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    I’d like an instruction manual to go with that please…

    May 29, 2006

    So the baby isn’t due for another eight-ish weeks or so (could be as little as six or as long as ten weeks as well, depending upon whether the little man wants to make a surprise early entrance or make me suffer more and come late) and I find myself freaking out. Quite often actually–waking up in the middle of the night with random thoughts that make my heart pound.

    How rotten is it that I finally get to sleep (when, with 3-4 potty breaks a night already interrupting what little sleep I’m currently getting…well you do the math as to why I’m having a little trouble functioning when I’m actually supposed to be awake) only to wake up in full panic mode? Originally I stressed because I was worried that we wouldn’t have everything ready before the little man comes, however with last weekend’s purchase of the travel set that is almost as large as an SUV and the nursery set that is almost nicer than our bedroom furniture, that worry has been laid to rest. No, now my poor addled mind (current mindset comparable to an overworked hamster on a wheel from hell that will not stop spinning) has settled on freaking out about knowing when the baby needs to eat and when to change the baby and what will the nurses at the hospital think if I’m not holding him enough/oohing and aahing over our miracle/crying my eyes out because I am so tired?

    I used to think that I was a relatively intelligent person–I usually make pretty rational and logical decisions, have several degrees, can run our small household pretty efficiently–however, this whole impending birth thing has reduced me to thinking that a nice long rest in a mental home (with the really good drugs) is a better idea. I think if I had an owner’s manual that came with the little man, I might feel a little less stressed. Granted, there are books, lots and lots of books that claim to have the answers to all your parenting questions-but they seem to all subscribe to one or another very particular set of parenting rules (are you an attached parent? do you let the child cry it out) and heaven help you if you disagree with whatever particular parenting rhetoric that the author of the book subscribes to. Just what an overhormonal, unrested first-time mother needs–a huge serving of guilt to go right along with all those feelings of inadequacy. Woo-hoo, bring on that Prozac salt lick! You might want to keep the wrist restraints handy too…just as an option.

    Luckily, most of my friends managed to get married and start having kids before I did, so I find that I have a somewhat reliable source to go to with all my weird/random questions. That, and I have too many years of dirt on them so they can’t laugh when I call and ask really basic questions like “…so when I’m in the hospital, how exactly will I know when to change him? And where will the diapers/wipes come from? Will we need to bring our own?” and my friend just patiently explains to me once again how it all works (yes the hospital will most likely have diapers and wipes that will come in on the cart with the baby but we can bring our own if we would like).

    I’m just so ready to have this baby–not that I want him here prematurely by any means–among other things, I’m just ready to have my mind back. From what I hear though, it’s going to be a long time before that happens.