Over the past six months or so, I’ve been hit HARD by a case of Baby Fever. Every baby I saw just gave me such an ache in my heart that I knew only a newborn could fill. A sweet, soft, roly poly, little baby. Whenever Ginny lay in my arms asleep, I’d fondly recall how tiny she once was and how much I absolutely loved that.
And then about two or three weeks ago, the Fever disappeared completely. Even meeting my little nephew (5 months old), didn’t do anything to give me that yearning. In fact holding that ADORABLE little guy just reminded me of how much I actually really don’t enjoy children. There’s a reason I quit babysitting. There’s a reason I never signed up to be a counselor at camp. There’s a reason that I don’t take Ginny to the play group at church. I both don’t like children, and am TERRIFIED of them. Every time I pick Ginny up from Sunday School I’m filled with total panic as all these tiny humans run around near me and sometimes they – gasp – talk to me. And I have no clue what to say.
Holding my nephew and realizing I didn’t have that ache for a baby anymore really made me start to think. Why did things suddenly change? To be honest I don’t know. I do know a few other things though.
1. Yes, I do still want a baby. But just a baby. At this point in my life I’m not ready to raise a second child. We weren’t planning on it for a few years anyways, but even when the time comes to discuss our options I’m not sure we’ll decide to have another child.
Ginny is WONDERFUL. I love her more than I would have thought possible (and I knew going into this baby thing that parents love the snot out of their kids). I really truly enjoy raising my girl. However I don’t enjoy being unbelievably exhausted all the time. Part of that is because I’m not fit whatsoever, but part of it is that being a parent is hard and I even have a second parent helping me. I applaud anyone who can do it on their own.
I really don’t want to have to go through diapers again, projectile infant vomit all over my clothes, infant vomit in my mouth, poop everywhere all the time, NO poop everywhere meaning the poor thing is constipated, sleepless nights, early mornings, the fight to get the baby to eat…the list goes on and on. Of course all of this stuff is 100% worth it every single day and I have never once regretted having my little Ginny. But it’s tough business.
2. I haven’t had a job since 2009. After I was laid off I searched and applied and interviewed and nothing ever happened for me. It was incredibly discouraging and after months of being shut down I started to shut down and that time of rejection in my life is something I’m still always trying to get over, and it’s really hard. I know that I need to get out and get myself feeling better about social interactions, but right now it’s really hard to do. Once Ginny starts making friends and going to school I know that will be a huge boost for me in that I will be forced to talk to people and do things outside of my comfort zone. But once she’s in school full time what will I do? I honestly don’t see my art taking me anywhere (not because I don’t have talent but because I don’t know what to do with it…so for the foreseeable future it will remain a hobby), so I need to find something else to occupy my time and I’m thinking school! Or getting out into the work force one baby step at a time.
But…having a second child, I feel, would be taking more steps back for my ‘social development’. There’s no way I’m not staying home with another baby should we have one, not because I’d feel obligated but because I really would truly want to. That puts my non-child-related plans on the back burner though. And do I want that? And is it selfish to want to put myself first, once Ginny’s in school? I don’t think so.
3. Part of my intense Baby Fever, which hit its peak in February and March, was due in large part to the passing of my grandparents. Their deaths have deeply shaken me in a way that I won’t go into today, and one of the major feelings that overcame me was that I have to have more babies NOW because if I don’t, my family won’t get to meet my future children or get to know them. My grandparents met Ginny once and that’s very joyful for me to remember, but also painful because she was too young to know them. And I’m so sad that my siblings’ kids will never get that honour of meeting those two amazing people. I was away from Bryan for around two months and every night I would lay in bed consumed by the thought that I NEED a baby. I was prepared to go home to him and get the process started. I’m infinitely thankful that we were able to discuss things rationally and that I could realize that the longing for a baby was just a strange side effect to a tragedy that occurred in my family. If we’re going to have another baby…it has to be for the right reasons, and not because I’m scared.
Those are just three of the things that have been weighing on my mind in regards to this topic lately. I’m really grateful that the Fever subsided, because it really was eating at me. I was losing sleep at night because I couldn’t control my thoughts about it. It was tough. It became so difficult for me that Bryan and I ended up having a long discussion which ended in a solution of sorts: We won’t plan for another baby right now. But when Ginny’s almost 4, we’ll revisit how we feel and see where we’re at. And even though that ‘solution’ isn’t really definite and doesn’t necessarily answer questions, it was enough to bring me a sense of calm. I no longer lay awake, unsure of what will happen in regards to us and expanding our family.
And in the end it’s not up to us anyway, it’s up to God. He chose when to give us our Ginny and when and if the time is right, he’ll choose to give us another child if that’s what is right for our lives.