Let’s talk about something. Something that no one else talks about.
There’s a lot of talk out there about trying to get pregnant, and being pregnant, and having babies – it seems like there’s so much more than there was back when I was first trying to get pregnant 10 years ago. I follow lots of other mom bloggers on instagram. I see younger moms with beautiful bellies all over the place.
I love them. They’re cute. And really, I don’t want to be pregnant again. I really don’t. I’m pretty sure about that part. Pregnancy is hard.
But I kind of want another baby. But only kind of. A teeny tiny bit. A negligible bit even. Not enough that it should even matter.
A little over a year ago I wrote this post: How To know When You’re DONE Having Kids. I was struggling to know 100% that I was done. I’m still struggling to know that I’m 100% done. I think I’m maybe just one of those women who can’t know for sure but just has to move on either way.
But see. I passed the age that I told myself a decade ago that I no longer wanted to give birth at. I’d recently been driving myself crazy every month with serious anxiety that I could maybe, just maybe accidentally (even though we’d been avoiding and trying not to conceive) be pregnant. So half of every month I’d be in secret anxiety over pregnancy worries. I couldn’t handle the anxiety anymore.
So I told Kyle I was ready for him to do the big V.
And even though the procedure was two months ago I STILL find myself worrying – hoping even, maybe? – that I could wind up pregnant. That maybe, against all crazy & insane odds, that it’d happen.
It took Kyle and I TWO WHOLE YEARS of fertility struggles to get pregnant with our first child. I’ve had two miscarriages (and a chemical pregnancy). I’m officially into advanced maternal age now. We are not that couple that gets pregnant easily. Everything is against us. I’m pretty sure we are done having kids.
My 3rd kid nearly drove me verifiablly insane. A 4th child would probably be an even bigger strain on my mental state. Logically, I know that it’s not going to happen. It’s probably best not to happen.
But I still have a weird kernel of something, not hope really, but something. A sadness? A mourning? A wondering what it’d be like?
I don’t know.
But I know that I’m not one of the (what seems to be many/most) women who just knew that they were done having kids.
I don’t know. But I’m done. The ship has sailed. It is what it is.
I need to write a blog post about my recent hair color change.
I always swore to myself that I’d never bleach my hair and go blonde. That wasn’t for me.
I’m not actually trying to go blonde, but instead gray, but yeah, I did have to bleach my hair in order to get that color.
Hah. It’s funny when we say we’re never going to do something.
I’ve been struggling with getting older. With saying goodbye to my childbearing years. I don’t ever talk about this part of my life (but someday I may write a post on it because there’s so much that needs to be said about this topic), but before having my own kids, I was an egg donor (which is a whole other can of worms that I kind of regret now; I’ll write more about this someday). I mention this only because even before I started having my own kids, I was “prized” for my fertility. For my potential to procreate. And now that I’ve said goodbye to the fertility potential part of my life, it’s hit me like a ton of bricks. Femininity and fertility, tied up together. Our fertility is such an important part of a woman’s identity. Or at least is has been to mine.
I don’t know when people are “supposed” to have their mid-life crisis, and I’m pretty sure I’m way early to this game. But I’m also pretty sure that I’m hitting mine now even if it is like a decade too early. Shutting off my openness to fertility has been a personal identity crisis for me over the past several months-to-a-year.
And instead of hiding it – I’m talking about it.
I’m sure I can’t be alone in this. I can’t be the only one out there. Maybe all the other mom bloggers haven’t caught up to this point yet.
But eventually – there’s an end to the childbearing years.
Some women handle this better than others.
Some women move into the “DONE” self-identification smoother than others.
Some women struggle to find their own self-identity after their period of procreation is over.
And maybe this is ok to admit.
I mean, I hope so, because I’m admitting it right now.
Maybe we don’t all have to be 100% sure.
Maybe we don’t all have to know completely.
Maybe we can know it’s probably best to be done having kids, but still be mournful for the kids we won’t have.
Maybe it’s ok to be sad.
Maybe it’s part of the acceptance process of changing stages of life.
That life never works out perfectly.
That we’re not always sure what we want.
That life is miraculous, whether planned for or not.
And that all we can do is accept that which comes to us.
Maybe eventually I’ll feel more at peace about the end of childbearing. Maybe I never will. Maybe I’ll always wonder what if.
But there’s a million other things in life that I’ve also filed into the ‘what if’ column. What Ifs are fun to indulge in, but ultimately the What Ares are what matters.
My three kids and my husband are what matter. Finding time and focus for my own personal pursuits are what matter too.
So if you’re out there, like me, not able to 100% mentally shut that door even though you may have physically already shut the door – know that you’re not alone.
I think it’s just one step at time. Today. Tomorrow. The next day. And the day after. Luckily we have lots of friends having babies still. Maybe they’ll let me hold them. 🙂 I doubt that will fully assuage the weird, illogical longing I have within for my own additional child. But it’ll suffice.
It’ll be ok. I love my kids and I’m so thankful that I even got to have them at all. I’m thankful. I really really am.
I’m in the same boat with you. I should probably tell my husband go go ahead and schedule his appointment (he’s offered repeatedly). I know a third child isn’t practical for us but I just can’t quite make the jump to transition to the next phase of life. This was a relief to read!
I so get this. I’ll be 45 next month and in reality, we CANNOT do this again. It took us 4 years to have our son. He’s 14 now. A few years ago when we bought our home I secretly hoped it would happen, but a huge change in my health has squashed all of that. But I’ll always wonder what it would have been like with more than one child. But above all, I am just so very grateful for my son.