Having my Last Baby: thoughts on being present, holding space, and taking refuge
Thoughts on having my last baby, holding space for the feelings, being present for each of my baby’s milestones, and Moms supporting each other through the phases of growing older.
There’s nothing like newborn toes and chittering sounds to remind you of how quickly time can pass.
Little Miss is changing so much during these first weeks. I knew it would happen This isn’t our first time experiencing this. We have two other children who we swore would be our last (pregnancy is not easy on me to say the least) yet here we are with our third baby.
However, this time it’s different. This time each change, each shift in development, is the last of it’s kind for me.
This is our last baby.
After three c-sections, two of them emergency surgeries, my body is done. Knowing this has brought about a whole new set of thoughts and feelings.
There’s both beauty and sadness in realizing that this baby will be my last.
Beauty in and gratitude for being able to bring my tiny humans into this world.
Beauty in that we’re heading into new territory with new experiences.
Beauty in that my body is now healing and preparing for the next phase of my life.
Sadness in that my childbearing years are coming to a close.
Sadness in that these precious moments of snuggling my tiny humans are coming to a close, making them that much more bittersweet.
Solace in knowing that the fits of crying, the late nights, the sleep deprivation, and lack of "me time" will fall away. Solace in knowing that I will come out on the other side a deeper, wiser me.
Being present is calling to me ever more loudly.
So I stroke her tiny toes.
I breathe in her sweet baby smell.
I hold close this tiny body that depends so much on me.
I tell her how much I love her.
I pray that I will remember this moment and all the ones before and after.
I take photos, record videos, and write words.
I include my other children in the memory-making.
In these moments I’m being both broken open and healed. Allowing myself to feel all of the emotions - to hold space for them - is to honour them and my process while I shift phases in my life. I’m moving away from the phase of child bearing and heading deep into child rearing, knowing that just around the bend is a whole new set of experiences - rites of passage that come with maturing as a middle-aged female.
I take refuge in knowing that I’m not alone.
You are not alone, Momma.
If you’re reading this and it rings true for you, too, then please know that you are not alone either. We are in good company - in the company of women present and past. Together we take one step at a time, honouring where we are, where we have been, and where we are going. It’s not always going to feel easy. Often the most magical and life-changing experiences are boundary-pushing. We’re probably going to fall and break ourselves wide open. We’ll probably need to reach out for help and for wisdom that we haven’t yet gleaned. It’s all new, and that’s okay. We don’t need to have everything figured out. And when we see another Momma struggling, we turn around and offer a hand, waiting to see if she would like to take it. Offering. Waiting. Offering. Waiting. In that offering we show each other that we’re seen. In that waiting we show each other respect for the other’s needs and process. In this exchange we help each other rise up.
Rise up, Momma. You are seen.