Maybe that's why I nursed Amelia for so long. If I was nursing her, she was still my little baby and I could still hold her close to me and give her something no one else could. I'm definitely one of those women who really loves babies. Even with the sleep deprivation, I find so much satisfaction in feeling that little body next to mine. I love to feel Mack tug on my shirt or stroke my skin while he eats. I love to watch his beautiful face while he sleeps. I love to listen to him sigh and coo (although those days are mostly over.) I love the feeling of his limp body curling over my shoulder or resting in the crook of my elbow.
I've been indulging in some naps with Mack the past week or so. Instead of putting him in his crib or laying him beside me on the bed so I can sleep myself, I've layed him on my chest, tummy to tummy, and basked in the quiet feeling of his chest rising and falling against mine. As I listen to his breathing and feel his heart beat against mine, I am reminded that we once were one and I want to hold him forever.
I'm certain there is one more baby in our family, but even as I think of that, I get sad because I still want Mack to be the baby. I don't want his time to be over. And then I think about what this will be like when Baby #4 is about to become a toddler. I can't keep having babies just because I like babies. I have to continue being a good and attentive mother to my big kids, too. I've been in a pretty good place emotionally for the past couple of months, not too stressed out and coping with being a stay-at-home mom pretty well, but I've had times in the past and I'm sure I will continue to have times in the future where my depression gets the upper hand and I'll feel completely overwhelmed and wonder why in the world I had so many kids. But trying to imagine the feeling of knowing that I will never have another baby fills me with great anxiety and sadness.
It sounds like I'm baby hungry, but that's not it. I'm just hungry for my Mack to stay a baby awhile longer. And I'm hungry not to have this part of my life be over. How does a woman cope with saying goodbye to her childbearing self?