Future is a few days shy of being 18 months old. When Big Boy was his age, I was 7 months pregnant with Monkey. When Monkey was 18 months old, 3 months pregnant with Future. And now here I am, my body supports no one's life but it's own. My breasts have resigned themselves to a consistent size in a place a little lower than they started out, no longer fluctuating between preparing for birth, being full of milk, and then empty for a brief moment before preparing to support life again.
My tummy is flat but covered with a loose layer of skin that used to stretch over three different bellies full of boy. The skin is etched with memories of those final months when it felt it could stretch no more, but inevitably did.
We had always planned on having four little ones. For some reason that was our magic number, you should never have an uneven number of kids right? Someone will always feel left out, won't have a buddy to ride roller coasters with. Even up until recently, the plan for four was still in play.
Then we realized our spacing was getting close to leaving #4 much younger than the rest. We put off getting pregnant for the fall because we had a few plans for this summer and that was the timing that made sense to us.
Now the time has come up and the more I've thought about it, it seems we've already got all the slots on our team filled. Money is tight for just about everyone right now, us included. The thought of my kids not being able to go to private school sends shivers up my spine. And our house hasn't sold yet either. Can you imagine a 4th little one to our already cramped 2-bedroom house?
There is so much more beyond money involved in this decision. Let's just say things weren't pretty around here for the first few months (okay....year) of Future's life. Of course there were tons of great days, but the peppering of not so great isn't worth revisiting.
I think my body (and my brain) is ready to be through with making babies. I've been doing it non-stop from August 2002 to nearly August 2008 when Future had his last nuzzling with his "boo".
It's an amazing feeling to have my body back. Please understand that I loved being pregnant, and even more, I loved breastfeeding my boys. But suddenly there is a new feeling in these bones (and ovaries, and breasts, and brain).
I'm sad this revelation didn't come to me sooner. I wish I would have known that those tiny baby toes would be the last I'd wash in that tiny plastic baby tub, that those first crawls inched across the floor would be my last to cheer for, that those middle of the night feedings in a pitch black room full of peace and silence would never happen again.
My baby is so big, already showing signs that he may just want to use the potty like his big "brudders." He climbs up on the dining room table and smiles that sneaky little grin at me as I swoop in and move him to the safety of the floor, saying "No!" and then break all the rules of discipline by kissing his sweet head of golden curls.
With every major decision to do what's right comes sacrifice and a little bit of heartache. And let me just say, that my heart is in a billion pieces right now.
But of course, we can never say never...