Monday, June 13, 2016

The Baby Chapter

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I've been writing this post in my head over the last few months since our baby was born.
3 months now. 
3 short months ago he came into our lives and completed our family.
Each night when I wake up to feed my little guy these thoughts have been running through my head.
I felt like I finally needed to write them down.
It's anywhere from 2:00-3:30 am when we are up together. Just the two of us.
The house is silent and dark, aside from the soft glow from the lamp on my nightstand, and I sit in my bed staring at this incredibly beautiful face as he is breastfeeding. In these moments I am in awe. In awe that me and my husband created this little being. That he is ours. That these kids of ours have been entrusted to us to be taken care of, loved, and taught. 
I am in love. In love with my life and my family. Yes I am exhausted, and yes part of me wishes I could give in and close my eyes and go back to sleep, but the other part of me is screaming 'No! Stay awake and stare at him as long as you can!' 'Breathe in that baby smell!' 'Memorize this moment!'
You see, this little one is my last baby. 

This is the last baby that will wake me up at night.
This is the last baby I will breastfeed.
This is the last baby that will need me to love him, change him, snuggle him, and just need me 24/7.
I have been so blessed with the opportunity to be a stay-at-home-mom to 3 boys. 3 boys who have all stolen my heart in different ways. 3 boys who are our entire world. 3 boys who are at completely different stages, and are learning and teaching us something everyday.
Last year when my husband and I were deciding when to start trying to get pregnant, we talked about how we were ready for this baby to be our last. Our oldest was 6 and our second was almost 2. We wanted to 'finish our family'. We wanted to move on with the next chapter of our lives, which was an exciting concept, but which also meant closing the baby chapters. These baby chapters have been such a big part of my life. I had our oldest when I was just 23, and now our last at the age of 30. 
Yes, we did have a gap between our first and second, but at that time I still knew I would be having more children and never really got out of that 'baby mode'.
I always wanted to have children. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew how much so until I got pregnant with our first son. I never could have imagined how much I could love such a small little person that demanded so much time, energy, and patience. I never knew how many different feelings/emotions I could go through in just one day. When I became a mom I finally understood the way that our Heavenly Father loves each of us. 
So. Much. Love.
Even though making the decision to be done having children was/is hard, and sad, and full of emotions, I am so glad that I knew during this last pregnancy that I wouldn't be going through any of it anymore. On a daily basis I tried to remind myself that this was it. 
I tried to memorize every feeling I had, whether it was discomfort, (we all know I had that!) the feeling of wanting to punch everyone in the face, (mmmm-hmmm) and the feeling of my baby moving, (which is the best feeling ever!). The moment our baby was born we were just so happy. Happy and ready. I looked at that little face and knew that our family was whole, we were ready to move on to the next chapter together. 
Fast forward these last 3 months and looking back it's been such a whirlwind. 3 months might not seem like a big deal to some people, but I've had two other children grow up much faster than I would like, so I know what's coming. I know that I'll feel like I am just grasping to hold on as they keep moving forward.
You'll feel like you're stuck in a stage of their life for a long time, and then blink and realize it's gone. Gone by much faster than you ever wanted it to be. I'm trying to find the pause button so I can just step back and breathe it all in. The 'brand new baby' look is already gone, and quite a few outfits have already been outgrown. 
To admit that makes my heart ache a little bit. 
It's bitter sweet though because with each new day my baby is getting older and changing but he is also learning new things and becoming more alert and active. It's so exciting to see him smiling and cooing. It melts my heart. 
One thing that has unexpectedly helped me cope with the whirlwind is breastfeeding. Why you might wonder? With two other children needing my attention, love, and help, I could probably put this little guy down and prop up a bottle, or have one of my other boys feed him, or even have my husband feed him when he's home, giving me the freedom to get so much more done. 
There is so much to be done.
However, breastfeeding has forced me to slow down and take a little more time to be in the moment. Trust me, it hasn't been easy though. Most of the time I am trying to keep my baby latched on while playing a board game with my toddler, or helping my toddler go to the bathroom, (that one has taken a little maneuvering and a lot of talent!), or even make dinner. Yes. I have stood at the stove stirring soup or cooking chicken with my baby just sucking away. But, every once in a while a feeding will be timed just right, and no one will need anything from me for a few minutes and I will get to just watch my baby eat. I get to just sit with him. He stares up at me with these big dark eyes and everything else kind of slows down. One of my favorite parts is seeing him snuggle into me while he eats and watch his little hand grab on to my shirt to feel safe and secure. 
I know I am no where close to being perfect. At the end of each day I could make a list of all of the things I did horribly wrong as a mom, how I yelled, or how I bribed someone to do something I needed, but I don't want to back at the this time, at this chapter, and regret anything. I don't want to look back and see myself putting aside time with my boys because I was obsessed and stressed with having a 'Pinterest worthy' clean and decorated house. I want to remember, and more importantly have my boys look back and remember, this time in our life as a time of me being there when my boys needed me through the good and the bad. A time of laughter. A time of giggles, and snuggling, and tickling. 
I adore watching them grow, but oh how deeply I am going to miss their giggles and laughter. I am going to miss their sticky kisses, and their baby smell. I am going to miss them call me into their room in the middle of the night and ask if they can snuggle in our bed.  I love snatching them up and bringing them in, pulling them close and cuddling them through the rest of the night...even if they do roll around like crazy and end up kicking us in the face. I will allow it as long as they want.
They will forever be my babies. 
I will always want to be there for anything they have to go through because I love them fiercely.

6 comments:

  1. Love this post! Glad you are enjoying it and slowing down a bit as yes it goes so fast. When I had my third I knew he would be my last and I definitely enjoyed him as a baby so much. I am going to be featuring your post tomorrow :)

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  2. Thanks for this beautiful post! I, too, find that breastfeeding helps me to slow down. Everyone has different tools, but that one has been a gift to me! This time we get with our little ones... so fleeting and so amazing (and also, so hard!) - thanks for writing down the appreciative piece of it.
    - Ayelet from Strength In Words

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    1. I love that you used the word 'gift', I definitely do feel that it is! I am so grateful I have been able to breastfeed. Thanks for your kind words!

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  3. Michelle! Stop making me cry already! This is such a beautiful post and you are one amazing Mama. Those boys are lucky to have you!

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