Miss Mel

The musing, rants, raves and writings of Miss Mel

Monday, May 09, 2005

Is pregnancy contagious?

I have been at my current job for only four months, but already there have been three babies born and at least two more due any minute. Whether I am in the kitchen, production room or in in the relative safety of my cubicle's three walls I am bombarded with pregnant bellies ready to drop. I would not mind this baby boom so much if it weren't for the fact that I suffer from baby-phobia, a life-long affliction. It's not that I am a baby-hater, I'm just not big fan of the little "bundles of joy." I could cite the typical noise, hair pulling, dirty diaper smell reasons for not liking tots, but the truth is selfishness coupled with a fear of selflessness keeps me from joining the ranks of motherhood.

I am a very self-obsessed indivdual. Although I enjoy the company of my boyfriend, friends and good conversation, I am, at my core, a loner. I enjoy my time with a good book, movie or people watching at Starbuck's. Having another life constantly dependant on me, I fear,will seriously cut into my "me" time. I am super high maintenance; I want my hair, nails, makeup and clothes looking just so all the time. "No baby food or spit on mommy's cashmere sweater, please!" At social gatherings I prefer all eyes on me. I can't imagine how I will handle giving up the spotlight to a baby. Anything that would take away my youth, my looks, or my good-times would be a real loss.

A deeper, less shallow reason is that I do not look forward to experiencing an all consuming love. I look at my own mother and see how deep her love for me is and how much of her thoughts and energy I consume. I don't want to lose my life so completely and permanantly to anyone. Already, I'm haunted by the loss of a parent, and I imagine losing a child must be a hundred times more excrutiating. I fear the pain of losing someone that I love more than I love myself will be more painful than the physical act of giving birth.

In the end, I will pretend to be maternal, oohing and ahhing over my co-workers' newborns. Then, I will fasten a surgical mask to cover my nose and mouth, so I don't contribute to the spread of this incurable, life-long affliction.