I now know -with definitive assurance- why the world is booming daily with new births. It is because, even in the moms that were not on the “Gotta get pregnant, Gotta get pregnant” track originally, once your child hits a certain independent age, you immediately become chemically engulfed with copious amounts of “baby fever”.
What is “baby fever”, you non-parents (do I even have non-parent followers? I am not certain and do not think so but bear with me anyways…), may be wondering?
“Baby fever” is when, seemingly out of nowhere- no matter how resolute you were that your family was a whole before, your ovaries just start aching whenever there is a baby in your proximity. You become overwhelmed with nostalgia when gazing at the onsie section you must pass to acquire the toddler separates, and you find yourself aimlessly pouring over the baby pictures for apparently no reason whatsoever while reminiscing tearfully.
“Baby fever” is real, people, I can attest to this fact for myself now.
While I told myself I would never forget the preterm labor, the emergency C-section, the days without my baby, the NICU stay, the subsequent infection from my C-section that you get when you do not take care of yourself and drive 30 minutes away to a NIC-U to sit in uncomfortable chairs all day long -every day- to stare at your sleeping offspring for 8-10 hours (this is an inexplainable phenomenon of mothering: the inability to put yourself first even in the first few days of their life), the four different ER visits for me because of said disregard for my own health…all of it. I said that I would never forget any of it.
Yet, here I sit, overcome with emotion every time I see an old baby bottle lingering in a cabinet or a paci that fell behind something and was never seen again until now.
Though, while this means to jump on the old “baby making wagon” for some, for me, I just do not think it will be in our cards. For many, many medical and health related reasons. Not just my son’s issues, not just mine (that caused the preterm labor to begin with), but weighing everything in as a whole. We know that we were lucky to have him with the complications that I have and I have always been and will always be grateful for that fact.
Though that does not stop the ol’ waterworks from flowing when I go through the baby books again. So, I decided to compile a list of things that I do NOT miss about having a baby. A list of things that, no matter how cute a baby is, I would NOT like to do all over again.Things I barely survived the first go-round:
- Trying (unsuccessfully) to breast feed. I would no-more-than-a-man-in-the-moon EVER want cry in a lactation consultant’s (or, more honestly, three) office again. Or pump in a closet while weeping with postpartum hormones raging that the amount was not anywhere near enough to sustain my tiny preemie. Or cart around said pump in a duffel bag while bleeding through bandages. Eff that!
- Oh yeah, and speaking of the bleeding bandages…I would NEVER want to have another C-section. Surgery while awake is pretty much as awesome as it sounds. Yes, you can feel every stitch and staple and it was the worst thing I have ever been through. Also, if they had been attempting to stop your labor an hour before, you may be pumped up with drugs that will make you throw up while this is going on. Welcome to motherhood!
- Having no freaking clue what the baby is crying about. Yes, I know my son has had communication issues much longer than most, and that makes me even less willing to jump back on the “What do you need? This? This? This?” train.
- Sterilizing bottles and binks. I lived in fear of thrush almost constantly and sometimes I often marvel at the fact that I made it through without him getting it. I do not think that God will step in twice.
- Packing for the next apocalypse with essentials when leaving the house. You just need so much STUFF with a baby. I remember seeing a mother of a toddler at the pediatrician when Jp was tiny and she snickered at my bag. Now I know why. I throw a diaper, some wipes, a bottle of water, and a handful of skittles in my purse and I am out the door. Most of the time, since I never use the stuff in the purse, it is still there from the time before. I keeps it moving. I remember being late on more than one occasion because I could not find what I needed with my hazy, lack of sleep addled brain.
- Baby food. It smells bad, it is a pain to get the dried up crust out of your hair (you know what I’m sayin’, moms), and it is just brutal trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Jp may not eat much but, at least, he can tell me if he likes something or not.
- Speaking of gross smells, I do NOT miss spit up. I literally reeked of sour milk for the better part of a year thanks to the heavy-duty Neosure that Jp was on. And every shirt that I owned looked like it came out of a 14-year-old boy’s bedroom. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
- Having to tote that rear facing seat around everywhere. Ugh! So heavy and awkward, right? While in the moment, I had no idea it was as big a pain as it was, now I just unstrap a belt and Jp walks with me (well, most of the time). Sweet bliss.
- I am mere inches away from being done with changing poopy diapers forever. If you told me that I had to change diapers for three more years…I might actually cry, I’m serious.
- Babies are cute, babies are cuddly, but there is just something frightening about them. They are so helpless. You all know that I am far from a helicopter or worrisome mom, but I have to tell you, they can suffocate in their sleep, choke on everything, and they just have ZERO sense at all. It is almost like they are actually trying to kill themselves. I am lucky, with my laid-back approach, that I got Jp this far. It is never smart to tempt fate twice, you know?
Ahhhhhh…now I feel better. “Baby fever” averted for the day. Now, if I can just stay away from all babies for a few years, I will be perfectly okay being a three person home that is full of love. Stupid hormones and chemicals, I beat you again!
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.