Transition | Transition of seasons; from single to couple; from couple to parents; from one to many. It’s that time of year when the high summer sun starts to sink, and we all start to long for long sleeves. How is your life changing. How are YOU changing?
This month’s Project Reverb prompt is about transitions.
Um, yeah, to say this prompt is rather timely is putting it mildly. We have only nine weeks until Baby V 2.0 arrives. NINE WEEKS. Take out time for lots of other stuff that we have going on between now and then (finishing and setting up the basement, our anniversary, Teddy’s birthday, the return of pumpkin spice lattes to the Starbucks menu) and we’re basically down to days.
And what have we done to prepare for this rather, um, major transition?
Ok, so not exactly. After all, I’ve kept up my end of the whole gestation bargain, getting bigger and more unwieldy by the day. I’ve dutifully gone for bloodwork to monitor my thyroid levels and for my now-every-two-weeks OB visits and cut the fat and dairy out of my diet.
But it turns out that while those things may make for a healthy baby (key, duh), they don’t do a whole lot to, you know, arrange for the kiddo’s impending arrival.
Everyone says the second kid gets the shaft. I’m just getting her started early. In our defense, we *have* been dealing with the finishing-the-basement project for the whole summer, and we did buy a crib and a bureau this weekend. You can put a baby in a crib that’s in pieces in a cardboard box, right? Or maybe just use the cardboard box as the crib?
At this point in my pregnancy with Teddy, we had: Cleared out the nursery, followed by pouring over paint chips and painting the room just the right color of gray-blue.
This time: I’m sure the current shade of yellow in the spare bedroom will work just fine. As soon as the basement is finished and we can move the shit out of the spare bedroom to actually get a look at the walls.
Teddy: Painstakingly researched organic crib mattresses, followed by buying one with plenty of time to let it off-gas in advance of his arrival.
This time: My sister sent me the link to the mattress I should get a couple of months ago. I think I still have it in my phone. I have plenty of time…right?
Teddy: Checked out pages and pages of Etsy shops to find just the right baby book. (And it really was SO cute.)
This time: Do I even bother? Will I ever write in it? Is it worth the money? If I buy one, I should get the same one, right, or I’m dooming kiddo #2 to forever play second, cheaper fiddle. I should bother. Wait – that means I have to figure out where I got the first one.
Teddy: Lists upon lists had been made for what to bring to the hospital and what to have on hand at home. I bet I’d even started packing.
This time: Oh, right. Packing. Probably not a bad idea to think about that. Where the hell is the bag I’d want to bring? Oh, right – covered in construction dust in the basement.
Teddy: Signed up for (and had taken? Who can remember?) birthing and breastfeeding classes. Dutifully listened to much-needed relaxation, meditation, and birth prep podcasts. Made two labor and delivery playlists of hundreds of favorite songs.
This time: I *did* pre-register at the hospital last week, and I signed up for a nursing refresher class. Pretty sure I’ve listened to my relaxation podcasts at least once or twice, but I think I fell asleep during them. More concerned with remembering to bring an eyemask than playlists for the hospital (the pros of knowing there probably won’t be a long labor with a planned c-section).
So, yeah, there are a few things to be done before the kiddo’s arrival. But in many ways, it’s easier to focus on that seemingly never-ending to-do list than to think about the real transition that’s coming – the one where we go from a family of three to one of four, and all the emotional and life changes that will bring for all of us.
I’ve read enough “second kid” stories to have faith that I’ll love the next one as much as I love Teddy. But there’s so much else that’s unknown: how she’ll be different from her brother, and how that will mean I’ll need to be different too; how to make sure Teddy feels secure amid so much change; how to maintain the good division of labor that B and I have settled on until now; how to once again find the time to take a shower and brush my teeth and sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time.
It seems that most of the change I’m anticipating doesn’t fit neatly onto a to-do list, and can’t easily be figured out in advance.
So, for now, I’ll focus on the little things. Like stocking up on teeny-tiny diapers and remembering how to put an outfit over a newborn’s floppy head. There must be a YouTube video for that, right?