Should I have another baby?
I don’t know why I feel like I have to know right now.
Can’t I just enjoy my baby for a couple more years before I answer the big question?
She has been such a joy to have in our family.
And if our family is just the five of us, I’d be the luckiest girl in the world.
But what if?
What if there’s another one who is supposed to join our family?
What if we close the door to more but I live with guilt that we were supposed to keep it open?
Is there such thing as a baby “waiting in heaven” to join a family? Or does it not work quite like that?
What if I do have one more and it breaks me? What if it means I’m not as attentive of a mother to my other children?
What if one more does me in and tips me into a spiral of depression? The one I got a little taste of and don’t care to revisit in any measure?
Will I live the rest of my life wondering?
Is someone going to tell me what to do? Is He going to?
Or is it just up to me? Just like the shoes I pick to put on my feet?
Then there are the friends who don’t have the choice. The ones who would give, who have given, everything to have a baby of their own. Maybe they find my indecision ungrateful.
How can I tell my body to stop creating babies when it still can?
But how could I go through it again—the pregnancy, the possible complications (like last time) and the roller coaster of emotion that comes with that? The birth, and the uncertainty and pain that comes with that?
Can I physically, emotionally go through that first, newborn year again? The one that literally has me crazy from sleep exhaustion and fluctuating hormones?
Can my marriage go through that again?
Can my other kids go through that again?
Can my body go through that again?
Do I want to go through that again?
Is it a matter of wanting?
Or is it just a matter of doing it? Jumping off the blind cliff . . . because there isn’t a big sign with “No. STOP!” written in bold red letters?
If I’m not sure about no, does that mean yes? Or no? Or will I never know?
I hold a newborn baby and I have no envy of his mother. I feel a sure sense of relief when I hand him back.
But, during those simple magical moments with my own children, I think, “How can I ever let this end?”
I realize, it will end. It has to. That is beyond my control. The when might be up to me within a few years, but in the whole scheme of things, it still ends.
Is my desire to maybe have one more a ploy to hold on to my control of these tiny years?
This stage when my children love me so innocently, so wholeheartedly, so dependently?
My greatest fear is forgetting.
Does my mother really remember? Does she feel that same pure bond of mother-to-child that she felt when she rocked me to sleep on her chest thirty-two years ago?
Where is her fulfillment now?
I can’t imagine ever feeling this loved, this needed, this fulfilled.
I can’t imagine feeling at peace with never having a baby again.
Is that an ache mothers carry around for the rest of their lives?
Is it akin to the ache childless, would-be mothers constantly feel?
The blessing of motherhood is unmatched. But the aching is too.
But I have three healthy, beautiful children.
That is nothing short of a miracle.
So I will rejoice in that.
I will let that be enough, for now.
Because they need me.
They are mine,
And I am theirs.
So I will hold them tighter.
I will sing to them longer.
I will play with them and take pictures in my mind of those simple, magical moments with them.
I will do that for my children. Not the ones I may or may not have, but the ones I have.
I will do that for the would-be mothers.
I will do that for myself.
I am enough,
And they are enough.
Other posts in this series: