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.


April said...

Oh I love you so much!!! This made me cry so much because I so wanted you to have 10 kids and I was going to cheer you on!!! :) I had to stop after 4 also...Peter came out sideways and facial presentation and my colon was too destroyed to have another one EEKS/YIKES/TMI. I always wanted 5 kids. I get frustrated that I couldn't make it "all the way." I get frustrated that four is so dang hard for me and makes it impossible for me to have one single day where I "get it all together." But I am soooo thankful for your perspective and wisdom. Maybe we'll adopt someday - you never know!?

Jessica said...

Bits I cried when I read this. No one I know would give a long long diningroom table full of rowdy children the love and upbringing they need. What joy that the four you have get you as a mother and the Mister as a father. They are the luckiest children in the world, and your sadness is tempered with God's grace. Plus, you just let me know if you want to take my kids off my hands with the wildness they've had lately ;). Love and miss you friend.

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I have been thinking about you so much this summer. I admire and respect your outlook so much. I can't even imagine how hard it is to mourn the loss of your hopes and dreams and to accept this new reality, but I have no doubt that God will surround you with the grace and mercy and tender compassion you need to get through each day.

Harmony said...

You're amazing.

Anonymous said...

Oh please update! Did everything go alright for you and your wonderful family?