I have been thinking about this a lot and wanted to share it with you… that moment when you realize that you are done having babies and you are closing that chapter.
Last night, while we were out to eat with our four kids, I looked over at the booth across the room from our table. I saw a mom with her two teenage daughters. I saw them laughing together and I saw the girls interacting with each other, making faces that only the other one would understand.
I leaned in and whispered to my husband… wouldn’t it be nice to have a sister for Allie?
The look that he gave back to me told me his answer (I had five very high risk pregnancies, one ending in a loss~ read that story here).
I am slowly learning that although he has always agreed to four children and I always knew that this was our “magic number”… you know, the one that we both agree on? I still had that little thought in my mind… what about one more?
I think that coming to terms with the fact that you are done having babies is hard, whether this is after you have had one baby or 18 babies… realizing that this is your LAST baby is something to stop you, to make you think, to make you appreciate and miss what you had and have.
The last time that you felt that first flutter in your belly- the one that felt like tiny butterfly wings on the wall of your uterus.
The last time that I ran to the bathroom, after my husband burnt something in the kitchen, because my pregnant hormones were not letting me handle any smells out of the norm.
The last time that our sons would put their hands on my belly and wait for their sibling to kick it away.
The last time that I watched my stomach move while our baby changed positions.
The last time that our baby, in my belly, would kick my husband’s back while I slept during the night (our babies were always so active at night).
The last time that I would be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night.
The last time that I would be told to push or that I would say “I can do this without pain medication” only to cry half way through, telling my husband that it was such terrible pain and asking why did I wait so long to get an epidural.
The last time that I would bring a new baby home and visitors would tell me that he/she was “the most tiny baby I ever held” (our babies were small- 5 lbs., 4 lbs., 7 lbs., 6 lbs.)
The last time that I would nurse a baby, while rubbing their soft baby head with what felt like duck fuzz instead of hair, and listen to their little breath and grunt as they swallowed each sip of milk (that tiny, unintended smile that they have when they are falling asleep with a full belly)
Yes, the last baby is a hard chapter to close in the book of life.
I guess what it really means is that we are getting older. Gone are the days when we spent a lifetime dreaming of these things… engagements, wedding, pregnancy and birth. From the time that I was in elementary school, I can remember pretending to be pregnant (Pillow under my shirt). You spend so many years dreaming of those days… and they come and go so quickly!
Getting older for me means getting older for everyone else, too. No more first steps, or first hugs or first kisses. I won’t watch a baby cringe the first time that I place them in the funny-feeling sand~ at the same place where I first met the beach.
Or, in that same day, discover how much fun it can be to play in the sand and look out at the ocean.
I won’t swing them over the ocean when they are tiny enough to let me lift them high enough to barely let those little toes touch the water.
And, my children will not know my maternal Grandparents (the reason that we know & love the beach like we do), because as we got older, so did they.
So, while not having any more children symbolizes all of these things for me, we are moving on from those days.
We are moving into our middle years: adventures, laughs, real conversations with our kids, seeing their dreams become reality. I can watch their relationships grow and watch them bond, as more than siblings, but as friends…
As my husband says “Its time to close that chapter of the book.”
While the thought of not being in the baby stage is sad for me, because I do love it so, I am so excited for what is to come. Tonight we went out to dinner and we had a great time (It is getting easier to go out to eat as they get older). Even our toddler was just sitting beside me in the booth, eating her dinner. We all just talked.
I can only imagine how much fun life will be as they continue to grow and we can continue to connect with them in ways that we didn’t realize.
It might not be by singing a lullaby or by ticking their piggy toes… it will be by listening to them, taking an interest in what they are interested in, learning from them while they learn from us- becoming their friends as they age.
So, I am ready to close that chapter… because if you thought that chapter was good, just you wait…
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In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful babies that you have raised… and look forward to your FUN life ahead, filled with joy, love & laughter.
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