I Don’t Remember

I have all these pictures, and blog posts. I have tiny baby clothes, and old toys. I have all these things to remember my babies by.

But nothing can help me trigger the memory of what it felt like to hold them.

As I snuggled next to Leyna last night, so big now in this rapidly stretching 3 year old body, and listened to her breathe, I closed my eyes and tried to recall what it was like to fit all of her in my arms and feel that same breath on my cheek.


I couldn’t.

I can hold Lowell, and I can try to imagine that it was similar- holding his big brother and sister that way.

But there is no total recall. There is no vivid recollection of the weight of their tiny bodies.

No way for images to lay themselves on my chest, weighted and relaxed, rising and falling.

No way for tiny clothes to fill with warmth and sweet sighs of babies grown too big for them.

Yes, new babies can always fill my arms and those clothes, but I still won’t remember what it was like to hold my grown babies.

There’s some heartbreak for you.

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  1. Ugh, I KNOW. I knew it was going to happen, too, so I tried so hard to engrave the way her tiny body felt in my arms into my memory – to no avail. I inhaled that intoxicating newborn smell from the top of her tiny scalp knowing that it could disappear at any moment (and it did). Sometimes I would cry WHILE holding her knowing I would forget the weight of her tininess against me. But I at least have the comfort of knowing that I tried, at least. And I’ll do the same with little sister here in a few weeks.

  2. I realized last night as I was rocking my youngest (11 mos.) that she will never be this small again. Neither of my kids will ever be as small as they are now…sigh…

  3. I’ve thought this often lately, as my 15mo slowly gets out of the holding ages and my 3yo is getting so big. It definitely breaks my heart, but just when I think I’ve taken too many pictures or videos (as I’m trying to organize them or make an album), I’m so thankful I have because I can ALMOST bring that feeling back.

  4. My 7 yr old fell asleep on my chest a few weeks ago…pure exhaustion got the better of him. It made me realize that while he’ll never be a baby again, getting to marvel at his growth is amazing enough for me. Even at 4 foot tall, I’m holding my baby.

  5. OK, so this is odd, really because I am even a fan of them (though I have 2 of them) get a CAT. They come up and lay right on my chest some times. Some days I allow them to stay, because their weight is like what it was like when my son fell asleep on my chest. Now if only they did not make my eyes itch and me sneeze… 🙂

  6. Jamie Urbanawiz on

    I’ve realized the same thing, with both of mine. It is heartbreaking. I would say I’m glad I’m not alone, but I truly wish this weren’t true for anyone else.

  7. I have the same problem and wonder if it has something to do with the constant lack of sleep we get as new moms? I can hardly remember what my 2 1/2 year old was like as a baby and now that our second is growing up fast at 6 months, I feel guilty and worried that I won’t remember enough of his babyhood too.

  8. Just know, you are not alone. If it weren’t for the photos, very little videos, and siblings, I’d barely remember yesterday. They truly grow way too quickly and then it’s like poof, what was it like again?!

  9. Pingback: memory box | a little bit of this and a little bit of that

  10. I know exactly how you feel!! I felt that way when my second was born, my first was only 20 mtgs old and still very much a baby but I couldn’t remember those early days. So one day I was nursing Bryce and it was one of those early evening feeds and I was in that blissful post nursing high and I sat down with paper and pen and free wrote what it was like just then holding him. Then I went through every one of the five senses and wrote down what I remembered. I took all of that later and wrote this http://theuncoordinatedmommy.com/this-is-what-i-have-been-longing-for/ it will never be a total recall but man it is so close and I am so happy I did it.

  11. Kristin VanderHey Shaw on

    Your babies are so beautiful. I sat here trying to remember what it’s like to hold a tiny baby, and I barely remember that time in the hospital. We’re so tired; so overwhelmed. And then a whiff of sweetness reminds us…

  12. Parker N Jacoby on

    I disagree. I remember. My 20 month old twins were 3 months premature and I remember how light they were the first time i was able to hold them. How I could hold both babies with one arm, and how silky their skin felt against mine. I remember how they sounded like Billy goats when they cried and how something so small had so much strength. It’s true no other baby could feel the same but I will never forget how they felt. Maybe it’s because, for me, we weren’t promised tomorrow and those moments were fragile, but they are forever engraved in my heart.

  13. Pingback: Babies Don’t Keep | wild geese that fly

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