The concept of nesting as you prepare for your child’s birth can take many forms and shapes as you near your delivery date. I remember the day before my water broke with Ruby, maniacally baking and frosting more than 60 cupcakes for Dylan’s Yo Gabba Gabba themed second birthday party. Nothing about this seemed strange to me at the time. I was in a full frenzy of butter cream and party festivities. At the end of the day, I remember plopping myself down in the room that was soon to be her nursery, rubbing my stomach and proclaiming really to no one but myself “It’s okay. You can come out now.”
And actually she did. She literally listened to me. My water broke the next day. It’s worth noting this was the first and only time my children ever listened to anything I told them on the first try. But I digress.
And so here I am again. It will surely be my last time being pregnant. I am torn between wanting to savor and remember what that wriggling feels like, arms and legs sliding around inside an increasingly cramped stomach. How powerful and amazing and actually kind of science fiction-esque and cool it is to literally give life. I am trying to stay focused on this piece. Though realistically, I am also huge and uncomfortable. I have relented to an all leggings wardrobe paired most likely with my husband’s shirts. I want to feel all glow-y and blooming. I just feel slow and huge.
But I am trying to move past the physical and focus on this last time on the nest. I am slightly less obsessed with getting as much done as I was last time, although I did have a baby clothes washing frenzy last week. But aside from that, the nest looks and feels a bit different this last time around. Rather, I am a bit more attuned to savoring time with Ruby and Dylan, doing relatively insignificant things with them that I know I will have less time to do over the next few months. I am strangely enjoying the way he sneaks into our room and bed far too early in the morning and digs his heels into my back, cuddling up against me. I am letting Ruby play longer in the tub, enjoying this silly girl time of ours where it is just bubbles and goofiness.
Part of this is driven by a slightly irrational fear that, as it always is with new little ones, time will be but a blur those first few months with our new baby. When we all finally awake from this most assuredly sleepless dream in the spring, I may have missed the moment when the older ones grew up faster than I was ready for. When they stopped cuddling, or started showering.
I try to catch myself. Whenever I get overly sentimental about leaving somewhere we’ve been, Phil is often fond of reminding me that there is no reason to feel sad, that wherever we are, whatever it is, we’ll be back. I like this. It has helped me let go when I want to cling to the past; to appreciate time and space for what they are and to look ahead with excitement.
But even he had to pause last night and remind himself that this was really the first time he couldn’t say that. Our family was changing and growing. For certain this change was for the better, but it still meant saying goodbye for now to the family we have. To looking forward to who we were growing into. To getting excited about meeting the newest member of our tribe. To appreciating that this will be our last time as expectant parents; our last time with a newborn. In this unique moment, there is just cause for sentimentality. This is sacred ground. We will not be back here.
And so the state of the nest feels very different this time around. There is decidedly much less bluster and business. Feathers are fluffed, hay is spread. We live suspended in a strange and unique time and space that we will not visit again, savoring what we have, eagerly anticipating what’s to come, and feeling quiet gratitude as we wait.
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