It's been a week since our newest, and last, son - Henry Delbert - arrived safely into the world via c-section. He is absolutely beautiful, perfectly content and as predictable of a baby as I've experienced. Ever since we became pregnant with Henry, I've been coming to terms with this being our last baby - treasuring every little bump and kick in spite of heartburn and general discomfort during pregnancy, and now, as each day passes and Henry grows (and cries, and hiccups, and chirps, and poops, and sleeps, and stretches, and eats), I find myself experiencing similar bittersweet emotions about this phase of life coming to a close.
Brandon and I decided this would be our last baby almost before we were pregnant with him. I have to admit that I love being pregnant, and I love having babies, in spite of the discomforts that come along with pregnancy and c-sections. We planned on having my tubes tied several months ago, though in my heart I could only commit to being 95% sure this should be it. After all, I'm 28. Most of my friends and acquaintances my age aren't even considering starting families until they are safely out of their twenties, and here we are, putting a stop to the baby making business?
However, last night as I was feeding Henry, I realized that we've been trying to make babies, recover from losing babies, or birthing babies every year since we got married. I've been pregnant every year since 2004, counting my three living and breathing miracles as well as four miscarriages. It has been a long season of baby-making, baby-losing, and baby-birthing, and it feels good to be done. I will remember this period of life as one of significant growth, spiritually and emotionally, and rejoice in all that has happened in these seven years. All good things must come to an end, after all, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to carry these babies - for my three children, Lydia, Elvis, and Henry, and for the lost babies. God carried us through some very difficult chapters of our marriage the last eight years, including those miscarriages, and though walking through those valleys was probably the hardest time of our lives so far, it also taught us a lot about God and our relationship with Him.
Now that the decision is official, and permanent, I am surprised at how relieved I am to be closing this chapter. I am sad at the finality of it all, but every month with any sort of delay or abnormality won't be plagued with the anxiety of whether or not I'm pregnant. I can claim back my three c-sectioned body (once it heals). We can plan our future vacations knowing we will need one roll-away bed in our hotel room and space for three car seats in our vehicles. It is finished. And a brand new season is beginning. :)