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HA!

Easter was delightful. Mr. Bunny outdid himself with the cleverness of the hunt this year. For example, one clue was taped behind a Marcel Dzama print of some women sketching a sea creature. To attract our attention to the print, he had replaced the original with an almost identical version, but the sea creature was different. I walked by it over and over again without noticing. Genius!

As an unexpected bonus, I got to see BFB lose her shit a few times. This is going to sound mean-spirited, but I bet you’ll get where I’m coming from. Thus far, BFB appears to have had an idyllic experience with the whole procreation thing. Pregnant in the first month of trying, a fairly easy pregnancy (one miscarriage scare, which I’m sure was far from easy, but no morning sickness, etc.), four hours of labor, a newborn that sleeps well… From the outside, she’s seemed pretty unaffected by the whole thing. You know, just reveling in the joy of motherhood all the time. I keep asking her when she’s going to start looking haggard. WELL, yesterday I got to see the hormones and the disturbed sleep bring out the worst in her. It was awesome! There was a particularly lovely moment in which we had all the clues needed to do a cryptogram and were sitting down to figure it out. BFB loooooooves cryptograms, but she was holding Jane, who was having a fussy moment. So Mr. BFB started in on the puzzle. BFB literally shrieked at him to stop and let her do it. It was kind of like watching a really angry kitten. There were numerous other such hilarious moments, including one in which she punched him in the arm! DUDE!

I’m also prone to lashing out at my husband when I’m upset, so I’m totally not judging here. Just enjoying the moment a bit. I know I’m having these wicked feelings partly because it’s becoming harder to be around them. (The cuddling has really been taken up a notch. Every time I turn around they’re cooing and gurgling together. Jane is getting more responsive as she develops the ability to focus on objects, and has started some mild social smiling.) Knowing that BFB is moving away created a sort of halcyon period where I was less constantly affected by my own sad state. That seems to be coming to an end. And I’m also realizing that I don’t necessarily love all babies.

My niece and nephew (really the only babies I have any experience with) were born before I was trying to get pregnant.The moment they were born, I loved them instantly with a powerful love that has to come from a deep evolutionary place. I felt intensely protective of them, and I didn’t even meet them for months! When I’m holding Jane, I feel a similar kind of love, but the moment I pass her back to BFB, it dissipates. So I can’t tell if the differences in my feelings about my niece and nephew and my feelings about my pseudo-niece arise from biology (i.e., it’s not as adaptive for me to care about this non-relative) or from the experience of infertility. All I know is, I got a brief reprieve from feeling constantly defective and worthless and unwomanly, and that shit is BAAAAACK. If any of you are in a position to share your experiences with relatives vs. friends having progeny, I’d be interested.

(And speaking of ya’ll, I loved learning that I’m not the only one who digs hunting eggs! I particularly loved hearing about Stickles’ graduation hunt for her sister, Finch’s booze in the basket, and Misfit’s and Pundelina’s ex-sponsored hunts. It’s so thrilling to learn other people are into the high jinks that are dear to one’s heart!)

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. None of my younger (all unmarried) sisters have had children yet (thank GOD! That would be a family drama of epic proportions) so I can't compare in the way that you can. I do know the feelings I have for my nieces (in law) are similar to the ones you have for Jane–when I hold the baby or play with the toddler, I feel a lot of affection, but when I'm not interacting with them I feel absolutely nothing.I have not met the babies of any of my close friends yet. They don't live in the area, and I haven't felt up to making any baby-centered trips since the miscarriage. I will be meeting my BFF's baby in late May when she comes back East for his christening, so I'll take note of my feelings and see if they're similar to those I have for the nieces.I'm glad the hunt was such a success!

    April 5, 2010
  2. Al #

    Glad the Egg hunt was a blast, it sounds awesome. If the hubs and I don't have any little egg hunters next year's Easter, I'm totally making him set this up for usI can totally relate to wanting to see some strain on your BFB with her new baby. Some part of me wants to watch my SIL go a bit crazy with her new baby (to be born any day now) so I can think about how much more awesome at motherhood I'll be with my fictional baby. Like, so she totally has an easy time making one, but my bad-ass-ness will show through in my crazy parenting skills. Ha. It's so silly, really.As for family vs. friends babies, I don't have any close friends with children yet. It's just a matter of time, I'm sure…

    April 5, 2010
  3. When I held my nephew the first time, that primative maternal instinct kicked in crazy hard. My nephew looks more like me than my sister, which made it funny that most people assumed he was mine. I am not a baby person in any way shape or form and I don't have that connection with other peoples kids. Also, have the feeling of protecting them when I hold them but not when they are passed back to the parents. Very odd, now that you mention it.

    April 5, 2010
  4. That's AWESOME about BFBs seams showing. It's about time! I'm glad you had such a good time.

