The end of an era

Around this time of year nine years ago, my husband and I were getting ready to start our family. We were ready to begin a new phase of our lives by bringing some little ones into the world.

Birthing, feeding, diapering, and bathing babies has been so sweet and rewarding for us. Every experience of having a new baby was so exciting and fun.

As my children are growing, I watch them in amazement at the thought that my husband and I created these mini humans with such vibrant personalities. Now that they’re no longer babies, I feel some type of way.

Today, Kai started hourly daycare on the Army base. I didn’t cry, but I did stop and take a deep breath because it hit me that he’s no longer a baby but a toddler.

Let’s back track a little bit. When Taj was born, he had trouble swallowing so he was never able to eat or drink  by mouth. To this day he still eats via a gastronomy tube. I pumped breastmilk for 6 months until I no longer had the desire to set my alarm every 3 hours, to include night pumps. Yes, I would wake up at 3 am to pump.

I was so discouraged that I didn’t pump as much milk as I saw other moms were pumping. I just let it go and waited until I had another child to give breastfeeding a try again.

Then I had Zoe. I was so excited when my milk came in within 24 hours of her being born. Actually putting a child to breast to feed was exciting to me. So exciting that I breastfed her for 20 months.

Kai is my last baby, and the same excitement was there when I was able to breastfeed him, too. The only problem with him was he didn’t want to take a bottle. So I exclusively breastfed him for TWO YEARS TWO MONTHS AND FOUR DAYS…Yikes! Sorry I had to emphasize that, but I really wanted to stop at 12 months with him. He’s such a picky eater and doesn’t eat much so I breastfed him longer so he could get some nutrients.

But now the feeling is bittersweet. I’m so happy to have my body back. No more being a temporary extended stay to house a baby. No more being a human milk factory to feed a baby. And no more waking up at night to a crying baby.

Part of me is sad that my baby making years are over. And before anyone asks, yes, they are over. I wanted to be done having kids by 35, and I accomplished that.

Our family is moving into a new phase. Taj is going to 3rd grade. Zoe’s starting kindergarten. And Kai just started part time daycare. They’re involved in activities and sports while making lifelong friends.

I just turned 36 last month, and I’m starting to feel like a new woman. I’m finally embracing being a stay at home mom….that’s another blog for another day. I have some ideas of what I want to do with my free time. It’s time to start doing things I enjoy doing that doesn’t involve kids.

I’m excited about what’s next for me and my family. Our family is complete, and I look forward to teaching, nurturing, and raising well behaved children that will become responsible adults.

For those of you who are done having kids, do you miss those baby years? I miss them, yet I don’t. Please God don’t let me get baby fever any time within the next 4 years.

Sending love and hope your way!

7 thoughts on “The end of an era”

  1. Aww… Don’t fret Shanetta!! I promise I will call you when my little babies come.

    But, I totally understand. It’s amazing to see the little ones grow from babies to toddlers to miniature people. Lol. It’s really bittersweet indeed.

  2. Welllllllll, kinda sorta miss those baby days, but mine were looking. Lol. I have 6 kids, yes 6!! Ages 32, 27, 21, 19, 18, 16. The older days are greater lol.

    1. I certainly look forward to the older days. But I am cherishing their itty bitty phase because one day they won’t want to hang out with me. God bless you and your 6…whew, exhausting lol.

    2. I thought I had replied to this comment…oops! God bless you…6 kids sounds like a fun yet challenging time, lol. I heard kids are a lot of fun as they get older so I look forward to those days 😊

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