I close my eyes, and I imagine this tiny human pushing and stretching it's spidery little limbs against my uterus, exploring it's living quarters, beginning to develop reflexes and perfecting it's acrobatic shenanigans all at the same time. And in the midst of a pregnancy that still doesn't quite feel real, these little reminders in the form of gentle tugs throughout the day help me to focus on the blessing I've been given the opportunity to grow.
In the right outfit, to a complete stranger I still may not appear to be growing a tiny human in my uterus, but to me it's becoming more and more apparent. I still don't have trouble tying my shoes, moving too quickly or fitting through tight spaces, but the overwhelming feeling that accompanies an unfinished checklist halfway through this magical time is starting to become daunting.
You'd think after more than three years of waiting not so patiently for this time in my life to arrive, I would have already registered in my head every little detail necessary for this child, from the nursery decor to the type of bottles I'd be using. But the truth is, now that I'm finally in the midst of watching my dreams come true, I'm second guessing every product I've ever considered using.
And I'm finding that reading reviews only make matters worse.
One hundred fifty-three people love it, but seventy-five people hate it. It's the most adorable one out there, but but it doesn't have the high safety ratings that the unfortunate looking one does. It worked for this person and they can't live without it, but these other two people wish they never would have bought it.
Does my child really need a cradle and sway swing, or will an automatic bouncer suffice? And I'm madly in love with the idea of Moby wraps, allowing me to wear my child for a quick trip into the store verses lugging in the car seat to place on the cart, but is it realistic to assume my baby and I will actually find it soothing to be attached to each other for long periods of time? And I love the design and concept of Tommy Tippee bottles, especially since I plan to breastfeed for the first year, but is the slightly higher price tag worth it when there is a possibility I could run into leaks and a collapsing nipple like a small percentage of other consumers have?
The most difficult part is the reality that you just never know what will work for you until your very own child arrives and let's you know what it likes and doesn't like, despite consumer reviews, amazing color pallets and good construction.
And then there is the diaper debate.
I have decided to cloth diaper. At first it was because of the cost, then it was for the environment, then it was to be trendy and different, and now it's just a fetish, fueled further by the crazy looks I get from family, friends and strangers when I tell them I'm going to use cloth diapers and-gasp-even cloth wipes. I'll admit it, I want to prove them all wrong, show them I can do this and enjoy it, too. Which shouldn't be too difficult since these aren't your grandmothers cloth diapers, either; you'd be surprised how close to a disposable diaper you can get with the added advantage of never having to buy more since they grow with the baby from eight to thirty five pounds; which for me totally outweighs the poop factor.
So after months and months of research, I've pretty much settled on Bum Genius 4.0's in combination with the versatile Flip diaper. I've found that most cloth diapering moms will agree that these are both great diapers, and though it's best to have a mix of several different kinds, one of these diaper types are almost always preeminent in their diaper stash.
But I've been warned-once again-that you never know what will work best until your baby arrives; which makes it difficult to build up a decent diaper stash in preparation of baby coming.
And then of course there's related decisions to be made such as whether to use a lined diaper pale or a giant wet bag, how to make your own baby wipe solution and how many doublers and liners you will need once your baby starts to sleep through the night.
Hemp, or bamboo?
I don't know. My baby isn't here yet.
And all it does is kick me when I ask.
But despite the overwhelming decisions to be made, I'm thrilled to be making them. I'm surrounded by friends and family who have little ones that can help push me in the right direction-even when they do give me crazy eyes for wanting to save the world with organic products and cloth diapers-and I'm ready to embrace the unexpected, live and learn.
And it's not all difficult; there are some things still flowing smoothly.
During my appointment this week, despite my lack of modesty this far in the game the doctor completed a somewhat unpleasant pelvic exam by man-handling my insides with little to no gentleness, but did inform me that my body seems to be taking beautifully to this pregnancy and I should have no problem physically-thanks in part to my birthing hips, I'm sure-managing the delivery of a nine to ten pound baby, easy.
Good to know.
Albeit overwhelming at times; I'm pregnant, my previously-disregarded-as-broken-body is finally doing exactly what it was made to do, and my half baked child is actively making his or her presence known in the form of tiny kicks and punches that still take my breath away.
It really doesn't get much better than this.
"Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture...[but] worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible."