Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Next Phase

Each day Grace takes another step away from babyhood.  She insists on walking next to me instead of being pushed in her stroller at the farmer's market.  She can tell us exactly what she wants, and what she doesn't.  She has her own opinion as to what she should wear (she almost always wants to wear a dress) each day.  Just recently I discovered that she has the ability to sit still long enough to have her toenails and fingernails painted.

Grace is coming up on her two year birthday fast which brings even more change upon us.  The independence and strong will is already starting to show itself as we near the two year mark.  I have started to prep her for her potty training which I'm sure we will embark on soon.  Soon she will be moving into a big girl bed and the crib and changing table will be stored away.  There will be no more diapers, wipes, sippy cups, cribs or crib sheets.  They will be gone for good. 

You'd think this would make me rejoice.  But it doesn't.  It makes me melancholy.  To think I will never again have my very own newborn in my arms.  I will never again feel my baby kick from inside my belly.  I will never again lift my little babe from the crib with weary worn arms, sit down in the glider and fall asleep while nursing my babe.  No more babies.  None.  All done. 

And yet just yesterday I took a pregnancy test.  Just to see. Because I always think I'm pregnant.  Even though Todd had a "little procedure" (much to my chagrin) last year to ensure that four would be our final number I still took a test.  Even though a pregnancy would be a virtual impossibility I took a test.  Maybe I was just hopeful.  And as I squinted and searched for that second line to appear I realized how hopeful I had been. 

Hopeful even though my four are more than a handful at times.  Even though I sometimes wonder how I am going to make it through raising the four I've got now, hopeful.  Hopeful even though there is a big part of me that doubts I can do it all again.  Hopeful even when there was a small part of me sweating and silently thinking, "No way!"  Though we are finally at a point when we can start planning that Disney vacation, I was still hopeful.  Hopeful even though I think three boys and a little girl is just about as perfect it gets.  Even though I am truly enjoying each of my children and the stage that we are at as a family, for some crazy reason, I was still hopeful. 
Four is my number.  And I'm so lucky.  I know that.  I am so grateful for the fabulous kids that I do have and I'm excited to begin this next phase with my family.  There is so much to look forward to.   So much in store.  I know God's plan is always perfect and I pray to accept His will gracefully. 

Though I will always yearn for one more baby I know that eventually there has to be a last child.  And I couldn't have dreamed of a more amazing "last" child.  She is the perfect completion of our family.  We end with Grace.  Gracefully. 


painted maypole said...


i have baby longings, too, even though I am fairly sure i would not want to start all over again. even though The Big Guy had the same procedure. There's just something about a baby.

i am lucky to currently have a friend with an infant. I love to cuddle and play with him.

Jayne said...

I think it's hard for many women to decide when to be "done"...especially those of us who enjoy being pregnant and love the infant/baby stage.

On a slightly different note...I love Grace's painted nails! Such a big girl! :)

Kelly said...

Been there many times my friend. I shed a few tears a couple of weeks back when we gave our Little Tyke house to a friend. I'm giving our Little Tyke kitchen to my cousin this weekend. These things were well loved and well played with for so many years and it kills me that the boys are too big for them anymore. I never wanted more than 3 kids but many a time have wondered what it. My Todd had the same procedure and I once took a pg test too because I thought it might have happened anyway. You are not alone. Every time I hold my baby nephew I miss it so much. Even seeing your sweet little Grace made wish I had a chance to have a little girl. I'll never know what that's like. They are all perfectly natural feelings.

Mom24 said...

(((hugs))) I understand completely.

Rima said...

Oh, man. I don't think there's any way to get around that feeling. They say that you feel that way with the last baby, no matter how many you have. She is a perfect bookend, though :)

Jeni said...

Boy, does this post ever ring true! Even at my advanced age -at almost 67 and you KNOW it's a physical impossibility for many, many reasons, it still doesn't mean the longing to mother "just one more baby" doesn't just disappear for many women! If life -and marriage -had been different for me, I would have loved to have had another child -at least just ONE more! But things don't always go the way we want them to go, do they? So now, My children are well grown up (well at least physically grown, mentally sometimes we all wonder about my son as he's still just a big kid, albeit a very over-grown one) and two of my children have made me Grandma three times now. And unless my son ever decides to get married and maybe, just maybe, he and his spouse then might consider having a child, my "baby days" are really gone, I guess. But I still hope that maybe there will someday be at least, at the very least, one more grandchild to tend to, to love, to cuddle and rock and feed and put to sleep with the same lullabies I sang to my children as well as to my three grandchildren. So, nope, I don't think your feelings are strange at all. Frankly, I think they are completely normal -especially for someone like yourself who takes to mothering in such a wonderful way!

chrissy said...

