x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Baby on the way stirs panic assessment

With only 12 weeks to go until this baby is ready to join the outside world, panic has officially set in. Not, as you might think, in the both of us. Oh no, Mr T is still walking around like it's no big deal we're about to become parents.

With only 12 weeks to go until this baby is ready to join the outside world, panic has officially set in. Not, as you might think, in the both of us. Oh no, Mr T is still walking around like it's no big deal we're about to become parents.

His calm demeanour does not automatically reassure me, as you might be wont to believe. Instead, my panic rages every time he insists that "almost seven billion people in the world did the baby thing and most with less than half our resources and they're all fine - we're smart, educated people; we're going to be more than fine".

He has not yet dared to utter the words "how hard can it be" in my presence, but a symptom of pregnancy is mind-reading abilities and I know what he's thinking. If he could just lie and say, "I'm scared, too", then maybe I'll stop having an anxiety attack every time we walk into a baby store and are faced with 10 different brands of baby bath tubs and 20 different brands of baby monitors and some 15 brands of baby shampoo, lotion, oil, nappy cream and massage oil. Babies need massage oil? And when do I use baby lotion versus baby oil? Is baby oil the same as the massage oil? And how come no one in these baby stores can answer any of my questions? And don't get me started on the selection of car seats and strollers that we're supposed to have researched. Buying my car wasn't this confusing.

Cue a hyperventilating pregnant lady bolting out of the store.

Which brings me to what I believe is the true reason my panic levels are rising these days, while Mr T's remain under control: shopping.

I have always been a shopper, and a good one. It's true: friends beg me to accompany them to the mall because they know my plan of attack will result in great additions to their wardrobes. I am not intimidated by a crowd. Sales are my true calling. Shopping is my therapy.

I always believed the "buying things" part would be the joy in pregnancy, allowing me to delve into a world of retail that was previously off limits, from chic maternity clothes (no such thing), to baby bonnets and nursery decor.

The reality, however, is far removed from my naive fantasies and a whole lot more overwhelming. This is my first job as a mother (other than downing those nausea-inducing prenatal vitamins): to buy the right items and be ready for my baby's arrival. What if I do it all wrong?

Since Mr T does not have such a strong relationship with the act of shopping, he does not suffer from panic attacks, and just seems thankful I have not embarked on a killer shopping spree. He continues to insist we have plenty of time to buy everything we need. He cannot, however, seem to give me a list of what it is we need exactly, so again, I am left exhausted under the weight of this responsibility, this need to write out a shopping list that gets it right.

My only source of comfort is that this baby will not be wanting in shoes (two pairs purchased) or books (library already well stocked).