The other night at around 2am I sat straight up in bed and realized that Austin and I owned not one of what my family irreverently calls “butt wipes.” For some reason, this small but important detail had been overlooked and we had nothing to clean poor Baby Baer’s rear if he decided to show up and need a diaper change. Luckily Mom saved the day and promptly bought us a large supply of wipes the next morning after I expressed my concern over our lack of preparedness. Phew.
Now that we have all the basics (I hope), I do feel better, though I admit that lately I’ve started to feel a slight panic about becoming parents at any moment. Both Austin and I have been going along living our normal lives without many pauses to remember that life as we know it will soon be interrupted by a needy infant. We also haven’t talked a whole lot about labor and delivery. Sure, we’ve discussed it, but for the most part–our conversations do not revolve around actually having and taking care of Baby Baer. This makes me nervous.
Please do not mistake our aloofness for a lack of excitement. We’re very excited. We just also happen to be very nonchalant about this whole ordeal. Perhaps it’s a result of not wanting to be “those first time parents” or maybe it’s just pure laziness, I don’t know. What I do know is that today when I finally picked up my What-To-Expect book after many months of neglect and read the last few chapters on labor, delivery, and caring for a newborn–I was so overwhelmed that my hands started to sweat and I needed to turn the fan on high.
I know a lot less than I expected, especially about things like nipple confusion, breast engorgement, and the various stages and timing of labor. I also was not aware of how many sad things happen in and around one’s anus.
I realize there will be plenty of unknowns no matter how much I educate myself, but here’s to hoping we get more on the ball before baby arrives. Sometimes I wonder if people think we’re fairing on the side of neglect. When asked if we plan on circumcising our son, I just shrug and say “Ask Austin.” When our midwife asked me today if I’m concerned about the size of the baby, I responded “Should I be?” When friends ask if I’m planning on sleeping the baby on his belly, having a feeding schedule, giving him a pacifier, or introducing rice cereal before 6 months, my response is the same: I don’t know. Because I don’t. I have no idea what it’s going to be like. I have been around and taken care of plenty of babies, but none that belong to me.
We’ll see how well this “wait and see” approach pans out once he arrives and is screaming for no apparent reason. I’ll probably wish I read a few more books.
In the meantime, feel free to fear for our sanity. I realize it’s approaching rocky ground.