The first cramp came early in the day. As I sipped on my morning to coffee, I glanced at the invitation to my cousin’s baby shower, picking it casually up off the kitchen table to recall the time, and felt a slight, sudden stab. Disregarding, I kept on course with my day and carried out a few errands. Headed to the store, hit up a breakfast joint with my son, and came home to shower and dress.
As I walked into the dimly lit banquet hall a little after noon, floral perfume lingering in the air, the throbbing returned. Wobbly headed bobble babies with chub stub gangly limbs sat atop mothering hips. Circles of swollen bellies sipping iced tea and water with lemon. The pastels. The spring flower bouquets. Rattles and ribbons. Soaps tied delicately with festive bows.
I sat and smiled, politely eating my salad and cutting my lemon chicken. I courteously engaged in the table conversation. Ordered a bloody mary, and then another.
The womanly banter ensued.
I just had my fifth.
Oh, Emmit is 3 and Maggie is 8 months.
We’re due in July.
Look at Colleen’s little Charlotte over there. Isn’t she a doll?
Each reference delivered an additional unsuspecting blow. Here lies the truth. I want another child. I am not the type seeking pity. This is simply a dream I have, and I’m boldly putting it out there. I am genuinely happy and filled with joy over these little bobblies and their proud mamas. The loving looks in their eyes. With each brother and sister, my beautiful nephews and nieces that I so happily cradle in my arms, swaddled like pint sized pups, I look into their sweet slumbering ruddy newborn faces, tiny and tight-eyed, and then somewhere off in my subconscious slumber arises, the hinted traces of my baby yet to be.
I am so blessed and grateful for my 11 year old son, by far the coolest person I know and hands down the light of my life. The greatest moment of my life was the second I heard his cry.
Pains reign though, when he asks,
“Why don’t I have a brother or sister? “
“Will I ever have a brother a sister?”
“Wait. If I don’t have a brother or sister… that means my kids won’t have any cousins or aunts or uncles?”
Sometimes even a blessed band aid can’t patch this ache. It’s the intuitive feeling, I’m not done yet. I have a child yet to meet. A child I need to hold and love. A child who will be sung to, rocked softly in the dark still of night. A child I need to kiss and wipe the small lips of her face. A child to raise. A family to complete.
And a subtle ache resides, until that blessed day.