I really doubted whether posting about babies right on the heels of Tuesday’s post about babies was a good idea. I don’t wish to alienate you, dear friends. I don’t wish to make you cry in anxiety, or roll your eyes in scorn, or sigh in frustration, or click away in boredom. But my GOD. I have so much BABY inside me that I have to GET IT OUT. Which leads us nicely into:
GETTING IT OUT
Can you say, “terror?” Yeah, I can, and it’s pronounced “BLEUUURRRGHHHIIIAAAHHH!” But as much as the thought of childbirth makes me want to huddle under a blanket and blubber softly to myself, the thought of pregnancy actually makes me feel much, much worse. I am entirely skeeved out about the concept of something alive growing inside of me, not to mention the delightful smorgasbord of accompanying side effects: nausea, acne, hair loss, unwanted hair growth, stretch marks, swelling, gas, constipation, exhaustion, and the general aches and pains that come from hefting a belly the size of a small ottoman around with you everywhere you go.
And as immature as it makes me sound, I am resentful of the fact that I can’t really drink for nine months plus however long I breastfeed. Everyone has that vice they lean on to take the edge off of their daily lives, whether it be weed or chocolate or cigarettes or masturbation or clowning, and mine is alcohol. I can’t wait to finish my work and unwind with a glass in hand at the end of the night. As small as it makes me sound, I am deathly afraid of having my tiny crutch swept out from under me for, like, years.
Instead of going through the horror of pregnancy, I would genuinely prefer to simply walk into a hospital and get handed a four- or five-month old baby. Here you go! Here’s your child! Seriously. At this age babies are bigger, and thus slightly less breakable, plus they’re really beginning to show their personalities. However, they’re still sleeping a lot, if you’re lucky, and you can still convince them that you’ve completely disappeared simply by covering your face with your hands. In other words: gullible!
Sign me up for this program, stat!
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE PREGNANT THEN WHY DON’T YOU ADOPT
Because I am a bad, evil, horrible, selfish person. A person who is so incredibly on the fence about having babies that share her own genetic material that I am unable to drum up the selflessness required to give my love and support to a stranger’s child. I’m not sure I could do it, guys. And so at this point, that option isn’t on our table.
WHY ISN’T IT OKAY TO JUST SAY “NO” TO BABIES?
Maggie made a compelling point in the comments yesterday: we hardly ever hear the stories of couples who agreed that having children just wasn’t their jam. She said: “… a lot of women I know (mostly IRL) are pretty “meh” about baby-having… yet they almost all assume they’ll do it eventually. … The opting-out option is mostly glossed over, as if it isn’t REALLY a valid option.”
I have no good answer for this. I am wholly supportive of people who choose “no,” and maybe a teensy bit jealous, because I long to be that confident in my decision. It’s rarely cut and dry, though, even for people who are well aware that they lean towards opting out.
Maybe so many “meh” couples ultimately choose to have a baby because deep down, they’re afraid of being proven wrong. Because when it comes down to deciding, having a child seems like a safer life bet than not having a child. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to wake up one day and realize that all the annoying naysayers who said you’d regret not having kids were right after all… right?
Not me, of course. This doesn’t speak to any of my fears. Nuh-uh.
Anyone out there still reading this: have you and your partner chosen “no?” Care to share your perspective?
ALL MY FRIENDS
Just a month or two after I met the beau, he took me along to a wedding as his date. This was back when we were 24, and it was still highly unusual for people our age to get married. Four years later, this couple had a baby, and as soon as the beau and I announced our engagement the following year the wife pulled me aside. “You two need to have a baby right away,” she said. “Our son needs a playmate!”
As ridiculous a statement as that is, there’s a kernel of truth to her desperation. These friends took the early marriage/baby train, and they’ve felt alienated ever since. They want someone to share their experience with.
I am wholly aware that our theoretical children will cut divisive lines through my cluster of friends, both in real life and online. I’m afraid of losing touch with those with whom I’m currently close. Will our lives prove too different to relate to each other anymore?
SOMEONE’S GOT A CASE OF THE ANGRIES
I’m mad that we’re probably going to go through with this. I am sincerely angry. Sometimes — when I’ve had too much to drink, naturally — I get so upset that my standard jokes cross the line from blithe to cruel and cutting. I lash out at the beau; I lash out at the universe. Why do I have to do this? Why am I the one who has to have the baby; the one whose body has to go through such trauma and change? At times like these I think, if there is a God, he is a man and he clearly has it out for women, because it’s not fair that we’re the ones that have to deal with menstruation, and it’s not fair that we’re the ones who have to deal with pregnancy and childbirth, and IT’S JUST NOT FAIR. And it’s not fair that I have to choose between having a child and not having a child, and not being absolutely convinced that either choice won’t quietly tear me down, bit by bit, for the rest of my days.
Housekeeping: I’ve made a tag called “The Final Year of My Life.” If this is actually happening, then I need to chronicle it. Clearly.
Also: we had such a good conversation on Tuesday that I can’t imagine you could, would, or should want to contribute any more to this topic. Never fear! With this writing, Baby Week is officially over. Please duck and cover; stop, drop, and roll; or otherwise assume the position: Wedding and Marriage Week is nigh!
After that I promise to return to my regularly scheduled programming of posting about utterly inane, worthless shit.
PS – I’m also kind of angry that I blew my picture load on the last post. Why haven’t I taken more photographs of my husband standing in front of cheeky baby-related signs? Why?