On Baby Fever. Or Lack Thereof.

 

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Babies. Oh babies.

It’s no surprise that babies are something I think about often. I’m married. I just turned 30 (ah!). Most of Kevin’s friends already have kids. My friends are starting to as well.

(not that Kevin’s friends aren’t my friends too, but you know what I mean).

The other day my friend Jessica wrote about her baby fever, and it got me thinking about my own baby fever.

Because the thing is, I don’t have it.

Not yet. Not even a little bit.

There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that I want kids. I’ve known this my whole life, and I’ve never questioned it. When I think about my future, kids are most certainly a part of it.

But, well, I don’t want them right now.

The other night one of my friends (who shall remain nameless, but she knows who she is) told me that she wanted to be pregnant by the end of the year. She is not currently trying to get pregnant, but she has babies on the brain and she wants one. She wants one soon.

This friend and I have always been on the same page when it came to certain things…  moving in with our boyfriends, marriage, etc., etc., so I think we both assumed that naturally we would be ready for kids around the same time.

So her telling me that she wanted to be pregnant by 2014? It kind of sort of sent me into a small panic, because it made me feel like I too should be wanting a baby!

And the thing is… I just don’t. Not now.

Of course, there are moments when I see an adorable little babe and suddenly I start to daydream about how great it will be to have one of my own. But all it takes is one simple reference to a “diaper blowout” and any fever that may have been rising is squashed completely. If your ovaries are aching, just go spend a few minutes on the site STFU Parents and let me know how you’re feeling now.

I’ve yet to get this baby fever that so many people speak of, and I’m starting to worry… what if I never do?

Any desire I currently have is driven more by my biological time clock than actual want. Like I said, I just turned 30. Kevin is already 36. We are not getting any younger. I know enough about reproductive health to know that my fertility is decreasing with each passing year. Half of my brain says “you are only 30! You have so much time” and the other half screams “you are already 30! Time is running out!

But still… I’m just not ready to have that in my life. My desire to travel, drink alcoholic beverages, sleep-in, and eat fancy dinners out far outweighs my current desire to have a kid, and lately that has been making me a little nervous.

Am I too selfish to have a kid?

What if I never get baby fever?

And then of course the worst fear of all trickles in… what if when I do, I’ve waited too long and things are a lot more difficult than they would have been earlier?

I know everyone is different. Everyone has a different time frame. I think that part of it could be that most of my close girlfriends do not have kids yet.

Perhaps when they do, things will change? Perhaps then I’ll be struck with this infamous baby fever?

I hope so. I want to want a baby.

When we do decide to have kids, I want Kevin and me to both be super over-the-moon ridiculously excited about it. Right now, we are not there. Though neither one of us is against the idea of having a kid at this moment in our lives, there are other things we’d like to do more.

What about you? Do you have baby fever? Did you ever have baby fever?

Are you like me and worried you’re never going to have it?

Please, make me feel normal!

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MichelleJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:36 am

Amen sister! I’m right there with you. I have no urge. Zero. Zip. Zilch. But I KNOW that I want kids….one day. It’s so funny, when I was younger, I always said, “I want to be married at 23, then have kids at 26!” EFF THAT.
I’m 26 now and there’s absolutely no way I want that. So now I keep saying, “Maybe when I’m 30 I’ll have that ‘urge’.” Who knows though…
All I know is this, you DO have plenty of time and it’s more than okay to be selfish now and do what you and your hubs want to do. Timing seems to just work out on its own. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 🙂

Just make sure you don’t have a baby until at least 6 months AFTER I move to SF. That way I can have a friend that’s NOT a mother….it’s a rarity these days…

Oh, P.S. I just finished reading “Unsaid” after you recommended it. I really liked it! Made me cry, made me laugh. Good easy read. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

And now this is a novel and I shall go.

xoxo

BBJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:40 am

This post couldn’t have come at a *weirder* time. I, too, want babies…one day. And while a lot of my friends are starting to have them, I still don’t have the fever for them. After a recent close call – I still can’t bring myself to want them yet. One day…just not yet. And I also fear that maybe I’m just being selfish. I want more time with my significant other, more time for myself, to drink and enjoy my late twenties without the responsibility of a baby…all the while, I wonder when I will want them. All that to say – I completely understand where you’re at!

