Parenting

I Don't Want More Kids, But I Miss My Pregnancies

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Katie Cloyd/Instagram

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I kind of miss being pregnant. My third baby was born via my third c-section. While he was in there poking around in my abdomen, my doctor went ahead and closed up shop for me. My husband and I were quite decidedly D-O-N-E growing our family. Neither of us has any desire to create any more children with one another or anyone else. I didn’t want to become pregnant again. Ever. Our baby-making days are behind us.

I’ll admit that when my last baby was super little, I was relieved that I never had to be pregnant again.

My pregnancies were relatively easy, but the last one wiped me out more than the others. Not to mention, the precious gift of freaking gigantic hemorrhoids during my last trimester that left permanent terror in my heart—and a recurring ache in my asshole. I never wanted to live that experience again.

Well, she’s almost two now, and things have changed a little bit.

Obviously, I certainly don’t want a flaming, aching, itching asshole ever again. All set on that front.

And I still don’t want more kids. Three, as it turns out, is probably one more than I am capable of handling well, but thanks to my firm commitment to bare minimum parenting on the hard days, I’m doing a pretty okay job.

But I do miss being pregnant.

I was pregnant five times. Twice, our babies left us in the first trimester, and three times they made it to our arms. All five times I sang to my babies from the moment I knew they were alive. My shortest pregnancy was only seven weeks long, and my longest pregnancy was thirty-eight, but for all five babies in equal measure, I sang love to them while I was the only home they knew. Those moments in the quiet darkness while I hummed and breathed lullabies and dreamed of the baby I was growing are some of my most beautiful memories.

I didn’t get pregnant easily, so I am a little wistful.

I’ll never experience another magical moment where I pee on a stick expecting another disappointment, but to my amazement, two beautiful pink lines appear in that little window.

There are no more eight-week ultrasounds in my future, revealing a tiny flickering heartbeat and a jelly-bean-shaped baby who looks to me like the most beautiful being on earth.

We won’t ever compile lists of names until one “feels right.”

It’s hard to imagine I’ll never again feel the fluttery movements of a second-trimester baby, or the firm kicks and punches of a baby that’s almost ready to be born.

There’s no more dreaming about who comes next and what they might look like. We know now that none of our children will inherit my husband’s blue eyes or my almost-black hair. Everyone is already present, and while that’s a beautiful, amazing reality that I can hardly believe is my life, it is a touch bittersweet. Building a family was so exciting and hopeful and fun.

If my life had panned out differently, I would have loved to carry a baby or two for someone else.

My pregnancies were pretty easy, and I really loved it. Emotionally, I think I could have been a great home for a baby whose parents were looking for someone to assist them in creating their family. I would have loved to provide someone with that experience.

But it wasn’t in the cards for me. Sure, emotionally, I would have been totally on board, but my body had other plans. I was thirty-five before my body finally cooperated in giving me my third and final baby. All three were born via c-section. I had two losses. I have PCOS. I’m plus-size. I am one million percent NOT a candidate for surrogacy in any form.

I am so grateful that I was able to conceive and carry my children.

Our road to parenthood was fraught with difficulties, and there were times when I was unsure whether I’d ever be able to carry any children at all. The fact that I welcomed three healthy children after three healthy pregnancies truly feels miraculous to me. I am thankful I got to create life with my husband—my favorite person alive.

I know there are a lot of people who have the same deep desire to become pregnant that I always had, and they don’t get to see that dream realized. For people who would give anything to just carry one healthy baby, saying that I miss being pregnant might seem ridiculous.

That’s okay with me. I understand that it’s not always possible to validate someone else’s hard time when you are in the midst of your own. I’m not saying I’m as sad as I would be if I had never been pregnant. I know that is a whole different kind of disappointment and pain to work through.

I’m simply saying that I miss being pregnant because it was a beautiful highlight of my life.

I am filled with gratitude for those months when I got to live with my children growing in my body, but the truth is, my happy memories are tempered with sadness. It’s the same kind of reflective sadness I sometimes feel when I think about my wedding day or my funniest high school moments or even my best childhood days with my late grandparents. I am so glad I got to make those memories, and at the same time, I’m a little sad I can’t go back and relive that happiness.

When you love something so much, it’s hard to let it go. That’s how I feel about moving on from the idea of ever being pregnant again. I just miss all the feelings of being pregnant. There’s a little drizzle of sadness mixed into the monsoon of happiness that becoming a mom has brought me, and I think that’s okay.

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