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Nearly a decade ago, KP and I become open to starting a family. It ended up taking us 2 years of trying before I got pregnant with my first child. During that time, when my life was measured in fertility cycles and single pink lines, I once tried to image myself in a future time of life, at the end of family building. If we were blessed to have any children at all, how would we know when we’d be done having kids? That stage of life seemed so far away, so impossible. There I was, deeply longing for the fulfillment of the fertility I believed I was supposed to have – how could I ever long for its cessation? The thought was impossible to imagine. 

But now? Almost 10 years later?
Now I have three kids. That I love dearly. And I am DONE. 
I think?
No, wait.

I’m sure.
I’m sure I’m sure. 
I think. 

Geez. This is hard. 

I mean, no it’s not. I’m sure. I’m done. I have to be done. I can’t handle another pregnancy. Well, maybe I could physically, but I can’t handle the anxiety. I can’t handle the worry of all the things that could go wrong. I can’t do the physical handicap, the mental mush, the seemingly incessant crying that rattles my brain. 

Sure, there’s something magical about new babies. Their smell, their love, their cuddles, all their firsts. I’m going to miss that. I miss it now…but I’ve been too busy to let myself think about it much. 

It’s probably better if I don’t think about it. 

My baby turns 1 in a couple weeks. 
And I’m pretty sure he’s my last. 

All his firsts are my last firsts. 
I’m both so ready to be forever out of this baby stage of my life, and also so hesitant to let it go. 

What’s it like to be a mom of only bigs, and no littles? 
What’s it like to not have to change diapers?
To not have to give baths? Or put on anyone’s shoes? 
To be able to think on my own again?
I know I’ve had gaps in there where I haven’t had to constantly, every single moment, be on diligent high alert about what the baby could possibly be putting in their mouth this time – but I can’t even remember what that’s like anymore. 

I know plenty of women my age still get pregnant and have babies, and that I’m not out of the woods of a surprise popping up, but still, I’m feeling too old to do this anymore. 

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So I have to be done. I really need to be done.

So why is it so hard to 100% close that door?
I’ve been selling baby stuff as Freddie’s ages out of it. I want this stuff out of my house. I want to move on.
I really, really, don’t want to be pregnant again. I don’t want to put my life on pause again. 

But.
I can’t pretend that I’m not just a little bit sad too. 
Sad to be saying goodbye to this stage of my life.
Sad because I love baby snuggles. 
Because baby laughs are so pure and bring so much joy. 
Because after this one ages out of all these wonderful stages, I won’t get them again. 
I can’t bottle them up.
Pictures and videos don’t suffice.
It’s now and then never again. 

And that’s hard to say.
Never.
And I can’t bring myself to say that.
Not yet. 
But I should be saying that.
I SHOULD be done. 
It’s time to be done. It really, really is. 

But it’s still hard. 

So unless an unexpected life unexpectedly pushes itself into existence – I think I need to say that I’m done. To believe that I’m done. To continue on living as though I’m done.

I need to move on.
This is my family size.
I’m extremely blessed.
Health and happiness. We’ve got a lot.

So how do you know when you’re done having kids? 
I don’t know. 
Maybe you don’t ever know. 
Maybe you just wait until your body tells you it can’t be done.
Or maybe you try your best to make a choice and stick with whatever happens…until your body tells you that you’re done.

But really, I think I’m done. 

I should be done. 

Most likely.

We’ll see.

.

But I’m probably done. 

 

 

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2 comments on “How To Know When You’re Done Having Kids”

  1. Oh my goodness. I know you wrote this a year ago, but I found your website somehow (I think researching ultimate bundles???) and poked around because you seemed cool and then saw this … and it really hit home with me.

    I knew having kids would be hard for me based on what doctors had told me growing up (fertility related stuff) and yet when it took two years to see a positive test, despite all the treatments I’d allowed myself to be subjected to, I wondered if there would ever be a time when I wasn’t charting, wasn’t on some kind of supplement, wasn’t avoiding certain medications, wasn’t … wondering. After our son was two we tried for another that never came and hard things happened and, suddenly, I quit the crazy train that was fertility treatments. And I’ve spent the past two years wondering something new: are we really, truly, DONE? Am I okay with this? And as the answer has become more YES than NO, the tracking, the incessant THINKING about fertility and pregnancy and breastfeeding and baby things and toddler things and preschooler things has become … just … MOM things. And I’m starting to cling to every “last first” as you said. With the scary realization that every first my kid has may well be the only first I ever get. And every stage I master will be the last time I am in that state. And it makes me want to cry. But it also makes me want to jump for joy. It’s all so confusing.

    So thanks for putting into words how I feel!
    Andrea recently posted…6 Essential Daily Habits to Keep Your House TidyMy Profile

    • Oh I’m so glad you found this post then! And yes, I wrote it almost a year ago, but it has taken me a very long time to even still come to a final decision. I know many women seen to just know they are done, but it’s been a lot harder for me to accept. It’s a totally different mindset to be closed to fertility when you’ve been open to it for so long. Honestly, it’s taken me this entire time since writing the post to really come to terms with it and ahem, final decision procedure is happening tomorrow, so I guess this is really it. It’s good. It really is. My sanity honestly might not survive another child, but it’s been a very slow acceptance for myself. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about this post recently. I might write an update post to it some point soon.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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