As the days press on and the reality sinks in that we may be done having children… all I wish for is that I knew.
I wish I’d realized when the last was here, because I didn’t get to treasure those moments. I didn’t know it would be the last time that my body would carry a child- that each line, new ripple, dimple that I just wanted to get rid of was something I would yearn for more of.
Each stretch mark my baby’s little fingers trace. What’s that, mommy? It reminds me of her perfect pregnancy and all-too-brief, almost organismic, delivery. But she was my second, and I missed opportunities to cherish each moment.
My first pregnancy came on the heels of a miscarriage, and I spent each minute of that pregnancy talking, rocking, reading, learning, loving each curve- playing at pushing my belly out until it finally popped. I appreciated its new job. Embraced every new feeling. Had I known I was having my last, maybe I would have done the same.
I would not have fallen into bed each night after pushing though my days or slapped lotion on if a new mark showed up on my body. I would not have forgotten to say goodnight sweet baby to my unborn. I should have slowed down, and enjoyed the moments as they passed instead of dreading my growing womb, which stressed my mind about my postpartum figure.
Maybe I didn’t give her enough of me.
I wish I had known she would be my last. That the first time I put her to my breast to would be the last first time, or that the last load of cloth diapers that went into my laundry didn’t have to come with such a huff- because it would be the last time, ever. The painful blisters of budding teeth- the ones I hated- I wish I knew to celebrate the last sign of a molar because it would be my last baby tooth to celebrate. I wish I knew her last sleep in her crib… the nap she tried to climb out, would be the last baby in a crib in my home. Our home.
The last time I would serve a first food.
I wish I would have known that all the first things I did with Camille would be the last first things I would do with my own babies.
And it hurts.
I want to make the lingering hurt go away. And I wish this decision was made because I felt like I was done having children. But I don’t feel done.
Sometimes, we just have to make the best decisions for our family. Sometimes we have to make the hard decisions because they’re right.
But I wish I had known.
…and I pray that something changes.