The Babies I’ll Never Have

K and N

Nicholas, March 2009

It is Saturday afternoon and I am folding baby clothes—new, soft, tiny baby clothes—and layering them lovingly into a gift box for one of our choir members. I had forgotten how much I love baby clothes. I love everything about babies. You know, I don’t even hate the diaper changes. Did I get tired of them? Yes. But that was also play time. Tickle time, raspberry time, rubbing-noses time, sing silly songs time.

Besides, I was a breastfeeding mom. Those diapers are different.

Sitting on my bed, assembling this gift, it’s almost crushing, how much I want a baby.

I have to remind myself that I sometimes can barely breathe. How little people are constantly yelling “Mom I want” and “Mommy help me,” how I fluctuate between a wild frustration that they don’t help more than they do and a desire to do it all myself because it’s easier than teaching (and battling) them to do it. How there aren’t enough hours in the day and how long Julianna’s homework takes, and how this year I hardly even weeded my flower beds because I was so busy.

K & M Black & White

My favorite picture ever taken of me.

I have to remind myself that the price of four C sections is “irritable uterus” and the risk of rupture. I need to remember that my primary responsibility is to the family I already have. My job isn’t to keep having babies, just because I love them. It is to raise holy and happy adults. And sooner or later, you have to leave off the former because the latter takes so much time and energy.

My life has entered a new stage. But it’s a sweet pain, folding these baby clothes. I think this is what people in the natural family planning community mean when they say every month you grieve the child you could have had, even though you know it’s not the right time.

I feel it every month now, although some are worse than others. And I wonder if it will eventually fade, or if this is part of who I am now.

5 thoughts on “The Babies I’ll Never Have

  1. That last line…Iknow the pain all to well 😦 God just stopped sending them to us for the most part. We have been sent a few who didn’t even make it long enough for a pregnancy test but we knew they were there. When we moved over the summer, I got rid of every single baby thing. Every toy. Every blanket. Every outfit. All of it. Jeff said we would jinx the jinx, trying to make light of letting it all go. We realize now, we were probably facing the reality. ((HUGS)) Some months are so much more difficult than others for sure.

  2. Stephanie Butz

    All of my babies are in their teens and I still long to be pregnant, give birth, change diapers, breastfeed, all of that. It’s very difficult knowing that that part of my life is over. I think those desires will never go away. It’s part of who we are as mothers.

  3. Andrea

    I held a newborn last night. Her little wiggles stirred in me memories of pregnancy. I ached for the sweet connection of nursing a wee one.

    And then I remembered the sleep deprivation.

    I would LIVE to babysit. I want to snuggle. I am content to snuggle my growing young ladies who are AMAZING human beings and to offer to babysit others’ infants.

    The pull of a newborn will always be there, I think.

    • Snuggling is good but it never quite banishes the ache to have another one that’s all mine. I rememer the sleep deprivation and the stress, but it doesn’t do away with the visceral ache.

      On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 5:05 PM, Kathleen M. Basi wrote:


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