My Last Baby

“But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after – oh, that’s love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she’s gone to sleep.”  ~Barbara Kingslover

After my second child was born I was proudly chanting hell no, we won’t go [back to babyhood]. I was certain that I wasn’t having any more children. I was going to reclaim my independence as my children embraced theirs. But then when my second born turned two years old, something inside me shifted and I found myself longing to do it again.

img_2111My childhood BFF (whose writing is read quite a bit more than the likes of my little blog) wrote a post a few weeks back about the unabashed joy in never having another baby. She and I can often take opposite stances on life and motherhood, yet I love and admire her all the same. Even though I feel differently about my last baby, I can see her side. Yes, children (babies in particular) are draining. They have you up all night and demand every single ounce of what you have to offer. I spend so much of my day catering to my daughter’s every need (not to mention my boys, too) that by the time I stumble into bed at night, there is absolutely nothing left for me (or my husband, unfortunately). I’ll admit that I daydream about my life five years from now when everyone can roughly take care of their own basic needs from dressing themselves to wiping their own bums.

img_1779Now that my third and final babe is here, the milestones are flying by so fast my head is spinning. Honestly, I would have a fourth baby in a heartbeat {gasp!} if it weren’t for the unavoidable fact that I would need to be pregnant and endure the long delivery my body seems to love. I don’t think I could physically make it through that process again, especially given that nearly 6 months after giving birth I am still in physical therapy slowly trying to put my body back together.

But despite the burned out exhaustion, the shattered pelvic bone, and the utter loss of my identity as anything other than mother, the idea of Baby Girl being my last baby has been looming large in my mind over the last few months. It makes me sad. I find myself feeling extremely emotional and every tiny milestone almost heartbreaking. I did not anticipate this.

She’s sitting. She’s taking her first bites of food. She goos and coos with so much intention it’s as if she has something to say. I’m packing away outgrown clothes every other week. She’s diving for toys and there’s this look in her eye as if the wheels are turning to maybe crawl. My husband and the boys reaction is to cheer her on, meanwhile I’m cringing and want to shout, “No! Don’t you dare crawl!” (And then I often scoop her up and just drown her in kisses to prevent any further thinking of or practicing crawling.)

These feelings are so different from my first and second children. With my boys, I longed for the next milestone to be reached. I anxiously awaited them to do more things. We busied ourselves with a million playgroups and classes to distract me from the monotony of babyhood. When the little old ladies would offer unsolicited advice about how fast it all goes and how I should savor each moment, I remember thinking, “Are you kidding? These days are soooo llloooonnng.”

img_2300
Stay this little forever, please. 

Fast forward to third and final baby and here I am giving myself the same little old lady advice. I just want it to stop. Slow down. Freeze. I want to live in this monotonous moment forever. In the rare moments when the house is quiet and I have a few minutes with just her, I actually just sit down and soak her in. I can’t get enough kisses on her round belly, squeezing those perfectly plump thighs or nuzzling her sweet neck. I just stare at her little face and beautiful shining eyes. Her laugh is intoxicating and her smile makes my heart skip a beat.

Don’t ever stop being my baby.

~~~~~~~~~

Ironically, as I mourn each of her mini milestones my husband is focused on Big Brother’s benchmarks. He lost his first tooth last week and my husband struggled watching him growing up so fast before our eyes. Meanwhile, I was so thrilled to play tooth fairy and delight in his excitement for what she might bring. (It was a golden dollar coin and a sweet note)

 

 


4 thoughts on “My Last Baby

  1. Ah, I can relate! I have a close friend and as I was mourning each milestone of my last baby, she was asking, “Don’t you feel relief?” That’s how she felt with her last, but even now with my baby going on 14, I want to rewind time and relive the past 13 years all over again. Take lots of pics and video and keep a journal of these precious moments. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh it’s so bittersweet this motherhood thing! I can completely relate to this. My last baby has just turned one and I really struggled with the celebrations. Trying my best to savour the moments while I run around after my two older ones.

    Liked by 1 person

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