In the midst of decluttering and cleaning, I didn’t expect to be stopped by something so tiny.

A blanket. A simple, faded receiving blanket I had sewn when I was pregnant with my first child. I didn’t expect stumbling across it six years later, to stir emotions in the way it did. 

As I unfolded that blanket I was taken back to six years ago when I was pregnant for the first time. 

At that moment, there I was againpregnant with our first baby.

All the feelings and emotions of the first pregnancy came rushing back. The nervous excitement of visiting the doctor for the first time. The wonder of hearing his tiny heartbeat. The awe of seeing my body grow and change as my baby grew. The indescribable feeling of a baby moving from within.

RELATED: I’m Just a Mom Trying Her Best to Love This Family Well

I could smell the newness of everything we had purchased and see our perfectly planned out nursery. I could feel the softness of the tiny little clothes and blankets as I folded them to put in his dresser. I was overwhelmed for a moment again with the feeling of worry, anticipation, and excitement. I felt the uncertainty and worry about labor and delivery. 

Feeling it all again brought me to tears. 

The truth is, I miss it. I miss that time. I miss the young, excited, well-rested couple who couldn’t wait to meet their little boy. I miss experiencing, for the first time, all the things that came with the first pregnancy. I miss the simplicity of only one. I miss how slow time seemed to travel then. I miss the stillness and ease of our tiny family unit.

RELATED: This Season of Missing Out Won’t Last Forever

Since that pregnancy, I have been blessed to go on and experience two more beautiful pregnancies and deliveries. But there is just something about my first pregnancy that will forever hold a place in my heart.

Our home looks different now.

We have three little ones. Each with their own needs, wants, and to-dos. That first baby is tall and lean and in love with LEGOs. I can no longer keep him safe by just holding him close. We don’t often nap away the afternoon together anymore. Life is faster and more exhausting. Each day I am tugged in three different directions caring for our three little ones. Life seems to have switched to hyperdrive and each day passes faster than the last.

RELATED: First vs. Third Pregnancy: What I’ve Learned

Our life is the definition of beautiful chaos. And truthfully, I love it. I love the pitter and patter of little feet. I love the toys and tiny socks and bookbags. I love having a home filled with imagination and laughter and three little ones. And I know one day these moments will be the ones I miss. 

But sometimes, for just a moment, life takes me back to where it all began.

And while I have loved each of my pregnancies and the life we have today, there is just something extra special about the first pregnancy. And some days, like today, I would give anything to go back and experience it all again.

But I know I can’t. So instead I will fold that blanket up and put it in a safe place where it will serve as a reminder of the beauty that is this journey of motherhood. 

Justina Murphy

Justina is from Indiana and is a wife and mom to three little loves: Asher, Ellery, and Amelia. She works part-time from home and is also the author of She has a love of organization, sweet tea, and running.