Happy Birthday to Maxime Matisse Saylor! Happy first birthday to my last baby! (And yes, I am crying right now.) How did this last year fly by so fast?!? This last year has been amazing – we have all grown so much on this adventure and having Maxie was just the icing on the cake. It was a crazy year – so many changes and really good changes. Obviously, Max was the best change ever! We end our baby season with Max. I have either been pregnant or nursing for almost the last seven years! That is twenty percent of my life! And now, this season is over. So very bittersweet for us. As much as I am going to miss this baby season…I know it is time to move on and we are all so excited for the next stage. So, goodbye to our baby and hello to our toddler!!!
Well, in typical 'me' fashion, here is a look back on this last year and what we have learned...We have learned that the best surprises always come in the smallest packages and when you least expect them. We learned that natural family planning doesn't work for us and we'll never have to worry about that again because that ship has sailed. We learned that placenta previa doesn't always move; even though, everybody knows somebody who had it and it always moves...well, guess what...it doesn't. We have learned that pregnancies are always in God's hands and worrying doesn't help anything.
We have learned that God's kindness knows no end. We learned that c-sections are sometimes the best option and birth plans are for the birds. We have learned that the Swiss allow children in operating rooms if you happen to be there on "take your child to work day". I have learned that recovering from a c-section isn't the end of the world, but it is the end of your ab muscles. I have learned that spinal blocks are terrible and the not being able to feel my legs for hours on end will forever be etched in my head.
We have learned that the Swiss like to smother their babies in the hospital and will yell at you if they think the baby is too cold. We learned that moms who put their lives on hold to help their children are amazing. We have learned that the name “Maxime” is a hard one for anyone who is not French or Swiss French…and I am sure Max will thank us later (especially when I force people to use the French pronunciation). We have learned to be thankful for a single over full bunk bed (Jake's bed for the first month of Max's life). I have learned to enjoy sleeping with a newborn because it all goes by too fast.
We learned that a straightjacket swaddle (big shout out to the Woombie...Woombie!) is your best-friend and a baby's addiction. We learned that there really are newborns who pretty much sleep through the night at birth (those parents aren't liars, but you can still hate them). We have learned you never wake a sleeping baby. We learned that you don't always need a swing to help a baby sleep, but you do need a Woombie and you will turn around on vacation to go back and get it. I have learned that I can successfully nurse a baby and not hate every second of it.
I have learned that I can actually enjoy nursing and might even be sad when it is over (but not that sad). I have learned that I can nurse without my "brest friend". We have learned that a baby really can be that happy and nothing is wrong with him. We have learned the incredible blessing of an easy baby. We learned that Swiss doctors have no problems calling your baby lazy. We have learned that babies do things on their own time and do not have to be like their older brothers. We learned that Google is a mom's best-friend and delivers on big baby swaddles. I have learned that it takes forever to get feeling back in your c-section scar area…and still waiting. I have learned that c-section scars are beautiful.
We have learned that some babies will eat absolutely everything...as long as you put it in their mouths. We learned to not stress about immobile babies and to count your blessings rather than to wish for mobile babies! We have learned that when you are on an unending drive to the beach for vacation and you have a hungry baby, you just feed that baby while driving. We learned (yet once again) that Babywise is not for us…and I think it is criminal not to feed and rock your baby to sleep.
We have learned that there really are babies out there that don’t put a single thing in their mouths…not one single thing. Max has learned to love the Ergo like it is his best-friend. Max has learned that having brothers is the best thing in the world and will have best-friends for life. We have learned that last babies are the loudest babies.
We have learned that teething doesn’t have to be total torture. We have learned that spoons, knives (plastic…come on now), and medicine cups on a kitchen floor can provide lots of entertainment and provide a Mama sanity. I have learned that I can nickname my baby Maxie and not think of a maxipad every time (ok, I am totally lying – I do think of maxipad every time I say it, but I still call him Maxie…every kid needs a nickname). We learned that babies don’t keep...no matter how much you wish they would.
I have learned that God always gives me the grace to make it through husbands that travel. I have learned that I am not too proud to have help. I have learned to savor every last cuddle, every last rock to sleep, and every last baby smell because they are quickly slipping through my fingers. I have learned that ending the baby season is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I have learned that I would have a million babies if I could…but I have also learned that babies grow-up. I have learned that tears just start rolling down my face every time I realize I won’t ever have another baby. We have learned that four is a very good number…although a freakishly large number of children in Europe. We have learned that there is no greater blessing that four amazing, little boys. We learned that these past six years of growing with our babies has been amazing, heartbreaking, head banging, hilarious, challenging, and worth every second…every last second. What an amazing ride it has been!
To my Maxie, my Maxie Moomers, my Swiss baby…you, my sweet boy, have closed out an incredible season in my life. Oh, that season went by way too fast and I would do it all over again. You were such a surprise to me during a time when I didn’t think I can handle any more surprises or changes. You have been the best surprise ever…I honestly wish everyone could have a Maxie surprise. I have enjoyed every last second of this last year with you…and we have spent a lot of seconds together. You are the sweetest, little boy ever – with the best smiles and the best cuddles. I pray for you little boy. I pray big things for you in your life. I pray you know the love of Christ above all other things. I thank the Lord every day for allowing me to be your Mama. You are such an incredible blessing and I am so excited to watch you grow. You will always be my baby…you complete me.
And, this season has ended.