The Last Babyham

Watching the shadow of Carly's feet dangling over my arm dance above the crib as I laid her down for the night,  I felt a lump in my throat.

Carly is our last baby. 

There. I said it. 

For a while, around her first birthday, we toyed with the idea of having one more.  But honestly, I am full to the brim (with love and responsibility) caring for the four kids we have.  I feel at peace with our decision (no, really, I do!) but... well, I love babies! And I love being pregnant! And I love that each of our amazing kids is the result of our DNA creating an entire new person that never existed before. It's like magic.

 I have to be careful because knowing she's our last could make me sad for every stage, mourning its departure before we've even enjoyed its presence.  Instead I am trying to enjoy every day, knowing tomorrow will bring something new and equally wonderful.  

 In her book The Gift of an Ordinary Day, author & mother Katrina Kenison says, "Being alive, it seems, means learning to bear the weight of the passing of all things."  She also says we need only, "Slow down and pay attention."  So those are my goals currently.  To know that saying goodbye to infancy, tiny onesies & crawling is part of living.  And to be aware of these days & the joy they bring as I live them.  

 Meanwhile, time keeps ticking by, marching the twins closer & closer to their ninth birthday, and Wyatt closer to his sixth.  As for Carly, today she is 15 months old.

At 15 moths Carly still nurses, loves to sneak sips of her brothers' KoolAid on movie nights, and (for the first time ever) let Josh put her to sleep with a warm sippy cup of whole milk.  She can say many words, and is learning new signs everyday.  She also tantrums (thrusting her head backwards when she's mad) and screams bloody murder if things aren't going her way.  We're working on that!

Her favorite thing to play with is stuffed animals and her baby dolls and her favorite food is yogurt covered raisins.  She gives the best hugs, with little pats on your arm or back and makes this "ahh" sound as she snuggles in. 

Basically, she's a joy.  She makes us laugh, and everyday we're grateful she's ours.

I recently read this quote:
"Suddenly, through birthing a daughter, a woman finds herself face to face not only with an infant, a little girl, a woman-to-be, but also with her own unresolved conflicts from the past and her hopes and dreams for the future... As though experiencing an earthquake, mothers of daughters may find their lives shifted, their deep feelings unearthed."
-Elizabeth Debold & Idelissa Malave

That has really resonated with me.  Having Carly has made me think hard about how I talk about myself, how I feel about my body, what I think about the media and their portrayals of what is "beautiful" and lastly about my role as a mother and her (potential) role as a mother.  It is both heavy and exciting stuff. 

What a blessing it will be to navigate the mother/daughter relationship with her.

(I originally read that gem on mytinytribe's page on Instagram)



Marilynn Raatz said...

Beautifully written Shelly. I am greedy, I want more of your darling kids to be my grandkids. You went through so much to get Carly and she is everything I imagined a daughter of yours would be. You are such a great mom and I am proud of you for knowing when it's enough. I knew it too.....And I love knowing you will be enjoying each day as the kids grow!

Holly said...

She is sweet and your words, as always, are beautiful! I know that I will feel sad when I am done with babies too, but I have been surprised by how much fun the big boys are. Also, sleeping may be nice. It's been so long since I've experienced that, I'm not sure. But I do hear it's pretty awesome. ;)