by FAITH SINNOTT
So confession…? I am terrified of my friends’ newborn babies.
It seems like there was some kind of alert went out to my entire social network on our 36th birthdays announcing – ‘you all must go forth and breed’.= display_ad('x18', 'hidden-xs hidden-md mm_incontent', 'MM In Content'); ?>= display_ad('x20', 'visible-xs mm_mob_incontent', 'MM In Content (Mobile)'); ?>
I however missed that call.
Those who have not yet procreated are all planning babies whether by coming off the Pill or IVF. Me, I have no immediate plans.
Suddenly our conversations are all about C-sections, frozen breast milk and how newborn baby poo doesn’t smell bad. Really…? I am not at all convinced.
Gruesome birthing stories that sound like something out of American Psycho are told with almost a reverent joy. Who the hell thinks it is wonderful that what sounds like a grappling hook and pulley system is used in a ceasarian? Those not yet cradling a newborn perch enthralled on the edge of their seats begging for more while I wince, praying the litany will just end, seriously considering celibacy as a precaution.
Visiting now involves sitting awkwardly in a seat holding a fragile little bundle of powder smelling cuteness and pretending my arm is not about to tear itself off from my shoulder socket. Babies have a nifty magic trick of incrementally increasing their weight the longer you hold them.
It feels like a test of loyalty to my friend, the longer I ache, the more I prove my friendship. All the while I am completely unable to shift the weight as I am positive that the baby’s head is going to plop right off its little shoulders if I dare to breathe too deeply.
During these visits there are compulsory lightning flashes of high-resolution SLR cameras capturing my discomfort in all its terrified glory. People coo over snapshots of a gorgeous little bundle and a woman sitting in an unflattering way, biting her lips, her face drawn back in concentration lest that little head roll and there be photographic evidence. Must these photos be published on Facebook? Seriously, if you have any hope of me turning to Poopy Side, accept those images are not cute and delete them immediately.
Cue the overwhelming sense of inadequacy. My friend will ask me ‘What have you been up to?’
I will take a breath and try to think of something, anything that would be of interest to the women cradling the very reason for women’s existence in their arms.
I could have negotiated world peace last Thursday and it would not compare to the awe inspiring spirituality of childbirth.
I reach deep and pull out a story from the weekend just past… only to realize telling a story of getting completely wankered on gin gimlets in a swanky new bar does not sound funny in this room full of fluffy teddy bears and tea sipping mothers.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give for that gimlet now… hell, just give me the bottle of gin, no need to dilute.
I adore my friends and their gorgeous, squishy little babies. When I think of them I feel a little tingle of happiness for their lives and secretly hope to one day grow up and be just like them… that doesn’t take away the fact those perfectly formed little hands are utterly freakishly small. It’s like looking at a doll and watching it come alive. They make horror movies about that stuff you know.
So another series of revealing photos posted onto Facebook and I am safely at home in my child-unfriendly apartment, securely surrounded by sharp edges, cupboards you don’t need Harry Potter’s wand to open and a half drunk bottle of wine. I know I should feel awful for this lack of desire to join the Poop Squad… but… well… I have plans this weekend involving gin.
Faith Sinnott lives, loves and works in Melbourne. Starting from the beginning and very, very hopeful about what is to come.
What are you scared of?