On letting go
It’s a fact of life that you can’t always get what you want. You might not be in the in-crowd. You might not be the most popular person, you might not have the highest paying job, you may not have the nice car, own your own home, or live the life that you imagined living when you were little. You might not get to have that last baby. But the facts of life don’t stop that ache..
When your youngest child turns about six months old they stop being totally independent and squishy and start to display some semblance of independence. By the time they are one year old, all bets are off and your body and mind start screaming “Just. One. More!” Seeing those tiny newborn days slipping away is hard! They are never that tiny,that dependent again. There is a deep belief that maybe, one more baby will ‘finish’ the family you’ve been cherishing.
Let rationality creep in.
Do I love having a newborn to snuggle and love and get to know? Yes! I love the joy and the sense of family that children create. I love being blessed with children, I love the blessing that they are to their family, and their community. I adore newborns – their squishy skin, their milk drunk faces and the smooth skin. The promise and wonder. There is something beautiful about meeting the newest person on the planet, and knowing you bought them here.
We can’t have more babies. Almost every day I am at ease with this, knowing the risks to a baby that I would carry, knowing the risks to me. Knowing the grueling treatment schedule for the entirety of the pregnancy, the emotional damage another pregnancy could do to our two beautiful children.
After Oliver was born Matt went and had a vasectomy. Seven pregnancies in five years have taken their toll. Emotionally, physically and psychologically. My children need me to be present in their lives, they need me to be at school assemblies, at teddy bear picnics, and family events, not strapped to a hospital bed keeping another baby alive, worrying every day that all of the medicine in the world again won’t be enough.
Neonatal Heamochromitosis stole the opportunity for us to extend our family further. It wasn’t a choice that we got to sit down, and say “Yes, this is what we wanted, we are fulfilled, we are blessed – no more.” Our conversation went more along the lines of my crying hysterically that if i was to fall pregnant the child and I would both be in danger from a fragile mental condition, my crazy body that attacks my baby and a whole host of other complications. Emotionally, I was spent. Physically – I am dangerous to my unborn babies.
We didn’t choose not to have more children. That choice was made for us, and while most days I have accepted it, and I’m grateful and satisfied with how far we have come, there are occasional other days I wish, just for one moment I could feel that squishy newborn nestled in my arms once more.
Having the choice to make the decision stripped away from you is rotten. Acknowledging that to try for another baby would be so selfish was easy. Letting go of that primitive desire to bring another baby into the world isn’t simple. Truly, in my life as it stands I am blessed. My children, they are cherished and they are more than enough for us. Some days, the pang is there that this is it, that these moments of toddlerhood with a one year old are the end of this stage for our family, forever. Every now and then I feel sad that I’ll never feel the excited dread of a pregnancy test.
It’s not wrong for me to feel that pang every now and then, to look at a newborn and dream, just for a moment. If I am truthful, it’s not just the newborn stage I miss, but I grieve the loss of the ‘standard’ pregnancy. To feel excitement, to go to scans and not have an anxiety attack. I missed out on all of that. The mythical can not take away from the joy I have in my life as it is now, In my children. I am so proud of my family. I am proud of us as a unit and of my marriage. I don’t need more, I am so lucky to have what I have now, and I have let every thing else go. I don’t need another baby to complete my family – I am already blessed beyond my wildest dreams.