Currently, our family is a perfect size. I am not sure when it happened, but one day my family felt complete. However, that is not how I always felt. For a long time, I assumed we would have more. So here is my issue, when I was pregnant with our youngest, I didn’t know she would be my last baby…
I loved being pregnant. Maybe because hindsight is a glorious thing, or maybe I am one of those annoying people who enjoy growing humans inside them. Whatever the reason, I have nothing but fond memories of the 10 months I spent pregnant with each of our girls. This is exactly my point; when I felt those tiny flutters from their first kicks or throwing up my dinner, I didn’t know that was the LAST time I would be experiencing those unique pregnancy sensations.
A couple of my friends have recently had their self-proclaimed LAST babies. As I watched their bellies grow, they would often comment with such conviction, “Oh, this is totally my last.” “I can’t wait to burn my Bella band!” They seemed to exude this overwhelming sense of peace and contentment, that this was it. They were going to savor the stretch marks and having to go to the bathroom every 32 seconds because they knew in their heart that this would be over soon.
I never experienced that. After I gave birth to our youngest, I did not purge all my baby items. I did not proclaim to the world, “THIS IS IT, we are done.” Instead, I somewhat naively put away the cherished “coming home from the hospital” onesie and wondered when I would take it back down from the attic.
The same thing can be said for the newborn and infancy stage. When my 6-week-old would ONLY nap on my chest, I did take the time to smell her sweet bald head enough, knowing it was all fleeting. From sleepless nights, cluster nursing sessions, and the first true baby giggle from their gut… did I celebrate them enough? Did I realize how amazing it is to watch someone learn how to walk? Or did I wish away the moment so that I could finally take down all the baby gates and not worry about the two flights of stairs with the tile landing?
How many times did I say to her, “Just hurry up and walk already.” I just assumed that I would have another chance at all of this. That somewhere in the near future, there would be another tiny baby that I could swaddle in our favorite blanket.
I am completely content with our family, and believe me; I don’t want another baby. I want to reassure myself that I made the most of it. That I truly enjoyed those moments of them being “little.” Maybe it would have made a difference if I knew she was my last baby. I have no idea what it feels like to be pregnant and truly know that this is it and relish every moment.