1.14.2008

TMI...


I've been think a lot about the times that I carried life inside of
me.  I'm sure it is spurred on by the excitement of friends recently
having babies. 

I am so grateful that I've been able to experience the joys of bringing
wee ones into the world.  To hold them close nurture them in body and
in spirit.  Creating life is such a wonderful privilege and gift. 
I've grown as a woman and have been thoroughly blessed to be drawn into
motherhood along with generations of women before me and those yet to
come. 

I think this a great way to start the spring break week, don't you?   


This might just be one of those posts you have to pass over but for me it is a quiet celebration of tears.  A huge part of the last decade for me has been about creating life.  I have given of my body and soul to each wee one that the creator has entrusted into my care.  I've grown as a woman and have been thoroughly blessed to be drawn into motherhood along with generations of women before me and those yet to come.  A big part of the care giving has been unseen when each wee wonder began their journey as a tiny set of cells, carefully growing each hour of each day to include all that makes them who they are today.  And after the momentous arrival from my womb to the world they now inhabit, they were nourished once again by my body, my breasts.


I started out my nursing experience with the hope that I would be able to nurse my first babe for the first 6 months of his life.   It seemed like a reasonable amount of time.   Six months came and then it went, as did that idea.  My son was not only enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding, I too was greatly satisfied by the love and care that this relationship was allowing me to experience.  Soon after a year arrived and it too, came and went.  I was learning quickly that children don't necessarily follow the guidelines of textbooks and experts.  It was around this time that many of those close to me started to ask me when I was going to wean my dear son.  I wasn't sure how to answer this question.  I didn't have a plan.  I had given up on specific time frames and decided that the best way for me to proceed was to follow my child's lead.  I don't think  I would ever have guessed that by following my babe's lead that it would have ended up taking us well beyond the "acceptable" length of time for breastfeeding.  My eldest was just over 3 years old when this stage of our relationship changed.  I admit by the end I hurried the time along as I was finding the tandem nursing a difficult process and I longed to hold my second son exclusively in my arms for longurious minutes upon minutes of solitary mummy & baby nursing.  This relationship lasted another 3 + years. 


Another year passed before I began another nursing relationship with my twin daughters.  The first couple of days I tried to nurse the girls individually but I soon realized that it was far more efficient to nurse two at the same time.  There was a huge learning curve getting two newborns to suckle at the same time, but once we go the hang of it there was no stopping us.   Now here we are and the girls are almost 3 1/2 years old  and I am savoring the moments left in our nursing relationship.  They come to me once or twice a week to have "awa"   After a minute or two they announce "the milk is gone".  It is bittersweet to hear those words spoken.  They tell of the work my body has done over the last decade producing milk for the nourishment of both my children's' bodies and souls.   I am acutely aware that unless we have more children that this is not only the end of a momentous season for me.  And though I may never have life grow within me, nor nourish a babe from my breasts I celebrate my children who have taught me so much and still have so much more love to absorb and give, of a different kind. 


ard to let this part of our relationship go but the timing seemed right and though I


I was nervously filled with joy to discover that I was pregnant with my first child in 1996.  As we planned and dreamed during that special time our hopes were quickly dashes to pieces when we discovered that our excitement would never come to be.  At 36 + weeks we were told our daughter had a rare chromosome defect and should not be expected to live.  We were devastated.  A week later she was born; and we lived a life of love in one very short hour. 


A couple of months during this very dark season we were over-joyed and oh so tenderly cautious to realize that another little life was growing inside me.  I don't think I've ever prayed so much in my life as much as I prayed for that wee one.   Right on his due date and very punctual we welcomed our first son into our lives, Big J.  He was and still is a 10 year old wonder to behold.   


A year and a half passed and we felt the tugging in our hearts to walk the path of pregnancy again.  Once again we welcomed a beautiful, happy baby boy into our lives, the B-meister.  He arrived late and sleepy and to this day he still arrives in that fashion, all 7+ years of himself. 


We happily went along life growing into the parenting grace and caring for our 2 dear sons.  We simplified, philosophized and enjoyed each moment.  Often our hearts would turn back to our first child and though we are still broken over the babe we did not know, we were feeling the healing that comes from the love of our other children. 


Pretty soon we began to have thoughts of expanding our small unit of 4 to allow for another child.  My rule of thumb was "even numbers".  I thought really it would only be fair that if we were going to have one more, we should really plan to have another quickly follow so that they have each other. 


In January 2004 I had a terrible flu that I couldn't shake.  After a few weeks of agony I went to see the doctor to find out why I couldn't get rid of this "bug".  After a thorough examination my doctor suggested I pee on a stick to rule out a pregnancy.  Ridiculous I thought.  Not so ridiculous did I think after my results showed that indeed my "bug" would leave in about 7 - 8 more months.  I was pregnant. 


During that pregnancy I was under the care of a mid-wife.  I was planning on having my first home birth  after a series of high risk pregnancies.  Plans altered again when a 21 week ultrasound revealed that I was carrying 2 babies, twins!  For a few weeks I kept psyching myself up for the possibility of being a mother of 4 sons until a fetal assessment revealed the wee ones that were growing in my womb were two little girlie babes.  The joy of knowing that we were going to again have the chance to raise little girls was unbelievable.   


I think, I fear that time for me is over.  I

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