Enthusiastic Pre-pregnancy Hoarding: Looking back

When I was pregnant in the Fall of 2009 for my first sweet daughter, I was very, very, very enthusiastic about all-things pregnancy-related. I mean, I had wanted a baby so badly for so long.

  • I researched everything. Car seats, high chairs, cribs, baby gates, you name it.
  • I learned new terms that I had never even known existed. (Co-sleeping? Uterus cramping? Engorgement? WHAT?)
  • I accidentally [read: over-anxiously] melted my breast pump tubing in an effort to sanitize it.
  • I bought not one, not two, but FOUR of everything that anyone told me I might need. 

I was a mess.

collected baby items. From colic tablets to gas drops, from burp clothes to bibs, from sippy cups to boppy covers - I over bought. Over bought. Over bought.

I had what I thought was a plausible excuse, too:

"I am an AMERICAN living in MEXICO. WHAT WILL I DO IF I DON'T HAVE AN EXTRA BOTTLE OF INFANT TYLENOL WHEN THE BABY NEEDS IT?"

(I guess I never took into account that Mexican women had been pregnant and caring for babies in Baja California Sur for ages before I got here. Ah, first-time pregnancyhood.)

So, welcome to my baby store.

My house is overflowing with rubbermaid containers filled to the brim with clothes and baby accouterments. I have every type of pacifier ever invented (and my girls still wouldn't/won't hardly take them). I have two baby bjorns, three slings and an ergo baby carrier. (Note: I have all of those baby carries and only one body.)

We own four strollers. (Two doubles and two singles.)

My living room currently has these items sexily displayed in it: a baby swing, a bouncy seat and a jumperoo. (Not to mention Lila's toys hidden on the side of the couch in her "corner".)

Gear. Stuff.

Gear. Stuff

GEAR. MORE STUFF.

And, I don't think I'm alone.

I have miracle swaddling blankets.

I have regular blankets.

I have "winter" blankets.

I have "warm-weather" lighter blankets.

I have monogrammed blankets.

I have crocheted blankets.

And, I don't think I'm alone.

I have a collection of what seems like 300 bottles for pumping.

I have extra tubing, shields, flanges and other parts.

Sitting under my sinks are THREE boxes of 100 ct. disposable breast pads that I won't ever use because I found a different option that I love.

I have had not one breastfeeding-induced nipple problem, yet I own 4 tubes of unopened Lansinoh for sore nipples.

And, I don't think I'm alone.

Baby socks, baby mittens, baby SHOES (babies don't wear shoes!), baby jackets, hats, coats, dresses...

Changing pads? I have six changing pad covers. SIX? REALLY? I need six?

I think my best friend said that she has had over the course of three years, nine diaper bags.

See? So I am not alone.

Oh, and the debates! Breastfeeding or formula feeding? Co-sleeping or crib-sleeping? Epidural or natural birth?

Tee hee. The list goes on and on.

My only excuse: I was a freshman.

I was just getting my footing.

I wanted so badly to make everything ok. To have everything that my baby would need. 

I had to do it.  I had to over-buy. I had to act like a crazy, extreme-couponer and stock.up. Why? Because that's what first-time moms do.

We overanalyze. We over-buy. We over-worry. We over-plan. We over-read. We over-stress. We over-antibacterialize.

I look back on this hoarding of baby items and both smile and cringe. I smile because I get it. I understand why I had to do it.

I cringe because I'd like to have the money I spent on baby linens, baby quilts and changing pads and gas drops back in my wallet.

I'm a sophomore now - with baby number two just over 3 months old -  and while my spending has tapered, I have also come to the realization that this collecting of baby things is a right of passage. 

So is ignoring the advice of other mothers before you have that baby.

I remember hearing stories from other women and thinking, "Yeah. Well that's nice that your colic-y baby only slept 2 hours at a time and you didn't sleep for four months. That will never happen to me."

I don't think I'm alone.

We write our birth plans with the intention of having some sort of SHRED of control over a seemingly uncontrollable life change.

And this makes sense, too. 

We want to be active participants in a life change that is going to undoubtedly throw us for the furthest loop ever.

I get it.

That's why I smile when I hear first-time Moms talk about labor, about delivery, about birth plans, about registering for baby things, about parenting...

...because no matter how many burp clothes you've got meticulously folded in the baby's room, even if every piece of baby clothing has been laundered in dreft, you're never ready.

That first baby?

Oh boy, that first baby?

Life is never, ever, ever the same.

...and I don't think I'm alone in thinking that.

 

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