The sheer number of decisions that need to be made when having a baby is breathtaking.
Take yesterday, for instance. It was Sunday and we were at the kitchen table. Balduino was happy in his embryonic fluid, pleased this week to learn that he is now avocado-size. Meanwhile we were poring over information on the Internet about diapers. Plastic diapers versus cloth diapers. Cleaning your own cloth diapers versus paying a diaper-cleaning service, such as “Soggy Bottoms,” the local Iowa City provider.
We learn that diapers are the third most common form of waste in U.S. landfills. I pound my fist on the table and say we’re definitely going for cloth ones then. Marta reminds me how stinky baby poop is and yet how tiny our apartment is. I am resolute. Then less so. “We’ll call Soggy Bottoms!” we finally decide. Except where do we find the money for that?
Meanwhile, Balduino sleeps. Not even really a baby yet. Only a fetus who is just growing the muscles that will one day be necessary to help him make those horrendously stinky poops we are anticipating. At this stage the guys is still drinking his own urine (another fun fact we’ve learned from all those baby sites). And yet here we are fretting about what we’ll do in six moths when we have to dispose of all that baby waste.
It is one of many, many decisions that one has to make before having a baby. And I am not a fan of decisions. It’s why I detest those epically long menus that all restaurant chains have. It’s why I will sometimes stand naked staring at my closet for ten minutes before picking something to wear.
And, yet, babies birth decisions. You need to decide: doctor or midwife (midwife), doula or no doula (doula), hospital birth or home birth (hospital), epidural or no epidural (I’ll quote Marta on this: “Drugs! Drugs starting today!”), which registry to use for the baby shower (Target, Babys R Us, Amazon.com, Baby Earth, Pure-rest and Ecobaby Organics), and on and on and on.
We are like decision-making factory workers. It’s exhausting. Grueling. Inhuman.
And the little guy sleeps on. So peacefully. So unaware.