Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Babies Forever

Loving sweet baby Conor

I've been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I'm never going to have another baby. I'm trying to make peace with it, since mostly the realization makes my heart very, very sad. When you're young, it's so easy to think you have forever in the "mommy" stage, being pregnant, having babies. I loved it so much. I loved being pregnant, I loved giving birth, (though I'll admit, I hate the first day after giving birth--afterbirth pains are the worst), I loved nursing my babies, sleeping with my babies, staring at my babies, kissing my babies, squishing my babies, and watching them grow. Well, that part is kind of bittersweet. Then you blink, and your kids are grown up! I realized a few weeks ago that I am not a young mommy anymore. Not that I'm old, but I look around at the young mothers in the ward, and it dawns on me, "I used to be in that category." Now, I'm not. I don't have a little flock of young ones under my feet anymore, I have big, giant kids. Thank goodness for Conor, my second round!

If life had worked out the way I had planned, I would have had more children. The jewels in my crown. But life took a different direction. Interrupted my childbearing years with a divorce. Then the grace to give it one more chance. I wish Adam and I could have had more babies, but we had such strains between us. And now, Conor is getting ready for kindergarten and I will (hopefully) start nursing school. I can't even see how that would work. Starting all over again with a baby, when I fantasize about it, would definitely have its drags. Life is uncomplicated right now, with the youngest being almost 5. But as my older ones prepare to leave the nest, part of me wants to fill it up again, just keep doing what I love. Being a mother. It's one of the grandest purposes of this life anyway.

Last night, after taking Aiden out to Baskin Robbins for a surprise ice cream treat (after his piano practice), I spent some time writing in the journal I keep for him, about the whole wake up to practice thing. I flipped back in his journal to the pregnancy entries, when he was growing inside me and I didn't know if he would even be a girl or a boy, but how deeply in love with him I already was. Then, as he grew, he tumbled around in my belly like the boy I discovered him to be, and I can still feel little Lyndsay and Dylan's sweet hands on my swollen abdomen, pushing the protrusions of little baby feet back in and laughing at the game of it all. I remember the reverence of the night of his birth, and the miracle of looking into the eyes of a child fresh from God, entrusted to my care. I remember sleeping with him suckling next to me, or just curled up against my body through the night time. Thinking that those experiences are over for me is so hard. Time goes by, and one stage ends as another begins.

I wish I could have prolonged the time.

I prayed last night, thanking Heavenly Father for the gift of being a mother, since I realize so many would give anything for that gift and are denied. I thanked Him for the gift of being able to carry my children in my womb, since I know how many come to motherhood in other ways. Four times I had that sacred privilege, and I am so grateful. I don't mean to be greedy, but now that I'm staring "done" in the face, it kinda tears me up. And then I wonder, if I had ten children, would being "done" still bring a sadness with it?

I hope I can still have babies in the eternities. I prayed for that too.


Heidi said...

Ah, so sweet. I think many mothers feel this way. My youngest is nine. I am way too old to have another baby and I have only recently come to peace with it.

Cynthia said...

My youngest is almost 8. I understand this post. All of it. And yet I have 3 kids (which is 3 more than the Doctors said we'd be able to have). Lucky for me my youngest sister lives a mile away and is expecting twin girls this summer. I shall be a twin mom again but without the hard parts!

My Mom says being a Grandma is way better than being a Mom. As Grandma, you get the good parts and don't have to feel guilty about all the things you *should* be doing while cuddling the baby. She just gets to be in the moment and enjoy it.

That Connor sure was adorable. No wonder you miss it. Cute little scrunchie baby faces!

Luisa Perkins said...

I was just thinking this very thing this morning. Anne turns three in a few weeks, and she's almost out of diapers. I've been changing diapers for 17.5 years!

And right when she'll be moving out of diapers, my oldest will be heading to college. Another major milestone.

I won't miss the diapers, but I do miss the nursing and the cuddling and the sweet smell of baby necks.

Now I'm a little weepy.