The Last Of The Firsts After Having Three Kids


three kidsThis week, one of my best friends brought me into her inner world to tell me that she was newly pregnant after years of trying for another baby. I believe I responded with many exclamation points and screams of happiness, and I hope she felt that love and excitement. I even told her that this was quite possibly the best news ever.

My own reaction kind of surprised me.

I was not prepared to be so genuinely happy without any feelings of longing to also be pregnant. This may because I have a five-month-old at home so I’m certainly still in the baby fog. But until that moment, I didn’t really know if I was done having babies after having three kids. My own reaction to her news kind of solidified that maybe I was.

I have three amazingly wonderful tiny humans and they are truly the light of my life and what I am most proud of. However, they are also very challenging and can drive me insane on almost a daily basis. I never saw myself having three kids, but many different roads led us here. I chose this path with all my heart and wouldn’t have it any other way.

And yet, after my third was born, my husband (who is an only child) expressed that maybe he wasn’t quite done. I was pretty sure I was done, but these types of conversations need agreement or else you can get pretty resentful pretty quickly. So I put the conversation about permanent birth control on the back burner for now and we would just play these next few years out and see how things go.

But as I look at my life, I am getting more and more sure that three kids is our limit.

I mean, we could make a fourth fit, but then we would always be ON as parents with little down time to recuperate and restore. And we both have demanding jobs, so four would mean a lot of reliance on paid help which is clearly expensive. So three kids just makes sense for us.

But that means that my baby days are numbered.

Last night, for the first time in his life, my baby slept through the night. Like from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. And instead of enjoying that sleep, I was up at 3 a.m. crying that my baby didn’t need me any more. (You know, those super irrational thoughts that I assume plague everyone at 3 a.m.)

I lamented the loss of him in my bed and being soothed back to sleep.

I worried that this would take a hit on my breast milk supply which was already dwindling with my busy work schedule. And I teared up at the idea that my baby was growing up and would soon be crawling, and then walking, and then obviously off to college. You know, typical mom concerns.

When I did laundry last week, I went through his drawers and put the baby onesies that were too small in a bag to be donated. We also recently got out the jumper because he was getting too big for the baby swing. With each shuffle, a part of me mourns. His first smile, his first laugh, his first roll. All of his firsts are documented even though he’s number three.

A part of me knows that this is my last shot at seeing these baby firsts up close.

I know that as he grows, it’ll be a mixed bag of joy and sadness. And I say goodbye to his last firsts when I can see them coming. I try to hold onto them for a minute and think about how lucky I am that I got to do this three times over, and I hope that my brain doesn’t fail me in remembering them forever.

I know it will be exciting to watch all of his new firsts, and seeing my babies grown has been truly magical.

I know that I should focus on these moments and not the sadness that inevitably comes with it. Hopefully, with time, it will get easier. I am therefore grateful that my heart has shown me where I stand with my friend’s pregnancy news. I will now start to actually donate those baby clothes because our family is complete.

Although, I hear that’s a surefire way to find yourself pregnant again….


having three kids