It’s a weird feeling to be done having babies. It’s even more uneasy to be “done” in your 20s. People are all in your business when you’re in the season of growing your family. We’ve all been there, faced with the question, “are y’all done?” after revealing your kids and their ages to said person. They’ll ask about your birth control, your family plan, and then give their unsolicited advice.
If you have boys they want to know where your girl is and if you’ll pursue trying for one and vice versa. Once you have one kid they’ll say they need siblings but if you have three they’ll ask if you’ve “figured out” what makes them yet? Four or more kids? Don’t worry… they’ll just stare. Everyone has an opinion on what your family should look like. *insert hard eye roll*
I’m a strong believer that every family looks different. All parents have to decide what works best for them. I’m not sure why it’s such a common topic to pry couples about (even complete strangers have no problem digging into a woman about her own family planning!) It’s actually a really personal and private process. As my husband has always said… “unless you’re paying one of my bills, don’t worry about how many mouths I have to feed.” PSA: Sweet well meaning stranger, your opinion on my uterus DOESN’T MATTER! *end rant*
Deep in my soul I believe that every mother will feel when she’s “done”. It’s so hard to explain but you ladies know what I’m talking about. If you’re “supposed” to add more children to your family, there will be an undeniable yearning deep in your gut. If you’re “done” then a sense of peace washes over you and you feel complete.
The Gray Area
There’s a gray area though that no one talks about. It’s the agony of making a decision that’s right for your family and logistically responsible (yet emotionally devastating), and ignoring the desire for the sake of contentment.
Our family is complete but my heart is uneasy. I am MADE to be a mother. It’s just how I’m sewn together. The inner parts of my being are knitted together with strands of motherhood. I am so much more than “just a mom” but a huge part of me thrives in the role.
I enjoy the excitement of the planning stage. You know, when you get to dream of your family, plus one, and thinking of a nursery and a name and a tiny little human. In the same design, pregnancy makes me feel beautiful and deeply connected to God. Feeling empowered and humbled and magical with this life inside me. I’m one of the few strange women that really enjoys child birth as well. I mean, it still hurts like a son-of-a-gun but the entire process is some of my very favorite memories in my life.
For those reasons, I say, I’ll never be “done” having babies… emotionally at least. After a ton of long discussions, months of praying, and many many tears, we decided permanent birth control was right for our family. I am no longer able to make babies naturally with my own body (that stings to say out loud). After considering our finances, our current children, our goals, and many other factors, it made sense that our family was complete.
Still, I have baby names saved in the notes on my phone. I cry every time I start my period. My heart literally aches when I look at another pregnancy announcement. I just can’t shake the harsh reality that I’ll always LONG for more babies even though I’m done having them.
A New Season
Let me insert something here. God has gifted me three beautiful children. I am fully aware that the opportunity to conceive, carry, and deliver healthy babies is both a miracle and a blessing not appointed to everyone. My road was wonderfully “easy” to becoming a mother of three and that’s not lost on me. I’m deeply grateful. The ache of one thing does not decimate the gratitude of another. So please, I don’t need to hear the “be grateful for what you have” speech. Feelings don’t have to be correct or make sense… they are mine, unapologetically. Thankyouverymuch.
Perhaps, it doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s selfish and not worth mentioning, but my heart, it’s hurting. It’s a weird space to be. I’ve always thought I would feel like this since I didn’t get to enjoy my first pregnancy due to the amount of turmoil that a teenage pregnancy gets… like I was robbed of treasuring that time. So I guess this feeling just comes from wanting more chances to redo that opportunity.
As of now I’m mourning what isn’t, while simultaneously marveling in what is. I’m coming to terms with closing a chapter and anticipating the newness of the next one through timid lenses. I’m giving my heart time to catch up with my head. Acknowledging the missed desire is part of the healing, instead of ignoring it all together. Nonetheless permanent birth control was the right choice for our family logically, but emotionally my uterus still tingles at every Pampers commercial, I know I’ll cry when I post my last babies crib for sale, and I’m not showing anyone my “baby names” list on my phone… you know, just in case. 😉