There is something in a parent's lifestyle that shifts after you have made the magnanimous statement, "I am finished having children!" The youngest child becomes a sort of moving bottom line of things that you don't need any more, things you don't need to do. When Emmy stopped breastfeeding, we sold the pump. When she grew out of some clothes, out they go. Hers will be the last diaper, last potty training, last car seat, the list goes on and on.
And then we have this unique situation of surrogacy. We won't be having another child again, but we WILL be having another child. Up to the birth, anyway. The maternity clothes and the unusual cravings, the adjustments to massage (I love to give massages, but pregnancy massage is much different). I'm sure there are a plethora of things I can't recall at the moment, but a big one occurred during our day out. We are in the market (idly) for a home in Washington, as we only moved to the state a few months ago. A colleague recommended Issaquah, so we went out there to look, and experience the neighborhood. This little area of the city called Talus is at the base of a mountain, so we took off on the trails. Up and up we went, children on our backs, huffing and puffing the whole way. What an adventure!
Except as we were wrapping up our splendid day and putting the children to bed, I was thinking: the day will soon come when Mandy won't be able to just take off up a mountain with a kid on her back AND one in her belly. And even if I let one of the children hoof it, I'm not sure Mandy will be in the condition to do much mountaineering, pack or no pack. So some of the child things are gone, never to return, but some of the pregnancy fun will be back soon. I wonder how we'll handle it.