Today is the last day I will ever be on maternity leave.
It’s the last day I will wake up to my sole role in life being: Mom.
The last time my entire day will be about simply taking care of my babies – and nothing else.
Sure, there will be weekends, and sick days, and vacations. But maternity leave is just different. And today is the last day of it for my forever. Five months and 14 days of captured memories and moments.
Often times people say the end is bittersweet. But right now, I’m finding this ending is just bitter. My babies are 5m old. And I’m simply not ready to go.
My leave with Harper was 3 short months, I certainly wasn’t ready then. But I knew there would be more. More babies, more newborn moments, more bonding, more breastfeeding, more leave – so the end wasn’t really the end.
The air is different today.
This end signifies other ends. They’re getting older and will be starting solids soon. This means a decrease in my supply. Which means my breastfeeding days will be numbered. I have just spent the better part of the last two years attached to a mouth, or a machine, to provide sustenance, nutrients and bonding for my three babies.
Of course I’d love to have my body back – if that’s even possible – but this end, I will take very hard. I’m not there quite yet.
Their newborn clothes have been packed away and given to friends. We will never be needing them again.
38, these days, doesn’t seem old. But to have something be forever done, absolutely- feels a bit overwhelming. Nathan and I just signed and notarized a life changing document.
We will be donating our last remaining embryo, to science, officially.
So when I say over, I mean, over.
Seeing the ads and pictures of newborns flooding my screen gives me pause, makes my heart skip a beat, and I tear up. That will never be my reality, my life, again.
I sit here on this last day considering my journey. How I got here. Who was along for the ride. The metamorphosis, the transformation – the incredible shift that took place in my life over the last three years.
The doors are gently shutting behind me today and when I wake up tomorrow a new chapter, nay, a new book, begins. I’d like to say I’m prepared. I’m ready. It’s for the best. But, then, I wouldn’t be honest.
Today will be full of deep breaths, baby cuddles, and many, many tears.
I have no clever parting words. I’m simply not ready for it all to end.