I’ve been dreading this time for awhile. I’ve been grasping frantically to hold onto these last few weeks as my sweet, little newborn transformed into an infant. Saying goodbye to the fourth trimester is bittersweet as I’m not sure I’m really ready to be done with these fleeting newborn days. I remember with my first, thinking to myself that I couldn’t wait for the next milestone. With our second child, and likely our last, I hold my breath wanting to savor her littleness and sweet baby ways as long as possible.
These past 3 months felt more like 3 weeks. It takes my breath away and I held back tears today as I packed up her already too small clothing. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the newborn phase and admit that it’s already moved on.
As I watch her grow, I see all the newborn semblances slowly drift away. Her transition from her own personal world in my womb to this loud and sometimes callous world has been seamless. The twitches and reflexes typical of a newborn have disappeared and there is a calmness that takes over when she’s sleeping. The precious baby that slept her days away, is now emerging as an active and awake infant (although her less frequent night nursing is a welcomed change).
Her movements are becoming calculated, almost smooth, and she’s taking in everything in around her. Grasping toys, kicking her sweet feet, and even beginning to roll over. She’s determinedly lifting her head and even attempting to sit up, as if she fears she’s missing out on something. I think she’s already yearning to keep up with her energetic and loving big brother. Determination may just be this little girls middle name.
I see her gaining some independence and not feeling the need to be held closely for hours at end. She’s taking this world on and is thriving at this transition. In those moments where my warm arms are her solace and the only thing that calms her, I breathe in her sweet smell, hold her tiny wrinkled fingers, pet her shedding soft hair and stroke her smooth skin in wonderment. I soak in this quiet moment of calm before returning to the craziness of everyday life with a newborn and toddler.
Knowing that it’s most likely our last baby, I find myself desperately holding onto these moments and changes. Wishing for her to be a tiny newborn a little bit longer. It really is the longest shortest time. For now, I’ll pull her in a little bit closer, hold her a bit longer and revel in her sweet baby smell.
For those of you that are done having kids, how you did you know when your family was complete and for others, what’s your ideal family size? I’d love to hear your thoughts.