So it seems as if a lot of people are having babies around us these days. This summer we had as good as conclusively come to the decision that we were done having kids — as “conclusive” as you can be without actually being willing and/or ready to make definitive birth control decisions. However, our friends at Faith Covenant in Winnipeg, Gavin and Liz, had their little boy on Halloween, and our good friends from Gateway who moved to Alberta, Steve and Lisa, are due in the next few weeks. Then there’s Jyl, Nicole, Jobina due in the new year (I’m probably forgetting some people in there) as well as a bunch of girls here in Otterburne.

And I keep having to remind myself that these baby-fever feelings I get are not from wanting “children”. They come from wanting to be cute and pregnant, wanting to give birth, and wanting to live out those exhausting, bleary-eyed, milk-overflowing early days of life with a newborn. But that is all.

I love the new phase we’re entering with the kids. We can take them places and have much less to worry about and much less gear to bring along. With the counselling degree, I can start thinking about working after Olivia is in kindergarten. Life feels good right now just the way it is.

And it could be because I’m nearing the end of the “terrible twos” with Olivia, and Luke is turning into a pretty well-behaved little (pre)schoolboy, but it makes me realize that all of that parenting that used to overwhelm me was completely liveable, kind of fun actually, and truly precious. (Just like all of those moms of older kids used to tell me.)

But still. When I think about bringing a new life into the world… there is just something so precious about that. And it doesn’t help that of all the phases of motherhood I love the pregnancy/birth/newborn stage with absolutely all my heart and soul and could live with a 36cm uterus and leaking nipples for the rest of my life, if I knew I would always stay at that stage. But alas… the uterus contracts back to normal size within a few days and the leaking nipples dry up.

I know a lot of fourth and final children that have come several years after the first three, whether they were “accidents” or not. Part of me thinks it would be wonderful to have one more baby right now because I know I would appreciate it all the more. The other (much bigger and much more reasonable) part of me is so very happy with the family we have right now and feels absolutely content and complete.

But then I look at the pictures of our friends and their newborns and think of how tired and euphoric they are, and I get just a tiny large bit jealous. But I have to tell myself that I’ve been there, so there’s no need to be jealous. All I have to do is go back and look at the pictures of when I was at that wonderful stage of life. And then I realize that I’ve had my moments. That they can’t go on forever. And that I most definitely look at those times through rose-coloured glasses, because it really is an exhausting time of life.

So, go back in time with me. Seven years ago this December 15th to the birth of Miss Madeline Jayne. I was just 23 years old. After 24 hours of labour, 3 hours of pushing, a post-birth trip to the operating room, having an extremely difficult time nursing, and being so swollen and puffy even my nose was big, all I remember was feeling almost absolutely “high” with how beautiful Madeline was. Even though her head was all bruised and puffy, I thought she was so beautiful. I was mesmerized. Looking back at her first few weeks of life, things were really quite horrible. But I had nothing to compare it to, so I was just a sore, happy mommy, looking down at this sweet little face.

Fast forward to March 11, 2005. Luke flew out into this world before the doctor even arrived. That time around I was “high” on the fact that I had just expelled a 9lb 9oz person into the world in just two pushes! I was amazed at how much better I felt physically and how everything post-partum was a thousand times easier. (Madeline was dedicated when she was two weeks old and on the video you see me hobble up there with my sore bottom. When Luke was two weeks old we went for a 1.5 hour-long hike in the snow at Christopher Lake!) I think with second babies you worry so much about handling twice as much work as before and how your oldest child is going to adjust that you don’t get as much time to just enjoy the little baby. But I remember loving the moments that were just between me and Luke.

And then there was Olivia. She came out in a most perfect way on a most perfect day in late April 2007, two days after my 28th birthday. I just remember how little she was (even though she was a typical size: 7lb 8oz), how perfect her little face was, and how quiet and content she was. It was like a dream. We were in and out of the hospital in 24 hours. And while the baby part was easy-peasy, I was also at home alone with all three kids for 95% of Olivia’s first week, took two weeks off to focus on Olivia, and after that did the rest of the packing for our move two weeks after that. Still, for as full as my hands and my days were, I did all I could to enjoy her tiny baby-ness as much as I could.

