My doctor told me yesterday that I need to be on a “soft” bedrest until I’m 36 weeks along. She didn’t put me on strict bedrest because it’s summer break so I’m not teaching at the moment, and she knows I have a toddler. Putting a toddler-mom on bedrest is the essentially the same thing as handing her a big pill of “Mom Guilt” and telling her to take it. It’s already hard enough being this pregnant and having a walking, tantrum-throwing little dude on your hands. It makes it much worse when everyone is on your case about laying down. You can’t do what you need to do to keep up with your kid, so you’re constantly handing him over to other people and ignoring him when he wants you to pick him up. And if you do lift him when no one is looking, or get down on the floor to play with him, and you have a contraction, you feel like you’re threatening your new baby’s life.
It’s been a grueling few weeks trying to balance what is best for both babies. But I haven’t actually been put on bed rest. I’m just supposed to limit my activity as much as I can. Which I’ve genuinely been trying to do (most of the time), but this is where my head’s been at:
I have one week and three days until I’m 36 weeks in this pregnancy. Then I don’t have to limit my activity anymore (but let’s remember that your activity is naturally limited when you’re this large in summer in Tennessee). That is potentially one week and three days of Isaiah being our only baby. At the most, we have a little over 5 weeks before he really will be a big brother (unless J throws a curve ball at us all and is late). I had a list of things I wanted to do with him this summer to soak in the last few weeks of just us, and now I’m realizing I probably won’t get to all of them. And then I will be so consumed with our new baby girl I won’t be doing any of that stuff anyways.
And then it will be back to work.
Now, I know my 13 month old is not going to look back at this time and remember how we didn’t take him to the zoo or pool enough when he was an only child. These are totally my own expectations I’m not meeting. Is it a crazy, hormone-driven pipe dream to think that I could get my pregnant self, my one year old, and my husband to a bunch of family activities this summer? Definitely. Does that make it any easier to let go of? Nope.
So, here we are. The final countdown to being a family of four. I can’t wait to hold Josie and cuddle her and breathe in that newborn smell. I’m actually excited about the late-night nursing. (If you’re in the midst of it right now, I promise it’s true what they say about missing it!) But there is a true sense of sadness that Isaiah won’t get the same mommy and daddy time he did before. I’ve been told that this is normal. Lots of moms have felt it, especially when their kids were so close together. But I’ve also been told that every mom finds her rhythm between the two babies’ needs and feels great about it in the end. I’ll get there.
While I’m anticipating the craziness that’s about to begin, I’ve been really observant of Isaiah’s sweetest behaviors. I want to capture them somehow and remember them forever. I decided to make a list here to look back on, and I may or may not be sobbing thinking about how freakin’ cute he is.
- When he wakes up for the day, or from a nap, he sits up in his crib, hugs on his puppy (a stuffed animal he’s become really attached to), and “sings”. It’s this sweet, quiet, little falsetto voice. He doesn’t cry for us to come get him. He just sings whatever is on his little heart.
- He has an attachment to a stuffed animal. I never have thought this was cute in any other kid. But seeing him lug around that puppy that is almost too big for him to carry is heart-melting stuff, for sure.
- He holds my hand. He will just reach out and take it sometimes. (Insert loud, ugly sobbing here).
- If you ask him for a “big squeeze” (and he’s in the right mood), he will throw his arms around you and squeeze tight. Sometimes he will squeal while he’s doing it.
- He smiles and laughs whenever we come home from work.
- He crosses his ankles when he’s sitting in his carseat.
- He claps for himself and says “yayyy!” for doing things like taking a drink from his sippy cup.
- He dances to literally any song. Chris plays classical music in the car sometimes, and Isaiah sways to it.
- He has favorite stories. He will bring me books to read to him, and he will sit in my lap and let me rock him through an entire book now. This one really melts me.
- I sing “Jesus Loves Me” to him while I rock him before bed. I know he’s getting sleepy when he lays my head on my shoulder and plays with my hair while I’m singing. I’m usually blinking back tears the whole time out of sheer joy that I can have those moments with him.
Goodness. Motherhood just really can wreck you. I have been blessed with one angel, and I am so happy I have been entrusted with two. Josie will melt me with her sweetness, too. I can’t wait for this precious addition to our family; we will make the most of our party of three while we have it.
Soak in your own sweet moments, mamas.