Lists seem to be occupying a great deal of my time at the moment. Making them, checking them off, deciding what I will and won’t need. It feels never ending.
Somehow, almost without warning, I’m approaching my third trimester and suddenly baby’s appearance doesn’t seem such a far off event. July swept past in a hive of activity, and August arrived with a large bump. Our 20 week scan was squeezed in between a long weekend away with family and my mother’s house move. It’s a boy, by the way, and a healthy, wriggly boy at that.
Pregnancy has made me forgetful and tired and, at times, tearful and cranky. I’m finding the heat hard going, and I’m frustrated that I lack my usual energy and drive. It’s ten times harder to get things done with a toddler underfoot, and even more difficult to remember from one moment to the next what needs to be done when your brain is a mush of hormones!
So we had a list for packing, and we have an ongoing list of tasks that mum is hoping we can help her with, and now we have the never ending Baby List. And when that’s done, we’ll have the Hospital List.
What does the Baby List entail? Well, it’s everything from choosing a name to finding the car seat base for the baby car seat and fitting it. It means getting things down from the loft, passing on things that we no longer need and beginning the hunt for things that we do. It’s organising childcare we feel comfortable with once the baby arrives, and it’s planning the things E may need over the next few months. It’s about stocking the freezer and endless washing and folding and putting away.
I really appreciate the time I had to prepare for E’s arrival now. Second time around, baby preparation is being squished into evenings and weekends, with the odd couple of hours here and there during the week. Baby isn’t even here, and already I’m learning to walk that tightrope between my two children. I want E to have time to prepare for her brother’s arrival, and have the chance to get used to seeing all his baby belongings, and we are trying to ease the transition for her as much as possible. Although, this isn’t just for her benefit. This is time for us to develop our relationship with our new arrival too, a chance to visualise him here and make him a part of our future. He’s not an afterthought, and his arrival can’t be treated like one. Tired and busy as we are, we want to prepare for our second baby with equal thoroughness as we did our first. And the List stands as testament to that.
My other half is right. The shops will still be open when our little one arrives. We can buy anything we find we need. But for me, it’s not about that. This way, I’m becoming his mother before he is born. This way, I’m encouraging myself, my husband, and my daughter (and yes, even my dog!) to find the space he has in our lives before he is here.
Then when he is born, all he has to do is to fill it.