Is this how it’s gonna be from now on? Every time I see a newborn baby, I am going to get that heavy lump lodged in my throat and tears are going to pool under my eyelids? If so, it’s going to be a little inconvenient for me to have to remember my eco-friendly tissues every time I leave the house.
I’m starting to notice that I am exhibiting a tendency to lose my sh*t around newborns. At first I thought it was just a fluke– I met my friend Ann’s new baby boy, and as soon as I got back into my car, I gripped the steering wheel and cried like I did in kindergarten when a boy in my carpool ripped the arm off my Holly Hobby doll.
Oh how I cried.
I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that I wanted to have another baby, but rather, that I wanted to be the baby. Ann’s son looked so cozy and peaceful as he slept swaddled in his cushy swing. How great does that look? Who doesn’t want to spend a lazy day swinging in a sheep skin seat?
I gave myself a talking to: “Outlaw Mama, you are tired and not thinking clearly. You want to be a baby, not have a baby. Let’s get that straight. Now drive this car to Costco for a chicken bake and some frozen yogurt. Chin up!”
But two days later I was at Millenium Park where hundreds of people had gathered to splash around in a public fountain. Taking Sadie to the bathroom, I made eye contact with a young mother holding a baby that could not have been more than 4 weeks old. I saw her weary eyes and the baby’s sweet face, and again, I found myself misty, which wasn’t the right condition for navigating a public restroom with a 2-year-old free spirit like Sadie.
My main weapon to squelch these percolating baby desires has been encouraging others to have babies so I can have a vicarious hit. I find myself trying to convince my friends to get pregnant. “You can do it! You’re such a great mom that it would be criminal not to have another!” Now my sister is pregnant, and I am asking some pretty invasive questions (even for a sister), because I want to come as close as possible to the baby experience without actually getting pregnant.
My rational mind is clear about my own reproductive future: I am pretty sure that my womb is no longer accepting applications for boarders. I am too tired, too grumpy, and too vain to do pregnancy at age 39 or 40. Mostly, though, I am just sick of sippy cups.
But with each of my monthly cycles, I think to myself, “this might be my last chance to have a healthy baby,” as my 39th birthday looms. I wonder if these feelings will go away once it’s no longer physically possible for me to have another baby. If so, my next question is: when the hell is menopause gonna come along and shut this all down?