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 those.....baby 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.