Baby #3: Stuff Undone
I have no idea if this is status quo for your third kid or not, but if I had to define this pregnancy in a single phrase it would be “the one where I didn’t do stuff.” Bill remarked the other night about how he felt more prepared for our other two births. He said he didn’t feel like he’d really processed that another baby was coming in the house. I agreed. I proposed, “Maybe it’s that with the first baby, you have no idea what to expect, so you over-prepare. Then with the second baby, you think you know what to expect, so you spend all this time feeling smug about your parental preparedness. By the third baby, you have this realization that you can’t prepare, so you just don’t and therefore spend the entire pregnancy is a state of denial.” That has, at least, been the trend for us and Baby #3. For example, here’s a list of shit that I have just plain not done with this pregnancy:
1. Written Thank You notes:
I was given a baby shower in November. Know when I started writing my Thank Yous? Today. Now, on one hand, I do take some time to write thoughtful thank yous, but on the other hand, not writing them has just been a part of the denial, I think. I’d been telling myself that once I quit working, I’d jump on them. Well, I quit working two weeks ago. Again, I just started the thank yous today. Hopefully I’ll get them written before the baby comes because I know how motivated I’ll be to write them then. And then another group told me they wanted to give me a shower a week or so ago. I felt immediately overwhelmed, then tried to think how to decline, then felt ungrateful for wanting to decline when people wanted to do something that they think is nice, while at the same time wishing that people wouldn’t be nice to me. So yeah. Thank you notes.
2. Solved the car seat conundrum:
Last week, Bill and I finally decided to experiment with having three car seats in the back of a Honda CR-V and a Ford Escape. It did not go well. There was a lot of profanity involved. Mostly from me. We ended up ordering latch extenders so that maybe Will will be able to buckle himself into his seat which solves the biggest problem of not being able to even access Will’s seatbelt latch because it’s buried under the car seat of one of his siblings. The thing is even though Will can now ostensibly buckle himself in regardless of whose car seat is next to him, we can’t figure out whose seat to put where. Ideally, Will would go in the middle because he’s the most self-sufficient. Also, John is very likely to use his little sister in her backwards-facing bucket as a storage receptacle/punching bag. He’s just that kind of guy. But Will can’t go in the middle because the latch extender doesn’t work for the middle buckle of a Honda CR-V. Loading either baby car seat into the middle though, is a giant pain, not only because there aren’t latch hooks under the seat there, but because slinging the bucket over a car seat into the middle will be physically daunting. Likewise, trying to buckle John into the middle after putting the bucket with the baby in will be equally challenging. I personally have a solution and it looks like this:
But this person is being recalcitrant and is persisting in his own denial that we can fit all three kids and their car seats into the back seat of our SUVs:
I will win this war. But it might take time. And the baby might be 17 before I win it.
3. Packed my hospital bag:
When I was pregnant with Will, I packed a full suitcase probably like seven weeks before he was born. It wasn’t the biggest piece of my luggage, but it was that second size down. Like the bitch had wheels. Then I had Will and realized that I didn’t use any of the stuff in that suitcase. I wore the hospital gown, the hospital maxipads and ice packs, and the hospital even provided these industrial-sized underpants that weren’t so much lingerie as they were ace bandages for the ass cut into a helpful pants-like shape. I found those to be quite sufficient to contain the post-birth carnage and didn’t care that a couple of pairs fell as casualties of war. Furthermore, they were quite stretchy, so they held both the sofa-pillow maxipad and the icepack nicely and securely in place. So when John came along, I packed a 1′ by 8″ by 6″ duffle bag with an outfit for me and for the baby to go home in, a pair of pajamas in case I got optimistic, a nursing bra, as well as my toiletry bag, though it only contained make up and toothbrush/paste because I don’t take showers in the hospital. It grosses me out. I wait until I get home. For this baby? Well, she’s due in 1-2 weeks, depending on who you ask and I haven’t even considered packing a bag. I’ll probably grab a Target bag on the way out the door, throw an outfit for the baby in it, my toiletry bag, nursing bra, and the iPhone charger and be done with it. I’ll just wear the clothes I arrived to the hospital in home.
4. TMI ALERT! Had my cervix checked.
Once you hit 36 weeks, you start to get a new perk to your now weekly OB appointments known as the cervix check. This optional service lets you know if your junk has started to open up and thin out in preparation for birth. With Will, I thought I was tough shit when they told me my cervix was dilated to 1cm. I went home and expected to be in labor in mere moments. Then the next week, it moved to 2cm. “Wow,” I thought. I’m really doing well at this. I’m clearly a cervix-dilating savant. Surely he’ll come this week.” The next week, I was still at 2cm. I thought the world had ended. He would surely never be able to get out of my body. My body was stalled and I had no idea how to jump-start it. At 39 weeks, I was at 2.5cm. And since I was a gestational diabetic for that pregnancy, we scheduled my induction. So the pressure was off. I had no such perk with John. I got my cervix checked at every opportunity. Four days before he was born, I was at 3cm. And I still had to wait four days. Despite knowing the productivity level of my cervix, I still had NO idea when he would arrive. With this pregnancy, they’ve offered me a cervix check a couple of times and I’ve declined. I’ve learned that the state of one’s cervix means absolutely nothing. And between all the Braxton Hicks contractions that get rather strong and will come a three minute intervals for hours, I don’t need anymore cause for false hope. Now, if one day the cervix starts issuing notarized and legally binding print outs stating the date that it will dilate to a full ten centimeters, I might let them start checking my cervix again. Until then, no thanks. My cervix has been through enough.
5. Ironed the baby’s sheets.
The nursery is assembled. But Bill did it. And so he went ahead and put the bedding on, but because he’s only got one X chromosome, he didn’t notice the fact that it all would look so much nicer if it were IRONED. In fact, he told me the crib skirt was too long and I was like, “That’s because you’ve got to raise the mattress for newborns, remember?” He’s got it down almost to floor level, like you have it when your kids learn to sit up/pull up and you don’t want them to dive out of their crib one morning while you lie in bed and try to pretend that you don’t know they’re awake. He also didn’t iron the crib sheet. This un-ironed crib sheet is irritating the shit out of me, but not enough to actually do something about it. Plus, as I remember, all of my babies slept right next to or on me for the first few months anyway. To think that this baby will just go sleep in her crib for long enough to justify the hours of rocking then trying to nonchalantly transfer the baby to the crib without her noticing to having her start crying five minutes later is just plain more optimism than I am, quite frankly, capable of at this point. In fact, I don’t know if the last sentence I wrote even makes sense.
So yes. I hope this baby comes soon. By my calendar and the 33 week ultrasound, I am 39 weeks pregnant. The doctors think I’m 38 weeks based on the eight week ultrasound. Either way, if previous birth trends hold up, I’m looking at 1-2 weeks more of being pregnant. I wish that I would give birth tonight. I’m huge. I cannot get any bigger. I will explode. But I’m just saying that whenever the baby comes, I will not be ready. Still… in looking back, no matter what I thought, I really wasn’t ready for the other two either.
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