Recently I came across an article Your last baby: Savor these moments, mama. Their firsts will also be your lasts. And I couldn’t help but feel a knot in my stomach at the title. A bit of anger and resentment. Well, what if my first baby IS my last?
In my infertile mind, the title implies that us mamas are actually able to get pregnant again, and at a time of our own choosing, in order to have more than one baby, which as you know isn’t the case for me unless we want to take another huge expensive gamble and do a third IVF cycle. Does it really take multiple kids to make a mother realize that she should savor these moments? (I know the answer is no, I’m just being a sore smart-ass). The title is upsetting to me because I don’t get a chance to re-live all those firsts with more babies because of a little something called infertility.
I went into my pregnancy knowing this would be it for me. So I documented my entire pregnancy in great detail knowing it was going to be my last. I neurotically documented Lachlan’s firsts in his baby book, complete with dates, because I knew all his firsts would be my lasts. I remember putting his bottles in storage for the last time before switching to sippy cups. I remember him having his first haircut, chopping off those sweet baby curls that I will never touch again. I cry every time I go through his clothes to pull out ones that no longer fit and replace them with bigger sizes because I know I will never again dress a baby in those sizes. I can’t bare to part with those clothes either, the only remaining physical proof at how little he was.
I always tell Lach to stop growing so fast because I will never get a chance to hold a small child of mine again. His hand will never be as small as it is now. He only keeps getting bigger and heavier as he grows more and more. At least I know he will be my last and I don’t have any false hope about having another baby, so I try to live in the present with him and burn these moments with him into my memory as much as I can.
I know the author didn’t meant to upset anyone reading her article in this way, but it upset me. Why couldn’t she have snuggled each of her kids like they were her last too? Was she ever afraid of not being able to get pregnant again? Or was she just blissfully unaware of all the things that need to happen, in perfect succession, in order to make a baby? I resent that some women will never know this kind of pain, but at the same time, obviously that’s amazing for them that they won’t and they are spared.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m twisting her words, but in the mind of an infertile, we look deep in between the lines that most people don’t see.
And this last line from the article is like rubbing salt in a wound: “—you will be struck hard, repeatedly, by the fact that this most amazing time in your life is slipping away from you, bit…by bit…by bit” like I actually need reminding.
This article breaks my heart.