By Doula Jen
You’ve probably heard about—and perhaps experienced—that late-in-pregnancy phenomenon known as nesting. Along comes the sudden urge to paint the nursery five times, wash and fold the hand-me-downs, knit countless booties, figure out a game plan for baby’s peaceful coexistence with the cat, pick out new throw pillows, dust the insides of the kitchen cabinets while precariously balanced on a rolling desk chair.
It’s the time and place and behavior that inspires the term “crazy pregnant lady.” It is the literal feathering of the eventual nest. Baby is coming and this nest will be best. Baby is coming and I will never have time to sort through old photos and tax returns ever again.
I have seen grown women brought to tears in the aisles of Babies R Us—fretting over crib sheets. Snoopy with the moon motif or simple butterflies?
Couches have been purchased during this time, on a limited budget and without the partner’s input.
Grotesque amounts of lasagna have been made in hopes of stocking a freezer that is already too full to hold said casseroles.
I love this, truly. Nesting is sweet and instinctive and biologically zany. It is compulsion of the most innocent and loving nature.
Closet cleaning? I can dig it.
Here’s the thing…a few of us here at Welcome Baby Care have noticed a new trend that we’re casually referring to as “Extreme Nesting” and it is extending well into the postpartum bubble! That time we try so hard to carve out for rest, recovery, and bonding is now cluttered with painting tarps and tool belts.
We’re talking major home renovations, new businesses, designing and building a new place with an architect, renovating a rotting old place in Saint Paul because it has “charm.” Deciding to be “cookie mom” for the older sibling’s Girl Scout troup…for the first time ever…with boxes hitting the garage right on the estimated due date.
These big, sweeping changes—while exciting—bring too much drama during an already pivotal time. They say not to chop off or significantly alter the color of your hair during pregnancy and postpartum because your hormones and nesting instincts make you do crazy things. So, why then, would the time be ripe for visualizing a man cave complete with custom made neon lights?
I joke, I joke. We can’t EXACTLY choose when our babies will come calling and we can’t always resist a buyer’s market. However, if you have the choice—and most do—give yourself a chance to get used to one big change at a time.