Thursday, October 30, 2014

ten thoughts that can cure baby fever

I currently have approximately twenty pregnant friends. Which is fine. I don't miss being pregnant. Heartburn, weight gain, waiting for two hours for a ten minute doctor's appointment, swollen ankles.... Pregnancy holds very little allure for me.

Except for the siren song of the precious, squishy-faced, brand-new, darling, cooing babies that all those women will have in a few months. All those uncomfortable, hormonal friends of mine are so stinking lucky.

They better let me hold their tiny treasures, or I will never forgive them. Babies send butterflies aflutter in my heart and make my knees weak.  I love babies!!

i. love. babies.

At times like these, I have to ignore the peaceful joy of sleeping infants and remind myself of the trenches of babydom.  It is my only defense against full-blown baby fever.

Maybe this will help all of you babyless baby-lovers out there to get through another day without a squishy-faced newborn to snuggle. And, maybe it will help you baby-mamas to know that some day, your season with babies will pass, and there will be reasons to be grateful that time marches on as babies grow up.

Or maybe you'll just think I'm crazy. Anything is possible, I suppose. Here are ten things I do not miss about having a baby:

10. The aroma of spit up.The only thing worse than realizing your baby reeks of regurgitated milk is realizing you reek of regurgitated milk. And should your baby happen to spit up in your hair, you must take a full-blown shower to rid yourself of the odor. I know this from personal experience. Ick. So gross.

9. Baby monitors. Baby monitors crackle and make weird noises all night long. Sometimes I would wake up and wonder if a tornado had struck the nursery. Other times I could hear my neighbors' late night phone conversations through the monitor. Ours had a battery option and if they became unplugged for some reason, an alarm went off in the middle of the night!! Living without those things is true deliverance at its best.

8. Carrying a human in a car seat. Baby carriers are awesome until the baby weighs more than fifteen pounds. After that, when the baby falls asleep in the car and you have to lug that carrier into a store, you can plan on making a stop at the chiropractor after your Target run.

7. Germs, the flu, people who sneeze on planes, older children with runny noses, the sound of a cough in a movie theater. Nothing says "panic" to a new mom like the possibility of a fever or the flu in a brand new baby. All it takes is one friend whose baby has had a spinal tap in the ER and you will never want to leave your house until your baby is old enough to have a dose of tylenol.

6. Being the primary food source for a human. There came a point with each of my babies that the sweetness of nursing disappeared. Like some some sort of Looney Tunes mirage, I'm pretty sure they saw a giant turkey leg every time they looked at me me. My life was not my own when I was nursing, I was constantly trying to figure out if the baby was getting enough or "snacking" too much or just cluster feeding. It was so complicated! Weaning is no picnic, either, so nursing was just all one big emotional conflict in my soul.

5. All the gear required. Every simple trip to the grocery required the utmost preparation and forethought.  Diapers, wipes, bottles, nursing pads, extra change of clothes, nursing cover, pacifier, toys, baby food, spoon, stroller, and teething tablets: should you forget any of these items, it was certain that there would be some sort of humiliating experience the resulted from your forgetfulness. I recommend buying everything online and never leaving the house if you have a baby. Way easier.

4. Date nights with an infant in tow. Don't get me wrong, we were always happy once we got to go out, even if it meant taking a little one with us. But date nights that don't include changing a diaper in the backseat of your car are much more romantic, know what I mean?

3.  All the parenting advice forced upon you. The world is apparently full of baby experts.  You learn this when total strangers stop you in Costco and ask if your baby is sleeping through the night, if he is taking a bottle, or whether or not he sleeps in a crib or your bed.  When you answer that, no, he wakes every four hours, he hates the bottle, and you stuck him in a crib because you like to sleep without a snorting baby next to you, they explain everything you have done wrong and how to fix your life, you baby, and your marriage.  It's astounding how much everyone else knows about your life.

2. Sleep deprivation. Aside from a few select nights of my youth in which I chose to stay awake for hours and hours, I have never known exhaustion like I knew during the years we had infants. I can recall days that I scraped myself around the house out of sheer duty to my young offspring. The thought that I had no idea when I would have more than four uninterrupted sleep again was demoralizing. It was painful to live like that. Sleep is awesome. Big kids sleep. Therefore Big kids are awesome.

1. The way babies coo, wriggle, and cozy into the crook of your arm when you rock them... wait... Oh, man. I guess I can't think about babies and only think mean, spiteful things. Their cuteness and sugar sweetness takes over my brain.

Quick, someone call me and let me hear your baby scream in the background....

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