Bye Bye Baby

Tonight I rocked Matilda to sleep. Normally I cradle her in my arms and sing softly to her. Tonight she was restless so she finally laid her head upon my chest and settled. I rested my check upon her soft, sweet-smelling head and nearly cried. My baby isn't much of a baby anymore. My baby is one.


Somehow, in the blink of an eye, she grew up. She's not my infant anymore. She's an active, busy, hot-tempered and funny little human. She runs and climbs and wrestles like a toddler. Somehow she grew from this...

 To this...

People often refer to these early days of parenting as "the longest, shortest time." The days feel like an eternity (I seriously feel like collapsing by the time the girls are in bed) and yet the years go so quickly. I feel like this year flew by at warp speed.

Here I am at the end of the "baby phase" and while in many ways I feel relieved, I mostly just feel sad. We don't plan on having any other children. We feel our family is complete. We are getting up there in age, we are both career-minded, etc. It just doesn't feel like we can have another. And I am mostly ok with that. Yet, it's still hard to say goodbye to these times. I have said to Seth numerous times this week, "Can't we just freeze-frame this time?" I don't want them to grow up anymore. I don't want Millie to stop pretending she's an astronaut so she can go "to the hot planet Australia to see the kangaroos!" I don't want Matilda to stop walking like a drunken pirate and reach her little arms for me. I'm just not ready.

"Becky! Have another one!" I know that's what you are thinking. And trust me, I have thought about it. Yet as much as I love the baby phase, I also kind of hate it (gasp!) When I think about reliving those first months with a newborn, I immediately feel anxious. I know that my past experience with postpartum depression is to blame for that. I just don't wan to risk that again. I don't want to feel like a shell of who I am. I don't want to relive the sleepless nights, the nursing, the exhausting and consuming maternity leave. I just don't. It is incredibly hard for me. If I could just birth the baby and then have them handed back to me at about 5 months, I'd be set!

So no, I don't think another child is a good idea for us. Rather, I will just remember the days in the most rose-colored light as possible.

I remember the first night after Matilda was born, I was famished and eating dinner in my hospital bed. She was in her bassinet right next to me. I remember looking at her and thinking, "I've always known you my sweet girl. I'm so glad you are here." She just sucked her binks and stared right back at me.


I'll miss those early days of infant snuggles, because there is really nothing else quite like them. At 4-years-old I already find myself having to beg Millie for snuggles. I hope Matilda always is a snuggler.
I'll miss those much-too-early mornings in bed. Before they are big enough to roll, or crawl, where you can just lay in bed and wonder at these perfect little creatures you created. Soon enough they will be sleeping in, and waking them up will be a challenge.



I'll miss the early days of staring so intently at my baby and just wondering who they look like. Does she look more like her momma or her dadda?


Only to find out months later that she look nothing like me, and completely like her father.



I'll miss those chubby baby bodies, fresh out of the bath, slathered in baby lotion. I'll never forget that smell.


I'll miss the first coos.

video


I'll miss the first real belly laughs.


video

I'll miss the first crawls, and the first walks

video
video


I'll miss introducing them to the finer things in the world and seeing how they respond.




I'll miss watching in awe as these funny personalities start to emerge from these tiny beings. I realize now that they are born 100% their authentic selves.





video

It is with remorse that I bid farewell to the newborn/infant phase. And yet it really should be a celebration. A celebration that Seth, Millie and I all made it through the first year! That we kept a little human alive and that she is thriving. Somehow among the chaos we figured out how to function as a family of 4. Millie adjusted beautifully to having a baby sister. Seth and I can now put each kid to bed...alone...without additional help! We can sleep through the night (most nights). Soon we can bid farewell to the dreaded infant seat that we are forced to carry for a year of our lives. Most days, while exhausting and all-consuming, are pretty dang fun! This is a great time in my life. And it's only going to get better. And while I'm happy to never have to be pregnant again, I'll still miss feeling the baby move inside of me. While I'm happy to never have to recover from labor and delivery, I'll miss the experience of birthing a child. While I'm happy that I never have to struggle with postpartum depression again, I'll miss those early and tender months of a newborn. It's bittersweet.

About a month before Matilda was born, I wrote her a blog. In that blog I described what I thought she would be like. I said, "I have some pretty concrete ideas on what you are going to be like. I anticipate an even-tempered, shy and mellow little girl. I expect you to be a momma's girl. A cuddler. Probably a little more clingy than I will be ready for."


Spot on. Our Matilda was always meant to be part of this family. We couldn't possibly love you more.


Happy birthday Peanut Butter.