I am not pregnant.
I know, I know. You probably don’t care if I am or not. Unless you’re my husband, my traumatized dog or my uterus, you have no stake in my reproductive habits. But let me tell you, typing out those four words is among the top five best feelings in the world.
Not that I’m anti-children or anything. I love children (except for that one kid…he knows what he did). In fact, I have one of my own. And even my black soul is partial to that little bugger. He’s amazing. I love him even more than I love cheese. And I’m someone who has an entire drawer in her fridge dedicated to just cheese (which I’ve creatively dubbed “The Cheese Drawer”).
But he’s also the reason I feel such relief at typing those four words.
See, before I had a baby, I was always terrified of getting pregnant. Or at least I thought I was terrified. Any time my period was even five minutes late, my evil brain tortured me with thoughts such as:
“But I’m not ready to be a mother.”
“But I don’t have the money to raise a kid.”
“But my freedom!”
“But what if he turns out to be a serial killer? Or worse, an urban kale farmer with a weird mustache?”
Ha! How naïve I was. Because see, now that I’ve actually had a baby, I know the real things to be terrified of. So last week, when I was five days late, I was curled up in the fetal position beside my 9-month-old as the following thoughts raced through my brain:
“But I’m not ready to not poop normally for nine months!”
“But I don’t have the energy to vomit for four months straight and then pee non-stop for the next five months.”
“But, oh god, the midnight feedings. And the 2:30 a.m. feedings. And the 4 a.m. feedings. And all because of…”
“BREASTFEEDING! I CAN’T GO THROUGH IT AGAIN! I JUST GOT ONE OFF THE SAUCE! I WAS FINALLY FREE! I’D RATHER DIE THAN HAVE ANOTHER NEWBORN HONEY BADGER SHRED MY NIPPLES!”
Just like someone who is finally released from jail and finds themselves in a less than legal situation again while police sirens slowly grow louder, it was like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.
I can’t go back to jail, man.
Not that I never will go back. I mean, sure, yeah, my husband and I have talked about having another kid. We both agree it would be nice. To eventually give Riker a sibling. In the future. When we’re both ready again.
Like when he’s getting ready for graduate school.
But we know too much now. It’s all still too fresh. The pain. The exhaustion. The farts.
Oh god, the farts.
Which is why I rejoiced when my menstrual cycle finally did get off its lazy ass and cycled again. I may have been in the electric chair but the governor called in the nick of time.
And it feels good to be free again. Er…well, at least on probation. I still have one kid I need to report to on a daily basis. But I’ll take it.
Because you can still drink wine on probation.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the warden is demanding a game of peek-a-boo and he gets cranky when I show up late.