Now that it’s more than likely all said and done with me and babies, I kind of wish I could do it all over again. Or maybe I wish that I lived in one of those cultures where the mom doesn’t get out of her bed for the first forty days. I would love that. I think it would make you feel so much more in the moment, like you had one focus. That’s the thing. Maybe I like the pregnancy/birth/newborn stage because you are physically forced to have one focus. And I’ve always liked knowing that I’m doing what “I need to be doing”. And, of course, there is the great wonder and hope that comes from seeing a little, innocent life come into this world. There’s something so pure and hopeful in looking at a new life…

So, yes, I get a bit of the baby fever every time I see a friend’s pregnant belly or hear a birth story or see a picture of a newborn.



I must remind myself that when I put my kids to bed every night at 7:30pm, that six nights out of seven, I don’t see them for the next twelve hours. And, that my friends, also fills me with great hope and wonder!

Posted in Family, Kids, Memories, Pregnancy/Birth | 20 Comments

20 Responses to Babies!!!

  1. I was the fourth of four, dads desire for a boy. We had two boys and a girl, three was enough, you really are close to self sufficent children. Empty nesting is a whole new life. Hug someone elses baby. My 2cent.

    I have been enjoying your cute kids pics.


  2. Drea says:

    Awe you look so cute in all your birth photos.. isnt it funny how much the photography improves with each kid 2 πŸ™‚

    I am one of those pregnant moms. I hope my belly doesnt give you to much baby fever πŸ™‚ but I can totally relate.

    I will say that I am not looking forward to the interrupted sleep again… my boys sleep good now… and still nap! so to have that all taken away is not exactly my favorite new addition with a new baby πŸ™‚ but it all works out in the end. I do cherish the moments tho… they pass way to quickly.

  3. Ange Johnson says:

    I love Marc’s changing appearance in all these pics! Hilarious!

  4. Carissa says:

    Very well-said, as always, Dixie. I completely agree with how you feel about pregnancy/birth/newborn stage!! I loved LOVED it! But having said that, I totally don’t have that baby fever any more, much like you are saying – it’s nice to almost always sleep through the night, and even though my youngest hasn’t hit terrible twos, I still feel like life is more manageable and getting easier. I do cherish and love each stage too. But I’m glad you guys haven’t done anything permanent yet, b/c who knows, right? πŸ˜‰

  5. Carissa says:

    And fabulous pictures too, by the way! πŸ˜‰

  6. Marc says:

    But note, Ange, that my glasses stay the same throughout! (It’s time for some new specs!)

  7. Nicole says:

    What a great post! I too love the newborn stage and am really looking forward to it – lack of sleep and all. It will be interesting to see how it differs from the first time. I’ll be looking to you for advice I’m sure! Plus, based on how quick it seems that time has passed since reading that Olivia was born, I know those newborn days will be gone in a flash.

  8. Jean says:

    Dixie, did you know Shane and Brenda Acorn previously from Crossroads? Well, she’s home with her three month old baby boy. Liam. He was a preemie and weighs not much over 7 pounds. So tiny.

  9. Yes, Jean. Brenda and I are quite good friends, though the busyness of our lives the past year has kept us from spending more time together. I dropped by their place just before we moved and it was one of the first days Brenda had been home since Liam was born. It was good to see her. Hopefully I’ll get to meet Liam one of these days too!

  10. Rayna says:

    I know exactly how you feel – We are not wavering about the “lore kids” part though – we made it permanent, though whenever I see a pregnant belly or a tiny newborn, I want another one. Keep on telling myself if we really want to, we can adopt. I love tiny, tiny babies and how they snuggle in and cuddle close. The thing is, for my own, I did not enjoy the tiny baby stage for the most part – wished all the time that they were a little less fragile and needy. Strange, but true.

  11. Lisa says:

    as you know I would gladly do without the pregnancy stage! And the closer I get to having this baby, the more I remember how tiring and stressful the first few months are (especially with the whole nursing thing, which again I could totally do without). Still all that being said, nothing compares to the smell of a newborn and the feeling you get at the whole miraculousness of it all. But I’m totally done after this one – and yes, permanent birth control will be put into place! πŸ˜‰

  12. Jyl says:

    This post makes me both happy and sad. Happy because I get to experience all of these wonderful, new, crazy, amazing feelings in a matter of weeks. But it makes me feel sad because I had hoped you would be able to be there when I went through them. Oh well…I’ll just have to make sure Mike videos as much as he can so when you and I watch it later, it’ll be as if you were right there!

  13. Collette says:

    this post probably would have been sad for me a few weeks ago, but I’m feeling much better these days. I sure hope I get to have these experiences! babies = love.

    also, Marc’s changing appearance was also fun to watch!

