A year ago we were visiting family and this cute young couple with one little toddler quietly slid in the back of the chapel. I've been acquainted with this couple on and off for years now. As I saw them slide in I noticed our big fat mess.
That is what we had become.
No longer where we the cute young couple with the cute little baby or toddlers. No we were now the big fat messy family. With not only the baby, but also the toddler, and the older kids. The daughter with uncombed hair, because she was now old enough to get herself ready, and the boy dragging his feet and ripping paper all through church. (Where did that come from, and why was it so hard to break the habit of ripping paper ALL through church?)
No longer did I look like the cute young mom. Now, I looked like the exhausted mom, who has spent far to many years pregnant or up at night with an infant. The novelty had worn of for my family.
No longer did we stare at our toddler and think the sun set and rose on his cuteness. No, we were much too tired with the colicy infant for that vision. No longer we were having a playful fight on who was holding the child, because there were now more children than laps. And the cute toddler who we use to fight for his affection, doesn't want to be near our laps anyway.
I was so sad, what had happened to our life. It was so hard to come to terms in the idea that we might never have another baby. Sure I never want to birth another one. Nor did I want to go back to the pain of every walking step. (I hope to never have a disease with chronic pain, I already know what its like to be in pain every time I move or do not move.) I don't like breastfeeding, but really I'd never nurse another baby? I've dealt with enough newborns to last me another 15 years until I'm craving to be a grandma. But no more babies, I thought I would always be having babies. I didn't think they would ever grow up, even though everyone told me they would.
I struggled with that for a year.
Yesterday Brent and I went to the store by ourselves. Grandma and Grandpa were in town and we got a taste of our life in a year or two. When we can run a short errand by ourselves. Leaving the kids at home. We've been dreaming about this since my oldest was in 2nd grade. As we were parking, I saw this couple walking in the store, they had a toddler with them and a baby in a carseat.
I thought wahoo! That will never be us again. We will never be a couple with a toddler and baby again.
And just like that without noticing I realized I'd had stopped mourning the end of my infants.
I feel good.
As an afterward. Life is much more pleasant now that my baby is a year old. We again think the sun rises and sets with our two toddlers' cuteness. We don't actually say it but I'm sure we can't decided which one is cuter. We hugged them all day because we know one day they will stop being cute pudgy toddlers and instead will be long lean grade schoolers, while their older siblings will be teenagers! ah! heaven forbid. So yes, we are a big fat mess, we almost left our older toddler in the restaurant the other night. My husband's hair is finally thinning (he's thrilled, less to cut), and mine is getting some white strands in there. But its all good, because I'm sleeping though the night. And I can carry my toddler, and I can walk upstairs without chronic pain. Plus I really love love love my kids when they aren't infants and when they are in grade school. I love grade schoolers. I love not having dark circles under my eyes, even if I've found some laugh lines in the past year. And I love seeing myself in pictures where I'm smiling instead of looking like a hollow shell of a person.
Turns out I love not having a baby.
That is why number 3 was a hard choice to make. I knew I wanted more people in my family. But babies? After three years of pregnancy or nursing babies. My family is now filled with people I really love and like. Like- most of the time. Plus I adore my husband, which is the most important part in my opinion. I loved him three years ago, but thinking about all that he has supported and helped me with in the last year, has been so endearing. I had no control over it, but I shudder thinking about all I've put him through.