I don’t like babies.
I may, in fact, start a whole SERIES on my lack of maternal-ness. I’ll begin it with my post on hating breastfeeding, and I’ll end with not planning my daughters wedding. (The latter post isn’t written yet. She’s ONE. But I’m not really into the color of napkins. I didn’t even know what color the new shingles on my roof were going to be until they nailed them in.)
Of course, I love MY babies. And I love my friends’ babies. But I love them from afar until they’re one. And then we’re all good.
In medical school, when you have time on wards (i.e., in the hospital), you can rock babies in the nursery. Whenever my husband paged me about having a tough night, I peeked into the large glass window on the seventh floor. And there he sat. In the wooden rocking chair with a baby in his arms and his eyes closed. And I knew he would be okay. (He’s now a PEDIATRICIAN. Not surprising.)
Me? I’d rather eat French fries in the cafeteria on a tough night. (Oh and I was on my way to becoming a pediatrician, too. But not a down-the-street one. A hospital doctor. A SUB-SPECIALIST. Fancy. And less baby holding.)
When I was pregnant with my first child, my friend gave birth six months prior to my due date. And we brought them dinner in that first awe-inspiring and soul-crushing month of becoming parents. (I’m a BIG FAN of bringing meals to parents with new babies. It’s the second best thing our friends did for us. Just below doing our dishes and taking out our trash.)
The happy new parents said: Do you want to hold him?
And I was like IS THIS A TEST?
Because I didn’t want to hold the baby. But I had to BECAUSE I WAS GROWING ONE.
And thirty seconds later the new mama said: WATCH HIS HEAD!
I was better at putting IVs in preemies than holding an eight pound baby. And I only had six more months to love babies before I was handed my own. Floppy head and all.
Every baby we saw was a taunt at my lack of mama-ness. Because NO THANK YOU. I’M GOOD ABOUT FOUR FEET AWAY. I had already failed.
Of course, my son entered the world through one of the most difficult labors my midwife has seen in her thirty years of birthing. And I was supposed to think it was so worth it when handed this baby?
He was blue and I was shaking so hard.
As he pinked up in my arms under an oxygen mask, I continued to swim through relief and horror and relief again.
I took a breathe and told myself to love him.
And I did. Through nap-less days and diaper blow-outs. First smiles at 3 a.m.. Army crawls. Pennies swallowed. The giggles. The screeches. The quiet. The TOO QUIET.
And I still had trouble managing the bobble-head. But eventually I could breastfeed him in the sling WHILE WALKING HOME FROM THE STORE.
The years have flown by. He’s now three and a half. His sister is one. And I am a tiny bit relieved.
Because I’M NOT A BABY PERSON.
This orginally appears on An Attitude Adjustment: Spill-It series and the link leads to all the great post in Jana’s series!