A Baby Story: Crack for Moms

When I was in my late twenties, I watched A Baby Story whenever I could. Let’s just say ‘a lot’. I fancied I could somehow learn all there was to be known about becoming a parent by osmosis. I was petrified of birthing a baby, having one live inside me. Stories my grandmother told me about her being in so much pain during labor that she ripped a nurse’s sleeve clean off her uniform, of my mother’s being ‘put out’ for my birth and waking only when it was over (did they really do that?), and of my aunt’s recounting the ‘worst experience of her life’, eighteen hours of labor, ending with a c-section, in 1986, haunted me regularly. And the fact that neither my aunt nor my mother had other children after their first further cemented my apprehension. 

I wanted children, I just didn’t want to have them. I was certain I would die of either fear or pain or an agonizing combination of both.

Watching A Baby Story seemed to help with that issue. I was validated at the end of each episode by the fact that the mothers, were, in fact, still breathing, sometimes even smiling, and no one grumbled into the camera about how terrible birthing their child was. Unless they edited it. They could have edited it.

A few weeks ago, in the throes of successful uniform naptime nirvana, I clicked on over to TLC, you know, for old times’ sake. It was about 1:30pm, and I felt a little break in the chaos of my day was justified. I honestly didn’t think the show still ran. Much to my surprise (and apparently delight), I found that it was still running, with new episodes, and there was also a show in their afternoon lineup called Make Room For Multiples. Jackpot!

After watching about twenty minutes of the first episode, my eyes glazed over and I became a blithering ball of mush. I silently sucked back tears when Dad cut the cord to keep them from rolling into my frozen yogurt. If you know me, like, in the flesh, you realize how inconsistent with my character that is. After the first episode? More! The second? More! The third? Oh, Make Room for Multiples, you had me at ‘multiples’.

And we all realize that I, at this point, would probably chuckle at the couple’s Babymoon, complete with tandem hot stone massages, and the precision with which mom-to-be lovingly folds and places Baby’s onesies inside a changing table. And the fact that I would have to, if only for sport, point out that those onesies might not even fit L’il Slugger when he pops out. Also that she’ll be so busy fumbling to take the spitup-soaked thing off, she’ll forget to notice the teddies riding sailboats she oohed and aahed about. Still, I had to watch it. Like a moth to a flame. Through the diaper cakes and pagan rituals and test driving empty strollers, I had to watch it.

It was like crack for mothers. A Baby Story is like crack for mothers. There, I said it. My uterus completely took over. That was the one point in my life where I could (but still didn’t want to) sympathize with the whole ‘thinking with one’s pants’ concept. I could smell fresh powdered baby buns and soft blankets just out of the wash. I could feel soft breath on the nape of my neck and hear gentle cooing. The damned show had given me Baby Fever.

Now, after the skies opened up and dropped three babies into our laps in less than two years, we made an exasperated decision that we were through. No more babies. Our family was complete. We even took, uh, steps to ensure that would remain the case.

And wouldn’t you know, when my husband came in from work that night, I asked him what it would take to reverse any measures taken? Me, who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep since sometime in 2010? Me, who has clearly documented every unpleasant (and pleasant, too!) step along this journey? Me, who painted her nails for the first time since 2009 a few weeks ago?

How quickly we forget.

And today, as I was headed to the microwave to retrieve my lunch, I wondered to myself if A Baby Story was on. And maybe Make Room for Multiples, too. And this was mere moments after my daughter backed up and headbutted the living room window three or four times, my son yanked the nipple out of this bottle and poured the contents all over my leg, and my son ran around the couch six times, cackling like a Disney villain, before he agreed to take a nap. Less than an hour ago.

I didn’t think I could forget that quickly.

So, I’m going cold turkey. I’m avoiding the triggers. And that means you, new moms with your swaddled little beauties in the mall, and you, adorable belly pic uploading Facebook friends, and you, TLC.  So, I brought my Dixie paper plate over to the kitchen table, pushed through the remains of breakfast I haven’t been able to clean up yet, and proceeded to confess.

I’m Stephanie, and I have Baby Fever. It is expected to last for approximately the next hour or so until my children wake up.

