The Last Firsts
So last week a couple of things happened that made me a little sad. One was that Jake, at 15 weeks old, was now wearing 6-9 month size clothes, causing me to bag up all his smaller bits he would no longer need. The other was that my not so little bundle of joy was outgrowing his Moses basket in our bedroom seemingly by the day, and we made the reluctant decision to move him into his cot in his own room.
So why was I sad? Not just because my baby is growing up too soon, but that all of these little milestones will be the last time we encounter them. With no plans at least to further increase the size of our family in years to come, Jake is our last baby. His outgrown clothes won’t be going up in the loft to be brought down again for another new arrival, his Moses basket won’t have another little Hicken head resting in it, my maternity wear won’t be stretched across another bump.
I’ll freely confess to being a tad emotional the first time we lay him down to sleep in his cot, looking so lost in the middle of it, suddenly not seeming half as big as he normally does. Our room was missing the comforting sound of his gentle breathing, and neither of us were happy about it. Of course Jake couldn’t have cared less and slept through the night as usual (yes, I’m fully aware how lucky we are!). The newborn days are already behind us, never to return.
But maybe I shouldn’t feel down about it. There are more than a few positives to not doing this whole having a baby thing again. I can certainly live without having to give birth again, and cope with all the fun that comes after it. Each pregnancy has brought its own challenges, and I’ve had two very different experiences – one pregnancy lived mostly in blissful ignorance, only to develop pre-eclampsia near the end of it which probably changed the course of my life, and one hugely stressful pregnancy spent worrying about what happened the first time, which ended in me having a 10lb-er. And I’ve taken a long time to recover from Jake’s birth, both physically and emotionally. The early postnatal period was extremely tough (through no fault of my baby – he has been an absolute dream from day one). I still find myself becoming randomly emotional even now. I’m not sure even if I wanted to have a third that I would put myself through all that again.
Of course, having a baby who sleeps well makes the world of difference. I may have enjoyed trashy TV shows at 4am for a few weeks but I enjoy a full night’s sleep infinitely more. I wonder how well I would be coping if he was still waking every night.
But with each day that passes, my last baby becomes more affectionate, more active, more like his own little person. I can’t wait to see what he does next. First crawl, first words, first steps – all of these are special events, but how much more precious the memories will be when they are the last firsts our little family will see.