I have never felt any deep-rooted emotional response to either of my older children’s birthdays, but this time was harder than I thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always been excited for my older children’s birthdays! However Jacob turning one has thrown me for a loop.
My husband and I have gone through several miscarriages, and I have had notoriously difficult pregnancies. The decision to be done having children was a no brainer; we have three perfectly happy kids. Three is a LOT. I have my tubal procedure scheduled to get my tubes tied and I am comfortable with that decision.
BUT. There is always a but…
BUT it is hard having Jacob turn one knowing this is the last time I will experience this. We are still breastfeeding, and I know once we stop I will never do that again. A part of me is ready for that next phase, but there’s another part of me that is having a hard time letting it go.
There were times that I willed certain parts to be over. The first two months were so hard, he needed to much of me. More than I thought I even had to give. And then here I am and I would do anything to go back to that time. But, on that same note, I am happy that we are in a different place. I love seeing who he is becoming. I love that he is interacting more with my older children.
So I thought I would share some things I have learned through this process.
- Being sad that it’s over doesn’t mean it can’t be over
I have had so many people say “If you are feeling this way then you shouldn’t be doing this.” I just feel that that is so wrong. Just because I am ready to move onto another phase in our family doesn’t mean I don’t miss the one we have been in.
- Once you decide that you are done for sure, you will notice each of their firsts much more intensely.
Once I made the for sure choice and set up my appointment to get my tubes tied, I noticed things differently. It is ironic that they called to schedule my surgery on Jacobs birthday. They of course didn’t know that, but how fitting. I watched him gleefully eat his cake and thought “This is the last time I will do this for my own children”.
- Feel what you feel. You owe the world nothing less than that.
People would say “oh God Melissa” or “he’s not DYING”. I know that. I am aware that everything will be ok. But I still get to feel what I feel. I still am allowed to do what I am doing and I don’t have to apologize for that.
- Stay still and then all at once, move on.
Be present in every day. Be present in every minute. Allow yourself to be there. And then at night when you go to bed, and you look at their sweet face and kiss them or touch their hair, let it go and move on. Allow this to be a stepping stone to something else.
So even though this is hard, or maybe it isn’t hard for you and you are embracing this new phase with open arms, it will be ok. Like everything in life, you just have to keep looking forward and counting your blessings where they lay.