Served with a Dash of Optimism
When I was pregnant with S, I did not believe my pregnancy would actually result in a baby. This persisted through labor right until the point when my midwife told me to reach down and touch the top of his head as he was crowning. I could feel him move, saw him on many an ultrasound, and knew he was in there, I just couldn’t make the mental transition to “real baby.”
Needless to say, I didn’t set up the nursery. I had a baby shower so we were swimming with the requisite stuff, but it all just got piled into the back bedroom. The previous owners of our house had already painted the walls a nice green, so I was not motivated to change that. Aside from cleaning out extra stuff and buying a dresser and a nightlight, there was really no advanced preparation. I never “nested.”
Then my dad attempted suicide. Then S came 3 weeks early. Then my dad killed himself. Then I had a newborn to take care of.
Needless to say, decorating was not high on my list.
S, as far as I can tell, is not scarred from spending time in a laundry basket or having undecorated walls for the first few months of my life. Once he was about 3 months old, I did feel the need to organize and clean, but I think this was because I was spending most days at home, not because of any hormonal or maternal impulse.
This time, although I will admit that I still have a mental disconnect between pregnancy and wailing baby, I do feel the need to get organized and clean before the baby arrives. This time, I can actually imagine a baby arriving and I know that once they arrive, nothing else gets done.
I also did not accomplish what I wanted to achieve, professionally speaking, while I was on research leave. I think once the shock abated, I had to grieve and instead of throwing myself into my work, I just tried to emotional heal and take care of S. Now, however, I have a lot to do so that I am a viable tenure candidate in a few years.
So, to the nursery. This time there will be one, not because she-beastie gives a hoot, but because I am going to be spending a lot of time in that room and the white walls, metal blinds, bare floor, and hideous light fixture are just not doing it for me. Currently, it is being “de-mancave-ified” so I can not take pictures, but here are some bits and pieces to give you an idea.