Most mothers-to-be go through some kind of nesting behaviour, weird though it may sound. Some prepare the baby's room months in advance, buy a zillion cute little outfits and spend hours washing and folding them away, or go on a baking frenzy. One friend in Canberra decided on a whim to repaint her kitchen and now all her drawers and cupboards are alternate shades of bright green and blue. Who knows why we do these things but it only hurts your bank balance and your husband's waistline, and possibly your eyes if multi-coloured retro kitchens are not your thing. But better to have all those outfits and a cot, pram, nappies etc ready on hand than to leave it all to the last minute, like my sister, who then went into labour a month early. The gods of preparedness were laughing that day.
For me, it is combination of the above (but without the painting); I feel strangely compelled to bake cakes and pies, make curries and roasts and stews and other recipes I've never tried. There's a bacon and egg pie in the oven as we speak. I'll post the recipe soon. I'm also sneaking onto children's clothing websites and buying the odd little number here and there, trying for neutral colours (two more weeks till we find out the sex) but boys can wear flowers, right? I have in my head all the things we'll need - nappies and snappies, singlets and socks, bottles and sterilisers. There's a lot to plan but it's fun for the nesting mother - or it could just be me.
But I can't prepare the baby's room because we'll be leaving Chile a couple of months after the birth and because it's difficult to organise a room in a house which is located in another country, if not physically impossible. I know this from good experience.
When I was seven months pregnant with Maya, we lived in Hanoi and I had to fly back to Sydney. I spent six weeks leisurely waddling around Newtown, then a further six weeks with a squawling newborn in a serviced apartment, before her passport and visa were ready and we returned to Hanoi. There, we spent another six weeks showing the baby round and packing up house, sending all our belongings to Chile by ship and farewelling friends. Then we returned to Australia for two months, living in another serviced apartment in a different city before finally moving to Santiago when Maya was five months old.
At the time of our planning, it all seemed a series of perfectly logical and easy steps but the reality - unsurprisingly - is that it's not very ideal to drag a newborn baby around the world. Once I had Maya, I just wanted to stop and settle in one place. And the logistics of trying to plan and buy and pack and move all the stuff that seems necessary for a new infant was immense. Added to which that most of our baby stuff we couldn't buy in Hanoi and so had bought whilst I was pregnant and on holiday back in Australia. Considering our zero knowledge beforehand of babies, I think we did a great job.
Anyhow, we arrived in Chile and settled into our first apartment. Early readers of this blog might remember it as the very noisy apartment with the funny blue furniture. It was a long six months before we moved out and into our present home. And then, I could finally set up Maya's room, long overdue by about 18 months. Coincidentally, her room just happened to already be painted a lovely shade of pink.
The patchwork owl mobile given to us by my sister before Maya was born
Pooh Bear motifs finally put up two years after they were bought
Paintings we bought in Bali when I was five months pregnant
A gorgeous framed Charley Harper reprint from friends in Hanoi
I can now say that Maya's room here in Santiago is perfect. I am completely content with it. Baby #2 however...