I’m 31 1/2 weeks pregnant. I’ve had more weird hip issues, including one weekend in which my hip would randomly give out on me when I was trying to walk (super fun….). My back hurts, especially if I sit or stand for too long. Heartburn makes it uncomfortable to eat much in the evenings. Sprout has also started doing this charming thing where it seems like she’s trying to burrow her way out of belly elbow-first.
Despite these various discomforts, I’m wishing there were a way to prolong the period before Sprout’s arrival. I really want to have a second kid. And am so grateful that we’re getting close to having that happen, especially after the long slog to get here. But I’m not excited about having a newborn again and am not sure I’m ready for all of the changes that will entail.
Tadpole was not an easy infant. We spent the first six weeks struggling with breastfeeding before giving up and deciding to pump and bottle feed (which meant having to find time to do both). Plus Tadpole was what our lactation consultant called a “frisky fritter”–a kid who goes from perfectly content to blood-curdling “I’m starving and must be fed RIGHT NOW” screaming in about 7 seconds. And he had reflux, which meant more screaming. And of course there was the normal craziness of life with any newborn–sleep deprivation and not having any predictable routines and never being able to get anything done except feeding/changing/rocking the baby. I remember bursting into tears one evening when I realized that the load of laundry that I had put in the washing machine that morning was still there–I hadn’t even been able to complete a single load of laundry all day. There’s more about those early days with Tadpole here, but even just writing the above makes me a little queasy. Remind me why I thought it was a good idea to do this again???
I love our little family routines and rituals, and I’m not ready for them to be completely upended. We have systems for getting the three of us out the door in the mornings, and bedtime routines, and a plan for who drops off and picks up Tadpole on which days. And there are things that we do most weeks–cooking waffles on Saturday morning, going to the neighborhood farmers’ market on Tuesday evenings, cooking a big meal on Sundays (to allow for lots of leftovers during the week). I’m not sure what any of those routines and rituals will look like in the months following Sprout’s arrival. We’ll try to continue with as many of them as we can, but I also remember how topsy-turvy everything felt during the early months with Tadpole. We have a really great life right now, and I miss our little habits when they are disrupted. Besides, our current life is crazy and exhausting enough, without adding a newborn to the mix!
I’m hoping that one positive of having been through this once before is that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully we’ll be able to hold onto the knowledge that the crazy newborn stage doesn’t last forever, that all kids sleep through the night eventually, etc. Simply the fact that we’ve kept one kid fed and clothed for 4 1/2 years gives me confidence that we’ll somehow manage to do the same with a second. I know that our current patterns may be completely upset for a while, but we will find our way to new routines that will probably look not-so-different from the ones we have now. And we’ll be getting to know this new little being who we have waited so long for. I think once we are able to settle into life as a family of four it will be amazing. But I’m worried about the in-between time before we get there.