I always hear about pregnant women who go through an extreme cleaning phase during pregnancy. You know, they stay up all night and clean everything, or organize, or whatever. Lots of my friends went through this. But me, not so much. I have never, ever had the urge to clean during any of my pregnancies. I’ve never felt compelled to organize everything. Other than getting cross with anyone who made my hospital room messy when I was on bed rest with Madeline (I thought it was disrespectful to the hospital staff), I’ve never been bothered by clutter…which is unfortunate because things are getting very cluttered around this house.
I went to Ikea a couple weeks ago with Annie (which, sidebar, NEVER AGAIN) and bought some organizing stuff and it’s all just sitting in a pile, waiting to be put together…and I love putting stuff together. I can’t motivate to get the nursery ready. Mike has to practically carry me into my bedroom at night because the idea of getting off the couch and walking to my bedroom sounds like too much effort. And I feel badly about myself and my complete lack of drive or enthusiasm, but apparently not badly enough to even feign the tiniest smidge of interest in…anything, really.
Mike keeps telling me not to feel bad about this. He reminds me that I’m not feeling great, and that’s true…I am absolutely exhausted, my body hurts all the time, I’m always hungry but everything makes me sick, and I have about twenty seven layers of bruises on my stomach. It blows but it’s worth it yadda yadda five! more! weeks! (this is what I chant to myself whenever I start wanting to whine). But, yadda yadda, stuff has to get done, and I am stressing about it all yet simultaneously saying things like, “meh, I don’t need to do laundry…the baby can just wear diapers as clothes, it’s going to be hot outside.”
Mike, however, is on overdrive. He wants to clear out everything. He wants to have a garage sale. He wants to rent a dumpster. MIKE GOT THE NESTING GENE. When he tells me he’s going to spend one of his weekend days completely organizing our office, or clearing out our garage, I should be like, “Yipee!!!!” right? Especially since he tells me he’ll handle it all and truly expects nothing from me. And yet, I’m just like, “Ugggggh, where is my burst of energy, I want to be the one that does that!” which is ridiculous because it doesn’t matter who gets the stuff done, it just matters that it gets done!
So, in case you couldn’t follow along….I don’t want to do any of the prep work, but I don’t want anyone else to do it, but I want it to somehow magically be done (preferably by me). Pregnancy makes me such a rational dream of a person! But really, I am sort of wondering if there is something wrong with me that I just can’t seem to get excited or motivated. I’m in the final stretch! This is the exciting time!I need to break out the cleaning wipes and get to it!
And yet, I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head…and I don’t think that’s what they mean by “nesting.”
Becca Masters says:
I never nested either. I had one day where I wanted to clean but it soon passed. I did buy loads of cleaning stuff though (steam mop and steam cleaner with attachments)
Husband however was just like Mike!
I never had the nesting urge. I wanted things cleaned and organized, but I wanted someone else to do it for me
Ok, so here goes my theory! (I’m great at theories). I think it’s all to do with control. Many of us mothers don’t have the traditional ‘nesting’ gene (I know I didn’t). However, some of us want everything to be organized, but have no motivation to do it ourselves, but at the same time we don’t want anyone else to do it. Reason being, if we willingly let someone else do it, we are giving up control. So here’s my suggestion. Clear your head of all thoughts of ‘nesting’, and just decide that the place needs organizing and ‘order’ Mike to do it, therefore retaining control by doing the ‘ordering’. Please take this as ‘tongue in cheek’, but at the same time, it just might work for you!!
I think you are both in a tough spot!! Mike wants to help you magically feel better and keep the Acrobat growing and thriving, but he is helpless there. And you want to have the energy to put things in order, but your pregnancy is preventing that. I am so sorry that you are both kind of helpless to do what you want to do. And I am VERY glad that you are listening to your body and resting! Yay for five more weeks!
I don’t nest either until like literally two weeks before the baby is born. Did not even purchase a crib till 36 weeks both times. Not because of depression or denial or anything like that–just not ready. I think it’s not super uncommon. Also–I think nesting used to refer to a brief window just before labor when an expecting woman gets a huge burst of energy that signifies labor is imminent, but our crazy American culture starts talking about “nesting” in the second trimester! As if it really takes that long to prepare for a baby. So put your tired feet up, let Mike take over, and don’t feel guilty about it! Maybe for you it will come post-baby when you are not feeling so poorly. Give yourself a break, girl
When I read this post I smiled with tears in my eyes…FINALLY!!! SOMEBODY GETS IT!!!! As you know, I am not pregnant (but I have been 8 times – with 3 babies I got to keep) and although I DID nest with them, I do get what you’re saying!!! I can tell you 99.9% (well….unless, I’M NOT NORMAL….HHHMMM!!!) you are NORMAL!!!!
