Belly Envy

February 21, 2006

I never envisioned myself as a mother.

As a child, I had zero interest in dolls. I prefered to read or watch TV, and when well-meaning relatives gave me Barbies, I ended up giving them punk-rock hairdos or throwing them in the air as high as I could. I distinctly recall one ending up in a tree; another was marooned on a neighbor’s rooftop.

As a teen and young adult, I was convinced that I was devoid of any maternal instinct. I found kids bratty and annoying. Indeed, it took several years of marriage before my husband and I even broached the subject of kids. Slowly but surely, we warmed up to the idea of parenthood, and decided to give it a whirl.

Fast-forward and here I am: the mother of a delightful, dazzling 1-year-old daughter. Motherhood has been so much more than I ever dreamed. I have never felt more fulfilled, more optimistic, more vital.

And I want to do it again.

We hope to have another child, but not now. Ideally, there will be at least three years difference between our children. In many ways, we’re still catching our breath from the first go-round. I’m still finessing the work/life balance, and I hit the pillow every night in a state of blissful but deep exhaustion.

So I was caught a little off-guard the other night when I was watching my very favorite trashy reality show– Project Runway. The show was filmed last year, and host Heidi Klum is hugely and gloriously pregnant. Every week, she looks impossibly glowy and wears the cutest damn clothes.

But last week, she walked onto that runway in a belly-hugging black tank top. I took one look at her perfectly round silhouette and MAN– it was like someone punched me in the gut. I felt this deep, true and visceral NEED to be pregnant again. Like, NOW. I mean, it brought tears to my eyes.

WTF?!?! What the heck has happened to me? This usually cynical, tough, and ambitious woman has been reduced to a puddle of goo by the sight of a pregnant German supermodel.

Obviously, we will wait to try for another, despite my crazy reproducitve urges. But it got me to wondering: have any of you felt those pangs? Do you get belly envy when you see pregnant women? Do you daydream about getting knocked up and feeling those little kicks in your belly again, even if having another baby is not in your plans?

Or have I gone insane?

Take the poll!