I think I made an important discovery this weekend: no matter how I proceed with this baby business, at some point, I am going to have to deal with the feelings that come up around the prospect of being done making babies. Early predictions are that the chief feeling will be sadness.
This weekend, I spent time with dear friends who are in various stages of working on their third babies. I was thrilled to hear friends who had proclaimed, “WE ARE DONE,” had changed their minds and plan to go for one more baby. This whole “making a baby” enterprise always excites and delights me. Also, it calls the question on my baby fever.
When the weekend’s festivities finally died down and I was still enough to hear my inner voice, I heard it say, “you can’t side step the sadness.” I was awake enough to put up a fight. I am not sad about being done having babies because of these great reasons:
- I’m old
- I’m tired
- I am ready to get on with my life
- I’m not sure I have enough energy for three children
- I have two beautiful, healthy children of each gender– don’t be greedy
That still, inner voice doesn’t care about logic, though. She wants me to know that there is no path without mourning. Also, she suggests being sad about it doesn’t mean I should run out and get an ovulation kit. It simply means that there are intense feelings around the question of whether I will procreate one more time.
Last night, I felt like the answer was definitely “yes,” we are done. I think that’s why I was crying so hard. It’s also ok that it’s over, and it’s sweet that I liked it all enough to cry when it’s time to move on. It’s ok that little Smile or Sand or Skyler will probably be a goldfish and not an heir to the Outlaw Mama throne.
What was weird about last night was the message I found inside myself that having babies made me worthy in a special way, so not having any more babies means the end of a certain kind of specialness that I am scared to let go of. I had no idea that message was in there. Seems like I would have seen that coming, but I didn’t.
What feels scary about following this whisper that I am done with procreating is that I am not sure what’s next. My kids will go to school, and I will have the opportunity to find new directions, pursuits, and work. I feel tremendous excitement about that, but I’d be lying if I said I had a clue about what it will look like. Will my ankles swell and will strangers give me their seats on the train?
I am looking forward to finding out there are lots of ways to be beloved and precious besides carrying a baby in my womb. I simply can’t imagine anything I would do would match that, but I am willing to find out.