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My babies are disappearing.

And it’s killing me.

I mean, I absolutely adore who they’ve become.

11 month-old Chase has this belly laugh that is infectious. He gets himself in so much trouble (lunging, grabbing, climbing and flinging himself everywhere) that I often find myself holding him to keep him from injuring himself.Β  My arm aches but I don’t care. He is safe with me.

When I do put him down, he lies in wait until one of us inadvertently leaves the baby gate open and then he beelines for the stairs as if there are a thousand Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs at the top. I fall in love with his piercing blue eyes again and again.

His twin sister Harlowe is easier. She is sweet, more patient and has the ability to play on her own quite contently. She delicately and slowly eats her meals, while keeping one foot on the tray at all times. I told her it’s rude. She acts like she doesn’t understand me.

She is just now trying to pull herself up and when she succeeds she cries for someone to get her down. I could stroke her hair and kiss those cheeks for eternity. Absolute eternity.

They babble endlessly. I wish I knew what they were saying.

I know they think their big sisters are the most magical people on the planet.Β  I can tell by how their faces light up when Dylan or Summer come into view.

But my babies are fading away.

Soon they will be a year old. I’ll think about weaning. They’ll start walking. Chase will get to the top of those stairs. I hope he’s not disappointed that there aren’t any meatballs.

In the past, I always knew, if I was blessed, another baby would come our way.

But not this time.

A part of my life is done. One incredible, miraculous part. I’m done making babies. How did it go so fast?

I was never a baby person. I hardly held a baby until my first Dylan came along. But my children were intoxicating with their soft tiny feet, wispy hair (or not so much hair in Dylan’s case) and sweet newborn scent. Colic, mastitis, thrush, reflux… none of it could sway me from my adoration of babyhood.

I will have to let the babies go. I have no other choice. Chase and Harlowe aren’t interested in being babies. They are interested in forging ahead into this incredible, unexpected, colorful world.

And I have to do the same.

mama bird notes:

This post was inspired by Clarity in the Chaos.

61 Responses to the babies i knew

  • Elizabeth says:

    First, you and Dunbar Smith Amoss are the two most beautiful post-partum women I have EVER seen. Second, I share your sentiments on waning babydom. This is sweet and eloquent. As a mom to a 16-month old–the last baby of the family–I can relate!

  • Jennifer says:

    This post made me so teary eyed. I do believe there is a mourning period when you realize your baby making days are over. It took me a long time to get over it. There are still times that I am not sure I am over it. Now is one of those times.

  • Stasha says:

    Beautifully written. For the record in some cultures it is considered polite to eat with your hands in others to burp. It is almost midnight so I cannot dedicate any time into research, but foot on the table must be perfectly acceptable somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

  • Working Mom says:

    My baby is three next month. She goes to school in pig-tales and says, “No, I can do it mommy!” and I could all at once burst with pride because she’s growing up so beautifully, and cry my heart out because she’s not sleeping on my chest anymore.

  • Becca says:

    I think wanting to hold onto the twins staying babies, as mine were my last as well, was a big part of why I didn’t wean them till later. Not that it made it any easier to give up the fact they are growing up. J and E will be 4 in July and I can hardly believe it.

    Be prepared for an amazing year ahead though. Watching the dynamic between your two-some (and them with others) is pure joy and entertainment!

  • Amanda says:

    This was beautiful and sad and lovely.

    I’m still in mourning about my baby-making days being over, and my “baby” is seven. But, they keeping growing, no matter how hard you search for a magic pill to reverse time. Maybe forget I said that last part.

  • Emily says:

    Here I am holding my fourth child. He’s only 7 weeks. And already I am experiencing what you talk about. Thanks for reminding me to soak it up even more while I can.

  • johanna says:

    you brought me to tears πŸ™‚ they will forever be your babies and you can squeeze and hold them tight no matter what the age!

  • Mary says:


    I’ve read your blog since the twins were born and they are the same age as my Jude. He will be one on May 26. It was a hard year for me and reading your struggles with the babies made me always feel a little more sane, in fact, I always thought, at least I just have one! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing so much of you and your children with us all, and thanks for being there at 2 in the morning, when I was crying in the rocking chair because my milk wasn’t letting down and my 3 week old was screaming and my husband was comatose from lack of sleep, and then you posted a blog about nursing twins and it came through on my phone, and all of a sudden I knew I could do it. And, I’m still nursing my son today! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mel says:

    Throat. Closing. With. Tears. This is a lovely post and so true. Also, been thinking this for a while now: Harlowe is your identical twin! You two are adorable together!

