It is sort of a bittersweet thing to end a life chapter and begin a new one. We have been in the same chapter for our entire marriage, which started 11 years ago. That is a long time for a chapter, but also such a short amount of time in life. Our latest chapter began the day we got married.
Before we even got engaged, we started talking about marriage. I had told Chris, not to propose to me unless he was ready to be a father.
I had imagined everything that our lives would entail and that, for me, meant trying to have children as soon as we could, after getting married. I am traditional in that sense. On December 31, 2011 Chris asked me to marry him.
I knew that meant he was ready for everything I had been dreaming of, our life together. At first, we weren’t in huge hurry to get married as we wanted to plan a traditional sort of wedding. We actually had been set on getting married on 3/3/2013. February 2012 rolled around and we had found out my older brother would be deployed the following year, thus making it impossible for him to come to our wedding. We were not about to have that! He was going to be home the following month 3/3/2012, so we made it happen!
As soon as we got married, we started trying to get pregnant. I had always thought getting pregnant would be easy. I have a whole page on all of the things we went through to have our 3 kids, in our Journey to Parenthood . In the matter of 15 months after getting married, we had our first son, Wylan.
4 years later we had our daughter, Isla.
2 years after her, we were surprised with our 2nd son, Harrison.
We knew we were done having babies when we were pregnant with him. It was definitely bitter sweet for me and at times I still think, maybe we should have tried to have a 4th. But, honestly my body just couldn’t do it again. Mentally, I don’t know if I could either.
We have spent the first 11 years of our marriage being pregnant, having babies, and raising them into childhood. Now that we are in our 11th year of marriage, the chapter of babies and toddlers has come to a close. We no longer have babies in cribs. We no longer have babies on bottles. We no longer have babies in diapers, not even in pull ups! We also are done with diaper bags and strollers, like, what!?
Like I said, it is bitter sweet. So far all we have known is this chapter. Now that it has closed, I don’t know what to expect or title this new one that we are beginning.
The years of our children being solely dependent on us is moving further and further into the past. It is a sort of a sad reality. Like the saying goes, “the days are long, but the years are short.”
In a way I don’t miss certain aspects of it. Like not knowing what the heck to do with a screaming baby when you have tried everything under the sun to calm them down and just wishing they would tell you what they need. The endless diapers. The blowouts! The money that goes towards diapers. The pumping breast milk. The being obsessed with me for the sake of my boobs and their need to survive off of them. My body not feeling like my own. The sleepless nights.
Then, of course, are the things I do miss. The things, I think, get people to have more babies than they might even be mentally capable of having. Pregnancy itself. Birth empowerment. The tiny baby snuggles. The cute outfits. The being completely relied on, making them obsessed with you, and loving you unconditionally. Even breastfeeding. The late night slow dances to soothe them. The way they lay their head on your chest. Watching them through their milestones – their first everything.
You never fully grasp what people mean when they talk about these things until you go through it yourself. No amount time will ever feel satisfactory. At the same time, there are days you dream of being out of the chapter you’re in. Now that we are here, part of me has remorse on feeling like maybe I didn’t treasure it enough. Part of me thinks I would go back just to see their squishy faces and hold them like that again.
But, part of me is glad it is over too. I know where I am in life now, I don’t have the mental stamina to add more to it. I am thankful it all played out the way that it did. I will treasure my memories, my pregnancy journals, my baby books – that I am still working on by the way, the pictures, and oh my gosh the videos! I am so grateful we have the technology we do to bring those memories back to life. It is irreplaceable and priceless to me to have those sort of things – especially now that my memories have begun to fade [thanks covid].
It’s the end of such a special era. I know we were ready for it to be closed. We will continue to treasure the experiences, milestones, and watching our children become the people they want to be.
I am just glad I have my best friend beside me, watching these amazing beings we created together out of love.