    April 5, 2010
  5. Yay for motherhood not being all that great after all… I was actually thinking of emailing my one friend who has a baby to ask how she's doing… I haven't heard from her in a couple of months, so I'm hoping she has some wicked post-partum depression. So evil of me. The only person whose children I would actually love like that would be my brother's, but he doesn't have any yet. I actually really hope he does– I wouldn't have any of the same negative feelings I get when people unrelated to me have children.

    April 5, 2010
  6. Hubby and I were laughing about our friend F and his wife when they were at our house a couple weeks before she gave birth. They were arguing nonstop, she was nagging him endlessly, and we thought it was hilarious. They've always had a sort-of rocky relationship (two completely opposite personalities, but both really stubborn), and I guess being extremely fertile doesn't guarantee a good marriage. It may not be the nicest thing to make fun of your friends for not getting along, but hey, I'm not perfect :). I think it's definitely a different feeling with family's babies than with friends. We have godchildren and I love them and my friends' kids, but it is nothing like holding my nephew (and soon my niece). I'll let you know in a couple days if I feel differently since we've been dealing with IF since I held my nephew almost 7 years ago, but I think I will feel just as much of a bond. I already feel so close to my niece just from the pictures, so I don't anticipate a difference.

    April 5, 2010
  7. You're so funny. My best friends (that live near) don't have any children (strangely – 3 of them, all single) so I can't compare – but I think (for me) it's to do with proximity. I am more bonded (yikes, superglue-ish) to my nephew because I minded him quite a lot when he was very young, than I am to my niece. I love them both, and the niece is honestly sweeter and easier – I just feel I have more relationship with Spike. Who knows as they get older. Hmmm.

    April 5, 2010
  8. one of my sisters just had her 1st baby last month and i LOVE LOVE LOVE this munchkin!! dh has a niece and nephew who are 5 and 7, and while i love them too, it's not the same love. i like to rationalize it by saying that i didn't meet them until they were 2 and 4, but that's not it. it's bc they're spoiled rotten and we don't see them that often bc despite the fact that they live 15 minutes away, their schedules are busier than obama's. whereas, since this is my sister's baby, i go over every weekend and *hog* the baby. even his father knows not to take the baby away from me when i'm visiting. i'd steal him if i could, but that would make my sister sad. and besides, i did suggest the idea, but she wasn't fond of it (*hmph*)!! shouldn't sister's share EVERYTHING?!!anyways, it's totally not the same with kids' friends either. i adore some of them, but when they are blood, it's a different story. i'm very pro-adoption though, so i can only rationalize it by saying that i only love things that are MINE MINE MINE.

    April 5, 2010
  9. Glad that you saw a human moment in where everything wasn't perfect for her πŸ˜‰

    April 5, 2010
  10. Glad you had a great Easter. Agree with Adele, hope next year you are hunting in a big ole maternity dress.

    April 5, 2010
  11. Your easter sounded so cool. And yes, a little bit of me smiled on the inside when you talked about seeing cracks in BFB's outwardly perfect pregnancy/motherhood. It makes us feel human to see other peoples flaws. I feel a bit ambivalent about babies in general really so i'm probably not the best person to answer this question as I feel like we've been trying to concieve for far too many years and in the process have blocked out as much contact with small people or bulging bellies as possible… hence I haven't really had a huge connection to other peoples babies. I LOVE my nieces and nephews but I generally only start to get a massive connection with them when they start to grow out of the baby stage and into the "i can talk and walk by myself stage". I can handle children but not babies. For me its too painful.

    April 6, 2010
  12. There's something to the evolutionary/biological thing. I'm fiercely protective of my nephew and niece (of my nephew especially because I've spent more time looking after him…or perhaps because he came along before we started trying). I love friends' babies but I see them more as…gosh, not "objects"…but they're more separate from me. And I do think our babyless state colors my perception, and so I don't allow myself to get too close. I had a good laugh at the description of the egg hunt, and BFB losing her shit. I'll admit: I'd revel in that. "You get a baby, I get sardonic amusement."

    April 6, 2010
  13. There's definitely a difference between family and friends' children. When one of my colleagues had her second child, she was back at work after a week (really–she is seriously insane). She brought him with her in a sling and just went about her day. Luckily for her he was a good sleeper! But anyway, my point is that she would sometimes ask me to hold him for her while she went to grab something out of the storage room. I definitely felt tenderness towards him, but it was nothing like holding my little nieces or cousins. I would do anything for those kids! And it's an interesting question as to whether it's biology or something else–because I feel this towards my adopted cousin just as much as the ones who came to our family biologically. And another interesting thing about family–my adopted cousin totally has her dad's smile now, even though there's no genetic relationship. She learned it, and now it's a part of her!)

    April 6, 2010
  14. I'm pretty obsessed with that amazing egg hunt you enjoyed on Easter!! And muhahahahaha, BFB had a breakdown! I would reveled in it too. Just like I sometimes do when a baby is wailing in a restaurant or some such and a new Mom is on the verge of meltdown. Ah. We are so cruel. πŸ™‚

    April 6, 2010

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