I recently discovered that I am at the age when the average U.S. woman gives birth to her first baby. Children are a miracle and a blessing and, well, nowhere on my radar at this point. Baby-free is the way for me but, occasionally, the topic of my future family comes up, or, upon holding a baby I am sometimes cursed with a haunting, “You’re next!” from someone in the room. It’s just silly smalltalk, you might think, but I have several legitimate concerns about pregnancy and parenting that result from this (including but not limited to the following).
1. What if I resent my child for ruining my body/vagina?
2. What if my kid isn’t actually very cute? Of course I will still love it, but what if it’s one of those rare, legit-ugly children? Worse off, what if it’s not cute and I actually think it is (a la Seinfeld’s Pekingese baby)?
3. I already hate unsolicited advice and that just seems to get maximized once you’re pregnant and never ends as long as you have a child.
4. I don’t like to poop in public bathrooms, let alone in an open hospital room, in front of people, probably onto my freshly born baby.
5. What if the epidural doesn’t kick in? It seems like in every TV birth (I know, I know), they get to the hospital and it’s too late for the epidural. I don’t think I can meditate the pain away like Beyoncé described while giving birth to Blue Ivy.
6. Breastfeeding actually seems cool to me but bloody nipples sounds like the second worst thing in the world (besides giving birth, of course) and also reminds me of Salad Fingers.
7. I’ve never been pregnant but I have had multiple people question — or worse, announce incorrectly — my womb situation, I guess because I’m fat. I don’t think I’d be any less sensitive to this if I actually were pregnant, and if someone were to make the mistake right after I gave birth (because fuck Hollywood, you don’t just lose it all once the kid comes out), I think I’d go to jail for assault and battery, if not homicide.
8. I can’t fathom not being able to engage in adult vices when I really feel like it. I get really stressed and cranky sometimes, and only the good shit will do. What happens when booze is out of the picture and you’ve got extra crazy hormones? No one will ever want to be around me, that’s what.
9. I genuinely believe I will never have enough money to properly incubate and raise a child. Ever. (Is this an appropriate way to ask for a raise?)
10. I rarely go to the doctor. Almost any issue I encounter can be somewhat remedied with non-prescription medicine, sleep, stretching and a good, stiff drink. Making an appointment is just a huge chore. But babies can’t suck it up — they can’t even differentiate a cold versus whooping cough because they can’t fucking talk yet. So I am either going to be the least or most overly attentive mother in the world, and that’s terrible.
11. What’s the deal with vaccines?!
12. I have a horrible sense of smell — always have. It won’t occur to me that I stepped in dog crap until I’ve successfully tracked it around the house, slipped in it and fallen with my nose inches away from the dookie. But I always see parents lifting up their kids’ diapered butts for a sniff check. Makes sense, but what if I forget because I don’t consciously smell things? What happens when a diaper’s been marinating for hours?
13. Cutting an umbilical cord seems like a way bigger/grosser deal than they make about it on TV. My most eligible baby daddy candidate is a great guy, but I don’t think he’d want to do that — I wouldn’t!
14. I have a tiny bladder as it is. If I have to go, it needs to be now — even worse when I’ve had so much as one beer. Another human pressing on my bladder is not going to be pretty. I’m just going to assume that I’ll constantly be pissing myself, which brings up another concern…
15. If I’m always peeing my pants, how will I know when my water breaks?
16. Serial killers. Sometimes they’re just born that way.
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