As the countdown to the birth of my second child ticks away, I’m getting a little impatient. I’ve prepared the nursery, stacked diapers and pre-washed every onesie. Now I’m in a holding pattern, flying in circles above the airport waiting for the ground crew to clear me for landing. But they must be asleep on the job ‘cause no one’s making the call. So I wait. And the longer I wait, the more I stress.
Jamie’s finally home after a book tour with his brother to promote their new cookbook, The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up. It’s another baby of sorts for us—one we’re both very excited about and proud of. I can handle things on my end while he’s gone, but I’m sure glad he’s home in time. Usually our 4-year-old son, Jack, and I would tag along, making a family vacation out of it, but not this close to my due date. Sure, I have family near to help, but I prefer to take care of things on my own. It’s my job, after all, and one that I take very seriously. Some people may think I have nannies and babysitters on speed dial, but I don’t. Jack’s had a babysitter about two times in his life. It’s not that I don’t need a break, I just know that no one can care for him like we can—and these early years are so fleeting, I want to hold on to every precious moment.
So today I find myself chasing around my rambunctious boy wondering just how many rounds of duck-duck-goose it will take to shake this baby loose. The doctor informed me that it could happen anytime between today and two weeks. Today sounds good, but sometime after taking Jack to Paula’s to play with the new bunnies and before Jamie leaves on another plane would be just about right—so, yeah, if you’re listening, lil’ man, 4:18 works for me.
Everyone keeps reminding me to use this time to get some rest—to bank my sleep before the baby arrives. But that’s the third-trimester irony: you can’t sleep. Your hips feel like they’re being prodded with a burning stick and if I have one more dream about birthing a dinosaur, I’m going to need counseling. Lately, I wake at 3 AM and stare at the ceiling fan for about 4 hours. Right about the time I think sleep might be possible, Jack pounces on the bed full of energy and remains that way until 8 PM.
I know, by comparison, this is supposed to be the “easy” part. Soon I’ll be juggling two children. Swaddling a newborn while simultaneously gluing Batman’s head back on. But by comparison, the “hard” part is what I look forward to the most. After all, it’s the part where I finally get to meet my baby boy face-to-face. The part where Jack becomes the overprotective big brother and Jamie and I share quiet look-what-we’ve-made-together moments as we watch our boys grow.
So please, give the signal. Ring the bell. Unleash the hounds. Whatever. Just land the plane already.