After being pregnant and caring for babies for 5 years, how do you just not do it anymore?
I am the mother of three beautiful children: Charlotte (5 ½) Max (2 ½) and Stella who just turned 1.
I loved every minute of being pregnant. Sure, I dealt with the occasional nausea, stretch marks, tiredness and heartburn. But that’s it. No other complications.
I still marvel at how amazing pregnancy is, and I would do it all over again if I could. But I can’t.
While I was pregnant with my third Stella, my partner and I decided “no more”.
I think Dads come to terms with “no more” easier than mums. My partner certainly did. But I found it really depressing and hard to deal with. Even though I completely agreed with “no more”, the realisation that my third would be my last pregnancy was just devastating.
“No more” being able to look in the mirror at my ever-growing and stretching belly. “No more” feeling those kicks and jabs from tiny hands and feet. “No more” seeing the thrilling ultrasounds or hearing that tiny heart beating like a galloping horse.
I started to think about all the things that I hadn’t done while being pregnant. Like sexy pregnancy photos and doing a belly cast. Or beautiful professional newborn photos. Or those framed newborn hand and foot casts in silver. And don’t get me started on all the moments I have forgotten to record in pregnancy and baby milestone books.
I will never again have a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in a cradle beside my bed. I will never be able to have those beautiful cuddles with my baby in the middle of the night after a feed. I will never be able to share the special times breastfeeding. I will never smell that newborn smell.
While talking to my best friend (a beautiful mother of 3), we came to the conclusion that from the moment you give birth, you inevitably have to start learning to let go of them. As each month and milestone passes, they become more and more independent and they need you less and less, until eventually, one day before you know it, they are moving out, getting married and living their own lives.
Being a mum is such a privilege but sometimes it feels like a cruel joke. The agony of knowing that once your baby girl starts to walk, she will be off and running and will never look back. You want her to walk and run and succeed. But you also want her to crawl for a little longer.