Shanan BJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:46 am

I am so feeling you on this! I’m 30, will be 31 in May. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years and we are talking marriage next year. My friends don’t believe me when I say I do not want a baby – but like you, I WANT to want a baby. I know that I do not want to be a childless 50 year old. I want family dinners, and big, happy holiday gatherings. But the idea of actively choosing to get pregnant (gross) and going through child birth (oh my god) and then sleepless nights and fights over diaper duty (duty – ha), the decision seems as absurd as the Polar Bear club members choosing to jump into the frozen lake…some people are crazy enough to take the plunge, even knowing how unpleasant it will be. I’m just not that crazy, I guess. So, given that I know I want to theoretically have kids someday, I might have to give up on my hope to be “over the moon happy” about the conception and just pray for an accident. Then, lots of therapy to cope. Then, hopefully the hormones will take over and I’ll be so attached and in love with the baby that I’ll forget about those exotic places I wanted to visit, and the fancy dinners out I once enjoyed…

…good grief I’m a monster. Right?

AmberJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:48 am

Well, I’m not married yet – but I do think you’re normal. You’ll start getting baby fever when it’s time. When it’s the right time for you to have it. Then you can have your own squishy little newborn of your own 🙂

JessicaJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:50 am

If I’ve learned one thing from Baby Fever- it’s that you will know when it’s the right time. Don’t have a baby until your really ready. Maybe after your unnamed friend has her baby you’ll feel the urge or maybe not (and that’s ok too). I think it’s kinda like marriage- it’s not a race. It will happen when it happens. Although I have the baby fever, I know there are so many things I have to/ want to do before we jump into parenthood. I’m type A, so I will not have a child until everything is ready in my eyes. And that is just fine with me.

XO!

And don’t worry, there is no such thing as normal these days!

nicole marieJanuary 29, 2013 - 12:16 pm

all i know is kids and babies are freaking a lot of work, a lot of money , a lot of time and a huge life change… every aspect of your life changes and 100% of yourself is turned to your childs needs. personally i dont want kids till i am emotionally physically mentally and financially ready for that drastic change and responsibility. and not only do i think it’s ok for you not to want kids right now (or ever) i think it’s a lot better for everyone to want a baby before having one.

StephanieJanuary 29, 2013 - 12:21 pm

I live in the south — so not being married OR having a baby right now (at age 32) definitely puts me in the minority of my friends and most of the people around me. What you’re thinking/feeling is completely normal. To feel peace about your life exactly where it is – that’s rare. And if that’s what you feel – then embrace it and don’t feel bad about what you think you should be doing. I’m really impressed with the people who live by their own timeline — it’s a struggle for me. Kudos to you to listening to your self! Your kids, when you do decide to have them, will be proud of their super cool mama.

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 29, 2013 - 3:04 pm

OH…the dreaded baby post/question.
I’ve been married for a little over a year now…and my husband’s mom is all over this. She’s ready. hah..
I would say that I’ve caught the “bug” but not the “fever.” Partially because I’m still pretty selfish…but then I think…will this pass until I actually have a baby? Another part is that…I’m so scared! I’m afraid I’ll be a terrible mother with a child who will scream “I HATE YOU” and slam the door. UGH. I know these things can’t be controlled…but how scary. AND the thought of paying for school. I’m still paying for mine…how can I take of someone else when I’m still taking care of me? Is there ever a right time? How did people really do this before? Was it ever a thought or just part of the flow of adulthood?

xo,
nancy

The Grown Up PrincessJanuary 29, 2013 - 6:52 pm

I’ll admit, I would classify myself in the “Baby Fever” group – we made a New Years Resolution to be ready to start trying by the end of the year. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing got more real to me.

