I’m not aware of any subject with so much conflicting information as giving birth and raising babies. For all of these baby decisions we must make, we’re getting a steady stream of advice from medical professionals, friends and family members. They all have strong opinions on the big decisions that new parents must make;
• Natural birth or C-section
• Drugs or no drugs
• Hospital birth or home birth
• Whether or not to vaccinate
• Whether or not to circumcise
• How long to breastfeed
• Where the baby should sleep
I could go on and on. We’ve sat through several hours of pre-birth classes and Aniela has read no less than five thick books which cover these subjects. Ordinarily, when I get this much contradictory advice on a subject, I put the decision on my procrastination shelf for however long it needs to be there.
Ready or not, here he comes
The arrival of our little boy in just a couple of weeks, however, necessitates that we have to fall on one side of these issues or the other…like, right now. Otherwise, we’re simply going to do the easy, more-convenient thing, which isn’t always the best choice. This reminds me of the song Freewill by Rush in which Geddy Lee sings:
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
Whatever the issue may be, if you search for articles on the internet to support your position, you will find them. That same search will also produce articles which say that your position is ignorant, outdated, barbaric or even abusive. It makes me wonder…how is that deer, rabbits, cats and every other mammal are able to bring new life into this world with no training, no books, no Google and no advice from relatives? We’ve become so “advanced” as humans that we’ve managed to complicate something which should be very simple and natural.
One expert says you’d better make it clear to the baby that the crib is where he sleeps. Otherwise, he’ll disrupt the relationship between you and your spouse in the bedroom. Another expert says “the crib was a big waste of money. The baby should sleep in your bed for the first few years.” Well who am I to say that either one of these experts is right or wrong?
Vaccinations are perhaps the greatest public health development of the century, and autism risk is a lie. https://t.co/5kE0LcMGES
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 10, 2017
One group is adamantly pro-vaccine, claiming they’re essential for preventing diseases. Meanwhile the anti-vaccine group, which is no less adamant, says it makes no sense to put poisons in a baby. And they also link vaccines to autism. So I tell them: “I see your point, but this reputable medical group says that vaccines are necessary.” To which they respond; “Yeah of course they do…they profit from those vaccines!!”
And then there’s a thousand contrasting opinions on breastfeeding. Some people avoid it altogether. Some people do it for 6 to 12 months. And some people say you should breastfeed for as long as you can. As the old saying goes:
“While the baby’s growing
And the milk’s still flowing
Breastfeeding must keep going”
(This isn’t really an old saying. I just made it up.)
I feel entirely unqualified to make these big decisions! Keep in mind…I’m the guy who debates for hours whether or not a paragraph is too long. And now I have to make a decision about circumcision?!!
Growing Up Together
Anyhow, I suppose this entire experience is just a preview of what’s coming our way. There will be one big decision after another for us to make. The procrastinating, passive way in which I’ve lived my life will simply not work for our baby boy. He’s going to challenge me to the core. He’ll certainly need me to come through for him on a thousand different issues. But the deeper truth I’m now realizing is that I may need him just as much as he needs me.
All of my daydreaming about what could possibly be will from now on be interrupted by what undeniably is. I can’t imagine many new dads get to work on long blog posts or endless woodworking projects. And that’s a real shame because those are my specialties.
I Get It…We’re Not Gonna Sleep Much
I was a young boy when I realized that parenting is really hard. I learned that newborn babies cry a lot and must be fed at all hours of the night. Even though I was a young boy, I concluded all by myself that the parents of newborns probably don’t get much sleep. Since then, I’ve been told at least 50,000 times that the parents of new babies don’t get much sleep. 49,999 of these reminders came in the last 9 months.
So let me just say once and for all…we really don’t need a 50,001st reminder that we’ll soon be very tired and sleepy. We really, truly get the point. If you ever feel the impulse to remind me of this again, do this instead; make us a big casserole and bring it over. This way, after we finally get the baby to stop crying at 3:30am, we can heat up your casserole and have something to eat. We would really appreciate that.
Yep, That’s Him
Just in case you were wondering, the featured pic at the top of this post is indeed a real sonogram of our baby boy. It’s his first ever appearance online. It looks like he’s sucking his thumb. We’re thankful to have this picture of him because our first sonogram just looked like a blob. We’re already so proud of our little boy. He’s growing so fast and pretty soon he’ll be on the outside, laughing and crying and stealing our hearts. We’re still deciding on a name for him among a few candidates.
We appreciate your prayers.
We’ll see you really soon, little boy 🙂