Six months have passed since I gave birth for the fourth – and last – time. It feels like she's always been here, a part of our family. Life is no different with her here, just richer, and sweeter.
A lot of my life has come to a standstill, with a baby around. But it feels different this time, somehow. Before, I was so eager to see what would happen in the next stage, to get on with things, and to have more of my own life back. Now, I just want time to stand still. This is my life.
Sometimes I chafe at the restrictions that a baby puts on you – on my writing and crafting especially. And oh, the things I want to bake, but can't! No time. And all the care I want to give to others around me, to friends and extended family and community, and to myself too as I age (it's interesting having a baby when you are also entering your forties.). So much has to be put on the back burner.
But mostly, I just know, from hard-won experience, that time will pass, and she will grow. In a year my life will feel so very different, and there will be no more babies of my own, ever again. I can surrender, for now, or at least try to, to the sheer pleasure of holding a small, soft, pliable baby all the time, of having her gaze at me in delight like I am the sun and moon, of watching brothers and sister have fun experiencing a baby in the house, getting excited about all her small accomplishments, making her giggle, caring for her. From the very moment of her birth I've tried to surrender to this and savor even the tiniest things when I can.
It's an effort to remain mindful and present, but a baby's constant needs guide us in that practice every day, and hopefully what I learn can transfer over to parenting my older ones too. Having a baby around reminds me of what they were like, too, as babies. I am reminded every day that they were once this small (and perhaps her presence helps them, too, remember deep down that they were once this small, and just as cherished from the start).
Whether you have one child, or several, how did you feel when you had your last baby? How did it feel to watch him or her growing up?