  14. Jobina says:

    I was going through my baby fever stage when you were pregnant with Olivia and Rayna was pregnant with the twins. It was awful. I love my kids but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was another one for us. I even dreamt about it one night. I would often get my “fix” at friend’s houses holding their babies (sometimes with tears pouring down my face) and I even volunteered in the church nursery every once in a while. I just love those babies…thanks for reminding me to cherish every moment!

  15. Yeah, I thought of you when I wrote this Collette, especially after what we were talking about this week. I hoped it wouldn’t bother you. I figured it’d be okay b/c I was experiencing “baby fever” like you.

    And, Jyl, I’m still pretty convinced that I can just start driving back to PA as soon as I hear that you’re in labour and won’t miss a thing. πŸ™‚

  16. Ruthie says:

    i love these photos!

  17. Collette says:

    Dixie, you are allowed to post and say whatever you like on your blog πŸ™‚ you shouldn’t worry about how your readers feel about what you post, because this is your property and your thoughts.

    but, I have to say, your experiences are not the same as mine. until you face a life without kids at all, you can’t possibly understand me, and no, respectfully no I would say your baby fever isn’t the same as mine. it is not the same to want more of what you have, than to want something you don’t have. and it’s not the same to make a conscious decision to not have more, compared to feeling like it’s an experience you are ready to have but that you can’t make happen. an experience that, by ALL accounts, changes ones life completely. as I mentioned the other day, it’s not like wanting a blue car or a puppy. wanting children and being unable to have them is one of the most gigantic things I can imagine.

    you know, I was thinking about this the other day. people get all misty-eyed when a couple announces that they have been trying to have kids but can’t. when a single person announces that they would like to have children and are hoping to meet someone soon that they love enough to have children with, that single person is told to enjoy their baby-free and partner-free lives while they can. that’s been my experience, at any rate.

  18. You’re completely right, Collette. I wasn’t trying to say that our baby fever was the same. I just couldn’t get it out the right way. I guess it’s because we were talking about wanting babies on your blog and I’ve been having some of those feelings again.

    I hope you never feel like I am minimizing where you’re at. And I appreciate that you can come to my blog and read and not go away discouraged when so much of my content is kid-related. I have a great respect for that b/c I imagine if the roles were reversed I just wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    I don’t really know what else to say, but I hope, hope, hope that you get the chance to be a mom. And it does make me sad that you want them and aren’t in a position to have them right now.

    It sure is hard being sensitive to where other people are at, though, isn’t it? Someone coming to a stressed-out, exhausted mom and saying, “Well, just be glad you have kids!” and someone saying to a single person, “Oh man! I wish my life was as quiet as yours!” can be pretty insensitive things to say, even if the person saying them is not aware of it.

    Anyway… now I’m rambling. But I like you Collette. πŸ™‚

  19. Collette says:

    It sure is hard being sensitive to where other people are at, though, isn’t it? Someone coming to a stressed-out, exhausted mom and saying, β€œWell, just be glad you have kids!” and someone saying to a single person, β€œOh man! I wish my life was as quiet as yours!” can be pretty insensitive things to say, even if the person saying them is not aware of it.

    it’s true! absolutely. kids are such a particularly sensitive issue, too. when people complain about their partners or children, I want to beg them to be grateful for what they have. but, when I was married I remember storming into work one morning saying to a single colleague, “be happy you’re single. at least you don’t have someone pissing you off first thing in the morning!!!” and now that I’m divorced, I realize how horribly insensitive that was. and now she’s married and pregnant.

    no worries. I like you too Dixie πŸ™‚ the good thing about me being one that will be late in the game in terms of kids is that I get to learn now some lessons that you had to muddle through all by yourself. and I am aware that it isn’t such a bad situation to be in, for me anyway! and I think going through all that I’ve gone through with my dad having leukemia and going through a divorce and the consequent feelings of loss and depression all at the same time will hopefully make me a better parent than I’d have been without those lessons. it’s the lemonade I am making out of these sour, bitter lemons πŸ™‚

  20. Natalie says:

    Tired and euphoric. What a great way to put it. Although my family feels complete to me, I think I too will alwsays see pregnant bellies and feel a little tug. I don’t know how long it will be before that stops happening. I don’t want any more kids. But there are feelings that you have during pregnancy and after having the baby that you don’t get any other way ever. You can’t replicate the feelings with any other experience.

    Everything else in life will be fun too, but I hear ya on the whole pregnancy/baby thing.

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