As someone who not only lives with Chronic Pain (which is what you have had for almost the last 9 months..+++) & Exhaustion (I only sleep 45 minutes to 1 hr. before my pain wakes me) so I do get it… or at least SOME of IT!
IT IS HARD to be able to be motivated to do ANYTHING especially since you for 1) know it will take MORE ENERGY than you have! 2) Will be even more painful than what you’re already feeling. And then with you, there is always those underlining fears that somehow you’ll be disappointed again…something will go wrong like it did with Maddie. And also, not to mention you are still GRIEVING the lost of Jackie and Maddie since you just had to live the 4th April.
I think it’s normal to feel guilty and wish for different…especially as moms but Heather… YOU are doing VERY well considering all you have been through!!!
HONESTLY!!! I say…”Honey…give yourself a break!!! You have been through so much in the last 4 yrs. than most people can even imagine!!!
It’s OKAY Not to be nesting!!! It doesn’t mean you’re NOT excited or that you love your baby any less. It’s Okay….You my friend are doing GREAT – Give yourself a BREAK!!!
Now, flop back down on that couch and the next time Mike wants to clean your world, just smile and say “Thanks Honey” and give him a “GREAT Job” when he’s done!!! Soon enough your baby boy will be resting in your arms and you will NEED all the energy you have to recover from your C-section & care for your children. Now that WILL be an Exciting day!!! xoxo
I had two pregnancies that went the duration – The first time I was obsessed with upholstery fabric, the second time with door hardware. No cleaning or organizing bug, just these two obsessions. And once the babies were born, the obsessions disappeared. Thank God! My husband thought I was crazy.
I totally get how you feel. I’m a control freak and didn’t want ANYONE else doing any of the things that I wanted done- MY WAY. However, I didn’t FEEL like doing it! I finally got a bug in my butt and got it done. I think with my last pregnancy, I knew it was the last time I was ever going to experice all those exciting last few weeks and I think that’s what finally got me motivated to really get out of my funk. Good luck Heather- sometimes it just comes down to you just gotta do it, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. Maybe once you dip your toe in you’ll suddenly get the urge! :o)
I did some nesting with long naps and laying around feeling tired in between the nesting fits. Here is the difference. You have been through so much more than most pregnant women. I didn’t throw up once. I ate all day every day and gained 55 pounds. I felt tired and uncomfortable but not sick. You are at the end of a long long long duration of feeling terrible. You can’t eat. You throw up all the time. The fact that you still blog and parent Annie makes you incredible. Please don’t be hard on yourself because you don’t feel like nesting. Be proud of yourself for doing anything and just hang in there for a few more weeks.
I agree with Angie. When I am nauseous I can’t even think straight and you have been dealing with this for months! Bless your heart!
Casey P says:
I “third” Angie’s comments. I had sever nausea for 17 weeks and literally accomplished NOTHING at home (looking back, I’m not even sure how I made it through work). So don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing great – quite amazing actually!
I think you’ve gone through enough with all of your pregnancies, that you can forgive yourself for not feeling well enough to nest. Plus? Growing a human being is a ton of work in itself.
Let Mike do everything and anything without worries.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had all the energy in the world, and I STILL had no interest in anything related to organizing or baby-prep. When my sisters finally got on my case and told me I was required to register for baby items for my upcoming shower, I collapsed on the couch and told my husband the thought of figuring out baby stuff overwhelmed me. I then made a deal with him: I would do anything and everything necessary related to having the baby if he would PLEASE figure out the nursery and baby equipment. I think he was frothing at the mouth he was so excited. He bought books, did research online, and a few weeks later when I was away on a girls’ weekend he called me and excitedly told me he went to the (unnamed) baby store and did our registry for us! Isn’t that so exciting! My reaction? Extreme anger directed over the phone lines. Obviously I, as the mother, should have done this or at least been involved. WTH? Poor guy. The crazy half of my brain refused to listen to the sane half.
