The thing about being the very first of your friends to get pregnant is this:
1. Very, very few of them want to talk about babies (I don’t blame them; I’m pregnant and I don’t particularly want to talk about babies either…except I sort of have to, because I have never, ever been around an infant and have a bit to learn);
2. There’s no one to give you “Oh, I just went through that”-style advice.
My mom is amazing – amaaazing – but it’s been awhile since she did this, and we’re both sort of equally perplexed by the sheer volume of options out there for everything from cribs to toys to breast milk storage bags (do those go directly into the bottle? or do you pour the milk out of them and into the bottle once they’re defrosted? and why will no one give me a straight answer on this??).
What I need is a friend who has gone through this recently to walk through Babies ‘R’ Us with me and tell me that I am not already a failure as a mother because I don’t have room for/can’t afford a bouncy seat, a swing, a play-yard, and a floor mobile thingy (the gentleman in the store already sent me into a panic attack by telling me that a wide variety of play areas is crucial for early motor skill development). I want her to tell me when to go for cute and fun, and when to go for practical. I want to know if there’s a sling out there that is sturdy but doesn’t cover up your entire body (I hate feeling constricted).
And I want her to help me figure out exactly what A Day In The Life is going to look like a few months from now, because I can’t picture it, and I work out of the house by myself all day long with four flights of stairs between me and the rest of the world, and no dishwasher or washing machine, and two little dogs that need walking and think that every single fluffy thing that moseys through the door is a toy special-ordered just for them, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I mean, I’m obviously going to do it – that I’m sure of – but I’d just like to have some idea how. In advance.
And so I cried in Babies ‘R’ Us. It was when the salesman was telling me that pretty much every stroller that has the features I’m looking for weighs upwards of 18 pounds, which I’m not certain is a possible weight for me to lift (plus baby, plus associated bags and accessories) up and down four flights of stairs every day.
Do I sound like I’m complaining? I really don’t mean to. I very much want this – I’ve wanted it my whole life, more than anything – and am so grateful. I’ve always been scared that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant, and the fact that I am…I’m aware that it’s the greatest, most incredible gift in the world. I know that it’s not about things, and that babies need much less than you think they do (or that stores will have you think they do). I get that I’m not in the worst situation in the world – far from it – and that in fact I’m very lucky to have the things that I do (which, most importantly, include an incredibly supportive family and group of friends). And of course the answer is that I’ll figure it all out, and that it’ll be fine…better than fine. Wonderful. I know that.
I just want to do this really, really well. I want to pay attention to every moment, because another thing that I know is that it goes very, very fast, and that you miss it when it’s over. That’s all.