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Bridgette White Headshot

Today My Arms Really Ache

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BABY NAME PRENUP
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She hands him to me and he fits perfectly in the curve of my arms. I feel the warmth of his head and the weight of his body.

He tenses up and wrinkles his forehead. His fists sway near his face in that uncontrolled manner of the newborn.

Some ancient motherly instinct kicks in immediately and my body moves its familiar dance. Sway. Rock. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Heartbeat.

Breath.

Love.

His small body relaxes, his face calms and his hands settle quietly in a perfect pose against his faultless cheeks.

There is nothing like holding a baby.

As I take in everything about him, my sweet nephew, I start to feel that ache from deep inside scream out to me again.

Quiet, I tell it.

My daughter and son run by in a rush of swords and energy. They sweep through the room and they are so loud. He wrinkles up his forehead again as he takes in the kids he will someday play with.

Quiet, I tell them.

They run out screaming battle cries and erupting into laughter.

I focus on the beautiful new life in my arms and all at once, it becomes too much.

I will never have another baby.

The reality of that hits me hard in the stomach and I fight back tears.

Quiet down.

I know in my heart that I am blessed more than some. I had two amazing pregnancies and births. I held, slept and nursed my babies constantly, and I don't regret a single second of any of it.

I got to experience all the joys of babyhood.

Twice.

There are those close to me that have never had the chance, some whose path to motherhood was anything but easy and others who have given up all hope.

My heart breaks for them and the injustice of it all.

Soon, my mind is racing with crazy possibilities. Surrogacy. Vasectomy-reversal. Adoption. Become a midwife. Foster kids.

I grasp toward anything but acceptance and peace.

Quiet down, I whisper to myself.

The baby shifts in my arms and I lean down to kiss his soft head and take in his smells. He makes cooing noises and I smile.

I look at my sister and her husband and they are positively glowing. This is their time. Their journey is just beginning and it makes me so happy. I think about all the joys and struggles ahead of them and my heart feels like it will burst with excitement.

There is nothing like holding a baby and I'm filled with gratitude toward these young, new parents. They drove over so I could hold him and they delight in sharing their bliss with me.

He stirs in my arms and I know that others are waiting a turn to hold him.

Just one more minute
, I plead.

Just. One. More.

My arms are empty again and they ache so much. My yearning is deep, primal and painful. It fills me with such a sense of loss that I find it impossible to explain or convey to my husband.

I know the acceptance will come. It must.

But today, alone in my quiet bedroom, I'm going to let the tears flow.

I will never have another baby.