Friday, July 15, 2011

Sometimes Knowledge Hurts

I had to pack Baby's outgrown clothes again today.  How does he keep growing so quickly?  Didn't I just unpack those clothes and put them in his dresser?  How is it possible that I will never have a baby that size again?

I also had to face the fact that he is too big for the size 3 diapers.  Really?  He fits in 4s now?  How did this happen? 

I never thought I would cry over outgrown clothes and diapers.....
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When I had Joseph, I was pretty certain he would not be my last baby, although I thought there was a small chance he might be.  I tried to enjoy my pregnancy and his babyhood as much as I could, just in case, and I wasn't too sad as he outgrew everything: 

*the soft, newborn fuzz on his shoulders
*his newborn smell
*his newborn clothes
*his newborn EVERY! PRECIOUS! SOFT! WARM! SQUISHY! THING!
*the way his body molded into mine as he fell asleep
*his reliance on me as his sole source of nourishment
*his 3-6 month clothes
*being non-mobile
*his 6-9 month clothes
*his baby swing
*his bouncy seat
*his 9-12 month clothes
*his baby-ness
*his 12-18 month clothes
*receiving nourishment and comfort from my body...

By the time he was about 2 years old and I no longer had to worry about structuring life around naptimes, feeding and changing someone before we could go anywhere, a diaper bag, being up all night...I decided that I could and would be content if he was my last baby;  there was no pain in the thought.
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Shortly after becoming pregnant with baby #5, I knew that I could not survive another pregnancy, so I've known since before he was born that he would be my last: 

*the last time I would see an ultrasound that showed a NEW, TINY PERSON growing in MY body
*the last time (I SINCERELY HOPE!) I would feel so miserable in my body that I wished I could die because death, and time, were the only ways to escape the misery
*the last time my stomach was firmly rounded
*the last time I gained so much weight that there were stretch marks
*the last time I would feel a baby moving inside me
*the last time I felt like someone was trying to punch a hole in my cervix
*the last time I would hold a newborn who was still warm from being in my body moments before
*the last time my body would have to recover from pregnancy and childbirth (I'm looking at YOU post-partum hormones!)
*the last time I felt a new baby eagerly nurse at my bre*st
*the last time I would have to endure 3 weeks of nursing agony
*the last time I would hold my very own tiny newborn as he slept
*the last time I would weep at the thought of having to get up AGAIN when I had just been up an hour before....for MONTHS

and, most recently,
*the last time I would nurse my baby into a blissful, milky stupor
*the last time that what I could provide was everything he needed.

I wonder if I will be content again when he gets older, like I was with his brother before him, but I don't know.  Despite being done with so many incredibly difficult things, each of the precious, enjoyable lasts have been a little stab to my heart, and it hurts.  I can't help wishing that I hadn't known for sure that this would be it, so I could have enjoyed all of these moments without the double-edged sword of knowing I would never enjoy them again.

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