Since I crossed back into feeling better about my choice, I've been worried that meeting Newbaby would drop me right back into the midst of the rabies. Thankfully, when I visited my friends and their daughter this weekend, it couldn't have been better.
I think this was the first baby I've ever held without anyone uttering the words "don't you want one, even just a little?" and the first time the mother hasn't been convinced I was going to accidentally break the child. This comfort and ease made the visit something awesome. We laughed, we all sat and watched movies and chilled and took turns holding her, handing her back to Mom or Dad when she fussed.
They handled Newbaby with ease and grace, even while admitting that in her week in this world she'd already managed to rob them of sleep and frustrate the hell out of them occasionally. And I got to see the immense love they felt for her and how natural and normal it all seemed.
And, I am happy to report, my uterus didn't twinge once.
Through it all, though I loved holding her and cuddling her, I knew I definitely did not want their life. Just the slightest glimpse showed me how 24/7 this job is. They're overjoyed by it all, but all I saw was what I would lose.
I've been told that I'm too focused on the negative side of parenting, but that's the fundamental difference between us and those who want kids. For me, the negatives are overwhelming and always have been. Parenting's a tough job. So's being a doctor or a physicist. And, again, I'll leave it to those who want to do it and I'll watch from afar, grabbing opportunities to babysit on occasion, or make the busy family dinner (as I did this weekend) to help out the people I love, and my life will be far from empty.