After the last blog post, an update: I’m still panicking, but feel slightly more calm.
After being temporarily housed for almost two months, we are FINALLY scheduled to get our keys for the house at the end of the day Monday/first thing Tuesday.
I’ve made 3-month and 5-month maternity leave schedules based on my newly-discovered lack of coverage I thought I would get. Even if I can’t afford it, at least I can look at it on paper.
I have reached out to some companies I’ve freelanced for in the past just to see what’s going on. I’ve already gotten one positive response.
I also got to hold a friend’s 6-week old baby yesterday. We actually hung out quite a lot, the baby and I. The friend used the baby-free opportunity to slowly eat a burger and sip some mojito-from-a-bat. I did my best to hold the baby without squishing her or my belly. At one point she got fussy and I was worried about moving her while supporting her head; another friend with two young ones just swept her up and showed me how to move her, but it was so quick I’m not sure I caught all the details. But overall she’s a strong little tyke and very alert, and was very happy to just sit on my (quickly diminishing) lap and listen to the conversation; she was probably trying to see people but can’t focus that far yet.
Usually when people hold babies it freaks them out, like they’re going to catch "baby cooties" or it dawns on them that one day they’ll actually HAVE one of these they can’t give back when it starts to cry.
But for whatever reason, as I held her in my arms, and repositioned her from time to time when she got fussy, and let her head rest in the crick of my neck, I felt calm. I felt I could do this. I felt like "once my little one is out, it won’t be so bad."
The actual having of the kid has never scared me, either the birthing part or the actual possession part. The caring and maintenance and affordability parts are what scare me. And right now they’re scaring the crap out of me.
But people with less have had babies and managed, so we will too. We’ll figure some system out. We’ll cut costs or I’ll go back to work part-time early or we’ll rent the third room out, or whatever. We’ll figure it out. But no matter what we do, we’ll be doing it for our daughter, and somehow I know getting to hold her as she’s fighting sleep and feel her nuzzle into my shoulder will make it all worth it.