A moment of “OK, I can DO this.”

I made a blog-rule yesterday. I get Sundays off. In fact, I made another rule just now – I get ANY day off that I want. I’m large and in charge and I make the rules! So there.


Photo by Anna Wrisky

I spent my Sunday visiting a friend who just had her first baby – an itsy bitsy teeny tiny preemie girl named Nora. I have to admit, I have never seen a human being so small! She was like a little tangible miracle child with pinky fingers smaller than a thumbtack. Holding her was like holding air with feet. Her skin was like molding clay, and her mini beat-up nose looked like it was placed there after-the-fact to fill what little space was left between her eyes and mouth. She was beautiful and her parents (and grandparents, and great grandparents) knew she was perfect. Watching the interactions between them all made my mind wander…and from my wandering mind is destined to come another blog post…

I’ve only been to a hospital once to visit a newborn baby – my sister-in-law’s daughter, Addisyn. Waiting in the lobby area for 3 hours until everyone was cleaned up and ready to be seen felt like an eternity. I remember going through a rollercoaster of emotions – from “I can’t wait to meet her” to “Alright, let’s get this show on the road.” Then you hear the nurse say you can come back and it immediately returns to “I can’t wait to meet her.” That was 2 years ago. (Note: 2 years ago, I was busy planning a wedding – not painting a nursery – so having my own was far, far, FAR from my mind).

I got married, took blissful vacations to Italy, Aruba, and New York, bought a house, planted a garden, killed a garden, got a dog, almost killed that dog, and got pregnant – in that order. I’m proud of how much Nate and I squeezed in to a year of marriage, honestly. I didn’t doubt that I could afford my mortgage, I didn’t doubt that I was destined to kill my garden, I knew I could take care of a puppy. It’s that last one….that “got pregnant” one….over which I doubt myself. Am I alone on this? Someone please tell me I’m not alone on this!?

Back to yesterday in Nora’s nursery…

I stood in the doorway and waited for my friend to put her “assets” away from breastfeeding, so I could give her a big congratulatory hug. Then, I spent 5 solid minutes just staring at their new addition. I’ve never been one to reach out and grab a baby because I was just “dying to hold her.” I’m the one that stands in the corner until she is placed into my arms, pointed in the right direction, fed, changed, and silent. THAT is how I like to hold children. Prepped, quiet, and ready to return to their rightful owner at the first sign of uneasiness.

So, as you can imagine, yesterday a whole new set of emotions floated through my body, very different from the ones that I experienced with Addisyn. This time I was resting baby #1 on top of baby #2 (which would be much more dangerous if baby #2 wasn’t protected by gallons of amniotic fluid and a very hefty uterus). This was going to be the new me in 3 months. I will be the rightful owner of Baby Boy Brunner. I will be the one that my friends wait for to prep, feed, change, and point in the right direction while they wait in the corner. My whole mentality is going to have to change. I’m going to have to replace my uncontrollable fear with undying love…does that sound like a gargantuous task to anyone else?

And I’ve heard it from my husband, family, friends, and every parent I have communicated with in the past 6 months – “You’re a natural.” Really? Shouldn’t a “natural” be someone who knows which end of the diaper is up? Shouldn’t a “natural” be ready and willing to sacrifice her own sleep for the sleep of her child? Shouldn’t a “natural” NOT drop toe-stub-induced F-bombs only moments after reading in her pregnancy book that Baby can now hear noises outside of its womb? Right. I’m a natural.

As I was holding Nora Jane in my arms and picturing myself holding my little dimpled mini-Nate, I started to readjust that way of thinking. Maybe there is no such thing as “natural.” Like anything else, it’s learned. Not like text-book-learned or go-to-class-learned, but maybe more like love-it-so-much-the-everyday-experience-is-worth-it-learned. You know, like eating or sleeping – we love it, we do it because we love it, and that classifies it as “natural.”

Maybe. Or maybe I was just trying to make myself feel better about being a better eater and sleeper than a mother.

Either way, it was a much needed moment for me – my only moment thus far of, “OK, I can DO this.” And I still believe it today.

Step out of your corner, Nicki. There is no right direction.

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11 thoughts on “A moment of “OK, I can DO this.”

