Friday, August 15, 2014
Saying Goodbye to the Childbearing Years
After 171 weeks of my life spent expecting babies--some who made it to birth and some who did not--I find myself now inside the last week I will ever spend in such expectation. In just a few days, when a precious baby boy is removed from my body, my womb--by necessity--also will be. This is not a place the Mister or I have ever wanted to go. Truly, we would have been so very happy for me to be able to bear children for many years to come. We desired to accept all the children God would give us.
But, as I keep having to remind myself, we have! These are the children God has given us.
Our blessings have been abundant, and we are grateful.
Yes. It is with reluctance that we leave these years of childbearing. To know that there will be no more days spent with a curious toddler patting my back while I succumb to morning sickness, no more moments spent wondering if those were the first stirrings of a baby, no more trips to the maternity store for bump adornments or just some pants that will stretch big enough, no more evenings of the Mister coming home from work and laying his hands on my tummy to see if he too can catch a kick, no more hiccups or somersaults or endless discussions of names, no more staring through squinted eyes at ultrasound screens in hopes of a glimpse of a face or hand. This is the end.
It's an acceptance that part of being open to the possibility of new life is being open to the possibility that there will be no new life.
It is also a beginning. The beginning of a time we did not anticipate, but which we trust will be good, because it is ever so clearly within God's plan for us.
We will one day be those people who eventually stop buying diapers, who can plan trips without worrying that they will be canceled for morning sickness or childbirth or nursing needs, who don't stock a small nation's supply of squeezy pouches in their pantries. We will keep ourselves to a tidy two or three rows of an airplane and we will all still fit in a minivan. The children will one day outgrow the witching hours and 7 o'clock bedtimes. They will eat their suppers, they will play outside unsupervised, and they will flush their own potties. We will find our groove as a family of six, and I think we will love it.
There may always be a twinge of sadness at the thought of what might have been, a forward-flashing whiff of nostalgia for the hope of a long, long dining table full of rowdy children, a memory of an unmet dream.
But maybe not.
Maybe we will be too busy rejoicing in the beauty of what is.
I hope so. I intend so.