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I’ve been privy to dozens of birthing stories since we joined the baby club, each one of them horrific in their own way. In high school phys-ed we had to watch a video of a woman giving birth, but it turns out that was an easy, textbook kind of delivery — probably the best of a hundred takes by the National Film Board. With 6.5 billion people on the planet you’d think it would be routine by now, but every delivery is completely different and uniquely complicated.
So far it’s been an easy pregnancy — no morning sickness, no mood swings, no strange cravings. If there wasn’t a gradually expanding midsection to keep tabs on I wouldn’t believe that we (and I use the term “we” loosely) are pregnant at all.
As it is, we’re starting to feel the urgency. There’s so much to do between now and our relative due date of Jan. 28, all of which only serves to remind me how little I know about babies. Walking through a baby store is a mystifying experience, a maze of literally hundreds of baby-specific products we may or may not need.
One of our first priorities is to get good snow tires for the frantic going-into-labour drive down to Squamish or the city — easier said than done if there’s as much snow this winter as last year.
We’ve already painted the nursery, formerly our office and guest room. We’ve acquired no less than two cribs from family friends, one car seat, and a bag of sleepers that a friend’s baby outgrew in eight weeks — 16 weeks early if you look at the tags.
We still need to purchase a stroller, which is far more complicated than it sounds. You need something you can put a newborn into and push into a building, but we’d also like to purchase a stroller we can run with or attach to the back of a bike in case we get bored strolling. There’s nothing on the market that does everything, which means we’re buying a minimum of two strollers.
Then there’s the whole diaper debate — cloth or disposable, affordable or biodegradable. We’ll probably go with some combination approach — cloth for home, biodegradable for the road — but apparently your best intentions can fly out the window if using plastic disposables will give you another five minutes of sleep.
It’s all so overwhelming, which makes us really appreciate all the great advice and second-hand togs we’re being given. Although I’d still rather talk about almost anything else, it’s also kind of fun to be in the baby club — despite all the alarming stories. The best support I’ve had is from other fathers, excited to have someone else to watch hockey with on our scheduled play dates. Hopefully Lumpy is a fan.