This week it finally hit me: I'm totally pregnant!
I had been thinking about this kind of mythic future labor and delivery, and baby, but over the past several days I've realized the realness of it all. I'm almost at the half-way point! And there is STUFF to FIGURE OUT, you guys!
I've been poring over books and blogs, trying to jog my memory on how to get the baby out (exercises for labor, here we go!) and what to do with her once she's here. Almost four-and-a-half years later, I have almost no recollection of what caring for a newborn entails. I remember the breastfeeding, the swaddling, and the despair. The second time around, I hope to do it without the despair.
After several trips to the attic, most of our baby gear has reemerged. I'm still missing a few things, but everything crucial is here. As I wash and fold Westley's old clothes, I cannot believe how many pairs of pajamas there are. Based on our stash, you'd think that was all he wore for the first two years of his life! This new babe is set for sleepwear! I'm just not sure where to put it all.
Some days it seems as though there's barely room for the three of us in our little house; I can't imagine what it will be like when it's the four of us. Westley has been adamant that the baby's crib go in his room—which I'm totally down with except that Westley's room is teeny and already filled with a huge bookshelf and a rocker and about 78 gazillion stuffed animals. I've thought a few times about trying to make a proper nursery (!!!) out of the playroom. I'd hate to lose the option of a playroom, but it's currently more of a storage area for Westley's toys when they're not spread all over the living room. Either arrangement would require some clever rearrangement, to say the least.
The news has started to come out. Westley spilled the beans at preschool, so almost all of the co-op parents know about my pregnancy. And last Thursday, some of Rob's extended family was visiting from Alaska and he shared the news with them.
Everyone's first question, complete with knit brows, is "How are you feeling?" which always makes me feel like I've been diagnosed with some rare, incurable disease. The answer is fine, I feel fine and they're oh so relieved, heaving a huge sigh. A huge weight has been lifted.
I really do feel fine, most days. I get Braxton-Hicks contractions almost every time I stand in the kitchen, which is interesting. I feel lousy if I eat too much fat in one meal, or when I roll over in the night and my stomach muscles practically squeak they stretch so tight. I can't just roll, in fact. I do this weird, push-up/plank hybrid (half-asleep, in the middle of the night) to turn over. It's not a problem per se, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.
Fortunately, I'm still able to sleep comfortably in my usual position, 3/4 of the way on my stomach, with one leg pulled up. I can even manage without a bathroom trip most nights. Yesterday morning, however, I got up to pee at 1:00 AM, and when I crawled back in bed, the baby was ready to par-TAY! I'm trying to get back to sleep, and she's down there: thump...thump...thump...steeeee-retch...thump.
I feel a little baby movement every day now. It's a few light taps every now and then, usually 15 minutes after I eat, but most of the time it feels like she's arching her back or slowly rolling over.
In addition to Westley's hand-me-downs, baby girl already has a little thrifted wardrobe of her own, including a 12-month size navy blue sailor dress that just I couldn't resist. She also received her first present this week—from her big brother. Westley came home from a visit with my parents cheekily holding something behind his back.
"I have a surprise for you."
And beaming, he handed me a little plush ladybug with a rattle inside. He had picked it out himself. "Do you think the baby will like it?"
"It's perfect, buddy. I think she'll love it."