Getting registered

Babies R Us

I knew Babies “R” Us would overwhelm me before I even stepped through the threshold. Like starting our wedding registry years ago, I’m easily paralyzed by having too many options . . . but unlike when we were getting married and creating our household, we have no earthly idea what we actually need for a baby.

That’s where our family, friends and kind readers stepped in. I took many of your suggestions into account as we paced the endless aisles of the baby store, scanning items and staring at bottles, onesies and the like for almost three hours (!). (This registry list was also very helpful.)

My mom and sister came with us, offering moral and educational support, and we found ourselves keeping a running list of what we would have to register for “later”: car seats, changing tables, etc. All the big stuff, basically. We didn’t feel ready to commit to some of the more important items without consulting the vast resources of the Internet . . . so there is more work to do.

But we’ve started. And it felt good to start. Now that we’re about four months from D-Day (Delivery Day, that is), I’m still often stricken with the shocking thought that I am pregnant. And we are having a baby. Every time I get a glimpse of my profile in a mirror, I feel my jaw fall open at the sight of my burgeoning belly. It’s happening slowly . . . but quickly, too? I can’t keep up.

We made a trip out to see my cousin, Karen, and her littlest daughter on Sunday. Braelynn is two months old and as precious as can be. Cradling her was the first time I’d actually held a newborn in . . . well, a long time. Certainly the first time as an adult. When confronted with others’ babies, I usually wave and nervously retreat to a corner. They just seem so fragile.

But this was good practice — for Spencer and me. When I asked Karen if Braelynn could hold her head up, she showed me how to brace the baby to support her neck while lifting her. Walking through their beautiful home was like Babies “R” Us come to life: we saw many of the items we’d registered for in action, which was really helpful.

Spence and I took turns holding the baby, the two of us marveling at the tiny fingers and adorable socked feet. “Can you believe we’re going to have one of these?” I breathed, looking at my husband — but for the first time, this realization was accompanied by more excitement than nerves.

The best was definitely the Fisher-Price swing, which lulled our little cousin to sleep for most of the time we were visiting. Karen gave us a tutorial on that and other items, and I came home to make sure we’d registered for exactly what she has. With two sweet girls under age 2, Karen is my new expert.

Though I still have no concept of the “best” bottle or whether we need a Boppy or a Bumbo or some other B word, we left Karen’s feeling more relaxed and less intimidated. It was great to see the family and spend time together “just because” — something I hope we’ll be able to continue after Baby J is here.

“We’ll be ready for him,” I keep thinking.

And I’m actually starting to believe it.