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Right up until I had kids of my own, I didn’t much care for babies. When my friends started getting married and knocked up, I showered them with tiny blankets and wrapped their bellies in toilet paper and tried really hard to remember to fawn over the actual newborns when they arrived. But when these same postpartum friends would ask “When are you going to have a baby?” the answer I had to bite back every time was, “Right after never!”
New mom Rachel Zoe -- who at one time was as ambivalent about mommyhood as I was -- recently admitted that since giving birth to son Skyler, she’s become a bit of a baby-pusher. “If you’re thinking ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I?,’ you should!” she screamed from her perch atop Oprah’s couch. (Oh wait, that was someone else.)
Some women grow up knowing they need to be a mom someday; I wasn't one of them. Having a baby didn’t look like any fun at all. I’m not even talking about the part where you have to constantly clean them and feed them and keep them alive; it was the bit where once you have one it’s yours forever and it’s going to want a Pillow Pet and then a skateboard and an iPhone and you'll no longer have a life of your own that seemed thankless and exhausting.
But then of course I had a daughter of my own. And she was magical and marvelous and all of those things you can’t begin to explain to someone who only sees the spit-up on your shoulder and the bags under your eyes. Somehow, all of those sacrifices I’d worried about didn’t seem like sacrifices at all. I’d tell friends who were still on the fence about breeding, “You’d better hurry up or you’re going to miss out on all of this!”
I have a few friends who remain childless by choice, and I’d never try to change their minds. (My thinking is, if you’re going to give up booze for a year to grow a person in your body and then push it out of your most private of parts and someday pay for it to go to college, you should really, really want it.) Do I occasionally envy their perky boobs and their Range Rovers that don’t smell like rotten milk and their tours of Europe’s finest luxury hotels? Of course I do. But I wouldn’t trade places with a single one of them.