A week before the baby turned one, I had a sudden moment of clarity. I turned to my half-asleep husband and said, "oh! That explains it!"
"What explains what?" he mumbled.
"It's almost the baby's first birthday! That explains why I've been so aware of my empty womb lately!"
(He groaned in response.)
It was true, though. I had, for the past couple of weeks, been very aware of the fact that a) I had a uterus, and b) it was currently empty.
It wasn't that I actively desired to have another baby right away. I have a baby, and I take care of a second one part time. I'm good in the baby department. If God chooses to bless us with another baby so soon, I will be thrilled, but I'm not currently longing for one.
I am simply very aware of my womb's presence and its current vacancy. It feels very...odd, I think, to have this womb just sitting there, taking up space, not doing anything. Just hanging out in there, vacancy sign flashing.
I can only assume that it was the baby's upcoming birthday that had pushed said vacancy so suddenly to the forefront of my mind. It was when my oldest son turned one that my husband and I started "trying" for a second child. Because I continued to breastfeed our son, however, lactational amenorrhea meant it would be nearly another year before we received our much-coveted positive pregnancy test.
This time, I do not feel the same sense of urgency. My baby is only a year old. My husband and I have chosen, for a number of reasons (physical, emotional, and spiritual) not to use birth control, and breastfeeding allows our children to be naturally spaced, God's perfect design to give a mother's body time to rest between pregnancies. I feel calm this time, content to accept and appreciate that spacing, looking forward to having life fill this vacant womb again but not yearning for it to happen now, on my timing. Instead, I will enjoy and rejoice in my little one's babyhood, being fully present in each moment, not rushing this season away prematurely.
My womb may be vacant, but my heart and my life are so beautifully full.