victorian bird nest

I have lost track of how many times I’ve been asked if I’ve “nested” yet. I am adding this to a list-in-progress:

Things Pregnant Women Are Supposed to Do That I Have Not Yet Done (I Think) And May Not Do At All Unless It Happens in the Next 20-40 days

  • cry for no apparent (or no rational) reason
  • have major mood swings
  • the belly button “turkey timer” pop
  • develop a linea negra
  • experience extremely strong cravings for strange foods/food combinations
  • “enjoy” massive increases in cup size
  • nest

According to Pregnancy Weekly, nesting is “an uncontrollable urge to clean one’s house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.” Beyond simply wanting a clean house for the little one (which seems like basic common sense) nesting is usually described as a somewhat fanatical impulse. The same article goes on to say:

Nesting brings about some unique and seemingly irrational behaviors in pregnant women and all of them experience it differently. Women have reported throwing away perfectly good sheets and towels because they felt the strong need to have “brand new, clean” sheets and towels in their home. They have also reported doing things like taking apart the knobs on kitchen cupboards, just so they could disinfect the screws attached to the knobs. Women have discussed taking on cleaning their entire house, armed with a toothbrush. There seems to be no end to the lengths a nesting mother will go to prepare for her upcoming arrival.

This unusual burst of energy is responsible for women ironing anything in the house that couldn’t out run them. Being preoccupied with ant killing, squishing them one at a time for weeks on end. Packing and unpacking the labor bag 50 times. Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and organizing everything by size to the point that you make sure the silverware patterns match when it’s stacked in the cutlery drawer. Sorting the baby’s clothes over and over again is a favorite theme. Taking them out of the drawers and re-folding them, putting them away and doing it over and over again.

By these standards, the answer is no — I haven’t nested. Yes, I wanted to get the house clean over spring break, and there are still household cleaning and maintenance projects that I really hope get accomplished before the stork shows up. But I never felt compulsive about it, and never experienced that lovely burst of energy that makes “real” nesting possible. I certainly haven’t scrubbed anything with a toothbrush (outside of my mouth) or organized my Tupperware. Heck, half of my clothes aren’t even hung up right now.

Yesterday, though, I felt an overwhelming nesting urge of a different type…

(That’s not my dog, but s/he does the same thing my dog does — only with less enthusiasm and perfectionism. I should probably get Paisley’s nest-building on tape at some point; it’s pretty funny!)

I was really sleepy yesterday. It was the first day back to work after Spring Break, I’d slept very poorly, and my allergies were setting in (especially in my eyes, which were dry, which made me feel even sleepier). About halfway through my day, I found myself obsessing about afghans. afghansNo, not people from Afghanistan or long-haired hounds; crocheted or knit blankets, especially those made with soft cotton yarn (not that ucky wool stuff). Specifically, I was obsessing about the two Really Special Blankets that live on our bed and provide my favoritest pillowage and coverage and without which I feel uncomfortable sleeping. I am not going to take this moment to publicly admit that I have a security blanket(s). No, really, I’m not.

Man oh man, did I want my blankets yesterday. I thought about my blankets all through my last class of the day, thought about them as I sat bleary-eyed at my computer wrapping up the business of the day, thought about them as I drove home. I wanted to bury myself in them, wanted to build myself a nest of blankets, curl up, and sleep for hours.

I got home, let Paisley out… changed clothes… and grabbed my blankies. I took them down to the couch and spent the rest of the evening squished up in them as much as my does-not-bend-due-to-enormously-bulging-midsection body would permit. I never did actually fall asleep until bedtime (which paid off; I slept very well last night) but it felt good to indulge my desire to be a cuddled-up puppy or kitty for an evening.

The critters liked it, too.

So! My life goal at this point, I think, is to get some sort of egg-shaped thing — a bit like a papasan chair, only with higher edges — and fill it with afghans, and climb in, and never get out. I’ll need some good air conditioning, and someone to refill my water bottle and bring me the occasional eclair. And someone else can do the other kind of nesting for me! 🙂