When I was in high school, people were always telling me to stop hurrying through it.
To enjoy it.
These were the best days of my life.
I remember thinking that if those really were my best days, if life didn’t get better than that, then what was the point?
Thankfully, those weren’t my best days.
I’m in them now. Fully immersed. Embracing all of its chaos and challenge.
I’m not negating that parenthood is hard. That it has taken me to the brink and nearly pushed me over at times.
But it’s brought me a sort of joy I didn’t know existed. It filled my cup to overflowing so that even the challenging days had sunshine.
I went in for my first ultrasound last Friday, for bambino #4. Yes, there is going to be another little darling!
My need in those moments were to see a tiny babe with a beating heart. I needed to know that he was in there; thriving. Despite the stomach virus from hell that I endured shortly after learning I was pregnant, he was okay. I needed to know that this sweet babe of ours was as healthy as we could know at this point.
And he was. A tiny little heart beat pumping at 166 beats per minute.
No one ever tells you how beautiful that sound is. How it will bring tears to your eyes every time you hear the baby in your womb’s thudding heart. How you involuntarily smile knowing that he’s there, making his presence known all ready.
This is probably our last little one – yes, really this time. I will never say never, because as one friend put it, that really means, “yes please, +2”, ha. But I all ready feel a bubble of contentment that I haven’t felt before. That yearning isn’t there.
I mean, I yearn for this baby. I love him all ready and he’s all ready a very real part of our world.
But I do feel a wave of sadness knowing that he (or she! I really have no idea) is likely the last. This will be my last pregnancy. My last mornings waking up with nausea. My last sub chorionic hemorrhage that I’ve experienced in each pregnancy. My last fall-asleep-at-the-drop-of-a-hat-because-I’m-growing-a-human exhaustion. My last new, angry red stretch marks to appear from growing life within. My last swollen ankles. My last time pushing life into this world.
And maybe those don’t sound like the most pleasant things, but they’re all kind of amazing in their own way. They’re each signs and experiences of creating life and carrying it within my womb. And even if I find a cure for cancer someday, it just won’t compare to how this feels. I know that.
I am so in love with where my family is at. Where it is going. I love all these little people and what it means to be their mother.
They won’t be little forever. They won’t need me forever. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s the way life is supposed to progress. I don’t mourn that some day they will be amazing adults and on their own. J and I will have plenty to keep ourselves busy. And it will be nice to have time, just he and me.
But I do wish time would slow down. I wish it wouldn’t move quite so quickly so that I could savor all of these moments. These days. Each kid is just so darn precious and I just want to eat them up and fully appreciate them before it is too late.
So if you want to slow down, Father Time, I won’t complain. These really are my best days. I know that. And I don’t want to miss any of it.