“Oh my God, it’s a boy! Honey, it’s a boy!” I exclaimed loudly as my husband and I sat across from each other at a diner. Our hands were shaking as we pulled out the ultrasound pictures to reveal the sex of our third baby from the carefully sealed white envelope the technician gave us. The smile on my husband’s face and the pride and excitement he felt radiated across the table. His eyes filled with tears as he whispered, “I thought for sure it was another girl.”
‘A little boy. Mama’s little boy,’ I thought to myself, as I sat quietly beaming in my living room.
Our excitement was palpable — after two baby girls in three years, we were suddenly walking a path into unfamiliar territory. Our brains rapidly started shifting gears — it was time to sell the baby girl clothes in boxes in the basement, time to paint over the light purple room with butterflies on the wall, time to buy clothes from the little boys section I had admired from afar, afraid to get too close should my dream of shopping there never come true.
A few months later, with a closet full of little boy clothes and a grey and navy nursery complete, we brought home our perfect little man and I knew, deep in my heart, that this was the last baby we would ever bring home from the hospital. The labor pains I felt days prior were the last contractions my body would produce as it prepared to bring another life into this world. The emptiness I felt in my stomach after nine months of being filled with a growing baby was now permanent. The sweet, powerful harmony I heard as my son cried out and took his first breaths was the last that would fill my ears.
It took a few months before I felt strong enough to say the words aloud, still fearful I might regret them as soon as they left my lips, but I knew it was a conversation that needed to be had.
From the moment we opened that white envelope, I had known our family was complete.
I knew that this chapter of our lives was coming to a close but saying the words, starting the conversation, took a strength I had to dig deep in my heart to find.
What I finally realized is that I don’t want more babies — what I want more than anything is more time with the babies I already have.
I don’t want to become a Mom again — I want to be transported back to the moment I first became a Mom and held my beautiful baby girl in my arms for the first time.
I have no desire to comfort another crying baby in the middle of the night — I want to go back in time to the nights my middle child screamed with colic, hold her tight and rock her calmly through the night instead of feeling frustrated and annoyed and desperate for sleep.
I don’t need to hear another toddler say his or her first words but I would give anything to spend another day just sitting and listening to my two-year-old babble, in the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard, as she made sense of the world around her.
I don’t want to nurse another baby — I want to go back to the last time I nursed my baby boy and savor the moment, hold him a little closer, breathe in his sweet scent and enjoy every last second of our year-long nursing journey.