I have been getting my baby fix this week. Six years ago, I gave birth to my final baby, Adolpha.* (Yes, she was the last, although starting my blog almost two years ago felt a bit like giving birth and while sometimes it's my favorite child, I still don't count it.)
Every now and again, I get a little twinge and I realize that it's baby pains I'm feeling (and not gas pains as I had originally assumed). When I get these twinges I have to remind myself that I am 40 freaking years old and I am way too damn old to have another baby. So, I take a Tums and I go on with my day.
This week I had the opportunity to get my baby huff on. A friend had a baby a few weeks ago and she let me come over to sniff and stare at her baby and then this weekend, I went to not one, but two baby showers. At one baby shower I stalked a lady and her baby because he reminded me of Gomer. I finally went up to her and promised I wasn't a creeper who was going to steal her baby. I completely unloaded my baby crazy on her and told her that her little boy reminded me of Gomer and how she should probably never put him down for at least another year, because now 8-year-old Gomer will barely grunt at me unless he wants food, let alone hug me unless he's stalling at bedtime. And then the Hubs and I bombarded her with pictures of Gomer so we could let her know what her son will "look like" some day. Yes, we're complete wackos. She was sweet to let me fawn over her baby and make a fool of myself. Just wait, when that baby is 8 she'll think back to the crazy lady she met at the baby shower and she'll feel solidarity with me then!
As much as I enjoy the soft little cheeks and the tiny fingers of babies, all of this baby overload made me realize that I really don't want another one and here's why:
Ahhh... probably the thing I enjoy most in my life is a good night's sleep. After Daylight Saving (I saw on the news that there is no "s" on the end, who knew??) happened, my kids weren't rolling too well with the changes, but at least they could tell me how miserable they were instead of crying like cranky babies. Within a week, my kids were on the "new" time and we won't have a problem again until next spring (the change in the fall doesn't hurt as much), but babies still need a feed or a diaper change in the middle of the night and me and my kids are slumbering away. I don't care how much of a Super Mom you are, I don't know anyone who looks forward to those middle of the night feedings with a baby. Those sucked. Getting up for a feed was bad, but this was the worst: "We have a wide awake 10-month-old if anyone is interested in babysitting" is a Facebook post I just read at 10:45 p.m. accompanied by a picture of an adorable, VERY wide-awake baby. Ha! Sorry, suckers, I'm off to bed.
Remember when you were a first-time mom and you stressed about everything? Is the baby too cold? Is he too hot? Did he eat enough? Is he eating too much? Why won't he sleep? Should I wake him up? Is he breathing? Am I bonding enough? Am I spoiling him because I never put him down? Is his brain being stimulated? Is he over-stimulated? Just writing this paragraph raised my heart rate and put a knot in my stomach all over again. Yes, it was much easier when the next baby came along, but one baby friend I saw last week is on her third and we had to cut the visit short, because she needed to take the baby in to get weighed, because she's still so itty bitty. I had one of those teeny tinies that needed to be weighed on a regular basis. Those days were surreal, because it was the only time in my life I stood next to a scale and PRAYED for it to be heavy. "C'mon, Gomer, gain a pound! Even half a pound would be great! How about a few ounces?? Momma needs some chunky legs on you!" You should see Gomer now. You'd never guess he once weighed five pounds. Now sometimes I worry Gomer weighs too much! Crap, maybe the stress never leaves, it just changes. Still! I'll take this stress over baby stress.
No, I don't mean the literal shit. Although, that was never fun either. I sure don't miss the days when my kids would manage to produce a bath-worthy blow out just before we'd walk out the door. No, I'm talking about the gear. Y'know, the stuff: the diaper bag, the breast pump, the bottles, the bottle warmer, the milk cooler, the infant seat, the fuzzy cover thingy to go over the seat to keep the baby warm (can you tell my kids were both winter babies?), the stroller (umbrella and jogger and eventually a double), the bouncy seat, the exersaucer, the stacking rings/cups/blocks, the puzzles, the lovies, the stuffed animals, the onesies, the tiny socks, the boxes and boxes of diapers and wipes, the blankets, the sippy cups, the co-sleeper nest, toilet locks, the high chair, corner guards for furniture, the Bumbo, the outlet protectors, the bibs, the door latchers, the binkies, the Boppies, and the tummy time mats.
Sure, there is still shit with older kids, but not as much as babies. I went to Buy, Buy Baby to purchase my shower gifts this weekend and I couldn't believe the NEW shit they've come up with since Adolpha was born. Cell phone covers that match your diaper bag (because it would be tacky if it didn't match), memory foam changing pads (that baby has a nicer changing pad than my mattress), a baby bath tub with a built in thermometer (this is for the ultimate worrier -- "The water feels cool enough for the baby, but how I can be sure??"), and my favorite, an 11 dollar piece of plastic that clips to your stroller, shopping cart, etc. so an older kid has something to hold onto when you're out together. Because carts and strollers are hard to hang on to with just your hand?? If you're going to buy this thing, you should go ahead and get two, because you know you're going to forget and leave it attached to a shopping cart the first time you use it. I know I would.
Hallelujah! We no longer have to plan around nap-time. I felt like every time we left the house I was watching the clock. My kids were great sleepers, but if they fell asleep in the car, they could NOT transition back into the bed. Adolpha was famous for falling asleep in our flipping driveway. We would then be forced to drive around for an hour while she got a semi-decent nap. If I wasn't in the mood to drive around, there were several afternoons I left her strapped in her carseat in the garage with the car doors open and the door to the house propped open so I could hear her when she woke up. What? You think I'm a terrible mother because I did that? You do desperate things to get your child to nap. I know people who duct taped their kid in their blankets, because those fancy, burrito swaddling blankets hadn't been invented yet. Don't judge.
Yesterday, the Hubs and I planned an impromptu trip with the kids and we didn't have to worry about packing half of the house or where everyone would sleep. Another year or so and those kids will be able to pack their own suitcases!
THE DIAPER BAG
Yes, it was listed above, but it really deserves its own mention. I was so stupid the first time I got a diaper bag. I wanted a Coach diaper bag (because you know me and my love of Coach). What I failed to recognize was that that bitch was leathah and heavy as hell EMPTY. Now, fill it up with just half the shit mentioned above and you're carrying a bag that weighs more than your baby. When Gomer was 6 weeks old I dragged my exhausted ass in to see the doctor, because I was having terrible back pains. He took one look at the assortment of crap I'd hauled into the office with me: a 20 lb. diaper bag (loaded with enough stuff to get me through a week in a snow storm), a breast pump (because I was a newly-minted dairy cow and it seemed that I was pumping every 20 minutes), a cooler for my liquid gold and a baby in an infant carrier. He took one look at me and shook his head and said I was suffering from "new mommy back pain." He prescribed a lighter diaper bag (with maybe just two days worth of supplies), a stroller (to carry the bulk of the shit), and a nap so I could start processing logic again.
I'm sure there are many other reasons why I don't want anymore babies, but I don't have time to list them here. It's my bedtime and I'm looking forward to my eight hours of uninterrupted bliss!
OK, Let's hear what I forgot!
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* Names of the blogger's children have been changed.