the maternal season

I was pregnant for thirty out of thirty-six consecutive months. I am very familiar with the maternal season. It begins when you stare down in amazement at two pink lines rather than one and the end of the season is a little fuzzy, but when it's over - it's over and there is no going back to that particular season, ever.

When Elias was eight weeks old, I told someone his age and I was all of a sudden flabbergasted. He had turned into our baby, and not necessarily my newborn. My body was different, for certain, but it wasn't freshly wounded by surgery and my back had long since adjusted to constant leaning over my precious boy. The maternal season was over and
I just knew I had to have it back.

When Glory was about five months old, still as little as a baby bird - with her neck craning constantly for food and for her mama, something shifted and we both knew it was time to give up the charade. My milk was like slimfast for her and feeding her was more than taking its toll on my body and so we parted ways at feeding time, at least for most of the time and boy was I sad. I missed her flat palm patting me and the familiar smell of me, her, and milk all nestled up. I genuinely enjoyed nursing her and could physically feel the endorphins hit my body when we got settled in. But, it was over. My maternal season with her had been full of rollercoasters and I reluctantly stood up, and got off. I didn't like it, I felt empty and useless.

Benjamin is still drinking his mom's milk, he is still waking up in the night for little dates with me - but today, the maternal season most definitely ended. I'd been dealing with a merciless c-section wound that wouldn't close and last night on close examination I told Nick, "I don't want to jinx it, but I think my incision is finally closed". At my six week check-up, my ob confirmed - I was finally healed and in my heart, I knew more than just that six inch line had closed. My maternal season is over, and I think - for good.

My doctor said, "I'll see you in a year for a checkup- right?", and I firmly said, "no sooner". I don't feel empty or useless or shocked by the abrupt end of something amazing. I loved this season - shocking pink lines, early labor, pelvic pain, wide nose,
gaping wound and all - but it is most definitely over.

The maternal seasons are over and now my heart can just focus on the mama season.
I won't be that girl that people can make jokes about constantly being pregnant, in fact - you won't be able to make jokes about me, because I'll be at the kids table with my brood. You won't want to rub my belly, hopefully it will be concealed and if you comment on it - I would like it to be because it is shrinking. My ankles are normal size and I won't have a stash of heartburn pills. I will have three beautiful munchers at my feet and probably a
handful of tylenol for headaches. The season is over and it feels just right.

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