FROM THE EDITOR: Savannah Nelson
I’M NOT SICK
According to Time Magazine, ‘baby fever’ is a real physical and emotional phenomenon; both men and women can fall subject to the symptoms of feeling a sudden, inexplicable urge to produce a baby—usually after spending time with newborns. Luckily for me, however, I’m immune.
I’m not a baby person. And I’ve never had to be—as the youngest child out of three, I lived a life free of putrid diapers and late-night crying and inconvenient spit-ups. When younger cousins came into the picture, I logically resolved that I didn’t want to hold them for fear of not supporting their necks. And when my partner first became an uncle—and me a “fake aunt” of sorts—in college, we faced spaced-out visits, far and few inbetween and synced with our busy schedules. I got to know these cuties when they were beyond infancy, and into the toddler stages. Because of this, my first baby-holding encounter didn’t take place until I was 19, and it was brief.
Part of my resilience toward having children too soon has come from my family of origin. My parents dedicated hours speaking toward their experiences as teenaged parents and the hardships they faced raising their babies while still kids themselves. My older brothers served as examples too: both have been with their wives for over eight years, allowing themselves to develop as partners, start successful careers, and go on grand adventures before ever mentioning family planning.
One summer I took a job at a daycare and spent afternoons as a teacher’s assistant for toddlers aged one to three. My responsibilities included supervising, cleaning, serving snack time, disciplining, and helping potty train the children. Essentially I was a part-time babysitter for a group of random children, some of which could talk, others could only throw things, and a few could only wail tragically. My first afternoon was spent in the bathroom on diaper duty.
Needless to say, I only spent one summer working at Tenderfoot Child and Development Center. And while I can appreciate the cuteness of another person’s child, I have known since 17—if not years and years before—that having a child of my own can wait quite a while. I recognize, however, that things don’t always go as planned.
On Sept. 27 my brother had his first child and named him Everest Charles Nelson. Everest came into the world as nothing short of a surprise; his parents didn’t know he was on his way until five months into the pregnancy. And, while I’ve thus lived my life hoping to not encounter babies unless I really must, Everest has changed my perception fully. I’m still fever-free, but I can’t wait to meet the baby that has everyone—even me—wanting to hold and love him.