Since no time is ever a good time to have a baby in the life of my husband and I, (that is, we will never have enough money, time or experience) we just decided to give it a go.
I mean it’s not like I have to swallow dirt and chew on an adder’s tongue to get there, the activity for getting pregnant is really quite enjoyable. The only down side is the drop in alcohol and caffeine intake, but truthfully, I needed to watch that anyway.
I like to think it’s a bit of a diet too – surely I’ll lose a couple of kilos by not enjoying my nightly glass or two…or three of delicious red wine.
But priorities please, this is not about you, this is about your baby. So I set off for the health food store to buy some pre-natal vitamins. I locate the correct aisle and find them immediately, right at eye level. “Pregnancy platinum. One month’s supply. Reflux free. Daily nutritional support for mother and baby.” How could I go wrong, they’d even thought to avoid reflux? I pick the box up off the shelf and turned it over to check the price.
Thirty-four bucks for a packet of pills! It’s like shopping for a wedding. Mention the words ‘baby’ or ‘bride’ and immediately the packaging is pink and the price triples.
What on earth is in them? Iodine for brain development apparently, (I suppose it’s too late for me to reap any rewards from this isn’t it?) folic acid to help prevent spina bifida (fair enough) and a collection of other vitamins and minerals I didn’t know I was barely coping without.
This kid had better come out reciting the alphabet backwards.
I am ashamed to admit that old habits die hard, and I put the pink packed pregnancy pills back on the shelf and went in search of the generic brand. The baby won’t know the difference, I reasoned, finding a pack for twenty-two dollars instead. And then, I got the guilts.
Take a look at yourself! Your baby’s not even made and already you’re a lousy mother! Here you are, scrimping on your baby’s spinal cord, its calcium deposits, its iron levels. Are you going to starve it once a week too, just to save some money? You should be embarrassed. Hang your head in shame.
I did still buy the cheaper ones, as I’m not convinced there can be twelve dollars difference between one brand of Cyanocobalamin and another, but I do acknowledge that the activity of making and rearing a child, is not one where you can expect to make a profit. Further to that, you can’t even expect to save. Second hand clothes and cereal dinners are fine for me, but I do realise this is not acceptable for my offspring. At least not until they’re adults and I’ve kicked them out of the house and they don’t have any money for anything else. But I’ll address that obstacle in twenty-something years.