Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby Cravings

ormones.  Anyone over the age of (what?) ten these days can attest to their powerful pull on our lives.  We begin feeling them as confusing, exciting, strange emotions that rage through our bodies as adolescents.  Of course this is just an assumption, but I would imagine most of us learn to live with the occasional surges of hormone and it just becomes a part of our lives.  This is something most of us in North America learn about in school, we have friends who experience it, we have parents who can tell us stories of how they dealt with it; essentially we have many outlets with which we can comfort ourselves knowing that others have gone through it and this too shall pass.

Baby cravings.  Irrational and perfect, beautiful and tragic.  These kinds of hormones are something unique I can say with confidence I was never warned about.  It began when I was about 23/24 and has grown to great proportions at my ripe old age of 27. I have been noticing that I am barely capable of handling the wracking waves of teary, gut-wrenching yearnings I have to hold a baby to my breast and smell its hair and look into its face and know that little person came from me.  It is a hormone that only a maternal person can know.  When you are out in public, and those around you are gazing reproachfully and disdainfully at a squalling infant at the back of the restaurant/grocery store/department store and the only thing you can feel is longing and an almost magnetic urge to rush over and coo to the infant, murmer soft sounds and rock it to sleep with a hummed lullaby.

My logical, analytical brain can dissect such a series of events and hormones and see it for an animalistic, maternal sense of purpose older than civilization.  But what amazes me is the absolutely beautiful lack of logic and sense our hormones have.  They overrule our plans, they interrupt our carefully constructed lives, and throw us completely off kilter.

What is frustrating is attempting to convey all of these feelings, emotions and deep-rooted cravings to a man.  How can we, as women, even hope to explain these things to a man in terms that they can empathize with and understand?  If I were to tell a man that hearing a baby crying makes me want to weep with the inability to console the child, and also the yearning to have that child crying for me; wanting something only I could give it, would he understand that?  Would he understand the absolute truth of wanting a baby to care for, that relies on me, that needs me to survive?  Would he be able to comprehend the strength of my need to have a piece of me and my husband to make a whole new person?

And for that matter, what is it like for a man to want a child?  Is there a comparable Paternal instinct to have a child from their own seed?  Do they feel the pull from the center of them so strong it can cripple your heart and fill you with emotions that run so deep you are unable to say in words all of the things you are feeling?

If only these cravings could be sated with a trip to Dairy Queen and a guiltless indulgence with no collateral damage.  If only I could turn off these emotions so that I can continue with The Big Plan.  If only my husband (and men in general) could completely understand just how irrational and yet how perfect the desire for motherhood is.

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