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Pregnancy Amnesia: Evolutionary Genius

The other day Jon and I were sitting on the floor watching our adorable youngest, 4 month old G coo and giggle and wiggle on a blanket in front of us, when I suddenly turned to him and blurted out, “We should TOTALLY have another one!”

Jon stared back at me, a look of abject terror on his face, before coming as close as Jon ever does to raising his voice at me, responding, “KATE, ARE YOU UTTERLY INSANE????!!!!!”

WARNING: THIS EXCEPTIONALLY SCRUMPTIOUS BABY GIRL MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY AMNESIA/INSANITY!

Of course, he’s BEYOND correct (as he generally is).  The idea of us having another baby is truly insane. For one thing, we work hard at making end$ meet now, and we are also running like hamsters on a wheel to keep up with job responsibilities, household management, basketball practice, preschool snack days, pediatrician appointments, etc, etc.  We are busybusybusy, but managing. The addition of another baby would certainly push us firmly into crazytown territory.

Also,  I am 43 years old and we are pretty lucky to have had two healthy, beautiful babies in the past 3.5 years. (My three oldest were born when I was 23, 27 and 30 years old) I know that lots of women are really struggling to have even one baby at my age, so I am well aware that I am just plain lucky, and I know better than to push that luck any harder than I already have.

Last, but definitely not least, my just-completed pregnancy with G was the most physically unpleasant experience of my life. I have NEVER been that sick and exhausted except when I have had the flu for a few days, but this “flu” went on 24/7 for month after hellish month. It was horrible. Ugh. Just thinking about how sick I was, and how exhausted (and as a result, rather depressed) makes me feel kind of awful. It was THAT BAD.

So yeah, having another baby is a BEYOND terrible, incredibly nutso idea. And yet…and yet…sometimes when I hold sweet, tiny G and think about her being my last infant, or when I dress her in some sort of ridiculously adorable outfit that she will soon outgrow, I have these – how to describe them? – pangs. For a few moments, every single reason why we simply cannot, MUST NOT have any more children – ever – goes flying out the window and I get a sort of baby-induced amnesia. I no longer remember that almost-maxed-out credit card we need to pay off, or how sick I was while pregnant with her. I forget how hard it was to drag my ass to work on that day last week when G was up all night the night before with a cough. Instead, staring down at her beautiful little cheeks and her pudgy hands curled up against my chest, I am like a vulnerable Hobbit, seduced by the inescapable lure of the One Ring of Baby Lust. I am in danger of becoming some sort of unwisely knocked-up Gollum, drunk on baby!

And then my three year old begins screaming from the next room that she’s trapped herself in the closet again, and my 12 year old’s lacrosse ball whizzes past my head and hits the wall hard enough to crack it, and the seductive reverie is shattered.

HELL NO, I DON’T WANT ANOTHER BABY! Am I insane??????

Pretty much every woman I know personally (not all, but most) has told me that she, too has sometimes succumbed to the lure of baby-induced amnesia, sometimes lasting long enough to, in fact, lead to the appearance of another baby. I am thinking that this ability of women to inexplicably forget all the reasons why they really DON’T want or need another one – the tiring pregnancy, the painful labor, the as-yet unpaid hospital bill, the childcare dilemma, the baby weight that lingers – when in the presence of infant cuteness must be evolutionary in nature. If women spent too much time dwelling on all the reasons we should not have another one, instead of the reasons we should, few of us would ever procreate a second time, much less five times, like I have. This baby-amnesia allows the species to continue, I guess.

But the gig is up at our house. This evolutionary imperative has had a good run with me over the past 19 years of baby-having, but Mother Nature needs to be aware in no uncertain terms that over here at Casa Granju-Hickman, we are FINIS!

How about you? Do you ever get baby-induced amnesia? Has it ever led to an actual baby, or is it generally temporary? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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