To make it worse, when my friends and I were at dinner that night I relayed the above story at the table, and one of my best friends looked at me and said “you didn’t want to pick out your baby’s equipment? Or nursery? Are you honestly a girl?!” She immediately apologized, and I think what she said vocalized my insecurity over my lack of nesting instinct or anything related to the baby that was not the actual baby. My husband picked me up at the airport the next day, and on the way home we stopped at the (unnamed) baby store so he could walk me through everything he picked out, and give me the opportunity to switch any items as I wished. The reality? He did an amazing job and I had no desire (or interest) to change anything. At that point I apologized profusely for my previous day’s behavior and thanked him for everything he did. And yes, he proceeded to pick all items for the nursery, including our girly butterfly ceiling fan. (I picked out the color – yay for me!) And he did a great job. And I learned to drop the guilt and completely appreciate all he was doing, and realized this gave him some control where no control actually existed. Win-win.
I say listen to your body- for whatever reason, it is telling you not to do that stuff, so don’t do it! It might not actually cause you to go into labor, but let’s say you forced yourself to start nesting, and then your water broke- you might then feel guilty that you pushed it too hard. And who needs guilt?? Not a mommy that has worked so hard to keep that little acrobat thriving in there!
I had a friend who was pregnant with twins and was on bedrest at the hospital for a long time- she couldn’t do the things that the wanted to do to prepare for the babies, but she didn’t want her husband to do them either- so they hired someone to do everything absolutely essential, and everything else got done after the babies were born.
Try to take a deep breath; everything will get done! Somehow it always does!! You are doing the very best thing to get ready for your sweet boy by hiding under those covers, because that’s what your body wants you to do right now. And you never know, in four weeks, you might go on a crazy organizing spree and get everything done in one night!
Go to sleep! Stay under those covers and let Mike take over. Cause we all know that one the little man shows up, you will not be resting much. No stressing, just lots of rest and directing. You will be the director of all nesting services! Put your feet up and watch TV, read, ENJOY!!
You ARE doing something: You’re growing a human being inside your one and only body. Is Mike doing that? No.
Also, I get how you feel about being on the last stretch and suddenly feeling blah. I get like that during the buildup to, say, a vacation. SO excited. Then right before the big day, I’m all apathetic. (Hint: The apathy goes away the second the reward comes. In your case, the baby.)
You’re doing great. Don’t worry about all that. It will all be in the past soon.
Yeeaaahhh..I don’t have the “nesting gene” either. Turns out though..I am just incredibly lazy. Enjoy it while you can Momma!
I thought I was the only one missing that gene. I had absolutely no desire to clean…in fact, I had more of a desire to nap, eat, nap, eat, eat, eat, nap.
I would say (in my un-professional opinion) that this is TOTALLY normal! For lots of reasons….not the greatest pregnancy, in regards to how you’ve been feeling would be a huge one. I’m sure you are a little depleted, or more than a little. AND, you just went through one of your most challenging times of year with the anniversary of your dear little ones passing. I’ll bet sometime after you’ve settled in with the little one you’ll be getting some urges…and if not, it’s okay too! I love it when my husband gets that urge! Not to mention, most people get that weird/extreme burst at the very end and you haven’t made it that far. Best wishes to you, you are such a trooper.
I think you should be gentle with yourself. You are doing fine.
Enjoy resting & let Mike handle it. Once Zmr. Acrobat is here and you’re healed from the C section you can “organize” it your way.
Heather – you are nesting… you are growing a baby and perhaps your body needs this quiet time from you for the final big burst of growth. Just relax for awhile – you are going to be plenty busy later…. these final days are big ones for the baby and you should sit back enjoy it.
I’d like to nest as well, but nearing the end of a twin pregnancy and I feel like total hell. I can hardly move. I WISH my husband was like Mike! Can Mike one day hold a weekend workshop to teach other men these things?
Nesting doesn’t have to kick in until late in the pregnancy, you know. My husband was adamant about putting together the crib (well, he was once his sister was horrified by his quip that we’d just use an empty drawer as baby’s sleepy place ;)), and his family pushed for us to get the nursery together, just so they’d know how to work with a specific decor. I did nothing… until it got to the last two weeks, and then my nesting pretty much was more of a “clean the place from top to bottom”. By that point, I couldn’t do it anyway because my BP had skyrocketed.
This time around, it’s still early, but the pressure is less of a pressure and more of a guilty feeling that things should get done and aren’t. I have tons of baby clothes to go through, and donate (I kept lots of baby clothes, thinking I’d have another girl). I need to go look at all our gender neutral equipment (I insisted on it, thinking I didn’t want my living space inundated with pink) and figure out what’s still in good condition. I have to get a bassinet (what are the chances this one won’t want to be attached to mom for an additional nine months and actually sleep in a crib in his own room?).
