Sunday, September 2, 2012

the end of the world as we know it

September is here.  I'm back at work and the kids are back in daycare.  Our long, lovely summer is over.  And, most importantly, "Baby Gus" is being forcibly evicted in 5 days.  Five days!  People keep asking me if I'm ready, if I'm excited.

And if I'm truly, truly honest... I'm not.  I have ordered a dunce cap and a shirt that says, "I AM A TERRIBLE MOMMY" to wear in honor of the lack of enthusiasm I feel for my poor unborn child.  I mean... I'm not upset about having a baby, don't get me wrong.  Part of my problem, I think, is that I approach major life changes with a sense of needing to prepare and hunker down, rather than just getting excited.  I remember this feeling with the twins especially.  People would ask me the same questions about being excited, and it was really hard to smother my gut response of "NO, I'M NOT READY, I'M FREAKING OUT!!" and answer with something that sounded vaguely maternal.

I'm not quite that worried about it this time.  In fact I'm probably not worried enough, unfortunately.  When I was pregnant with the twins, I fretted and read and planned until I was prepared for everything from diaper changes to natural disasters.  This time, it took me until a month ago to remember that babies spit up, and I'd probably better find where I'd stored the burp cloths.  It's still a bit surreal, too, oddly enough.  That this growth on my abdomen is a child... how strange is that?

But... excited?  I'm excited not to be pregnant anymore.  I'm excited to watch another child develop and see the twins get to be a big brother and sister.  But I'm not excited about another c-section.  Figuring out how to feed a new baby.  Trying to coordinate three children's naptimes so that I can EVER have time to rest or clean.  The spit-ups, the blow-outs, the laundry.  And the sleepless nights, the planning my life around a child who sleeps and eats in relentless three-hour cycles.  I could really skip every bit of that and be perfectly fine.

And I'm not looking forward to upsetting our balance.  I'm pretty dern happy with our little family, just the way it is.  (One factor that made it difficult to decide whether to even have another baby in the first place.)  I love my kids.  I revel in their smiles and the fun and love that we share.  I have our little life more or less under control (as much as I can reasonably expect, anyway).  But... adding a baby?  How will that work?  Why am I messing with a good thing?

I know this is silliness, though.  I know that I will love this baby with the same obsessive love I have for the twins.  And that despite the sleeplessness and constant bodily fluids, in a few weeks I won't be able to remember what it was like without our family's smallest member, and I will have no desire to change a thing.  So, in the next few days, if you happen to ask me if I'm excited and I answer with some sort of glassy-eyed stare, please don't be worried I'm going to hate my child.  I really am excited, but that excitement is buried under a million layers of pragmatic anxiety.

And could somebody please remind me to delete this post in a few years, so that poor baby Gus will never know what a terrible, hateful mommy I am?  Thanks...