Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm Already Blessed

My husband and I have been trying for a second baby for just about one year and I don't think this will be our "lucky" month. Next month I will be making doctor appointments to make sure everything is as it should be with our baby-making equipment.

I was casually chatting with a friend this morning and she asked what my plans would be if we can't have another baby. I'd never really considered the idea, but it's entirely possible. Neither my husband nor myself are Spring Chickens and fertility does diminish as we age. I fumbled about and finally answered that I guess we'd just have our son then.

Her question haunted me for the rest of the day. I wondered if my answer was true. Would I be content to "only" have my son? What lengths would I go to in order to have another child? I began to suspect that I had not been entirely honest because I do ache to have another baby in my belly, in my arms.

My son was uncharacteristically cuddly when he woke from his nap this afternoon. He sat on my lap and snuggled from the moment that he woke until I began preparing his dinner. I spent that time reflecting on motherhood and wondering why I want another little one.

I found pregnancy exhausting. My back ached, ACHED, from month five until I delivered. My skin felt itchy. My ankles swelled to the size of my calves. I was bone-tired the entire time.

I found the newborn stage exhausting. I was in terrible pain for more than a month from my c-section incision. My breasts grew so full of milk that I was actually four cup sizes larger than normal and my nipples were stretched flat from the pressure. I remember leaning over, my nipples in a warm bowl of water, tears streaming down my face (engorgement is very painful, in case you don't know) while I squeezed my breasts so that they'd loosen up enough for my baby to latch on. My son nursed for 45 minute sessions for months and he wanted milk every 90 minutes for even longer. I suffered engorgement problems until my son was nearly nine months old. I once only slept for two hours in one 24-hour period. That's not two consecutive hours, it was a total of two hours.

I found the earliest days of motherhood exhausting. I spent months sobbing at home, feeling like I was the worst mother in history. I cried out silently for someone, anyone, to help me because I was failing by myself. I wondered why I couldn't just snap out of my funk and get on with life. I wept whenever I gazed at my darling boy because I knew that I wasn't worthy of such a beautiful gift.

I tell myself that I will love every moment of what would be my final pregnancy. I tell myself that I will adore the newborn stage of my last child. I tell myself that I will be able to competently handle the aches, pains, gripes, sleep deprivation, sadness, loneliness, and isolation. I tell myself that I will embrace these changes because I will never experience them again. Of course, I will probably complain every step of the way!

I don't know why God chose me to be my husband's wife. I don't know why He chose me to be my son's mother. I trust that He knows what he's doing and that's why I have the perfect gift of my family.

If I'm never blessed with another child, I suppose that I'll be okay with it. Perhaps I'm only capable of giving one child enough time and attention. Perhaps we'll have a reversal of fortune and we wouldn't be able to afford a second child. Perhaps another pregnancy would result in one of those ultra-rare life threatening situations. I don't know and it really doesn't matter.

I have already been blessed more than I could ever deserve. I'm a sinner's sinner and I could never earn such joy and bliss. In that sweet & snuggly hour that I spent with my son this afternoon, I realized that I have everything I need right now. I would accept another gift, but I've already been given so much.

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