As I waddled in to my doctors office 38 weeks pregnant, hot, bothered and uncomfortable I slumped into the chair and sighed “Is it nearly over?”
Then 38.5 weeks came, three more days and I was a completely different person. A woman on a mission. My vision was heightened, dust that I couldn’t see days ago was suddenly illuminated around the house, spots on the windows ate away at me, it was like a switch had gone off and out of nowhere I was in the ‘nesting phase’.
I started with the timber venetian blinds, I dusted and polished every one in the house. As I dusted the blinds the windows seemed to become dirtier by the minute so that was my next job. When the windows were finally clean, then came the kitchen. The pantry was emptied and organised, followed by the same treatment to each of the cupboards. In hindsight, climbing onto the kitchen bench 39 weeks into the pregnancy just for the sake of a clean cupboard was probably not a good idea, but clearly, all rational thought had left my head.
The house was sparkling clean all ready for the due date, the nursery was not what I wanted but I was waiting until we moved into the new house for that. I spent the morning of the due date waiting, I was convinced our baby would be on time, I hate being late so surely he or she would have inherited my punctuality. When 12.00 rolled around, still no baby and no sign of labour, I thought it would be a good time to get started on the garden. There I was, 40 weeks pregnant, on all fours in the front yard pulling weeds. With my balance and centre of gravity completely out of whack, I used my bucket full of weeds to stand up from my bent over gardening pose, getting into an upright position was slow and awkward, there was nothing yoga-esque or glamorous about it. I looked ridiculous, and I continued to look ridiculous until all the weeds were gone. Although as awkward as they were, I enjoyed my days in the garden, day-dreaming of my baby, feeling him kick as I crawled from plant to plant. The days went quickly and by the time I was finished the garden looked beautiful and I had dreamt up what I wanted the new nursery to look like.
The garden, the house and the ideas for our soon to be new house were finally ready for me to have this baby.
The next day, at 41 weeks, I went into labour and our beautiful boy was born. By the time I came home from hospital the weeds were already growing back and it had rained so all the windows were once again filthy. There was washing that needed to be folded and put away and I realised, life in my house had not stopped just because I had gone off to have a baby.
Two months after we brought our boy home we moved house, we packed up everything we owned and nesting had to begin again in the new house. Although this time it was less about instinct and more about it just needing to be done. When you are sleep deprived and breastfeeding every three hours your priorities tend to shift from needing everything spotlessly clean to simply needing a rest. The windows weren’t cleaned for weeks after we moved in and now seem to be continuously dirty, someone has developed a tendency of licking them, and no, we do not have a dog. The garden is a work in progress and the cupboards are randomly arranged in a way that all baby friendly items, such as tupperware and pots, are low and all non baby friendly items, such as knives and graters, are high. It is fitting that the only nesting that really happened in this house was in my son’s room. The rest of the house was just arranged and unpacked but his room was planned and created, a colourful little sanctuary. I can only hope that when he is big enough he will love it as much as I do.
It’s funny the things we do, or think is necessary to do, in preparation to bring a baby into our lives. The baby can’t see the spots on the windows or the dust on the shelves, the baby can barely see at all. All the baby wants is it’s parents and if you are in the house then the house is perfect as is.
I don’t know whether it was to kill the time while I waited for the baby or whether it was instinct, maybe a combination of the two, either way, nesting made me feel ready to become a mother. Next time I don’t think I will nest, I know I won’t have the time. I already am a mother as long as I have some clean clothes, both for the baby and myself, and some frozen meals prepared I will be as ready as I can be.