When you begin to enter the wonderful world of motherhood, you’ll start receive a lot of (usually unsolicited) warnings. Warnings about how great/awful pregnancy is, warnings about what afterbirth is REALLY like, warnings about how you will never sleep again, you’ll never get your same body back, warnings about toddlerhood…you think the terrible twos are bad? That’s nothing compared to an opinionated threenager. You file all these cautionary tales away in your head, because you’ve already heard about them, read about them, and started to experience them on your own time. But there is one thing about motherhood that no one tells you about. It’s not in the books, it’s not a topic in mommy and me class, but it can and will mess with your already spinning (and hormonal) mind.
What to Expect when you Realize your baby is your LAST baby.
I was not prepared for this. I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that would accompany the fact that our son was our last baby. Our daughter took her precious time coming into our lives, and the news that our son was on his way was the best surprise we could have asked for 8 months later. We found ourselves members of the two under two club, surrounded by a whirlwind of diapers, bottles, pacifiers, opposite nap schedules (aka, never leaving the house ever) and pretty much two years of little to no sleep or social life. I think I was still thinking we would have three children.
It just all happened so fast, and maybe that’s why I was so unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster that I was about to embark on. Maybe if our children were spaced apart a little further, we could have three. But I knew that two was our end point at this time. However, I wasn’t ready to not have babies anymore. My son lost interest in nursing around 9 months, and I just wasn’t ready to give up on him. It would bring me to tears every time he would turn his head away because he was too distracted by all of his new found skills (aka, crawling, standing, walking) and everything his sister was doing was much more interesting. But, he was so little. He was my baby. He could still curl up in my arms, rest his head on my shoulder and give me sloppy 9 month old kisses. I wanted him to stay a baby forever. I would read all the Scary Mommy articles about wanting another child, and all the reasons not to, but you really do forget the horrible pregnancies, morning sickness, no sleep, because all you remember are those newborn snuggles and sounds, the tiny diapers, the way their legs stay in the fetal position and their little bums stick out when you pick them up. I only remember that Marielle was a great sleeper. I don’t remember that Brendan would bounce her around until midnight when she finally fell asleep until he reminds me. I barely remember needing an extra hour each morning to get over morning sickness until 32 WEEKS. It’s natures trick to get you to have more babies. The heartache of miscarriage is always with you, but it eventually goes into a safe place in your memory. You forget all of the emotional and physical struggles of pregnancy and motherhood.
It’s all good! Let’s have another! Says Nature.
I know my limits. I know that two is right for me and for my husband, and I love the attention I’m able to give both of my children. I love that there is a one parent per child ratio when we go places and travel. Because traveling with children is a whole separate blog post… I’m excited for those mother/daughter father/son (and vice versa) days. I love that the kids are both in bed by 7. I love that I have time for me and my husband, but I miss having a tiny little warm body semi permanently affixed in my arms (although my one year old is EXTRA mommy needy these days). Yes, I know they still need me in other ways, but still, I’m completely overcome with emotion about not having anymore babies. Literally, my heart hurts.
The other day, I dug out Alexander’s newborn size clothing for a friend who recently had a new baby boy. Again, my heart ached as I folded the tiny onesies, pants and socks…OH THOSE TINY SOCKS! I have been selling and or giving away our baby equipment over the past few weeks which does make everything a little more final. Not easier, but therapeutic in a way. It’s right. I know it is. But it doesn’t change the emotions that go along with it.
I’m so grateful for all the new babies coming into my life that don’t belong to me 🙂 And while I don’t envy the sleepless nights and zombie like persona that is new motherhood, I will tell you it is absolutely worth every single sleepless night, every showerless day(s) and every meal consumed standing up with a baby in a front pack. Worth it. Every. Single. Day. And while you may not realize it as you sleep walk down the aisles of Target stocking up on nursing pads or formula, one day, you will. It took me over 8 months to finally update and publish this post (denial much?) but here I am. A happy, content, mother of two beautiful, silly little toddlers.