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.
You said it!! Being an Aunt is wonderful and that baby is so close to you that you can have a good nights sleep and the baby!!!
Understand thoroughly your feelings ……… but lori3dp is right!
Don’t want to disappoint you , my dear , but I’d like you to rest a little , so as to enjoy more what you already have…..And it’s not negligible!
A big hug
thank you!! and honestly, it did take me a bit to move past the baby thing – but, you’re right, i’m too busy these days appreciating (and managing) what i already have. 🙂
you are very lucky, like a grandparent, kiss and play and then hand back. Even though you have many miles yet, your on the right road. love ya.(and your gorgeous family) mom
On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 6:45 AM, Icescreammama
I know what you feel like. I often get that feeling a lot and you think I wouldn’t because I already have 6 beautiful sweet angels…I still wonder though what it would be like to have a baby with my now boyfriend/life partner/ball in chain. Then he shakes me violently but not so much as to hurt me and snaps me out of it…My youngest is 4 years old and I am getting to enjoy her silliness as well as the thoughts and stories of my oldest who is 11….I won’t have any more nephews or nieces so I won’t be able to enjoy the baby stage anymore but I’m just going to enjoy the little ones that I have now….and it also helps that my tubes are tied so this can’t happen even if I REALLY wanted it to.
wow six!!! what a world of love and crazy you must be surrounded by!! fabulous!! it’s hard letting go… but each stage is so delicious, i’m trying to appreciate what i have. it’s hard enough having three – how do you manage with some many and so few hands?? 😉
How do I manage? I don’t know…I just do. Since they are so close in age I never really got the break in between to “settle down” so I just juggle. I don’t know how else to do it, it just happens LOL I get the same question when I’m asked about them being autistic…my honest answer is I don’t know how to take care of “typical” kids since this is all I know…but the baby smell…Oh I miss that!!
we’re mommy’s right? we just do what we have to do. and we keep on doing. juggle juggle juggle…so many balls. (and saw new baby today. really delicious. i could eat him) 😉
I just posted a long winded comment but didn’t see it come up so I’m shortening it…I feel ya!!
haha!!! i got em both!! 🙂
So well said! Congrats, Auntie. I do feel my heart tug when I see/hold/smell a newborn baby. But at the same time, I’m glad that chapter of my life is permanently closed. Until I have grandkids. Something to look forward to!
yep!! the tug was stronger a few years ago, now it’s just the lingering residue… 🙂
You write so evocatively of that longing for one more. That’s exactly how I felt before my third boy (even though I’ve never been a baby person). But like you, I loved being pregnant and adored my guys, especially once they became toddlers. But even while I was pregnant with my third , I felt complete. Lucky you to have a new baby in your life who you can give back 🙂
and they live down the block! 🙂
Lucky you! That is perfect.
Oh yes. This tug of war. I am sure we are done but still– there’s a griefy ache about it. Great post.
This is a great post, and completely appropriate for my current state of being. My sister just had her second baby, and I spent most of the past week with her at her house. When she had her first, I had only been married about a year, and we were so not ready for a baby, so when her baby screamed and cried and didn’t sleep, all I could think was, I’m glad it’s her and not me. But with her second, everything is different. We have been married almost three years, and this time I find myself thinking “I wish it was me.” I think we’re ready now.
oohh your last words gave me chills!! that first baby… is such a beautiful experience. i cant wait to read all about it. 🙂
I am not a mom yet. I want to be someday, but it is so nice right now being able to hand them back after I’ve had my fill!
it’s a gift!! 🙂
I could just about smell that sweet little baby as I read your post. But I agree with you — I’m done. I shall admire new babies from a safe distance!
exactly. smell that sweetness from across the room. and if there’s a poop, even better. 🙂
There is a lot to be said for the legacy of “the cool aunt.”
you said it!!
I loved and could have written every delicious word. My baby spells don’t come as often these days and for that my husband and I are both grateful. 😉
thank you. it’s true. it’s kind of a relief now to be over it. took awhile though.
