It's a quiet weekend at our house. I can hear Penny and Georgia outside with Daniel, laughter floating in through the cracked window.
Eloise is asleep in my arms, her chest rising and falling with each baby breath. I lean in close and sniff her sweet baby breath. She smiles a sweet smile, and I wonder what she is dreaming about.
I know not all mothers delight in the newborn stage. There's night feeds, dark circles under our eyes and greasy hair from skipped showers. There's spit up on our clothes and the scent of dirty diaper seems to linger in the air, sticking to the walls and our clothes.
If you breastfeed there's engorged breasts and a body that doesn't quite feel like yours. If you bottle feed there's a sink full of soaking dishes, an eternal process. There's late nights in the kitchen standing in front of a warming bottle.
I understand why many are relieved when their baby sleeps more, grows bigger and less fragile, and gets a bit older.
But I'm not one of those mothers. I love newborn babies. I love meeting my own children; I have been dreaming of my children since I was a child myself.
I love soaking up their sweet faces, memorizing their unique features. It is a delight to nurse them, to watch them as they learn to smile, and find their safety and haven in my arms and my voice.
This time around, with my little Eloise, there has been a bitter sweetness to this stage. I have cherished every moment, probably more than any other time. I've memorized everything about the newness of life and the uniqueness of this moment in time.
But there is a mourning too. Sometimes I lay awake at night and think, "are we really done yet?" Is this time of wishing and hoping and having children truly ending? It still feels like I'm 12-years-old, reading baby name books and imagining what my future kids will look like. But in an instant I'm rapidly heading towards my 30's, the mother of three wonderful daughters.
But still, I wonder some days. Are we done yet?