In the early days of pregnancy, one of the most frequently asked questions was, “So how are you feeling?”
These days, the questions I get asked the most are “Are you ready?” and “Do you wish the baby was just here already?”
The short answer to both of these questions is a loud and emphatic “NO.”
Let’s not even talk about parenthood yet. I’m not sure if anyone ever feels “ready” to become a parent – to be ready to love, nurture, protect, discipline, teach, and be responsible for another human being. . . maybe only those who are incredibly naive and extremely self-assured (like the girls on 16 and Pregnant).
And I’m not the slightest bit ready to broach the subject of labor and delivery quite yet either, so please spare me your horror stories about how your anus ripped to your vagina after three hours of pushing (or your boastful stories about how you labored at home until you were seven centimeters dilated and when you got to the hospital your baby just popped right out). I figure, since I have little to no control over what transpires during my labor and delivery, I won’t waste my wakeful hours worrying about it. Although, I did look Kevin straight in the face yesterday and ask him to pop me a Valium or shoot me with a tranquilizer gun when the time comes to leave for the hospital.
So what have I spent my time doing?
I believe it is commonly referred to as “nesting.”
And if by nesting, you mean running around like a chicken with its head cut off, then yes, that’s what I’ve been doing.
“They” (the experts or whoever gets paid to write these pregnancy articles) say that nesting begins around month 5, which I would say is pretty accurate. It started with my obsession with our floor. If there was a hair on the floor, I would pick it up. If there were crumbs, I would wipe them up as well. Pretty soon you would see me making my rounds through the kitchen, hunched over with an antibacterial wipe, desperately trying to catch any dirt, grime, or stray hairs. Using a vacuum would be too easy.
Then it became my incessant need to make sure the house was tidy before going ANYWHERE. If this meant being 15 minutes late because I had to make sure all of the remote controls were facing the correct direction and the couch cushions were aligned properly, then so be it. I had more important things to do.
These days it means going through all of our baby items, mentally cataloging what we have, what we need, what I can return and asking myself the following questions:
- Will the baby really need ALL of these toys?
- How many “newborn” onesies does a baby really need? What if she outgrows them in 2 weeks?
- Do I like this crib sheet?
- If I dress her in an all-green onesie, will people mistake her for a boy?
- Will I need a manual pump and an electric pump?
<Insert unsolicited advice here.>
Tonight, I spent the last three hours moving boxes of diapers and wipes from upstairs to downstairs, shuffling various baby items around from room to room, unpacking the 0-3 month clothes and separating them into colors and whites (since I’ll be going to buy Dreft tomorrow and Kevin promises to put the dresser together), and creating more mental checklists of things to do.
Paint – check. Carpet cleaning – check. Dresser – to be built tomorrow. Crib – next week. Install car seat. Make an appointment with the Santa Ana CHP to make sure car seat is installed correctly. Pack hospital bag.
I feel like a crazy person, and yet all of this is (apparently) completely normal. At least, that’s what I’m told. Or what “they” say.