I began to feel panicky. I only had a crib, a mattress, and a blanky. Yes, there are numerous boxes of years’ worth of boys clothing in the attic. But we don’t know if we’re even having a boy.

I had nary a nappy or bottle or binky in the house and I was 32 weeks along.  Although I thought it possible that people might offer up stuff via a shower or queries, time was running out. And I was woefully behind in my nesting preparation.

This is where I had an “episode”. Did we have enough money? What did I actually need? Were people going to help? Did anyone really care? Numerous worries compiling in my head. My husband calls this the shotgun effect.

You can worry or you can do something to abate the worry. Only the latter will make a difference.  If you really want to worry, make sure you put enough things on your plate to feel really overwhelmed. And definitely don’t break down and make a list of action steps toward alleviating the worry. Pay the worries the respect they need to fester. “It’s still your choice. Always has been.

As I had paid the bills, we had “extra” money (Maryland quarterlies be damned). And we planned a trip to Target. My swollen leg and my lack of car had me seated for that week prior so I typed up lists. There’s a ‘Bag for the Hospital’ list and a ‘Need for the Baby/ Nursery’ list. There’s also a ‘People Who Will Help after the Baby Arrives’ list. The lists helped me feel more prepared.

We hit the Target on Saturday. When I had filled the cart up, Mark looked at me and asked, “Do we have enough nest for all that nesting?” Sadly, a good chunk of the haul was just stuff for me. Like granny underwear and socks that don’t cut into my swollen calves, and nursing tops for the aftermath. Happily, most of the baby wear was on clearance.

This process revealed an important fact; you need to show up for you first. If you’re absent from your life and wonder why you feel abandoned, consider how to best show up for yourself and then do so. Funny how we can stand back and wonder where everyone is and forget to include ourselves in this equation.  Party of One is still a party.

We’re planning a meet the baby party after the birth. People will be able to actually see the fabulous blessing in person. And will most likely be relieved to know what gender of child to shop for were that necessary. Meanwhile, I am just glad to have that pile of stuff upstairs. Now if only that crib would paint itself.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

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  1. Hello there.

    I am so excited for you. Was this little bundle of joy expected :-). I really like your comment on showing up for your own party. How true this is. Made me really think. I needed this right now. Thank you. I have not had much time these days to read all your posts but will soon.
    When is this wonderful little bundle supposed to arrive. Please email me and let me know as I may not see your comment.

    Lots of hugs from me, Sheryl

  2. Shalagh! I soooo empathize. Mine were closely spaced, so I still had all the gear I needed for baby #2, but I found there was far less hoopla & fanfare, which was discouraging. I felt lonely & abandoned at times. I also found that once #2 was here, despite crazy things like simultaneously potty training while breastfeeding, I had an eerie sense of calm & fulfillment. I had what I needed right there all along, within myself. This is my wish for you! If you need anything at all though, I’m on the Board of a fantastic Mom’s Club http://www.chesapeakemomsclub.com. if I don’t have what you need, these women are magicians who will go to great lengths to pull anything out of their sleeves – all they need to know is there’s a Mom in need.

    1. Wow! That’s overwhelmingly swell of you Amanda. And I may be taking you up on that offer. Communities and networks are a gift to yourself as well. There’s a little bit of “Do my best, let go of the rest” going on and “Ask and you shall receive”. Finding the right combo of self-sufficiency and neediness is what I am striving for in life. Thank you so very much for your support.

  3. Party of One is still a party. I like that. You’re absolutely right, Shalagh, you need to address your needs first to be present for the little one, and for your own life. You will get done what you need to have done, ready or not, baby will come. Hopefully, people will be there to help you out. I’m glad you have that list ready! Just get lots of rest.
    Love, Amy

    1. Funny how your body tells you to have a seat when you need it. Yesterday I felt like crap. Today pretty good. I’m listening to this music a friend turned me onto. And later I’ll be sorting through and storing all that baby gear I procured. And I might take a walk in the 60 degree weather. Life’s pretty good.

  4. We love a list! As Amy says, baby will show up whether you’re ready or not…but you’ll be ready as you need to be and you’ll cope just fine. Not long now!!


    1. The closer it gets, the further away it becomes. Ready or not! Ack. Lists good. Pretend to be prepared then. Fake it till you make it. Thanks for your support. It means so very much.

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