How I Know I’m D-O-N-E Having Babies

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 
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I am done having babies. DONE. There are a million reasons why three is my limit, but when I say I’m done having babies, I mean it with every cell of my body. My factory is shut down. I am closed to the idea of more children. I know for sure that I never want to parent any child except the three I’ve got. This family is complete because I am completely done.

How do I know?

Easy. I never felt this for one minute before I had my last baby, and since she was born, I have never for one single second been sad that she’s the last one.

After my first and second babies, my mind was always on the next one. I never stopped making plans, and I kept all of my baby stuff in hopes that someone else was coming. We had lists of names, crates full of clothes, and I kept myself up-to-date on all the cool baby gear. I was in baby mode.

For me, baby mode lasted from the moment I said “I do,” until my last baby was in my arms. I wanted nothing more than to build my family. We had kind of a long road, including some infertility and some losses, but we made it. Three kids.

My last one is almost a year old now, and I love her. Adore her.

But I am so freaking glad she’s the last one.

First of all, I’d rather relive the disaster that is 2020 than ever be pregnant again.

It was sweet and beautiful, and also painful and tough. During my third pregnancy, I had hemorrhoids so gigantic, I thought my butthole might actually explode. I was nauseous for like six entire months. No thank you. I’ve had all the pregnancy experience I can handle for one lifetime. I’m all set on that front. All. Set.

My last baby has finally gotten to the point where I can occasionally hear myself think.

I absolutely adored my newborns, but TBH, they’re kind of terrifying. So wobbly and fragile. Absolutely no way to communicate anything they need. Their little fingers and toes seem like they could snap right off. Every single time I put a brand-new baby to bed, I stress out. Are they warm enough? Too warm? Breathing properly? It’s 24/7 vigilance, and it’s exhausting!

My last is still a baby, but she’s the chubby, sturdy kind now. She’s intense and needs a lot of attention. A few months ago, I wasn’t sure I’d survive this one. But she is finally mobile, and that has made all the difference. She can just crawl over to the person or toy she wants instead of screaming bloody murder. She is only going to get more independent from here. All the giant, brightly colored, noisy, annoying baby apparatuses I purchased to try to get five minutes to myself are about to be retired.

I can see independence on the horizon. We are almost there. I would never want to start over again.

I’m grateful I got to do the newborn thing. Having babies was my dream, and I would have been very sad to miss it. But I’m glad that newborn part is over for me.

I’m done having babies because older kids are freaking awesome.

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My oldest is only eight years old, and he makes me laugh all the time. We finally like some of the same things. Every week, we watch The Masked Singer together while we cook dinner, choosing our favorites and making ridiculous guesses about the celebrities inside the costume.

Not to mention, he basically takes care of himself. Since virtual school started, I don’t even have to wake up to get him ready. He hops out of bed when his alarm goes off at 7:15, brushes his teeth, pours a bowl of cereal and logs onto his computer by 7:30.

Nothing about being a parent is ever truly easy, but even my four-year-old sleeps through the night, dresses himself, wipes his own butt, fills his own cup, and grabs his own snacks. He’s just a cool, quirky little dude, and I love living with him.

My big kids are getting more self-sufficient by the day, and I’m here for it.

I miss being alone with my husband.

I mean, he’s been here the whole time, but I miss those years before kids when we had so much time alone to just make sure we were staying present and connected.

After almost a year of trying to coax our baby to sleep and running to the bedroom to try to get busy before she realized we were gone, we finally had spontaneous sex in the middle of the afternoon last week. The middle of the afternoon! And not one single interruption because my older kids love keeping the baby busy in her playpen for a little bit. Of course, the soundtrack to this quick romp was the muffled sounds of Cocomelon, my boys acting like clowns and my baby laughing, but whatever. I felt like a new person. I danced and hummed while I cooked dinner.

After the birth of each of our kids, there’s been a few months that I call “the scratchy patch.” It’s not a full-on rough patch, but life is just hard with a tiny baby sometimes. I think we are finally starting to find ourselves on other side of that scratchy patch now, and I am relieved we are done having babies, and we never have to go back.

I’m done sharing my body with my kids in such a constant and unrelenting way.

In a few more months, my baby will be weaned and my body will be mine for the rest of my life. I’ve spent the last nine years pregnant, nursing or trying to get pregnant. My body has belonged to my kids for almost a decade. That’s long enough. I want to be able to take the medications I need to manage my skin condition or drink a cocktail without that twinge of nursing mom guilt. Sex is better when I’m not pregnant or nursing, too. I’m just ready to feel like an independent human again.

It’s only going to get better from here. Little by little, my small kids are going to get more and more independent. I’m going to be able to reclaim some of my favorite activities, and find myself again. My husband and I might even get to go on vacation for our fifteenth anniversary next year… ALONE.

When I was trying to complete my family, I never understood how anyone would ever know that they were done having babies. I wanted a baby so much, and having the first two didn’t change that for me at all. But my friends weren’t lying when they told me that for a lot of people, when you’re done, you know.

It’s true. I am D-O-N-E done having babies, and there’s no doubt about it.

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