Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Will it Hurt the Baby?

Mrs. Blackwell and I have been spending quite a bit of time lately doing prep work for the arrival of our babies. (As of today she's 25 weeks pregnant with our identical twin boys.)

So far, we've picked up some baby clothes. We've cleared out what used to be a guest room and have put in a crib and changing table. We've still got quite a few things to buy and set up but, we're pretty well prepared. So, we get to take a deep breath here and wait for the storm to hit.

Except you really never get a deep breath. Well, I do, but Mrs. Blackwell doesn't. In fact, she pretty much has to think of the kids every moment.

No more sharing toys with the dog.
"Can I bend down to pick up that box?" 

"Which side should I sleep on?"

"Can I have a cup of coffee?"

"My stomach hurts, is that a sign of something bigger going on in there?"

"What makeup should I avoid?" 

"Can I eat deli sliced meat?"

"Should I lay off kick boxing for a while?"

At the heart of each of these questions of course, is the central concern: "What effect - if any - will this have on the baby?"

I mostly consider these questions only when I'm with Mrs. Blackwell. But, she's with her all the time so....yeah, sorry about that sweetie.

We hear a lot of people talk about the "miracle of pregnancy" and my wife is right there with these folks. She thinks it's a miracle too. (Talk to me after we've got two healthy babies delivered and I'll wholeheartedly agree.)

Great-grandfathers = baby-killing germ free. Or are they?  
 When you start considering these questions amongst the hundreds of others that come up every day, it starts to seem a lot less like a miracle.

Second-smoke. Car exhaust. Food that's past its best-by date. Germs carried by folks eager to pick up and handle your baby. There's a bounty of potential hazards, real and imagined out there (and we haven't even discussed radon yet. Who knows what that'll do but damn, the anti-radon lobby sure does a good job making it seem like creeping death.

Having your guard up at all times is tough enough but, having other people with their guard up on your behalf can be trying too. 

(A note to any well meaning person out there: unless she's pounding back Bud Lights and washing them down with Crown Royal, never, ever, ever ask a pregnant woman "Should you be eating that?")

In talking with parents you always hear the refrain that parenthood will "change your life in every way." 

Regularly considering how even the smallest things you do affect folks other than you or your spouse might just be our first glimpse into how true this is.

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