Nesting: Not pregnant but expecting

clean-instinctI’ve been thinking more and more about the baby’s arrival lately and what we need to do to prepare. The fact that we could have a baby here sometime in the next several months hit me on Saturday morning after breakfast. Fortunately, it was rainy, gray and totally blah outside, because all I wanted to do was organize, clean, organize, and clean some more.

If you know me, you know this urge doesn’t strike me very often, if ever. I mean, our house is clean, but I don’t spend all weekend cleaning. And I’ve never been a particularly organized person (or even a mildly organized one if truth be told). My closet has never been arranged by color. My pots and pans don’t always get put back in the same place. We still have unpacked boxes in the storage closet. Typically, I’d rather be hiking or running or doing something outside than spending an entire weekend refolding clothes and finding a better way to place things in a cupboard. But that is ALL I wanted to do this weekend.

“What is happening to me?” I asked Jamie when I finally sat down after ten hours of organizational mayhem. He laughed. “Um, I think you’re nesting,” he said. “Majorly.”

I always thought nesting was controlled by pregnancy hormones. Wikipedia confirms that “the nesting instinct refers to an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn. Maternal nest-building is regulated by the hormonal actions of estradiol, progesterone, and prolactin and is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one’s home.”

That may be all well and true, but I’m here to tell you that nesting has less to do with actually being pregnant and more to do with simply preparing for a baby. If you saw me this weekend, twirling mad circles around the house with a rag and vacuum in my hand and a slightly crazed look in my eye, (minus the belly bump) you’d believe it too. Nesting is not just for pregnancy. Adoption makes you want to nest, too.

I’ve clearly been getting more and more emotionally connected to the fact that we’re having a baby. This past week especially, when I’ve thought about the baby I’ve been overwhelmed by an extraordinary feeling of happiness and satisfaction. It’s been so strong at times that it’s brought me to tears. Something inside of me is changing. I think these increasingly strong emotions have something to do with this sudden nesting instinct. Maybe Wikipedia is wrong. Maybe nesting doesn’t have as much to do with hormones as it does emotion. Or maybe these emotions are affecting my hormones. Either way, I am definitely feeling like a mommy to be.

2 thoughts on “Nesting: Not pregnant but expecting

  1. Me and my husband are in the waiting for baby stage of our adoption right now. He likes to call my nesting and random tears “adoptioncy hormones” instead of pregnancy hormones 😉

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