“The Last One” Woes

by Lisa Douglas

She climbed onto my lap quite dinosaur-esque, readying her position for some nap-related boob-time. I leaned back into the couch, my trusty heating pad clicked on to a “1” resting against my lower back. Just as I began to open Facebook, I instinctively decided to look down for a second at my baby’s drowsy eyes, which met me with a lazy smile. A happy, thank-you-so-much-for-feeding-me-boob-so-I-can-go-to-sleep smile; the one that’s joyously drinking herself to a drowse-like state. And then it hit me:

WTF? Forget Facebook, Lisa.
Forget Twitter, or Pinterest, and any other electronic distractions you normally retreat to while breastfeeding.
Holy God, will you LOOK at her eyes!
Look at that gorgeous little baby body lovingly staring up at you.
This is it for us, she is officially our last baby.
You really should be focusing more on this, these moments, because these are the last you will ever have.

I sat there, transfixed on her slumbering body suckling away at me, fighting the tears from flowing for the next ten minutes while she nursed herself to sleep. The kids sat at the table, happily consuming their lunch a few feet away. I shhed at them while I shhed her asleep, sweeping her hair on her head to the side, stroking her face while watching her eyes roll back into dreamland. I stifled my tears while I divided my glances between her napping body and my older ones who were once this small. Wasn’t it just yesterday they were on my lap, too?

“The Last Baby” rang loudly in my head, reminding me of the last time I thought it was the last time. As I imagined these baby diapers and breastfeeding moments being the absolute last in my career as a mother, it made me want to wail out loud, to anyone, no one, and everyone.

I watched the kids, one-by-one, finish their meal happily and head off to re-join their friends outside. Normally, the quiet would ring deafeningly in my ears. Instead, it allowed me to hear her slumbered breathing and baby snores. I clutched her body closer. Almost seventeen months on this Earth by my side, and it’s all too fast.

sleepytime

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