June 18, 2008 posted by Lindsay

>Ghost Baby

>Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t want another child. I’m quite happy with the four I have, thank you very much, and as you well know, my sanity already is stretched to its very limits.

The mere thought of another baby scares the shit out of me. When I’ve imagined an accidental pregnancy, all sorts of interesting images have come to mind. I’ve pictured my family living in a couple of old refrigerator boxes on the sidewalk, using newspapers for blankets. I’ve visualized three small children clamoring at my knees as I banged my head against a wall over and over and over again. I’ve imagined myself shoplifting No-Doz from Walgreens. I’ve entertained dark fantasies in which I call Hubs to tell him I’m pregnant and in response, he gets in his car and drives straight to Mexico, never to be seen or heard from again.

So you’d think that when our temporary birth control method, uh, failed a few weeks ago, I’d be beside myself, sobbing in the bathroom and swearing never to have sex again, right? Right?

Instead, I quickly took a shower and then got in bed beside Hubs.

“It’s very unlikely that I’m pregnant,” I said.

“Yeah,” he answered. Both of us were silent as our heads filled with thoughts of another nine-month odyssey. And after that, another baby.

“I bet it would be another boy,” Hubs said.

“Oh no,” I said quickly. “It would be a girl. I had a premonition the other day that if I had another child, it would be a girl.” It better not be a boy, I thought darkly to myself. One boy is more than enough.

“Really?” Hubs said. He didn’t sound displeased.

Eventually, we both fell asleep and I dreamed of being pregnant again. I only dreamed about the good parts, though, like the way that food tasted insanely delicious and daily naps were extraordinarily satisfying and how the feeling of the baby’s foot pushing against the inside of my belly for the first time was a little bit like hearing the voice of God.

For the next few days, Hubs and I acted as if nothing was amiss. But as I made dinner and folded clothes, I thought of little girl names, and mentally calculated which baby clothes were still in the attic and which had been consigned or given away. I got on the scales more often, looking for telltale weight gain. I monitored myself for nausea or the bloated feeling I always got at the very beginning of both my pregnancies.

And then I got my period.

I expected a feeling of relief to wash over me, but instead I was sort of… sad. I’d enjoyed the little ghost baby that had been residing in my uterus and I missed her now that she was gone.

“So you’re not pregnant,” Hubs said that night in bed.

“I know,” I said. “We’re not going to have a little Clementine after all.” We both laughed.

“I don’t even like that name anymore,” Hubs said.

“Neither do I,” I replied. “I can’t believe we were considering it once.”

“What would we have named her?” Hubs asked. We both paused, thinking, and in the dark, I smiled, realizing that for all our claims that another child would push us into a rocky and unnavigable territory, he had enjoyed thinking about Ghost Baby as much as I had.



  • >I know how you feel. We are done also, but I am a little sad that I will never feel a baby kick inside of me again, or hold my newborn close and feel that exhiliration of having just delivered, or nurse another baby. On the flip side, I won’t have to have that mind numbing exhaustion of nursing every two hours for weeks on end, or enduring crying bouts that are unexplained, but so distressing. Yes, we are done, but I am enjoying K’s babyhood for all its worth!

  • >Wow, I haven’t started having children yet, but I can empathize a little with your post. I have 3 sisters (yes, there are 4 of us girls!) and I always loved growing up in a chaotic household. Christmas mornings were busy and crowded with all of us, but I loved it. So, I can imagine wanting 4 children. Yeah, Hubs cannot even imagine three, much less four! 🙂 Becky

  • >I know exactly how you feel. This happened to me just 2 weeks ago. And while I wasn’t wanting one then, I more am now because I ended up being a bit sad that Flo had decided to come, even though late. I only have one so I’m not done quite yet. But now I cannot stop thinking about another one.

  • >Hey now, save some babies for the rest of us. Don’t you know there are kids starving in Africa? If all of us donated just 1 baby a year to those kids in Africa they’d have enough to eat.

  • >Hah! We almost chose Clementine for OUR last baby. We ended up choosing something kind of similar.

  • >I’ve had that same feeling. Isn’t it crazy? It’s like even though I knew it was way too early and we would all be miserable, part of me still craved the adventure and love another baby would bring. (That time is over now; if I had a similar “scare” this month, I’d be all-out happy except for the financial aspect of things.)

  • >Aw, I love this post.

  • >madame queen, let me guess…. Tangerine? 😉

  • >This was really touching.It’s funny when you’re so sure you couldn’t possibly do something, then you come to realize that not only *could* you, it wouldn’t even be that bad.^_^

  • >A my great aunt always said, “You shouldn’t be upset over a new life.”While an unexpected little one would cause a tremendous amount of work and financial strain, things always find a way of working out.

  • >This made my heart soar! Thanks!

  • Mom

    >Delurking for the very first time, though long time reader. The same thing happened to me two weeks back as well, First it was major denial – not now,its bad timing, I am just getting things back to normal, how could this happen to me.. etc etc, but then when the period came I was a little bit sad because in my head I too had thought about what toys/clothes could be re-used, whether it would be a girl or a boy, what names should I think of and so forth.

