Six months

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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?

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11 thoughts on “Six months

  1. CB

    Your posts are always a delight to read and I really enjoyed this one in particular. Your question is a hard for me because my one and only is quickly approaching 8 years old. She is my first and I thought that there would definitely be more to follow, but we have been trying and trying and she’s still the only one. So, for me, not knowing that my first is probably my last, it is very bittersweet. I wish I had the patience back then and really savored every second with her. Not that I didn’t, but like you, I was eager to see what was next. I am so grateful to have her though. She is my daughter, my best friend, my sunshine.

    Reply
  2. Francesca

    I totally relate. The last child, the older mother, all the vivid memories condensed … there would be so much to say … you wrote a beautiful, moving and graceful post.

    Reply
  3. Babette

    I now have a 21 y.o., a 20 y.o. and a 14 y.o. and my heart breaks for the innocent children they were. I worry I didn’t enjoy enough. Photos move me to tears…Enjoy, enjoy enjoy.
    And write about it. The way you are. You will preserve memories I let float off into the ether.

    Reply
  4. MarthaAndMe

    I was never ready to be done! Deciding to stop trying after a loss was heartbreaking for me and it took me years to get over it. I keep telling myself I could have grandchildren in 10 years or so and that calms my baby lust.

    Reply
  5. Pececito arcoiris

    Your writing is so touching…Thanks for that. My own experience, I can not say yet. I’m pregnant of my third (and last, I think). Now I know that time pass soooo quickly that it is hardly noted, so I hope to live more intensely, if that is possible, this third baby. But it will be very difficult, as the others are 4 and 2 y.o…. and so they require a lot of attention too.

    Reply
  6. Donna Hull

    What a lovely post about surrendering to the here and now. As a mother, so much of my life was spent anticipating the next stage – of a pregnancy, of a child’s life. Sometimes I felt like I was wishing my life away. I’m glad that you are taking the time to stay in the moment.

    Reply
  7. Jesaka Long

    Your phrase about surrendering is so beautiful. What sweet sentiments to be able to share with your baby when she’s older. My sister-in-law has five kids and it seems like the youngest is growing way too fast because she want to do what her brothers and sisters are doing. It makes me wish I could stop time!

    Reply
  8. Sheryl

    What a beautiful post. I always wanted more babies, and I suspect no matter how many you have, you always yearn for another. So many times when my boys were small and I watched them walk to the curb to wait for the schoolbus I tried to freeze the frame in my mind…somehow when they returned just hours later, they seemed bigger – that’s how quickly time passed.
    Savor every moment…and it sounds as if you already know that and are doing that so very well.

    Reply
  9. Jennifer Margulis

    My baby is six months old too and I find myself wondering how she could possibly be half a year ALREADY. We were all sad (excited too) when we realized half a year had already gone by. It’s just so bittersweet.

    Reply
  10. Lis

    My daughter is 2 and I am in love with the fact that she’s getting older and somewhat easier to manage. I love children but I also love independence (doing whatever you want whenever you want). Obviously I miss the moments when she was a wee lil’ one but I was lucky in that regard that my husband owns his own video production company and we have so many beautiful moments on HD film. I love pictures but film blows me away….I’ll be able to relive what has gone bye bye.

    Reply

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