Desperately Seeking Cure for Baby Fever

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.

A sight more rare than Haley's comet: My pregnant belly

A sight more rare than Haley’s comet: My pregnant belly

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?

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25 thoughts on “Desperately Seeking Cure for Baby Fever

  1. Umm, you’ve got a while before menopause hits my friend. My mom still isn’t there!!! She actually had ideas that she would carry a child for me when I was struggling to conceive the first.

    But otherwise I feel your pain. I think it’s something about having your baby grow into a full fledged toddler the second time around. The first time you think “thank god!”, the second time you are all nostalgic. Or at least that’s what I chalk it up to.

    I cannot have a third child. We have no space, no money (well, relatively speaking. I’d like to keep vacationing) and no inclination to go through…I can’t even remember what’s so bad about a newborn (I’m not kidding. What brainwashing abilities those hormones have!).

    Ok, it’s mostly the logistics. I can’t handle the every day logistics of THREE. I’m already outnumbered, I don’t need to be mobbed.

    Is any of this working for you? Because now I desperately want another.

    • I actually have no idea when menopause happens. I also have a friend whose mother carried her baby; she has a book about it coming out in September: Bringing in Finn. It’s a wild story. Her son is the same age as Simon and your little one. And yes, it’s helping, but it’s so weird how the feelings slam into me before I even get a chance to think clearly about it. Weird.

  2. I am currently growing our second baby. I am terrified. I am terrified that I will not want another baby after this one, I am terrified that I will have a hard time giving my oldest all of the attention she deserves. I am terrified for my body. This post gave me a better perspective. I forget sometimes that I will not always be in my baby-growing stage of life. I should appreciate it more and remember that some day I will actually want to be pregnant again….even though it seems completely crazy to me now.
    And PS, my mom was 45 when she had my brother. Age aint no thang, lady. Exhaustion, now THAT is a big ass thang.

    • Last night someone asked me what my advice is for having two kids. I wanted to think of something sage to say, but I just relayed that the first two weeks were the hardest– the hormones, the shock and all the bewildering feelings my first-born had (she was only 18 months old). Since then, it’s been so fun, though NOT ALL THE TIME, and I have a lot of babysitting help. Like a whole lot. Anyway, it is so scary. I remember saying goodbye to my first born when we went to the hospital in labor with my second and bawling all the way to the hospital. And how scared I was that I would never love my second like my first. And I never did…it’s just different. Totally different. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds for you.

  3. Great post – and I agree it is so bittersweet when the second gets to that “easier” point where you start to actually miss the baby days. When I was living them I think I wished them away because the day-to-day can be so difficult. I say give yourself a break, you have time to see how your feelings develop on this subject. You are young in the scheme of things, and life will unfold as it should if you let it.

  4. I felt like I was reading my own post – because I have the same deep craving for a newborn, but like you, I’m too tired, too worn out, too grumpy to have a baby at 39 1/2 years old. My friend Amy just had her 4th baby and I get a hit of that child any time I can. I tell my friend to get lost and then I just place him on my chest and cuddle him to sleep. I take everything in – every grunt, snort, burp, squirm and whimper. Oh and his silky hair … that head … those scrunched up little legs. When we tries to find a breast, I give him my finger …. and oh my goodness he clamps down. And then I have to give him back. A vicarious hit, like you said. My breasts are letting down just thinking about it. In fact, I’m spraying the computer screen. Sorry.

      • What really kills me is when she’s nursing him. I tell her to zip it and not make a peep – her petty little problems of managing 4 kids will just have to wait because this is all about me (thankfully, she’s a good friend and completely accepts my neurotic side). Then I lean in close so I can hear him feed … the suck, suck, swallow. Suck, suck, swallow. Suck, suck, swallow. Oh damn, here we go again … another let down. Gotta go change my t-shirt.

  5. Great post. I’m feeling baby crazy too, but then we are trying for number two. After that, we will be done. I’m already feeling nostalgic, and I’m not even pregnant yet! Good luck with your invasive questions 🙂

  6. This made me spit my green tea all over my screen. PS – your new baby needs to be your book. That’s the one I’m looking forward to meeting!!

    You also made me realize that I probably haven’t been wanting another baby in the past week because I am overflowing with ideas for my novel. IDEAS, not words. I’m no pantser.

  7. I completely understand, I’m going through the same thing! My kids are eight years apart and are now 17 & 9, and I want a baby so bad it’s killing me! My husband thinks I’m crazy, he’s perfectly content with the two we have. I am too, but I ache to hold a newborn again, to rock one to sleep and sing lullabies, and maybe just to be overwhelming needed again.

  8. I have a cure. Please come do night duty at my house each night at about 11pm, 1am and 4am.

    I think the grass is always greener. I look at people my age and wonder how it feels to be free from getting up 3 times a night. I love my little man with all my heart, but getting pregnant at 40 is not what I had planned. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I still sometimes mourn for the plans I used to have. That mourning is always counterbalanced with the sweetest and most photogenic baby on the planet, but it’s still there. And then I feel guilty because I know there are a zillion people who would give anything to be where I am. Basically, I’m just a mess. But an extremely lucky and blessed mess.

  9. You’re a master of the “hook.” Incredible, really. Home-run post . . . once again. I love and support the vision of your writing/book being your new baby!!! I wonder if labor and delivery will be easier? Congrats!

  10. I have three boys and would love to have a fourth. I like even numbers and I always felt like something was missing. Alas, hubs doesn’t agree, tubes are tied, IUD is in, and a baby is only possible by divine intervention (and a very large medical malpractice suit). The baby urge has finally subsided as I am about to turn 45 (wait! how did this happen?). I currently want a new puppy. Hubs says no to that one too, because silly man thinks two dogs are enough. But a puppy is just so darn cute and lovable and never backtalks or leaves his underwear on the floor. in the middle of the family room. when you are trying to get your house ready to put on the market….

  11. I sympathize. We are done having kids but I still go through phases where the desire is overwhelming. It does get easier, I think (my youngest just turned 2, so I think there must be something in our bodies that says “your baby isn’t a baby! have another!”

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