There’s just something about that last baby.

When she’s placed in your arms for the first time, something inside you changes. Actually, everything changes.

When you hear her cries, you breathe a sigh of relief. Not only because she’s happy and healthy (although, mostly that), but because you realize it’s the last time you’ll ever experience the beautiful agony of growing and delivering a child into this world . . . and you’re at peace with that chapter ending. 

Those first hours you share in the delivery room are slow and sacred. The first time around you were nervous and unsure, but this time, everything just feels right.

When it’s time to go home, you strap her into the car seat and carry her through the hospital doors with confidence. You know you’ve got this. Even when you’re overwhelmed and unsure, you’ll figure it all out—just as you always have before.

There’s something about that last baby.

When you’re fairly certain in your head and heart you’ll never walk this road again, your perspective shifts.

Suddenly, the nighttime feedings don’t feel like such a burden. Soon she’ll be sleeping through the night, and your midnight meetings will come to an end. So for now, you cherish them.

RELATED: I See You, Middle of the Night Mama

You start to worry less about things like coordinating holiday outfits, flawless birthday parties, and staged family photos. You begin to embrace the imperfect beauty of your motherhood.

You place less stake in other people’s opinions and more in your own intuition—you know your mama heart won’t lead you astray.

For the first time in years, you feel less submerged in the trenches of newbornness. Days of freer hands and lighter bags are on the horizon, and you’re surprised to discover you’re ready for all that is to come.

There’s something about that last baby.

This time, the rush disappears.

You slow down to just stare, even on the busy days. You memorize her features over and over, because you know just how quickly they’ll change. You’ve seen it happen before.

While you outwardly celebrate the milestones, you also mourn them just a little bit. Those first smiles, first giggles, first crawls, first words, first steps . . . all mark the end of something.

You’re OK with that gummy smile sticking around for a little while longer, and you secretly don’t mind the fact that she still doesn’t sleep through the night, because it means you get a few more precious moments to hold her close.

RELATED: The Nights Are So Long

You won’t look forward to her first birthday quite so much, and as you watch her blow out her candles you’ll quietly hide the sadness you feel that your last first year has come and gone.

Your last baby will bring a fullness to your heart like you’ve never felt before. 

You’ll pause a little longer. 

Love a little more intentionally. 

And soak in the honor of being somebody’s everything.

You won’t love her more than the rest, but perhaps you will appreciate her just a little bit more . . . 

Because she’s your last baby, and she’ll only be a baby for a short while.

If this tugged your heartstrings like it tugged ours, check out the book, Love You Forever. You might want to grab a tissue first, though. 

(We may recieve a small commission from any affiliate links, but we only share things we truly love!)

RELATED: Let Me Love You a Little More, Before You’re Not Little Anymore

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the journey of a young wife and mom; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she's not writing, Casey is likely to be yelling COME DOWN FROM THERE! or DON'T LICK YOUR BROTHER!, and procrastinating on the housework.  To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward