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Apr 17, 2009


I spend a good bit of time looking at, thinking about, talking to, reading about, or writing about pregnant women. Every day I walk by the room where they run non-stress tests and I always – this is so pathetic – stop for a second and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. It never fails to give me warm fuzzies to hear that sound. Sometimes I peek in (the door is open, no privacy violation here) and look for a moment at the mother. She is usually half asleep, always with her hand on her belly, and always looking content.

I’m probably projecting here. I was pregnant once and I don’t think I had a single moment of contentment. Those poor women are much more likely to have their eyes half closed due to nausea or because of the unbelievable exhaustion that comes with being pregnant. In fact, I reread this website as proof of my obvious thinking that pregnancy was a miserable and wholly overrated experience that I felt (at the time) should never be repeated. Well, looky here: I’ve changed my mind.

The whole birthing experience that was so traumatic and such a big deal at the time is now a pleasantly vague and misty memory. I've read that women who were pleased with their health care report a more pleasant birth experience. I must have had some very fine nurses, because the way my memory tells it, Colin's entrance into the world was like a trip to the spa. When I reread the essay I wrote about his birth, I am horrified and I feel sorry for whatever poor woman had to endure such a long and painful experience.

In short, the well recognized Mama Amnesia has settled into my sad little brain.

Six months after the birth of my son, I look at my pregnant friends with envy and I scheme and plan. It is usually while I'm rolling around on the floor with Colin and Patrick that I casually bring up the topic to my poor, beaten husband.

"How long until we have another, do you think?"

"Another what? Another meal? Until it storms again?"

I smile at Colin and say in a sweet voice, "Another baby. I'm just wondering…"

Patrick usually gets up and leaves at this point. I don't know where he goes, maybe to throw up, but I like to think he goes in the next room to silently jump up and down with excitement about expanding our family. That's the feeling that I get every time I am close to Colin, the feeling of quiet exhilaration, the sense that this small person that I made is bigger than everything else in the world. I want to bottle up this feeling and take sips of it whenever I need to adjust my priorities and remember how good this life is.

So my pregnancy with Colin wasn't the easiest. So what? It wasn't that bad. A perfect little kid came from it, so what room do I have to complain? And, more importantly, who am I to deprive my perfect son from a perfect sibling? Or several?

I know, I know. There's the whole "career" thing, not to mention the life upheaval that we are currently experiencing. Also, included in my days spent thinking about pregnant women is the discovery that very closely children spaced is really unhealthy, both for the mother and for the kids. Also crucial: we have no money. So there are a lot of important, undeniable reasons to wait on further expanding the population.

Tell it to my hormones.

1 Readers rock!:

anita ovolina said...

I have the same feeling when I look at my children (and I have five) and had five c-section!