Having Another Baby?
For many years I’ve had 3 learning partners, and this has been a busy time for all of them.
One of them, Sara Debbie (as you read last week) is recovering from running the NY Marathon. And the other two, Efrat and Chaya, gave birth this week to baby girls. In fact, they even overlapped for a few hours at the hospital!
That means that twice this week I visited the hospital where I gave birth to all three of my sons. And gazed in awe at my friends’ exquisite newborn babies, breathing in the intoxicating smell of Dr. Fischer soap, discussing birth and girls’ names as well as Hashem’s mindblowing kindness.
And this morning, leaning over Efrat’s baby, I thought to myself, “Maybe one more time…To have another baby, like this baby, just one more time.”
But that feeling passed real quick– like snow melting on the ground when it’s already a degree too warm.
I’m turning 45 next month. I can’t go through it all again– the months of nausea and weakness and (as I got older) the troubling physical symptoms.
Also, postpartum was always tough for me. Coping with mood swings and anxiety. Or, all too often, NOT coping with them.
“No,” I thought, looking at Efrat’s 24 carat diamond. “I sort of want, but I really can’t.”
I want to focus on the kids I have, and, as our rabbi put it when I discussed this topic with him, “investing my energy now in raising them to be good Jews.”
Yes, it’s a bittersweet feeling. To know I won’t, it seems, ever feel the magic of holding a newborn baby of my own again.
But I am overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that somehow I DID manage to do this. 19 years of nearly uninterrupted pregnancies and nursing. These 8 children who fill me up so completely, with feelings and emotions I didn’t dream existed 19 years ago.
The most difficult thing I’ve ever done. And, hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done.
Thank you, Hashem for everything. For what was, and for what is, as well.