I took a deep breath. “You will be fine,” I told myself firmly. “This will not be like last time. You can do this.” My fingers trembled slightly but other than that, I was proud of how calm I was – and so, I started my consult with the great and powerful Google.
I know, I know. Any pregnant woman who Googles anything deserves what she gets. If the baby books and magazines are the dire prophets of doom, the Internet is one of the four horsemen of the pregnancy apocalypse (along with birthing horror stories, unsolicited advice and strangers touching your stomach).
In my defence, I needed help. I had been told time and time again, get everything sorted out as soon as possible. Start buying your baby stuff now. Get the nursery ready. Get everything done. Have you packed your hospital bag? Now time is running out for me – I only have months left and I still do not have a pram.
I envisioned many things I would freak out over when I fell pregnant and, to my credit, I’ve managed to panic over all of them. But the one thing I overlooked was the pram issue. After all, it’s a pram – what is there to it? It has wheels and carries a baby. But before I took Himself, and his credit card, to the shops, I figured I’d better gather a bit of information first.
“Just buck up and do it,” I told myself firmly as I set out to research prams.
It’s difficult now to imagine those blissful days when the only things that I knew existed were basic prams and car seats. Now I find myself pouring over page after page of travel systems, strollers, prams, buggies, joggers, isofix bases, adjustable car seats. I frantically tried to find a foundation from which to start my search.
“He walked into our bedroom to find me surrounded by a mountain of clothes, clutching old shorts and jeans and muttering somewhat manically, “Thank you. I release you. Thank you. You must go now…”
“Safety. Yes, that’s most important,” I hissed at the computer, jabbing away at the keys. “Safety first,” screamed website after website. “Get the safest car seat. Get a safe pram!”
“But what makes it the safest?” I yelled back. The websites all fell silent; refusing to give up the secret of which one was actually safe, comfortable and didn’t cost the same as my car. My eyes glazed over as I pushed through page after page telling me that travel systems were wonderful, and the worst decision I could make. That a car seat that clipped into a pram would be amazing, and make my life hell. That this pram was worth every cent, and horrendously overpriced. That travel system was the only thing to buy if you love your kid, and you’re a gullible fool for buying it. But no one would tell me which one was actually safe.
“We can do this,” I murmured as I led Himself into the baby store. “This time we’ll talk to an actual human being and get the right information.”
“What are you looking for?” asked the nice young salesman as we circled the pit of prams.
“Safety!” I knew the answer to that one.
“This is the one for you,” replied the salesman. “Everything you need and want in a pram.” I threw Himself a triumphant look; talking to a real person had indeed solved our problems.
Then I looked at the price. For that price I might as well renovate my house and Slytherin Baby and I could live in luxury, never leaving it.
“It’ll be okay,” I reassured Himself two hours later as we entered the second baby store. “We now know what we want; we’re just comparing prices.”
“What are you looking for?” asked the nice young salesman.
“That one,” I answered confidently, pointing.
“Really? Are you sure? Do you want these features? And if you don’t have isofix in your car, it’s not safe to attach with a seatbelt. And if you’re looking for the following list of things, then this is not a good car seat you. You want to look at this one instead…”
Amy Lalouette lives with Himself (her very patient husband) and is expecting her first child (aka Slytherin Baby). By day she’s an English teacher and by night she reads, writes, holds murder mystery parties and does belly dancing. Unfortunately, all this interferes with her lifelong ambition to have a spotless house and an empty laundry basket! She records her experiences (and confusion) of expecting a baby on her personal blog “Mommy’s Off her Meds”.