3 Ways to Make Peace With Your Last Pregnancy
Sometimes you know that this is your last baby. That means that this is your last pregnancy. Some women become excited or even giddy over the thought of never being pregnant again, but others… we will never reach this point. Some of us love being pregnant. My body gains curves I don’t have naturally. My heart grows as a baby does. The secrets of being a mother to a baby the world does not know yet, well they are pretty damn amazing. So here I am half-way through pregnancy with baby #5, and I know that it is my last time experiencing this. My husband and I love having babies. We love the pregnancy, birth, newborn, infancy, toddler, and childhood stages. We make the coolest kids on the planet, so we have decided to make a few. (Understatement?) But this fifth baby (sixth pregnancy, as I miscarried 2 years ago), this one caught us by surprise. We thought that maybe there would be another, but our babies are naturally stair-stepped, meaning they are all 2 years apart. We thought we had time. I never thought I would have babies 17 months apart. Surprise, surprise! Some decisions are made for you. I never thought I would find peace with ending this chapter of parenthood, but I am – slowly. Don’t get me wrong, my heart will always be capable of growing and loving more babies, but my body is telling me it is done. I am not 26 years old having babies anymore. I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding for 9 years without a break, and my body knows it. I’ll tac on at least another 2 years (or more) of nursing with this baby too. I am in no way complaining, as I have loved almost every day of the past decade! But I am tired. My body is tired… I think my mind is tired of thinking about pregnancy, childbirth, and teeny babies too. I can’t confirm that though because the fog of motherhood could just be never ending. But even with understanding that my body says, “Let me be my own again,” coming to terms with a final pregnancy takes effort. Are you considering your current pregnancy being your last? If you struggle with this thought, then read on… Here are my 3 suggestions to you to help make peace with this decision:
Make the decision together.Being on the same page as your significant other is important. If your partner feels done, hear him out. Listen to his thoughts, wants, and fears. Then share your feelings. Maybe permanent answers won’t be made, but temporary ones will. Nothing permanent should be done until everyone is on the same page.
Look at the child(ren) you have… really look at them.They are growing up and entering different stages of their lives. They are growing right before your eyes. Are you partaking in their lives as you want to or are you limited because of the stage of motherhood you are still in? This is not a guilt-trap motherhood question, but an actual question you must ask yourself. Are you longing for family vacations that include larger adventurers than are possible with tiny babies on board? Are you longing to be more involved?
Listen to your inner self.What does your mind, body, and heart say about your family? If your heart is full, and you feel complete, the peace will come. If you are torn, make a list of all of the happy reasons to close this chapter and open the next. I began my list when baby #4 arrived, as we were on the fence about being ‘done.’ I can now look at this list and smile knowing that it is all true, and it all equals happiness. This list gives me peace:
- Taking my almost 8 year old daughter to Paris. (Being able to leave babies behind for a week or more means no one can be under the age of 4 or so!)
- Family white water rafting trips, zip-lining, and adventures that can include everyone with me wearing a baby.
- Girls’ weekends away without guilt.
- Not being on the ‘Baby Needs To Nurse’ clock.
- Taking up hobbies with each child.
- Quality, weekend (or longer) alone time with the hottest man alive.
- MY BODY BEING MINE. Detoxes, workouts, clothing options, all will be made without thinking about pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Freedom. Not worrying about a surprise pregnancy.
- Being present with each child in the stage they are in.
- No more ridiculous toddler TV shows.