These are all things I have to do that I don’t feel compelled to do because all my energy goes to interacting with my toddler during the day. And I don’t have a pregnancy nearly as hard as yours (if anything, this kid is bucking the trend of giving us scares every couple of weeks… either that, or I’m so exhausted from the heartburn, the kicking (his) and the constant playing house (toddler) that I just have no energy to freak out over every little weirdness). As others have pointed out above, perhaps your nesting instinct is directing you to keep the existing nest (i.e., your womb) cozy, and that’s all there is to it.
When all else fails, tell yourself that you’re never fully prepared to deal with a new human being (because growing the Acrobat in your womb and getting to know him as an actual human being are two different things, as my therapist loved to point out to me my last go around), and that not everything has to look ‘perfect’ on day 1.
Chronic illness/pain just messes with you. It messes with your head, your motivation level, your outlook on life, etc. It’ll all clear as soon as you can feel healthy again. Even when I have a relatively short illness, by the end of it I’m beating myself up for not wanting to get stuff done that I need to do. I can’t imagine months and months of that same feeling. Hang in there and keep your countdown, it’ll help your sanity to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I feel like I’m sort of going through the same thing, but with school. I have five more weeks left of my senior year, and I really should be studying (or start studying is more like it) for finals, or planning for college, but I find it hard to really get motivated about anything. I have senioritis…. maybe it’s contagious!
You are on The Doctors right now!
What is she doing there???
Oh, man…that last paragraph really sums up my last trimester. I would get SO MAD at my husband when he cleaned the house, but I had zero desire to do it myself. It was totally irrational, but as a previous commenter said, I think it had a lot to do with me feeling like I was not in control.
Heather – my one night of nesting was filled with me cleaning, organizing, dusting, washing, drying, and jamming to AC/DCs Back in Black album. Then the cops were beating the door down. Imagine their surprise when a very pregant woman opened the door jamming and singing. Apparently my neighbor (who was like 199 years old – really maybe 70) called and complained it was too loud.
Yeah, that was my ONE night of nesting with ONE kid. None of the others made me want to nest…just the one who will be 18 this summer. I wonder if AC/DC made him so wierd…huh.
Two kids and no nesting urge with either one of them. I was nothing but uncomfortable and bone tired exhausted the last trimester. I didn’t clean SQUAT! So, um. Yeah. But lucky you that Mike seems to have got it. My husband didn’t get it either. LOL
With hyperemesis, your body is probably trying to conserve calories any way it possibly can. Don’t be so hard on yourself! If you were constantly vomiting or nauseated and WEREN’T growing a baby, you’d still be exhausted.
Right…so,I didn’t read anyone else’s comments, because I didn’t want to be influenced by what they say! LOL
I say motivate yourself to go to a spa for a pregnancy massage on the day Mike rents the dumpster and cleans, organizes, and nests. Because, with a new baby on hand, PLUS a 3 year old, you aren’t going to be able to go to the spa/get a massage just any old time. Then, when you come home, PRETEND a magic fairy came and did everything if it helps you feel better!
Here’s the thing: you’ve pretty much felt like crap for, what, a year & a half now with back to back pregnancies? How on earth can anyone be motivated when feeling so poorly for so long?!?
I have chronic pain, some days are worse than others, some days are pretty ok (by my standards), but multiple days in a row of either bad pain or so-so pain levels leaves me wiped out and totally non-motivated…and I really don’t see why it would be any different for anyone who has been feeling crappy for months on end. And I’m not even sharing body space & energy with another little human!!!
Give yourself a break and let that magical cleaning/organizing fairy sweep through while he’s motivated!!
PS–If Mike does your whole place and still has the urge to organize, this completely unmotivated, tired, in-pain chick would gladly let him organize her office (something I not only used to love to do but would do for other people!!). It hasn’t been done in 2-3 years. It stresses me out even thinking of it! I need a magical organizer, please!
I did clean the clothes for the babies, but I love washing and ironing (dont even say it!)
But nesting? Well I did bake bread and scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors on the day I went into labour with the first. And the second, my waters broke at 2am as I organised the recipes I’d ripped out of magazines. You know the ones you think look nicer but you never stick in the recipe holder or cook for that matter. I never did finish doing that job and 5 years down the line threw them all away.
Nesting is subjective. But I do agree that the ‘man’ involved will never be able to do the job right, however nothing wrong with letting them try!