So, I keep saying with an air of mocking authority that I will be having my baby late. And really, objectively, I do believe that. The Cervix of Steel will not fail me, and I also know, no matter how uncomfortable I get, it's still easier than having a newborn- having a newborn and a two-year-old, well, that's uncharted territory for me, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it isn't going to be easy. So, even if I don't *know* I'm going to have the baby late, I know what I am hoping for, is what I'm saying.
But really, it's more than just that.
I try to operate under the assumption that this baby will be as angry and overwrought as Grace was as a newborn. That s/he will spend weeks upon weeks refusing to sleep, staying awake for hours, screaming every time one of us dares to sit down whilst holding him/her. Hating the car, hating the bouncie seat, hating everything except motion and lights and stimulation, and sometimes hating that, too. It's not me being a pessimist, it's me knowing that it's always better to be prepared and then pleasantly surprised if you're wrong. And while I would not change a single thing about Grace, all hyperbole and sarcasm aside: those were three to five of the absolute hardest months of our lives. And I just don't know how we'll manage if we have another baby with such high needs on top of a toddler. How we'll give the baby what s/he needs and Gracie was she needs, let alone meet our most basic needs. And if we're not meeting our most basic needs, it just adds to the spiral of not being able to meet the kids' needs.
I am TOTALLY aware of the fact that we are far from being the first people to add a child to their family. I am TOTALLY aware of the fact that we are also far from being the first people ever to parent a high-needs infant. And yes, sometimes people DO get two high-needs infants, and they manage just fine. I get it. I also get the fact that we are incredibly, indescribably lucky because both of our families are here, and they're involved and they want to help us in any way they can. So we'll manage. We'll be FINE.
It's just the knowledge of what we're getting into. I'm not afraid of labor. I have no delusions about having this baby without an epidural. I know my limits, and they involve very prompt epidurals. Even the laboring before the epidural, eh, whatever, ends quickly. It's the newborn period, the crushing, seemingly-endless sleep deprivation, that makes me practically tremble with fear.
I think we need a copy of The Little Engine That Could in this house.