How a baby turns your life into a numbers game

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I forgot how when you have a baby, that numbers take over your life. I've just had my second baby and fully amidst the newborn haze, my life is consumed by numbers.

My son was induced at 36 weeks and two days, but the numbers begin even earlier than that, don't they?

You decide to try for a baby so you start having sex. You might do a test to see how many days you are most fertile. How many times should you do it? Should you leave a few days in between or get busy for a few days then stop? Do you raise your feet in the air to help the swimmers? If so, how long is long enough to help guide them to their destination? How long do you try for before you see someone for help?

If you're lucky to fall pregnant it then turns to dates, sizes, length, heart beats, weeks, months, all numbers. Everything is based on a figure. How big the foetus is determines how many weeks you are, which gives you an approximate due date. Good heart rate? How many beats determines a healthy or not so healthy heart. Don't tell anyone you're pregnant until 12 weeks. Numbers, numbers, numbers.

You may practice the drive to hospital as a test. How many minutes does it take? Is that in peak hour traffic or non-peak hour? You start shopping. How much should you spend on a pram? Cot or bassinet or both? How many jumpsuits, pants, t shirts, dresses, socks, beanies, sheets, sleeping bags and mittens is too much? What size should you buy? Four zeroes or three? What if you have a small baby or a massive baby? How many nappies should you get? The answer is you can NEVER have too many nappies.

Then you go into labour. How many contractions? How many minutes between contractions? How long are the contractions? You watch the clock. This is the beginning of watching a clock. This won't end anytime soon. You then go to the hospital and then your labour is timed. Please note, hours of painful contractions quite often won't count, but they sure as hell do to mums! How many centimetres dilated are you? Then, after what will probably feel like forever, you will hopefully give birth to a screaming, pissed off, but healthy baby.

How much does he/she weigh? How long? Circumference of head. Your little one will get a score on how he/she looks and performs after birth. You will be assessed. Numbers, numbers everywhere. Or maybe you are having a planned caesarean. You are given a time you have to be at the hospital. You know what day and what time you will meet your little person. The countdown is almost over.

Then, the real time watching begins.

How many feeds, how long on this breast or bottle, how long are they feeding, what time did they start, what time did they finish, how many wet nappies, how many poo nappies, how long have they slept, how long have they done tummy time, how long have they been awake? How much sleep have you had? When was the last time you slept for two or more consecutive hours?

This is only the beginning of weigh ins, height assessment, head measurements, when did they start eating? Are they putting on enough weight? What month did they crawl? At what age did they walk? How many words can they say?

From the moment you try for a baby, numbers will rule your life; unless you are a mathematician then numbers are already your life. All of this will pass by in a blur and before you know it, you'll be blowing out that "one" candle and clinking wine glasses with your friends and family wondering where those 365 days went. But despite all the extra homework, the little dudes and dudettes are worth it.