Other moms have told me that there is this magical feeling of completion when the last member arrives of your family. I envision a light shining from the heavens with glorious angels singing as I gaze at our last born with a sense of fulfillment and knowing. It doesn't look like that, you say? Well either way, I am left not experiencing it.
I'm sitting here four months postpartum after giving birth to our fifth child and have yet to feel this supposed feeling that I'm told exists. I've explored this before after welcoming our fourth child, and I thought after this fifth baby I would finally feel that done feeling. And I did... for a moment in time as the realities for pregnancy, birth, and the newborn phase were still fresh. Yet, we've come up with the same conclusion:
What's one more?
I know, I know. I hear you scoffing right now because surely five kids are plenty — more than plenty — unless you understand me and wonder if you will ever feel complete as well. Of course, in the harder moments of the hormonal emotions that rain on me like the gloomy cloud it can produce above my head or in the painful aches of pregnancy I've felt frustration and declared, “I never want to do this again!” But, when my husband and I talk about our future it's been hard to make a commitment to “get the snip,” despite people offering to pay for it (I kid you not).
It truly makes no sense, really, I know. Physically my last pregnancy felt pretty miserable. I spent the entire summer in bed battling the waves of nausea like a boat on a stormy sea. My children spent their days eating snacks and watching too much TV because I couldn't muster up the energy to do much else from my spot on the bed. Once second and third trimester came, the energy was better, but with the larger baby belly came aches like an old lady masquerading under my skin.
And then there was the birth. Oh, the birth. It was one of the hardest ones physically and emotionally that I've had. It was stop-and-go for hours, there were people not able to attend my birth that I wanted there, and with her being my biggest baby yet everything felt terrifyingly intense.
It makes no sense to many to stretch us further in time, patience, and financially as our children grow older. I know that. Yet there she is, the familiar voice that I've heard after each baby whispering, “Someone is missing...”
We still don't feel complete. Maybe it's because I thoroughly expected and hoped our fifth to be a boy, yet she was a girl. Maybe it's because I like the thrill of overcoming challenges that motherhood brings. Maybe I'm just addicted to this season of life and a tad on the crazy side.
The thing is though, this time my longing isn't necessarily a longing for my womb to be filled, but a longing from the heart. All we know is that a child is missing. Maybe we will adopt one day, maybe we will have more biologically — who knows what the future holds. But, I know that magical feeling hasn't happened for either of us no matter what logic seems logical.
Perhaps a few years from now there will be a new addition and we'll be wondering once again: Are we done? Or, hopefully, we will have that complete feeling wash over us with our arms and heart finally filled.