This is it. November 14th. Your first birthday, love. My last first birthday to celebrate as a momma. Today is the beginning of so many of your firsts … and simultaneously, so many of my lasts.
I had similar sentiments with both your brother and sister. I wept when Bryant took his last bottle because just like you, that little friend loved meal time. He would get so excited at the site of his “ba-ba” … snuggling so tightly until he drifted into a sweet slumber. There was the hope of another baby, so these lasts felt less … final. As years inched on, though, your Daddy and I began to think that maybe Bryant was meant to be an “only.” We tried to find peace in that. There were seasons of hurt, tears, and then forgiveness and acceptance. When it was least expected – literally the day after an intense Crosffit competition – that little stick said PREGNANT.
We were more than prepared to soak in this last baby experience. Your sister was easy to love. My first girl … our only girl. I savored each little outfit, her full head of dark hair, and oh, that baby smell. I cried deeply the last time she nursed. See Thad, she was supposed to be the last baby. I readied myself for being done with this season and then – oh then – God had a beautiful miracle. He blessed us with you … our precious bonus baby.
Another baby wasn’t planned, but it also wasn’t completely off limits. Decisions are hard for your momma, pal. I always feel empowered in the middle ground of “maybes” where options live. Another baby wasn’t a hard no … but it was also a “most likely not”. I haphazardly boxed up our chapter of sleepless nights and nursing. Two littles. One boy and one girl. And a very small maybe lingered. Then suddenly that little maybe became a very CLEAR - yet unexpected -yes. There was initial panic on my part then your daddy put it all into perspective (like he always does as you’ll learn ;). Dad said you would be “a great adventure.” Oh, how right he was.
These last couple of weeks I have found myself full of big feelings. This is it, sweet love. We are really done this time. My once maybe is a certain no now. I feel relief in taping up that box. But in the midst of the relief is undeniable grief. I will never grow another life in my womb. The tiny first kicks and flutters have come and gone. They will never be mine to feel and delight in again. I will never place a brand new baby to my chest… and sustain a sweet life with my own. The finality of it all feels big today, pal. The end of something so beautiful Is bound to be a little sad, right?
I am so content with our dynamic and how you’ve completed our family, Thad. You are the perfect caboose to this crazy train. Saying goodbye to this season, though, is harder than I expected. I know there will be so much joy in the chapters to come, and my heart is SO thankful that we have an extra little one with which to experience each last. Today we celebrate our sweet chunker. Our Tad-pole. Our little Boo-Boo Chick Chick. You have the sweetest temperament, love. My momma heart may be complex and confusing at times, but one thing will always be a hard yes. You ARE loved to the moon and back for all time. Happy Birthday, Thad!!!!
Photos by: Mallory Mellichar