I still remember the preparation for our first baby.
I painted a room (which I later repainted after deciding I hated it). I kept a pregnancy journal and filled that sucker up with cravings, pregnancy dreams, and more.
I bought ALL THE THINGS. (Many of which I later realized I didn’t need. See my much-wiser picks now after having a bunch of kids.)
I took weekly photos of my bump. Even when it hardly looked like more than having a big burrito for lunch.
We had showers. Multiple. Three, I think.
I had a birth plan printed out and everything. I had a plan for how people would be informed and how it would get posted on my blog.
Fast forward eight years: I’m now pregnant for the fifth time. And here are the things I’ve done:
I bought a pack of size 1 diapers when I thought I might be going into early labor.
No, seriously. That’s it.
We really should have some more things set up. You know, like care for our children the week we have the baby, a pack and play or sleeper in our room for those first nights with tons of feedings, newborn boy and girl clothes set out from the boxes in the closet so we’ll have some onesies.
Now, I have to say that I’m in denial a little bit. We are two weeks and three days away from the baby’s arrival. (I have to have a c-section so I have the exact date, unless we get surprised early.) Partly, this lack of prep is denial and partly it’s because when you have four kids, you already know what things you REALLY need or what things REALLY matter. And how yes, it’s great to have the many things that Babies R Us tells you that you’ll need, but actually you need diapers, wipes, a food source, and clothing.
The last part of why this is so hard is because I HAVE FOUR KIDS I’M TAKING CARE OF.
I look back fondly at my first pregnancy and the week-by-week photos of my bump. Everything was noteworthy. Everything was new. Every tiny milestone mattered and I could tell you the size of my baby as it related to a piece of fruit through the whole pregnancy. (In case you were wondering, my baby is the size of a bunch of Swiss Chard right now. I looked it up.)
It’s not that things aren’t special now. I LOVE feeling the baby move and having the kids and Rob come get a kick or watch my whole belly change shape in an oddly alien way. (There are few things weirder than when the round shape of my belly becomes oddly distorted as the baby’s butt pushes out fully on one side.) I love the ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat and all those things. Every pregnancy is remarkable because there is a human growing inside you!
But with a fifth pregnancy (and even some with my second, third, and fourth), you know more what to expect and you can hear the clock counting down on the end of your family as you know it. I can’t imagine how this fifth one will rock our world. I don’t remember our family dynamics before Quin. Before Cooper. SLIGHTLY, maybe, before Lincoln. I’m sure we’ll move smoothly (ish) into our new world, but for now, I’ve got things to do. People to take care of.
And really? When the baby comes, if we just have diapers and a bunch of clothes in boxes in a closet, we’ll be totally okay. All the prep in the world can’t really prepare you for a new life in your arms.
I can’t wait!
And I’m not ready!
And OH MY GOSH WE’RE HAVING A BABY.
What did YOU do to prep in pregnancy? Did it change if/when you had more kids? Share in the comments!!