Friday, January 4, 2013

How a Type-A Mama Prepares for Birth

All my friends are cracking up at that title.  I'm a psycho.  I know it.  I like to double check every detail... of everything.  Okay... triple check.  As much as I'd love to say that getting ready for a third child has given me permission to just chill out, I still have a long way to go.  Just ask Teacher Man. He's been witness to the psychosis during his entire Christmas break.  Are you ready for this crazy list of behaviors he is observing?  Here goes...

I stockpile.  Like a chipmunk preparing for winter.  Right now our family has enough toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, personal care products, and household cleaners to get us through the first few months of life as a family of five.  I know.  I know.  The grocery store is right across the street, but I'm thinking that getting out with three children under the age of five in the middle of January will be a lot harder than just picking up some extras now.  A LOT harder.

I cook double.  I've been freezing a few extra casseroles and containers of soup.  I was way better at this before Benjamin was born.  Perhaps this is because we had more leftovers before Benjamin was born... hmmm....  I know I'll be grateful for each meal frozen when the busy days and long nights begin, but we have a freezer full of beef so I have limited space to hoard casseroles.  Limits are good.

I plan distractions.  Right now I have a basket full of surprises for the boys that can be pulled out only when I'm feeding baby sister.  I know my littler guy especially is going to struggle with sharing attention and time so I've got several things set aside to keep him busy during the hours that I'm nursing or catching a nap.  These distractions also include finally breaking down and investing in Amazon Prime.  Yes, I'm loving the two-day shipping; but I'm also really jazzed with all the seasons of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.  Way slower-paced than most of children's television produced these days, Mr. Rogers introduces my little guys to experiences and ideas in a gentle, non-threatening way.  And, yes, I'm pretty fascinated by the episodes where they explore how towels, crayons, graham crackers, etc. are made.

I keep the house current.  No telling when the next bathroom cleaning, bill paying, or laundry washing will be so I've been trying to stay on top of the household stuff so I can pay attention to all my little ones and not all my piles when I get home from the hospital.

I take my herbs and vitamins.  I think prenatal vitamins are pretty much amazing.  I rarely get sick when I'm pregnant, and I'm giving the vitamins all the credit.  Why I don't take them all the time, I have no idea.  Also, as I prepare for delivery, I've started taking evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf supplements to prepare my body for a (hopefully) smooth and short delivery.

I purge.  If we don't use it (or haven't used it in years), it goes.  No, I didn't get rid of the fine china, and I still have closets of stuff to prove that I'm a novice purger.  However, I've gone through a ton of drawers and closets to make sure that the things that we do need and use are at easy access.  I've also gone through my closet so that all the comfy clothes are at easy access because let's face it, I will be wearing comfy pants for a long time.

I prepare the nursery.  Okay, this is where the type-A in me really breaks out.  For whatever reason, having a little girl just felt different.  I wanted to create a different space for her.  Something completely new, fresh, and a little feminine to welcome our daughter home.  After weeks of sewing, framing pictures, and crafting, I'm 95% done.  Sigh.  Teacher Man spent a very long night hanging picture frames, moving furniture, and helping me set up the nursery so it was just. right.  Bless him for humoring the perfectionist in me.  Pictures to come soon.

I focus more on training the boys for independent play.  This has not been as easy as I thought it would be (the story of parenting, right?), but they are doing so. much. better.  Ben now realizes that he is expected to share and to be gentler with toys and people.  Caleb is acting more like a loving leader and less like a short-tempered dictator.  I consider this to be success.  They also have come to the amazing discovery that they don't always have to play together.  It's okay for one to color and the other to play with dinosaurs.  As long as they're both playing nicely, I'm a happy momma.

I sleep.  It's not like I can help it.  At the end of the day, I can't keep my eyes open.  Often I'm so tired, I don't even hear the boys if they wake up.  Teacher Man takes more than his fair share of the night calls so I can get as much rest as possible.  Not knowing when I'll be spending a full night laboring makes sleep even more critical as we get closer to the end of the pregnant days.

I talk about the baby. a lot.  It's not like it doesn't come up in conversation... with every stranger I meet.  I'm almost 39 weeks pregnant today so I'm rather rotund, and everyone from the check-out gal to our postman wants to know when the big day will be.  Join the club.  But the best conversations about this sweet girl have been happening with my sons and with Teacher Man, sharing our dreams and hopes for her little life and talking candidly about how different our little home will be when we're a family of five.  Different in amazing and hard ways but so right. So so right.

Yep.  I'm nesting, but the happy truth is that I see my list of things to be done getting shorter and my excitement over welcoming this sweet babe growing.  My hospital bag is packed.  My guys are prepped.  Just waiting for my daughter and the God of the universe to pick her birthday, but while I wait... might as well snuggle just a little closer to my little men... and throw in another load of laundry.


  1. Oh I just love reading this :) You have such a way of renewing my joy when my days seem to start out on such a rough note. {Thank You!} off to fix snack and start school...and get coffee!

  2. Love this!!!

    And I'm jealous about the MR. Rogers part. ;) I loved that show as a kid and would love to share it with my kiddos.

    I'm so excited for the arrival of this baby girl...