just like that…

for the past 6 years I have been either growing or sustaining a baby with just a few short breaks in between.  I know there are many that have done it much longer and have had many more kids but for me this has been the perfect amount of time.  If I kept the pattern up this would be about the time that I would be getting pregnant again…and I know in my heart that I’m full.  And even when I mention that in passing to Robb it’s as if he gets a little bit of a sick feeling. 

We just don’t have those idyllic, heart-warming labors, deliveries, time after the births where mommies and daddies just shine and bask in the afterglow.  Due to difficult labors, emergency and planned surgeries, special blood and time in NICU, it more often felt to us like we were shoved under a blinding fluorescent light where it’s not warm and cozy but completely exposing and requiring us to muster up character and strength from places we had never mustered before. 

But we always came out with a beautiful and big baby…and no regrets.  and then one day you wake up and realize that just like that, you are no longer child-bearing.  Child-rearing, oh my, YES!  but no more kicks from the inside and breakfast returning to the outside, late night feedings, swaddling, baby food (who misses that ever?) and dressing your little doll in the most adorable clothes just because you can.  My youngest has moved completely on to big boy food…and with it that push onto more and more independence from his mama. 

And this morning I woke up and realized that just as quickly as it came and in the whirlwind that has ensued, it’s gone.  I probably didn’t cherish every moment like I should’ve or always allowed myself to take in the miracle that it is.  But as I say goodbye, I have to take a few breaths and do just that.  For just a moment, instead of standing in judgement of my physical being, I marvel at it, for its ability to grow and sustain life and feel thankful for the hardship it was willing to endure to give us these beautiful children.  And so it is with a bittersweet pucker and the realization that each newborn I hold from now on will fill my heart again with all of this, we kiss it all goodbye.

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