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Comments

  1. gfunkified says:

    Ha! I, too, watched that show religiously, but it was after I got pregnant with my first, And then the show about bringing the newborn home was created. Total crack for me. I’m just going to live vicariously through Mama Mash this time. And stay away from TLC. :D

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  2. My husband did us a huge favor and switched our Dish package. No more TLC.

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  3. You had me laughing out loud on this one…YES, I actually spelled that expression out.

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  4. I refused to watch it while pregnant. Then I watched it with crack regularity for about a month after my first kid was born. Then it disappeared off my viewing radar. Now that I have two kids I figure I don’t need to listen to strangers screaming when I can have it in stereo, in my living room, any old time.

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  5. Yes it is crack. I am past my birtin’ years & doc told me 5 1/2 years ago that having more would be putting my life in danger…and yet I still have baby fever/

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  6. I am such a freak. Newborns don’t do it for me. Pregnant women don’t do it for me. Baby blankets and cute baby clothes and nureseries don’t do it for me. But show me a precocious 2 year old, and I’m all like “I want another child”.

    But can we skip the pregnancy and the newborn stages and go straight to the point where she/he is interesting?

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  7. This show is like crack. I can’t watch it without tears streaming down my face. It’s like those damn Lifetime movies- you somehow get sucked in.

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  8. I too, have Baby Fever.
    Luckily we don’t have TV so I don’t have to torture myself with a Baby Story…sigh…

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  9. I’m not only way too old, (no 43 year old woman should even vaguely contemplate pregnancy IMO,) I no longer have the equipment with which to procreate. That’s OK with me. The hysterectomy was the best thing I ever did to save my health and sanity. Other than the hot flashes, menopause rules.

    I had the Childbirth Experience from Hell, followed by 18 more years of hell from chronic pelvic pain, (the c-section was put together very badly) and believe it, once was plenty for me. I have never been physically able to have another child and I would never have wanted to! My son is 21 and I’m enjoying my second adolescence, sort of. At least I can wear white pants whenever I want. :)

    I enjoy my granddaughter (she’s almost 5 months) but it’s nice to be able to send her home with Mom and Dad (heh-heh.) I hate to admit it, but I’m one of those people who enjoy kids more when they’re literate and potty trained. I will have all kinds of fun with her when she’s old enough for french braids and noise makers. :)

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  10. Stephanie, your blog is cracking me up. Thanks for the laughs, I might try to guest blog here… In the meantime, as a fellow blogger and admirer, I have tagged you with a Liebster Award on my blog! I hope you’ll accept it (as I did). You can check out the details here. http://www.notmymomsblog.com/2012/07/big-helping-of-steak-and-liebster.html Best, and keep blogging! Kim

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  11. For the first time in years, I actually DON’T have baby fever. The ease of having older (if 4 can be considered old) has finally hit me, and I am DONE. I think. ;)

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  12. Ah! I know what you mean! I watched and PVR’d this show like mad when I was pregnant. I don’t think it was good for me at all (can crack ever be good?). It felt like I was birth story shopping- ‘Oh I like that one,’ ‘Please don’t let me moan like that,’ etc… In the end I had a scheduled c-section because my boy was breech as they come. It was really hard for me to accept I would not have the kind of birth story I wanted, not even go into labour. I think in the end though, I’ve realized it’s all good. But I won’t be watching again should I get pregos again. (So says the addict.)

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  13. LalaMoosh says:

    Oh dear, I don’t know your age, but I just got over the 41 yr mark back in May & as I got that biological clock SCREAMING right now, I avoid anything that has the word “baby” in it. Cripes, even when I watch videos & hear newborns in the background, it can get ugly. I’ll stick to cat videos & people doing stupid stuff until I hit menopause (please, let it come early!) I suggest a swift antidote of the reverse side of TLC & watch a few hours of 257 & 1/2 Kids & Counting to cool your jets.

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  14. Hi Stephanie! I’m Stephanie, too, going to be a first-time mom soon. So, yeah I obviously am having my baby fever now. Nice post, by the way. Cracked me up. Fyi, I just followed your blog.

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