Putting Away the Past

I'm really, really bad at being pregnant. Really bad. 

I try to hide it behind doing the "right" things when you're expecting (religiously taking a prenatal vitamin, drinking tons of water, exercise 4-5 times per week, eating well, abstaining from food/drink that's verboten), but the truth is that I am terribly grumpy about sharing my body with a tiny human who hoards every calorie I eat, gives me awful hormonal breakouts every few weeks, wakes me up at crazy hours almost every night, and kicks me the minute I get in any sort of comfortable position. 

I realized this fact pretty early on when I was expecting T, and as much as I wanted to have another baby, I was dreading the 40-week period that preceded all the amazing, squishy, newborn joy. I told myself this was why I threw myself into Baby Prep, why I insisted we finish the nursery at 20 weeks, why I spent hours stripping our cloth diapers at 22 weeks, why all the baby clothes were washed/folded/hung by 24 weeks...the list goes on and on. I'm barely into my third trimester, but nearly everything that CAN be done ahead of time is done. And I'm more nervous than I was before I had T. I'm also certain that it has nothing to do with being grumpy about sharing my personal space.

A friend asked me the other day why I was so insistent that everything be completed so far in advance. She meant it in a kind way, but it started to make me think about the real roots of my anxiety around having a baby. Was it just normal 'second kid' jitters, or was it something else? 

I was up at 4am (thanks, Baby Hormones) thinking about why I was SO nervous and SO focused on having everything done when it hit me: this is superstition. 

Some backstory: at 37 weeks pregnant with T (with some items of our to-do list decidedly NOT checked off), Bobby was hit by a car at the very end of a training ride. He was supposed to leave that afternoon to race in the US National Championships, but instead he was rushed to the ER in an ambulance as I followed behind, praying all he had was a broken collarbone and no brain damage. The ER staff was worried about both of us, joking that they'd roll his bed up to labor and delivery if the stress put me into early labor. 

He ended up needing surgery the next day and had a serious recovery. We were lucky that he was cleared to hold T the week that I finally did go in to labor with her, but the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy were filled with being a caretaker in a way I hadn't expected. It really, really shook me and changed the way I plan our lives. 

So here I am, three months away from having another baby, and I realized that I'm trying desperately to expect the unexpected. If everything is done, then I'll be ready for the other shoe that will (inevitably, in my mind) drop. 

But that's no way to live a life. It's certainly no way to bring a baby into the world. I had to step away and look at the bigger picture: life went on in 2014 after the accident. We all made it through a tough few months and came out feeling so grateful for all that we did have, even as hospital bills and newborn struggles left us feeling depleted emotionally and financially. We thrived into where we are today, we are all so excited to have a new member of the family, and stressing about things that may or may not happen certainly won't help anyone along the way. 

So, my third trimester commitment is to make like Elsa and Let It Go. I'm already grumpy enough sharing my body with an ever-expanding, up-all-night baby. There's no need to torture myself any more than I already am. As for the last few things on my to-do list? I'll get to them, probably sooner rather than later. But this time, it won't be because I'm trying to hold back some unknown Bad Thing with my preparedness (even typing it I see how ridiculous it sounds). It will be because I am READY to check another box. And that's the best I can do in a situation pregnant with anticipation.


Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

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