Our littlest turned two.
For me this is bittersweet.
Heaviness fills my heart as I am putting two little candles on the cake for the last time.
My baby grows up and gets bigger and more independent with each day that passes and here I am, dreading all the lasts.
A sadness fills my heart.
Because this is my last chance to be a mother.
Because my baby's firsts are my lasts.
I hadn't planned on feeling this way.
I hadn't planned for this void.
The void is the place that gets bigger with each day we move away further from the baby years. It's the place where a desire and a longing to experience motherhood all over again live. It's the place where I celebrate my son's second birthday and at the same time grieve with a sense of goodbye. It's the place where I dream about the new baby smell and little cotton socks.
Becoming a mother has been momentous chapter in my life. Growing and giving life has given me a new founded perception of myself and of life per se.
It has taught me unconditional love. And multiplied it by four.
It has given me insight into my own strength, courage and determination.
It has brought depth, wisdom and given me the opportunity to be the best me.
The last ten years to have been the most meaningful and riches years in my development as a person. They have given me four little humans I call my own.
And now, the end of this chapter where I create life, is here. It seems to have snuck up on me so quickly.
There will be no more babies and the finality of this decision makes me melancholic. I had only ever wanted three children. Three was my magic number and when there were three, I wondered about four.
Have I wondered about five?
There is a sense of sadness and nostalgia; a feeling of void and coming to terms that my body, which has grown and given birth to four beautifully squishy babies, will never do that again; that it will now retire from procreation.
I try and practice acceptance of this and it's become a daily effort. A struggle with myself.
I hope this will pass. I need this to pass. But will it ever?
I try to reason with myself and remind myself of the fact that having four kids wasn't plain sailing all of the time. Remember the hard times when you couldn't think straight because you had been up all night with a sick baby? Especially the last six years with three kids so close in age have been a blur of morning sickness, pregnancy highs and lows, new babies, nursing and countless nappy changes. Our lives were taken over by sleepless nights; co-sleeping, exhaustion and smelling just a little like baby sick all the time. The days of nappies and dummies are now numbered and will soon be a distant memory as we emerge from the fog of sleep deprivation. I am just getting a little taste of that independence that is slowly becoming part of my life again.
I am starting to wonder about everything that's yet to come. While I mourn the baby phase and all the excitement that comes with it, I am encouraging forcing myself to look forward, not back. To look forward to everything life has in store for us; to a life where we don't need to stop in our tracks because the baby needs boob or someone has a dirty bum. Where we don't need to whisper or turn the telly down because the baby is asleep. One, where the kids can wipe their own bums, dress themselves and tie their own shoes; where everyone will sleep through the night and I don't spend my day scraping raisins out of the highchair.
I am looking forward to watching our children grow, to getting a full night's sleep and getting some of 'me' and 'us' back. I am looking forward to not being asked for a snack every five seconds. So many things in our lives have been put on hold as we focused entirely on our babies. We are slowly re-emerging from hibernation, yet I am sad.
Looking back on it and reminiscing, I loved every part of it. They have been the hardest, yet the best years. The void has brought an array of emotions and feelings to the foreground of my mind that I am forced to deal with now to accept the fact that I will never experience all the things that come with having a new baby again. Maybe as I learn to accept this, I need to also accept that the void is now part of me and is here to stay.
For now, while I'll have to resist temptation to keep him in onesies until he is six, I will enjoy my 'baby' as long as I can.
I sing my last lullaby for he is my forever baby.
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