Babies are wonderful. They're soft and warm and new. Amazing little bundles with endless potential. I'm so grateful that I got to have one. I mean to grow one in my belly because whatever it cost me physically it was a beautiful experience.
After Riley was born I had 13 wonderful months of breastfeeding intimacy. The bond didn't melt away when I weaned her, but it was my first real lesson in how my relationship with her is always growing and changing. I have begun to try and break the habit of calling her baby. I have to consciously remind myself to say little girl now, because she is.
In all this time of me recovering and her growing I have been wistfully longing in the secret, irrational part of my heart for one more. I know very well that another pregnancy would quite literally kill me. I went into my pregnancy with my eyes wide open and a consent form for my tubal ligation in my fist.
I just kept waiting for the hormones and primitive drive to die down. In every quiet moment, in every one of Riley's smiles or every glance at a maternity photo I wished for another baby. I wished heartfelt congratulations to friends when they got pregnant again and then quietly cried. My body was not built for babies and no one rewired my brain to match. I am lucky to have two kids at home and someone to raise them with.
All this time I've been waiting for the secret sadness in those odd moments to finally fade away. Two years I've waited and writing this I am gripped with strong emotions even still. I don't want to cry anymore, though. I finally let out a long sigh of relief. Infancy is behind us and I am so happy for what I have. I do not want another baby.
Am I at peace with my body? Not entirely. Have I given up hope of adopting someday? Not on your life. Will I still get emotional when other people see two lines? Uh-huh. It's not all or nothing, but I've crossed the threshold of acceptance. I have two kids who can communicate verbally and use the toilet, things are good.