I have been rough drafting lists and emailing letters to myself and my husband this past week about how I plan to take care of myself and how to enlist others to help me be able to take care of myself when I have this baby. Being prepared and empowered rather than hopeful and disappointed has been a real and good theme as of late for me.
I came across this lovely piece today and I liked it. I like to think of myself and mothers as strong and wonderful and completely deserving of support and assistance and the ability and the right and the voice to state what it is that we need and want so that we can sustain and be sustained by the enormous amounts of energy and spirit and calories and rest and fluids and peace and safety and laughter and tears and yes sleep (maybe a tiny bit??) that this whole baby-having and baby-making thing is gonna take.
I am really enjoying planning because I want to minimize the despair and horror and actual danger and maximize the health and sanity and niceness of postpartum for me and the baby and very importantly, my whole family. So far I have planned money earmarked for healthy food, and let me explain this very well: Not some asinine pile of ingredients, some fridge full of vegetables noone is gonna chop, or wierd grains noone is gonna boil, or gross frozen stuff noone is gonna bake, but food from a PLACE, ok? Tabbouleh and Hummus and quarts of soup and bagels and subs and fruit salads and yep from a place. A restaurant, a store, already made. There is no other way and I am not loading up on pizza this time and getting into a lactose-colic baby again, so dairy-free high quality food food food. I have had 4 kids who had big time issues with me eating dairy when they were nursing. Gas, crying crying crying oh, the crying!
I have started a big pile of clothes that are of the giant T-shirt, nursing bra/pads and pajama pants theme. There nothing quite like walking around bleeding to death with maternity pants that fall off everytime you have the displeasure of standing up to wade through the toys to look into your empty fridge. The only thing worse is jamming into the pre-pregnancy clothes and looking and feeling like a squeezed horrible pig or, lets be honest, bleeding all over them, not to mention milk and baby barf and baby poo that inevitably encrusts you day and night for a little while there...(at least I am having a girl and they dont pee all over your face! I miss that! Less face-pee! )Now you have a huge laundry pile to lift and deal with and fold and seperate and....yeah right. Trust me Ive been there 4 times. One stupid nightgown and your only 2 bras, down rotting at the bottom of the hamper under all the towels and washcloths and bedding that the baby sprayed yellow poo on, plus the 6 other people's clothes. You'll see that nightgown and those 2 bras again next season, maybe. So I am adding right now: One Special Mommy Hamper. Awesome.
I have so far 6 big cool TALL tshirts and 4 pairs of "cozy pants" already in my pile. Gross undressed idiot is not happenin' this time. Not pining away for imaginary casserole-deliveries or fairies who will "babysit" the other children, either. And thats ok! Because being out of self-pity, out of denial, is being out of danger for me, and that makes me happier than five beloved MaryPoppins ever could.
I look forward to sharing with you my "list" as it grows. For now it is food and outfits. But it will grow and maybe it will be of some help to others who will identify more with my situation than the one that is so often portrayed in the books and the pamphlets and the TV. You know, the one where the mom has no other children, a husband who mysteriously has like a month off of work, and a mom, mother in law and three best friends who come to "give her a break" by protecting her rights to nice food, showers, and even naps. Being jealous and angry about this has gotten me nowhere fast and so I am preparing some good stuff for us that really makes me feel like I have my head on straight. Promise to keep y'all posted!!!