For years, since my last son was born, my head and heart still pounded loudly in my ears. “I want another baby!” They screamed. As I neared the age where another baby would be almost impossible, the pounding grew louder, drowning out all reason.
When my husband, the logical one, whose biological clock was not ticking in panicked booms, found me sniffing my children’s old newborn clothes, he threw some cold water on my baby fever. Repeatedly, he pulled me, okay, dragged me, by my flattened, no longer lactating boobs, back from the ledge of the baby cliff as I tried to dive off ‘unprotected’. (Wink wink)
“No more.” He’d reprimand, as I clutched baby booties and took to sucking on an old binky for comfort.
Slowly, I emerged from the procreation cocoon and began to appreciate my family as it was. That we were, and are, in a really good place. That there were good reasons to quit while we were ahead.
- We are old and tired.
- We sleep at night.
- We can tell the kids to go away – and OMG – they do!
Although knowing and accepting I’m done, do not always co-exist in my sappy, emotional psyche. Maybe because admitting that my fertility days are over, would mean I’m older (see bullet point 1) and that I’ll never again be pregnant (I loved being pregnant. Sigh.), or have all of those cute, little baby things (Wait…I hate the crap I have.). It means I’m moving on to the next stage. (Uh, menopause? Grandma? Hmm, let’s just take the decade and not label it.)
But then my sister-in-law had a baby (yeah yeah, my brother-in-law too). After nine months of expanding (actually 9 ½ in her case), and then a few hours contracting, my sister-in-law (yes, him too) has a beautiful, new baby boy.
I took one look at this fresh, bundle of delicious, and felt my old eggs start to sizzle inside. “Ohhh” I thought, holding his warm weight in my arms. “Ahhh” I sighed, sucking in his sweet baby smell.
Ohhh Ahhh has the perfect little face. He will wear the cutest clothes and is so little and sweet. Can I have him? Please? Mmmmm. The smell of new baby is a fountain of youth. Ohhh, I miss baby cuddling. I gaze into the sweet face of possibilities and see the future… Giggles and eating of feet, lulling to sleep, green peas on the face and a soft mouth saying Mama…. Clinging to my legs when I want to go out to dinner, or walk from the kitchen to the living room, or go to the bathroom alone for just one freaking moment. Screaming “I want a COOKIE!” and “Poopie in the pants!” Crying for ices, crying for attention, crying for a blue crayon instead of a red one. Waaaa. Waaaaa. “Mommy gimme! Gimme!”
I gently hand him back.
It turns out, I’m thrilled to be the aunt, but it’s official, I’m done.