I used to be one of those girls who wanted to steal your newborn. Not in any weird baby-snatcher way (despite the super creepy picture above, circa 2009 with my newborn nephew), but in the way that whenever I held a fresh babe, my uterus glowed and my heart pounded I must procreate, I must procreate until I could barely stand it. Yeah, I was one of those.
It started from an early age. I’m the oldest of 17 cousins and about 30 different baby dolls. I started babysitting when I was 12 and didn’t stop until I was in my mid-twenties. I’ve just always been around babies and loved it.
When Waylon was born, I expected nothing less than to fall in love with his newborn face and newborn smell. I expected to stare at him for hours and miss him when he slept. I expected head over heels delight. I was not disappointed.
What surprised me is that now that he’s growing out of babyhood, I’m not sad. I do not mourn the loss of his tiny baby feet or tiny newborn hands. I do not look at size zero onesies and clutch my aching heart. I do not spy a newborn in the super market and weep.
I have friends with babies younger than Waylon who are ready for another child. They are already picking out names and dreaming up second nurseries. I want to join in on this conversation, but I can’t. I’m still thinking about colic and praising the Lord that I can bound up and down the stairs without toting a whale gut. I’m still enjoying Waylon.
This is not to say that those other mothers are not enjoying their firstborns. In fact, I feel guilty hoarding my love and attention for just this one baby and often worry my heart doesn’t have room for another. In my darkest hours I think: What if a new baby comes and I don’t like him/her as much? Or worse: What if I like them more? Poor Waylon!
Realistically, I know my heart will grow to suit another, but the whole thing seems like a hassle. As Waiting For Birdy author, Catherine Newman, says before she gets pregnant with her second, “I like the relative serenity of raising only one child. I can imagine us up and going somewhere, if we feel like it. Our family, in short, is working pretty well the way it is.”
As I’ve mentioned, Baby Daddy is in the opposite camp. Just the other day he tried to bribe me into producing another spawn by offering me a chance at a brand new Ergo baby carrier that I’ve been wanting. Uh, no dice. 9 months of pregnancy alone is worth much more than 72 dollars.
If we get down to the nitty gritty of it all, I guess I’m just scared; scared of change, scared of it being too hard, scared of waking up at 3AM with two sets of vomit and nowhere to lie down. I look at moms with more than one kid and wonder how they’re doing it. I’ve even gone as far as asking stupid questions like, “When do you sleep?” Because even though I get it, I don’t really get it. It seems like I would have to give up any last remaining strands of freedom, and I just feel too selfish.
I’m not proud of this confession. I miss my baby crazy self. I miss pining over newborn clothes and clutching fresh babies to my chest in drunk wonder. I even miss spending 40 dollars on six pregnancy tests just to make sure it’s right.
What about you? Are you ready for another? Or more importantly, do you have more than one baby? Because HOW ARE YOU DOING IT?
I’m hoping you say it’s as easy as pie.