By Jessica Rassette
There is nothing better than a baby bundle. A lump of baby all bundled up on your chest with their frog legs curled up underneath them. Chest to chest, heartbeat to heartbeat, their big fat cheeks covered in drool just begging to be munched on. Yep, nothing is better than a baby bundle.
I’ve been doing the baby bundle with our youngest a lot lately. He’s five months old and my baby bundle days are numbered. Any chance I get I grab that boy around his big ol’ belly and squeeze him as close to me as I can. Squeeze and tickle and coo and squeeze and rub his soft face, oh, the squeezes. He has two older brothers he’s been admiring for a while now, and he is just one gutsy, coordinated moment away from crawling after them. I know when that happens he’ll be all “pssht mom, no time for bundling this baby, I’m crawling!”
It’s ok, I’ve been through it before, but the hurt is a little more scorching this time. He is our last baby. While we haven’t done anything official to ensure he’s our last one, in my heart, I know. This is it. My husband knows it too, he was after all my biggest cheerleader when I asked my doctor about getting my tubes tied. But in the end I couldn’t go through with it. I gave a really lame excuse, like “I don’t feel qualified to make decisions for my future self.” But really, I am scared of being done making babies.
Don’t get me wrong, I complain a lot when I’m pregnant. Almost as much as I eat. A lot. Between the morning sickness, joint pain, back pain, hip pain, pain pain, and the mood swings, insomnia, general feelings of lethargy, discomfort, exhaustion, melancholy … I complain. A lot. But I enjoy a lot too. I can’t possibly get over that feeling of knees brushing across my belly from the inside. The inside! The fun of dreaming of a new baby and what he’ll look like. Or just that glowing feeling because I’m growing a baby. Then there’s the first cry, first smile, nursing, snuggling with a baby bundle. It’s beautiful, who isn’t scared to be done with all of that?
But back to reality, we have three boys. Our house, hearts, arms, eardrums are full, our pocketbooks empty. It’s time for me to climb out of my “in the trenches years,” take a shower, and try to make a name for myself while I raise these cute little hooligans. It is time.
Recognizing that our family is complete is as much of a loss as it is a blessing. We’re done, and it hurts. Every first milestone that our youngest achieves will be our last time experiencing it. No more fluttering fetus kicks. No more preggo glows. No. More. Baby. Bundles. And the list could go on and on.
It hurts a lot, and I need time to mourn the loss of my baby makin’ years. It was a good run, uterus, you done good. If my uterus had a tush I would give it a friendly little tush pat, like a burly football player in the end zone. That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.
But there’s good in this too. At some point, I think, we’re going to start sleeping again. As much as I love yoga pants I’m going to wear real clothes again someday. Our kids will become more independent, they’ll grow and become real people. I’ll even start showering (pretty) regularly, and maybe even be really important to people who don’t call me “mom.” There is a lot of good in this decision that, someday, I’ll appreciate.
But right now I’m still in the trenches for a few more years, and in mourning that this baby cycle will not renew itself and these days are fleeting. I’m squeezing up all the fat baby bundles that I can and appreciating everything I am experiencing for the last time. But let’s be honest, a part of me will always hope I can talk my husband into just one more. We are done having babies, but I’ll always leave that uterus door open just … a tiny … sliver …
Just in case.
Jessica is a blogger, photographer, and freelance writer in Nebraska. Blogs she contributes to include the Huffington Post and BabyCenter. She writes at www.bubandteebs.com