I finally feel like myself again. Of course I have my battle wounds--let's face it--certain body parts will NEVER be the same again. But! I have worked on the parts that I can change, tighten, make a bit better, and I am more than satisfied at where I have landed the third time around.
I thought after the third baby I would never be thin again, but I am surprised to find that I am even thinner than after my first baby. I have no idea why…I think it is because I finally weaned and so I am not as hungry anymore, and I have to keep track of 3 children and that is high metabolism inducing behavior.
Pants that were barely buttoning are now loose, I do not require a bra, and my love handles have calmed down a bit.
I like the feeling of running without jiggling and easily buttoning those pants. I like feeling proportioned and tall and lean. I like 7 solid hours of sleep. I like the feeling of holding a newborn and nursing the baby and giving part of myself up for another. These "likes"cannot coexist. I cannot have one with the other.
I watch people have babies 2 years apart. I observe the 16 month gap and my eyes bug out. My baby is just now 19 months old and I FINALLY feel whole again. And some of my friends with babies the same age ALREADY have a baby or are expecting another! I admit, around 8 months, when the baby starts getting fun and I have gotten used to my aftermath body, the thought of another baby sometimes crosses the synapses. But I just can't pull the trigger on that chaos.
Today I am asking myself: How do women like me ever stop having babies? The happiest, highest years of my life have been 0-12 months of my 3 daughters' lives. I am a very content, happy, peaceful, joyful mother of a newborn baby. I think I may be a rarity. I think some women with more than 2 children might be in the same camp with me. So, when I have my last baby, will I know it? After 19 months, will I NOT feel that urge, that pull, that desire to have that peace and joy and miracle in my life again?
I thought it was the end for me after 2 and I really never got over it. Will I always carry sorrow in my heart that it's over? Will I always look back and feel a sense of loss because that precious first year (x3) is over, and never will be again?
Even when my tweens scream at each other in the next room and I look at Jason and say: "As soon as this is over, it will begin again." And even when the sweetness of Pickle is also so bitter because I know tomorrow it will be over and time will play it's trick on me and I will blink and she will have learned another new word, or how to jump, or yell: "Mama!" for the first time. Even through all the pain that mothering is, I want more. I want more.