I worked in an infant room, I know babies. But I’ve never given up my sleep for one. I’ve never put traveling on hold, been interrupted by crying and screaming during Sundays in my PJs curled up by the fire with a good book…

Do we ever feel READY for that?

MoJanuary 29, 2013 - 8:25 pm

You are totally normal! The baby “fever” just kind of hit me recently and totally caught me off guard! And I put fever in quotations because it’s more of just a hot flash every now and then, but the fever is imminent, I just know it. For a while I worried about the same thing – I knew my life plan was to have kids, but everything else (sleeping in, traveling, drinking, job) always took priority. It shocked me when I first realized “I don’t CARE if I get to go on that trip if I’m pregnant” – 1 year ago me never would have missed the trip! Anyway, I’ve only got a year on you, but you’ve got plenty of time. When it hits you, you’ll know, but don’t worry about it in the mean time!

Jenn from Much to My DelightJanuary 30, 2013 - 9:30 am

Get outta my brain, girl!! I seriously could have written this post and WOULD except all of my husband’s cousins, sisters and aunts read my blog and would report my ambivalence back to my mother-in-law! If you’re not ready and you know it, don’t let societal pressure make you feel like you’re off somehow. I guess you know when you know. I’m still waiting for that call, and I’m turning 36 in a few months. Unfortunately, most days I still feel about 24… Great post!

KellyJanuary 30, 2013 - 8:51 pm

Thank you for this. I am 32 (!!) and I feel the exact same way. It just seems like so much work!! I, too, hope I’ll catch the baby fever one day. For now, I’ll go back to sipping my tea and reading blogs at 9pm 😉

christinJanuary 31, 2013 - 9:24 am

My opinion on this is going to be VERY strongly disliked. But if you don’t want a baby that doesn’t make you selfish at all, not in the least. Wanting with everything you have to have a baby, to bring this human into the world that didn’t ask to be, for no other reason than you really, really want to is selfish. I don’t think I can have kids, but if I can, I’m not sure that I want to. And I think anything you choose it okay! Because it’s your choice and you can do what you want! xx

BrooklynneJanuary 31, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Girl, please. You’re not alone. I’ve been going through not having baby fever for two years. Similar situation, see — I’m 26 and my husband is 31. Most of my friends have kids, and to make things worse, most of our friends his age have preteens. What is this insanity, you ask? We live in the south. And I’m not even talking like, the real south, like Alabama or something. We’re in Dallas, where there are one or two progressively-minded people (me and him), so you would think people wouldn’t be having babies so early. But alas, People have been throwing the baby question at me since we got married 5 years ago. And the response has always been, are you crazy? Not for like, 10 years. And if you say ess like that down here, people don’t just take it. They get mad. How dare you not drop your career and your hobbies and procreate for a living! You’re a woman! That’s your job! I digress.

I’m like you. A family has always been a part of the plan. But just because I’m babysitting my friend’s infant and not getting some mysterious maternal stirring deep within my uterus doesn’t mean that time won’t eventually come. And I know that when it does come, I’ll go to sleep one day not wanting a baby, and wake up wanting one. Simple as that.

As far as the age thing, there are always options for building a family. But once you sign on as parents, you can’t take it back. Enjoy these years, and stop wasting your time worrying about it. You’re not on someone else’s schedule. You’ll start a family when you’re ready! *toast*

ritaFebruary 1, 2013 - 8:20 am

oh i had to wait till i had time to come back and respond to this one, serena! babies are such a loaded question and i think we put SO much expectation on ourselves to know when the time is right… sort of similar to how most girls expect to fall in love at first sight, in my opinion! it’s just never that easy. and it shouldn’t be b/c parenting is a big deal!

