Saturday, September 20, 2008

A last first at the end of the beginning

Last night Rowan smiled a real smile for the first time. David was holding her, just talking to her in his daddy-talk, and she cooed and smiled twice. It was beautiful and devastating. Of course, he got her first smile. The kids always love daddy best. But I realized this is the last first smile. Everything she does from here on in is our last first. It was the last first baby will be the last first time for everything. And while it's time for this stage in our lives to come to an end and time for us to move gradually away from baby-hood into the next phase, it hurts to know that this is the last baby I will ever have. Yesterday was Rowan's 5-week birthday. And with our hectic schedule and busy weeks, I know one morning I will wake up and Rowan will be turning 1, and her infancy will be over...just like that, in a flash, I won't be the mother of a little baby ever again.

Yesterday I went in for my postpartum checkup and scheduled the surgery that will make all of this set in stone. And I sat there in that little office while the lady was on the phone with the surgery center setting up my appointment, and I heard her say all of my name, address, birthdate, social security number, and I felt like I was in a dream. It didn't seem right that she was talking about the death of my fertility like I was just another patient. It was cold and sterile, and I sat there with tears welling up in my eyes. I just wanted someone to pat my hand and say something kind, like "it's been wonderful, Rachel, and your children are perfect. You've done good and now go raise those precious babies into fine adults." But no. All she said was, "yes, she's having a bilateral tubal ligation for permanent sterilization." Like I needed to be shut down or something.

I know it sounds like I'm not ready to take this step, but that isn't true. I really feel blessed and content with my family. I just want to mourn the passing of this stage in my life. It's the end of the beginning in a way. David and I spent the first few years of our marriage having our children, and now we are leaving that stage behind and looking ahead to all the wonderful experiences we'll have with our family of 6. I am excited to see where we'll be headed in the next few years. So why do I still feel like crying?


Ashley said...

AW! You have done a wonderful job and will continue too! As hard as it may be don't look at it as the end, look at it for what it is...a little(ok, maybe not quite so little) family unit, complete, and perfect. Now you have beautiful babies to raise and then just when you think it will be time to settle down you will have grandbabies, and then great-grandbabies.....It is a bright future, enjoy her(and the rest of them, hahaha)!

Katy said...

Oh Rachel, I feel like crying after reading that :( I agree with Ashley, the stages that are yet to come will be wonderful. You are SUPER MOM!

mp said...

first, i need to see a picture of that smiling baby!

second, you are making me sad! but i agree too, you have so much fun in your future with your 4 kiddos. life will always be a hoot for you with those kiddos you have.

Julie said...

Make me cry will ya?! Even though we haven't done anything permanent yet, I know that we are finished with the baby stage too. I just keep telling myself that we will have lots of new firsts as the boys get older.

Courtney said...

I did cry reading this post- I can definitely see the importance of mourning the loss of your fertility. You do it because you are such a great mom who loves being a mother. It is something important and significant to you and you do it beautifully. You are the reason I get going in the mornings, I figure if Rachel can do it (and do it so smoothly with 4)the what am I complaining about- i only have three,I need to buck up and get going!