  • Danielle says:

    It wasn’t until we cut Asher’s hair that I started mourning his babyhood and started contemplating having a third. The short hair confirmed what his mobility and activity hadn’t done yet – that my boy was no longer an infant and that I was the mom if a toddler. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons for the custom of not cutting a boy’s hair until he’s a certain age (in Judaism, it’s 1 or 3 and as I learned from the movie Babies it’s 3 in rural Mongolia). Other reasons are usually named but I wonder if it’s also meant to space kids out. If your kid still looks like a baby, you’re less likely to want another so soon.

  • OHmommy says:

    Now I’m questioning myself if this chapter is closed. I was almost certain it was but your post sparked all kinds of new emotions.

    I want another baby now.

  • bubbie says:

    Beautiful and timeless. Brought back feelings from long ago that are so difficult to verbalize. Yet, you do it so well. Moms have been loving, laughing and crying with their kids forever. If u get very lucky like me, the wonderful times outnumber the difficult days. Just when you think it can,t get any better. It does!!!

  • tracy says:

    I am in this same space right now. Trying to make peace with it. Also trying to be happy for the perky 28 year old’s with perky breasts now having babies. Also, there is always wine.

  • Melissa says:

    What a beautiful post! I have the same feelings of mourning every evening when I tuck in my almost-2 and almost-4 year old. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I know that I’ve enjoyed it immensely and they are the best gifts this life has ever given me.

  • Wow, I started to get all teary looking at your photos of your newborn twins…and those aren’t even MY kids! The other morning I smelled my littlest one’s sheets, warm and cottony, after she leapt out and into her day. I felt a pinch in my heart. My 3 girls are 3, 5, and 7…it really does go by in a flash.

  • red pen mama says:

    Every day I want to tell my 5 month old boy to slow the hell down. He’s already rolling all over, growing teeth, and creeping on his belly. Better get out the baby gates again! He’s my last baby, and I wish it were going slower!

  • Beth says:

    I’m right there with you…been thinking about this a lot as I’m approaching 40 (eeeek) and my children are 14, 12, 7 & 4…the baby days are done. Very sad about it in many ways. Many things I miss, some I do not. Starting to give away their baby things, but keeping more than I probably should! I guess I need to find some new things to focus on and to take my mind off of the fact that that very important, lovely, sweet chapter of my life is closing. Waaaahaaaa! Gotta go get some tissues and a carton of Haagen Daas now. My hips thank you for this post… πŸ˜‰

  • Oh what a beautiful post. Your babies (yes, babies!) are gorgeous. Oh they grow so fast. I feel for you. My son is 16 months old and I’m aching for his baby days. So much so, I have baby fever!

    And I love that picture of Harlowe with her leg on the tray πŸ™‚

  • Becky says:

    I hope Harlowe never stops kicking up her heels and that Chase is always on the search for something great (turkey meatballs or whatever is at the top of the mountain).

  • Edi says:

    Beautiful post! I only found your blog when the twins were about 6 months old, but I’ve enjoyed watching them grow. They are only a month older than my youngest daughter and I totally feel all of the same emotions. The difference…I started planning having #3 when mine was 7 months old…and my girls are only 15 months apart *gasp*.

  • I want one more so badly but my husband is done at 3. So I am wanting babies so badly now. This is a beautiful post. Watching my 15 month old crawl up the stairs I always see her back and imagine her in college…seriously. Where do the baby days go? And why do they go so fast? This motherhood thing is tough.

  • Stacey says:

    This makes me a little sad. I’m due any day with our last baby, and while I’m excited to be moving on, there’s this teeny part of me that will be sad to leave the baby stages. They are so wonderful and time flies way too fast.

  • Loukia says:

    I want to cry. My boys are five – almost 6 years old – and my baby? He’s three. It’s all gone by way too fast. And I am sad. I’m on the fence about having another baby. The sensible side of me says NO FREAKING WAY, TWO IS HARD ENOUGH, but there is also that voice in my head that is saying.. just one more… just one more… sigh. Becoming a mother is the best thing on earth. If only we could press pause when wanted to.

  • annie says:

    This is beautiful!! A tiny part of me envies you have such little people at your house – and could they be any more adorable? My “baby” is 4 months away from being 10.

