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The Last Baby Tasks

For months I’ve been saying I was going to pack my hospital bag by the first of February. And install the car seats. And wash the baby clothing. That and the packing of the famous bag. Some sort of pivotal tasks in the pregnant lady’s inevitable future. All those baby musts hanging over my head like impending doom.

But I just couldn’t get to that point. Until last week, a week behind schedule.Why do we put things off? Is there some sort of misguided unspoken belief that if we don’t finish, we will postpone the outcome. That had my first vote.

I once house cleaned for an elderly woman named Mary. She was a real character and I understood her quirkiness more than most. She never wanted me to clean the top of her dresser because she would always be ‘getting to that’ herself. The dust and clutter were so thick that once I cleaned it anyway. I suspected getting to the task was a way of staying alive.

Last week, a week behind schedule, I installed those car seat bases into the cars.

I thought, was I really trying to postpone this to keep the baby from coming? And then I thought, maybe the opposite is true. I thought what if I don’t do it and the baby will happen sooner?

The real answer? We have no control over any of it. But our wee brains can’t comprehend we don’t have control. Just as with superstition, we knock on wood, hold our breath, or lift our feet in effort to affect an outcome.

We do have choices about our bodies, physically and mentally. And although it may be possible to influence your body to give birth on your due date, I am all set for sooner than later. But its nature and the good people at the hospital I’m going to have to trust in. That and I’ll brush up on the stages of labor just for the sake of preparedness.

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19 Responses to “The Last Baby Tasks”

  1. Amanda says:

    A third possibility, my personal favorite: “if I don’t do it, someone else will.” We can dream, right? 😉

    • Shalagh says:

      I love that. It made me laugh. It’s the genie. I’ve been waiting for him to show up. He needs to get cracking on my nasty yard cleanup. Seems that I’m the one who’s usually out there doing that because it’s not even bugging my husband. I feel like a prisoner as I am now watching spring trying to emerge beneath the brown earth throw-up on top of my beds. Wish me luck with that.
      Thanks Amy. Your an official member of the good egg club.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  2. Oh, Shalagh, the time is getting nearer. I can understand if your nerves are acting up. It’s such an exciting time and there’s no controlling the outcome. Embrace it, know things will work out! Get as much rest as you can. Love, Amy xoxo

    • Shalagh says:

      Having a seat is my favorite past time now. Turns out the swelling in only my right foot is due to the baby favoring that side of the womb! I think the nerves thing is gone now and replaced by the “let’s get this thing over with already” mode. And just you wait until you see what I went and did for the blog and steam rolled my nerves. It’s not the same as posting a post on mens equipment(awesome you), but it’s up there.
      You are on the e-mail list for the day, did I tell you that?
      Love,
      Shalagh

  3. Jane Barry says:

    Great post Shalagh, so thought provoking and engaging. Thinking of you across the water and sending good vibes your way x

  4. michelle says:

    I procrastinate because something else is usually earlier on the triage list.

    and what amy said! I was almost completely unprepared when alex came thanks to holidays, full time school, josh’s school, writing,and moving? But he lived. Didn’t even make my breastfeeding class because it was scheduled for the week that he came (early), but we muddled through alright. You’ll be ok. If you don’t get something installed, someone else will help you with it when the time comes to get it done. Although don’t do like R, and install your carseat AFTER you ARRIVE at the hospital to pick people up! ohhhh that was soo not fun. Mine was installed in my car, but people were horrified at the idea of me driving myself home. So there you go – I installed MY car seat and it did me no good at all.

    • Michelle, you had too much on your plate besides having a baby. Ironically, Mark had to use both cars this week to load up lighting equipment. I said, “Sure you can put the car seats in the garage and you make dag gone sure that you put them back ASAP.” He didn’t say “Yes Mam” but he knew his life was endangered. As for the waiting until someone can help you, unless it’s honestly out of my physical capability I’m doing it. Or he gets commanded the minute he gets home or I’ll forget. Mama’s not plating.
      Love,
      Shalagh

      • michelle says:

        I was just so shocked that so much could be undone and it still worked, he was none the wiser, bless his little heart. The bassinet my mom had gotten me was too big for my room, so we ended up moving the one intended for Richard’s room up … fit right next to my bed, was so nice.

