The Last

I am weeks away from giving birth for the fourth and final time, and though I know my family is complete, my heart is heavy knowing I will never again bring new life into this world. I have spent the last decade growing tiny humans, carrying them around on my hip, and nursing them to sleep, like clockwork one by one. It is in every sense the end of an era.

The end. The last time I will pee on a stick and think “oh shit,” when those two pink stripes appear. The last time I will beam for weeks carrying around the enchanting secret of another baby. The last time I will hear those three little words, “it’s a boy.” The last time I will feel those tiny feet dance and sway inside in my belly as it slowly grows day by day. The last time I will relish in the heavenly scent of a newborn’s forehead. The last time I will spend hours nursing and cuddling babies to sleep. The last first steps. The last first words. The last first day of school.

One day I will wake up and all these fleeting moments will be gone; we will have retired our baby blankets and cloth diapers, traded them in for baseball gloves and bicycles and textbooks. We will have boxed up all the baby clothes for the good will, tossed away the car seats. My body will be all mine indefinitely; I will no longer have to share my boobs or my bed. And though it hasn’t always been easy (because as any parent knows parenting is ruthless and draining and exasperating, but nevertheless magical and fulfilling), I will look back on these sleepless nights and explosive diapers, erupting tempers and snotty noses with fondness. It is bittersweet, as the end of anything always is. I am essentially giving up the unparalleled job of producing human beings. Now on to a much harder job, the daunting task of preparing them to conquer this world on their own. So in this juncture caught between savoring these last firsts and letting go, I am remembering with love and awe all of the little moments (both exasperating and magical) of each pregnancy, birth and babyhood and for every little bit I am both grateful and blessed to raise these four extraordinary sons.

I am weeks away from giving birth for the fourth and final time, and though I know my family is complete, my heart is heavy knowing I will never again bring new life into this world. I have spent the last decade growing tiny humans, carrying them around on my hip, and nursing them to sleep, like clockwork one by one. It is in every sense the end of an era.

The end. The last time I will pee on a stick and think “oh shit,” when those two pink stripes appear. The last time I will beam for weeks carrying around the enchanting secret of another baby. The last time I will hear those three little words, “it’s a boy.” The last time I will feel those tiny feet dance and sway inside in my belly as it slowly grows day by day. The last time I will relish in the heavenly scent of a newborn’s forehead. The last time I will spend hours nursing and cuddling babies to sleep. The last first steps. The last first words. The last first day of school.

One day I will wake up and all these fleeting moments will be gone; we will have retired our baby blankets and cloth diapers, traded them in for baseball gloves and bicycles and textbooks. We will have boxed up all the baby clothes for the good will, tossed away the car seats. My body will be all mine indefinitely; I will no longer have to share my boobs or my bed. And though it hasn’t always been easy (because as any parent knows parenting is ruthless and draining and exasperating, but nevertheless magical and fulfilling), I will look back on these sleepless nights and explosive diapers, erupting tempers and snotty noses with fondness. It is bittersweet, as the end of anything always is. I am essentially giving up the unparalleled job of producing human beings. Now on to a much harder job, the daunting task of preparing them to conquer this world on their own. So in this juncture caught between savoring these last firsts and letting go, I am remembering with love and awe all of the little moments (both exasperating and magical) of each pregnancy, birth and babyhood and for every little bit I am both grateful and blessed to raise these four extraordinary sons.

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