It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was sniffing the fresh, new-baby scent from the scalp of my oldest. Now, I am scalp-sniffing my last, who is no longer fresh and new. I can’t help but linger, still taking in the smell of her sweet little head.
Although I love each of my kids equally, I find myself holding on to each moment and each phase of life a little longer with my youngest.
Because she is my last.
At some point, every growing family stops, well, growing. Whether you have one, six or fifteen kids, at some point you have your last baby. Maybe you know it at the time. Maybe you don’t know it until time has just passed and you haven’t chosen to have more. Whatever the case, when you do realize you’ve shut the door on that phase of life, it can be a trying time emotionally.
Some people come to terms with ending their baby days easily, however this wasn’t my experience. Having kids has been the hardest thing I’ve done. Raising children is a long, trying experience. Even so, there are so many experiences I love and will miss never experiencing again.
The Last Pregnancy
I absolutely loved being pregnant. I loved the excitement of finding out I was pregnant. I loved the unbearable secrecy in the first weeks until we were ready to share the news. The first time hearing the heartbeat. The first ultrasound. The gender revealing ultrasound – because I had to find out. The countdown. Labor. All of it.
Even though I was growing so big and had many days of fighting with pants, breaking zippers and crying about breaking zippers, I loved my pregnant body and my big round belly.
My last pregnancy revealed a potentially life-threatening complication for the baby. Each day I listened so closely to my body and our doctor visits and ultrasounds were amped up to keep an eye on our growing girl. During labor we realized my water was full of meconium, a complication of my condition which we knew ahead of time was possible. Thankfully, we delivered a strong, healthy baby. It was a relief.
Even with all the uncertainty around the last pregnancy, I miss being pregnant. I will never be pregnant again however, unless by some unplanned act of God it happens.
I will never get to experience the frustration of each month passed with a negative test again.
I will never get to decide how and when to announce my pregnancy again.
I will never experience the wonder, joy and excitement of finding out the gender of my baby again.
I will never feel another baby growing inside my belly, kicking and whirling.
I will never get to experience another labor and delivery.
I will never get to hold another fresh, new baby of my own.
I will never bring another life into this world.
The Last First Everything
As heart breaking as it has been knowing I will never get to be pregnant again, it’s been equally as hard watching my last grow older, day after day. Each moment and milestone is bitter sweet.
It’s amazing and exciting each time my last learns a new skill, says a new word or expresses her personality in a new way. I love each new phase of her little life. On the other hand, it’s gut wrenching and saddening.
Everything my daughter does will be the last first.
The last first smile.
The last first roll.
The last first tooth, crawl, word, step, birthday.
The last first – everything.
The end of an era
And so this chapter of life has come to an end.
There is so much joy and bliss to be had by bringing a new member into the family. Each new child brings their own unique traits and personality to the family and changes the dynamic.
I love watching my kids grow and play, watching my girls become best friends, watching the girls look up to my son.
Some of the best days are ahead of me with my family. I am excited to watch my children grow into the adults they will inevitably become. No matter how many difficult days I have raising my kids, I will always miss the baby days and experiencing every new first.