“I want a summer baby,” I tell my husband as to why we are delaying the conception of our final third child.

“I want to lose a little more weight,” I said as the summer baby window went by. He looked at me with questioning eyes but didn’t dare test my comment on my weight. He’s a wise man, as you will soon find out.

Days turned into months, and soon approached a year. As I run out of excuses, I finally fessed up my heartbreaking truth.

It wasn’t that I want a baby with a certain birthday or that I really felt I needed to lose a few extra pounds (if that was the case I wouldn’t have a bag of chocolate hidden in my closet).

My truth was this is would be our last baby. Or at least would be my last planned pregnancy—we all know God laughs when we make plans.

But the reality is this will be my last time downloading a pregnancy app, tracking my ovulation, stocking up on pregnancy tests, getting more excited than the last time to pee on a stick and pray for two pink lines.

With all the excitement that comes with trying for a child from conception to birth, knowing it will also be your last comes a little bit of heartache.  

All these names stored on my phone as “potential baby names” will be a moot point if they don’t get used this round. It will be the last time I get to decorate a nursery, decide if I want to find out the sex, and call my parents to let them know they will be grandparents again, for their last time, too.

But three is our number, this was always the plan. I have known since baby one, and after baby two. But now that it is approaching, the thought of being pregnant for a last time makes my heart hurt.

I am one of those moms who loves pregnancy, I love the smell of a newborn, and never minded the late nights rocking and holding them to sleep knowing newborns don’t stay new forever. Soon they grow; they begin to sleep through the night on their own, and don’t need you as much. Their firsts turn into lasts, and in what seems like a blink of an eye you’re walking them into kindergarten.

I will be completely honest, my husband didn’t get it. We are in our mid 30s now and his viewpoint is that he does not want to be a man in his mid-50s with a child still in school. But as a stay-at-home mom, I see a soon-to-be-empty nest.

It’s a big jump from feeling the pangs of a last pregnancy to the grief of an empty nest, but I think they both might have the same bittersweetness. And I want to relish every day of parenthood because my babies won’t always be babies.

My husband, being the wise man he is (as I promised you would discover), simply replied, “When one season ends, another begins.”

Frustrated he did not understand me, we left the conversation like that.

A few days later I found myself finally understanding his Yoda moment.

Seasons of life are as beautiful as the phrase itself. While this might be my last pregnancy, it’s also the completion of my family. While picking out a name, I am discarding some amazing options but I am completing our part of the family tree. I am giving my daughters their final sibling, and completing our gallery wall with no missing children.

So yes, my season of having pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and late-night feedings may be coming to an end after this baby, but as my husband said, “When one season ends, another begins.” I still have a while left in this one, and what an amazing thing that is. So I am going to breathe and enjoy every second of it, even the uncomfortable parts. I’ll savor the moments of feeling a baby hiccup in my belly, and laugh at the fifth time in a row I get up and waddle-walk to the bathroom, because this season will not last forever as another one begins.

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These Seasons of Motherhood Won’t Last Forever

Crystal Couch

I am an Army wife and stay at home mom of two girls living in Virginia. I homeschool my 6-year-old, am a freelance writer, and lead a Girl Scout Troop in my free time.