As I write this post I am almost nine months pregnant with my fourth child. You can tell by looking at me. People tell me I’ve popped. People tell me I’m glowing. People don’t tell me so, thankfully, but my feet are the size of a Flintstone character’s.
While my outward appearance shows that I am close to having a baby, if those same people came to my house they wouldn’t notice anything new. There is no new baby bedroom. There is no cleverly themed nursery. There are no baskets full of soft infant toys designed to stimulate his brain development, and there is not a single diaper ready for his arrival.
This baby has no crib.
It’s no secret that this baby was a surprise, but I want to be perfectly clear that I love this little fellow. With every kick and hiccup, my love for him grows stronger.
I’ve gotten over the initial shock of having four kids over a twelve year spread. I’ve come to terms with starting over again at my advanced maternal age, and I enthusiastically and genuinely gush over the new babies I encounter when I volunteer in the church nursery or when I’m out to eat.
So the question you may be asking—the same question I keep asking myself—is, why don’t we have anything ready to welcome this baby home?
Historically, getting a baby’s nursery together has been one of my favorite parts of preparing for motherhood. With my first baby, we took great care in selecting gender neutral items of high quality that we would last through multiple children’s use, treasured the top-of-the-line stroller our parents purchased, and thanked our foresight for the purchase of a cradle swing that was a life-saver for our colicky first-born daughter.
However, nothing compared to the research we did to ensure our kids would have the best possible crib. We were on a tight budget, but we wanted something we could use for years. We wanted something sturdy, safe, and attractive.
We found a beautiful sleigh crib that converted into a full-sized bed. It came with a matching nightstand and bookshelf. It was constructed from real wood, didn’t have drop sides, and was affordable.
Three times that crib held my most precious assets. Three times we made that crib into a toddler bed as my children grew into it. Only recently, the crib reached its full potential when we finally used the full-size conversion kit to turn it into a big-boy bed for our now four-year old son.
And there it remains.
We know from experience that babies don’t care where they sleep at first. This little guy will be just as happy in the borrowed rock-and-play sleeper as he would be in the finest crib money could buy. We know diapers are easy to pick up at any 24-hour Wal-Mart, and we know the once-fancy stroller we recently sold at a garage sale will be easily replaced through a quick search on a local buy-and-sell group.
We’ve taken the critical steps. We have secured high quality daycare. We’ve adjusted our budget to include the added expenses babies bring with them, and we recently purchased a newer minivan with the optional eighth seat so our older kids can ride with friends and cousins even with a stationary car seat in place for the foreseeable future.
It’s the best we can do, baby.
We love you so much, but we aren’t sweating the small stuff.
Someday we’ll make you a bedroom and will convert that bed back into a crib. Maybe we’ll move you in with your big brother, or we’ll move into a bigger house so everyone can spread out a little more.
You’ll be so smothered with love you won’t remember or care you slept in the living room for a few months. And that, baby, is worth more than anything money can buy.