Friday, May 30, 2008


Ruthie just fell asleep on my shoulder while I was singing her night-night song to her. She and Esther each have a special liturgical song that came to me while I was pregnant with them and really comforted me throughout their pregnancies when I was scared. It's turned into their night-night song and moves me each and every time I sing it to them.

Since she doesn't snuggle too much anymore, I sang and sang and enjoyed the feeling of her increasing weight on my shoulder as she fell deeper into sleep. In that moment, I was and am still, all too aware that her baby days are numbered and consequently, mine are numbered too.

For there will be no more babies at our house - and I am so deeply and profoundly sad over this. I joke with my friends that I would love to be pregnant, give birth, and have a newborn nursing from me for a couple weeks but I don't want to raise three (or more) children. I think about it a lot and David and I have discussed it several times. This - THIS with our 2 girls, feels right to us. We feel complete. I suspect that if my sadness over the end of my baby days was indicative of a true and deeper call to have more children, then I wouldn't feel this completeness.

I've long thought that people are called to different vocations in life, and the priesthood or religious life is just one of those vocations. I believe that God calls some to be single, some to be married without children, some to be married with one child and some to many more. David and I long struggled with the decision of whether to have children - it was never an automatic. After those years of agonozing discernment (much more for me than for David) and the difficulty I went through in trying to decide what to do about working after Esther and Ruthie were born, I now truly feel like I am living God's call for me. And oh my goodness, it feels good.

Let me be clear, neither David or I want to have another child and yet I'm still grieving the loss of this wonderful, magical, so very, very special time of infancy. Even with all of the hard times, I'm still not quite ready to let the baby days go.


Fiona said...

Oh, I hear ya loud and clear! I miss being pregnant - heck, I was really good at that part! I even want to experience giving birth again. And I think this time I would have my nursing plan down pat.

But I could not raise another child .... mostly because I have the 2 most active children I know, and a third would send me prematurely into old age.

I too feel a completeness with the 2 we have. They are perfect and our family is perfect. And you can't get better than that!

Elaine said...

Amen, Ellen. It's both a blessing and a curse that they change so fast. But nothing, nothing, feels better than a baby falling asleep on a mama. It's just so empowering as a mother, to know someone is so completely trusting.

And, like you, I'd give birth again in a heartbeat. But I'm not about to upset the balance of my family with another infant. We're ready to move onto the next stage and feel like we have what we can handle.

Here's my mantra "I have everything I need".

Laurie said...

I wish I felt so certain. Some days, I feel like I have absolutely everything I can handle. Other days though, I feel like we're ready for a third and I can totally imagine how that would seem like family harmony to me. I have so idea what we'll end up doing. That said, the idea of going in to the next phase is very appealing...hopefully they'll keep falling asleep on our shoulders for years to come.

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