  • >What a great post. I’m not done yet, I still want one more (only have one), but I can imagine in the future having moments/days exactly like this.

  • >Awwww! that was so touching. We always think things are gonna be worse when it’s all perspective. Enjoy your little ones.

  • >Oh wow. This really struck a nerve since I just kind of went through the (almost) exact same thing. Little ghost babies . . . very bittersweet. Well written!

  • >How funny and sweet. It’s good to know that whatever the outcome turned out to be, you both were okay with the consequences. I have a ghost baby, and he?she?it? is so persistent that I KNOW we aren’t done yet. I’ll have all three kids around me, and start looking frantically for the “other baby”. Except there is no other baby. It’s the weirdest feeling. And the strangest part? I’m five months pregnant with #4 and Ghost Baby is still around. So either this baby has a really strong personality (oh, dear heavens, NO) or we’re going to end up with at least five kids. I’m actually okay with that, though.

  • >See, we’re up in the air. Hubby says no, I say…..maybe?And maybe (although I don’t tell him that)it isn’t about having another baby as it is flatly saying ‘We’re DONE.’

  • >Okay, this had me in tears. And Clementine is a lovely name.

  • >I have never heard parents lament “damn, I wish I hadn’t had so many of these kids..!”I have, however, heard parents say they wish they had gone ahead and had more.Maybe you aren’t done.

  • >I have done this probably every month that I have a period, since I’ve started having babies. Even when I’m not trying and don’t think right now would be a good idea. I still want more. Even though it feels crazy.:)

  • >Great post marred by too much information.Now, every time I see your husband, I am going to think of his condom breaking.The words “pregnancy scare” would have sufficed.Are you ever concerned about your blog potentially damaging his career?

  • >it sounds like someone needs to get “fixed” or ghost baby might turn into real baby! Ha!

  • >Great post made awesome by too much information. Now if I ever meet your husband I’m going to think of how much he is just like so many of us.The words “jail-breaking super-swimmers” would have added value.Are you ever concerned about your blog potentially enhancing his approachability among his fan base?

  • > awesome about having more kids… in a funny way…

  • >Gawd, anonymous, bitter much? For one thing, I never said anything about a condom. I thought I wrote about what happened quite tastefully. You came up with ‘condom’ only after drawing your own perverted conclusions in your trollish and depraved pea brain.For another, how would this post possibly damage his career? Was he doing something wrong? I don’t know if you knew this, but most married men have sex with their wives. In fact, that’s how babies are conceived! You’re welcome!

  • >Oh, and another thing. I just looked at the YouTube video link from the second (nice) anonymous? IT IS FREAKING AWESOME! Thanks for that link!!

  • >This post made me smile. A lot.And it made me want to go peek at my big surprise, peacefully sleeping in his crib.

  • >Having Little Miss 10 years after our youngest son was enough for me, then I was 2 weeks late and I thought about actually wanting another one. The feelings passed but I still kinda wish from time to time.

  • >We have a ghost baby also. I think we should adopt again but there is NO money and little energy to put into it. So she’s our ghost adoption baby. Not there but there.

  • b

    >Great post. I’ve never had a “ghost baby” b/c I’m always pregnant. But it is fun in those weeks when you aren’t sure.

  • >I dream about a “ghost” baby quite frequently. Sure my 4 are enough but i can’t help but…well clearly you get the point(of course with my luck if I ever did get pregnant I’d have another set of twins)

  • Ali

    >oh, i’ve named a ghost baby or two before…

  • Kia

    >I think we’ve all done this, no? :)That’s what is so good about memories (of pgcy, in particular), though: we only remember the good stuff. Especially in dreams…

  • >This has happened to us a time or ten. 🙂 Every month I think I’m pregnant even though we saywe’re done.

  • >This happened to me and hubby a couple of weeks back – and it kinda changed how we both felt about being “done”. But then I again, I have a hard time imagining our youngest as anything besides the baby – don’t know if I want to make him a middle child!

  • >Wow. I can totally relate here – in a sad sort of way.The wife and I have had 2 “ghost baby’s” in the past 2 years or so. Totally unplanned because we don’t want one now.But when the thought was there, the excitement, the probability, it’s so hard not to get connected.

  • >This is absolutely an award worthy post! Your best ever, IMHO. Thank you so much.

  • >Wow, you’re one up on me. I only have two kids and I already bang my head on the walls. I think my three dogs (one of them with borderline personality disorder, or wait–maybe that’s me?) and my ADHD husband are actually equivalent to about eighty-seven kids, though.

  • >Be very wary of those ghost babies. It is my ghost baby that keeps me going back for more infertility treatment, the one that has been with me my whole life. You know, the other one, of the two children I am “supposed” to have.

  • >I can’t wait to have a third!!!! We talk about it all the time.Having a lot of babies are not for everyone.