“Give me five more minutes,” I yelled. I felt exhausted from all the packing we had done and was ready to get on the road. My bestie was helping me move six hours north for grad school and was hurrying me along. I, however, was upstairs waiting for the last song to upload to my iPod, because #priorities. The song was absolutely required to complete the perfect road-trip playlist. It was just going to be my dogs and me. First time ever. No boy. No family. No familiar faces. Just me. Obviously, that music was priority. That song was the only thing I needed.
“Give me five more minutes,” I shouted. The printer wasn’t working in the student office, and I needed to get this paper printed and turned in for class. Why did I wait until the last minute to print it out…again? I had stayed up way too late with friends, drinking wine and laughing and feeling carefree because I had finished that paper weeks ago. Yet, this morning I woke at 7:00 A.M. to find my printer out of ink. I rushed into the school to get it printed. Ughhh, hurry UP! Nothing in the whole wide world mattered more than that paper deadline. Turning in that stupid paper was the only thing I needed.
“Give me five more minutes,” I whispered. Today was the day I would be married. Today was the day I had excitedly dreamed of for the last 15 years months. I took my time getting dressed, soaking it all in. I looked in the mirror, and I was a bride! However, it was in that same moment I realized I was a bride who had forgotten my handwritten vows at home. On my dresser. At home. I rushed to the hotel room desk to start writing them again. I needed more time to finish what could be the most important thing I ever write. Everyone was ready to walk. I needed five more minutes. This man is my everything, and I was certain that nothing had ever mattered more than those vows and these five minutes.
“Give me five more minutes,” I cried. I was notified that it was go time and my daughter needed to come out. I was so ready to meet her. I had been laboring for 20 or so hours at this point and though my body was tired, my mind raced. I wasn’t fully dilating, they said. When the doctor came in and said it was time to head to the operating room, I panicked. A C-section wasn’t on my birth plan (which instead included tons of relaxing music that I had carefully chosen to accompany my peaceful birth). I thought I would have more time to wrap my head around this moment. I needed more time to prepare. I thought that five more minutes would make it all slow down.
“Give me five more minutes,” I shushed. She was fussy and gassy. Each of her tears was a stake in my heart. I needed her to be OK. She was our world, and we analyzed her every moment. We were attentive, in love, and in need of a baby manual. She was five weeks old, and I didn’t know what I was doing. I needed more time to try to quiet her on my own. I needed to know I could do it myself before passing her to my husband. I can do this. I can make her feel better. I just need five more minutes to make her content. As tears rolled down my brand new mother cheeks, I begged for five more minutes to calm my sweet girl on my own.
“Give me five more minutes,” I laughed. He was rolling on the floor and refused to crawl. His sister was bouncing around and trying to explain to him that crawling was super easy. He would laugh and fall to his belly trying to reach the tiny food trail I was leaving for him. It was time for me to go to work and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to miss this moment in his life. Come on, buddy! Mommy needs to see this. Please crawl for me! I needed to feel like I was part of every single moment. Time is flying. I need it to slow down immediately. I needed to soak up every moment of these two crazy babies.
“Give me five more minutes,” I thought. I was alone in the pre-op room. They were about to roll me into the operating room to implant my final embryo. This was going to be either our third child or our second failed attempt. Either way, it was the last one. The last time of being pumped with drugs. The last time of possibly feeling those tiny baby kicks inside. The last time of praying hard that this would work. I wasn’t finished praying. This has been such a giant part of my last six years. I needed five more minutes to feel at peace with God’s will.
“Give me five more minutes,” I huffed through clenched teeth. The kids were driving me absolutely nuts. It had been a long day at home as a SAHM. I was currently locked in my pantry eating animal crackers at an astounding rate while one child tattled on the other through the closed door, another child banged on the door crying that he needed another snack, and the baby sobbed because I’d left the room. Mommy needed a timeout. I knew nothing good would happen (other than some adult supervision) if I opened the door to the 20 fingers poking in from underneath. Two crazy kids and one screaming baby. Lord, help me. I needed five more minutes to myself more than anything else in the world.
“Give me five more minutes,” I beg. I feel a tear roll down my cheek. In one month he will be ONE! I can’t believe it has been a year. He is our caboose—my angel, my miracle, and my last. I look down to see him slowly drooping his heavy eyelids as I walk him upstairs to breastfeed before bedtime. Daddy likes to handle bedtime, and if the baby wakes again, my husband can go back upstairs with him. But I need this moment. My mommy heart needs to relish in his warmth. This is it. Soon, I won’t be needed in the same way. My body won’t nourish him anymore. He won’t reach for me to nurse. As we sit down together in his rocker, I stare down at him. I need this moment to happen forever. Time stand still for me, please. It takes my breath away as I focus on what it feels like to have his sweet head resting on my arm. Please, Lord, let me never forget this sweet baby smell for the rest of my life. Never let me forget for one second what it feels like to be this needed.
I look up into the dark of the room, slowly close my eyes, and deeply exhale. I have absolutely everything I need.