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January 13, 2008

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You're ahead of me. I still haven't managed to make myself take the crib down. It is empty, taking up room, but still, it's going to be so final. I asked dh to do it, but he hasn't had time (I asked him 6 months ago. that's a long time.). So it's going to be me eventually, to at least take it apart and then he'll take it to the attic.

For me, it will be the final time. I'm old. I'm relatively infertile (relatively because I do after all have three biological children!). And the only thing I do know for sure is that I don't want to be done - and I don't know if I really want another baby. I've asked God to take away the uncertainty - to either bless us with another baby, or to take away this desire, but neither has occurred.

so I'm left with maybe this is my thorn - to have this yearning for the rest of my life, that we didn't quite have the family we wanted, but oh, the blessing of what we do have? It's more than I hoped for too.

and I've hijacked your comments section to list my thoughts - and maybe let you know that you're not alone.

I want another child...I do...
But DH thinks that we have enough on our plate, with a new home, my child, my Ph.D, etc...and financially, it would be a strain...
Maybe we will adopt someday...
Plus, I feel guilty even thinking about it, as I am so lucky to have the wonderful child that the Lord has already blessed me with...

You are not alone...
I too tear up at church when I see a newborn, or a family with little ones...

I understand.

We have our two lovely children which we are fortunate to have, considering that getting pregnant is a challenge and staying pregnant is more difficult still. Still, we are trying for a third, but how long to try? I need to monitor things closely since if I don't get progesterone shots I will quickly miscarry even the healthiest of pregnancies. So, the question remains, how long do I invest the energy and focus on anticipating pregnancy? How long until we just close that door ourselves medically? How long until we inevitably need to move on?

I've been reading your blog for a while now without commenting, but this post really resonated with me. I'm in my mid-30s, with the 3 beautiful children we had always planned to have. Our youngest is almost 2; my husband is 40 and ready to move past the baby stage. I would have to give up the part-time work that I love if we had another. I am thankful that my children are becoming more independent. But I do feel that empty space. I am constantly pre-occupied with thoughts of a fourth child. I think it might just be a part of motherhood; we will always have room in our hearts for another baby. It's wonderful to hear other women talk about grieving this passing of mothering babies. Thanks for this.

I wonder, too, if the sadness at putting away the crib isn't just some of the bittersweetness of motherhood. I have two little jammie sets for a tiny baby that all 4 of my kids wore that I keep in my sock drawer. When I look at them, I remember those soft baby hands, tiny little bottoms all cozy and snuggled. And even though the people that wore them are just down the hall, those babies are gone. As a mother you're always losing your child a little as they grow--the joy is tempered with a tinge of sorrow.
A lovely post, CJ!

I was so lucky/blessed! We had always planned to have eight children, but since I was 30 when we got married that could have been a steep order. I had no real fertility problems -- just a couple of unrelated miscarriages -- but when number 6 was born just a month shy of my 42nd birthday, even in the glorious hours-old-baby-in-your-arms stage, I knew: this time I wouldn't be disappointed if there were no more. I did have another miscarriage or two, but no more babies to keep.

And we got rid of the crib by "lending" it to a friend with an immediate need. She used it for three babies, and by the time it came back it was just something to stick in the basement.

Before y'all realize it, you'll be rejoicing over grandbabies!

I fee so blessed to be pregnant with ##2 right now--we had such a hard time getting pregnant with our first, and now all the sorrow I experienced longing for motherhood is redeemed as it turns out I get, if all goes well, not just motherhood but the family I dreamed of, one girl and one boy. I feel humbled and so, so lucky to be the recipient of such grace.
But, if I only ever really wanted two, and I am 37, and my husband is pretty much against another, and we certainly struggle financially affording the one we have much less another, why am I so reluctant to say "we're done after this?" I mean, I am pretty sure we will be, I think when I hold this baby who is coming in my arms I will know that our family is complete. And having another child would be ann unrealistic decision for many reasons. I think when you are a mother and have found so much love and joy from doing that, it's hard to say "I am done, these are all the children I am going to have." I don't look forward to the time I really realize the baby years are behind me.

I took down the crib a while ago (baby is three, and we never really used it anyway). But just this week I went through my linen closet and threw out most of the crib sheets and blankets (they had been used for seven children and were very worn out.) I saved about 4 blankets, I just couldn't let them go. I am 41. More babies? Who knows. But there are certain items, blankets, a pair of red sleepers they all wore, a few newborn jammies, that I just need to keep and look at. It is beginning to feel to as if me having an infant was just a dream. Did I really have seven little babies to hold and love? How did it all go so quickly, and why does it make me so sad to realize that part of my life is probably over. For the last year it has been an emotional roller coaster as NFP has been tossed aside just to see what God has in store for us. After months of anxiety, for either outcome, I just can't keep thinking about this. I am afraid to be pregnant at my age, and disappointed when I am not. So, I am doing my best to just live. Enjoy my children now, while they are the youngest they will ever be again, and if I find myself pregnant again, I'll go there mentally. But not before. Now I am just trying to live NOW and not in the past 14 years, difficult as that is for me.

I feel for all mothers, the pain is real and hard to describe, but none the less, it is nice to share it with each other.

Blessings.

CJ, my youngest is four. I know I'm supposed to be open, and we use NFP, but I have zero desire to go through it all over again. We've slowly gotten rid of stuff - the crib remains in the closet in many pieces and the bassinet is in the attic, but most everything else has been given away. I love to look at little babies and sometimes feel a pang, knowing that in all likelihood, I will never nurse another or feel their weight in my sling. I feel, though, like I am called to be right here.

Plus, the teenagers drive me bananas.

OMG, I'm so embarrassed you linked my pregnancy test flub, but in a good way. I think about babies all the time. I long for that opportunity to start all over and not mess up the baby stage. I suppose I will have to work on not messing up the adolescent stage instead. Being a midwife allows me the sweet blessing of babies without having to take care of them full time :)

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