It doesn’t matter how many children you have, everyone wants to know if you are going to have more. When I had no children, people asked when we were going to have children. Once I had two children (and especially because they were the same gender!), I would consistently get comments on whether or not we would “go for a girl!” Now we have three children, 2 boys and a girl, and I STILL get asked by friends and family if we are going to have more children. Is no one ever satisfied? Well, I am! And let me tell you how I know!
My Body is Done
I’m 35. I know that’s not old, and I know women have children even older nowadays. However, I’ve popped three little munchkins out from my body. My body has spoken loud and clear that it is all done. It has had its last child.
With my first pregnancy, I acquired zero stretch marks. I did get a pregnancy-induced hernia, but it remained only uncomfortable and not painful or dangerous. I basically looked like I had never had a baby about 2 weeks postpartum.
With my second pregnancy, I gained the most weight, acquired another pregnancy-induced hernia, received some beautiful stretch marks the last few weeks of pregnancy and then had a horrible postpartum rash (called PUPPP; look it up, it’s awful). It took me about 2 years to get back to my body’s old self.
Then, with my third pregnancy, my body hit its wall.
My belly pushed out so far that my belly button is now basically gone forever hidden under my saggy skin. I had painful varicose veins during the pregnancy where I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes without compression stockings. On top of my body “falling apart,” we had a scare the baby may have health issues. (Read my previous post on our daughter’s health scare here).
When I see other women pregnant, it warms my heart to see their beautiful bellies and to be reminded how amazing a woman’s body is. However, I don’t yearn to be pregnant again. My body has paid the dues. My ovaries are not aching. But, of course, it was totally worth every stretch mark, varicose vein, and tummy skin sag…three times over.
My Mind is Done
We tabled the third child discussion until our second son was 2 years old, but the thought of another child would make its way in and out of my mind during those two years. We got rid of some but not all baby items throughout those two years. I wasn’t ready to let go of the idea of having another child or to let go of all of the baby items.
When we would discuss the future, we felt that there was someone missing from our family’s story. So, we finally decided to go for a third child, and it was the perfect decision for us! (See my previous post on why we decided to have a third child here.)
But now, here we are with our three children. Our youngest is 15 months old — and she is our last child. There has not been one day that I have thought about having another child. Not one! Even now that she’s a true toddler and already wanting to be independent, I am NOT missing the baby days. I am thrilled to be done with the baby days and move on to the next stage of our lives. I am also excited to get the baby items out of our home as fast as possible!
Now, when I picture our children grown up, I know that there is no one missing from the picture. This is it.
My Heart is Done
When I see other moms with their fresh little baby bundles in their arms, I am so happy for them and the journey they are on. Babies are precious and amazing and life-altering. They expand your heart in ways you would never imagine.
But I also realize that I don’t want to be in that season of life again. My heart is done. My heart is full. There is no ache for another little human in our home.
We have become a unit. We will continuously change, grow, and re-balance our lives together as a family of five. Each phase of our children’s lives gives us new challenges and new reasons to love them even more and differently.
When I look back at photos of our children as babies, I see them as fond and sweet and exhausting memories, but my heart does not seek another baby. My heart seeks to enjoy my children on their journey to independence.
One day in the more distant future, I may look back and say that I miss the baby days, but not right now. My heart is moving forward.
Our family is complete. I’ve had my last child. My body, my mind, and my heart are done.
Now…let me make sure my husband sets up his doctor’s appointment. Otherwise, my 4th child may read this article one day and have some questions for us!