Three daughters in four years.
It wasn’t easy, but we decided we were done. I don’t think about it often, but every once in a while I do.
My period came. It will always come now.
She is nursing, but she is nursing less. When she is done, I will be too.
She is walking. My last baby is walking.
There is celebration and joy within these milestones, but as I have learned in these four years, with every soaring trip my heart makes as the girls triumph, a part of me becomes irreparably broken.
I want to stomp my feet and stop time, but there are kindergarten matriculation papers that make me giddy. First days of school and new experiences.
There is Avery’s any-day-now first time going to be without diapers. Her excitement is contagious.
Just around the corner are first trips down the slide, learning to jump and skipping.
I am frozen in wanting and not wanting.
I am awed by how euphoric sorrow can be. I am consumed by the wonder of lives ending and beginning, overlapping and contradicting. I am, despite my fear, open to it all and ever so grateful to be in the middle of this delicious conflict.
*The title started as a reference to Fin, but by post’s end, I think the she actually became about me. Baby steps, right?
I understand this. I do. Nights when the baby falls asleep in my arms, I ache for another.
But the cold light of day reveals that is impossible now.
This is the most true, what you said: 'with every soaring trip my heart makes as the girls triumph, a part of me becomes irreparably broken.'
These are the thoughts I think.
Reading your life stories and your joys is in part the reason I decided I needed just one more .. thanks for the inspiration.
I am not sure I am ready acknowledge the round of things that is happening that might be "last times," maybe that is why I am not ready to admit that this might be my last little baby. I'll just let you write about it and then when I am ready to admit it, I'll look back at your posts and say, yeah that's how I felt. Right now I am at the, well not right now, but you never know stage. I'll just stay frozen here for now.
I keep saying that every stage we reach is my favorite, but I realize now why Ellie has such a hold on me. She's our last and while none of us are getting "good" sleep right now with her in our bed it's the sacrifice I'm willing to take 'cause I know it's fleeting. I didn't realize just how fleeting it was with Luke, now I do and I'm holding on, quite literally nearly every night.
Oof! I spoke to my daughter tonight who went away to school, came home during the summer breaks, is graduating in May and now is engaged.
I told her "I'm slowly realizing this means you've actually moved out now." It took me a while to 'get it'.
It does take time to process and accept them moving forward. We are so proud and joyous – and sad all at once.
I understand this all too well.
I mourn that I many never have one. I get this.
count me as yet another reader who understands, all too well, this particular kind of heartbreak.
Listen, I'm so glad that's all behind me (and it really is), until I see some little creature that nearly fits in the palm of her father's hand, or who kicks ecstatically in the stroller that passes in front of my door as I exit with a 5 and 7 year old in tow. Mostly I'm good about the phase we're in. But every once in a while, a memory – not of the sleepless shitty nights, but the tender cookie-dough smelling sleeping babies…that nostalgia surprises me! Every damn passage is just that, a passage. Letting go, as much as we want to, ain't that easy. Funny, that.
And the milestones just keep piling up as time marches by. I hear you. I feel it, too.
You bring light to both my confusion and desire. That last nursing at 18 months old broke something in me. It was time, and it wasn't. I have a hard time imagining that there will be no more children.
At the same time, I often feel like this is quite enough, and to have another would be unfair, to them and to my dreams of being a nurse.
There is beauty in the growth of our girls, and sadness too, as they inch ever away from babyhood. Sniff.