Yes, I just quoted Semisonic. Yes, I apologize for getting ‘Closing Time’ stuck in your head.
A year after Eric and I got married, we decided it was time to start ‘trying’. I got pregnant immediately, discovered I was pregnant very early on (I’ll save that story for another day; it’s kind of amusing when I look back on it), and excitedly told our family the happy news. A week later I was devastated when cramping turned to spotting, and a hastily scheduled doctor’s visit confirmed that there was no heartbeat to be found. A couple of weeks later I received an email from a college friend telling me about her recent experience with a miscarriage. Unbeknownst to both of us, we had been dealing with the same thing at the same time.
Soon I was expecting again. We waited longer before saying anything this time, but after an ultrasound showed a healthy baby, we began to share our news with friends. Not long after, my college friend announced that she too, was expecting. Our first babies were born five months apart.
Fifteen months later I was pregnant with number two, and lo and behold, so was my friend. Her due date was a mere week before mine, but we were scheduled for c-sections on the same day. My mischievous Samuel decided he didn’t want to wait, so he was born one day before her little man.
Fast forward another sixteen months and guess what? Number three was on the way. My friend and her two kiddos came for a visit before we’d told many people and when I offered her a sandwich, she requested it be microwaved. “Are you pregnant??”, I asked in disbelief. “I am!”, she exclaimed. Once again, we were due only a week apart.
Four pregnancies. Three babies. Together, each time. After this birth though, Eric and I knew our family was complete, and since I had to have a c-section, we got things ‘taken care of’ at the same time.
Fast forward another 19 months to the present. My friend sent an email with a Christmas card slideshow and the note, “You’re probably going to want to watch this to the end.” I immediately knew what was up. Sure enough, an ultrasound picture flashed on the screen. Number four! But then it slowly panned away until the entire picture was showing. Two! There were two babies in that picture!! My friend is expecting twins. By spring, she’ll be the mommy of five. I am thrilled for her. I am terrified for her. But there’s something else too.
A twinge. A sudden acute awareness that, barring a miracle, I am done. I knew this day would come. I knew these feelings would come. But somehow, they still caught me by surprise. My friend and I, we should be on this journey together again. Which is probably why I’m now interpreting every crazy dream, every upset stomach, every achy body part as a potential ‘Am I??’ (And no, Mom, I’m not.)
I love where I am. Love that every day is getting a little easier as my kids get older. But I don’t think there will ever be a time when I’m totally thrilled to be done with the baby stage. A part of me will always long to cradle a tiny, perfect little person in my arms who trusts me completely, needs me for everything, and is loved more by me than anyone else in the world.
So if you see me wandering the baby aisle with a longing look in my eyes or if I don’t give your baby back very readily when you try to pick her up from the nursery after church, just know I’m reliving those moments that are gone all too quickly. And then I’ll shake myself off, go home, and get a restful night’s sleep, free from midnight feedings, changings, and crying sessions. Hats off to new beginnings.