Monday, January 14, 2008

Babies R (Not) Us

Like many young women, I want to have kids one day. I'm thinking at least 3, maybe as many as 5. (Hey, I come from a big family, so this is normal to me.) And although I am absolutely positive I want to be a mother before I die, and I have a couple of names picked out, that is about as far as I'd taken this thought.

Until this weekend.

Don't freak out -- I'm not having a baby! *knocks on wood to be sure*

But lately, I can't seem to escape the thought of babies, and it's starting to wig me out. Let's make a list, shall we? Yes, let's. Because VB's heart rate is rapidly accelerating, and lists make her feel more in control of her world. Here we go.

1. I had a dream two nights ago that I was talking with an old friend about what it's like to be pregnant. We poked at her belly and discussed her due date. I think that in the dream, I was trying to get pregnant. Whoa.

2. Last week, CN and I were sitting on the couch watching Biggest Loser. I mentioned how it would be so easy to lose weight if you had kids, because you'd feel like you'd have a really good reason -- something to motivate you to live into old age. He replied, "Yeah, but you'll have kids one day. You should start being healthier now." (He's right, as usual.) He was visibly surprised to hear my answer: "No. I don't know if I'm going to have kids. It may not be in the cards for me." And I shrugged, because I am not one to count my chickens (or children?) before they hatch. And then I changed the subject, because the conversation was getting a little to "real" for me. I'm not ready to talk about that with CN yet. Heck, I'm not ready to talk to anyone about that!

2. CN and I were invited to a baby shower this past weekend. So we had to go pick out a present at Babies R Us, which, if you've never been, is like Wal-Mart, only it's filled with pregnancy/baby/toddler stuff. And it's FULL of women who look like this:

Now, I don't know if any of you have ever been in a giant room full of women who look like their water is about to break, unless you are an OB/GYN, but it is terrifying!!! I wanted to run up to each soon-to-be mom and play traffic cop: "Everyone! Now just back up! I need you to keep at least 10 feet back! She's gonna blow any minute!!!" I'm not kidding -- some of those women HAD to be at almost ten months of pregnancy. My fear of accidentally bumping into them and causing their water to break left me temporarily paralyzed. I didn't move an inch.

I looked around some more. There were approximately 7.3 billion baby items to purchase for your baby and/or your pregnancy. Now, unlike some women, my Baby Experience Resume is pretty extensive -- tons of babysitting, the oldest of 5 kids, lover of all things small and cute, oozing with maternal instinct, and a Master's degree in diaper changing.

But nothing, and I mean nothing, could prepare me for the Baby Bonanza that is Babies R Us.

There were these strap-things, which hold your big pregnant belly up. Like a giant seatbelt or something. I don't know. There were covers for your nipples. I don't know why nipples need covers, and I'm wondering if it's because they don't make bras big enough for pregnancy-sized boobs-- a terrifying thought. And I have never seen so many thermometer options in my life. Did you know that pacifiers come in sizes? Yeah. Neither did I.

Between the pregnant women, the bizarre baby items for sale, and the umpteen newborns in the building, my head began to spin. I looked over at CN. He was white as a sheet, and also seemingly cemented to the floor.

"Oh. My. God. There are pregnant women everywhere...." I trailed off, speechless with fear.

"Yeah. And babies," whispered CN.

"This is totally freaking me out. Let's get the hell outta here ASAP!" I said.

We printed off the registry, grabbed the closest thing in our price range (which happened to be a Breast Friend, a product I was actually familiar with) and practically ran to the register. On the way to the register, I explained to CN what a Breast Friend does, and he proceeded to make jokes about how he wants one so he can be my breast friend. Har. Har.

3. On the way to the baby shower, I realized that never in the History of Baby Showers has there only been one baby or one pregnant woman. There were going to be more. And I was right. CN and I walked into a nest of new mothers and fathers, all discussing their new babies and baby products and baby philosophies and organic baby food and....well, you get the picture. There were two babies in addition to the one being celebrated. There were baby-themed cakes, decorations and party favors. Everyone was coupled up, either engaged or already married. It felt like everyone was expected to either have a baby or want to have a baby before even walking through the front door. Like it was a requirement to attend.

