I don’t know about you but I am one of those parents who think that their own children are really, really cute.
(I also think that my toddler can be an arsehole but that’s another story for another day.)
Anyway, during one of those moments when I was absolutely overwhelmed by just how adorable my Zac was, I said to husband: “I make really cute kids. We should totally have another.”
To which he replied, “No thanks.”
Although this was something we had agreed upon, that still made my heart wrench a little in regret.
The thing is, I have always wanted two children and I have been blessed with two beautiful boys. They are enough for us and they complete our family. We are happy and contented, given how three years ago, we weren’t even sure we could ever have any children at all. We have certainly come a long way since those long, awful days.
But given our finances, our resources and our energy, having another child is simply not practical. So we decided we are not going to have a third. And I am done incubating babies.
But still, it doesn’t mean that I don’t mourn the fact that I will never be pregnant again. Does it make sense? I don’t want another child, I don’t need another child and yet I feel a tinge of sadness that I will never experience my baby’s kicks from within. I will never have to prepare for labour, to push my baby out of me again. My womb will never house another baby, a being that grows so miraculously from a little ball of cells into a tiny human. There’s a sense of quiet resignation. I don’t crave a third child the way I was dying to have a second. And yet, there is this emptiness in my heart, knowing that this is it.
Zac’s every milestone will be the last time we get to experience it. Every minute, every second that the boys are growing up is equivalent to every step that they take away from babyhood.
Oh, I am enjoying and savouring every moment that I have with them, don’t get me wrong, but there is a whole bunch of emotions tangled up in me at the same time. I felt it when my girlfriend gave birth to her little girl – her third! – and I feel it when friends announce their pregnancies. And I suspect that I will continue feeling it, even as the years go by.
But it’s all good. I look at my boys and I am deeply happy. Even on days when things seem to go wrong and somebody is screaming at any given moment, I remember how I used to cry in the shower. This emptiness keeps me grounded, it keeps me from ever taking my kids for granted.