Oh I can't get over how pretty she is!

Tonya said...

I totally feel ya on this one. My "baby" is going to be 4 in a few short months. I have just resigned myself to be that crazy lady at church who always holds the new babies ;) That way I get my baby fix and then can give them back it is the best of both worlds!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh, this makes me feel sad for you. I KNEW I was done at three, never felt the slightest pang of regret. Peace, honey.

imbeingheldhostage said...

oh Grace...you take my breath away!!

Kat, I get it. Every bit of this post, I get it. I seriously look at these posts of your daughter and wonder where the last two year's of my baby girl went, and even though most days I am prayerfully begging for someone to come take her off of my hands for an hour, I sometimes wish my hubby's procedure didn't take.

Elaine A. said...

I know what you mean. I do. Although I don't yearn for another child so much it is hard to think there will be no more babies. They are just SUCH a blessing.

Hugs to you Momma!

And look at the big girl.... wow. So pretty, just like her Mommy. :)

lime said...

i was sad to be done too but here's the thing....you can be an auntie with other people when they have babies and get to play with them and hand them back when they are cranky. or volunteer for cranky duty and the worn out mommy will be overjoyed. other folks keep warning me about grandkids since my kids are now college aged, except for the last one. i'm sure i'll enjoy when the time comes but i am not in a hurry fr that.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Four is my number, too! And look at those sweet toes.


Krystyn said...

Choosing that number is impossible! Impossible! Because those weee little ones are so stinking cute.

Grace sure is getting so big. It seems like she was just born, and yet she looks like a four year old.

designHER Momma said...

you know what, I think four is my number too. It feels right...

Carol said...

oh, my....she is too too big...and more beautiful than ever!! Kat...keep taking those tests. It actually CAN happen again!!! (don't tell your hubby that~)

Hilary said...

I know that feeling all too well.. and my youngest of only two is 21. I checked pregnancy tests 3 times into menopause.. fearful and hopeful at the same time. Now I'm just hoping that it's not TOO long a wait until there are grandchildren.

April said...

You ARE lucky. :-) I want another baby SO BAD (isn't it silly wanting that when I have a 4 month old at home? LOL) but hubby is done. He wants to get that "lovely" procedure done as well. :-( While I've told him I accept it, a tiny part of me still longs that he will change his mind. Even though some days I'm like, OMG WHAT WHAT I THINKING WITH TWO UNDER TWO (although like Grace, Hunter is about to TURN two! Our big babies!!!)...I think that's what a Mom does. Always long to bring more life into this world. I will forever miss the feeling of my sweet peas kicking and poking from within my belly and the moment when I push them out...no matter the fatigue/pain/whatever...I would do that over again in a HEARTBEAT. Love it all so much. This was a great post.

Happy-Almost-Birthday, Grace!

Riahli said...

Oh my goodness I wrote a {much shorter and not nearly as beautiful} post about this very thing today! It's hard to move on right, even though it's perfect as it is. I'm sure I wouldn't survive another one, but I also wondered if I was pregnant this month and started dwelling on it and thinking about names, Names! Good grief. I was relieved to find I wasn't but at the same time... no actually I was truly relieved. :) It's hard to face the no more babies thing though, really hard.

Dani said...

That was a beautiful post! And such a beautiful family! I will stop back along the way to catch up on the next phase. Thanks for sharing!

Lindsay said...

Oh how I "get" this...and reading through your comments makes me feel more "normal" too. I guess it's just a part of some women's identity. I feel like some women are meant to work outside the home and I feel that I am meant to be a mom - it's what I do! And then to have the womb close like that, even though I already have four, is sad. But you're right - there eventually HAS to be a last...so we should try that much hard to savor EVERY moment with them. We have much to be thankful for - crazy days or not. :-)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson