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…is on my brain these days. (Oh, I do love misleading headlines!)

Anyway, it’s crazy, I know. There are days when things flow so smoothly, days when hardly anybody cries, days when I feel like we’re almost out of the trenches– and I couldn’t IMAGINE starting all over again with another child. As a matter of fact, many times I whisper a “thank you, Jesus” prayer that we’ve come so far. Because those are fantastic days- and they’re happening more frequently lately. They’re almost enough to squash that baby urge all together. But not quite. Because there’s still a sliver of something in me that just can’t believe I’ll never be pregnant again, never breathe in that sweet newborn scent again, never have impossibly tiny fingers wrap around mine. And when it hits, it hits hard.

It’s not that I feel as if our family isn’t complete. I’m very happy with the dynamics of four kids- our quiver is certainly full. It’s so full, in fact, that I wonder how we’d accommodate anything extra. But still… this feeling.

I suppose it would be there after the last baby, no matter how many children I have. Because it means, this is the end of this part of my life. A chapter is finished, a really BIG chapter, the best one so far. And now as I approach the end of it, I don’t know how to turn that last page. So much of who and what I am, so much of my purpose- is wound up in bringing forth life. We can’t help it, as women. We’ve been playing “mommie” since we could hold a baby doll. It’s not just a mindset, it’s a biological force that we’ve dealt with since adolescence. Moving beyond it, denying that function, is a wrenching decision.

I will be 33 this year, and in many ways, I’m ready to hand off the torch to the younger women, let them have the babies. Because it’s tough, and I’m a little bit tired. But my fingers hesitate, and my heart is torn, and I wonder if I have stamina enough for just one more run.

If I don’t, if I’ve given everything I have to give, then it means I must have a different kind of strength- the kind to say, Okay. I’m done.

I’m not so sure which of those is harder.

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