Yes, I said it. You heard it.
Babies scare me. Babies make me fear for my life.
I first noticed this after my very first bone marrow transplant in January 2007, the very same month my niece, Zariah was born.
This has been my deep dark secret for three years now.
It's not that I didn't want to hold and love the beautiful new addition to the family. It's just there were too many possibilities of what could happen if I did.
Through the eyes of the immunocompromised, babies are little infectious germ mongers that can't be contained.
If they come near me with so much as a sniffle or that cute little baby sneeze, I cringe and pray for my life.
Snotty noses with bulb suction could appear in my worst nightmares.
Babies could rank right up there in the scare department with nosocomial infections , gas station bathrooms, doomsday and necrotizing fasciitis (even if you don't know what some of these are, they just sound scary, don't they?).
It's a fear that emulates the "my-period-is-four-days-late-could-I-be-pregnant?" baby fear of years past, but worse.
Worse, because I never know when a baby is going to appear at my side with a loving friend who just wants me to hold and love their bundle of joy.
They're like the clown in Poltergeist.
They appear at the most inopportune times, like after having a LIVE vaccination.
I do not have any of my vaccinations. I could possibly contract small pox from a small child. You'd be scared of babies too if you were me.
I never was a "baby person." I always said I wanted to adopt or birth a child potty trained and talking. Before that, in my mind's eye, they are just crying and pooping machines, but It's only gotten worse through the years.
My actions have been taken to a whole new level.
I find myself cowering in corners when a child appears in my friend's arms, and being in my late twenties, babies are appearing in all my friend's arms.
They're like a little army surrounding me just watching me with those big adorable eyes, cute baby giggles and drooly gurgles looking to wage their infectious weapons of distraction on me through snuggles and affection.
I want, so badly, to participate in their lives and be the loving, caring, touchable nurturing woman-figure with them, but then my instincts and reality kick in. I find myself genuinely meaning to, wanting to go to that birthday party or baptism, but then when the day comes, I can't get myself out the door.
I'm like a cat that someone is trying to put in the bath. I'm suddenly an agoraphobe locked in their safe haven, and there is no human intervention that will get me out. The jaws of life could not extract me.
I wonder how, exactly, can I be at the same exact point in age as these other late twenty-something women, my friends and family, and yet be ions, light years away?
Everywhere I go, everyone I see, suddenly it's baby, baby, baby.
I have officially entered the "baby stage" of living where all my peers have just had, are trying, are talking about trying, or are thinking a lot about having a child.
I'm not there, not even close. I'm far beyond my child bearing days that ended at the ripe old age of twenty-three.
Worse, I'm scared to show my love and affection for these beautiful mini-beings when my stomach is getting twisted in knots from the inner turmoil of my fear.
But I grin and bear it, planning nurseries, educations, and sometimes, if I can handle it with the assurance that the little one has not been exposed to anything in the last 5 days, had a vaccination, has a runny nose/fever/cough/rash/questionable anything, a play date.
So bring on the babies friends. This fear is something I will conquer, or at the very least, learn to accept with class.
But that doesn't change the fact that babies scare me.