Preparing for a Second Child

There’s a crisp, coolness to the air for the last week, and it’s leading me to believe that in fact, fall has come and worse, winter is coming. To most New Englanders, this weather probably feels like a normal temperature fluctuation for September, but for me, it makes me think of football on Thanksgiving in my Grandma’s backyard.

The problem with that is Thanksgiving is one week after my due date, and therefore, my baby could pop out at any given moment, or more realisticly, my marathon labor. And not-so-coincidentally, my heart rate is increasing from the adrenaline rush that EVERYTHING BABY MUST GET DONE NOW, which I’m sure is healthy and ‘normal’. Riiiiight. This phenomenon is most commonly known as ‘nesting’, but it puts me on an anxious, demanding pursuit to accomplish everything and find no rest in anything I do time capsule till D-day. Or Birth Day. Or whatever you want to call it.

Here’s how this list looks currently:

I’ve decided to make Marin 25 days of Christmas crafts to occupy her in our realistic, but overdramatic, parental absence once her sibling arrives.

I cannot draw a straight straight line (as opposed to a crooked straight line) with a ruler no matter how hard I try, and I’m sure all of the 200 quilt squares I’ve cut are not the exact 6’x6’ size they need to be. This quilt, however, is my favorite labor of baby love. If I could lock myself into a sewing room forever…

I’m creating spreadsheets of practical ways that company and friends can help us individually postpartum, local attractions and parks, takeout menus, favorite foods, and a daily checklist. I have fooled myself into thinking these sheets will somehow allow someone to read my mind moment-by-moment in the newborn fog that awaits us. I’m calling it the “Postpartum Playbook” so it will seem like a friendly, if-you-are-in-my-home-you-must-be-helpful binder.

Oh, and let’s add on the fact that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all coming up. You may look at your calendar and logically say “It’s 6 weeks till…”, and what do I see? I see it’s only 6 weeks to finish my quilt, Marin’s scrapbook, and then turn Mike into King Triton in time for one night’s celebration. Apparently, I take a crazy pill every night with my prenatals.

Remind myself continually that people are more important things. This is the greatest thing Janna Fisher has taught me recently, by teaching it to her kids continually, and I reiterate this mantra when I could do something important to me (or ‘for the baby’) vs. play with Marin vs. hang out with Mike or friends. People matter, and I’m reminding myself of that, and making myself spend quality time with Jesus daily and co-lead a women’s community group with our church weekly too. Not because I don’t feel those things are important to me or others, but because right now, my natural impulse is to become a hermit that sleeps 11 hours at night and focuses solely on my never-ending, never-ceasing to-do list during waketime periods (read: be selfish 24/7). It’s a funny thing how much stillness means to me in a time where I want to be nothing but moving or asleep and honestly, alone. Rest and loving others feels elusive most days, and they absolutely are for me when it’s just down to my own capabilities. Caffeine can only do so much, friends.

All that to say, when you see me, I may be spazzy or tired. Not because I shouldn’t be – toddlers and third trimesters present their own beautiful mix of energy loss – but because I am finding it hard to rest. As a result, I’m having to force myself to wind down because otherwise, I lie in bed for hours and can’t sleep and the next day which translates into I’m-a-lethargic-mess-struggling-to-make-it-to-Marin’s-naptime day. It’s a cycle that I’m figuring out, and will probably figure out every third trimester as the needs of another child present themselves in new, unprecedented ways.

Nesting for one was very different. I was home from 32 weeks on when my school job ended, and I could eat whenever, work on projects whenever, and sleep whenever. This time, it feels like a frantic rush where I try to not be Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada exerting my authority over every task that could possibly get done in the next (gulp) 2 months (as of tomorrow!!!). This feels like go, go, GO! and it’s an impossible mixture of unrealistic expectations meeting important, and some much less important, demands. My goal is to get this list done, and to watch the Macy’s Day Parade with a fresh newborn in my arms, stuffing my face with egg and sausage casserole and preparing to devour turkey for lunch and dinner without leaving the couch. Because I’m calling it now, this Turkey is coming out early Thanksgiving morning at 41 weeks. Oh second child, make my day, and let me introduce you to all the wonder that the Mariah Carey Christmas Pandora station is…

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