When I used to think about being a mother, one dream I had was cuddling my baby while I rocked and sang him or her to sleep. Once I had my baby, that dream came true. I would often hold him and sing to him. And I especially remember around five months when my baby was more active during the day, I would feed him his nighttime bottle and rock and sing him to sleep every night. After he fell asleep, I would just keep on holding him for awhile, looking at his sleeping face, feeling the warmth of his little body in my arms, and saying prayers for him from the depth of a mother’s heart. I will never forget those precious moments.
When our son David was a year and nine months, my husband and I decided to try for another baby.
I eagerly looked forward to cuddling a newborn again, rocking and singing to this new baby. David no longer needed rocking to sleep. He was huge for his age, (36 inches tall on his second birthday), and he was becoming less cuddly. I love watching every stage of his growth and development, and cherish his sweet personality so much. But I was ready for another baby.
But we had trouble getting pregnant. A year went by and my hope was beginning to fade.
Over the next six months I had to wrestle with the reality that David might be our only one (besides the two I miscarried before him.) That I might only have one child to raise here.
And don’t get me wrong. I am so grateful for David. So happy that I got to hold and cuddle him. But there is something about a tiny baby that brings out all the love and tender yearning in a mother’s heart. And when that longing is not fulfilled, it can be a lonely, empty feeling.
My husband and I did not choose to be done having children. But everyday we are faced with the reality that we might be.
My brother and his wife had a second baby during this time. Their kids are about two years apart. Many of my friends went on to have a second baby . . . usually about two years apart. David’s third birthday came and went, and I faced the reality that if we did get pregnant again, the age gap would probably be 4+ years. How would this age gap affect them?
Ultimately, though, I had to grieve the fact that I might not have another baby, at all. I was sick a lot with David, but there is something so precious about feeling those little kicks inside you. I wanted to feel that again. And there is something so empowering about giving birth to another human being. I longed to do that again. During my pregnancy with David, I opted not to do an official pregnancy photo shoot, and I regret that too, especially since I may not have another opportunity.
But in the midst of heartache, there is grace. As I have wrestled with the realization that we might not have another child biologically, I have thought more about adoption. I have walked with friends who have gone through this process, and I know it is long and difficult. But we are open to it. There are many children who need a home and love, and there are other ways David could have a sibling.
We also went through some very difficult and stressful circumstances during this season which I never expected. I am glad I wasn’t pregnant during that time. I was already having a hard time emotionally, so adding pregnancy hormones to the mix would have been really hard. There are a lot of changes happening in this season of life, so having a another baby would be very difficult. Perhaps we will be blessed later on– and if not, there are so many blessings I can still focus on. That little ache in my heart will always be there. But I can choose to rejoice over what I have been given, instead of brooding over what I haven’t.