When I was pregnant with Mary I was so stressed at how I was going to cope with two small children. How was I going to nurse the baby, especially in public places, while also managing a toddler who liked to run? How was I going to keep the house relatively tidy? Somehow I managed and learned how, even though at the time it seemed I was pushing a boulder uphill. Then Tim left for a long deployment when I was pregnant with Maggie and I fretted and worried how I was going to cope with 3 small children by myself. Again, I learned tricks and methods that allowed me to do just fine.
Somehow I morphed from a newbie mom to an (almost) expert handler of multiple children. Then Charlie was born and I made a novice mistake of forgetting to bring newborn clothes to the hospital, forcing me to rummage in the diaper bag and come up with an 18 month size pink onsie. (no, we didn't take any "going home from the hospital" photos that day)
Tim had his moments of newborn parenting amnesia too, forgetting to bring the car seat into the maternity ward this last go-around, causing a verbal lashing from some busy-body nurse on the way out of the hospital. Couldn't she figure out that if we already had 4 healthy, intact children, it was very likely that we already owned umpteen carseats and the poor guy had his hands full trying to dress and herd them all into the hospital to pick up his wife?
This time around I am not really fretting about how I will cope. I just will. But the insomnia of late pregnancy leads me to surf the net and lurk on the BabyCenter pregnancy boards. I laugh when I read of moms of 1-2 children asking each other, "How am I going to manage?" and rant about their clueless husbands, "Yes, the house is a wreck, but I have a 4 year old to take care of too..." I sympathize with the women who freak out every time their bellies twinge, "should I call the doctor?" I marvel at the technology that allows women to proudly show off photos of their thriving preemies, some of whom were only 2lbs when born. I am grateful that I have a supportive husband and helpful children who are anxious to hold and care for the new baby. But most of all, I am glad that I am not one of those new mothers anymore. I have the experience to roll with the punches and look forward to welcoming a new soul into the world.