Today I get to hold a newborn. For reference I looked up my babies as newbies:
Today I meet another handsome little man, Judah Joel. Our friends have had babies, welcomed home sons and daughters across the globe and we celebrate with each one. They all feel like family – but Judah Joel and Jessica and Oliver … they are family.
Maybe just in our hearts and maybe not in any tangible way. But when I told Jessica about his birth she gasped! Another boy! (She was delighted, yet was SURE it was going to be a girl. You see, Jessica needs another girl in her life, we’re told.)
Our kids love babies so this wasn’t surprising but there’s something in the air about this one.
Babies, and having them, have been a conversation I seem to be a part of a lot recently. Not by my choice. I keep getting asked when we’ll start having kids (oh it’s it nice that you waited! they tell me). Unknowing women, older women, who just want to make conversation over awkward baby shower games.
I can’t have any more babies, but we already have 2, I say. Delighted to offer them at least this bit of information. What is it about elderly women and their joy of finding out you procreated?
I take pregnancy tests often (and used to, too) but now I’m afraid every time I do. There’s a hunger for a miracle and a driving fear of knowing better. The decision we put off last year to make this huge question mark a thing of the past is now on the top of our priority list.
Friends comfort me and let me be angry at nothing, near them, while I recount these awful conversations. The words I heard from a doctor and the truth I know inside. I’m done having kids. No more babies from my belly. And we were well on our way to that decision – but all of a sudden someone else took it away from me. And I’m sad. For me, for Jessica, for Oliver. For Aaron. He’s such a good dad. We make pretty awesome humans.
I think in the middle of these past two years I was just afraid. Afraid of other people’s kids, other babies. What if by osmosis I was infected? What if by holding and caring and opening my heart to these babies, I’d wake up pregnant tomorrow?
I loved them, but from afar. I wanted to make them laugh but didn’t want to hear them cry. Part of me wanted to be part of this club again with newborn nail clippers and long conversations about nipple flow or diaper ointment.
And then I realized, I had the best years of that club. The years when my kids were newborns and I was thick in the field of learning how to do this Mom Thing. Loving those babies, kissing on them and bathing their bellies.
Sink baths and still life.
These are my people, this is my tribe. And this week it grew by 19 inches and 7 pounds, 4 ounces. My heart can still have babies, as it turns out.
And I can’t wait to meet him.