hospitalbag

This morning I realized that my nesting hormones have kicked in. I was just wondering the other day when I would feel the desperate need to clean and organize the house, despite being tired from growing a person while taking care of a toddler. I’m 15 weeks into this pregnancy, and if my memory serves me correctly, that’s about the time with my previous pregnancies when the nesting started. Then it occurred to me that I’ve actually been feeling a need to nest for about a week already, the only difference is that this time around, the nesting has presented itself differently than before.

When I was pregnant with my now two year old son, from about 14-16 weeks on, our home was almost always immaculate. I’d come home from work, eat a snack and rest for a bit, then clean. Downsizing gave me a rush that I never feel when I’m not pregnant. I loved organizing the baby’s room before his arrival; in fact, the morning I went into labor I was up early working through minor contractions while cleaning the house and making sure everything was where it needed to be.

My second pregnancy ended so early that there was no time for the nesting to kick in.

With my third, most recent pregnancy, I remember feeling the need to nest last fall when all things pumpkin spice and apple cider were in full season. I made apple butter for the first time. Somehow I managed to keep the house clean, for the most part. I made cute chalk art when Christmas time rolled around. Then I was put on bed rest and the nesting was stifled. No amount of knitting or pinning thousands of pins on Pinterest could satisfy my instinctual desire to clean and create. There was even a time where I rebelliously defied the doctors bed rest orders and tidied the house a bit; my husband followed me around and told me that he would take care of it, I needed to rest. I remember turning to him at one point and yelling, “I can’t rest anymore, it physically hurts! I need to clean something, please!”. Sometimes I wonder if I had not done that if my daughter would be alive.

This time is different. This time I’m making a list for what to put in my hospital bag. That’s right, at 15 weeks I’m already packing my bag. I’m putting together a list of names and phone numbers of people to call in the event that I need to get to the hospital and need someone to watch my son. I’m making a list to bring with me to the hospital; a list of things that I’d want to do in the event that this baby is born early and just like it’s sister that was born only seven and a half months ago, passes away. I am trying to keep the house clean and organized, but not because I have some indistinguishable need to have things “just so”; rather it’s because last time the house was a total wreck when I left and if something happened this time, I’d rather my sweet husband not have to take time to come home and clean under stress in preparation for my homecoming. If we have to come home with empty arms again, we might as well come back to a home that’s somewhat organized.

As a PAL mom, I know I don’t have to justify my fear of the unknown. It’s a given in this community. Others on the outside will need more clarification, although some will not fully understand. I don’t really care if they understand and empathize, this is my new paradigm.

This new paradigm has taken some getting used to, but I’ve realized that I will stress less if I allow myself to not feel guilty for feeling the way I do. To not feel guilty, but instead feel what I feel and yet hope for the opposite.

I don’t feel guilty for being disconnected from this pregnancy; it’s the way I’m coping right now, but I’m hopeful that as things progress- if things progress- I’ll be able to connect with this baby.

I don’t feel guilty for not wanting to share the news of this new life with the whole world, only those that are close to my family.

I don’t feel guilty for being reluctant to buy maternity clothes (I got rid of almost everything after my last pregnancy), and hating every minute of it when I do. But I am hopeful that eventually I’ll be big enough to have to buy maternity clothes.

I’m choosing to embrace this new mindset. So with that, I’m off to choose which pair of yoga pants to pack in my hospital bag.

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