Romancing the Baby Bump

My cute baby bump at 16 weeks.

My cute baby bump with my son at 16 weeks.

My husband and I got a late start with baby making. I was 38 when we had our son and a few days shy of 40 with our daughter. Considering that we originally weren’t going to have kids at all, the planets aligned perfectly for us. We had an early miscarriage and a breech baby but we ended up with two remarkably healthy kids.

Lately, I’ve found myself wishing we’d gotten an earlier start so that we could have another. My husband will kill me just for writing the words, like it’s putting the intention out into the universe but I know what’s really going on.

When I imagine having another baby, I picture how excited my kids will be to find out they’re going to have a baby sister or brother. I fantasise about us coming up with the perfect name. It has to start with a C so that they can all haven the same initials. I imagine the shock and excitement when we tell our family and friends. They’ll gather around us like wagons to make sure we have everything we need (seeing as we’ve given everything away). I romanticize my big belly and the delicious feeling of fullness. I love being pregnant and feel so beautiful.

But then I look at the moms with babies when I’m dropping my kids off at preschool and I feel nothing. No tug, no pull, no desire for a baby. They’re cute in their little footsie pajamas and I smile at their drooling faces but I’m devoid of longing.

That delicious feeling of fullness? More like the feeling of a parasite taking over my body. A new sibling? My kids fight over everything like starving lions and then discard their kill as soon as a new plaything comes along. I don’t fantasize about sleep deprivation, sore boobs, c-section recoveries and colic. I don’t romanticize the fact that right as my kids are peeing, pooping and feeding themselves mostly on their own (and that’s a generous mostly) , I’d have yet another human being completely dependent on me. Not to mention the fact that I’ll be 44 in May and the host of potential problems that come along with pregnancy at my age.

Nope, I’m just bored. I’m eager for a new hope, for an adventure, for something to be excited about. I like the idea of doing it differently this time, of getting another chance at pregnancy and new motherhood without as much anxiety. I want to get attention and have people ooh and aah over me. I want gifts and praise and prayers.

But I don’t want a baby. As I feel the first twinges of cramps, I thank God for all I have.

20 Comments on “Romancing the Baby Bump

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am 38 and my husband and I are in the “discussion” phase of having kids (only been married 1.5 years). I’ve always gone back and forth on whether or not I wanted kids (despite society telling us we are supposed to) but the longer we’re married, the more I feel the pull. But I also enjoy our lifestyle that allows us to be spontaneous, travel without thought, happy hours and weekend afternoon naps. 🙂 I appreciate hearing that others got started later in life too!

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    • Oh, I remember that wonderful lifestyle well! We were DINKs – Dual income, no kids. Society doesn’t know what’s best for anyone. If you have kids it’ll be an adventure and if you don’t, it’ll be a different adventure!

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  2. I needed to read this. Now that my youngest is five, I wonder about having one more. I definitely fantacize too much of it, but I think you really keyed into a big part of it: wanting to try motherhood one more time without all the anxieties. Like somehow I would do it “better” the third time around. But then I think, what does that say about the kids I have? Since I didn’t get it all right the first and second time, I just need to start from scratch? That’s just silly. And even if I did have another one, it wouldn’t change the melancholy I feel about my older ones growing up.

    Then I remember the lack of sleep, and the whole debate is over 🙂

    Great post!

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    • My dog had stomach issues last night and I lost a lot of sleep letting him in and out of the house. It reminded me of how sleep deprived I used to be when the kids were younger! My youngest is turning 4 in a couple of months and I’m sure that’s why this is coming up for me. That and getting older. I’m mourning my fertility in a way. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Karen, I could have written this EXACT post. Ok, I had mine a little earlier, but my husband’s a little older and anyway…I’ve never even been a baby person. But, I love the whole excitement and I enjoyed pregnancy. Truthfully, I want a do over as a sober new mom. I’m a different person now and I feel like I would be more relaxed – more present. At least I’d like to think so. So…instead I got two kittens and it made everything better!

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    • Kittens! I love kittens! We have a dog that we adopted 9 months ago and we’re just now becoming a balanced pack (as Cesar Millan would say). I miss having cats, though.

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  4. Karen, I love reading your musings and I have had the honor of watching you in your journey. I see an amazing mother, wonderful wife, (you two just sparkle together, reminds me of my parents in the later years), and an awesome woman who definitely has a gift of writing. I also have seen your creativity and I truly feel a great book is in your future. So many experiences that you could share with others and I would be the first to ohh and ahhh…. Just a thoughtl HUUGGSS

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    • Robin, that is so sweet of you to say! Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me. 🙂

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  5. I have had similar trains of thoughts lately, but for me it’s moving. I keep fantasizing how wonderful it would be to pick up and move to another area (it goes without saying that the area would be warm). And, in each fantasy, I fail to think about all the realities that come with moving… packing everything up, selling a house in this economy, unpacking, figuring out schools, on and on the list would go.

    It’s insightful of you to figure out exactly what you are looking for, since you know it’s not the baby. While I know some of what motivates my fantasies, I don’t think I’ve gotten to the heart of it yet.

    Thanks for this post, it helped me explore some of my escapist thoughts!

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    • For me it used to be wanting to get a new job. I think thee idea of getting a fresh start is appealing but of course, whatever we’re running from will catch up with us. Thanks Josie!

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  6. I’m almost 40, and I’ve never had any desire to have a baby bump, to hold an infant, to have someone depend on me that much. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of pregnancy as anything but a parasite growing in me; and the thought of having to expand like that, and be so uncomfortable–before the long years of child-rearing even begins? Yet…I have felt that longing for…newness, excitement, a CHANGE. Thanks for this, for articulating what it might be that we really want, and why that doesn’t necessarily equate–in women’s lives–to wanting a baby, per se.

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    • People have kids for lots of questionable reasons! That’s probably why we waited so long. I respect people who choose to not have kids. There are a world of ways to be fulfilled!

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  7. I applaud you for thinking it through! So many people have babies because it’s seems the logical next step. And I don’t think we’re all cut out to have a large brood . . .

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  8. I’ve NEVER heard anyone describe pregnancy as “a parasite taking over my body.” That’s so awesome! Not sure if kids are the answer to boredom. My cure for boredom is learning how to play hockey. I don’t care much about my teeth, anyway, so I think it’ll be a great outlet. As for hope, it seems like your words are full of that stuff…i’m cool if you keep writing about your daily life…seems like quite an adventure to me…

    Good lookin’ out!

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  9. You are scaring me 🙂

    I sometimes wish that we’d had a second kid right after the first – but now it’s too late and it would be like having two only kids…and I probably will never romance pregnancy – hee hee…

    If you want some adventure – come over and clean my house! WHEEE!!!!

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