Humor at Home: Baby Propaganda
How the Doctor's Office Makes You Want Another Child
by Julie Willis
Dec 27, 2022
“The ob/gyn office needs to stop trying to get people to have babies. I mean, you go in there, you see all these cute moms with their cute baby bumps and their cute hair and their cute maternity clothes, and you think, “Aw…” and you start waxing nostalgic about your first baby, back before you appeared in public with spit-up on your shirt and a messy bun that was not at all deliberate and mismatched shoes. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has left the house in shoes that did not match.)

They call you back for your Depo shot, and they take you PAST all the exam rooms, to the big room with beds that are curtained off. I don’t know why you need a bed to get a shot in your hip, but if I were the nurse on duty, I would be asking why I had to clean the room when NOTHING happened in it.  But there you are, standing awkwardly, waiting for the nurse to come in with the needle, when, lo and behold, you hear a baby’s heartbeat from beyond the curtain. And it brings back memories of listening to your babies’ heartbeats. And you think, “Wow, I had forgotten that sound.” And you have this overwhelming urge to crawl under the curtain and hold the mother’s

hand and tell her it will be ok. But then you hear her husband chatting with the nurse and decide against embarrassing yourself.

And then you hear the nurses talking about you. Because, after all, there is only a curtain between you and them–not a door.  And they’re deciding which of them has to give you the injection, so the other can go on her break. And you think, “All I am is an item on someone’s checklist.” And you start to think that if you had a baby growing inside you, maybe you would matter.

And when you are finally leaving, they tell you to call back in a month to schedule your next injection. And you start wondering what will happen if you

accidentally-on-purpose don’t call them. Will they call you? You hope not. At least for a minute.

And then you think how different things might be if you weren’t already … well, let’s be honest, 48. And a half. And you think, “If I had started younger, maybe I could have had a third–or fourth–child.” And you remember the things you did in your 20s and how much fun it all was but how much better being a mom is than any of it. And you start questioning your choice of pursuing your career first and your family later, as if family mattered less.

And then you finally get out to the safety of your car, only to discover that you are parked at the perfect angle to see the exact parking spot where you parked the day you brought your firstborn home from the hospital. That hospital, right there, just beyond the parking lot you are in. And you remember how long you had waited for her to be released from the NICU. And how you buckled her in for the first time. And how your dog greeted her when you got home, gently, with sniffing and no actual licking. And how proud and happy you were at that moment. (Of the dog. Which seems silly now, but back then, you were definitely proud of your dog for not licking the baby.)

And you decide it is most definitely a conspiracy. This place is made for having babies, not preventing them.  How could you go there and not want to come out with a baby?

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