We have two weeks left of this pregnancy, Lord willing. It’s such a relief to feel that the end is near, in a sense…except that I’m starting to remember what happens after pregnancy. You bring home a baby.
Am I ready?
It’s the question everyone is asking me. It’s the question I’m asking myself. I always say yes. By this, I mean: I’ve washed some baby clothes, the nursery is organized and freshly decorated, we’ve stocked up on diapers and gentle soap and tiny socks. I’ve even gone above and beyond in some ways: I upgraded to a smartphone to occupy me during late-night feedings. I’ve stockpiled easy dinners in the freezer. I’ve deep-cleaned the rest of the house. I’ve gotten my toes freshly pedicured. I’ve made sure we have enough toilet paper, trash bags, and canned vegetables to last us for several months (we’re also ready for Y2K, should that be necessary).
But can you ever really be ready to bring home a baby? It’s like asking if you’re ready to get married, or to hit the button that launches the missile, or to step into the cage with the hungry lion. Or knowingly to walk into any other moment where a single second changes life forever, and there’s no going back.
I remember crying in the days after we brought Abby home, wishing for just a few hours to be left alone, with no traumatized body or worries about milk supply and ears deaf to crying babies. To drink a Dr Pepper and a margarita and to take allergy medicine while walking around Target, looking at whatever. I. wanted.
In short, just hours into being a mom, I wanted a break from being a mom, and I realized that a door had shut behind me that I could never walk back through.
It’s about to happen again, and it’s a little overwhelming. Once you know what it’s like to walk in front of a bus, you know how UN-ready you’ll be when you do it again, regardless of how many and onesies you’ve washed and folded and how many bills you’ve prepaid.
So I’m filling my days, having fun playing “Better stock up on the frozen waffles in case this is my last trip to the grocery store,” and setting my household in order as if I’m about to leave this earth forever instead of just bringing a newborn home. But I’m doing it all with the understanding that being Ready is pretty much an illusion.
Still, all these preparations are helping to make Tres’s arrival seem all the more imminent and real, and I’m thankful to feel my anticipation rising. Tres has been hiding while we’ve kept our eyes on Heaven and counted to 40. Now we’re almost done counting, and you know what comes next…