This past week you may have noticed I haven’t put out nearly as many new posts as usual. The reason for this is an impromptu trip out to my motherland of Southern Alberta.
With a new niece to fawn over, I wanted to be able to offer some help in a situation that seemed pretty tough. Well, I’ve tried my best to help with what I can, but my sister-in-law is a serious supermom and ended up helping me and my little out just as much, taking care of all the meals (why am I so inept in the kitchen?) and offering my teething toddler a distracting change of scenery and tons of excitement. In the meantime, I’ve been loving being able to bond with my little nephew, watch my little Z get along with her cousin, and spend a lot of time around very tiny baby again.
It hasn’t actually been very long since my 18-month-old was a newborn, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget everything. The sleepiness. The incredibly tiny body. The different needs and constant feedings.
I have huge regard for mamas who raise multiple youngsters close in age. If you find one toddler hard, imagine throwing a newborn in the mix. It’s amazing that the majority of parents do this. And they all seem to survive and make their way through these crazy youngster-rearing days relatively unscathed.
Spending time close to this sweet little yawning, sleepy newborn has made me realize something. With my own tiny little babe I was at first planning on having more babies. Eventually my hubby and I came to realize that our family feels complete with the three of us. Plus, recovering from this c-section has been the longest, most worrisome and frustrating challenge in my life so far, which we’re not interested in complicating and/or repeating with another pregnancy. But because I was sure there would be more at the beginning, I wasn’t really thinking about the “lasts” as they were happening.
I wasn’t thinking “This may be the last time I have my newborn asleep on my chest”, or “this is the last time I will ever use such tiny clothes on such a tiny little body”, or “this is the last time I’ll get to feel life growing inside me”.
Now, watching this new, perfect and precious little babe, it’s hitting me that my turn is over. Sure, parts of that were hard and uncomfortable, but there was also a lot that was so mindbendingly special, that I will always think fondly of and get all teary-eyed over.
I remember thinking recently about what it would be like if we had another, and getting this horribly sad feeling that I would have to share my love. That Z wouldn’t be my little baby any more. I realize that of course parents don’t “share” the love for their children – the love multiplies – but I also realize that no matter how much I try to hold on, no matter if I had one or ten, my baby is growing up and getting older. She won’t be my “baby” forever.
Gosh darn it, that makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong. I look forward to the next step, but I also have one heck of a time letting go of this one. Of the steps we’ve already moved past.
So new mamas, take as many pictures as you can, scribble out notes when you can, and make those memories stick. You never know if there will be a “next time”, and if there is, you probably won’t get a fraction of the amount of time and space you have with your first to just be and enjoy those little fingers, that tiny, wrinkly little bum, and every sweet little face your new baby makes.
Oh, the feels. When are these hormones supposed to settle down?