We Have No Butt Wipes

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.



  1. Don’t read too many books. You’ll just get confused. Do what YOU think is best. You’ll figure out your own baby. No book can do it for you :)

  2. This is why I’m so glad you’ll always be a couple months ahead of me in the “figuring it all out” department. Be prepared for my phone calls of desperation seeking your newly gleaned wisdom that will surely come!!

  3. I second Zoe, don’t listen to too many other people,
    you will be like the proverbial ‘duck to water’.
    It’s not rocket science!

  4. Shelah is mostly right…but I don’t think that theory applies to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is NOT natural (or at least it doesn’t FEEL natural). If you’re going to read anything, read books about that so you don’t freak out when your milk doesn’t come in for four days and the baby still hasn’t learned to latch on and all the nurses are shoving bottles of formula into your hands. For breastfeeding, it helps to be prepared (I think).

  5. Haha. this totally made me laugh out loud, especially with how hard it is to get those first poops off the bottom of the kid. :) I never read any books. (i mean, i’ve read books, but not on babies). I may be completely screwing my children up, but that’s why you just keep on having more. Practice makes perfect.

    And i’m kidding. the thought of having anymore children is cause for yours truly to be in need of the aforementioned wipes.

  6. I love your relaxed approach. You will figure it out. Hopefully he won’t be like his daddy and not latch on for 2 whole weeks. JJ is right. Breastfeeding has to be learned. At least for some of us.

  7. I agree! don’t read those books. sure they are kind of helpful, but women have been raising babies for years! so many books tell you their specific theory on raising babies. What you don’t want to do is exactly what a book tells you to do! you have a brain! and it’s your baby! Enjoy! enjoy! but please, remember, when the baby sleeps you sleep! bc/ let me tell you, when the baby is awake, YOU will be awake!
    and breastfeeding! Hello!! there will be lactation consultants at the hospitatl and beyond. something women didn’t always have!
    Just try really hard to relax while feeding! (ha!)

    1. Listening to lactation consultants isn’t even all that great. Good old common sense is by far the best. Relax is key! If you are up tight, anything and everything can go wrong. So relax, keep your wits about you, and you will be fine. Parenting is nothing new – just new for you and you’ll make it!

  8. Can I be super annoying and leave another note? I think it’s good you are like this. I have seen so many moms have a written out “birth plan” Ok, like that’s going to work! and then also decide to be in a certain “camp” like schedule sleeping, or vaccines, or nuks, or whatever! I think everything in moderation. I had my babies on a tiny little schedule for feeding BUT I didn’t really follow it. It was just a something I tried to do. I fed them when they weere hungry. You’ll figure it all out! (or not!)

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