~ Are We Ready?
We lifted up the cot mattress base thing this week. It had been left down in its lower position ever since Jay slept in it, probably about 18 months ago.
Just seeing it up higher now, ready to accommodate a tiny swaddled peanut, brings reality a lot closer to home.
I know I keep going on about how real this is all becoming.
But pregnancy creates a funny state of mind, causing your emotions to flit from silly denial to steely preparedness, from "I can't do this" to "yes, of course we can".
Firstly, you feel as if you will be/have been pregnant A LONG TIME. Possibly forever.
And 10 months is a long time. If I could do the maths quickly in my mind right now, I am sure it would be the equivalent of 4098 days. Or something.
And you are keenly anticipating the arrival of this new life. We can't wait to meet her, see what she looks like, feel what impact she will have on our family. We say those things a lot, as we wonder and surmise. So time drags.
On and on. Turning those 10 months into 10 centuries in your mind.
Secondly, you start wondering if you are ready, if you can ever be ready, to be a parent to a newborn.
So what if we have done it before. Things will be very different this time around.
It's my first baby, but the second in our family.
We have an almost four-year-old to consider.
So what if we have done the sensible, practical things, like get a new pram, stock up on nappies and raise the cot mattress.
Emotionally, are we ready?
And what sort of baby will she be? We have already done ourselves a massive disservice by starting (already!) to compare what she might be like to Jay (who is basically the perfect child).
"Well, we were so lucky with him, we are bound to cop it with a little prima donna diva princess with this one," we tell ourselves. We are joking, but also shit-scared it might be true.
We really should stop putting that sort of sentiment out there. Poor little mite, cursed even before she pops out.
But then of course we realise that we felt the same things and asked the same questions just before Jay was born.
We got through. Some days it was a muddle, some days were bloody awful for Trace, but most days were funny, memorable, amazing and joyful.
Occasionally in the early days we would reminisce about our life before he was born and how we could do crazy things like sleep in and eat nothing but chips and gravy and lemonade all day.
And this week I realised, we will probably do the same thing after our girl is born.
These times with Jay will seem different, maybe easier, certainly quieter. But that goes to show how easily we adapted to life with him.
Of course we did. We had to - and we love him, so we were happy about the change.
Of course the same will happen again.
We also had a 3D scan of our baby a few weeks back. It was incredible. The cord was slightly in the way, so distorted some of the images.
Plus her nose looked squashed and enormously wide, prompting me to announce in the scan room that I would have to check our records to see if the donor was in fact African-American. But the radiographer assured me all baby noses looked like that.