The Old Lady Who Wanted A Baby

There has been a lot of talk about babies at Chez Shamozal of late. A week of our summer break was spent with baby Sam who was not only seriously cute, but perhaps one of the most fabulously chilled and easy going babies to sit at your table (for hours and hours without even a squeak).

All four travellers had their cuddly moments with baby Sam, some more than others, but at the end of his visit there was a general consensus.

Why can’t we have one.

For the longest time, our house was baby central. By my own calculations I was pregnant for roughly ninety one years, and for breastfeeding mathematics, you just times that by forty. I was not the best pregnant person, I didn’t glow, I ate my glow. Which is why it took me three goes at rolling out of the bed each morning. I pulled the trifecta of indigestion, hemorrhoids and stretch marks, but at the end of it all, I reckon G and I made some fairly spectacular creations. Which is why I probably kept lining up to do it again. Ahem, if you know what I mean.

By the time I was pregnant with number four I was completely sure I didn’t want to be pregnant again. When G went in for the snip the doctor asked if he was the classic “two and you’re done”?

G replied “No, I’m the classic three with a pregnant wife in the waiting room rubbing her hands together.”

I was so done. So so done. Which is why I’m surprised I’ve found myself contemplating another baby.

Yep, me, the old girl. Stopping in the supermarket aisle to eye off newborns in their prams. I’ve caught myself taking an extra glance at the baby section in the department store, and looking over at the mothers group while nostalgically smiling at their collection of prams, baby bags, slings and wraps.

Why?

I think it’s some sort of deranged midlife crises.

While others dream of affairs, cars and boob jobs – I head back to a time that once was. My midlife crises is not for what I haven’t done, it’s for what I cannot have.

I broke the news to the youngest little traveller yesterday, that Mummy felt she was just too old to be pregnant again.

“Well, can’t you just adopt one when we go back to Australia in the holidays?”

“No, I think they’ll tell me I’m too old and maybe just a little greedy, because I have four beautiful children already”.

The third little traveller caught the end of the conversation. “Maybe you could ask another country, one with extra babies, if you could have one of theirs?”

“No – she’s too old and she’s had too many already” said the fourth traveller flatly.

I tried to be indignant, but there was more than a hint of truth in his words. But there was something much bigger that I hadn’t discussed.

“You know Henry, every second I would spend with a baby, is a second I can’t spend with you”

I explained how our holidays would change, no more jumping in the car at a minutes notice to watch a movie, we’d have to think about the baby. We couldn’t hang at the beach all day, the baby might get sunburnt or too hot, or fussy. The baby might interrupt us while we were doing homework, or I might have to walk out in the middle of the school play to settle the baby. The baby couldn’t play charades and might not let Mummy play. The baby might cry in the middle of your story, and I might be really late for giving you a kiss goodnight because I was settling the baby to sleep.

Babies don’t mean to be, but they can be really selfish.

He screwed up his nose “Wow, babies just think it’s all about them don’t they?” Oh, the sweet irony.

My four babies may not look like babies, but they’re babies in my heart. Their needs are slowly moving away from the physical but the emotional and intellectual demands continue to grow.

When a baby is born a mother is born, and she too has to grow and develop through the process of time. It’s taken me a few months of looking back to realize that at this point, I have my hands full, these guys are what it’s all about.

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