Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Today I found out another friend of mine is expecting. Add her to the ever-growing (no pun intended) list of friends having babies next year. I share in their elation with every announcement. And then, inexplicably, I'm startled and ashamed by my own feelings of envy.
Let's face it: I'm 38 years-old. I have not one, not two, but THREE children. Not only that, but my youngest has special needs. I've been changing his diapers for 6 years--with no end in sight.
And yet, I am not immune to Baby Fever. It's not as though I want another child. My family is complete, as far as I know. It has to be a purely "pregnancy/baby" thing. Unlike some women, I loved being pregnant. Even dealing with polyhydramnios and hospitalization, I would do it all over again.
Oh the wonder of it all. The flutter of the first movements. The pregnancy glow. The attention that belly commands. That literal bond with the unborn baby. I'll never forget the first time I heard my babies cry. I was amazed at my seemingly innate ability to identify their cries in a crowd of wailing infants.
And I'll never forget the first time I held them. With Isaiah, it happened a day after he was born(he was whisked away in the delivery room and transferred to a different hospital. I could only touch his leg through one of the portals of the transport incubator).
I remember the NICU nurse undoing his wires and handing him to me. I remember holding him gently and kissing his face over and over again....whispering into his tiny ear how much I missed him...how Mommy was here now...how he was going to be all right.
Sometimes, I find myself holding him like that all over again--his (now) long legs dangling down near mine. It's in those moments that I can't help but kiss his face like I did on that day I first held him. All over his forehead. Both cheeks. On that recessed chin. On that special place on the bridge of his nose between his wide set eyes. He tolerates it for the most part. Smiles and leans into it---anticipating. But when he's had enough, he's gone like a shot. In search of mischief and adventure like most kids his age.
I guess that's why, at least in my case, Baby Fever is so strong. In those moments, I know why I was put on this Earth.
But if there is anything close to a remedy for Baby Fever, I'd put my money on a borrowed, colicky 3 week-old.
Or a sassy 10 year-old.