preparations for the unknown. my life at the moment is attuned to, fixated on preparing for the new baby. i am creating and recreating lists in my head and on paper and forgetting then remembering then forgetting again everything that is on said lists. i am moving things and storing things and getting rid of things and very much and very often buying new things, all in the preparation for something that i am uncertain of. we cannot predetermine how my birth will go or how the process of making our family new and larger will go. we cannot know ahead of time if aleksander will freak out, though there's certain to be some amount of that, i suppose. we cannot know ahead of time how my labor will go and what all we will need or want during it. as a result, there is in place all the things that we could possibly want or need. i am obsessed at the moment, i am intently focused on this. i have nothing else to do really. i know that i will not be able to do it later, whatever it is, so i must do it now, beforehand. i will not be able to go shopping for new clothes for summer or for nursing tanks or breast pads after the baby is born. i am judging all this based on what i was able to do when aleks was born, which was nearly nothing. so i've got menstrual pads and organic versions of gatorade and skirts with elastic waists and all assortment of accroutrements of homebirth - plastic tarp, plastic sheet, a strainer whose sole designation is the skimming of grossness from out the birth pool, deep red 300 thread-count sheets, more towels, more washcloths, emergency list posted on the fridge, birth kit, plastic basin for placenta, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera... i am reminding myself again and again to go to the dollar store to find a hose, to post on my yahoo group in search of a boppy, to make sure that instructions for aleks are written up and ready, to do all the things that i can possibly do to be prepared. i suppose it is ultimately just a version of exerting control over something that is far outside of my command. because i cannot determine the path of my birth or manipulate what kind of person my new child will be and what she will need and how that will intermingle with the needs of aleksander, i am trying in my small fashion, to have a say in some part of it, if only so that when the time comes i can fully release myself to the spiraling path and confusion and hormonal lalaland that will be postpartum. i view the birth as a deadline. there is before the baby and there is after the baby. before the baby, i can have a say in what happens. afterwards, i'm lost for a good 18 months. i suppose i am doing all that i can now to not die once i jump off that cliff.