I have thought a little bit of what my "word of the year" should be and each time I come up with the tongue and cheek answer of "survive." I think there will be a lot of days this year where we simply put one foot in front of the other, where we go with the flow and just try to make it til bedtime.
Most of the time I am slightly terrified of adding a baby to the mix; it feels like we just got things figured out with one kid. The reasonable side of me knows that it will be alright; that many people do it but the emotional side of me remembers how long it takes to breastfeed a newborn and the many hours we spent bouncing and shhhhhhhh-ing and crying. Zoe may not have been the world's easiest baby but I think she was fairly average.
There will be a few weeks (I haven't actually figured out how long since it doesn't really matter - it is what it is) where we wont have an income. My PTO and short term disability will be used up and Christopher isn't teaching. Christopher is trying to finish his dissertation this year. And we aren't sure yet what we will do for child care once I do go back to work. The solution may involve me changing hours or changing jobs.
People often ask if we wanted to have our kids close together. The best answer I can give is "we do now." And then, someone says that I am a poster child for getting pregnant while breastfeeding. Thanks. I know. I know.
Props to the people who have told me that they have done it that it is hard work at first but gets easier. Props to my friends who have reassured me that they loved growing up with siblings close in age.
Props to my new niece who demonstrated how wonderful it is to have a newborn fall asleep in your arms. (I had also forgotten how tiny they are and was reminded that baby boy will be much lighter than Zoe.)
I have been imagining (positive imagery people!) what it will be like to sit and nurse a baby while Zoe is running around and how we can go for walks with the Moby, stroller and Loki. I don't know what Zoe will be doing in a few months but I think she will quickly be getting to the stage of being more verbally redirect-able. I am working on independent play with Zoe and she is doing great. We are coming up with strategies for the sleep loss and planning to make lots of freezer meals. We are redecorating the office on a budget and are getting rid of things we don't need.
By the end of the year, we should be fairly adjusted to being a family of 4 and there should be many many paged of Christopher's dissertation written. We may even have a plan for the next years of life.
"Survive" may seem like a small goal and I know we will do much more than that but it seems like a good place to start.