I’m pregnant with my second now and can’t wait to have him, but I am already kind of excited to be past all the toddler crap. My daughter is going through it now and it is NOT a fun phase 🙂
every stage is exciting and has it’s own ups and downs. but somehow in hindsight, the even the downs look up. 🙂
congrats!!! that’s such a crazy time, but it’s filled with such yummy stuff. toddler time is challenging but really when are they ever so delicious? hope you’re feeling well. 🙂
I think it;s safe to assume that most women go through this, myself included. 7 years ago my 2nd son was born. The medical complications made me decide to have my tubes tied, burnt and dissected so that I wouldn’t have a remote chance of becoming pregnant again. The emotions still flare up from time to time though. I’m only 30 and if my health wasn’t so bad I’d definitely want another. But alas, I have the body of a 90 year old and that reality and the surgery prevents another bundle of joy. My brother and sister are also done with having babies so I’ll just look forward to being a grandma…in 10 or more years if my oldest knows what’s good for him. 🙂
Thanks for a good read!
thank you for thoughtful comments! i’m sorry about your health complications, but happy that you have your two children. you’re too young to be a grandma!! even in 10 years!! 🙂
I am SOOO with you right now. Though I fear at my age, I still have many years of creeping up to the cliff as you called it. Maybe if my sister got knocked up…
depends.. could make it better, or worse… you’ll see. 🙂
I always felt there was one missing until I had my third. At the moment I gave birth to him I thought thank God I don’t have to do that again and the door of broodiness clanged shut. When my 40 year old friends continue having babies I feel so pleased for them and so glad it isn’t me!
that’s kind of where i am. 🙂
Being an aunt is perfect! I was done after two, although they are 7 years apart so I was pushing “too old” with the second one, at 40.
Oh, I love their little arms and legs when they get to the age when they’re crawling around. But those days are behind me too.
it’s nice to visit and play and then hand them back. 🙂
OMG, he is sooooooo cute! How could you not fall in love? One of my closest friends has an almost 2-year-old, and she has been my regular baby fever fix. I agree about the “too old” part for myself too. It is definitely nice to be able to hand them back, isn’t it?
it is. it just took awhile for me to get over the fact that i wouldn’t have anymore. but now, i’m happy to visit and then leave. 🙂
Congrats on being an auntie! What a cutie. Although I loved being pregnant and babies, after my second was born that was it. I didn’t want to go through any more difficulties giving birth. I had my boy and my girl and never looked back. It’s been a long time since there’s been a baby in the family though.
Congrats on being an auntie! What a cutie. I had my boy and my girl and I was done. It’s been a very long time since there’s been a baby in my family.
thank you. it is nice to have a baby around. but it’s nice to have time to yourself as well.
Like you, I loved being pregnant. Baby days are done for me though – I’m looking forward to grandchildren someday (at least 10 years from now). I think grandmas get to just enjoy a little bit more than moms do.
same. although i can’t even think about grandkids yet, i’m still terrified for the day my boys get a girlfriend and don’t want to hug me anymore.
I get the baby twitch every now and then, so I can relate! But then I spend five minutes with the ones I already have and realize that I have unleashed three monsters upon the planet. And three is enough.
haha!! ohh i bet their cute little monsters! 🙂
I’ve come to the realization that I will probably never ever feel done. I have three & didn’t start until my 30s and am and “older” mom by some standards. I held 6 week old baby today & didn’t want to give him back 🙂
same. but i’m much more accepting of where i am now. it’s not easy but thank goodness for the ‘big’ babies we have. 🙂
I’m quite happy that our baby making days are behind us. I’ve equally happy that my daughter-in-law arrives tomorrow – with my first grandchild, not quite one month old. She’ll be staying with us for the next month until my son returns from his deployment in Japan and gets to hold his daughter for the first time.
that’s so nice that you get to spend such time with your daughterinlaw and new grandchild! i hope it’s a wonderful experience. and when your son gets home… oh, what a moment!! beautiful!! capture it.
