I panicked a little last week, after all my big tough talk about not going into labor early. I started to think, oh my god, I might have this baby later tonight. Suddenly the crushing weight of everything I haven’t yet crossed off my to-do list started to hit me. I hadn’t packed our hospital bag. We didn’t have any diapers. I hadn’t bought a good nursing bra. Baby clothes were shoved into paper grocery bags and scattered haphazardly around the room. I hadn’t washed anything yet. There were things that had to be returned to Target, and I wasn’t sure I had the gift receipts.
I moved from my typical low-level anxiety dreams, like one about trying to return things to Target without gift receipts, to horrible crazy dreams involving suicide pacts and being lost in underground tunnels.
As it always does, slow and steady progress on the to-dos started to bring me back to earth. We went to Ikea and bought a dresser and I washed and folded the smallest baby clothes. I made a Target run and started packing the hospital bag.
But I also realized that the practical stuff was kind of a screen for larger anxiety. It wasn’t that I felt unready to bring the baby home to a messy room, but that I felt unready to become a mom. And as uncomfortable as I am becoming, there’s part of me that’s really sad at the prospect of not being pregnant anymore.
A few days later, the panic is wearing off. Nobody is ever ready to become a parent. Nobody is ever ready to do anything they’ve never done before. It just happens and then you work with it. So, Perquackey, you just come out whenever you feel like coming out. We won’t be ready, but that’s ok.