an overgrown garden. Back to work and back to prepping for baby while trying to enjoy our last couple of months as child-free people. Is it just me, or is this summer flying by awfully quickly?
(My mom’s side of the family… complete with two babes in utero!)
It’s been a while. For a while I was trying to wrap my head around putting my life on the internet, especially with the recent changes going on around here. There were things I wanted to share, and things I didn’t want to share, and I just wasn’t really sure where to begin. I still don’t have answers, but I’m back anyways. I think.
I don’t journal, though I’d like to be the type. I like to look back at my life, not only in pictures but in words that convey the way it felt while I was in the thick of it. And so, I’ll continue on here, since there are some big happenings occurring. I hope you don’t mind.
Since I last posted, I’ve added the most perfect nephew in the world, Winston Reed.
As well as adding a bit to my belly!
We have just over two months until we welcome our girl, and it’s been a road filled with all sorts of emotions. I can’t wait to meet her.