Monday, February 9, 2009

Farewell, Old Friend

I was ambushed at the grocery story. Blindsided and beaten up.

Heading down the coffee aisle, I caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye of the opposite side of the row: tiny jars of pureed apricot baby food. Wham! I was tackled by a physical pang of intense emotion that literally stopped me in my tracks.

I will never have a baby again. My child-bearing days are over.

Intellectually I know that my body would not handle another pregnancy very well—certainly, my psyche could not survive another bout of sleep deprivation. After bringing twins home, I did not sleep longer than 3 or 4 hours at a stretch for one entire year. I no longer possess the energy or the will to birth, breastfeed, potty train, and discipline another little human. I'm mother to four wonderful children who bring me joy, challenge, and exhaustion each and every day.

But my heart aches to hold a newborn baby. My husband says that's what grandchildren are for. I'm sure he's right.

On top of it all, I was cleaning out the minivan and found the diaper bag. It's been squished in the cargo space, under the double stroller, for so long I don't even remember the last time I used it. I stuck it back there "just in case." You never know when you might need a nasal bulb, or a tiny washcloth, or the little bottle of baby oil. Well, I haven't needed any of those things. So it's time to toss it. It's been through the wringer anyway. Torn, stained, crushed. No hope of recycling it. It was a gift at my baby shower and came with a little pad that I could unfold when I was caught somewhere without a diaper changing table. Like an airplane. Or most gas stations. Or many restaurants. 

While I'm at it, I might as well clean out the cupboard that holds all the old bottles and pacifiers. Then there's that box of baby rattles and teethers and mobiles. And the totes of infant clothing.

On second thought, maybe I should hang on to them. In case of grandchildren.

Dinner last night: Polish sausages, spinach


Helene said...

I can relate to this! It's hard to face the reality that your childbearing days are done with! All we can do is look forward to having grandchildren (hopefully not too soon though!!)

Valerie said...

Boy do I know this feeling well! After delivering my triplets I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and so, I am not even physically capable of having another baby (although we have since adopted), BUT I still have bottles and pacifiers in my cupboards, bibs and burp rags tucked away in the garage and boxes of baby clothes that will likely never be worn by another one of my children! Letting go is tough!