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Just baby and" (12/06/2006)
By Frances Edstrom

It all seems so simple when you first learn about it. Birds, bees, even an amoeba does it, and the result is more birds, bees and amoeba.

When I was preparing to welcome my first baby, "natural" was the in thing. At meetings of new mothers, we all talked about how complicated childbirth had become. I mean, geez, it wasn't too long ago that a woman just took out a minute or two from her chores in the fields, had her baby and continued picking crops. Heavens, we all laughed, if they could do it, we can do it!

I really hoped I wouldn't have to give birth at work and get back to business, but I didn't share that thought with any of the other women. I breezed through pregnancy, labor and birth, and we took our new little human home and continued on the "natural" route.

I suppose I could have ripped the bottom of my granny dress off and used it as a baby carrier, but even as committed to baby without fuss as I was, we carried our baby around in the latest thing in baby body carriers, a Snugli.

Then of course a mother wants some time without a baby on her hip, so we had to have a baby seat. And a baby car seat to keep her safe while traveling, and a carrier with a handle to carry her into grandma's house, of course a crib and a play pen.

Where did "natural" end and modern baby rearing take over?

Morgan and baby Peyton came to visit. The only thing they didn't travel with was the Secret Service. In came the baby in her super duper car seat, carried by her mother, who on the other shoulder carried one of the two diaper bags. Then came the little contraption Peyton sleeps in, the musical rocking cradle on stilts, the crescent-shaped pillow she likes to recline on when she eats, a little chair made out of soft polyurethane that helps her sit up and lets her get a people-eye-view of the world. The stroller came in next, along with a suitcase full of baby clothes and blankets. Then came Morgan's suitcase. Oh, and I bought a combination diaper changing table/bassinet/playpen to keep here.

I guess we added that new room to the house just in time.

We went to visit Morgan's friend, Emily, in Rochester to see her brand-new baby, Serena. First we heated up the car, then we brought out the two diaper bags. You never know when Peyton will need a change of clothes, so bring plenty of clothes. Then bring out the baby in the super-duper car seat and plug it into the base, which is plugged into the car's seat.

While shopping for a baby present, Peyton, whose pink shirt at that point read "Mommy's Little Girl," put up a stink " literally. She and Morgan retired to the ladies room, returning after a long while, Morgan looking harried, Peyton all smiles. Her shirt now read, "Daddy's Little Girl."

When we got home, we reversed the process of assembling Peyton's entourage and fell exhausted onto the couch, vague memories of carefree car trips of the past dancing like sugarplums through Morgan's and my heads.

We unwrapped Peyton, and she graced us with coos and smiles, setting my heart aflutter. Who wants a carefree life, minus the accouterments of the twenty-first century baby? Not me!

But they really should mention something about all this in Biology class. 


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