If I had a nickel for every time my husband and I turned to each other and said, “We are never doing this again,” then I could probably afford to buy myself a one-way ticket back out of Crazy Town. It’s not that our daughter is horrible or we hate being parents – on the contrary, actually. It’s just that there are certain aspects of parenthood that, having experienced once, we don’t feel the need to go through again. We have been really firm about our one-and-done attitude to this point, much to the disappointment – erm, devastation – of our families. Lately, though, I am noticing a little bit of that dreaded baby amnesia creeping in, and it’s making it really hard for me to stick to my guns.
It all began recently when one of my pregnant coworkers was talking about something labor related, and a few of us started telling her about our respective births. Now let me just clarify that I remember my daughter’s birth seeming quite horrific at the time. I’ll never forget how shell-shocked I felt afterwards, how I scribbled down the details of labor and delivery in my pregnancy journal the day we came home from the hospital so that I would always remember how awful it was and would never have to go through that again. Imagine my surprise when my coworker lit up as I told my birth story and said something like, “I like that! It’s nice to hear something positive.”
Um. Excuse me? How did I manage to tell that story with a positive spin? The quick version goes something like, “She came early, it was a fast labor, there was no time for drugs.” Hmm, ok then. I can see how that actually might not sound so bad to a very pregnant lady. What was so terrible about it, anyway? I mean, yeah, it was painful and life altering, and you know – stitches – and all that. But I’m struggling to remember why I felt so traumatized during those early days.
This made me think back on some of those other times that my husband and I shook on “no more babies” (yes, we actually uttered these very words and either shook hands or fist-bumped on many occasions). There was the time she woke up crying in pain with a swollen leg the night of her two-month vaccines. But we’ve been through two more much-better rounds since then. And the time she screamed bloody murder for an hour in the parking lot of Friendly’s. Well, that’s actually kind of a funny story now. Or that massive blow-out diaper at the Honda dealership. Again – funny. And those countless night wakings… I’m guess I’m just so used to it at this point.
As I was putting this piece together, I turned to my husband in bed and asked him to help me remember some of those horrible times when we swore we would have no more babies. He said, “There were no horrible times. We were just tired.” Ok so maybe it’s not exactly baby amnesia. It isn’t really that I’m forgetting things, but more that everything seems worse in the moment, especially when sleep-deprived. (Or am I actually forgetting things? I can’t tell, I’m so tired…)
Anyway, the point is that IT is happening. I am starting to feel like I might want another baby someday. I’m not totally sold on the idea, and I know that I don’t have to make a decision right now, and I’ll probably change my mind again a hundred times. So many people warned me that this would happen, and now here I am. The thought is there in my brain now, and I’m just kind of waving at it and letting it hang around – at least until tonight’s 3:30 night waking.