The Oh Shit Moment
February 22, 2011
It's a pregnancy rite of passage. At least for me, anyway. That moment when it actually, finally dawns on you that you are going to have a baby.
Like, a baby. Is going to come out of your body, one way or another, and then that baby is going to stay here. With you. In your house. And life. And you will be expected to do things with and for that baby. Fuck you, figurative state, shit just got literal up in this bitch.
I've had this moment strike me right around this same point, bolt-of-lightning style, every single time so far. You would think I would start noticing the general pattern of pregnancy = ACTUAL BABY, but I seem to be able to gloss over that little detail for most of the first two trimesters, and then suddenly:
A bunch of baby-related purchases arrived over the weekend, and I realized my system of shoving them all in a far corner of the nursery is no longer working, because there's now enough crap in that pile (including a sub-pile of older-brother handmedowns and outgrown jackets with no place to go) that you have to walk around it almost as soon as you step into the room, and I can't NOT step into the room because I haven't moved Ezra's clothes out of the closet in there and now the simple act of fetching my toddler a fresh t-shirt is causing nesting-related hysteria and freakouts because I need to move Ezra's clothes out of the closet in there and do something with that pile of baby stuff and get the other pile of baby stuff out of the attic and check in the basement too and we haven't bought a new car or maybe just a very narrow car seat and THEY WON'T LET YOU BRING THE BABY HOME WITHOUT A CAR SEAT, YOU KNOW, GASP WHEEZE PANIC.
But hey! At least I bought some closet organizers. They are still in the box, in a pile by our front door. But, much like the boxes of diapers and onesies upstairs, they at least represent SOME form of half-assed progress. I'm not exactly nesting, I'm piling.
I know we have time and all that. But then again, our to-do list looks pretty much exactly the same as it did back in October, when we sat down and wrote out everything we needed or wanted to buy and get done around the house "before the baby gets here." And look how great we did with all THAT time we had, back then, when it was a whole different calendar year and I was going to be pregnant for-evvvvv-errrrrr.
So far, we:
1) Purchased bunk beds, moved Noah and Ezra into the same room. Clothes, toys are yet to follow.
2) Replaced the carpet in the basement with pet-pee-resistant laminate. Well, that's only happening RIGHT NOW, like TODAY, so not exactly past tense yet. Ceiba registered her protest over the proceedings by peeing on my sneakers.
3) Talked about getting hand-me-down baby gear and accessories out the attic, because I don't know what's up there and what's usuable or remember what size batteries everything takes. Did not do.
4) Talked about purging basement of mountains of useless crap so we'd have space to keep all the not-useless hand-me-down clothing and baby accessories organized. Did not do.
5) Bought paint for both upstairs bathrooms. Did not paint.
6) Measured windows in children's rooms for new black-out blinds. Did not buy.
7) Talked about new bigger car vs. expensive narrower car seats approximately seven hundred million times. Did not decide.
8) Talked about how much that faulty toilet in the master bathroom bothers us when it randomly decides to start noisily filling up with water in the middle of the night. Did not fix, called it a shithole cocksucker.
9) Talked about turning small den off master bedroom into walk-in closet or grown-up office (instead of current Room Where Useless Crap Goes To Die Because The Basement Is Full) approximately eight hundred million times. Did not decide, bought an Xbox.
10) Played a lot of Xbox.
But beyond the semi-nesting bullshit, it really only just started to hit me that I am going to have three children. That I will be dealing with a high-maintenance newborn along with two existing high-maintenance small people, and whether or not I've purchased the exact recommended number of newborn-sized prefold diapers and covers won't make a lick of difference when it comes to the reality that I have no idea how to really make a family of that size work.
We go out to eat and I mentally size up the four-top table they seat us at and try to picture another high chair tacked on the end, then a booster, then another chair. I try to picture myself getting three kids out the door on time, on escorting Noah to summer camp with Ezra and a baby in tow, on driving one kid to one class and another to the other activity and how not to shortchange the third one because everything he wants to do overlaps with something else. What if this one has special needs, or a health problem, or is just difficult and colicky and blah blah neurotic cakes.
We joined our local YMCA this weekend -- we were planning to sign the boys up for swim lessons anyway and decided to just take the plunge and get a family membership. It's a pretty bare bones facility in dire need of a makeover (several of the restroom stalls are perma-flooded with a good inch of run-off from the showers), but for a family "our size" there's honestly no better value anywhere close by. I signed up for a prenatal swim class and am looking SUPER FORWARD to using the free childcare center in exchange for some alone time on the treadmill. And of course, all the free swim time we want. On Sunday we all crammed in a family changing room and took the kids to the nice heated indoor pool -- Jason always with one, me with the other, my belly in the middle quietly reminding me that oh my hell, even THIS is going to get so much more difficult in just a couple months.
The worst part of the Oh Shit Moment is that it makes it easy to focus on what you'll lose, and clouds your ability to see what you'll gain.
"What were we THINKING?" is my now near-daily lament to Jason. I'm joking, of course.
(Most of the time.)
"I have no idea," he always answers. "But it's going to be fine."
"I know it will," I always say back. "We'll figure it out. It's going to be crazy fun."
I believe that, too.
(Most of the time.)