Being a Mommy was something I had dreamed about as far back as I can remember.
My favorite thing to do as a child was to play with my dolls. They were my first babies. I dressed them, fed them and loved them for many years, just like any good mommy would do.
Dolls decorated my bedroom probably far longer than what would be considered socially acceptable.
Toy highchairs, cribs and strollers mixed with posters of my pre-teen and teen crushes bombarded anyone walking into my private quarters. My bedroom screamed confusion; wanting to grow up yet wanting to stay young.
By the time I reached 6th or 7th grade, my friends no longer wanted to play, they wanted to gossip and talk about boys. My dolls sat, eavesdropping, taking it all in. Completely ignored by the world around them.
I think that I was in 8th grade when I realized that my dolls had been sitting, lonely for human touch, for quite awhile. So, instead of having them napping, eating and waiting for walks, I put them on my dresser for display and removed the rest of the toys from my room.
I was now a teenager. My love was transferred from dolls to Duran Duran. My room redecorated into a typical teenage hangout with adolescence tucked into storage bins or locked away in closets.
But always, I knew that I wanted to have living versions of the toys I played so longingly and lovingly with.
When I was 27, my first living and breathing doll was placed in my arms. I was now, officially and forever, a Mommy.
All my dreams had come true and was lying tightly bundled in my arms, looking into my eyes.
I became a mom to 3 children, my dolls. Real replaced play.
Then, these babies got bigger and just like I did with my dolls, I had to remove some of the clutter. Although, with my real babies, I didn’t put them on display on a shelf.
Here I am, almost 16 years after giving birth for the first time. Middle age is here, smacking me upside the head. Dolls and babies both a distant yet vivid memory that I take out and revisit, remembering the smells and sounds of childhood play and early motherhood.
Today, I went to my gynecologist. I’ve been having some girl bit issues that took me by surprise. I won’t get into those just yet, that’s another post, another subject matter for another time.
During our discussion, she asked me what contraception my husband and I have been using. I shared that information with her. She asked if we used it religiously and I said…um, pretty much, yeah.
She looked at me and asked me if I was done having babies. DONE. As in, never again would I feel a baby move inside me. Never again would I give birth. Never again would I be awakened in the middle of the night, numerous times, to nurse.
I said…Hell yeah I’m done.
And I meant it. Despite the lurch in my heart and the lump that formed in my throat when the reality hit me that I am now way past the age of having babies. My children are getting older, some of them will be going off to college in a couple years. My youngest is growing quickly and steadily. They all are. And my dolls remain, forever babies, on a shelf in my closet.
All those years of hoping, wishing and longing for babies has come to an end.
Instead of talking to my Ob/Gyn, she is now just my gynecologist. There will be no OB.
Instead of discussing Lamaze, hospital visits and pediatricians, I am discussing getting my tubes tied to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.
Because I don’t want any more pregnancies.
At least, not my own.
I now have to wait until my children are at that stage in their lives, the one I waited patiently for years to be at, to be able to hold my own flesh and blood babies once again.
It’s such a strange feeling. To realize that life has so rapidly come and is so rapidly zipping by. While I’ve been watching my children hit their milestones and stages, mine have been passing, virtually unnoticed.
Until today. When I really paid attention to where I am in my life. When I was really honest with myself. Having a baby, at my age, isn’t where I want to be. I am beyond that in so many ways. My life is starting to be my own. I’m becoming the person that I want to be.
So, after my next doctors appointment, which is next week, I will be making an appointment that I never foresaw myself making.
I will never again have a baby.
As bittersweet and momentous this is, it’s what I want.
It’s just shocking that this is where I am when I feel like I should still be where I was.