January 7, 2016

The First of Many Lasts

I wrote this a couple weeks ago but never posted it. Nonetheless, the sentiment is still the same.

I stopped breastfeeding today. I thought I’d be okay with the transition, considering I’ve only been at it a little over three months, but the fact is today was the last day I’ll share a very special bond with my baby boy. I know I'm saying goodbye to time with my son that I will never get back. Only God knows if I’ll ever have the opportunity again, with other children. This may be the first of many lasts... I may be done having babies.

The reality of that statement is a lot for me to absorb.

It makes me sad. My heart and my womb ache when I think about it. Please don't mistake this as me being ungrateful for the two beautiful lives that share my roof and occupy almost all my thoughts. I couldn't be prouder to be their Mama and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to help lead them through life. I take the responsibility very seriously and I know that I have been tremendously blessed.

But parenting is hard, being pregnant is hard, having little people that need your time and attention when you have no time or attention, is hard. It takes a toll a couple, on our bodies, our patience, and our pocketbooks. I feel the stress of parenting daily but it doesn't stop me from wanting to add to the chaos. To have the knowledge that just one more time I will pee on a stick and be so completely shocked when I see two lines. That I will dream up 500 different ways to creatively tell my husband that I'm expecting, but ultimately I'll break down the second I see him and blurt out that he's going to be a Daddy, again. I want to know that I will feel tiny feet flutter in my belly one more time and that I can eat an entire pint of ice cream and not feel guilty. I want to hold onto the fact that I have long days and longer nights of crying babies and dirty diapers.

When I envisioned my life before kids, I knew I would have two and be done. Two little blessing that I would chase to soccer practice and piano lessons. I even wrote this post back in 2014, explaining exactly why two was the ideal number for our family. I really never dreamed that I'd want more, until I had two and the thought of being done with babies seemed so, well, final. 

I'm not even sure if it's really another baby I want or if it's just that I want time to slow down so that these precious moments with my children won't seem so fleeting. As I type this, my youngest is asleep in my arms and laughing as he dreams. Already my oldest won't let me hold him like this. That season has passed for him and I know I can probably count the number of weeks before it's over for my youngest. I haven't been a parent too long, just three years, but I've come to realize that as my kids grow and change, so to do my responsibilities as their mother. One day you cuddle them and rock them whenever they cry, the next day you let them throw a temper tantrum in the grocery store to teach them crying doesn't always get them what they want. I've loved every stage of it so far but that doesn't mean I never want to experience unbridled joy from a toothless infant the second he hears my voice.

I can only equate this feeling to that which I felt after my own wedding. The days trickled by after the ceremony and I remember that entire experience with such fondness. I wish I could relive it over and over again. That's not to say that I haven't loved every moment with my husband since that day, only that it was such a special, life-changing time. 

I know how blessed I am, as both a mother and a wife. I know that some experiences are meant to be short-lived blessings so that we can always keep them safe in our hearts and reminisce on how amazing those times were. I think it's the realization that this time won't last forever that I'm going to miss. I want to witness these beautiful boys grow and transform into men because if I've loved watching them grow from an infant to a toddler, I can only imagine how many incredible experiences await us from toddlerhood on. 

I was talking to my husband about this and he made me realize that it's not necessarily the first of many lasts; it's just the beginning of a lot of firsts yet to be had. That change in perspective has not necessarily taken away the desire for another baby but it has left me completely content in knowing that God works in his time and according to his plan so I just need to learn to enjoy the moments we are given and stop worry about ones that I may, or may not ever have. 

Be Blessed,
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