Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Who Says Babies Don't Come with Instructions

There was no doubt, one of the first things I did when I discovered I was pregnant was to march myself down to our local library to sign out as many books on babies and my library card would allow. I went over to Chapters, sheepishly asked a salesperson where the "Parenting" books were located and then proudly sat myself cross-legged in front of the shelves of babies books to peruse them, suddenly no longer an imposter in that particular aisle of the bookstore.

Later, as we spread the good news, people lent us books with beautiful pictures of fetuses and books that count-down the days in the pregnancy. I have book-marked over twenty informative websites on the topic of being pregnant and what to expect to the point where I would almost say I am well-equipped with the necessary skills to BE PREGNANT.

Knowing what to do afterwards, I hear, is the hard part.

However, Mark's mother has been so helpful in training us, albeit via long distance, in this domain. Very shortly after we shared our news with her, we received a book in the mail through Chapters from her.... it was a beautiful Baby Book for posting ultrasound pictures and memories and creating family trees and for gluing in a lock of our newborn's hair. How sweet!

Shortly after that, Mark received a similar package only this one was very certainly for him. It contained a book for "Expectant Fathers", "25 things every father needs to know" as well as "New Dad's Survival Kit". Perfect, I thought. Now, not only do I know how to survive our pregnancy, Mark has a better idea of how to survive it too.

And then just this week, we received two more books. One has a medical twist, "The 3 a.m. Book" and this all-encompassing, car manual of baby books," Canada's Baby Care Book". It's got everything. It's the grand-daddy of all baby books. It's got the parts on episiotomies and what to pack for the hospital, but it's also got how to change a diaper (that's the stuff no one ever tells you! - or maybe they do and I'm just not there yet), what do you do about the belly button, how to clip baby nails, how to give babies baths, how to select a breast pump, how to identify an undescended testicle...the whole gambit. Yes, it's true that at this point I'm not sure what I don't know, but it seems that if I read this book, I stand a pretty good chance of getting through the first few weeks until a mother (mine or Mark's) can arrive to assist.

So, I guess I'm saying (on the record) that they DO make instruction manuals for babies. And in about eight months, when I'm looking baffled and confused and I'm in way over my head, you can laugh at the naiveté I displayed in this cocky blog.

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