Week 40-Examining my Motives

So I’ve been thinking. Why do I really want to get this kid out of me so much? After all, I know all the information out there about letting a baby come in his own time and not being born on due dates, and the like. And my number one priority this time has been to have a healthy natural birth. And just because he’s “due” today doesn’t mean anything really- everyone knows you don’t really set a date in the calendar and make flight arrangements and cancel plans based on that one date. Babies are unpredictable, as they like to remind/teach us from the very very beginning- even before the beginning! I know all this. But I have been so stuck on just wanting him to come out.

Some might suppose I’d want him out because I can’t really wait to hold him and meet my son. Well, sure. But since I don’t know him yet and I don’t know what it’s like to have a son, I haven’t really thought about that much, to be honest. I know that I will grow another heart when he comes out and I will love him and adore him just as much (but in a totally different way) as I love Hula Girl. I know he will be a joy and a struggle and a wonderful blessing in my life. But I can’t really fathom what that will be like yet, especially since I have been so focused on Hula Girl and Hula Girl alone for almost three years now. He’s actually kind of like an intruder into our special Mommy-Daughter-super-special-no-one-else-allowed-except-maybe-sometimes-Daddy club. And I am actually dreading the day when her priorities can’t be my priorities because his priorities are more important. What will that feel like for her? When she grows up, will she remember feeling left out or unimportant? Or will she only remember the good times, like when her baby brother is sleeping and I can spend 30 minutes snuggled up with her on the couch reading book after book after book? And then thinking about all these things with Hula Girl makes me sit and wonder what Gelato will be like. Will he want to snuggle? Will he want to wrestle? Will he be into reading like his sister? It’s so hard for me because I can see so much of Hula Girl’s personality and I’m really enjoying getting to know her. I can’t really remember a day in her life when she didn’t have a quirky little personality, and it’s hard to imagine another baby with a different personality… and then calling that baby mine, too. Freaky.

Another segment of the population might think my haste to kick this parasite out of my belly is due to my level of discomfort with him actually being in there. Absolutely. He is a PAIN in the back, the front, the sides, the middle, and all around. Literally. I have been waking more and more frequently at night from just plain pain. I can’t walk more than 25 yards at a time without feeling immense pain in my hip. I can’t lift my Hula Girl without feeling like I’m going to burst. And shaving my legs… well, let’s just say that if I could sleep with hairy legs, I would be far more comfortable during my 25-minute long showers these days. Seriously, ladies, try it. Put a beach ball down your shirt and then try to shave. Now imagine that beach ball is a human being who kicks and punches when you squish too hard. And the lower backaches. Yowza. I am grateful each night for my sister-in-law’s Christmas gift- a rice bag that I can heat and reheat and reheat and reheat to keep the pain-dulling warmth close as long as I need it. Yep, I feel a little ridiculous using a heat-giving rice bag during the middle of the hottest summer on record, especially when I wake up drenched with sweat, but that’s really what’s keeping me able to sleep even a little. Without that rice bag poor Jonathan’s hands would be sore and tired from having to rub my back constantly. So thank you, Jenn, from both of us. By the way, please do not recommend a heating pad. I will not be able to sleep with one in my bed since… um… they are electrical and I don’t do electricity in my bed. The rice bag is better anyway- it can mold and shape to my exact specifications. And if you do choose to recommend a heating pad after all that, I just might have to throw my rice bag in your face’s direction. That is all.

But neither of the aforementioned theories is correct. Do you know why I want this kid out so badly? It is one hundred percent pure selfishness on my part: I want Jonathan to come home. The past few weeks have been the hardest ones of my life. Here I am parenting a toddler (a very active, very in-her-testing-phase two-year-old to be exact), and life is not dull. All I want is to collapse on the couch during the heat of the day, go for long walks during the coolness of the mornings and evenings (“coolness” is relative- it’s been about 75 here in the evenings and mornings), take warm soothing baths whenever I feel a backache, watch movies that match my mood, and eat healthy but delicious foods. Instead I am chasing and disciplining and providing learning opportunities for my super bright and therefore not easily amused child, making breakfast and getting said toddler’s room ready for bedtime, unable to take baths since the bath shares a wall with toddler’s crib and running the water would wake her up, unable to watch movies because we have a strict ban on TV viewing in our household for anyone under the age of three, and grabbing snacky foods that fit my elimination diet whenever I have time to do so between the cleaning up and the setting up and the playing and the reading and the sunscreening and the bathing and the helping and the corralling and the loving and the kissing and the constant constant constant awareness that I need to just drink this in because she’s never going to be this same age ever again and I want to relish every moment for what it is.

I would be able to do all the fun things, like watching her become smarter and more beautiful by the second, while laying on the couch if Jonathan were home. I would be able to sneak away and take a bath. I would be able to make food that I can actually enjoy and eat. I would be excused from the hard stuff, like lifting and sunscreening (is there anything worse than trying to put sunscreen on a wiggly toddler whose skin tone matches Casper’s? honestly? anything more difficult?) and disciplining and physically playing. I would get to enjoy snuggles and reading and kisses and amazement… all from the comfort of the floor or a chair. Jonathan is an amazing father, and when he’s home, it’s a truly welcome and wonderful break for me. He makes time and makes sure Hula Girl knows how much he loves her by engaging her in creative play, careful discipline, emotional development, and so on. I can rest assured that when he’s home, it’s not all on me, and in fact, if we’re going to be quite honest here, it’s mostly on him. He takes it on and loves on us and cares for us like no one else could possibly ever do.

So when I say I want Jonathan home, it is purely selfish. And he’s not going to be home until Gelato’s out. Because his work is actually being really awesome and flexible with his schedule. He was originally slated to take off work starting today, but since no little gnome has popped up in our crib yet, he is at work. And there he will stay until Gelato appears. I have been anxiously awaiting and looking forward to Jonathan’s presence at home ever since the plans were made back in May. And now I am truly disappointed that I have to wait. Because it’s not just having to wait to see him… it’s having to wait to take a break from being a full-time Mommy of a toddler (yes, I realize that once Gelato gets here, I will be a full-time Mommy of a toddler AND a newborn- but I am pretty darn sure that will be physically easier on my body than being ginormously pregnant while being a full-time Mommy of a toddler). Oh, I am so looking forward to the time when we start to develop our new lives and new routines as a family of four. How sweet to have such a great time together planned… how bittersweet when those plans get postponed!

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Jeremy Irish said,

    August 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    How have you explained “having a little brother” to Hula Girl?

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      To the best of our ability. She has seen quite a few new little brothers at storytime lately, and we’ve been reading a lot of books that talk about bringing a baby home and how the big siblings feel. She has been very involved in getting Gelato’s room ready and she is very excited to feel my “mummy” move all the time. We’ve also talked up her ability to help lately. I have been quite intentional about focusing on the “helping” part while reminding that she is Mommy and Daddy’s little girl and we’ll always be there for her. I have also glossed over sections of books that talk about the older siblings wanting more attention and feeling jealous. After all, why plant seeds? If we have to cross that bridge, we will… but mostly I just want to have him enter our family as a welcomed member rather than the center of all our attention. (Whoops, I wrote a much longer response than your question required.)

      • Jeremy Irish said,

        August 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        Long response <—- nervous energy, perhaps? 😉 Praying for you guys.

  2. Kristy said,

    August 9, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I recognize all those feelings about having a new baby join the family when the focus has been almost 100% on the first child for years. Exactly. To be honest, I still (sometimes) wish I could focus more on every detail of our older son’s life like I used to. But I think it is better for him that I can’t do that. It’s more life-like. 🙂 And then we have this whole new joy in our family. He’s similar in some ways, totally different in others…it’s really fun. I can’t wait to read more about your family as time goes on!


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