December 20th 2009… I remember that time so well, I was 38 weeks pregnant, and desperate to get that baby boy out of my belly. I pleaded with God, begged for mercy and prayed that Colm would come either early or late enough to avoid sharing a birthday with an international role model! Christmas came and went and still, I remained pregnant. January 1st came and still, no baby. Colm seemed perfectly content in his cramped yet warm home. Finally on January 5th, 2010, a team of doctors walked me into an operating room sporting a very large belly, and then wheeled me out of the room approximately an hour later with an emptiness from within. Colm had finally been forced out and I couldn’t have felt better! We came home a few days later and life started to resemble normalcy again. I settled back into an almost forgotten routine of feedings every two hours, diaper changes, and well baby check-ups.
The months seemed to pass slowly at first, and yet, here I sit, thinking ‘oh my gosh, my baby will be 1 in just over two weeks”. I wasn’t prepared for this feeling! It was just yesterday that I was worried about Colm not holding his head up yet, Colm not sitting unassisted, and Colm not crawling yet, and here he is today, talking up a storm, crawling throughout the house playing with his sister and cruising along the walls and furniture. I watch Elizabeth and Colm interact and play together and I know it will only be a matter of time before I have two babies telling me that I’m not listening to them right that second!
I do remember feeling this way with Elizabeth, however there is something distinctly different because I know I will never again experience another pregnancy, delivery, or the wonder of that first year as you watch a child grow into an independent being. Am I suffering from baby envy? Most definitely NOT. Along with all the wonders of that first year also came the fear of losing him in those first few months, the sleepless nights for an entire year because of the physical pain of pregnancy and then having a nursing newborn that wanted to eat every hour to two hours. Even then, the torture I underwent with the pregnancy was in of itself reason to avoid getting pregnant again! No, I definitely do not desire to go through the process again. However, this doesn’t stop me from praying and whispering in my babies ears at night “slow down a little please? Mommy isn’t ready to have you all grown up just yet”
Yes, this is the last baby syndrome. The desire to keep them little for longer, and yet still happy that period of life is over and I will never again experience another baby that finds its home on my dislocated hip. I cry when I need to, savor each and every moment I can grab, and whisper every night “slow down goose and moose”.