I Think It’s Going Around

Last summer, when I was pregnant, it seemed like everyone in the United States of America was pregnant along with me.  I had an entire friend group on Facebook devoted to my pregnant comrades (all fifteen of us).  By autumn, everyone in my group had cancelled their membership to Club Preg in favor of a much less glamorous resort down the street, one that caters to puffy women that still look like they’re four months pregnant, even though they had their baby six months ago.  It’s very exclusive.

Now it seems like pregnant women are popping up again left and right.  I am insanely, deliriously happy to report that I am not one iota jealous of these pregnant women.  Which is a good sign, because I am currently inching up to the danger zone of the first birthday.  Normally, once my baby hits about 11-13 months old, if I hear a friend, acquaintance, coworker, neighbor, stranger on the street, etc. is pregnant, that’s more than enough to give me a stone-cold case of Baby Fever.  If I happen to spot a newborn and actually hold it?  Game fucking over.  I might as well start rearranging furniture and picking out names.  All those baby hormones start flooding my brain and shut down my logic center before it can start screaming out distress signals:


“Me?  I’m nobody.  Hey, is that a list of calm, logical reasons Janel shouldn’t have another baby in that closet over there?”

“Is it?  I must have dropped it!  Thank you so much, kind stranger!  Let me just go get it.  I’m sure once I share this with her, we’ll do away with all this baby nonse…hey, why won’t the door open?  WHY IS THIS DOOR LOCKED?!?!  OH HOLY CHRIST IT’S YOU!!!  GAH!!!  WHY DO I ALWAYS FALL FOR THAT?!?!?!  Man, the guys down in repro services are going to kill me.”

There is absolutely zero logic going on in a woman’s head when she has Baby Fever.  She is under the influence of a hormonal cocktail comprised of one part crazy, one part cuckoo, and two parts WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  She’s on a progesterone bender that’s not going to stop until she sees those two lines on the test.  To get an idea of how insane it can get, here’s an example of pretty much every single discussion my husband and I would have when I was at the peak of Baby Fever:

Rob: Here are several logical, rational reasons why we should not have a baby right now.
Me: I understand what you are saying.  Your reasons are indeed logical and make sense.  I completely agree with you.
Rob: Good.
Me: Allow me counter your suggestions with my own offer.
Rob: Oh Christ.
Me: I want to have another baby.

And round and round.  There’s no reasoning with a woman when she is in this state.  The chemicals in her brain start whispering to her all day long:

“Hey there, Janel.  It’s me.  Didn’t that tiny little newborn baby’s head smell really good?  I thought so, too.  Oh hey — did you notice that girl over there is pregnant?  Why does she get to be pregnant and you don’t?  Wasn’t that middle- to early-end part of being pregnant awesome?  You know, it’s really only that first year that babies are a lot of work, and in the grand scheme of things, what’s a year out of your life?  I mean, this is your family you’re talking about!  Wouldn’t the kids love having sisters to rely on as they get older?”

Except this time, Baby Fever, your whisper campaign isn’t going to work on me.  So far, I am not envious of my gloriously pregnant friends in the slightest.  I have spotted tiny newborn babies in the grocery store, mere shopping carts away from me, and only marveled at how glad I was that Surrey is no longer so tiny and helpless.  I am serene, not because I will never get to be pregnant again; but because I will never have to be pregnant again.  There is a big, big difference between those two states of mind, and I find myself identifying more with the latter than the former.

That’s exactly why Baby Fever is so devious.  Having Baby Fever means you want to be pregnant, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have an actual baby living in your household long-term.  At a certain point, you just miss being pregnant, and get tunnel vision, conveniently forgetting that OH SNAP, I have to take a baby home when all of this shit’s through.  You might remember that honeymoon period that goes on for the first few weeks, but if you’re in the throes of Baby Fever, your memory of newborns kind of turns off after the two-week mark.  You know, when they start to suck and you realize that OH SNAP AGAIN, babies are so much fucking work why did I do this WE’RE NOT HAVING ANY MORE BABIES, DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?

To which your husband replies, “THIS WAS YOUR IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE DUMMY.”

Which, yeah, it was.  But it’s not like it’s your fault.  You were suffering from a disease.  An illness, really.  Thankfully, mercifully, I have been cured.  Although, I must say, Baby Fever, giving me a sweet, laid-back, very charming little baby just when I proclaim I am done having babies?  Nice try.

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14 Responses to I Think It’s Going Around

  1. Ha ha ha! My newest baby is almost 5 months, which is when my Baby Fever usually starts. (And sometimes earlier, which is why I have boys who are 10 months apart.)

    Fortunately the gods of reason and sanity gave me a high-maintenance one this time around and for the first time in YEARS? Baby Fever gone. I should totally rent her out.

  2. Jester Queen says:

    When my son was three months old, I wanted another one. This lasted until he was about eight months old. These were HORRIBLE months, and yet I wanted a third child. Mercifully, my husband is a stubborn SOB. We still only have two children .I was so happy to say goodbye to my uterus and ovaries last year in a hysterectomy. I have no more baby fever, and I’m SO GLAD mine didn’t result in increased children.


  3. Cherie says:

    I am FINALLY out of Pregnancy Vietnam, and for like one second, I thought “Yeah I could do this again. Baby #3 would be awesome.” WHAT?!? Fucking hormones. I told my poor husband when I was in the throes of vomitdom that the next time I think this is a good idea, he should remind me of how sick I was and that I am insane for thinking it’s a good idea, EVER.
    Thanks for this post! I’m glad you are past the insanity of baby fever. It really does make us mental.

  4. LauraC1204 says:

    I’m totally feeling you on this one. My baby fever generally hits about every 3 years(98,01,05,09), so with Ella just turning 3, my body is sooo ready to do it again. My head, on the other hand, is objecting VERY loudly. As much as I would love one, this next school year, I’ll become the mother of a high school student and if my memory serves me right, that’s going to require almost the same amount of time and money.

  5. Janel says:

    I have thought about renting Bella to potential parents many times. She definitely needs to start pulling her own weight around here.

  6. Janel says:

    Laura, it is impossible that we are old enough to have kids that will be entering high school. Godspeed with that.

    Cherie — so glad to hear you’re feeling better, and that your husband is wise enough to remind you of how sick you were.

    Jester Queen — I’m also glad to hear you dodged the baby bullet 🙂

  7. You are so right it’s scary. Please repost this about once a month.

  8. Janel says:

    I probably should photocopy this and hang it around my neighborhood as a public service to my fellow moms.

  9. You’re making my tummy hurt from laughing. Cut it out, funny girl.

  10. Janel says:

    Sorry! I’ll try not to bring so much funny at one time 🙂

  11. Paige says:

    I want my husband to read this and hold it as evidence against me. But I can’t because my hormones are warning me “you won’t get that baby we desperately need!”

  12. Janel says:

    I agree! This right here is dangerous material in the hands of a no-baby-wantin’ man. Use with caution 🙂

  13. I am totally done having babies (thanks to my sweet husband getting snipped) and am pretty certain I don’t have the mental health to handle another one. But I still get that twinge of jealousy when I see a pregnant woman — being pregnant was truly the most powerful I ever felt. So I keep reminding myself that if we had been crazy enough to go for a third round, I’d have been sick for months, delivered twins by c-section and produced babies that were even worse sleepers than my first two. And then I go snuggle someone else’s baby.

  14. Janel says:

    I totally agree — I think about having another for about 3 seconds when I see pictures of women right after having a baby. Then I remember what they looked like about thirty seconds before someone took that picture, and I change my mind.

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