I broke into tears last night as I lay her down in her crib. This little one has always been so sweet, so snuggly, such a mama's girl. Her comfort is being in my embrace and so much of my comfort is holding her. She has touched a place of this mother's heart that didn't exist before she arrived as have all her siblings before her.
And, I feel some grief in the knowing that soon she won't be "the baby" in this house. Of course my grief is tempered with the delight and knowledge that our fourth will be an older sister to another amazing soul. Another child, another miracle, another person to love and hold, admire, and cherish.
"She won't be the baby anymore." I said to my husband through my tears. He reassured me that she's still small, she's still a baby in many respects. Even though there will be a shift in the house, she'll still rest easy in our arms, she'll still receive the love and attention that she needs, she'll still be carried close.
I remember it being harder when I was welcoming my third just 10 months after having our second. I remember feeling that his babyhood was being robbed - this child that I had desired. I also remember him being just fine.
The nurse told me, "It's often better when they're so little. They never remember what it was like before their smaller sibling came along. It's a rather seamless transition, because they're not jealous."
It's probably harder for a mother. The knowledge that time is slipping by and that this child with fingers yet so small, hair still thin and wispy, eyes as big as saucers, and rosebud lips is growing and someday will be a woman. That realization is the one that threatens to take your breath away.
I look at her and know that this time of her being the smallest is growing smaller by the minute. Each morning I bring her into bed with me for snuggles. I hold her close, read her books, kiss her head, and tell her how much I love her. I don't want to lose one precious second.