And sometimes, it's just plain funny.
The actual process of potty training a child while you're pregnant is great. You're peeing so often that it's easy to remember to bring the toddler along each time. It's like a built-in potty timer! Perfect.
But then they actually become potty trained, past tense. Suddenly I'm waiting in line as my oldest takes a poo, my toddler does the potty dance in front of him, and I've got to go last because I'm the grown up. Meanwhile I'm imitating the toddler, legs crossed and all, and I've got to wipe the older one and then help the younger one with his clothes, all without peeing my pants.
And I'm asking myself the entire time, why was it, precisely, that you wanted to potty train the toddler?? I don't know, Self. I do not know.
The expectation of a new baby requires that certain preparations be made. For us, this included transitioning our bed-sharing toddler into his own bed. With that accomplished, our bedtime routine now involved me sitting in their room until said toddler fell asleep, as the alternative meant both boys were up for hours giggling and talking and playing together. As we figured out our new bedtime routine, I moved from sitting beside him on the floor, to sitting on the end of his bed, to sitting in between their beds, to our ultimate solution of me sitting on his bed while he fell asleep with his head resting on my lap. It's terribly sweet, actually, to have him fall asleep there, his head on my thigh, my legs a cradle on either side of him. Of course this only works because once he's asleep, he sleeps like a rock, making it easy to slip out from underneath him.
Aye, there's the rub. With this big belly of mine, there's no "slipping out from underneath him". It's more along the lines of heaving myself out from underneath him and praying I don't fall over in the process. There's an image of a beached whale in there somewhere as I struggle to both move out from underneath him and stand up at the same time. It's not pretty or graceful or smooth in the least; some nights I've very nearly given in and called my husband to come help me up. So far I've managed it myself, though, and I am invariably glad my five-year-old is the only witness to this nightly struggle.
And then comes time for me to go to sleep. I've been exhausted all day. After all, in celebration of Mommy becoming pregnant, my two year old decided it was the perfect time to stop napping. (This happened both times. My toddlers can be awfully unkind.) Surely I'll fall asleep as soon as my head hits my pillow. Good thing, too, since everyone keeps reminding me to get in my sleep while I still can.
But no. The cruel twist of fate known as Pregnancy Insomnia strikes again. Instead of grasping these last nights of uninterrupted sleep before the baby arrives, I lay awake for hours. My brain refuses to turn off. My loose pregnancy joints begin aching. My pregnancy bladder demands yet another trip to the bathroom. I begin to mope about how terrible my life is. Nothing like overreaction at two o'clock in the morning.
At last I fall asleep. Then, far too soon, I wake up again - and can't fall back asleep. Something urgent occupies my brain. Last week it was what order I should phone people in when I go into labour. What if no one's home? Should I get the quick calls out of the way first - tell the husband to come home, let the daycare kid's mom know it's time to pick him up, call a friend to come over if no one else is here - and then go through the longer process of calling the midwife clinic, seeing which midwife is on call, getting her pager number, paging her, and then awaiting her reply? Or should I just go straight to 911 because oh dear Lord I'm going to end up delivering this baby with three children staring at me and not another adult in sight! This was all very urgent and important and dramatic at four o'clock in the morning. I watched the room get brighter as the sun rose.
Some nights, I simply give up. It's 3:08am as I type this section. My life is unfair.
Prepping for Childbirth
I was watching some natural birth videos with the boy to help prepare him for the upcoming homebirth of his little brother or sister. He wants to be there and the videos answered more of his questions and prompted some really good new ones too. He's feeling quite calm about it all.
I, however? Completely freaked myself out with those stupid videos. I suddenly remembered quite vividly just how painful natural birth is. I don't want to do that again! What was I thinking?? I told my husband I was just going to cross my legs really tight and the baby could just live in there. Supportive man that he is, he laughed at me, and then he said that would only have worked if I'd tried it nine months ago. Very funny, darling husband. Just hilarious.
Oh, the Comments
With two boys and a third child on the way, I have learned two things from the comments I have received during this pregnancy:
- Three children is A Lot of Kids.
- Everyone hopes this one will be a girl.
As for the second, well, it's a little more difficult to stay lighthearted here. My midwife recently told me that three brothers would be nice, and you know what? I nearly cried. It was the first time this entire pregnancy that someone has said something positive about the idea of having three boys.
The worst comment I received so far was this gem from a mother of four: "Oh, you have two boys? Hopefully this one will be a girl. That would be nice. If not, well, you can always try again." Because it wouldn't be "nice" if I was blessed with a third boy, right? If sweet Mystery Baby is just another boy, it'll be "oh, too bad, but at least you can try again," is that it?
The second worst comment so far was from another mother: "Will you be okay if it's a boy?" No. No, I'll be devastated. Anything but another healthy and happy boy! The horror!
Finally, the third worst comment has come from multiple random strangers: Anything along the lines of "hopefully this one's a girl!" when said directly in front of my two boys. How do you think that makes them feel?
If it is a boy, I will be thrilled. What an honour and a joy to raise three sons!
If it is a girl, I will be thrilled. What an honour and a joy to experience raising a daughter!
We'll find out soon enough which joy our family will be blessed with.
Fortunately, not all of the comments received are awful. My favourite comment recently came from a single young man:
"So when are you due?"I'm not sure how I'm supposed to look in these last days, but it would seem "calm" is not it.
"In less than a week."
"What?? But you look so...calm!"
And with that, I'm off to work on my panic-stricken face.