I was getting so anxious I couldn't finish reading your message. I think that's because I've experienced people who want me to agree that their way is the only right way. I feel that they don't respect me and are taking away my right to be different than they are. They seem to disregard my feelings. I need to make some decisions for myself based on how I feel. My sense is that when someone has to have the final say in a decision they are doing this because they need to be in control to feel safe.
It is likely that on some level he's concerned about the changes that a baby will cause. He may be feeling inadequate. When he controls when you prepare allows him to not face having a baby and the emotions he has. I suspect he's also not emotionally preparing himself for the baby.
It is normal for you to have an intense need to nest and get ready for the baby. Some men also feel this need. There are practical reasons besides hormones that drive you towards getting ready. During the last month or two you will most likely be too large and uncomfortable to do such things as put the swing together or stand on your feet while you shop. You won't have much energy left with which to feel excited. You'll be focused on giving birth. You'll just want the baby to be here. If you wait you'll miss the fun of preparing. when you start early you'll have longer to be excited and having fun.
Common sense says get ready early. Baby may come early, you may not feel well later, Some other event may make it impossible to set up the things you need to care for the baby.
In general it works best if we prepare in advance. Some may procrastinate but isn't it easier if we start on that term paper early?
Did you wait until the last week or month to prepare for your wedding. Did you wait until the last week to look for a house or apartment?
Did you start saving at the last minute? Did you only begin to think about what you wanted your home to be like the month before you moved in. To be successful in nearly every long term venture we do advance planning and preparation.
Perhaps you could show your husband a book which makes reoommendations for preparing ahead of time. I've not seen one suggestion that families should wait until the week before the expected due date to prepare.
After the baby is born both of you will be too exhausted to do shopping and will be frustrated if the house isn't set up to make caring for the baby easier. Just having the baby in the house and feeling unsure of how to care for him will take up lots of time and energy.
I also suggest he consider that planning and preparing makes bringing baby home less stressful. It takes time to adjust to being a parent. Having the things baby needs helps us to be aware and adjust slowly. Keeps us thinking about how we want to be as a parent and opens up discussions between the two of you.
As to duplicates. You will be able to use most duplicates. Ones that aren't needed such as crib mobiles you can return if you know what store they came from even if the store is in a different state. My family usually includes the gift receipt. If your family and friends would not be likely to do that you could tell the ones with whom you're close that you worry about duplicates.
When you say you don't know what you're getting do you mean that you haven't talked with them about what they want to give and what you'd like to have? In general terms. Discussing what baby needs is part of the excitement to share.
Have you made a list of the things that you want to have for baby? Does your husband expect to just go to the store at the last minute and buy things? I shop for bargains as well as for the style and color that I prefer.
If you haven't been looking, now is the time to start so that you can get what you want at a price you can afford. Shopping will also help you know what you need and can afford. Having a list that can be modified as you go along and a budget helps. If the two of you make budget decisions together before you shop he may feel less anxious.
I agree there are just a few basics that you have to have at the time of baby's birth. Is that how your husband views it? Do you live with just the basics now?
My daughter used the swing with her son from the start. He became calm and slept well while the swing swung.
The two of you could talk about each of your expectations for parenthood. Both of you research what having a baby involves. This will give you a basis to begin a discussion. The more you're both aware of the other's feelings and concerns the more likely you'll be able to compromise so that both of you get what you need.
I'm thinking it's very likely that your husband is anxious about the baby's arrival and putting off preparations feels better than facing the anxiety. In reality preparing ahead of time relieves some of the anxiety and increases the excitement. But I'm guessing he's actually afraid. He doesn't know what to expect. That makes all of us anxious. So he's not crazy. But he is unprepared.
Does the military set out on maneuvres without planning and preparing in advance? Perhaps he could better understand if you could compare preparing for a baby with other events that he's experienced.
I think he's unreasonable to ask you to wait to prepare until just before the birth. The most obvious difficulty is the baby may come early. And to put things together after coming home from the hospital? Does he plan to not help with the baby or take over some of the household chores while you recuperate?
I also think it's unreasonable to have to control your excitement. I couldn't do it and stay happy. Is he not excited about having a baby? A person can be excited and planning without actually purchasing anything. That is part of the fun. If he can't express excitement you should still be able to be as excited as you want. You are a person separate from him. Perhaps you'll have to share the "wild" excitement with friends. Your husband sounds too practical to appreciate the creativity and demeanor of an excited person. But you are a person separate from him and you deserve to be able to express your feelings.
You say he's annoyed because you want to get ready before the due date. I don't understand his thinking. And I'm feeling frustrated for you. Life is not as well ordered and predictable as he seems to think it is or even as the military is. Also having a baby is a shared event. I don't understand how he can say this is the way it's going to be done without allowing you to also have a part in the decision. Mother to be and a father to be will have different ideas about what is important and even about what is happening. Each needs to be allowed take care of their own concerns.
For example a father may be more concerned about financial matters and as a result start a savings account. A mother nearly always wants to prepare their home for the baby and as a result goes shopping. The father is thinking long range. The mother is thinking of the here and now. Both are right. They just have a different viewpoint. They can both do what they consider important. That could be a compromise.
What does he need? HOw can he get what he needs while allowing you to have what you need? Sounds like your conversations need to be deeper than when will we prepare. You are in a difficult place. I'm sorry that you aren't able to do what women through out the ages have done. I hope that you can find a way for both of you to agree or even agree to disagree while allowing each one to do what they think is important.