Awake

It’s two o’clock in the morning and I’m wide awake. Most likely due to the two servings of caffeine I had today, one of which was at dinner time. So now I lay in bed, my mind wandering.

In case you were wondering, Miss K was born on December 18th, healthy and well. She’s now home with her parents who adore her. And although labor was long, it was uneventful. I didn’t bleed to death after all.

As the copy-cat that I am, I volunteered to pump breast milk for Miss K because that’s what a friend of mine did. It is good for both of us. It helps her for the many beneficial qualities of breast milk and it helps my body return to normal faster. Unfortunately, it also leads to pumping every three hours (aka sleepless nights) and tender breasts. This, my friend, gets old very quickly.

Two days ago, I decided I had had enough. I quit. This resulted in painfully swollen breasts and another, far longer, sleepless night. Which led to a very cranky me. Emotional and weepy, I tried to stay busy and distracted.

Tonight, as I lay in bed not sleeping, I have a bit of an epiphany. I feel loss. Not for Miss K, because she’s not mine, never was. But loss that I will never again do what I felt I was born to do. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I have easy pregnancies and deliveries. Quite text book. And although I say I’m 29, I’ve said that for 8 years. At this point, I’ve reached “advanced maternal age”. Additional pregnancies run higher risks.

Before this pregnancy, my husband and I had talked about making our family officially complete, so he had a vasectomy. At the time, we were both very happy with that decision. Right now, with my maternal hormones running through me, I feel sadness and loss. I will never have another child. I will never feed my milk to another child. My usefulness is gone.

I understand this is a result of my hormones but it doesn’t make it any less powerful. As I lay in my bed, I begin to wonder who I can sleep with to get pregnant. Okay, so it would make things a little awkward. “Yes, I’m pregnant again. No, my husband isn’t excited.” Followed by visions of me in the delivery room. “Yes, this is my husband but this other guy is the baby’s father, so he needs to stay, too.” I imagine the looks I would get from the hospital staff. “Don’t judge me!” Perhaps a dog would be a better way to go.

My maternity leave will last for another couple of weeks. It is my hope that when I return to work, I will become myself again and this need for a child will pass. If not, I will babysit my three year old niece. That will take care of it. Cute as she is, I don’t want to go back to that stage of parenting. I like my 10 and 13 year olds. They’re quite self sufficient.

Stay tuned…

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