Kikikikiki… yes I am lavvin! Don’t mind me, I actually think it is cute when people fantasise about what having a baby is like.
My neighbors had their first child a few weeks ago. I stopped by to visit. They got married and moved in about a year ago. I rarely saw them or heard them as they are in the flat above us.
First off, she looked totally different.
Yes, babies change your body FOREVER. Inside and Outside.
She winced as the baby sucked on, oblivious to her pain. She showed me her bloodied nipple.
The first thing that happens when you give birth to a baby is this shamlessness you acquire. Since those little buds became boobs, you have hidden them from the whole world. To even show a guy a little takes a lot of persuasion. But here was this nice lady showing me her nipple without my asking.
I don’t blame her.
I used to keep a very tight ship with no viewings by boys.
But there is something humbling about lying spread-eagled on a bed with at least 3 people peering at the jewel of inestimable value as though it is an ordinary piece of junk.
Your breasts will know the breeze of the open air, the church, the market, the mall and so many other places especially if your little one prefers it from source.
You will leak all over the place.
It will not even be a single contained let-down of milk. The nipple will bring out milk like a bloody watering can. On its own. You will just feel a surge and your top is wet. Even breast pads don’t help much. When the baby latches on one nipple, the other nipple will weep out milk in solidarity.
I won’t talk about post-partum bleeding or incontinence. Google is your friend.
We talked about delivery with my neighbor. She was chatty to my surprise. I assumed she was a very quiet person.
She complained about how much her baby cried. I told her it would ease off at about 3 or 4 months.
She dropped her lower lip and stared at me in horror.
I back-tracked so as not to get her too alarmed.
“Ehm… it could be less…”
I offered weakly. She was not convinced. And she was right not to be.
Newborns can be high maintenance. Sometimes you have to feed them hourly. Some are colicky and so cry a lot as their digestive systems are not well developed so they have trouble with trapped gas.
Your relationship with sleep is changed forever when you have a baby.
As in, you need to sit down and chat with sleep and become casual friends and not the intimate friends you used to be.
I will never forget the first trip I made without my boys out of this country. I got to my destination and fell asleep for 6 straight hours on the couch of my hosts. It was my first long uninterrupted sleep in 4 years.
Like I said, my neighbors had been quiet and were not seen or heard most of the time. That has all changed. Now I hear their baby wailing most of the time.
When our collective water pump had issues, the men with children were always worried first. My window is right beside the water pump. It is always Daddy Ifechukwu or Ada’s husband and my husband talking about the pump or organizing for it to be fixed.
For the first time since they moved into our compound, I heard my neighbor’s husband talking about the water pump last week.
Behold old things have passed away and new things have come. You can no longer live a Spartan semi-bachelor life when you have children.
A long life of responsibility, Responsibility and even more RESPONSIBILITY has started for you. Some children will not be able to sleep a wink without a fan. You will make it happen. Some will react to certain baby products, you will look for the more expensive options they prefer.
You, the king of your castle will never EVER have the undivided attention of your queen. You may not know it but you have been dethroned. For a long time coming, everything will revolve around your kids. There was a time I did not watch TV for almost 2 months. Touching the remote meant two boys howling. For the sake of peace, we let them own it.
If you never thought about world peace, you will think about it. The problems plaguing Nigeria will penetrate your emotions as you wonder what sort of country to have your children in.
Shall we talk about how sex changes after children? Where are the parents here? Hitherto you were busy being jack rabbits all over your house, in fact you conceived your first child while bent over your gas cooker. That will not happen for a long time.
You will steal sex like adolescents and there will actually be occasions were you will freeze on your bed and stare madly at the baby cot because you heard your child stir. You will finish in controlled hushes and you will finally find out the supposedly uncontrollable banshee screaming by porn stars is a lie. It is possible to cum in sign language.
Have I covered everything?
Like going out with travelling bags because babies need a myriad of things at any giving time, so you want to be prepared.
Like dreading going for events because crying babies no dey send face or place.
Like Onyeka said “Having babies, no be joke o”.
Raising them is not an investment. It is more like being a donor to a charity organization. Only the money does not come from the excess you have. You will practically hand over your earnings over and over again for years. You can only hope to, one day, when you are old for things to be reversed. There are no guarantees here.
But in all this we love babies and keep having them.
You know why?
They make the meanest most adorable selfie partners. At least for the first 10years.