It was so overwhelming, I completely forgot that I had a boyfriend. My inner Single Girl said, "Shit! I hate parties like this! I'm single and I can hear my biological clock ticking now more than ever! Why do they never invite more than one single girl to parties like this?? Don't they realize it's torture? Oh. Wait. I am here with someone...Right. Ok." And then I spent the rest of the party trying to see if there were any single girls there, so that I could introduce myself and comfort them. Old habits never die, I guess. Or perhaps I just don't see CN and I as a couple couple yet. Because we haven't been dating long enough to discuss the possibility of making a little VB or CN yet. Does that make sense? I dunno. It felt too soon for us to be in that room with all people.

Consequently, I kept to myself and stuffed 3 chocolate-covered strawberries, 4 ounces of dip/chips, one brownie and 17 petit-fours down my gob.

PMS hormones + too many babies + weird baby items + freakishly swollen bellies + a party where I know no one = Time to eat.

Ugh. I am getting a headache just typing this.

Anyway, our gift was a hit, and many "Breast Friend" jokes ensued.

4. After the party, CN and I had hoped to return to the Land of the Childless by attending W's birthday get-together. No such luck. My friend Y was there, and she is about 6 months pregnant with her first child. And a couple was there with their 3 month-old little girl. She was adorable. And they let me hold her. And she was so little! And she had that powdery baby smell! And she stuck out her bottom lip when she cried! And we all cooed over her adorableness.

CN was watching me do all of this. I cooed to him about the cute baby. He said it was impossible to escape babies that day. I nodded and continued to coo.

"You don't want one, do you?" he asked, terrified.

"Oh my God, NO!" I shouted. CN had jolted me back to reality.

And that's when I realized that I really like the idea of having a baby and being a mother. Possibly even with CN. But the whole pregnancy and labor thing totally freaks me out, and I am nowhere close to being ready to have one any time soon!!!

I wish the stork story was true. Because that is the kind of pregnancy/labor I want! Just thinking about how scary labor must be and how pregnancy totally f**ks up your body makes me feel like I'm going to faint. Why can't a nice little bird just drop if off on your doorstep? This is much more logical to me. It also sounds cheaper, safer, faster and cleaner. Scientists should look into this and see if this is indeed a viable option.

I explained all of this to CN and told him that I can't wait to be a mom, because once the baby has arrived, I think I would like it, because I know what to do. It's the whole pregnancy/swollen belly/scary labor stuff that bothers me.

He totally disagreed, saying that the baby's arrival is when all of his fears would start!

I guess it's good to know that we are on the same page about all of this stuff. Kinda.


Stuck said...

Just get it ripped out through your stomach. Passing a kid through the vajajay makes you pee really easily... like from laughing too hard.

DISCLAIMER - Stuckey is not a doctor, and his words should not be taken as a professional opinion.

Phantom Hater said...

This is the most frightening post I've ever read. You say you have dreams about babies. I have nightmares. Nightmares featuring swarms of babies crawling all over me, with their big, bulging heads and eyes, all cooing in unison and leaking gobs of spittle from their slack-jawed mouths. You know, they say babies have surprisingly strong grips for their age. So just think about how easy it would be for one of the little buggers to choke the life out of you in the middle of the night. Some people fear clowns. I fear babies.

All I have to say is, poor CN. He can probably hear your biological clock ticking at night...the ominous tick-tock Pounding of Doom, with each beat inexorably marching towards the end of single life as he knows it. The fact that he, as a single man, went to a baby shower and helped purchase a "Breast Friend" that wasn't some kind of humorous sex-toy means it's probably already too late for him.

Carolyn said...

Tell me about the baby thing!!!! My mom ran an at-home daycare when I was a child so I grew up being the 'helper' and around lots of kids/babies. I also babysat and nannied all the way through high school and university for extra money. My mom loves babies and couldn't wait to start a family. Thus I've been raised since a very early age to want a family and children and I guess a lot of her tendancies have rubbed off on me. I love to take care of people etc. and a lot of my friends refer to me jokingly as "Mom"... I love playing with my friends babies and yes I do want my own children AT SOME POINT (key here... not today, not next year, but at some time in my life... I'm only 22 for goodness sake!)
I always get comments, particulairly with my boyfriend around, about "ohh watch out she's a natural with kids" or "watch out or you'll be next". It gets old FAST.

Arg, sorry for the rant, just a little pet-peeve of mine that your post reminded me of!

RWA said...

Wait a minute...let's go back to the part where CN wants to be your "Breast Friend."

Alison said...

