“I think I want just one more baby.”
I stood at my infant’s changing table peering into his sweet eyes. Another set of eyes turned up to me from the diaper pail, wide and knowing.
“I just don’t know about that,” my husband sent up as he held his breath tying off the bag full of dirty diapers.
“I just feel like I have a lot of love left to give,” I responded, and he just looked at me, but I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking it too.
I know I have a lot of love left to give, but I also know there is another person who needs a lot of love right now—me.
You see, I love being a mom. I love it more than anything else in the world. But there are times in postpartum life when I feel that is all I am. The other pieces of me get pushed to the wayside to allow room.
I have never struggled to connect with my babies, but I often find after babies I struggle to connect with myself, my true self, the part of me where I am sure of who I am, the place where my drive and goals reside, and the part of me where I feel God breathe into me.
It is a very strange feeling in postpartum life to look at your baby and see God’s presence so strongly, and then peer at yourself in the mirror and not see the same in you.
Where did He go? I ask myself. Where did I go? I wonder often.
But I know we are both there waiting to find one another again.
It is tough in the waiting, in the getting through when you are also supposed to be savoring all the pieces of it, especially if you think this is your last chance to be here. That is a lot of pressure. It sometimes feels like a race to decide as time marches quickly and everyone keeps growing so swiftly.
There is a fear of saying no to more children and choosing my mental and physical health over anyone else. There is a fear of saying yes and not being able to be the best person I can be for them.
I wonder at times how to balance the feelings of being selfish and selfless.
I am not sure if you have been wondering the same. But for any woman out there trying to recover in postpartum life and wondering should or can I ever do this again . . . know you are not alone.
So many of us are standing in that same position asking our deepest parts if we can do it again.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t worry, neither do I.
I think what I am trying to remember most is that whatever decision I come to I can trust it, and I can rest in knowing God is guiding me through it even if I feel a bit disconnected right now.
I have never known a more difficult experience than bringing a new baby into the world. I have never felt more responsibility than in the weight of the decision to create, birth, and take care of these little lives. But I have never felt more resilient and stronger since becoming a mother, and I know that in time I will make the best decision for me.
I know you will, too.
Have faith, keep searching, and when you know the answer, trust yourself.