As Miss M. has gotten older and life has become more streamline with schedules: A's work, boy's school, workouts, naps, scouts, jiu jitsu, football... My kids get older and new challenges appear with each stage of development, but I am Truly grateful that they are getting older and life is simmering down.
With E. I had a really rough go when he was a tiny baby and my feelings for him were strained for several years, but that has changed as he has gotten older and as I've learned how to be a mother to him. With Mr. M. it was easier, but I never allowed myself to really let loose and enjoy each stage of his development. I always knew there was another person who wanted to join our family, and with my fertility issues it was a stress. Wondering when and where and how the new member of our family would get here. I didn't relax and breathe in the moments of sweetness and fun and spontaneity that he brings to my life.
With Miss M. it has been a totally different experience. I have loved each stage of her: as a newborn, infant, baby and now toddler. She is amazing and I am totally smitten. Yet, ask me, and I will tell you that I wouldn't go back to any of those stages if given the choice.
We have decided as a family that we will never do fertility treatments again. And if that means that the Gilbert clan remains at a count of 5 we are absolutely, 100% positively, content with that number. Even if Miss M. had been a Mr. we would still be good at 5.
For me this decision has been one of the most liberating decisions I've ever made The burden of wondering if/how my family would expand has been lifted off of my shoulders. If Heavenly Father decides to send us a miracle to make our number 6 then that is great; if not, that is great too. I now actually enjoy other people's babies, to cuddle them and squeeze them and smell their sweet heads, and hand them back when they are fussy or stinky or hungry. I have visited 2 good friends in the hospital after they have had their babies and each time I leave to come home to children who sleep through the night and take predictable naps, I snicker to myself with glee. I find a HUGE amount of happiness in knowing that it is highly unlikely that I will have a tiny infant to care for again. They are a lot of fun and love, but a lot of WORK.
I no longer feel any stirrings of jealousy if one of my friend's get pregnant. I don't miss it. It is true that it is a miraculous feeling to have that baby move inside of me, and without contest the most joyous sound in the world is when they take that baby out of you and you hear that little voice for the very first time, truly, completely, awe striking and humbling. Ask me, and I will tell you, I won't be sad if I never have the experience again.
I LOVE each of my children. I LOVE that they are growing up.