I have been mourning babyhood this past week. I have had the baby blues. Mind you this is not your typical baby blues, not as they are usually defined. I have not had a new baby in the past couple of weeks. I am not adjusting to my new life, new dynamic, hormone fluctuations, or sleep deprivation.
No, I am adjusting to life without a baby. Of course, I have done this before but never with the finality in which I am doing it this time. Chris and I feel it is best for Maddox to be the last baby we create for our Stidham bunch. I feel right about that - in my mind - from a logical standpoint. We are OLD : ) I will be 37 this summer; Chris will be 39 this summer. We often feel overwhelmed with three and that it is hard to give our all to our three boys....so why add more? We DEFINITELY feel like we can not financially afford to have anymore. With the debt we accrued - and unfortunately still have - from Chris' time unemployed, the finances just are not there for us to continue to bring more babies into our family. So for this reason - and I am sure more - we are retiring from babymaking.
This is hard for this Momma. It is very difficult and that fact surprises me GREATLY!! I always have a hard time admitting this - because of how it can be misconstrued - but I did not enjoy Brady as a tiny little new one the way I had dreamed I would. For a slew of reasons that I may write about at a later date - post partum, isolation, severe acid reflux, fear of failure, sleep deprivation, etc, etc, etc., I did not enjoy him fully until he was a few months old.
When Evan was close to arriving I was TERRIFIED that I would not be able to enjoy him as a little new bundle and DESPERATELY wanted to. My biggest request to my praying friends and family was prayer against post partum depression. It worked!!! GOD answered and blessed me with a season of joy and peace. I enjoyed my sweet little nugget, even in the beginning.
Maddox was a welcome SURPRISE and I was nervous about my ability to enjoy him with a little guy so young. I was afraid that it would be too difficult to enjoy him because of having a little guy that was only 20 months himself - a mere baby. That transition was surprisingly seamless. I was exhausted, yes. I did not mind waking up in the night and holding, snuggling, and nursing my little man because I knew - deep in my heart, even during pregnancy with him - that he was our caboose...our sweet, perfect caboose.
Now that my caboose is a year old - has been since February.....that saying goodbye to - and now mourning of - babyhood has begun. Of course when he turned one, I struggled. I knew having more was not the right answer. I had actually figured out the right answer but, unfortunately, it was/is not possible.....freezing time. See, I knew four children to be responsible for was not the right answer but I wanted to have a baby FOREVER. If I could freeze Maddox in some sort of warm, functioning way then I could be done with three but yet never stop having a sweet baby to care for and snuggle. WOW!!! If I could figure that out and patent that....we could finally pay off the debt and afford more!
I was still nursing....had just started the weaning process and then Maddox displayed signs of milk sensitivities so I chose to go back to more feeding sessions until he adjusted to cow's milk. He has adjusted to cow's milk and the weaning restarted. I dropped one of the four feedings every one to two weeks so he and I could both adjust. The last feeding was the first of the day when he woke up. I nursed him that morning feeding for the last time last Friday morning, April 20th. He was 14.5 months so he definitely was ready and okay with it. He is a GREAT eater. He chugs cow's milk in a sippy cup with no problem and has outgrown the milk sensitivity...his stomach apparently just needed a little while to adjust.
That was the biggest stab in the heart with my recent baby blues....weaning my last gift. I know I will NEVER nurse another baby again....that chapter of my life - pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding, is OVER! It is quite a milestone - and a bit painful - for me.
Recently, Maddox has gotten very daring and determined. He is climbing up on everything. He pulls himself up so easily and quickly these days. I know that walking will be next - and sooner rather than later. That will be the final nail in this "I don't have a baby anymore" coffin that I feel I am dragging around.
So I am experiencing baby blues right now. Something I did not expect. I do not know how common this is but I know how much it hurts right now. I also know that it would hurt more to not have ever had a baby to love on, to miss as he grows into a toddler. I feel blessed but I sure think it would be an incredible blessing to figure out the potion to keeping them little forever!!