A few friends have asked about baby showers and nursery preparations and such. Nope, none of that will be going on in our family.
With Eleanor, we spent a fortune just acquiring furniture, car seats, and all the other necessities for a first baby, so I didn’t do much decorating with the nursery, and most of her clothes were hand-me-downs. Genevieve was the last baby we planned to have, so I splurged for her. I bought beautiful illustrations to hang in her room and expensive blackout curtains and a bunch of outfits with ruffles and baby animals.
When we came home without her, that beautiful room just sat untouched for about a year. At that point, I recognized that I wasn’t getting pregnant and that we were in for a very long wait, so I moved the art and curtains into Eleanor’s room.
People look taken aback when I tell them we’re doing nothing to prepare. Well, I am seeing both my ob/gyn and a perinatologist frequently, so I’m at least preparing from a health perspective. I’m not buying things for the baby though or making changes to the room. It’s not for a lack of love or attachment.
My expectations are just different this time. My doctors are more blunt with me, which I actually prefer to the saccharin enthusiasm of the past. Ultrasounds and tests can’t find everything; we know too well. This baby will most likely be healthy, as most babies are, but we don’t assume that. To buy clothes and toys and stencil a name on the wall feels like an invitation to disaster. I’m not preparing because all I care about is bringing home this baby alive.
I don’t let myself think ahead to November and December. I focus on getting through the present day. I plan home improvement projects. I write. I bake too much. I let Eleanor put her hands on my belly and dream for me.
And if we bring home a crying, up-all-night baby, then we can celebrate. Then I’ll take the oohing and aahing and spoiling. First, we have to get there.