My subconscious is nuts. For the past few weeks, I've been having dreams several times a week that I'm pregnant. For the record, I'm not (although that would be a good explanation for my recent weight gain...ha!). But maybe subconsciously I want to be?
I think I'm just really struggling with my baby growing up. The dreams started when we bought Lorelai a new bed and ditched the crib and glider. I was no longer rocking her before bed, like I had done just about every night since she was a baby.
Reality smacked me in the face—I'll almost certainly never have another baby to rock to sleep. To tuck into a crib. To nurse. To diaper (but not sad about this one). There's been an ache in my heart that I now realize has been growing every time Lorelai hit another milestone that furthers her (and me!) from babyhood.
Squishy baby Lorelai, 2010
It's half crazy/half understandable (thanks to this well-timed article I read the other day that so eloquently reiterates my feelings—it's like she read my mind and my half-written blog draft) because I know in my mind that 3 is the right number of kids for our family. I'm good with that, and I happily tell people that I do not plan to any more babies. But it's so hard to officially say goodbye to something that has been such a part of my life for the better part of 10 years, including the time I was pregnant. Yes, I even miss being pregnant.
Squishy baby Aidan, 2004
When Aidan and Logan hit certain milestones, I think it felt different because I knew in my heart it wasn't final—or I didn't want it to be. For example, when Aidan moved out of the crib, Logan was 6 short weeks away. When Logan moved out of the crib (well, converted toddler bed), we had literally just days earlier found out Lorelai was on her way, so it didn't have the impact this milestone is clearly having on me.
I don't know yet how to balance my joy that my kids are growing up (that's sort of the whole point to this parenting thing—raising kids) with the pain that they're not sweet cuddly babies anymore, wholly dependent on me for everything. Maybe it's selfish that I want them to stay little and stay with me forever. But it's easier to protect them that way.
Squishy baby Logan, 2007
Maybe the part of the ache is fear of the unknown and moving out of my comfort zone. I was good with babies. But tweens/teens? Yikes. I know I'll learn as I go, just as I did with babyhood, but I'm still so nostalgic for that time in my life. The time when I first became who I now realize I was always meant to be—a mom.
I know I'll be a mom forever, but I have to get used to being a mom without a baby. And like Sarah Bessey says, I've got to learn to live with the ache.
Aidan, Logan, Lorelai. Each chunkier than the next. :)