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Ready or not

People keep asking me if I am "ready." I'm not quite sure what that means. Does it mean am I ready to have a baby in the house? Ready to stop being pregnant? Ready to be the mother of two? No matter the intent, the answer would really be the same: yes and no. I have diapers and clothes and a place (actually, several places) for him to sleep. I am stocked up on detergent and baby wipes. The hospital bag and car seat can be ready to go in ten minutes or less, and I got a pedicure on Sunday. But I need an oil change and new tires and a gift for the baby from Mia and one for Mia from the baby, and I haven't picked any pants to wear home from the hospital and the child still needs a middle name. And I haven't made Mia's baby book and I would really like to do the taxes first and I'm not even full term yet so no, I think it would be best if he waits another couple weeks.

I am very ready to get my body back to myself, at least partially, and am ready for the heartburn and hip pain to end. I am ready to lose this weight, not because of appearance issues because I think I look just fine, even if my thighs are rather chunkier than I prefer (but then, aren't they always?), but because it makes me physically uncomfortable. But I am terrified of labor, terrified of delivery, terrified of recovering from surgery while trying to mother my toddler. And I regret, just a bit, the retiring of my uterus. Not in a "want another baby" sort of way, just in a "enjoyed making the two I've got" sort of way.

And I have no idea if I am ready to be the mother of two. Based on my performance of the past few weeks though, I would have to say no. I seem to spend all of my time snapping at Mia. She is just so energetic and willful and challenging, which is wonderful and appropriate and I adore it, but I am so tired and so sore and it really is so hard for me to get up off the floor, walk across the room, bend down and retrieve whatever toy she has asked for so nicely with two pleases and a premature thank you that I just can't stop myself from taking it out on her. And oh, how I hate that, how angry I get at myself for doing that, but she still gives me kisses so I suppose she still loves me and I hope she is willing to tolerate Crabby Mommy for at least a few more weeks. (At which point, Crabby Mommy will be replaced by Zombie Mommy.)

Ready? Yes and no. But it doesn't much matter, does it? This baby is coming when he's coming, ready or not.

Comments (26)

I feel your pain. Well, not the part about having two children, but the part about being ready for the physical uncomfortableness being gone. For the record, from what I read and here and on Chris' blog, you two seem like amazing parents. And, of course Mia still loves you even though you snap at her. You're her mom. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly children seem to get over that and how long we continue to beat ourselves up about it. There are days that it seems all I do is snap and yell and be angry towards my daughter, yet it doesn't stop her from running in to whatever room I'm in begging for a hug or a kiss or just to tell me she loves me. I think that's what makes us beat ourselves up even more.

Relax (ha! as much as possible) and enjoy these last few weeks with it being just you, Chris and Mia. And then enjoy the time with the FOUR of you!

2 is hard. And totally worth it.

I'm glad Mia is at a communicating age though. It's hard to say no to her, but at least it's possible.

You already know this, but I know it's nice to know other people have BTDT - I think we all get crabby at the toddler when our bellies are about to explode and the toddlers, well they are fine. It broke my heart to be that way with R, but I'm still her favorite parent, so it must not have been too bad on her!

Are people who have had more than one child asking you if you are ready? Because really, if you've already had multiple children, then you KNOW better!

The next person who asks me (and they've been asking for months now) is going to hear, "Can you EVER really be ready?" I just know that on the way to the hospital I'll be thinking of about 30 things that I absolutely must have done before the babies arrive. Actually I just went into a panic when you mentioned the gift from the baby for Mia, because while I wasted the past 24 hours or so searching for the perfect Wallies for the twins, I hadn't yet contemplated what gift the babies will give my two boys. I'm thinking a play doctor kit for my two year old, but I haven't a clue for the twelve year old.

ALSO, I've only put on four pounds (which is really fine because I needed to lose a few pounds before we conceived), but I've looked full term since 5 months so EVERYBODY constantly thinks I should have had my babies by now. And I gave your harsh lecture to one lady at church the other day when she said, "April? Well, you'll be happy if it's sooner won't you?" No, lady, I will not be happier if my twins are born premature and have to live in NICU for weeks due to underdeveloped lungs.

And as for crabby mommy with 2 year old running around? Vincent's new favorite word in "Gwowchy (grouchy)" I know your pain.

You are going to be great. Yes, you will be tired, and yes your body won't feel like your own for a while, but you will be great.
Hugs, Beth!!!

I don't see any child labor laws about toddlers changing diapers. This could be a win/win - occupy the kid, get the poop gone. Aren't I shedding such bright light??

Um, I am still not ready. :) too late!

