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A Womb of One's Own

A Womb of One’s Own: Nesting the Days Away

My pregnancy has, to me, emphasized some of the parts of my personality I’m less than enamored with. It’s brought to the forefront my depression, my introversion, my lack of self-confidence, and my distinct shortness of patience with others. While maybe I should be worrying about how this may affect my parenting skills, at this point I’m exhausted enough that I’m content to give myself over to these less-than-acceptable urges. But what I’m hiding is something that is still mockery-worthy, even though I am a normally sacrosanct pregnant woman. 

I’m nesting. I have lists, both paper and mental, of every single thing I want to change or clean or fix or move, in or around my apartment. I’ve re-arranged my hall closet”¦ twice. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, I’m spending my time online ogling The Container Store, Ikea, and Apartment Therapy. I know everything I want to do isn’t necessarily financially or physically feasible, but that logic has no bearing on my never-ending lists.

I think that my nesting drive is not simply based around a need to prepare our home for a baby. I think my need to do all of these things is a way to identify and take control of parts of my life. I can’t hurry my pregnancy along, I can’t hurry my school year along, but I can control if my bookshelves are alphabetized to my personal standards.

I pore over cookbooks, looking for recipes to make and freeze. This does double duty in my mind: it gives me an outlet to use up what’s in my pantry, and it’s a concrete preparation for the weeks after I give birth, knowing that neither my husband or I will be in a mood to cook meals.

I’m laundering and folding tiny towels and blankets, storing them away so that I won’t have to worry about if things are clean when I bring a new person home from the hospital. I’m sorting baby clothing by size for storage, an exercise that allows me to both feed my inner organizer and helps me grasp (physically and mentally) the fact that in less than two months, there will be a baby in this room, wearing these clothes, being cared for by my hands.

The wonderful thing about giving in to nesting is that for me, it’s an inherently private act. My endless organizing and sorting and cleaning allows me to think about what’s coming in our life and how it’s going to impact us. As I attempt to create a perfect home to my standards, I’m not just trying to reach my standards, I’m also trying to create the perfect home for my expected son. I want him to live in a place that makes his mama happy, and by extension, makes me a happy mama to my son.

I’m just sure that it would be a lot easier to do a lot of these things if there wasn’t this giant baby belly in the way.

By Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to jessica.werner@gmail.com

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