    It’s so hard to leave those stages behind until you realize you no longer have to wipe anybody’s butt, then it gets easier.

  • Daphne says:

    I would have happily kept making babies forever just to hold onto the incredible sweetness. If we could only bottle the smell of those precious heads…then we could take it out when they are all eye-rolling and sass.

  • Renee says:

    Oh – I totally hear you! My “baby” (#3) is 22 months. Eek! There are so many things about babyhood that I do NOT miss at all and, frankly, the thought of being pregnant and having to breastfeed a baby gain does not seem appealing to me in the least. But, yet, I had a similar feeling recently. I was telling my husband that, when the older 2 were this age, I was already pregnant with my next one. And, now here I am, firmly on birth control. Even though I would say with 90% likelihood that we will not try again, I still feel like I have to leave that door open. After all, I’m only 35 – still got a few good years left in case I change my mind πŸ™‚ (Maybe by then, I will have forgotten my Traumatic Birth Story and Excruciatingly Painful Breastfeeding Experiences. Capital letters completely warranted!)

  • jean says:

    Awwwwwww….I know, it goes so fast! Enjoy EVERY minute.

    And, just think, someday Harlowe is going to be a famous yogini!

  • Love! I am in the same boat. Baby R is 18 months – no longer a baby. A toddler. There’s been some discussion of #3 which keeps me from truly mourning, but deep down, I think I know we are done. I love seeing S learn and discover in preschool, and watching her become a little girl has been amazing. But I will miss all things baby, too….

  • Aunt Marcia says:

    You’ve been hiding picture’s of Chase’s fantastic face….he’s great looking and of course Harlowe is the beautiful little bird in your family. Come on Kelcey….one more for all us readers….

  • Natalie says:

    Oh, wow. I’m also done making babies and closing the book on this part of my life is bittersweet. I know we have lots more to still explore as moms, but no more babies? Bittersweet πŸ™‚

  • Issa says:

    Beautiful post Kelcey. I *may* have an allergy in my eye.

    I want another baby more than anything in this world. Just one more. I loved the baby stage with all three of mine.

  • scrappysue says:

    my baby will be 22 in august – my last baby is 13 and i wonder DAILY where the time went. did they enjoy their childhoods? what will they remember? what will they pass on? as for me – it’s yet another milestone in many (and with 4 kids, there are MANY!), and i find it easy to find the positive – like, i’m so glad i don’t permanently feel tired anymore. it’s nice waking up on my own, it’s nice being able to finish sentences, it’s nice being able to look the person in the eye that i’m talking to, rather than having one eye on 4 kids! i feel your sadness though, i was tearing up reading it. your babies are just gorgeous!

  • mackbeth says:

    Now Kelcey I must ask if there is weight loss involved with all of this strep. If so, I might ask to ship those old toothbrushes to Denver…just a thought! :0)
    I love the baby post…I am 43 and still want one more. The beauty of motherhood I suppose. My husband feels very d-o-n-e. Here’s a great tribute to mother’s day in the words of Tina Fey –


  • I was on the verge of crying until I saw that picture of Harlowe with her foot up on the tray. Then I couldn’t stop giggling through the rest of the post. But I am sending sighs of loveliness and I-get-it-ness your way.

  • Lucy says:

    Thanks Kelcey… this is such a wonderful post… makes me teary eyed as I too am missing the baby-ness of my little girls as they grow up so fast! xo

  • EW says:

    Thanks for putting into words the emotions us mommy’s feel. I always enjoy reading your posts (the poop diving was an appreciated bonus!). You make me laugh and cry just when it’s needed.

  • Kari says:

    Your post made me cry!
    I’m a loyal, long-time reader of your blog, and longtime best friend of our mutual friend Liz B., but I’ve never posted a comment! Your kids are sooo adorable! And you nailed the baby thing… It’s such a perfect time.

  • Pearl Wisdom says:

    this is one of those posts you will be so glad you took the time to record when you read it over and over again years and years from now. so authentic and touching, thank you for sharing this.

  • amourningmom says:

    Kelc – this is a beautiful post. I cannot find the words to write to tell you how much I can relate. Somehow I think you probably know without me being able to articulate it. Miss you and all of our babies. xoxo

  • Miss Britt says:

    I’ve been done having babies for six years now. I think that’s why I cling to my friends’ babies – even though I was never a baby person before.

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kelcey kintner