My Mind Is Telling Me No More Babies But My Uterus Is Telling Me Yes
It wasn’t long ago that I looked upon baby fever with confusion and disdain. I couldn’t understand what it was about the better half of a year spent in ever-increasing physical discomfort followed by the birth of a very breakable thing that would illustrate to you why sleep deprivation is such an effective form of torture that was so appealing to people.
I thought I was safe. Having already been through this experience, I figured I was in the clear. I hadn’t planned on having any kids, and since the one I ended up with turned out pretty awesome, I was content to make a face of open disgust whenever someone confessed wanting an adorable widdle baby to cuddle and yearned for their partners to put babies in them. I was wrong. Baby fever is real, and just because you only want one kid (and I really,Â really only want one kid) doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you.
I think a lot of this has to do with watching all of my friends pop babies out, one after another after another. So many babies! I am drowning in babies.
While that means I have my pick of babies to consider stealing, it also means that I am acutely aware now more than ever of how different my own experience was when I compare it to my friends’ experiences. I don’t regret how things went down, and I am digging the fact that I won’t even be 40 when my kid goes off to college, but I am feeling a strange emotion all of a sudden, one that I believe the humans call jealousy.
Sometimes I feel like my kid got a little shafted as a baby. We were excited to have her, but the overwhelming emotion I felt was stress. We ended up forgoing any of the celebratory stuff and in all honesty, never really prepared the way normals do. There was no nursery, no baby shower, no photographs, no babymoon (still not sure what that is), no birth announcements, not even a spare moment to appreciate that that came out ofÂ me.
So I can’t help but wonder, “What would it be like to have a baby now?” Now that we’re more comfortable, and could actually plan for a child and do all of that hokey stuff. What would it be like to enjoy my infant instead of heading back to work five days after major abdominal surgery? How would it be if my husband could be home for a few weeks instead of rushing back to school or work while I was still in the hospital? It makes me a little sad that I will never know the answers to those questions.
On the other hand, even feeling that way kind of feels like I’m being a rude butthole to the kid I do have. I sort of feels like a betrayal, almost like saying, “Eh, I could do better.”
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want another baby. In theory, this all sounds very nice, but in practice I am aware that newborns and plugged milk ducts are a very special kind of hell.
I suppose at some point, everyone compromises something when it comes to this kind of stuff; Â whether it’s family size or breastfeeding or birth plans. For now, I will just be happy for the life that I do have, start shopping my friends’ nurseries for the least homely babies to steal, and pray for early menopause.