What do you do when your body and brain are at odds with your heart?
We've been telling people that, without a doubt, 4 children is plenty. This is it. We're done now. Captain is absolutely sure. But, if I'm being honest with myself, for me, the feeling just isn't there.
I have always needed assistance to stop bleeding immediately after the birth of my babies. With The Kraken's gestation, my platelet count was low from the very beginning. When she was born, the nurses had to dump half a bag of pitocin into me and give me a double dose of cervadil to stop my massive bleeding.
Suffice it to say, childbirth is slightly more dangerous for me than the average woman.
My body has given clear signals that another pregnancy and childbirth would likely result in serious medical interventions. With four kids to care for already, an extended hospital stay would be awful for everyone.
I can look at my family and say, 'Yes, we are complete.' My brain, hereafter referred to as sanity, is often at its limit already. I won't go into the list that every mom has ever posted about what she does with her day and what makes it hard. I will say that I know my limits, and they're stretched right now. So are Captain's. We know it won't necessarily get easier, but it will change as the kids get older, and we are eager to get 'out of baby jail,' so to speak.
So why is it so hard for me to accept that The Kraken is our last baby? When I think about never again feeling life stirring inside me, when I snuggle her, feel her frictionless skin, smell her sweet milky breath, watch her tiny fingers clutch mine, and remember the way it brought me such peace doing the same with each of my other babies, I feel a pang of despair. To know I will never experience this, in such depth, ever again breaks my heart.
This is the age I love the most. The sweetest, yet most fleeting.
The way it feels to have an infant cling to you.
The weight of a sleeping baby in your arms.
The rush of delight when the baby starts smiling at you.
The thrill of feeling your body naturally respond to the needs of a seeking mouth.
I don't ever want to stop experiencing it... but I have to, and it's devastating.
And, I understand now. I totally get carpe diem. I know why the youngest is forever treated like a baby. Because otherwise you have to let go. Letting go is admitting you'll never experience it again. And that's such a hard pill to swallow.
So forgive me, as I become the lady who eagerly waits for an invitation to hold your new baby. Understand that I won't be smelling your baby's head or kissing your baby's cheeks to be creepy, but to bring back the memories of what I used to have.
What I wasn't ready to let go of.
How did you KNOW you were ready to stop having children?
Jessica is the Domestic Pirate, Ren Faire Privateer Gone Mom. When she's not blogging about anything and everything, she's taking care of the Captain and their 4 Cabin Kids. She's obsessed with Facebook and Crossfit, and is convinced that the dough is always better than the cookie. You can also find her on Twitter and Pinterest.