I knew it would happen eventually. I assumed it would happen now. I underestimated how it would affect me. The dreaded baby bug. The itch. The desire that will never be filled.
I felt a twinge of pain when Samuel turned one, knowing that my baby days were behind me. Though he's still much of a baby turning into a toddler, it is a transformation that is happening much too quickly. It leaves me feeling as though in another year or two I'll be wishing for another. I realize, thankfully, that it is a purely emotional feeling. In all honesty, if I were to find myself pregnant anytime soon I would be completely freaked out. I think my sadness over my baby boy growing up is morphing into a desire for another baby. In reality, I really just wish I could keep Samuel this age forever. His sweet baby face, his adorable curly hair, those big blue eyes, and those famous chubby thighs.... knowing all of these features (minus the big blue eyes and possibly the curly hair) will be fading soon is a bit heartbreaking.
Each night as I lay him in his crib for bed, I take more and more time to watch him sleeping. I study how small he is in his cave like bed with his white 'blankie' held close to his face. His little pacifier laying beside him where it has fallen out unnoticed.
I constantly flash back to a memory that is sealed in my brain of putting Carter to bed, when Samuel was soon to be entering the world. I sat beside Carter on his bed, stroking his hair, and I stared at the crib across the room. The smell of the sheets freshly washed in Dreft and the quilt perfectly folded and layed across the crib rail had me so anxious and impatiently waiting for my C-Section date. I remember opening that first pack of newborn size diapers... I looked at them and cried. I couldn't wait to finally have my baby. I thought of the many months that I had convinced myself that the Moss house would never again have those smells and sweet sights again.
And, here I am again. Slowly putting away the baby items that we have used for three children in a row. First the changing table, that my huge babies can never fit on for long. Then the bouncy seat and the baby swing. The two hardest things for me to pack away were the amazing blue swaddling blanket, bought just for Samuel, and my much loved co-sleeper. My mind again realizes that we will likely never have those baby smells and sweet sights in the Moss house again. I suppose I have to grieve the loss of this phase of life in order to move on to the next.
I have realized that I am possibly one of those women that will always miss having a baby. I think it's a bit comical how I idealize having a baby... even after just experiencing it. When I think of having a baby I picture peacefully nursing my infant, rocking him to sleep, and feeling that sweet baby breath on my neck. The reality of having a baby, at least for me, typically involved hours of crying each evening, a painful csection to recover from, a frantic nursling that can cause much stress during feeding times, and pacing the floor for hours trying to get a gassy baby to finally sleep. Amazing how just a few months can almost erase these images from my mind!
So, with a heavy heart I am trying to move ahead. I am reminding myself of how much easier life is already. How portable Samuel is becoming and how next summer we are hoping to even take a trip to the beach with the kids. We are planning on starting our, at least once a year, family vacations. Selfishly I'm thinking of staying in shape, getting more and more serious with my writing, and taking more time to enjoy lunches with friends and dinners away with my husband. Those things all sound pretty fine... and thankfully they do help ease the pain of saying goodbye to feeling a baby squirm in my belly, excitedly awaiting the birthday, and seeing that sweet face for the first time.