Speaking with no experience whatsoever, I think you are all ready. You've prepped, cleaned, folded and painted all with Wally in mind. I don't see that there's much more that can be done. As for the fear of labor or recovering from surgery, I'm not even pregnant and I think about those things. You will be fine. You will be, I know it. Mia will forget about the 'Crabby Mommy' moments as soon as Wally is here and be more excited to meet him than anything else. You are as ready as you can be and you will do great.

Crabby Mommy is always in the background, and will rear her ugly head throughout your kids' lives. Just remember that the majority of the time you're Happy, Fun, Loving Mommy. Looking back over my 16 years of motherhood, I've been Crabby Mommy more than I care to admit. However, my kids love me and enjoy spending time with me (even my 16 year old daughter!) So I figure Happy, Fun, Loving Mommy shows up enough to cancel out Crabby Mommy.

Oh, goodness, I know what you mean. I certainly hope pregnancy isn't the only excuse for snapping at your toddler, or I'm SOL. We are the best of pals, but we have our days just like anybody else. And there are times when I just can't take another minute of the shrieking and pointing (she's only 13 months, so that's how Her Highness lets me know what she wants). I guess it's just part and parcel of motherhood--and of spending 12 or 13 hours at a stretch with one person.

I totally feel you - with 10 days to go people keep asking me if I am ready and while I smile and say sure inside I think 'uh, no, I am terrified of delivery and labor and if I will be a good mom at all and really? Does it matter? Cause the baby is coming regardless.'

So I can only imagine having a two year old on top of it, but Mia always looks happy in her pictures so you are doing something right!

I don't think we ever feel completely ready, yet, somehow we always are; just one of life's great mysteries.

I know what you mean about being ready and not ready at the same time.

Although I have to say, I felt better 24 hours after my csection, than I did the day before when I was still pregnant. Being home with two and trying to recover is sooo much easier than being home with 1 and being 8000 months pregnant (at least it was for me. :-)

Just wait until you have to start finding the "balance" as I like to call it in my house. Try your hardest not treat the first one (your oldest) like an adult, while you get used to this whole "newborn" thing down again. Its hard to balance having a new born and a toddler who needs you as almost as much as the newborn. Its hard not to make them out to be more able or older than they are. I can remember after my second was born, telling my oldest "grow up, you can open that yourself". And then of course crying about it later. I think that is part of what makes the birth order so much of an impact on how you act. Oh the joys of parenting...its so damn complex!

Challenges do lie ahead but you are going to be marvelous in all aspects!

I know i don't know you know you, you know, but I have been following your magical blog journey since I was in the process of working my you who off trying to make a baby. You are strong, you are funny, you are inventive and you will pretty much be able to tackle anything that Two vs one will throw at you..... you have to because I need to know how to do it for when I get there, of course I need to start having sex first more often then every 3 months, but eventually i will be there and I will need to know what to do! You will be wonderful and tired, i'm sure but mostly wonderful!

I bet you will have so much love for both kiddos that you will forget you weren't ready. :)

I could have written large portions of this post before I had my second wee one last March. And guess what? Having two is a whole lot easier than you might expect. Really. Really really.

You're going to be a great mom to both of your wee ones.

And, btw, we didn't make a final decision on a middle name for No. 2 until a week AFTER the birth. And it made no difference in our world.

:-)

2yr olds can be amazing empathic and forgiving. Thank god.

Oh, and just think - soon people won't be saying 'are you ready?' any more (reminds me of the Rock!)
but 'is he a good baby?' oh how I HATE that one!

I totally get the tiny regret about retiring the uterus.

My kid is 13. I know I don't want to start all over with another baby yet...

I am terrified. I have a LOT of time to get used to the idea of another child since I'm only 8 weeks along. But it's just SO scary. I'm already snapping at my 16-month old bear. How can something the size of a kidney bean sap ALL of my patience? How am I going to put 2 children to bed all by myself? Will I ever take another shower? Am I going to be forced to have a "mom" haircut?

But we're both going to be fine. Right? Right? We totally are. You sooner than I, girlfriend. I will draw from your experiences. (Not mistakes, because I'm certain you won't make any...you'll just "experience".)

Whenever I run across someone who is never, ever, crabby, tired, sore, fearful, etc. I wonder about either their honesty or their sanity.

Mia loves you and a few days of grumpy mama don't equal lifelong trauma.

Take care of yourself.

I am due a with baby #2 just a few weeks after you and I could have totally written this entry myself. You said it, sister! Every bit of it. Thinking of you...

Seeing as Declan came at 32 weeks, my answer was a full-fledged: NO.

I think "Are you ready?" is code for "SQUEEEEE I am so excited about your baby and want to talk about it!!"

I was so afraid of what it would be like to have a child and of delivery that people still remember it! I can't believe I had 3, and because of 2 breech babies, 3 c-sections. I was able to do it because my mom spent 4-6 weeks with me and kept the older ones occupied while I recovered. Guess you are never really ready but you adapt! Good luck.

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