When Carter was ten weeks old, I never would have broken down in tears at the thought of him being our only child. In fact, the thought of that happening is enough to make me giggle just a bit.
When Carter was ten weeks old, I could never imagine having another baby after him, much less another after that.
So why then, did I break down into tears last week while folding all of Maclane's 0-3 month clothing? Why then, did I break down into shaking sobs as I packed them away in dusty, informal blue Tupperware bins? The ones that so plain and simply bore the words "Baby Boy Clothes NB-3mo." After all it was all a familiar scene, something I had done just eighteen months prior when my first baby outgrew them.
When Carter was ten weeks old, the age that Maclane is today, the thought of having a second child would never have crossed my mind, much less would I feel that innate need for another child so soon.
When Carter was ten weeks old, I could hardly stomach the thought of having sex with my husband again, something that I'm quite certain is an integral part of procreating, is it not?
I would imagine that thought never crossed my mind because of the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with having your first baby. Or perhaps it was the immediate and all-consuming lapse into Newborn-dom that often leaves little, if any, room to think about much else.
It may have also had a teensy tiny bit to do with the fact that, back then, I had no idea what kind of mother I would be.
On Wednesday evening, as I was sitting in the middle of the nursery floor folding tiny blue and white onesies, some embroidered with brightly woven trucks, another with soft sweet lions, I came across my favorite all white Ralph Lauren layette sleeper worn by Maclane for such a brief amount of time. It was then that I was absolutely blindsided and downright frightened by the thought that this could very well be the last time I do this. The very last time.
And that's when the tears came. That's when I knew I'm not done yet. We're not done yet.
I never wanted three kids. Way back before the house and the vows and the ring, before Sheepie, back when it was just Michael and Ashley, back when we could only fathom what our future would hold, I never wanted three kids.
Back when I was seven and playing with my baby dolls in my pretty pink bedroom with the pretty pink bedspread and the pretty pink plastic doll carriage. I never wanted three babies.
But I do now. I need three babies.
Because the thought of never again getting to see the look on my husband's face when he meets his freshly born baby for the first time, the thought of never again getting to rock another teensy tiny baby to sleep, the thought of this being my very last baby to nurse, to sing to, to comfort, absolutely rips me apart. It breaks my heart into one million tiny pieces.
The same heart that has grown exponentially over these last ten weeks. More so than I ever could have ever imagined. It's no surprise that it grew with the birth of Maclane but it has grown so much more since then, with the love that I have for my husband who is such an incredible, passionate father to our boys and for Carter who has seamlessly transitioned into his role as a big brother.
Carter, who has grown what seems like years just in these past ten weeks.
Every time he runs over to Maclane and rubs his head when he fusses or drapes a blanket over his feet (and occasionally his face, I can't lie), it takes my breath away. How can someone so small know that kind of compassion? How can someone so small understand what it means to soothe someone who cries and better, feel so compelled to do so?
This cannot be the last time I feel these things. Maclane cannot be our last baby.
And in that moment, while folding those little blue and white onesies I knew it.
I'm not done yet.