I am pregnant with #2 and thus amused as we had these kinds of conversations before #2 and hubby kept complaining of being old. I won. Im pregnant and loving it. But those 3 months of slerp deprivation….they say you forget. I will NEVER forget and dread it this tine around. But then I will have two kiddos, my family complete, and life will be good.
we do what he have to do. and it’s a struggle sometimes but that’s all part of the journey. congratulations. enjoy every moment, even the crappy ones. 😉
I loved this! And I am right there with you. I want another, but hubs is done. Maybe I just need to be around an infant again. 🙂
being around babies makes me appreciate what i have and yearn for what i don’t. complicated. 🙂
I have a post in my drafts relating to this same topic! I thought I was done, tied my tubes, and now?? I want another baby. My husband on the other hand, notsomuch…Sniffles…Your nephew is ADORABLE! Thank God for the people in our lives that keep pushing out these little humans!
yes!! i don’t know if i’ll ever feel completely done, but my old body and brain has slowly accepted… deep sigh but no Waaa!! 🙂
Wow – this is so how I’ve felt. One foot on either side of the baby gate. But your reasons for keeping things as they are are mine too. Most notably, too old and tired! I like my sleep too and for the most part my kids go away when asked. 😉 Great post!
thanks. it’s tough accepting growing older. but there’s sleep and wine..and kids who sleep and still whine… and some other good stuff. 🙂
Congratulations of your squishy new nephew!!!
Making that “are we done” decision is a tough one. I enjoyed the way you told this story and you had me chuckling at lots of your little lines.
thanks. it is soooo tough! but yes, he is delicious. and they live down the block. so… that helps. 🙂
“eating of feet” Great. Now MY ovaries hurt. Thanks, friend. 🙂 You’re gonna laugh so hard at me one day when I go through having kids. I know you will!
Congratulations on the new addition to your family — the one you can cuddle and love, and whose diapers you don’t have to change. 😉
I’m done as done can be, too. Knew that the minute a friend announced a pregnancy and I felt no jealousy. I’m old, too, and my hubby is about to file for divorce, so no more kids for me. Four is enough, LOL!
haha!! see now… and i’m still just a little jealous because i wanted a fourth. but just a little, nothing a cup of ice cream or a glass of wine won’t quickly dissipate. 🙂
First of all, may I just say? The title. I am laughing so hard. Secondly, just seeing that newborn picture? Now MY ovaries are burning! And we’re supposed to be “waiting” to have kids – posts like this make me sort of want to toss that plan aside and dive in…
BUT NO. Like you said, I’m thrilled to be an aunt; let’s leave it at that.
thank you! i am so glad you appreciated the title! i fell a little in love with it and was kind of bummed that it didn’t draw people in like I thought it might. i mean, come on! buns! anyway, thanks. and it’s great to be an aunt. enjoy until you’re ready. 🙂
I’ve always wanted kids, but have not had them. I am an aunt, though, and I soak those little babies up. But since they aren’t mine, I am happy to hand them back to their parents and head home to my easy house where I can sleep in and watch whatever shows I want. Gotta look at the bright side, I guess 🙂
i cherish my aunts and the aunts of my children. i know that my kids will always have an ally and someone to watch over them. 🙂
That baby is absolutely beautiful!! I get this. We are at that stage where there’s still time if we want another, but the truth is we don’t. Our son is 6, I don’t want to start over. But when I see a newborn… Well… I forget to be logical for a little while!
it’s tough not to get sucked in… 🙂
Really loved this. Especially some of those little details, like the smells.
thank you. 🙂
I love babies and children too. You certainly struck a chord in your well written piece. So many comments and the night is still young.
thank you. i think it’s something that women universally struggle with..the whole thing is so emotional
Right???? I have my one, and I’m good. Absolutely done : ) Great post!
when you know, you know! thanks! 🙂
First time on your blog and I can totally relate to this one. My ovaries and brain are battling it out a lot lately, but I think the brain is going to win because if I’m being honest, I may not survive another year(s) without sleep. Great post!
ha! we’ve got to know when to give. it’s not easy saying when, but i’ll tell you, sleep is good! 😉
so glad you came by!!
Ahhhh, we ARE thinking the same things this week!!!!!
Funny how you loved the baby phase. I mean, I did to an extent too, but I find the toddler phase to be more fun because I can interact with my child more and get a break at scheduled times throughout the day. 🙂 With that said, I think my ovaries would start WAILING if I held a newborn right now, so I better tread wisely!!
Loved this post!
totally same!! i’m loving every stage – including the one that gives me a little space. i did want another, but now i look at my sisinlaw and although i’m left a little wanting…it’s outweighed by me feeling bad for her. leaky boobs, no sleep, whine whine.. all good!