babies, continued

This is a draft from 2016. A few details have changed since then (we moved away from New York, I finished nursing school) but other things remain the same, namely, my ambivalence surrounding having kids.

Our life is the kind that a baby would, on the surface, barely disrupt. Weekends are usually about cooking elaborate meals and polishing off a bottle of wine with the tv shows we're woefully behind on. We have a dog, so our schedule is already regimented in the way that disallows habitual late nights out or impromptu anything. Most galling of all, we live in Queens with a second bedroom. All of the big pieces are there.

This is by design. The thought behind a lot of our choices has always been kids, someday. But the urgency to manifest those kids never comes. Instead of a nursery, I bought a bar cart. Instead of not trying not to, I got back on birth control.

I admit to being a planner, someone who likes things to line up just so before making a big decision. I delight in spending months tweaking itineraries for the next trip or paint colors for our new kitchen. Sometimes I think this is the paralyzing force behind the baby indecision. I am obviously averse to unknown quantities. And yet, I got married at 24. Outside of New York, lots of people get married at that age. But here, it is absolutely anathema. By these standards, I am very reckless! Or just a dumdum from Indiana.

When I consider a life that is just me and my husband and some dogs, I don't see anything sad or worrisome. When I look at mommy blogs out of curiosity, I can admire the cute kids without a knot forming in my stomach. On my yearly viewing of Little Women, I don't wish for daughters (but I do wish for sisters). There are only two things that make me reconsider. One is whenever I go see a performance of literally anything, I get a glint in my eye and think it'd be nice to have a kid to take. The second is my mom.

I suspect that every year I don't have a baby I am carving an ever-widening hole into my mom's heart. I've never been pressured by her to have a kid, but I know it's her hope for me. If we're shopping and we pass children's clothes, she'll sigh a little at the tiny shoes and hats. She tells me about her coworkers' grandchildren, or how her group of friends all think they won't get grandkids. A small part of me feels there is a debt between us, unspoken, that is only paid with a baby.

I read a lot of stories about infertility. I'm 30 now and I've never had a scare, so I sometimes wonder if my ambivalence stems from a subconscious suspicion that I may not be able to have a baby. Am I guarding myself from the profound pain of infertility, or do I truly feel that my life will be whole without a child? Is this compartmentalization, or a sincere wish to be childfree?

For now, I have the protection of having a plan. I'm still in school, and that's a convenient enough excuse. Blessedly, when I say this to friends or family, no one scolds me for trying to plan around kids, fool's errand that it is. Besides, by New York standards, I am still way ahead of the curve. 

 

let's stress shop for nursing school

About a week ago I walked into a Target to buy a cooler, glanced at the utterly demolished school supply section, and realized the upcoming back to school season included me. Cue the shopping spree. 

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dagne dover 

 

backpack

 

This is an outrageously expensive backpack by backpack standards. 20 dollars buys you a simple black backpack with laptop sleeve that will last the year. Fifty dollars is a spendy but easily-rationalized investment. One hundred dollars is a splurge, clearly spending on form. The Dagne Dover backpack at $195 teeters perilously close to morally offensive. 

However.

I will be commuting from Queens to the Bronx at least four days a week. It's 1.5 hours each way. Twice a week I will be out of the house for 15 hours because of clinicals and one excruciatingly long day of classes. So if I want to buy a neoprene backpack with a ton of pockets and pouches and zippers and a hidey hole for my phone, I will. And I'll only feel a tiny bit ashamed!

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muji binder

This is my first foray into proprietary binder technology. The binder (similar) has a million holes, not three, and takes B5 paper, so good luck to me getting anything non-Muji in here. But the cover is translucent and flexible and the binding slides open with the switch of a lever. Being Muji, there were an assortment of accessories to go with, like simple indexes and transparent pockets.

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various uniqlo tops

Uniqlo is not an exciting place. You will never walk in and be stricken by lust for a sequin-encrusted cardigan or seduced by hot pink kid gloves. Uniqlo is soviet in its lack of splendor. But the basic blandness of Uniqlo is also its joy. To wear their clothes is to fade slightly out of view--neither offensive nor exciting, just sort of there. These are the type of clothes where no one will register how often you wear them they are so unremarkable. This is good, desirable even. Besides, nursing school will drain me of the will to make even mundane clothing decisions. Better to adopt the soviet dress. 

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h&m pencil case

Despite my belief in bland clothes, I still believe in small delightful things. The best candidates for frippery are utilitarian items. Thus I have an iridescent pencil case; proof that I am attuned to at least some trends, or at least the shinies that youtube personalities prefer.

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s'well bottle

A signifier of fancy wellness taste! I almost did not buy this because I think carrying around water is idiotic. But then I found out this bottle could keep hot items hot for an extended period of time and I relented. Coffee is very reasonable to carry around, after all.

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chantelle bra

The most expensive bra I've ever bought. I tried it, decided it was too much, walked out of the lingerie department at Bloomingdales, and up to housewares to stare at water bottles. But then I came back, because this was an exquisitely comfortable bra. My beloved Eberjey cotton bras have gotten difficult to find, and I wanted something lined and supportive for my days at the hospital (not that my uniform will reveal an iota of body shape). 

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ban.do agenda

At the start of every school year in high school, we'd receive an agenda. I'd dutifully write down things for a few weeks and then, inevitably, the will to care wavered, and my agenda from mid-September onward would remain empty.

I'd like to think I've matured since then. So as I go once more unto the breach, I will try to write shit down in a millennial pink agenda. Plus there are stickers!

Things Uninteresting to Non-Nursing Students

Of course I've had to purchase other things, like a stethoscope and nursey shoes and scrubs and bandage scissors. I derived a lot of pleasure researching and considering each of these items, particularly which version of ugly I would pick for footwear (loafer-adjacent white leather slip-ons). But this is not a Nursing Blog, and I will not delve into the pros and cons of Littmann Classic versions. (I will say I saw an all-black Littmann in the wild and it was very striking and chic). 

Let us not tally up the costs in the comments. I really don't want to know.