But no. He chose to give us this fascinating, wondrous, blessed way of children conceived, shaped, gently and carefully nurtured in their mother's womb. He chose to give us, mothers, the gift of babies and children - not for a month, not for a year, but for a beautiful, ever-changing, long yet fleeting season.
And without even knowing it, those little ones touch lives. They bring smiles and lots of joy to anyone who sees them - parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. A miracle! I will never forget how I saw Shira, who just emerged from my womb and was suddenly out - breathing, moving, crying. My first words were, "this cannot be!"
(Shira's hand - so tiny and precious. It looks like she's trying to reach towards something.)
Whether you have children yourself or not, it's a blessing and privilege to meet children in this world, to know children, to be their friend and let their little lives touch yours. It's an even greater gift to be able to bear children - a gift not every woman will have, and for those of us who were so blessed to have it, it's not forever and will only last a season in our lives - perhaps ten years, perhaps twenty, but it will pass.
Even though I'm young, and can hopefully have many more children if that is God's will, I try to imagine what a mother must feel as she approaches the final years of this beautiful, incredibly rich and fruitful season in her life. There must be a bittersweet finality in knowing that though you've raised a lovely family, no more children of your womb will be added to it. Of course, there are always miracles (like our Mother Sarah, who gave birth to Yitzhak at the age of ninety), and there's the joyful expectation of grandchildren, but what must it feel like to know that never again you will feel a child moving within your body; never again you will hold your baby who has just entered this world, never again you will melt at the sight of your child's first smile!
Think about reading a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful book, approaching the end of it, and knowing that you can never read it again. Wouldn't it make you treasure every page?
I've never met a mother to many grown children who looks at her family and says, "I wish I didn't have my fifth, sixth and seventh children". But I know more than a few older couples who wish they could have had another child, or even, tragically, couples who wish they had known it would soon be too late - before it was too late.
What am I trying to say? Just that every moment spent with each and every dear child, and indeed, with any of our loved ones, is a treasured gift that will never return. Relationships filled with love are of the few things that are truly important here in this path we walk upon earth.