By Jessie Bohnenkamp
I consider myself a rational person. I like babies – and love looking at pictures of my friends’ children and holding them – but usually remain unaffected by the highly contagious condition known as “baby fever”… except when it comes to one of my friend’s offspring.
Her children have the magical ability to make me want babies. Her first daughter was, in fact, responsible for my first pregnancy. After a visit to meet her, I came home in a trance and declared to my husband that I needed to get pregnant immediately. Exactly nine months later, I brought my own baby home from the hospital.
I feel like I’m finally in a good baby groove with my son, but so far, I’ve had zero desire to repeat the pregnancy/labor/newborn experience any time soon. When I put a onesie on him and see the crown of his head pushing through the neck hole, my vagina clenches in terror. If I have a particularly difficult bowel movement, I have flashbacks to the most intense thirty minutes of my life when I was 100% sure my butt was going to explode to herald my son’s entrance into the world. Last month when my period finally returned, the (mild) cramps sent me running for ibuprofen so fast that I wondered how I ever endured contractions. When a different friend sent pictures of her own newborn daughter a few weeks ago, my intense desire to hold/cuddle that sweet babe was matched only by my intense gratitude that I would be enjoying a full night’s sleep that night. Like I said, not ready for baby #2 yet.
And then, yesterday, Voodoo Friend had her second baby.
As soon as I saw the picture of that little face, my uterus rumbled to life like the giant sand lion protecting the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin. Only instead of roaring, “Who disturbs my slumber?!” my womb was squealing, “Baaaaaayybyyyyyy!” I went temporarily blind as my eyes actually turned to hearts and jumped out of my head, and all rational thought fled from my brain as I drooled over her chubby hands and squishy cheeks.
An army of hormones surged in, took poor Common Sense hostage and shoved it into one of those sound-proof Plexiglass boxes. I could see Common Sense shouting at me and banging its fists on the wall, but I was completely deaf to its frantic pleas. Biological Drive led me by the hand into a hazy world of sweet newborn snuggles and downy soft baby heads. I was still vaguely aware of the memories of labor and sleep deprivation, but it was as if they happened to someone else. All I could think was, “baaaabyyyyy!” like some infant-obsessed zombie.
Luckily, Voodoo Friend’s husband is planning a vasectomy soon, thereby (hopefully) releasing her strange power over my uterus. It’s just as well, because my husband threatened to ban all communication with her after finding me dumping my birth control pills in the trash last night while still fully asleep. In the meantime, he has started wearing a condom around the house as a precautionary measure.
About the Author
Jessie is a wife and mother with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is a lifelong Texan who currently lives in Virginia, and she spends her days writing, mediating territory disputes between the baby and dog, reading (mostly Dr. Seuss), and daydreaming about tattoos. Jessie’s work has been featured on Parent.co, and she is a regular contributor at www.motherhoodcollective.blog.