By 26.5 weeks gestational time, nearly 2 years ago, we had a crib ordered, bedding being custom-sewn, nursery paint selected. I had spent easily 657 hours researching bottle nipples and infant baths, which changing pad cover was the cushiest and which nursing pads left the least obtrusive outlines under your stained cotton bra. I had given Thalia a nickname, The Bean–original, I know–if not an actual name.
I had written something of a pregnancy journal for her, even if it is too embarrassingly bad to ever share. I had read to her. I had sung to her. I had squinted my eyes hard and tried to envision what she might look like based on a few fuzzy sonogram shots.
By 26.5 weeks gestational time, i.e. today, i.e. the third trimester is upon me, i.e. holy shit there is really a baby inside me and it’s going to come out one day very soon and it might actually need things–
I have done nothing.
Forget nursery colors, there’s not even a nursery. I haven’t researched double strollers. I haven’t dusted off the breast pump.
Not only don’t we have a name picked out, we haven’t even discussed it.
Although I am warming up to Moxie Crimefighter Too.
We don’t even have a nickname. Sorry #2, you’ve simply been saddled with #2. I promise to make it up to you with extra dessert one day.
I’m not sure to what degree this lack of planning is simply the standard for baby # next, or a dastardly way of avoiding thinking about the inevitable changes to come.
Try as I might, I can’t picture what our life will be like with double the daughters. I want to imagine buckling them in the car for a quick run to the store (to refill my Percocet scrip, no doubt). I try to see plane rides across country, hopefully on wide-bodied jets with the rare four seats across. I attempt to envision wrangling them both into a booth at the corner diner on those Saturdays when slapping together my own grilled cheese sandwich just seems too big a burden. And then I see myself opening the paper while seated alone at the diner with both girls, picking up a pen, opening the crossword as one of them starts to fuss and…
That’s when my brain screeches to a halt, pulls an illegal U into oncoming traffic and finally steadies itself with more comfortable questions like whether we’re out of milk or if I’ll have time to get a pedicure during the week.
Hate to use an outdated ghetto-fabulous phrase, but it’s like my subconscious is waving a flattened palm in the face of my conscious and saying, Oh no girl, don’t even go there.
Of course as Nate reminds me whenever I allude to panicky feelings, we’re not the first ones to have spawned twice, ya know. And so I try hard to keep in mind that there are families out there with four kids. Or seven. Or single moms raising twins. They’re adapting, surviving. Better – they’re happy. But instead I think of these stupid exchanges that keep happening to me. A couple days ago I met a woman who stared at my belly and exclaimed, “Your kids will be HOW FAR APART? Are you CRAZY? Do you know how HARD that will be? What were you thinking! You’re not going to keep working are you? Now THAT would be nuts.”
Yes, she really used the word crazy. Yes, she really yelled it.
I just smiled and nodded and plotted future ways to humiliate her in public.
And then dwelled on it for the next 48 hours.
Truth be told, I am not exceptionally worried about where the new baby will sleep, what she’ll wear or even what I’ll scribble on the birth certificate that first morning in the hospital as I cradle her in the crook of my other arm, carefully avoiding the wound from the IV. I know that breast pump is around somewhere and if we can’t dig up that infant bath, we can certainly get a new one.
I know that overall, of course everything will surely come together in the end. It always does.
But I am a little worried about why none of it has felt like a priority just yet.