Spring is the season for new things and so many babies have been born into our circle this last month. Not that this is surprising; we have known for about 9 months that they were coming. But still, babies are always surprising, no matter how expected they are. Will they have hair? What color? Will they be fat or wrinkled little raisins? The biggest surprise of all is just that this crazy thing used to be inside your body and now it's just sitting here, being a person.
First was Jessie - she had her daughter Adeline on February 24th. I can't really express how happy it made me to meet Addie. Jessie's had a long and winding road to motherhood, but the reward is a ridiculously beautiful baby that didn't make a single peep the entire time I met her at 9 days old.
Just a few days later was Jeff's cousin and wife who had their second boy up in Vancouver. His name is Emmet and we hope to have the chance to meet him soon.
And then last week Heidi had her son Henry Forrest. He was a little early but the labor went smoothly and he was clearly going to be a big baby because he was already almost 8 pounds and has a thick head of black hair, despite making his appearance 2 weeks early. Things felt like they were coming full circle when walking the halls of the hospital I delivered Edie to visit Heidi and her tiny family. It was less than 24 hours after she'd delivered, exactly like when Heidi was one of the very first visitors Edie had in the hospital - for all we know in that very same room. The hospital gown with the open tie front, the flannel blanket they wrap your baby in… it was all very familiar.
It's simultaneously difficult and very easy to believe that it's been four and a half years since I had that same experience. Some things come back to me without any effort at all, but some of the details are starting to be a little hazy. I visited Heidi at her house a few days after they'd been discharged from the hospital and at one point offered to change Henry's diaper. It's been over 2 years since I've changed Edie's diaper. I can't even remember the last time I had to wipe her butt! But at the same time, I have a physical memory of holding Edie's tiny little ankles together to pull her rump up off the changing table while wiping her clean; keeping my hand tight around her ankles to prevent her from sticking her feet in the dirty diaper. Tricks of the trade that your brain never really releases I guess.
When I left Heidi and Paul's they asked me if it made me want another. And I had to answer honestly - it didn't. I couldn't be happier for all my friends with their adorable babies. But tiny babies no longer hold the power they did for me before Edie. I remember holding a coworker's newborn once when she brought her into the office. It was about a year before I would be pregnant, but that little peanut made my ovaries ACHE. I wanted to be a part of the club so bad. There was no question that I wanted to be a Mom. Even now, when my kid parades around wearing weird, mismatchy, ill fitting clothes that are not even a little bit cute, with snarly hair and peanut butter smeared cheeks - I still feel like I'm the leader of a parade when we go out together. Like people should really stop what they are doing and wave and admire this amazing, hilarious and adorable creature I made. Am still making.
But I don't feel the need to do it twice.
I thought for sure by Edie's 3rd birthday my interest in having another baby would be rekindled. But it wasn't. And each passing month lessens the appeal. I feel a little bad because my Mom totally deserves like 10 grand babies. But that's not a reason to have another baby. Sorry Mom! My family feels complete, Edie doesn't want a sibling, in fact she pretty much thinks little brothers and sisters are the worst, and Jeff and I really like our lives right now. I've toiled over this instinct to be "one and done" for years, but this is the year I decided to make peace. I'm turning 35 in two weeks and I decided in the Fall that this is the year I treat my body with the respect it deserves by getting in shape and this is also the year I stop second guessing my decision to not have any more children. Stop saying "well, maybe if we have another…" just because I think it makes other people less uncomfortable with the concept of an only child, and start giving people more credit. Because I think most of us can agree - we really got 2 for the price of 1 with Edie.
The other day we were talking about former Presidents of the United States. She's been learning about Abraham Lincoln in school and we were talking about all the presidents that have their faces on coins and dollar bills. She thought for a minute and then asked in an offended tone, "How come all the Presidents are BOYS?!"