Throughout high school and college I had reoccurring paranoid dreams about finding out I was 6 months pregnant the dreams appropriately ended with some serious freaking out and/or crying an/or getting grounded. My faith in birth control must have increased over the past few years because my dreams have ceased to resemble a surreal after school special despite a welcome upturn in activity likely to invite babies to my womb. But Monday night, deep in REM, my subconscious dreamed up a new version on the surprise bundle of horror craziness. In the dream I was happily going about my life when I suddenly remembered "Oh shit! I told Kajal I'd have twin babies for her and now I'm 4 months preggers!" Dream Brianna was deservedly annoyed with her expanding belly but in a striking bout of optimism decided that "at least I can go off birth control, it's probably bad for the babies anyway." Sadly, in the world of nightmares it turns out the you can get EXTRA PREGNANT and I quickly found out that in addition to Kajal's 6 month old twin fetuses my body was also home to a 3 month old fetus of my very own meaning I would be pregnant for an extra 3 months AND have to be a mom. Total bummer.
I never went through the all too common liberal college student "maybe I won't procreate at all!" stage. When friends would cringe at the possibility of crying and diapering and overpopulation I would counter with adorable baby shoes and reminders that babies grow up to be kids who will totally do chores for much less than minimum wage. I have always been the first person to volunteer for babysitting gigs or hanging out at the kids table and even today I can't help but dote on my niece to the point where my boyfriend occasionally feels a certain amount of present neglect come birthday season (things might improve if he'd just warm up to the concept of frilly dresses...). My deep desire to (someday) have kids has often made me super stressed out about my proverbially single status. I once even had a long phone conversation with my mother about how I would probably have to adopt a baby on my own since my poor sad pathetic whiny ass would never ever ever find a boy to lover her. I was 24 so you can understand my concern (I believe this was the same year that my EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD cousin commented that she thought it was sad that I would never have kids. You know, because I was a dried up old hag).
These days I know a lot of new mommies all of whom, unlike the mommies I knew in high school, are having bundles of joy under socially acceptable circumstances and their babies are cute and not on food stamps and very rarely annoying. My baby love has not waned and I love spending an hour or so eating their bellies and making monster faces until they giggle, but, unlike all of the babies I've thought about in my years of paranoia and day dreaming... these babies are REAL. Watching close friends of mine go through pregnancy and birth and motherhood has made the idea of babies suddenly very daunting. There came a point 7 months or so into one friend's pregnancy when I suddenly realized "Oh! She's going to have a baby! And it's going to be around all of the time. FUCK." This is when the new and improved freaking out started.
It's not that I no longer peer into my future and smile at the idea of a little blond haired terror of my own, it's that the future is coming at me at warp speed. The irony of waiting for babies until you're financially and emotionally ready is that when one really starts to think seriously about the reality of babies it becomes clear that no one in their right mind is EVER ready for this insanity. I'm convinced that almost all babies are born out of ignorance or denial. As far as I can tell the "Where to babies come from?" monologue should be edited so that it reflects reality:
When two people love each other very much and they pray really hard they slowly lose their minds and then they decide to go off of birth control and bring a child into the world. This child will make them stay home every night and spend all of their money on tiny spit up rags and environmentally conscious diapers and breast pumps and these two people will never again have a good excuse to spend $150 on one sushi dinner.