Operation Procreation, Mission Three

You guys. There’s a baby in my belly.

I know. I needed a moment, too. But it’s true, and my jeans will vouch for me, because they don’t button anymore. It’s there, somewhere under my belly button, swimming around, all teeny-tiny fingers and toes, making me insanely tired, improbably nauseous, and forcing me to wear pants with elastic panels that come up to my chest. All I need are suspenders and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and I look like an elderly farmer with a potbelly sitting on his front porch, watching the world roll by. Except that my front porch would be littered with kids’ toys and two (three!) young children climbing the railing.

But here we are: three months, countless packs of saltines and lots of naps later, I have finally, finally crawled out from under the rock that is the first trimester to shout it from the rooftops:

Operation Procreation has launched its third mission, expected to be completed around the first week of January.

And boy, do I need to catch up on the laundry.

We wanted another child, but no rush, no worries–we have two healthy children, so this is, like, a bonus track on the best album you’ve ever heard. We worried about squeezing a growing family into our ah, modest home, but decided to hold off on looking for another for a little while, content to lie low for a bit, not rush into a big move, regroup. And, then, well, I started sleeping all the time. Boy, oh, boy (or girl? BadumDUM), nothing prepares you for the zero-to-sixty the pregnancy hormones can race through the old bloodstream. One minute you’re at the gym, kicking butt in a cardio class, and the next, you’re lying on the couch, chugging ginger ale (I never drink soda. EVER. And I still say ginger ale doesn’t count as long as it makes me stop wanting to barf) and thinking that you’re getting too old for this.

Saoirse has been so much fun so far with this. She keeps asking about the baby, worrying that Quinn will squash it when she tries to cuddle, asking what it sees and hears and eats. We’ve looked over pictures, and talked about umbilical cords. She wanted to know how the baby comes out (of course I told her. We do not want her messing around with boys for a very, very, long time…). She wants to call  it “Botch” if it’s a boy, and likes “Tree” for a girl. She asks for a girl but will deal with a boy. She wants to know when we can go get it from the hospital and if she gets a lollipop like the last time. Actually, she wants to talk about it way more than Mom does, because frankly, honey, Mom just wants to lie down for a little while while you play, okay?

We’re having another baby. And it’s not any less amazing and awesome than it was the last time, or the first time. I don’t care if I’m of “advanced maternal age” (okay, a little, and just barely), or that I will most definitely have to go the surgical route again, despite the onslaught of  “I don’t wanna”s and “Butbutbut it’s not fair!”s that will inevitably run around my brain as the due date approaches. We are growing our family. You know what this means, don’t you?

It means:

I may never go to the bathroom alone again.

I will enter another year of breastfeeding, which means another year of nursing bras and pads and tank tops, of awkward public situations and modified wardrobe selections, of stopping life every two hours because the baby has to nurse nurse nurse.

It means another year of being hormonally and physically attached to this infant, not being allowed to stray too far from him or her, ever, because for one thing, pumping is a pain in the butt. Well, not the butt, but…well…you get the idea.

I will most likely shrink back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, whatever that is, only to discover, again, that my clothes don’t fit like they used to.

I will not sleep, consistently, or well, for at least a year, even if the baby does.

JUST when I have a pattern for exercising worked out, that routine will be knocked off base again. Well, it already has: you think I’ve worked out in the last two months? I tried to go running the other day and ended up laughing instead.

I know that every night at eight o’clock, especially if David is not home, the baby will melt down and begin crying for no apparent reason.

Same thing will happen at four o’clock.

And six o’clock.

We will be eating a lot of pizza.

We will have to figure out how to squeeze three carseats/boosters across a row in an SUV, because no, we’re not getting a minivan, okay?

It means more laundry than we can imagine, and we have a lot of laundry.

It means possibly giving up all that is good in the world again–cheese, milk, ice cream–if the baby can’t handle it in my boob juice.

It means getting bazonga boobs overnight ala Heidi Montag, only to slide back into the sort-of boobs ala, well, a women who’s breastfed three kids.

Apparently it means me talking about, thinking about, or fretting about boobs a lot. Basically, I’ll be a 14-year-old boy for a year.

A year of resenting David for having more freedom, more sleep, more time to actually do his hair in the morning.

It means a cluttered living room of swings, and bouncy seats, and baby toys.

You will be subjected to more pictures than you can handle of cute baby toes, and baby fingers, and big sisters cuddling little tiny swaddled baby bodies. Prepare yourselves.

Between now and January 6, I will undoubtedly walk into my local hair salon and beg the stylist to chop off all my hair. It’s what I do. But I must resist the urge to get all this heavy hair off of my stinking shoulders already, and remember the power of a ponytail over unkempt, unwashed locks.

It means diaper blowouts, and temper tantrums, and demands for attention–not just David’s–and no time for a shower, and wondering when I’ll ever get control over everything, and always living for somebody else.

And.

This also means bringing another precious child into our family: a child, who, if he or she is anything like Saoirse or Quinn, is going to be one of the neatest, smartest, most loved kids on the planet. It means the smell of baby hair, and quiet evenings in the glider, and watching the first coos and the wrap of those tiny fingers around one of my own, and sitting on the couch reading books with my two girls while feeding another. It makes me think of the future, when my three children are running around the yard, playing games, helping each other, laughing and fighting and making the neighbors threaten to call the police if they don’t keep it down already. It means more laughter, more giggling, more noise, more mess, more toys and books, more chaos and more love than I will even know what to do with.

I am so excited. Here we go.

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