Monday, August 3, 2009

Confessions of a Baby-Hater

I know I have 30 more weeks of this insanity to go, but I have to let a little of the crazy out or I'll never make it. After ten weeks of being pregnant, I have come to the comforting realization that pregnancy didn't magically turn me into that girl. (What a relief.) Wondering who that person is that I dread morphing into? Allow me to elaborate.

The other day, Steve and I were watching a Married With Children marathon. One of the episodes was from the season where Katey Sagal was pregnant. It began with the family gathered around the kitchen dinette set having a "baby meeting." Peg is massively pregnant, and the rest of the Bundys are less than thrilled with the prospect of competition for the scant nutrition of toaster leavin's. Each time their lack of enthusiasm leaks out, Peggy insists that they do penance with a chanted "Hail Baby." After a particularly anti-baby comment, Kelly is told that she must say multiple "hail baby's in the privacy of your own room."

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the belly rubbers. I actually read today where some woman said that she enjoyed having people rub her pregnant stomach. I think she should have her head examined. I have to come to terms with the fact that friends and family are going to be coming at me soon, hands first. (Actually, it's already started.) What I refuse to accept as inevitable are the curious hands of strangers groping my mid-section. I have never in my life felt the compulsion to touch a total stranger's belly, and I am completely mystified by others' desire to do so. As I told a friend the other day, I'm never going to be that person.

Of course, I've been painted as a baby-hater in the past. After I wrote a short story about a woman who fakes a pregnancy and miscarriage to stop her co-workers from hassling her about not wanting children, people assumed that I was opposed to even the idea of babies. Apparently being inspired to write a story after years of harassment about my procreative plans made me an evil, neo-natal nazi.

I like to think I fall somewhere between the pie-eyed baby enthusiast and the hardcore DINK (that's Double Income No Kids.) I like the idea of babies. I've decided to have a child. Therefore, pregnancy is just kind of means to an end. I don't like baby shower games, and I'll never see the point of gruesomely detailed birthing stories relived over lunch. Does that make me a terrible person? I don't think so.

The worst is being judged by the pregnancy romantics. After my first doctor's visit, the nurse stopped me as I walked away from the lab station of the doctor's office. Didn't I want to keep my pregnancy test? Was she kidding? Why would I want to keep something soaked in...well, you know. Did she think I'd forget the result? I smiled and said no thank you, but I could feel her judgement all the way to the waiting room.

Then there was the ultrasound. I'll admit that it was pretty cool to see the baby's heartbeat. I still felt like my response was somehow less than what the technician expected, though. My one concession to the traditional prenatal excitement? I posted the ultrasound pictures on Facebook. Okay, so they were kind of amazing.

So to summarize? I feared that the day I got pregnant I would change into somebody completely different. I guess I'll have to save that experience for when the baby actually gets here (as everyone I meet likes to warn me.) As for all my other anti-baby rants? Well, I guess I'll just have to do a little prenatal penance. Hail Baby.


  1. Don't feel bad about how you react - everybody is different! One thing I've realized is that hormones are very real and people who haven't experienced it before have a hard time relating to different moods and such.

    I must say, I did keep my pregnancy test - although it was the one I took at home. I'm not even really sure why - it's not like I'm gonna put it in her baby book. :)

  2. Thanks, Susan. I guess I'm just the least romantic mother-to-be in the world. Oh, well.