Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not Nesting.

When I was pregnant with Joe, I was all about the nesting. Even though my back was killing me, the house got cleaned more thoroughly than it ever had before (with Steve's and my sister's help), cupboards were reorganized, and heaps of baby-related things were purchased or acquired by hand-me-down and set up. I even managed to write thank you notes for at least half (ahem, sorry about that other half) of the gifts I received.

I'm pretty sure that I made Steve set up the cosleeper and get the carseat ready when I was less than 36 weeks, because I was convinced that this was a matter of the utmost urgency.

The second time around, I can't say I've been as motivated. Yes, I did go on a baby pants making spree, that is true. But other than that, well, meh. I have been putting in as many hours as I can at work, trying to finish up big assignments and put myself in a good position for maternity leave, which might count as a very odd form of nesting, but I have barely even cracked open the bags of baby stuff in our back room, my friends have promised me hand-me-downs and I haven't followed up yet, I don't have a breastpump, baby swing, or carseat, and my ring sling project was a disaster. I'm planning to get Steve to set up the cosleeper after the baby is born, because scooting around it super-pregnant is just annoying, and anyway, I don't have high hopes that the baby will actually sleep in it, since Joe never did (he was more of a velcro baby). Joe, the world's worst sleeping child, turned us into a bedsharing family out of sheer necessity, and while it would be nice if this new baby was a better sleeper, I know better than to count on that.

And needless to say, I've done hardly any cleaning and pretty much no organizing.

And I'm totally not panicking.

I think part of this is just the pragmatism of having a second child. This time, I'm just less obsessed with stuff. With a first child, the stuff felt like a defense against the fact that I had no earthly idea what I was going to do with an infant. Like many expecting parents, we dealt with the colossal unknown by spending a ton of money. This time, I'm better acquainted with the reality that there's nothing much a newborn needs besides parents, really. And since I'm expecting this baby in mid to late July, she won't even need much clothing at first. Joe, a late-spring baby, spent most of his first months in a diaper and a swaddle or a Moby wrap. So I know I can get by with a lot less this time.

I don't need to prepare a nursery, because, well, we don't have a nursery. Joe still sleeps in Steve's and my bedroom, and this new baby will as well. (My house is currently at full capacity, with both Harpal and Rebecca living with us, and there are no "spare" rooms.) Some people would consider this a hardship, but I've found it's a lot easier to have Joe closer to us anyway. (Also, our housemates help  us pay our ridiculously underwater mortgage, so any sacrifice required is well worth it at this point in time.) However you view it, this is one less thing on my to-do list.

I also seem to remember that the last couple weeks of my pregnancy with Joe went very slowly, allowing me plenty of time to clean, organize, shop, pack a bag for the hospital, and generally prepare. If I get all of that done before that time, I won't have anything to do when I'm too pregnant to work! Right? And that would be terrible!

I had hoped and even maybe expected that Joe would come early (for no good reason other than that I was enormous and extremely uncomfortable and it just didn't seem possible under the laws of physics that I could get even more enormous and uncomfortable), but he came right on his due date. So this time, I'm not allowing myself to get my hopes up for an early delivery. It turns out, you can almost always get bigger and more uncomfortable. Live and learn.

Finally, I think I'm just kind of lazy (or is that tired from chasing a three year old around?). Cleaning, in particular, just sounds like too much work. Scrubbing back corners and reorganizing cupboards seems less important when you spend most of your cleaning time putting away train tracks that you put away just the day before, etc. I am not feeling the urge. Maybe I will in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I'd rather just hang out over here on the couch eating It's-Its, thank you very much.

But .... my mother (an astrology buff) will be happy to know that I am prepared for this little girl, whatever her sign may be (my due date is right on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, so we've been making bets as to which one she will be - me, I'm betting Leo because I have no illusions/hopes about an early delivery, see above).


So I'm done now, right? Ha.

What do you think? Will the nesting urge kick in later? Am I going to wake up 38 weeks pregnant in a total panic, disgusted with the state of my home and horrified that I have nothing more than two astrologically-themed sleepers for this child to wear? Or is this just a feature of my less materialistic and more realistic attitude approaching the birth of our second child?