  1. Fuad Reveiz says:

    OK OK, you got the re-assurance you need from commenters 1-10. I’ll save you the typical and predictable smart-ace comment this time. We both know, you’ll be fine…

    When you and Nate need a break from the little bundle of dirty diapers, H2 and I can watch him. I think being the third oldest of 20+ grandkids on my mom’s side alone qualifies me as a capable kid watcher. When you sneak away from Nate to powder your nose and decide to check-in on us, I’ll save you the mini-heart attack and bad joke of turning my phone off.

    NOTE: Baby Brunner sitting at no charge is only redeemable with a printed version of this comment. Redeemable only on days of the week ending in “day”. No reproductions or MAC tomfoolery allowed.

  2. Missy says:

    I fell off the table?!?! 🙂

    Nicki – your blog is HA-larious!! Interesting to hear your perspective on when Addi was born…if I could have hurried the process of meeting her, I would have! Can’t wait to meet baby boy brunner!!!

  3. sis-in-law says:

    if i can do it, anyone can! i’m sure i put more than one diaper on brody wrong. and lord knows he’s heard his share of 4-letter words (c’mon, no one’s perfect)! do like you two always do…go with the flow! there’s no real right or wrong…just what’s right for you. you can, and will, do this.

  4. Anna says:

    Oh Nicolette. Everyone is right, it’s ok to doubt. But remember, you will take it all in one MOMENT at a time. Not even a day — just a moment. From “Which side of this diaper is the front?” to “wow babies are slippery in the bath tub” to figuring out what position Baby Boy Brunner likes for sleeping, it’s all ONE moment at a time. And look at all the support you have here girl! It’s true, it takes a village to raise a child, and your child seems to have a metropolis ready to help out!

    We all have faith in you and Nate! And your parents. And your siblings. And your friends. Your aunts… uncles… neighbors, friends of friends…

  5. Mom-in-law says:

    A year from now you are going to laugh at all this. Our grandson will be blessed with the best mom and dad in the world, not to mention the best set of grandparents any grandchild could ask for 🙂 We didn’t know anything about raising a set of twins and look how well Missy and Chanal turned out (and I was only 20 when they were born and Missy fell off the table at 6 months!) Just know that If you and Nate can’t handle my grandson I will take him off your hands for a few years and give him back 🙂 We will always be here for you!

  6. Mandak says:

    I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time.

  7. Your sister Julie says:

    Remember, YOU were the one that everyone used to call to babysit because YOU had the patience and YOU had the NATURAL nurturing trait. 😀 And I would have to say you married the most patient man on earth!

    NOW, put two and two together and that makes for one very lucky baby. You two will be marvelous parents, and although the pre-baby nerves are really starting to ‘kick’ in, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that once that baby is placed in your arms, those nerves will stop. You will be one proud mama, and Nate one proud papa. and at least, you can breathe and know that it’s only fun adventures and hilarious memories ahead.

  8. jamilya says:

    hi, Nicki! You write so funny and cute. I’m 1 month pregnant. So your blog is interesting for me.
    Take care

  9. Dad-in-law says:

    DON’T PANIC….it’s way toooooo sooooon to panic. It’s always too soon to push the panic button!!!!!!!

    And if you do, mom and dad-in-law are standing by………..we’ll help you with the “been there, done that.

    RELAX ! REEELAX! REEEEELAX! “OK, you 2 can DO this!!!

  10. Shannon says:

    Great blog, Nicki! I don’t actually believe in that “natural” thing either. A lot of the experience feels very UNNATURAL based on a woman’s past history…gaining loads of weight in a short time, losing all gracefulness, having body parts shifted, squashed and generally not feeling so good, and then there is breastfeeding. Whew.

    But, then you have that baby and it all makes sense and works out pretty miraculously. Try to enjoy the experience because it all goes so fast. I miss the internal kicking – what an amazing thing! And today MY baby is one. Yikes…it really does go so fast. You can DO it.

  11. Dad-in-law says:

    “Am I alone on this? Someone please tell me I’m not alone on this!?”

    YOU ARE NOT NOT NOT alone….doubting is natural…you are trying to place too much thought into this. One day at a time. Being pregnant is harder than having a baby to care after. It will become very natural.

    There’s 2 adults and 1 baby, how tough can it be??????? Parenting a baby is easier than it looks…..it’s handling teenagers that’s a problem!!!!! And that’s a ways off.

    RELAX ! REELAX! RELAX! “OK, you 2 can DO this!!!

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