I haven't taken many pictures with my "real camera" lately (although I post a ton on Instagram). But really, I have been very preoccupied with getting ready to be a family of four oh-so-soon!
The modern medicine world insists on due dates here in America, & we all have been conditioned to accept them to a certain point. I like the idea of a due month, & have often told people we are due "mid-to-late March"... but I still knew that date anyway, & passing it increases my anxiousness. I am so ready to bring this new soul earth side! I am excited to welcome this little person & discover if I have another daughter or our first son. I fantasize about Ruby's reaction to meeting this new tiny perfect human being who will come home with us mere hours after birth, to sleep in the waiting bassinet & likely be tucked in with one of big sister's many baybees, too.
I also worry. I am aware of my waning patience as my belly ripens, & how quickly I could turn from the mama with an overflowing heart of love to the stressed out mama with a fuse burned almost to the point of explosion. I find myself apologizing to Rue more than usual, explaining that mama is not always good at handling her emotions, either. We sing a lot of Daniel Tiger & bang a lot of pots & pans together to get our frustrations out. Afterwards, part of me thinks, "you can totally handle this; you just turned that moment into something fun & productive!" while the other half of me thinks, "but when the baby is here, are you really going to be okay with banging pots & pans when the day gets rough? When you want baby to sleep, & Rue wants yet another lollipop, or has peed on the floor yet again, or has knocked over another full glass of water all over the bills? Then what?" I am torn; I want to be the best mama I can be to both my toddler & my newborn.
Toddlerhood, man. This little, beautiful person who surprises me every single day! She learns so much & understands much more deeply today than she did yesterday. She loves so fiercely, it is one of the most awesome things I have ever witnessed. She also expects so much more than I can always give. She wants & needs & doesn't understand yet the difference between the two. Denied "wants" are treated as deprived "needs", & the tears flow. Anger explodes in unbridled displays of whirling limbs & flying tears & deafening wails of torment. The drama is strong with this one. But again, that intense love. Those little arms, when not swinging around in frustration, are so capable of the biggest hugs. Those little lips can open to issue the most horrific screams, but they can also pucker to deliver a rain of kisses all over my face. Toddlers are a ball of energy. They do what they do & they say what they say completely in the moment; there is no calculation or thoughts of consequence. Rarely is there an objective to manipulate, but rather just a real emotional experience to the moment. Not that there are not times when Rue tries to nudge me in her desired direction, because we are rapidly approaching that point. I have to remind myself that she is just exploring her abilities; finding whatever power she may hold in the familial structure. She doesn't operate on malice. But, it is not always easy to step back in the moment & realize that she is just figuring out her place in the world, too.
Newborns! I am so excited to return to that baby moon phase. It will be different this time. There won't be long, sleepy stretches in which I can simply lie there next to my squish, watching all those tiny expressions flit across his or her little face as they explore dreamland. The milk comas, the newborn smell, the constant red-eye shift cycle of life. I relished it the first time (although I did my fair share of complaining like anyone else). I look forward to it again, as someone who remembers a simpler time through the hazy watercolor mistiness of passed time. Everything is pastel & rosy, & the grit & sharp edges of reality have softened with the romanticism of the memories. It won't be like I remember it, but that is okay, too. It's part of the adventure & rediscovery- & new discoveries, because this baby will be a completely unique individual, with new experiences & new reactions & new quirks.
I hope that this baby will love snuggles in our slings. I hope that this baby will love Ruby as much as I am certain she will adore him or her. I hope that I will be able to adjust to the newness of a world in which two lives are completely dependent on me for the majority of the day. I hope that I can contribute to our home economics while staying home all the time again, as I no longer work the office job I had. I hope that I will find a balance in this new normal we are ushering in.
And now, I focus on the birth itself. I focus on breathing deeply & trusting my body; on being open to the sensations of labor & birth. I am both excited & again anxious for this grand entrance of the new normal. It's all transformative & it's all happening so very, very soon. I feel this baby move inside my womb, & I feel my body embrace the baby tightly, shifting him or her into position for ushering this new person earth side. I try to release all my apprehensions & breathe out all the things I have no control over, & just accept the miracle & magic that is this birth & this family I made with my love.
And wait. I wait as patiently as I can for that perfect moment to manifest.