See the little ticker on the right hand side of my blog? It says EIGHT days left! Single digits! And if that weren't crazy enough, just yesterday I thought to review the information from our ultrasound scan and realized that according to its estimates based on the size of the baby at 21 weeks, TODAY is the due date! I'm still pretty confident with our original date of September 28th though and baby has strict instructions to stay inside until at least next Monday for two reasons. First, tomorrow is our anniversary (nine years!) and I don't really want to share the date. Second, our dear friend Janette, a midwife who is planning to be our doula and labor assistant, has had to leave town for the week since her boyfriend's father passed away. So, I'm hoping that like Riker, this little one makes his grand entrance sometime right around the original due date. Oh, and I also hope that the entrance isn't all that grand. Let's go with quicker and easier this time!
I've really been enjoying maternity leave and have tried to keep the nesting instincts in low gear. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Riker, I power cleaned the house and had everything in perfect order. This time around, I have no illusions of the possibility of that actually happening what with a toddler hurricane always steps behind me. I've reread my two favorite birthing books, the baby's clothes and diapers are all clean, the carseat is installed and the house is generally in a tolerable state of disorder let's say. Mostly, I've been enjoying my time alone with Riker and letting him guide what we do with our days. Today we spent the whole morning on a walk with him in his Little Tikes red Cozy Coupe car watching the yellow diggers at the wetland construction site down the street. I am constantly in awe of him, both for his curiosity, persistence and sheer cleverness, but also for the things that he fixates on. He adores chickens, eggs, wheelie bins and the number eight for example. He's always pointing out the number eight on clocks and signs and can't go to bed without a good look at the eights on the digital clock. Odd, yet endearing.
These days are certainly full of mixed emotions, from excitement (a new baby, a sibling for Riker) to fear (how to manage two small children, whether this labor will be as difficult as the last, how to love them both equally) to sadness (I won't be able to spend as much time with Riker, I won't be able to focus on this baby as much as I did with Riker, my "little" baby is going to be a "big" person all too soon).
I have absolutely no idea how much Riker understands about the arrival of this new baby but I do think he knows that changes are afoot. He's getting more and more needy and only I can meet those needs. Really, my biggest fear about it all is that it's going to be a trying time for Riker and that I am going to be exhausted from adjusting to a new baby and not able to help him through the changes as much or as patiently as I'd like. I'm really hoping that this will be a time for him to do more special things with Brian and that they'll grow closer as a result. While Riker has been the center of our world for some time now, he's going to have to learn to wait and to share. Of course, I also hope to reinforce that no matter what happens, I am still there to support, nurture, and love him. I suspect it will be a balancing act to say the least!