Week 36: Sort of Ready for Another Baby
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
I’m sort of ready to have another baby.
We bought a new car. The thought of shoving two car seats into the back of my Honda Civic was just… No.
We bought the Civic in 2006, shortly after we got married. So it is probably time to move on. Although, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a creature of habit and unless I see a real need to buy something else, I’m usually good with what I have. Indefinitely.
A larger car meant either a minivan (No), an SUV (maybe?), or a station wagon (Am I becoming my parents?).
In the end, I fell in love with a Subaru Outback. We bought one this past week.
Do I have to call it a station wagon? Because it feels a whole lot better than the Buick station wagon that I rode around in as a child.
I think I’ll just call it a Subaru.
All year, Doug has had the goal of “getting the baby’s room ready.” Which is actually a three-step process.
- Convert the “overflow room” into Felicity’s new bedroom. (Run new wiring for a ceiling fan, redo/paint the walls)
- Convert Felicity’s bedroom into Doug’s office.
- Convert Doug’s office into the new baby’s room.
So far, we are approaching the end of step # 1.
In the process, Doug’s office has become the “overflow room.” And the baby’s things (a combination of Felicity’s old things and some new things) are chillin’ in the hallway.
If this were my first baby, this would totally freak me out. Before Felicity was born, I needed–at the very least–the appearance that we were prepared to have a baby around the house.
This time, my checklist is much shorter.
1.) Is the car seat in the car?
2.) Do we know where the old baby things are?
3.) Do we have diapers and bottles on hand?
Doug, on the other hand, is much more freaked out than me. From his perspective, Felicity’s room and the baby’s room must be done. (And let us not even mention the last bit of mulch from last April that still sits in the driveway–it is his current bane of existence.)
What does freak me out is this obvious fact that is just now hitting home.
I am going to have to give birth again.
Everyone tells me the second birth is easier.
God. I hope so. Really not looking forward to a 33-hour labor again.
Even if I wouldn’t change (much) about my first birth, that doesn’t mean I desire to relive a similar experience.
The thing that really sucks is that I know there’s not much you can really do to prepare for birth. We have a doula. We’ve done a tour of the birthing facility. I’ve been seeing my medical provider since the beginning of this pregnancy.
And having been through labor before, the best advice that I can offer myself is to just roll with it. Hour by hour and moment by moment.
Just deal with the pain that you have in the moment and don’t worry about the pain coming down the line.
My body, on the other hand, is totally ready to do this.
I’m burning about 600-700 extra calories per day, just because I’m existing and moving.
After about 15 minutes of standing, I need to sit down. My lower back hurts too much. So I end up wearing the pregnancy belt a lot when I need to walk for periods of time.
My belly is–yet again–getting tighter.
At my last appointment, the doctor told me that the baby is head down (good) and sideways (a little weird this late in the game?). Its butt is pointed out to my left side. Its feet are jutting out from my right side. It’s about 5 1/2 pounds now, according to my pregnancy app.
My pregnancy app also tells me that my placenta is starting to age and my amniotic fluid is decreasing. That makes sense. The baby’s movements are much more pronounced now. It feels like the cushion between the baby and my bones is much thinner. A foot in my ribs is very uncomfortable.
And… I just feel so much pressure.
I forgot how much physical pressure you feel in these final weeks.
I remember that in that first moment after Felicity was born, I said, “It’s over. I’m so glad it’s over.”
I was talking about the pain, of course, but I was also talking about the pressure. To shift so suddenly from fullness to emptiness. To breathe again. An honest-to-God full breath.
But this time, with that full breath comes the knowledge that it’s over for me.
This is it. No more pregnancies after this.
So I’m caught.
Between the desire to be free from this pressure and the knowledge that being free of it will make me wish that it wasn’t over.
I absolutely know that when the dust has settled,
and we’re back at home with a new baby,
and I lie down for the first time in my own bed,
and place a hand where my belly once was,
the emptiness will creep in
and I will realize how much this baby has become a part of me
and we will never be that close again.