My OB called today. I’ve been expecting this call; we’ve verified your insurance, here are your pre-op instructions, this is the date you show up at the hospital for your tubal. The day I went in for my consult, just a week ago, I was confident, I was assured. I had done the research and read the reports and looked at all the websites I could find. I told the doctor it was the end of an era, no more Pregnant Jennifer.
The office called while we were out shopping, and I didn’t get to calling them back until later on in the day. One of the doctor’s extremely nice nurses gave me all the information, and I dutifully wrote it done, asked a few questions, said thank you (Mama raised me right), even though I was completely befuddled by the entire thing. From the moment she asked if the 6thwas a good day for surgery, my brain split into two parts.
One part… take notes, pay attention, ask a question. Write everything down. Be smart and in control. Be a grown up.
The other part, the part of my brain in sync with my heart. The part of my brain known as Mama Central. That part just sat there, trying to process what was going on. And then the resistance began.
With tears in my eyes and that burning, pre-cry sensation in the back of my throat, I asked Hubs if we were really done. After that, I shook the moment off, and got busy re-arranging the girl’s room. Set up a new toy box, moved the old one to the living room, picked up toys, did some laundry.
When I walked into the living room at last, Dumbo was playing on tv. And of course, it’s that scene. The Baby Mine scene. With a song of a mother’s unending love for a baby, her always baby, in my ears, I looked over at Sprout, asleep on the couch, a tangle of curly hair and long legs. And Pudge, rocking gently back and forth in her swing, smelling of milk and baby shampoo.
It was possibly the best moment; the now of my life, the this very instant of my life, crystallized to perfection, with the sweetest lullaby, one I have sung to my girls since the moment they were each born, playing in the background.
It was possibly the worst moment; with the news of my impending un-babyness hanging in the air as well. Against the perfection of that moment, of sleepy sweet girls, of rest your head, close to my heart, never to part; sat the realization that there will not be any more babies. (I just tried to type out the S-word, and couldn’t bring myself to do it.)
I cried. Before I could curl up on the couch and use an entire box of Kleenex ugly crying over a song, the girls woke up, and I had to get dinner, and then do baths, and put little ones to bed.
Later on, Sprout went into my Mom’s room, and we watched Brave. When the end came, when Elinor and Merida were racing each other, I wasn’t teary eyed. I wasn’t sniffly. I was just flat out crying. I see so much of Sprout and myself in that movie, doing battle with each other, fighting for oftentimes the same goal, and just as often the opposite goal.
I am not ready for the end. I need more positive lines, I need more plus signs on plastic tests in the bathroom. I need more weird food cravings, I need to hear a heartbeat through a Doppler more, I need more feet and elbows in my ribs. I need to lay in the night and feel my child kick and squirm while I wish for sleep. I need years of milky sweet baby in the middle of the night, of giggling little girl in the afternoon. I need a lifetime of first smiles, first giggles, first steps, first days of school, first time I tied my shoe lace, first time I rode a horse. I need babywearing and cloth diapers and baby food making in the kitchen, and playing princesses and bandaging a dolly’s “hurt” leg. I need little feet and arms jammed into my ribs in the middle of the night, “Mama can I come sleep with you?” and a baby’s head on my shoulder at 3 am, when the world shrinks down to my bedroom and the sleeping babies in it.
I am so ready for the end. Motherhood is all consuming. It has completely subsumed me. I miss sleep. I miss having time to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I miss spending the entire day in my pajamas. I miss painting my toes for no good reason, by myself, with no one asking for their own polish. I miss not having to cook. I miss taking a walk for the hell of it. I miss reading a book in a matter of days, not a matter of months. I miss Jennifer.
But regardless of the civil war raging in my heart and head, the end is coming. Financially, we can easily handle two children, but more than that would put us back where we were. I knew this was it the moment that plus sign popped up on the test window the second time. Every kick and squirm, every doctor’s visit, got me closer to last. My body cannot take another pregnancy. This is the end.
Long ago, in the dark hours of a long deployment, I swore that once Hubs was home, I would be thankful for what I had. I would learn to be content, to be grateful, for the blessings I had, and not wish for more. I would enjoy the golden days to come, and be happy with what I had in the here and now. The dreams I dreamed for Sprout, the dreams that came with Pudge; I cannot be in the moment for those dreams, if I am mourning the loss of what could have been. And I will be in the moment for my girls, as much as I possibly can.
We will run and scream
You will dance with me
We’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free
We will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away*
*Lyrics from Learn Me Right, by Birdy and Mumford and Sons