As I sit here and watch my youngest self feed herself in her high chair, I can’t help but think where did the time go? How is it that this little baby girl of mine will be 1 in just a few short weeks? She looks up from her tray with big eyes that hold all the great things she will do as she grows older. It is then that I know that it will all be fine in this chaotic world we live in.
I am the oldest of 6 kids, 5 girls and 1 boy to be exact. Being in a large family has its up and downs. There was a lot more fighting, but the chaos was so beautiful. I never understood it until I got older. Looking back, I would not have changed it for anything. I knew I wanted more than 1 child after being part of such a large family.
Fast forward to June 6, 2011, the birth date of my oldest. Ryleigh Anne was the one who opened my heart to what a mother’s love was all about. She showed me that my heart would never be the same. Then Brady came along 15 short months later. He again reminded me about the beauty of a mother’s love and caused my heart to stretch even more. Watching these 2 interact is one of the many blessings I have as their mother. Of course there are moments where I want to pull my hair out (many of those moments to be in fact). The love they share for each other replaces all that pulled out hair.
I knew I wanted a third child. There was no question about it. If I were able, I was going to have a third. My heart yearned for it. I was thankfully able to have my third on August 24, 2016. Chloe came in one of the most chaotic times of my life. Our home flooded just 11 days before she was born. FLOODED! When I say flooded, I don’t mean a little bit of water from an overflowing toilet. Our home and majority of its belongings were destroyed by the Historic 2016 Louisiana Flood. This meant no baby crib, no nursery, and no home. It was all gone. All that was left was a messy version of a shell of a home.
As hard as it was being pregnant, with 2 smaller children during this time, the site of seeing my home in that state was pretty tough. We made it through by living with my husband’s parents for the next 6-7 months. Praise God they didn’t flood! If you knew me, you would know that I am an over the top, OCD planner. Yep, that is me. So this whole flood thing threw a complete wrench into my life plan. Hell, more like a cruise ship in my eyes. My sweet baby number 3, Chloe, came in amidst the chaos.
As mentioned earlier, I am a huge planner. I kept telling myself Chloe couldn’t be my last child.
The thought of loving more kids was not the only reason. It was the fact that Chloe didn’t fit into my plans of how I wanted my last baby to be. I wanted to have everything just right. The perfect nursery, the relaxed days of just worrying about napping and spending time with my last baby, and enjoying being a ‘new mommy’ one last time. The flood took all that from me. My husband spent many, MANY hours outside of work dealing with our house. We spent many late nights going over insurance claim stuff. Days where I should have only been worrying about ‘Did Chloe have a clean diaper?’ was spent trying to figure out what was next with the items that needed to be replaced and maintaining a sense of normalcy for my older two kids. Let’s face it, things were so far out of the norm.
I had to have a fourth baby to fulfill my ‘dream life’. I just had too. That was what I thought until God put something else on my heart. We all think we know what’s best. In all reality, we do not. A new chapter opened up over the summer with my son. https://thesoutherlymagnolia.com/emotional-ride-motherhood/ As I prayed about what God had in store for my family, a sense of peace came over me. We still had unanswered questions about Brady’s condition, but we are on the right track for the time being. Chloe being my last would be okay. Her being born during the flood just makes her first year unique and even more special.
My plans of perfection were indeed perfect. Ryleigh got the little sister she had been praying for. We have many years to come to make more memories, perfect ones. With that, I am okay with Chloe being my last. Am I taking every minute in and savoring these last few weeks of her being a ‘baby’? Heck yea I am! Pretty sure there will be tears shed the closer her one year birthday approaches, tears of sadness but mainly tears of joy for being blessed by so much the first year of her life and the many more blessings to come!
Is it true that you will know when you are done having babies? Yes it is, but I can tell you that seeing another pregnant belly and holding a newborn baby will give me all those jittery feelings we all know as ‘Baby Fever’. All will still be right with the world. I will simply be reminded of the joy of motherhood and the three blessings of my life that made me a mother.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Romans 5:3-4
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not onto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6