Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Just heard via Facebook that an acquaintance of mine had her baby the other day. Two weeks ago, another friend had a baby. We also recently found out my aunt is adopting a baby, who will be born any minute, and two of my cousins are due this spring.
Once, this barrage of baby news would have filled me with bitterness. Now, in the era of Ruby, I feel so much excitement for these women, so much joy for them. I get giddy when I see the Facebook status updates detailing baby birth weights or ultrasound results. I post very un-me-like effusive comments with lots of exclamation points.
I never understood before why women get so excited about other women’s babies or why baby showers are so well-attended. Now I know. It’s because, once you’ve had a baby of your own, you know how it’s going to feel for them. You know about the miracle of seeing her face for the first time, her fully formed body that seems impossibly tiny and impossibly large at the same time, the fountain of love and happiness that wells up when you hold her. And you know what’s coming as she grows – the moments when she lays her head against your chest, or caresses your hand as she falls asleep, or grabs your face with both hands and presses her nose against yours.
At my 6 weeks-post-baby checkup, the OB said, “You can’t know how wonderful it is until you have one. If people who couldn’t have children knew, it would be too terrible to bear.”
When he said it, I thought, “Hmph, it was pretty terrible even without knowing.” But now that more time has passed, now that my girl has moved from adorable-lump-who-cries-a-lot to laughing, babbling, snuggling, grasping, epic-fit-pitching drama queen, I see what he meant. This little person is my little person, even when she drives me bonkers, and there was no way of imagining beforehand how much she would change my life for the better.