Wow, how did this year fly by so quickly? It’s always that way though right? Every baby, the early days feel like they are barely moving along and then bam your baby is one year old. Well let me tell you, with this being my third and final baby it really flew by. I am feeling how bittersweet this moment is especially since I know I am done having babies. I don’t even have a pang of baby fever or desire for one more. I know I am done and I am at peace with it. But, I miss my babies. The tiny newborns they were. I can barely even remember the mundane details of the early days with my older children, and I worry it will all start to blur together with this one too. Or maybe it already is. She doesn’t even have a baby book being the third baby.
I debated for awhile if I even wanted a third child. I was pretty sure I was done at two. And, while it hasn’t always been easy with three children, of course I cannot imagine not having her. I have been painfully aware of the fact that she is the last which means every new step, every first year first, is also the last first. I am never going to go through the excitement again of seeing that second pink line barely show up and analyzing it with friends. Or the fear. The anxiety of prenatal tests, and the waiting of pregnancy. Oh the waiting. For everything. The feeling of a baby in the belly. And the thrill of meeting a completely new person for the first time who you already love more than anything.
I have known that every moment from the hours of cluster feeding a newborn, the waking at all hours, was and is temporary. Having done this twice before I was ready. I didn’t worry or stress as much over all of the phases of a new baby. I embraced co-sleeping, and then this baby didn’t even want or need to co-sleep much in the early days. But lately she has been teething a lot, and I put her right in bed with me and let cuddle and nurse as much as she needs. Because I know this is it. Once these days are over, and they will be, this is it. The last baby. I am not doing this part again. I have throughly enjoyed this year with her. She is the sweetest baby and loves to laugh and play with her siblings. She is pretty much happy all the time and I sure hope she stays that way.
So, I look forward. I am excited to have her first birthday party this weekend but I am a little sad. Motherhood is the greatest and the hardest adventure. My oldest is graduating from preschool this week and entering kindergarten this fall. My middle baby, my son, has recently decided he only wants his dad to put him to bed right now. This is fine with me. I have done it for years! Rocking and nursing and cuddling him to sleep every single night, I can use a break. But as each child moves toward a new stage of independence this mama is feeling a little bittersweet.