For the last nine years I have been pregnant, nursing or both.
3,509 days pregnant. nursing. or BOTH.
That is a lot of time dedicated to gestating, birthing, nourishing and pushing my body to it's limits.
So when people casually ask if I'm done yet, I have really had to pause when I answer.
Am I done yet? Will I know what to do when I am done? Will I know when I am really done?
This has been hard for me. Jeremy says he is done. He knew before Elliott was even born that he was done. We have always said we would take what the Lord gives us and take it one baby at a time. He knew though, this was his limit.
I wasn't so sure. You see after Libby was born, I just knew I had 2 boys left. I didn't want to be pregnant 2 more times though, so I really hoped they would come together. We all know that didn't happen, so I have really been struggling.
Was this something I had just invented in my mind? Was it wishful thinking? What was it?
In one of our late night talks, I confessed to Jeremy that I keep wanting to have babies because I really have 5 babies and I don't want people to keep thinking I have 4. So, if I had one more then I would have my 5. He looked at me and said, "But then you would want another because then we should have 6. It would be a never ending cycle..when would it stop?". I stopped and started to cry. His logic gets me every time.
So much of who I am is wrapped up into what I have been doing for almost the last decade. I became pregnant 6 months after we were married. When Emma died she was 8 months old. She was nursing full time, barely eating solids. I got pregnant a month later with Seth. My babies night-wean and a month later I would get pregnant again. I didn't have a period for almost 8 years. Have a baby, nurse the baby, night-wean the baby, get pregnant.
That was my cycle. This is what we have always known.
I have been praying that I would know if we are really done. I don't want to stop if there are more souls waiting to come to Earth and to our family. What about that feeling I had of 2 more boys?
I have felt so conflicted because I love having new babies. I love giving birth. I love feeling my babies move inside of me. Being pregnant is the only time I have felt completely comfortable in my skin. How can I say I am never going to experience it again? How can I believe that the next newborn baby I snuggle won't be my own, but that of my nieces or nephews?
The last few weeks my answer has come very quietly and gradually. I am desiring freedom. I am growing tired of diapers, spit up, baby toys littering our living spaces. I am tired of being up all night, getting nip bites and being tethered to my house (or children) all the time. I am done.
I am tired of sharing my body, having it fluctuate in size by at least 50 pounds every 2 years, and then struggle with the fact that my belly is flabby and that I don't look like the other Moms at the school or at Church.
While I love having my sweet wee babe, who is really such a dream baby (minus when he is sick and doesn't sleep), I am ready to move on to the next stage of our lives.
I am ready to reclaim my body. I want to rush to the gym and work so hard to get it back to where it should be right now, but I can't because of that sweet boy who will take nothing other than Mama.
So, now that I know I am done, I need to sit back and know that my time for me will come. My days of diapers, baby toys, and spit up are numbered. My sleepless nights will soon a thing of the past (until the kids are teenagers and they start going out and having their own lives, oh hold me!).
I walk home from school with my brood - one on me, one in the stroller and two walking - and I think, this is good. this is complete.
And I am done.
Linking up with Heather and Just Write