Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cherish every moment

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Over the past month the topic of 'last firsts' (as Cate calls it) has popped up a few times in my life. Friends who have had their last baby are experiencing their last ever lot of baby first moments (thus the term last firsts). The last first smile, last first giggle, last first steps etc. More importance seems to be placed on these milestones because they know they will be the last ones. Some of them are quite sad about it, but are also quite certain that they have completed their family. It is a necessary, yet emotional, phase all mothers must eventually go through.

Beacause of my struggles with infertility the concept of last firsts was already on my mind (just in a different way) even before I got pregnant. I was never naive throughout my pregnancy. I went through the whole experience knowing full well that it could be the last time I experience it, even though it was also my first time. Infertility has robbed me of the notion that I will be able to have more children just because we decide we want to. That has never been a reality for me. But, while it has taken that hope and security away from me, it has also given me the gift of a 'last first' attitude towards parenting.

The fact that I am already aware that bubba could be the first and last child I ever have means I am much more adamant that I will soak everything in. I am actively reminding myself to be in the moment. I live every day as if she could very well be my last child. I know Im not done with wanting to have more children, but who knows what's in store for me. I don't want to look too far forward and miss these times with her because I am worrying about the future. I want to live in the moment every day and enjoy her milestones. Get excited about every smile and every giggle. Cherish every single cuddle and relish the times that she falls asleep on me. I treat each moment as a last first. I try to slow down and treat each day as if it might be the last time I experience the excitement of a smile, giggle, hug etc. Instead of approaching the idea of last firsts with sadness, I see it as a gift. Instead of hurrying through the day wishing it would go faster, I deliberately take moments where I pause. In those moments time stands still. There is only me and her. Nothing else matters and nobody else exists. I shut everything else out and just be with her.

Sometimes when I'm hugging her I snuggle my face in as close as I can to her neck, close my eyes, and be still in that moment and breathe it all in. I soak up the joy that I'm feeling and the comfort that I am bringing her and I store it away in my memory bank in the hopes that it will last forever. The feeling of holding her against my chest. Her tiny fingers gripping tightly on my shoulder. The beautiful fresh baby smell from her hair. The way her face squishes up and dimples appear when her head is on my shoulder and the sound of her breathing near my ears. It is simple, yet perfect.

She will grow and change and there will be good days and bad, but I am determined to cherish every single one of them because I have been given a gift that I never thought I would have. I wish I could live all of our moments together in slow motion so that they would last longer.

When I get frustrated and tired I remind myself that it is only temporary and that I am lucky to be able to experience parenthood - the good times and bad. While some people may take it for granted, I am well and truly aware that a baby is the most amazing miracle we can ever create. To be a mum is the highest privilege I will ever receive in life. To be the one that guides her and looks after her, the one who comforts her, teaches her, protects her, encourages her and loves her. I have been blessed beyond words.

I urge everyone to treat each first with every child as a 'last first' moment, whether it will be or not. Soak it up, store it in your memory bank and cherish it as if it is. I guarantee that there is someone somewhere wishing they could experience at least one last first.


Toni xx


17 comments:

  1. Oh last firsts are so hard! I went through it all with Chiara, knowing that I was happy she was our last but still grieving each last milestone. Then Rosalia came along unexpectedly and now I'm having to live it all again!

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    1. Oh Emma that must be such a conflict between happiness and being sad again x

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    2. It really is! I am trying to convince hubby to let me have 'just one more', but I know it will never happen!

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  2. Beautifully written, I could feel myself tearing up as I read this. I fully agree with you - especially your last paragraph. My husband and I have also travelled the infertility path, and seven cycles of IVF. After a heartbreaking loss of our twin daughter & son at 21 weeks in 2011, it felt as though our dream to have our own living children would never happen. I was the person who would enviously watch strangers with their babies, just wishing it could be me. We have been extremely fortunate to have been blessed with two sons since, and whilst they were also born prematurely, they both survived and have flourished. Knowing this is most likely the last time I am going to have a baby (he is now 7mths), I am trying to immerse myself in every moment, trying to imprint all of the precious moments that we all too often take for granted.
    Thank you for sharing and enjoy this wonderful time with your beautiful baby girl xx

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    1. Lauren I was totally the person envious of strangers too. Thankfully we have never lost a pregnancy, I can not even imagine the pain and devastation. Two people I know lost their babies while I was pregnant as well and it was another reminder of how precious my pregnancy was and what a gift our daughter is. I'm so glad you got your two boys after experiencing such a horrible loss. Not that they can take the place of your angel babies, but at least you get to experience the joy of motherhood and not just the anxious and sad side that we are all too familiar with x

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  3. I know just what you mean, but having had two children, there are always new firsts to replace the lost ones. Life should be about cherishing the past, but enjoying the present, and looking forward to the future. Regret is a waster of precious moments.

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    1. I intend on living in the moment and enjoying each step along the way, thus having no regrets :)

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  4. So many different kinds of tears reading this! Thank you for sharing. :-) x

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    1. Hope it didn't make you upset Cassandra x

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  5. What a beautiful insightful post. You are a wonderfully loving mother who appreciates the gift she's been given. I wish every mother had the same appreciation.

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    1. Thankyou! I wish all mothers felt the same too.

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  6. What an awesome way to look at the way your child grows. Mr 4 is my only child by choice and I must admit that I do look back now and wish that I had slowed down a little with his milestones, and taken time to enjoy them. I am loving watching him discover new *grown up* things that he can do though.

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    1. I'm sure there will be many new and wonderful moments at all ages. It's so great watching them discover new things.

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  7. It only dawned on me this week, that my Izzy will be in kindy this year and not with me every day. It made my heart skip a beat in fright that I need to appreciate having her home(and annoying me or her sister) even more. To sit and have quiet moments and hold her a little bit longer :) xxx

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    1. I would hold her all day if I could, I'm already dreading when shes goes to kindy.

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  8. Such a beautiful post and a great reminder to cherish your time with your kids. I too struggled with infertility and have been blessed with two beautiful IVF babies. My little one is nearly one and every cuddle, kiss, smile, giggle etc I cherish because I know he is our last baby.

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    1. So glad you got your beautiful babies Sam!

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