i grew up not being sure i wanted a baby but as i got older/met matt/became an auntie i realized that i do – eventually. matt is 33 and has full on baby fever – at 28 i’m not there yet (he’s cool with that!). but lots of our friends (that are his age) have kids and they all tell me the same thing – they never knew 100% sure they were ready, they just got to a point where they weren’t NOT ready. and then they had 10 months (b/c 9 month pregnancy is a lie!) to get ready. and they all did and are all amazing parents. so that helps me get over my need to get to this place where i’m 100% ready. b/c in my opinion, we never will be. there will always be one more trip we want to take, another savings goal we want to hit, etc. and unfortunately there is a bit of a finite end to having a baby on your own.

i’m still sort of at a point where a baby seems like the worst possible idea, so we won’t be starting any time soon, but i think that as soon as that changes we’ll consider it. and knowing some of my friends, that could change in a heartbeat, it all kind of depends!

also – to christin’s comment – not having kids is such an absurd taboo and is something i wholeheartedly support if it’s right for that person/couple. people say it is selfish (i heard that a lot when i wasn’t sure i wanted to have them) but i think it is actually the opposite of selfish – i think more people should consider parenting and raising a child than just expecting it to be the norm.

DJFebruary 1, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Oh, I am RIGHT there with you.

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AmyFebruary 11, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Great post! I’m in a similar situation. My husband wants to start a family ASAP and I’m terrified. I know without a doubt that I want kids, I’m just not sure I’m ready yet. When I really get down to it, I know the timing is ok now, I’m just missing the whole “baby fever” thing. When we got married, I knew without a doubt it was what I wanted right away, I just want to have that same feeling about a baby before we jump in and start trying. Is there any way to make myself catch baby fever? Seriously, if I could just want to want to have a baby now, we would be all set. I worry that the feeling won’t kick in. Then what? Go ahead and start trying anyway? Any advice on how to catch “baby fever” would be SO appreciated!!!

RavenFebruary 28, 2013 - 3:59 pm

loved this! I certainly didn’t have baby fever before I had my kids but now I couldn’t imagine life without them. You’ll get there, but now just have fun!!

AmberFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Oh girl you are so normal! When you’re ready, you’ll feel ready. You’re not ” too selfish” to be a parent. Recognizing that you aren’t ready yet is one of the most selfless things you can do. Too many people have children before they’re ready b/c they feel like they have to, and then they spend years resenting their children, their lives, etc. That is selfish. Waiting until you are ready? Not selfish. Y’all will get there, and when you do, I have no doubt you’ll be terrific parents!

Andi @ Andi with an IFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Do you know how great it is know that other people don’t have that burning desire to have a child?! Thank you for making me not feel alone!!! I’ve always thought there was something wrong me with me because I didn’t have the burning desire to have a child like all my friends. I’m only 26! I agree with you on the close friends not having kids yet part. My closest friend is my sister and she is just now having her first child. I’ve gotten a little more anxious about having one of my own now that she is having one, but I’m like you with the mention of “blow out” and “snot on my clothes” and “lack of sleep,” I quickly remember I’m not ready yet.

Rachel GFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:50 pm

I have never had the baby fever, and I don’t know really that I ever will! We’ll have to wait and see I guess. I’m only 21, so I have a little time on my side, I feel like.

heather @ fieryandopinionatedrMarch 29, 2013 - 10:20 pm

ok i was excited to meet you before, but now i cannot wait! i am 110% with you. i always wonder if i’m too selfish to have a baby. no wine or sleep? excuse me? i want one someday… but absolutely not today. thank you (and everyone else who commented) for making me feel more normal 🙂

AshleyMay 21, 2013 - 12:52 pm

oh gosh, best post ever!

LauraSeptember 30, 2013 - 6:10 pm

I’m 43 and still waiting for baby fever! I must say that not wanting a child now, or ever, is really not so bad. I enjoy my life tremendously sans children. But as everyone said above, you’ll now when and if the time is right.

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