There are few things I’ve encountered less stressful than waiting for a newborn’s arrival with a toddler at home and a husband who works in a field where his days aren’t spent in one place. While I have a long commute, I’m blessed with a job that ensures I’m always in the same place if a family emergency arises, and we made the choice to keep the kids in daycare near me for that reason. The only time we feel the strain is when Jason is the only one who can respond to family emergencies (like driving a laboring wife to the hospital). It worked out fine with A because I went into labor overnight and our only responsibilities were Abby (our Australian Shepherd), three cats and the pile of chickens. They were all able to keep a few hours until my mother in law stopped in to pick up the dog and water and feed the others.
Expecting with a toddler is a totally new game – one that had him out of work yesterday in a dreadful snowstorm because early labor is just dragging on and neither of us are keen to deliver a baby in our Subaru on the side of a road because we got such a late start to the hospital. We are fortunate in good neighbors and family who are all willing to take A at a moment’s notice, but the constant mental gymnastics of who can we call if X happens is starting to take its toll. We have a plan, and a back-up plan, and my doctor’s reassurance that we can bring her to L&D with us if we need to, but I don’t think I’m going to feel fully settled about any of it until Baby M is here, and we know exactly how the next 48 – 72 hours are going to play out for our sweet girl, who is so very excited about her brother’s arrival.
So what are we doing to cope with the waiting today, given that the house is about as immaculate as it can be with a toddler in full time residence, the freezer is full of homemade meals, and the hospital bag is not only packed but also in the car (where it has been since the first false labor scare of two weeks ago…ugh). We’re going to town – to do some shopping and walking and have another Mama/Toddler morning because A deserves all the time she can get before her little brother arrives and throws our routine out the window, and I’m trying to remind myself that things will get more difficult to manage before they get easier, even if it’s uncomfortable to be out and about at 40 weeks.
And until A wakes up after last night’s rough night of sleep, I’m going to sit back and enjoy what I’m hoping might be my last quiet cup of morning tea with only one little one to care for.