The continuation of life is a fundamental part of our purpose on earth. At some point or another we will be obsessed with the thought of passing on our genes to another generation. Without this inbuilt force of nature, there would have been no continuation of the human race after the first set of parents discovered the joys of teenagers.
Of course, with life as complicated as it is, the news of an impending birth is not always welcomed with open arms as it can bring difficulties that we are ill prepared for. However, for the majority of people, the gift of a new life is something that brings on an unexplainable joy. From the moment a woman realises she is pregnant, she feels an affinity with that baby that breaches the realms of normal bonding.
From the second trimester onwards that new life that is growing inside at an unprecedented rate will become known as the bump. The bump will govern many things before it even draws its first breath. It will decide what mum eats and drinks and whether or not those things stay down. It will decide how much sleep is had by mum and dad, it will govern how many times mum has to spend in the loo and it will give mum this inexhaustible urge to go out and buy cool baby clothes.
By month five, the realisation is that nothing will ever again be quite the same. The cool baby clothes are held up to the burgeoning stomach to see if they fit (don't ask, it makes sense to us) and the house is taken over by a whole host of baby paraphernalia that warrants an extension being built. You will find yourself buying not just a cot and pram but a whole assortment of bedroom furniture to house the cool baby clothes, soft toys and rattles.
By months eight and nine, the only conversations possible are every aspect of what the childbirth itself will entail and all your hopes and dreams as parents as to what the delivery of your child will bring.
A month after the birth of your darling bambino, parents are divided into two groups. Those that divulge every gross bit of birth detail to any passing stranger to hold up as a true miracle and those parents who are still so shell shocked by the whole gory experience that they prefer to wander around in a daze, pretending it didn't happen. This is ok until one day they leave the baby somewhere forgetting they even had it. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Hormones do funny things to women and at no other point in her life will she experience such peaks and troughs of hormones as now. This means that all sensible reason will go out of the window for a period of time until that gorgeous bambino turns into 'the baby'.
'The baby' then turns into a machine that eats, pukes and poops and as fast as you can shuffle sustenance into one end, 'the baby' turns it into something unrecognisably disgusting to churn out the other end. Still cute?
At this point, any lovey dovey gooey nonsense from dad over his cute little bundle of joy dissolves into looks of dismay as the now promoted 'sprog' feeds rusk into the dvd player and hides his keys. This stage of baby rearing is soon moved on to the rugrat stage. This is not so bad. The rugrat is on the move and although he can get up to so much more mischief, this is balanced out by the fact that he finds everything funny dissolving everybody to giggles and his incessant laughter and the fact that he know sleeps all night.
From rugrat we promote our babies onto ankle biters. Ankle biters are at that stage just before and bordering on the terrible twos. Nothing is discovered unless it's through the power of their new teeth and this also covers other peoples fingers, noses or shoulders. Never mind, just a few short years and they'll be off to school.
So, whatever stage your bundle of joy is at, make the most of it because the work may be rewarding but it will only get harder.
Parenting expert Catherine Harvey looks at what drives a mother to be to buy cool baby clothes as well as lose control of her own body.