Harlow is 7 months old and she has not slept in this bassinette for at least five of those months.
This photo of our bedroom was taken last week.
Actually, it's a rather dishonest photo, all neat as a pin and with a sweet toy bird placed just so. I have altered the usual scene extensively – prior to my 'styling,' the bassinette was home to my discarded clothes and anything else I needed to fling somewhere quickly. Except the baby. Clearly, there was no room in there for her.
A few months back, as Bren was moving his big self around our smallish bedroom, his eyes suddenly lit up, "Oh, hey! We can get rid of this fucking thing now - (points to bassinette) - we don't need it any more and it takes up so much space!"
I just looked at him, horrified.
"What?" he asked with genuine bewilderment.
"That's the bassinette that all three of our babies slept in! Our tiny newborn babies. How can you think of just packing it away? You know we'll never unpack it again."
I remember, with surprising clarity, finding the bassinette on Ebay. It was just what I wanted. White and functional and not the least bit frilly for the baby boy growing in my belly. All the Ebay stuff. Oh man, it was a baby goods frenzy during that first pregnancy. "I won it! I won the bassinette/cot/tiny clothing item I MUST have for baby!" I would cry. "You mean you bought it. You bought the bassinette/cot/tiny clothing item. That's great, babe." Brendon: Killjoy. He's been 'not getting it' since 2007.
Except this time, he did. We both stared at the small white bassinette or what we understood to be the small white bassinette under the mountain of clothes. And neither of us was quite prepared to take the next step.
Until now. The truth is that sentimentality was robbing me of much needed walking space beside my bed and encouraging the accumulation of items that better belonged in the washing hamper.
So after I finished styling and photographing it, we packed that little baby bed away for the very last time. And it was okay.
I look at my little girl, all seven chubby months of her, and I believe that she is my last baby. In every way, it seems good and right. Three children is the perfect uneven number.
But there is a lingering sadness. For what has been and will never be again. The extraordinary beginning of a tiny person's life is such a precious, fragile time and knowing this profound experience is behind us is bittersweet.
But the path ahead is brim-full with milestones and profound moments in waiting.
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