Depends on what your definition of “ready” is

So the question has been raised: am I ready? It’s possible this is the appropriate next thing to ask a woman who whines incessantly about how long she’s been pregnant. Are you ready to not be pregnant anymore, along with what that hopefully means?

Well, define ready. There are a lot of different ways one may or may not be ready:

  • Emotionally
  • Physically
  • In terms of practical arrangements, like child care
  • In terms of stuff purchased
  • The room may be ready
  • You might actually have the hospital bag packed
  • Or you know, birth announcements prepped and a month’s worth of healthy dinners frozen in the freezer. (AHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Tell another one!)

    So am I ready?

    When I was pregnant with Grey, I did more emotional and physical preparation. I got this book on hypnobirthing and read it and listened to the accompanying CD and imagined myself floating on a strawberry-colored bed of mist. I took childbirth classes and infant CPR classes. I read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” religiously.

    This time? Well, not so much. I think the hypnobirthing would be a good idea to freshen up on — I have a suspicion that it honestly did help me have a relatively easy labor. But on the other hand, I have one easy labor under my belt and USUALLY second children are easier yet!

    I have done an epic fail on any and all classes. I’ve called like 8 times, but the woman’s never in and, uh, then I forget for another week. And “What to Expect” makes me roll my eyes half the time.

    And then there’s all those practical things. I finally have my “emergency call” list set up for childcare — a great relief let me assure you. But I don’t have my “Feeding and Care of A Grey” document ready to go (which only seems fair — after all, folks should know where we’ve stashed the super-cool “You’re a big brother now” bribes in order for them to be effective.)

    I moved Grey to his “big boy carseat” and washed the baby carseat… but it’s still in mystifying pieces on the laundry room floor. And I have yet to unearth the bases for it, or install them in the car. If I discover that WHOOPS! Babytime! I suspect that my husband will be rather frustrated at the need to assemble the fiddly bits before heading off to the hospital. In completely and utterly unrelated news, I read today that one in three hundred women has given birth in the car.

    Then there’s the stuff element. I mean, I remember a vast amount of getting ready for Grey taking place at Babies-R-Us with steam rising off my credit-card from yet another quick-draw. With this baby? I, um, did some laundry (I am such a second-time parent. Did I buy special hypoallergenic laundry detergent. Nooo…..). And I bought some eensy weensy newborn diapers. I washed off the teethers this baby won’t need for a few months anyway. I located the truly incredible stock of Lanolin and nursing pads I accumulated last time. I keep feeling like I’m missing something, but the truth of the matter is I have pretty much everything I might need from the previous go-round. Babies don’t use much in the way of disposable goods, other than diapers. (If they’re breastfed — when bottle time comes I’ll need to buy all new bottles because the ones I have aren’t BPA-free because we didn’t worry about things like that back then.) The only thing I think I might even like is a new, “all his own” coming home outfit for this baby (which task of obtaining I have assigned to my mother-in-law). But holy shamoly do I have a lot of 0 – 3 month outfits.

    And then the hospital bag. Last time I had it ready to go like 2 months ahead of time. I had “focus” pictures in it, massage lotion, speakers for my iPod, a few favorite CDs for the various moods I might be in, a hand-stamped sign informing all and sundry that Grey was going to be nourished by me alone, an overly optimistic going-home outfit for me, a carefully selected nightgown for the hospital and several thousand calories worth of granola bars. Even the bag itself was hand-painted with Grey’s theme of dragonflies.

    This time? Well, I’ve gotten a bag out of the closet. It’s the Cozumel bag. It’s currently on the floor in my room. Last time, I wasn’t in the hospital long before giving birth, didn’t want music, didn’t want to look at anything and didn’t want my husband to touch me. After the birth, well, the hospital had GREAT chocolate cake. And I was pretty busy with this baby-thing that kept needing me for stuff.

    So I do need to pack a hospital bag. It should include:
    *Hairbrush and hair ties
    *Camera (last minute addition)
    *Cell phone
    *Less optimistic going home for me outfit
    *Outfit for baby
    *Several thousand calories worth of granola bars (what if they aren’t serving chocolate cake?)
    *Lots of space for the loot I’ll be bringing home with me from the hospital

    I really should be able to pull most of this stuff together in a few hour’s focused attention.

    As far as the hand-stamped sign, birth announcements and preprepped dinners go? Yeah… right. I’ll let you know about that.

    Look at that ginormous belly -- and that little boy standing next to me fit in it at one point. Please do not look at my chin/s.
    Look at that ginormous belly -- and that little boy standing next to me fit in it at one point. Please do not look at my chin.
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    Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

    3 thoughts on “Depends on what your definition of “ready” is”

    1. After all the complaining about being a second baby, I expected more of you. Now you know!

      And there is always take-out pizza!

      Give Grey a hug and kiss for me.


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