        Tell Mark he is tempting fate!!! My nerves are getting wracked just thinking about him removing those seats lol!!!

        and yes, I don’t know what I was thinking when I tried to move and take a full course load at the same time as having a baby. In retrospect, that was the stupidest thing I’ve probably ever done. At the time, you just think, sure it will be fun! lol

        poor R … it is his first, so he had no inkling of the urgency of what it mean when I would say ” You are going to need to…” blah blah blah. No inkling whatsoever.

        The women in the family make sure everything is nice for you when the birth time comes, though. I came home to everything set up that we absolutely needed and the house set to a nice 70 degrees, we did ok.

        I just wish I had been able to drive my damn self home though. lol We had teenagers trying to show him how to get the car seat in and the car seats had become even more complex since even joshua’s birth, i was so surprised! Mine was a cheap one, so it was ok, but Richard’s was this big expensive thing (the one you have actually) and it was so hard to figure out! Especially on a cold December night with me and the baby in the hospital waiting room. Good times lol There’s always an adventure somewhere.

        • Shalagh says:

          Last time around, there were no happy women fairies to make the nest. And truthfully, this time I would appreciate some help but also can see how I may just want to be left in peace and chaos, you know. We’ll see. But I’m not turning down any offers for manual labor of any sort. Or cooking.

      • michelle says:

        the breast feeding thing surprised me too. No class, I had had no time to even so much as READ about what to expect. But the wonderful Maternity nurses at Easton taught us what to do on the fly, and I was fortunate in that I had a lean mean nursing machine for an infant. And then when I got home and had a problem a month later, the kind ladies from WIC were there because they had continued to reach out to me even after I was too busy to reply to letters. They finally texted me and thank God, because I had a raging infection that no one else was diagnosing properly. We almost lost the nursing thing altogether, by the time WIC had gotten hold of me he was bottle feeding because of my pain and only getting one nursing a day. They thought I was a goner supply wise lol. But what a great resource and support system they are!

        • Shalagh says:

          Thanks for that image Michelle. Although I’ve also heard that woman over at the Health department WIC program is a breast feeding Nazi. So I’m staying away from her in case I fall from grace and want to be good with my decision. Otherwise, I’m intending to create 6 months of breastfeeding bliss.

  5. michelle says:

    Did you get your bag packed yet? That’s one I would not procrastinate on too much longer. : (

    • Did it, done it, and even put deodorant in it today. The procrastination part of that task was in having extras of things. Because at this point, there are only so many pairs of underwear and pajamas, much less pants that fit. You don’t want to take them out of the mix. So last week I went and purchased just a few more things to make the packing permission fairy visit.
      Love,
      Shalagh

      • michelle says:

        I forgot about the extras thing… that IS a problem. Good idea to go shopping. By the end with Joshua, I had ONE pair of overalls that fit me. lol And it was too close to the end to go maternity clothes shopping. They were the best pair of overalls. And you had to pack two sets of clothes for baby too, right? Or did you just do bi-gender outfits?
        A big handsome genie! : ) !!!!!
        wouldn’t that be nice??????

        • Shalagh says:

          Even the overalls I bought second hand can not be buttoned up one side. And I was saving the gap white drawstringers for the last and wore them yesterday.
          I think the yellow and green and tan and blue will just have to be gender neutral enough.

  6. Ah Mrs H…another thought provoking post…and my thought most provoked is what superstition requires you to lift your feet in the air?! I’m stumped…all I can think of is my mum asking me to lift my feet up when she was trying to hoover around me!! See..on point as always…ha ha!!

    Love, eggy x

    • Shalagh says:

      When going over train tracks, people lift their feet off the car floor. I also know of people who hold their breath when driving by a graveyard.
      Thanks Wendy.
      Love,
      Shalagh

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