I’d like to be pregnant just once more. I’d like to see a plus sign
on a pregnancy test and do a dance of joy on the bathroom floor.
I’d like to tell my husband, “We did it,” and see the joy on his face.
I’d like to walk with my secret in those early months,
a proud grin on my mouth,
inexplicable to those who do not know.
I’d like to take prenatal vitamins every day.
Just once more,
I’d like to feel my clothes grow tighter and let that make me smile.
I’d like to tell my daughter there’s a tiny baby in my tummy,
a brother or a sister for us to love.
I’d like to see her eyes grow wide and her heart full with happiness that I know will turn to envy.
I’d like to worry about how she will adjust to her mommy caring for another child.
Just once more, I’d like to feel this family grow.
Just once more, I’d like to watch my body swell.
I’d like to look at myself in the mirror and rub cocoa butter on my hips and my breasts.
I’d like to take warm naps when the sleepiness comes.
I’d like to take loving care of myself.
Just once more, I’d like to make passersby smile at my enormous middle,
and cause strangers to open doors and carry groceries for me.
I’d like to feel the envy of the women in my life, those who will give advice and remember,
for a moment, what it feels like to carry life inside of you.
Just once more, I’d like to wear that womanly sacredness.
Just once more, I’d like to feel the movement inside me,
and try to guess which body part is pressing on my ribs.
I’d like to feel the gentle nudge of a baby’s hiccups in my guts.
I’d like to take my daughter’s hand, and place it precisely on my skin, where it ripples and undulates.
I’d like to peer over my stomach to find my toes, and watch my belly button turn inside out.
Just once more, I’d like someone to be a part of me walking.
Just once more, I’d like to go to sleep at night, too big to be comfortable.
I’d like to wonder if I will sleep through the night, or if labor will come before tomorrow.
I’d like to feel the first contraction and get out the stopwatch.
Just once more, I’d like to ride the waves of contractions, howling.
I’d like to marvel at the strength of my body.
Just once more, I’d like to squeeze my husband’s hands when it hurts,
and have them massage my back when it subsides.
I’d like to breathe those funny breaths and hum that strange, guttural tone.
Just once more I’d like to bring forth a child, slippery and wet from the depths of my body.
I’d like to feel God move through me.
Just once more, I would like to undress a newborn child and count the toes and fingers.
I would like to see my husband’s eyes looking back at me from the face in my arms.
I’d like to look for birthmarks, and place my finger in a tiny powerful fist.
I’d like to turn names over in my mind,
listening to the sound of them with our family names,
and see if they match the new face in my arms.
Just once more, I’d like to see a soul with a new body and a new name.
Just once more,
I’d like to hold a child at my breast and feel the milk let down,
ready to nourish and comfort.
I’d like to feel my breasts heavy and uncomfortable,
so full the milk squirts out when I take a warm shower.
I’d like to hold that child to my chest and rock and sing.
I’d like, just once more, to feel my shirt wet,
warm and sticky from milk too ready to pour.
Just once more, I would like to be more animal than human,
connected to all the living mothers in fur or in skin.
Just once more, I’d like to fold tiny clothes, change tiny diapers.
I’d like to help my daughter hold this new baby for the first time.
I’d like to see my husband sway an infant in his massive arms.
I’d like to fill the house with baby things:
blankets and toys, a swing and a bassinet.
I’d like to feel the relief of getting a child to sleep, finally,
and the tension of checking for breath throughout the night.
I’d like to wish again for just one uninterrupted night of sleep.
Just once more,
I’d like to live when the days and nights are no longer marked by light and darkness,
but full and empty stomachs.
Just once more, I’d like to host the visitors, the well-wishers, the gift-bringers.
I’d like to hold my newest child up proudly for viewing.
I’d like to see my mother cry at the miracle of this new life.
I’d like to hand the baby to my husband so that I could hold and cradle my daughter.
I’d like to tell her about the time that she was as small and needy as her new sibling,
and how we tended her as gently.
Just once more, I’d like to let love multiply.
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About the author: Laura Brogden is devoted to mothering.