I am 36 weeks pregnant. One week from full-term. One-and-a-half weeks from the point at which Corin made his appearance. It’s getting REAL over here, folks.
Midwife visits are weekly now. The infant car seat is strapped into its spot in the Jeep. The lovely cradle loaned to us by a friend is assembled next to our bed, cushioned with soft linens. Newborn clothes are washed and waiting in the nursery closet. Newborn-size diapers (good grief, do they really start out that tiny?!) are stacked in the changing table. Some sweet friends have planned a shower for me next Saturday night, and I think after that I’ll be able to say we’re pretty much ready.
But are we?! I am so excited about meeting our baby girl, holding her close, breathing in that helpless newborn sweetness, watching her change almost hour-to-hour. But oh, man. I’m also remembering the very long, sleepless nights, the constant feedings, the jaundice worries, the copious amounts of spit-up, and then I’m imagining tackling all that while also managing a very busy toddler. The only thing that keeps me from truly panicking is remembering that our mothers will be here to help with this transition. I was discussing with a friend the other day that bringing home a new baby really seems to be about a four-person job.
I’m also hoping that with a little experience under our belts, we’ll be a bit calmer and more equipped to handle the ins and outs of newborn parenting. Surely it will come back to us…?
This week Corin and I have spent a lot of quality time together. I took him to the mall, and we rode the carousel and treated ourselves to cookies. We went to Babies R’ Us, and Corin picked out a stuffed toy to give Baby Sister when she arrives. We joined friends for a fun play date at an indoor playground, and we spent time on the floor (much more a feat for one of us than it used to be) assembling elaborate webs of train tracks. I feel the need to soak him in, to store up these last moments of just us. A part of me is mourning the end of all this one-on-one time.
But ultimately, this transition is such an incredible blessing for our family. We’ll soon have another little person to love, with that priceless front-row seat to unfolding human development. Corin will learn important life lessons about adapting, about caring for someone smaller and weaker than himself, about sharing attention and possessions.
As I get physically more uncomfortable, I try to stay focused on absorbing every moment of this final stretch of pregnancy. I remember what a miracle it is that we are here, that this is happening, that the squirming and thumping that rocks my belly is really, truly a baby, our daughter, the answer to so many heartfelt prayers. What a gift!