Books / Family / Kids

Weekend Reading: Baby Lust

Sometimes I feel guilty expressing my strong desire for another child. I read so many blogs of people trying for their first baby and think of my own precocious cuddler and I lose my breath at my presumption. How dare I try for another piece of snuggly perfection, don’t I have enough? How can she not be enough?

But then I remember that my desire for a baby and our attempts to have another child doesn’t take anything from anyone else. Not even from Julia. We’re so schooled in the economics of scarcity that I forget that such limitations don’t apply here: joy isn’t a commodity to be measured out with only deserving people getting a share, and neither are children, though at times it might feel that way (and, oh boy, have I felt that many times in my 10 months of TTC).  I remember something that I put in words for a friend in an email earlier this week: I’m trying to get pregnant not because I don’t love Julia enough, but because I love her so much. I know that she was worth everything we did to get her, so I know that the next child, should it appear, will be just as worth it. My love for Julia propels me forward through my pain and frustration and fear.

Most of the time my desire for another child is an intellectual thing: my family is not complete, there is a member missing, this is what we feel we must do to rectify that problem; this is accompanied by a feeling of loss similar to missing the presence and company of a known and deeply loved family member. Sometimes my desire for another child is an issue of personal pride: I cannot believe that my body cannot do this thing, I will do this thing because I have never failed to do something I set out to do. (I think I’ve mentioned before that my impulses are not always the most laudable). Other times my desire for another child is a longing for the next step that my life is to take. But rarely is my desire for a baby visceral and sensual. I am too busy with my toddler to miss the milky smell of a baby’s cheeks or the way their eyes gaze at you as if you are the most wondrous thing they have ever or will ever behold.
Until I get to posts like this letter by H.D. I read her sentiments and look at those pictures and I can smell that baby, I can feel those tiny fingers and toes. The very cadence of her words brings back those heady, near-drunken on hormones and sleeplessness, wondrous, love-struck days. I read her post and both the absence of my baby who has turned toddler, and the absence of my baby that has yet to be hits me in the gut.

Clicking over to Lesbian Dad’s site does me no good, either. Those pictures of toddler and little brother help me sketch my own imaginary pictures of Julia meeting a future sibling. The melting of my heart at these images feels a bit too close to crying, and sadness is a part of that, but only a part. The feeling is one of happiness for them and projected happiness for a future us and a keen awareness that the future is not now. And I lose myself in bittersweet dreams for a time.

Dreams that even Katie’s post with the scary NICU pictures, and her long labor as described in her birth story posts, can’t disperse. Because at the end of all that fear is such a beautiful baby.

And I will have another beautiful baby, too. One day. One way or another.

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