[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] love babies. I love the newborn days . . . well, minus the sleep deprivation, which is feeling fully miserable right now. I love the sweetness of newborns; love watching them make smiles, sighs, grunts, and frowns while they sleep. I love the cuddles and the staring up into your eyes as they feed. I love celebrating every first: the first smile, the first time they roll over (Eden already has!!), the first time they see a toy and grab it, the first word. I love all the simple celebrations of the things that come with a new life. I love the easiness of their simple, little lives. As difficult and full of complication as all of my children’s births were, I’d do it all again to have another newborn.

But we won’t do it all again (Lord willing), as I don’t love the difficulty of dealing with a two year old and all that comes with that year of life. I don’t love the ups and downs of pregnancy; or the anticipation of what could happen during childbirth. And honestly, I don’t think I could cope with four little people at one time, so I know that three is enough for our family. Had we started our childbearing years when we were in our early 20s, then yes, we probably would have had 4 or 5 kids. But as we approach 40, it seems sensible to get on with raising our kids and enjoying our youth before it’s gone.

So instead, I wonder how to make the most of my days with my youngest child. How do I fully enjoy her little life that is quickly flying by? When I drag myself out of bed at 2am for a feeding, I remind myself that it won’t be much longer and then I’ll miss her at night. I’ll miss watching her while she sleeps. I’ll miss staring at her beautiful face and seeing how she changes so much each week. I’ll miss being one of her two favorite people; Daddy being the other favorite as she also gets to gaze into his eyes every night. I’ll miss the days when a bottle and a cuddle were enough to keep her happy. Soon enough, she’ll be eating real food and asking for snacks every hour like her brothers do. And she’ll be yelling and running through the house in order to keep up with Captain America and Iron Man (who will have become some kind of Transformer or other Superhero), and I’ll be wondering why I didn’t invest in ear plugs a long time ago . . .

I already know I’ll miss these baby days, just as I’m going to miss hearing my two year old’s little voice as he forms long sentences and my four year old’s thoughts on every subject. I’m hoping though that I’ll really love all the new things that will come with having big kids. I’m also hoping that somehow I’ll find a way to invest my time into other newborns who may need some extra cuddles and love . . . that would make this heart very happy.

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