22 comments:

  1. It's all perspective, right? I think you hit the nail on the head- a baby needs parents. Well, and a carseat, a few clothes, and lots of diapers, but that's really about it! Hope you can enjoy the last few "quiet" weeks of pregnancy! :)

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    1. Definitely need a carseat! But you know, it's not like they are hard to come by at big stores or anything.

      Thanks - work is still quite intense, so I am also looking forward to the last few "quiet" weeks of pregnancy. I have six weeks to go, and probably three or four before things at work will really start to slow down.

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  2. I say "good for you!" I felt totally manic about getting things done the second time around but that may just be a feature of my personality. In the end, though, I was just done and wanted to focus on nothing more than my little family of three before it became a family of four. Perhaps you're just smarter than me in focusing on that all along.
    And those two sleepers are hilarious. My vote is for Cancer!

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    1. Haha! It doesn't feel "smart" - it just feels like I can't be bothered! I may very well wake up very manic one of these days, it just hasn't happened yet.

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  3. No, you are right - second time around you have a much better idea as to what you need. (I read somewhere once that you don't actually get the hang of the parenting thing till baby #3 and most people don't get there!)
    I hope you have a Cancer bubba too - I have a Cancer and a Leo, and Miss Cancer is much nicer!

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure I'll get to number 3, although you never know!

      This is definitely a pro-Cancer group! Interesting!

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  4. i think i was like you, pretty relaxed, till 2 weeks before i was due to deliver, then i just had to re-upholster an armchair for s. it was a child-sized one, but still involved being on my hands and knees for a few hours. Then, the night before my scheduled c-section, i stayed up till 12pm cleaning like a maniac. my husband had to drag me off to bed so i could get some sleep before our 6 am wake-up time.

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    1. Haha! I can totally see myself waking up at 38 weeks and deciding I MUST re-upholster something. I'm much more likely to do that than wake up with an urge to clean the whole house, frankly. :-)

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  5. Another vote for a Cancer baby! When I think Leo I think drama queen :) As far as my perspective on nesting, I think it can kick in at the end too. It stopped and started for me, and the cleaning/organizing part happened at the very end, as I was trying to distract myself from discomfort and anxiety about upcoming birth. When I get worried I can't sleep, so the cleaning helped to tire me out so I could get rest. There was that and plenty of ice cream eating.

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    1. I think I am more generally pro-Leo than this bunch! Leos are fun and warm-hearted and generous!

      So that's kind of what I remembered from being pregnant with Joe and figured might come into play in this pregnancy too - towards the end, you need the distraction of nesting and cleaning and shopping. If you get all of that stuff out of the way too early, those last weeks really drag on!

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  6. Oh my gosh, get me an It's-It! When I was pregnant with Jasper I had a serious craving for a local icecream treat too...a frozen chocolate milk pyramid thing.
    Hey if the nesting never kicks in, just relax and have another It's-It! I got the cleaning part pretty bad each time towards the very end, but nothing particularly useful, just back-destroying. You are so right, a newborn pretty much just needs parents. And your living arrangement would be positively luxurious in many parts of the world.
    Enjoy.
    Hmm Jasper is a Cancer and he's very physically affectionate and was a pretty chilled baby but, er, not the easiest child. Don't know what to wish for you!

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    1. Another reason not to get too uptight about cleaning - nothing stays clean long in a house with four adults, one three year old, and two dogs. If the goal is to stay sane, it's best to have pretty low standards. Or at any rate, clean very close to the end of the pregnancy, because otherwise why bother?

      But indeed, we live in a palace compared to many in the world! We have a lovely household. Everyone dotes on Joe, and he basks in all of the attention and love. The truth is, even if we had more space chances are good Joe would still be in our room, because it's just easier that way. He sleeps really well now, but he still occasionally wakes up with a full diaper or a bad dream, and it's so easy to just deal with it, tuck him into bed with us or back in his crib, and go right back to sleep. I learned from years of sleep deprivation that the less you move around at night attending to your child's needs, the faster you go back to sleep, and the better you feel in the morning. :-)

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    2. P.S. It's-Its are just as amazing and delicious as they sound. Oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate. I was able to score a 12-pack at Cosco, and we finished it (I did have help!) in just a few days!

