You’d think that a mother approaching the birth of her fourth child in seven years (well, 7 ½) wouldn’t be floored by the sheer tininess. But as I pulled out our trusty cloth diapers, counted them, stacked them in the drawer, I couldn’t believe it. Every single baby diaper fit in one drawer. After close-on four years of double diapering, it just blew my mind.
I have to admit, I’m kind of freaking out here. People get out of the habit of having babies around, and then they feel a tug in the heart to have another, but they think back on the intensity of the experience, and they get scared off. When we started trying for #4, we were still in full-on Baby mode. But it took us six months to conceive. A lot can change in six months. And a lot more in the nine months that follow. We are no longer a baby household. We are a nighttime-and-nap-time-diapers family. A my-youngest-child-is-talking family. An everyone-has-chores (although they don’t always do them) family.
But seven weeks from now…
Some nights, I already get up seven times in six hours. How in the name of all that is holy am I going to comfort Julianna after a nightmare, the drama king when he has a runny nose, AND nurse a baby during the night?
How am I going to exercise? And post a blog? It’s already a delicate balance to do those two things and still get Alex off to school.
How am I going to chase down the munchkins when they run in opposite directions and I have a baby attached to the breast? (Is it possible to run and nurse simultaneously?)
I’m well aware that the writing is going to have to simmer down for a while. A good long while. But, um, I can’t even get the house clean now. How can I add the time commitment of a newborn on to the kid commitments I already have? The last time I had a baby, Alex was in preschool for a whopping two mornings a week. I freaked out when he had eight weeks of baseball once a week. And now it’s all-day school and piano lessons and homework, and Julianna on the bus, and Julianna’s speech homework, and…
Folks, I’m a little intimidated by what my life’s about to become.
Don’t get me wrong. It’ll all be worth it. The back shot, the surgery, the two weeks without driving and six weeks without lifting, the sleepless nights. It’ll already be worth it a week in—a day in. But there were plenty of times in Nicholas’s first six months when I lost all semblance of cool. And as I begin to contemplate the change to come, I’m kind of scared.
Pour some loving on me, folks.