Soaking up a newborn baby is my favorite thing in the entire world. Especially when it's my newborn baby.
I know not everyone feels the same way about new babies. My husband is one of them. He would much rather interact with a child than hold a curled up lump on his chest.
But if I had to come up with what would be my perfect day, it would include having one of my newborns nuzzled tightly against me for hours, hands down.
We just wrapped up our first week with baby #4 at home. We've done this enough times that there haven't been many surprises. The sleeping, eating and diapering around the clock have seemed like second nature. The only difference this time around is that life hasn't stopped for the older boys. There are still carpools and homework assignments and spelling words and soccer games and birthday parties to manage amidst the chaos.
But the biggest surprise is the same thing that has caught me off guard with each of our brand new babies.
With each new addition to our family, I've gone into panic mode about that sweet newborn growing up. I know that I only get three months or less of the newborn stage and I'm so worried I'm not going to be able to savor every moment. The fear of never being in this stage of life again is all-consuming.
When I have a newborn, everything else seems to fade into oblivion. I sink into this baby bliss where no matter how hard I try, I cannot soak my newborn in enough. The expressions. The curled up body. The breathing. The crying. I love it all.
The problem is, I can't keep having babies forever. Especially since miserable pregnancies are the precursors to my newborn babies. There has to be a last at some point.
I know that the panicky growing-up-too-fast feelings eventually fade because they have with all of the other boys. But the fear of this possibly being our last is what brings tears to my eyes. It's what makes me throw out my to-do list day after day and sink onto the couch with my newborn on my chest the minute the older boys are sleeping. It's what keeps me up late at night, shining my phone flashlight on Finn and watching his tiny chest rise and fall, because when he wakes up, he'll be older. He'll be bigger. He won't ever be this small again.
I'm hoping to savor this newborn phase with less panic and more enjoyment before he becomes a full-fledged baby. I know all too well how quickly the time will pass.