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  7. It is more relaxing not nesting I imagine. I was oddly anti-nesting. Well, not adverse to nesting....I just didn't seem to do it. The house got only as clean as it ever does. We got a crib put together and carseat installed. Bought some clothes on random whims and received things at various showers.
    I think I must have been trying to sort out my workplace's pathetic maternity/leave situation and how I was going to score more time off.
    Oddly, Lucy happily slept in her crib or bed in her room until a year ago and now will only sleep with us. Who knows. She'll go back when she is ready I suppose...I just go with it.
    Oh, and I hear you on completely underwater mortgages. We are hosed. We have considered getting roommates off/on. We aren't there yet- but it is primarily because the extra room we have is where the grandparents stay and we depend on them so much and they are up probably 2x/month.
    Anyway...I am so excited for you and your new cusp-y babe! (Lucy is a sag-a-cap cusp baby)

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    1. That's awesome! So glad I'm not the only non-nester.

      I think there's some similarity about the job though. I get a decent maternity leave, but right now I'm just very focused on getting my job sorted out so that I can (a) take the most leave possible and (b) not have any disasters happen in my absence.

      Joe was in our bed for years but now sleeps most of the night in his crib (he's plenty old enough for a real bed, but since he only started sleeping in the crib like a year ago, we're not pushing it!). I would not be the least bit shocked if he decided to come back to bed with us, though. I'm like you - I just go with it. I actually kind of miss the nighttime snuggles with Joe, although I'm not crazy enough to pick him up out of his bed to get them. (The thought has crossed my mind, however.)

      One down side to our living situation is that we have no place to put anyone up except the couch. When my mom comes to visit, she gets my brother's room and he sleeps on the couch (this is an advantage to having one of your housemates be your brother). But it's all pretty squalid as far as accommodations. We're comfortable enough, but there is no room for more.

      We recently applied for a HARP refinance and were approved! Papers haven't been signed yet, but it's a GO. So we are hardly well-off, but we are slightly less hosed than before, hopefully? Fingers crossed we don't run into any last minute problems with that.

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    2. Great on the HARP!!! We are trying...but seeing as my source of income has been an almost-gone-now 401k for the past year, we can't get it. I just got a per diem nursing job so hopefully we can soon! Congrats on getting it done!

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    3. It does seem to be one of the only options for homeowners who find themselves in our situation. I can't believe it took so long to come up with a refi option that wouldn't penalize people for having good credit and a good payment history. After all, you'd think it would be in the interests of the banks to reduce the risk of foreclosure for reliable but seriously hosed owners, right? It's not like they still won't make a killing off of us in the long haul. But no, it had be frickin' legislated?! GAH. Don't even get me started. We felt very lucky that our loan is federally backed and we met the threshold requirements - it's not like we shopped for that when we bought our house. Obviously, if you are down an income, you need help even more. Good luck to you!

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    4. Thanks! (And, sorry about the THREE comments by me, as anonymous! I was on my phone and it was not letting me post as me) Have a good day!

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  8. ha ha ha ;) not having given birth to a second child, i've no practical advice to share. but i say kudos to practicality :) xoxo

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    1. Practicality? Or conservation of energy? Something like that! :p

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  9. Nah, I think you are being practical. I didn't nest with #2 either and didn't feel much urgency to, seeing as how it was a planned homebirth and if we needed something, we'd find it. Now I'm making up for it like made with #3. this time though I will only have about two weeks PTO, so the pressure will be on to get back to work; I'm trying to maximize my energy with preparing now so I can enjoy baby boy when he gets here.

    Those sleepers are adorable! Very clever.

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    1. That makes a ton of sense, JoEllen. I'm sorry you don't get more paid time off! Two weeks is just draconian (and I realize lots of women don't get ANY paid time off, which is even worse - I'd move to Canada, but you know, I'm a California lawyer, so it wouldn't translate very well). I do get 8 weeks paid plus I'm taking another 4 weeks on partial pay. Since our billable year runs November 1 to October 31, my biggest priority is making sure I hit my prorated billable target (putting me in good standing for this billable year) before I leave, because I won't have any time to make things up on the other end. So in a funny way, this really is a form of nesting - we all have to do different things to ensure that we'll be able to just relax and enjoy our baby while on leave, I guess!

      I'm about to go scrub the kitchen floor. I'd say this was nesting, except it's something I do about once a month regardless, and it will be nasty again by the time the baby is born anyway.

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