Having been through two pregnancies, I have to share about the nipple covers. :) I'm not sure if you were referring to breast pads, which stop you from leaking milk right through your shirt for all the world to see, or those contraptions that "help" reshape your nipples so that it will be easier for the baby to latch on when breastfeeding. Sound fun? Great post!

Megan said...

Great Post!

I swear...the next person who asks Mr. T and I when we are going to have kids, I will kick in the shins.

We aren't sure if we want kids, but we do know we don't want them now.

Oh yeah, I agree with the whole looking into the stork thing! I really don't want to pass a little human through my "vajajay" as Stuck would say!

Matilda Jane said...

I'm with PH... babies are scary... and may I add that they smell... bad.

KT said...

lol...this whole post had me laughing so hard I almost peed my pants without having a baby going through my vajayjay already. VB, I swear whenever I need a pick me up ... you are there to entertain. Granted though I understand the whole "fear" of it...especially having helped deliver babies when I was only a senior in high school. You will know if and when the time is right.... so no worries now!

cmk said...

Having had two kids, I must say you are NEVER ready to have them. I'm lucky I never had to go through the 'not the right time' thing--I was always (and continue to be) a stay-at-home, so kids were always in the mix. (AND I had to go through a bit of the infertility thing, but I digress...) You go through pregnancy and labor practically without thinking about it--it pretty much just happens and you go with it. (You CAN get your body back after pregnancy, I guess, if you work at it. I never wanted to work that hard! :))

There is something about holding his newborn child that completely melts a man. I have seen men who I NEVER would have thought would like to be fathers turn 180 degrees as soon as their child looked into their eyes. If the man is a good guy, he will be a good father and wonder what he did before he had a child.

Too many people have forgotten that having kids is a natural part of life. (Excuse me for not being politically correct.) It is the natural order of things and our bodies have been made for it. Don't worry too much--it all works out okay.

And now that I have COMPLETELY halted any fun times anyone has been having, I have to say this was a VERY fun post to read. You continue to give me reasons to come back and read you! :)

Phantom Hater said...

You're right. Having kids is the natural order of things and your bodies were made for it. The natural order of life for men is to impregnate the women and let the ladies get along with raising the youngins. I think you're right about about guys "melting" after having a kid and wondering what they did before. After all, at that point their own life is basically over and they might as well start throwing everything they have into the kid's life.

cmk said...

phantom: Oh, the words of youth. ;)

tallglassofvino said...

too funny. and scary, all rolled into one.

S and I HAVE had the conversation where we decided that we should try to get pregnant. Yes, and then, of course, we proceeded to not have sex for about 3 weeks. Don't know if actually saying the words worked like a deterrent, but that whole scenario got me *quite* confused, and then I realized that the word "marriage" hadn't been clearly included in that discussion.

Pass the dip.

Smug said...

I am getting well into my 31st year of life and the idea of having a baby is starting to get into the all consuming arena! My husband has been talking about kids a bit more lately too. I think that we are going to get the house bought (closing mid March) and then start getting ready to try (i.e. going off birth control, etc.) We were planning on waiting until I finished my masters degree, but my body just will not wait that long!

This was a very funny post and I laughed all though it - I think that you will know when you are ready to have a baby and until that feeling hits - don't worry about it :)

When Darkness Falls... said...

Once again, I laughed all the way through this post! Having had 2 kids I can tell you it isn't as bad as you think. But, I was ready for them. It seems scary until you are ready, and then it's just wonderful! I agree with everyone else, you will know when it's time. Until then, just breath! :)

Becky said...

man i loved being pregnant and now that i'm trying for a 2nd one and NOT getting pregnant it sucks. i miss it. i crave it. you'll be fine. you'd be ag reat mom and i can't wait til you ARE knocked up :)

Coco said...

I am right there with you. I feel like I am dodging a constant barrage (is that how you spell that?) of people wanting babies, people having babies, people making me hold their babies (ok "making" is too strong of a word). And it is just making my biological clock tick even louder, and I haven't even found someone even remotely CLOSE to being an acceptable baby's daddy.

teahouse said...

He sounds very understanding.

My last bf didn't want to have kids. It's why we broke up. It really, really, really, really, really sucked. Which is why I'm a big believer in having this conversation if two people are serious. 'Nuff said.

Phantom Hater said...

Speaking of nipple covers, I really hate the strip clubs that make the girls wear them. Say no to Pasties!