Written By: Lindsay
Note: I wrote this piece in 2019, not long after my third (and last) baby was born. It reflects my feelings on coming to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t have another child, that this would be my last baby.
You meekly latch on as I lay exhausted in the hospital bed, breathing in your intoxicating newness and silently thanking God for another angel in my arms. While the tears dry I think to myself: You are my last. My last to accept this life-giving nourishment from my tired body, and the last to gently grip my finger with your tiny hand while I hold you close to my heartbeat and listen to your soft breathing.
In the first days at home you greet me in the early morning hours with your soft sucking, both of us delirious yet fully aware of each other, and I watch you dream while you lay nestled in my arms. This time, I think to myself, I will not wish away these precious, fleeting minutes. There is wisdom in knowing you are my last.
And in the slow, sleepy mornings when it’s just the two of us and you lay soundly on my chest, wrapped snugly in your little cocoon, I fight to keep my eyes open, but I do not mind the exhaustion. When I have to set you down it feels like a sin, and I accept that there will never be enough time to spend savoring quiet, tender moments like this with you, my last little love.
I lovingly and selflessly care for you in these hazy months, eager to feel like myself again, yet wrestling with feelings of melancholy and nostalgia. I am afraid to blink. And while each day I wish for the body and life I once had, resenting the uncomfortable changes that pregnancy and childbirth have forced upon me, I cannot bear the thought that one day soon I will stop sharing my body with you, no longer offering you a gift that unites us in the night while the rest of the world sleeps, unaware of our loving bond.
I think to myself how you will be the last to share with me your sweet firsts: the gleeful smiles, a lone tooth, your wobbly steps towards your daddy. The last to let me feed you mushy greens on a baby spoon while you happily bounce in your bumbo chair. I know that when you crawl at lightning speed, every day sharing your innocent giggles and unwavering love, I will not take it for granted, because you are my last.
Someday you will ask me for a kiss on your cheek as we part for the night, and my hand to hold yours as we cross streets together. I will never hesitate to show you my love in these little ways, because one of these times will be the last. And on an evening when the sunlight fades at the neighborhood park and my proud eyes meet yours after you show me new tricks, I will smile and yell GOOD JOB, BABY!!! Because I know this time could be the last.
You will be my last to plead for another book, another song, another hug. To timidly wave goodbye as I send you through the gates on your first day of school, both of us a pile of nerves and excitement. To beg me to let you lick the batter off the spoon until not a speck remains. To doze off in my arms as we slowly rock in the dark, watching the slivers of golden moonlight stream in from the window. And I will softly hum our song and breathe you in as I reminisce on your newborn days, remembering how much I longed to delay the inevitable.
I hold tight to every last bit of it, agonizingly aware that it will be gone all too soon.
So, my little love—here’s to the lasts.